some remarks

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Ankara, Turkey
I'm just a sociologist astonished by the marvelous sense of humor of the universe! So, why not be a bad hat?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Unutmadık


Aslında unutmak istediklerimizi unutmuyoruz unutturmuyoruz. Hesabını soruyoruz ama cevap alamıyoruz, yolumuza devam edemiyoruz. Ve hergün yeniden başa sarıyoruz. Üstüne yenilerini ekliyoruz, bir önceki atlatılmamış travmayı bir diğerine de taşıyoruz. Birikerek ruh hastası oluyoruz.

9 yaşında, televizyondan gördüğüm yanan bir oteli ve önünde gözü dönmüş psikopat bir kitleyi ben silemedim kafamdan. İnsan yanar mı diye düşündüm, çıra değil odun değil ki bu, et yanar mı diye düşündüm. İçerde insanlar var, niye söndürmüyorlar diye düşündüm. Yangın çıkınca itfaiye gelir demişlerdi. Anneme sordum, "aşağılık köpekler" diyebildi. Aziz Nesin'i sordum, okurduk o yaşta komikliydi kitapları. "Ölmedi" dedi annem. İnsan yanarsa ölüyor mudur diye düşündüm. "Öldüler" dedi annem. Doktorlar kurtarmadı mı dedim. "Yanmışlar" dedi annem. İnsan yanıyormuş, yanınca da ölüyormuş. 

Bayağı korktum. Hayal etmeye çalıştım, ateş nereme değince tutuşur. Tavada ete baktım, ateşe koysam yanar mı diye düşündüm. İçerdeydiler, ateş onlara değince mi yandılar diye düşündüm. Korktum. İnsan insanı yakabiliyor diye düşündüm. Nefes alan, yaşayan bişey yanar mı diye düşündüm. Yanmışlar dedi annem ama aklım almadı. 

Yaktılar dediler, yakanlar babamın akrabalarına benziyordu. Sakalları sarıkları takkeleri benziyordu. Yıllarca sarıklı sakallı görünce korktum. Allah'ı mı suçlasam bilemedim. Sonra büyüyünce gördüm, insanı insan yaktı ne Allah'ı dedim. 

Neden ki diye sordum. Annem "Aleviler" dedi. Anlamadım. Anlattı. Yine anlamadım. Aziz Nesin ateistti biliyordum. Biz de ateisttik. Ama anlamadım. Yanınca canım acırdı biliyordum. O yüzden anlamadım. Aleviler ateist değildi, annemin anlattığından onlar da Müslümanlardı, ama ordaki sarıklı sakallılar gibi değillerdi. Yine anlamadım, yakmakla ne alakası vardı anlamadım.

20 yıl olmuş, hala anlamıyorum. Ama unutmuyorum. Hala tüplü televizyondan izlediğim şeyi ve korkumu da unutmuyorum. Yananların insan oluşunu aklımın almayışını, bizi de yakarlar mı diye korktuğumu unutmuyorum. 

"Herkes kendi tanrısına benzer" İnsan yakanlar hangi Tanrı'nın kulları? İnsan yakan hangi Tanrı'dır? Bunun Allah'la alakası yok. İnsan insan yaktı. Zebaniler cehennemde günahkarları yakar diye anlatır İncil de Kuran da. Bunlar insandı da insan yaktılar. 

İnsan yanar mı?



Wednesday, May 8, 2013

catchy remark IV - "missing you silently"

Thanks to my driver, this song has been engraved in my memory along with the roads of Urfa. He has played it so many times, repeatedly... While identifying the lyrics, I, somehow, liked it as well.

He says, "I take your absence in your address as a doomsday. I am just missing you silently; without knowing you, it is strange though... and you are far away, so far away... like the sea in the pictures". It is both sad and funny at the same time. It is pity he could not voice he is missing someone. Basically, it has been written for Deniz Gezmiş who was the Che Guevara of Turkey, although it sounds like a love song written for a woman.

The singer, Ahmet Aslan, is a Alevi-Kurdish man. He is missing a man whom he has never known. Now, this is my song on the roads of Urfa even though I am not missing a man without knowing him. But silent... yes, I am... on the roads of Urfa.



Sunday, April 28, 2013

"I see it everyday" said the hideous man, and walked away

I had a poster hanged over my bed in my old flat in Moabit. It shows one of the issues of a social science journal in Turkey (Doğu Batı - East West). A German friend asked me what it says. “Liebe und die Ost (Love and the East)”. It sounds a little odd to me then, especially in German. When translated, it looses its political meaning there. Aşk does not exactly correspond to love, or Liebe. It's more than these words. One can love her child, her siblings, friends, parents, etc. But aşk can only be felt for a person whom you do not only love but love with a great passion, with an absolute irrationality so that you can sacrifice yourself for the one beloved, etc. I tried to explain it like that. “Warum die Ost denn?” “Hier gibt's eine politische Bedeutung. Diese Zeitschriff hat auch ein Heft, das 'Liebe und die West' heisst. Es geht nicht nur einfach um die Liebe. Andererseits geht es ja einfach um 'die Liebe'.” I think he took this as if I said that the East would love differently than the West. Actually, here was the political meaning.
I wrote this to start a post about love one year ago. "I can not write about love. It is always the same story for anyone else." "This is not something you can analyze, you need to write what you have experienced, the dialogues, the feelings... with the latter you're not so good though. Smart girl, but lack of the ability to talk about feelings." said the woman from Botan.

