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Articles tagged "Turkey"

WWB Weekend: Comings and Goings, Brexit and Turke(ntr)y

Image: European Union flags on Castle Street, Hull, Great Britain. Creative Commons. With the UK still reeling at the prospect of leaving the European Union, we’re looking back to a time when another country seemed on the brink of joining. The title of our December 2005 issue, “Women on the Verge (of European Union),” nods to both the all-female lineup and the presumptive results of the first formal membership talks between Turkey and the EU. The issue sparkles...

The PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: \“Armenian Genocide: A Dark Paradigm\”

In 1915, 1.5 million Armenians perished. Much of the world has yet to acknowledge the systematic killing, torture, and displacement of the Armenians as genocide. On May 6, 2015, PEN scholars gathered to pay tribute to eighty-two writers and cultural leaders who were among the dead. The event was not a bleak centennial memorial but rather an inspiring commemoration of Armenian authors who continue to endure through the cultural lives of their work. The six panelists who took to the stage in...

My Favorite Bookstore: Deniz Koç on Robinson Crusoe 389

SALT Beyoglu 4. Kat Istiklal Caddesi 136  Beyoglu 34430 Istanbul Turkey “A bookstore with a distinctive style of its own, located in Pera, Istanbul on İstiklâl Street, no. 389. A warehouse established in September 1994 containing choice books. An archive where books are displayed & accessible to all. A town square, the gathering point not only of those who look & listen but of those who see & hear as well. A library where one goes not only for buying books...

If You See Fatima

Translators’ note: Maria was the name of a girl murdered in an honor killing in Sweden; Fatima Shahindal was killed for the same reason a few years before Maria. Maria, If you see Fatima, tell her They are still here, the women-killers, still here with knives, Waiting. Tell her still This darkness, this killing devours us, all our seasons. Tell Fatima This atmosphere changes from one song to another, One sea flies to another, One garden gives rain to another. Every twilight, a door...

We’ll Fling Our Books

Sabahattin Ali was a Turkish writer killed a long time ago during a show of "civic" force, and even the consolation of giving him a proper burial was denied his family. In his 1945 short story—later banned—entitled The Glasshouse he says, "Never erect a glasshouse over your head. But if one were to be erected somehow, someday, never overestimate its indestructibility. All that’s needed to shatter even the most grandiose into smithereens is a few heads flung in its...

Sleepless

I've been sleepless for days. Like countless people. Like countless animals. Like the trees and the birds. We're all dazed by the strange turn of events in Turkey. The children who grew up scared of any uniform, police or military, have now finally reached adulthood, and now protest day and night, supplying the young ones in Gezi Park with food and water. We, as a nation, who never knew how to object, now stand our ground and insist on our rights together. That's the least of...

Sweet Days of June, Sweet Days of Uprising

As I write these words, unarmed protestors in and around Taksim Square are under relentless police attack. Not only in Taksim, either. People throng the streets all over the country: Ankara, Izmir, Tunceli, Hatay, and many, many more cities. People who’ve had it with government oppression. Whose anger has been honed. Who are at work by day, and on the streets by night. Also at work are the state's and imams' army of police, with tanks, noise bombs, tear gas, and truncheons...

To the Islands

She hadn’t seen him since the day when she had bitten his nose and he had chewed on her ear, in a fight over secondhand books. So when, from her comfortable seat on the swing under the mulberry tree, Hazel saw Mutti appear that afternoon, pokerfaced, she didn’t know quite what to do. He came to her and, carefully maintaining his serious expression, said: “I want to take you somewhere.” Under ordinary circumstances, her price for fulfilling this wish of...

The Map

In one of Ankara’s forgotten streets, there is a narrow, dark bookstore. I stop by there every now and then to look at the dusty old books. The moldy old books interest me; the smell of dust gets into the back of my throat there, I chat a little with the old bespectacled bookseller, who sits in a corner at a worm-eaten desk , then I go out into the sunny streets again and walk away. Late one afternoon I went into the bookstore, where the sun rarely penetrates and which has a kind...

Turkish

In Conversation

Buket Uzuner: I met Claire Messud in Istanbul in November 2007 while she was visiting the city as one of the guest writers of the Istanbul Book Fair. A week before I met her, I started to read her very recently translated novel, The Emperor's Children (in Turkish, İmparatorun ocukları); once I realized her novel tells a contemporary story set in New York City, with vivid characters from different generations and classes, and revolves around three protagonists who are...

