Zekai Özger (January 8, 1948 – May 5, 1973), better known under his pen name Arkadaş Z. Özger, was a young Turkish poet.
Zekai Özger was born on January 8, 1948 in Bursa,] Turkey to a low-income family as the fifth child of seven siblings. His father Ali was a public worker and his mother Fahriye a house woman.In his youth, he spent months in hospital due to bone disease he caught.
He was schooled in Altıparmak Primary School in Bursa. He then finished Atatürk High School in his hometoen, and studied in the Journalism College at the Political Science of Ankara University. After graduating, Özger began to work as a film editor at the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation in Ankara.
One evening, he left his home, where he had no television set, to watch the broadcasting at the TV, he had co-worked. That night, he did not return home. In the morning hours of May 5, 1973, he was found dead in a street.The forensic autopsy showed no sign of injuries, but it stated death by cerebral hemorrhage. It was assumed that this could be the result of a severe head injury he had suffered during a police raid on the university campus in the chaotic era of March 12, 1971.
Winners of “Arkadaş Z. Özger Poetry Award”
- 1996 Gazanfer Eryüksel – Yücelay Sal
- 1997 Zeynep Köylü – Hüseyin Peker
- 1998 Serap Erdoğan – Hüseyin Köse
- 1999 Kuvvet Yurdakul
- 2000 Sadık Yaşar
- 2001 Mehmet Kâzım – Bâki Asiltürk
- 2002 Bir Şiiri İnceleme by Bahtiyar Kaymak
- 2003 Nesrin Kültür Kiraz
- 2004 Ertuğrul Deveci
- 2005 Cuma Duymaz – Sinan Oruçoğlu
- 2006 Hayriye Ersöz
- 2007 Ersun Çıplak
- 2008 Bir Şiiri İnceleme by Halil İbrahim Özbay
- 2009 Nurullah Kuzu
- 2010 Gökhan Arslan
- 2011 Hayati Çitaklar
- 2012 Murat Acar
- 2013 Turgut Uyar’ın ‘Geyikli Gece’ Şiiri Üzerine Bir İnceleme by Şerif Mehmet Uğurlu
On 5 May 2010, a “Poet Arkadaş Z. Özger Meeting” was organized in Ankara during the 5th “International Meeting Against Homophobia” for the first time.