Now the same poster is hanged over my bed again, but this time in Urfa. 
There are a lot of dialogues crossing my mind - some of which have really experienced and some are fictional. Those words I have used and those I couldn't, those gestures I have done and those I would like to do, typical with me, are spinning in my head. "You will have communication problems in the following months" foresaw the woman from Botan. "Astrology can not give me any hint about what I would encounter in the near future" I thought. Maybe, I should better have a little more faith in somethings.

You forget everything... suddenly realized that you have forgotten everything. What you felt, what you smelled, heard... that girl, 14 years old, listening Social Distortion from one headphone of a pair, she forgot everything. As if she was someone else who could at least feel something. The number is 21 now, and I still do not feel anything. Tried though. Frightened... yes, like hell. Ruined a shelter for breathing? Yes, I did it like a professional self-saboteur.



I still can not write about love. It is someone else's business, not my thing. But this sorrow I can only sense from deep-down of my flesh is that I cannot name and pushing me writing. I returned home alone only with memories which does not even make my womb leap up to my mouth. I have tried hard to jog my memory for recalling all the scenes I really lived that night. Nothing particular has come out and fueled my mind and my body so far. Only a couple of little enjoyable pump-ups in my stomach took my breath away for a second when the flashbacks came to my mind. “I can't” I thought, “we can't”. I could easily imagine the future with him, even the time when I would try to get rid of him. “I would lose another man beside whom I can breath. Call it, it's just sex. Always better than meaningless dramas. Call it, it was just sex, even though you are dying to touch him and feel him again, to put your head on his chest, to love him again. You would ruin it again. Make an inappropriate jog about the orgasms you had that night, and thank him for having satisfied you. Then let him go.”

“We would be the worst couple ever”... my irrational rationality... we might have been something...

I had already known that Mardin would be rainy. He knew that too. We knew we would end up in the same bed even if the weather was warm.

"Do we really need to talk about this? Do you think so? Or do we better leave it as it is?", "I can't say anything to you because the woman I am facing with is you" he said. This has sticked in my head, "I am that woman with whom one feels like walking through a minefield". "Why wouldn't you carry on a relationship?" asked he. I could have rather said "I have commitment issues if you read 'relationship' in a conventional sense". But I knew, this would sound like a teenager's rebellion to the social order. I wouldn't because I can't, is always the easy answer. After 26, I do not like to talk about or argue for this issue. "I can breath next to you, but I don't wanna make you a terrain of mine where I could be able to breath once." You wouldn't be enough for me after a while, I could not voice.

"You visit me sometimes, be there, but not mine. we travel through the region, but you do not be there where I spend my other life since you could not keep up with it", I could not say out loud.


"What about you? If I hurt you?", "I know you would run away immediately if I demanded something from you. Well, it's your call. I would take any decision of yours. Do not be such a control freak! You should not name this. Keep me as your friend, as your lover, or do not keep me at all! I can move on with any of them."

We have talked about love once. "I can not sustain that feeling if it turns into a duty." "Love and duty..." "Like role playing. Like being romantic with the natural events. Talking about the obvious beauty of the moon and watching it together without feeling any need to talk about it are different. I would not like to utter an overwhelmed word to the moon. It's shining over there, it's shining pretty well, we both know this fact, why to talk about it as if we discovered the full moon just recently. One may think such things inside, shouldn't express them loudly". "Oh honey, this has nothing to do with love. This would be a cheap copy of the memorized scenes." I would like to say that the wine we have and the room were the free-flowing romantic movie scene already if I was aware of that scene.


NINVE, an Assyrian wine we discovered. Two bottle down, one and a half years down, one lover of each of us down... maybe more than one... even Foucault down, Kurdistan down... slept next to each other several times before... why now?... why that invisible line between us disappeared... "you know why" he said. But, I don't know. Maybe the guilty was the music.

I can't write about love.








Sunday, January 6, 2013

painted over melancholia






This was on my wall. It had also a sort of hand made frame. Both the writing and the frame was the artistic products of Pi's procrastination. She did this while we were studying for the final exam of Social Mobility. Still it can make me feel sick to remember that night as I had another final exam at the same date and could not sleep for more than three days.

A sunny but dry-cold sunday morning... I woke up before the sun rose and then realized "I'm home, slept in my room but on a new bed, bigger and wider than that of the teenage years of mine". Now, it's unusual that a tune is coming from downstairs, from the saloon. My parents have never been a fan of any kind of music and never heard they listened particularly anything at home. They've had got cassette (Tracy Chapman, Tanita Tikaram, Bob Dylan, Sezen Aksu, Zülfü Livaneli, and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana) in our car but never at home. It is now strange to me to hear my mother listening Turkish Classical Music this morning. It's coming from the TV though. And I do not have a fucking clue about who is singing.

my door
Home has changed a lot and I was barely at home in the last five years. My parents got recently divorced, at the beginning of the 2011. I was in Germany then and when I came back, I found three detached 'individuals' from each other. Then father married a younger woman, mother got mad, weakened and lost 20 kg, and brother was trying too hard to attach himself to an imaginary family again. On the background, so called 'Arab Spring' was rising, Mubarak was down and the next would be Gaddafi; and everyday someone from opposition in Turkey (mainly journalists and writers) was getting arrested and charged with being a member of a terrorist organization, police brutality was increasing - it has never decreased before though -, Kurds, leftists, political liberals, and republicans were on the target and still they are. I was only watching and trying to adjust myself to all of these changes, which happened during my absence, and which was happening in my presence, at the same time. Without digesting the "what happened" yet, I was trying to swallow the "what the fuck is happening now". Above all, I was supposed to finish my MA thesis on the edge of this burn-out. Spending two years in Germany, a relatively politically stable country, and having relatively drama-free personal life in there, returning 'home' which was not there anymore was kinda painful.

The house was in mess as well. Walls needed to get painted;  floors, kitchen, bathrooms, windows... everything needed for renovation. Along with my mother, the entire house seemed to me in a deep melancholy, stood hardly up and unable to move on. I think I ignored them both and moved to Istanbul, then was in Van as a volunteer after the earthquake, then back and forward between Istanbul and Ankara. Found a job in Ankara and moved back to my mother's house which is one hour away from the office. Hilarious, indeed.





When I was first back from Berlin, I faced with my old room filled a lot of books which do not belong to me and there were no room for my own books. The walls remained as they were, except a picture removed. My whole teenage period was drawn on my walls - like my first nude drawings, anarchy signs, notes written by my friends who came to sleep over... I was so far away from that girl... and this was not a new thing that I stayed away from home. I did not spend so much time at home when I was in college which is also in Ankara. I was staying mostly at friends' places. No need for a deep analysis, I was running away from that conflictual environment where my parents pretended like a family. I did not witness any physical violence or any curses to each other but trying hard to stay together was exhausting enough for them. The same disputes every morning, like a frozen-clock ticking only between the same two seconds...



I don't remember when they exactly became such a miserable couple but I remember well the times when we were a really happy and exemplary family; or, I was just a child and not aware of the lack of love between them. Still, I can not imagine a family, a husband... Becoming a family or getting married seem to me like the end of the world, like a door opening through the misery. 40 year-old-friendship was their marriage, and ended up like the one of teenage-lovers.


After two years from the divorce, finally, the house got renovated, which was another painful process for me as I have to go to work everyday and there was physically no house for a long time to stay. I found shelter under the roof of my brother's girlfriend. The day before my room got painted, I saw the posters and drawings were taken off my walls, and quotations and some notes with dates appeared under them. I totally forgot that I wrote the quotation from J. Wilkes on my wall. I saw the giant drawing of a tree which was not even covered but I was not aware of its presence. Similarly, the rasta man I painted next to it. Anarchy signs on my door and walls... all appeared like old friends visiting to say farewell to me. After painting, all are gone, only the quotation from Wilkes remained. My brother and mother told me that the painters painted over and over again but it kept popping up under all whiteness. I found it a little enchanted as this quotation was so peculiar to that 'saucy' girl I was and now is the only remnant of her. And it can't be painted over.




A week ago, when I'm back from New York, I found my furnitures rearranged, as proper for an adult woman not for a teenage girl. There is a mirror in my room now - this was one of my bizarre rules that I have never let a big mirror in the room for years. I have a big bed and a toilette table. All these changes freaked me out first because it appears to me that this means a long-term residence in this house. All I wanted for years regarding my room was done just before I am about to leave again. I still did not unpacked properly and still feel like a stranger, a guest in this house. Another first world problem: I have a well-furnished room but I can't feel comfortable just because I don't feel that I belong to there. Maybe I should better just shut up and enjoy it till the day I leave.

friends' drawings and notes


friends' drawings and notes

friends' drawings and notes 




I dreamed about that I would marry this man when I was a little girl. I had found it in an issue of National Geographic. One of the articles was about Kelebekler Vadisi. It is a valley in Southern Turkey, and sailing was the only way to get there back then. It was  full of the damn hippies at that time and is now full of god damn hipsters. His name is Fatih, was living on that Valley, and saying "I've got food and wine here, don't need anything more." Yeah, damn hippies!


Rasta-Man