Tunnel

The roads I walked didn't tire me, the plans I formed to kill myself didn't work, I did not diminish one bit, I did not increase I forgot the night I died in your nakedness. I found myself like an inner pain I neither escaped from your murder nor died there was blood around, it felt cold, desolate . . . Carrying a tunnel's wind-rush in me I passed through the agony, throughout the road, in time's fragments they reckoned me a shiver and yet, except for a...

Water

I won't talk anymore, I won't say harsh words in the morning for a dream I embroider a flower of pearl on my bosom. I never knew, what you understood from my words, I spoke the forest's frightfulness the plain's tranquility silenced you slept a long sleep, I saw the dream. Unceasingly I spoke of a path: I'm water, I didn't forget my name I spoke of a mountain I came across while wandering; I didn't meddle with the world's affairs, the world does not...

Rosa

Family tradition relates that in the year of grace 1667, my grandfather, the Count de la Savoia eloped with a beautiful nun from the monastery of Domus Ciliota. The Corpa della Nobilita Venezia revoked his title and threatened to hand him over to the Inquisition. Soldiers swarmed over the countryside to find the fugitives. It is related that two stakes were raised in San Marco's Piazza and pamphlets circulated inviting the public to witness the execution, but my grandfather and his...

from “Twelve Grams of Happiness”

This World An Invocation to God - I He asked me to meet him at the Kreuzberger Café, promising to tell me a story I could use while still staying within the confines of propriety. His call came at an inconvenient time; it was my day off and I wanted to just sit at home and watch videos. But he refused to be put off. His cousin - that much he was ready to tell me - was "infatuated" with a decent young man, but as a devout Muslim she couldn't have a normal romantic...

Women

With their blue tattoos And bruises from endless mournings They stand still looking at the fire They all shiver when the wind blows Their breasts bend to the earth Carrying burning wood in their hands Old as black rusty cauldrons Women continue their wandering When the fire bursts in a rage Voices multiply The fire burns incessantly there Extinguishing it is such a hassle Women with shrunken breasts Are thinking of the hardness of the wood They'll hold with their...

The East with Its Acrid Wind

I came Silent and sad I abandoned myself to the earth My heart was saying Wait Hurry and find a temple But I was too late The shadow of the walls remained But they themselves had gone Sometimes I say the east The east with its acrid wind Is surely enough for me to understand For comfort I packed in my bag Quatrains and maps I gathered pebbles I let my hair down in sorrow In the midst of that strange crowd Talking of you I looked into the deep sleep of mountain...

Nausea

The street where I live doesn't know it is not yet another snaky street in Istanbul but in truth some kind of a vessel. We the fortuitous passengers keep this as a secret, divulging it to no one, not even to our children. We don't talk about it. Never have we been told about it. We just happen to know-like the ones before us did and the ones after us will some day. At night, even in deepest sleep we listen to the splashes the street-boat unleashes as it floats on the ghostly,...

It Hurts To Be Here in This World / I Came To Know It

All the crimson stones on earth Are washed with God's blood. That is why crimson stones Teach us how to be children. When we are children God goes around with us. Touches our earrings And our necklaces. Hides in our shoes and The folds of our little girls' Ribbons. I must buy a crimson dress and crimson bed A crimson ring And lamp. The time must come When the mother's time runs and then runs out. The blood that knows to wait Knows too to turn to stone...

from “Ivy”

1. Accidental Colors That winter our lives would become entangled with disasters and iniquities like creeping ivy. While we were unaware of each other's existence, chance events would bind us together. Our loves, sorrows, losses and desires would intertwine like thin, persistent ivy stems. Not because I keep thinking such nonsense as coincidences being the atoms of life, but because I shaved my head three days ago and my bristly gray hair is trying to pierce through my almost...

Women Writers, Islam, and the Ghost of Zulaikha

In the history of Islam, perhaps no woman has been as widely (mis)interpreted as Zulaikha—the beautiful and perfidious wife of Potiphar in the story of Joseph. It was she who tried to seduce Joseph into the whirl of adultery and unbridled hedonism. It was she who upon being rejected by Joseph accused him of raping her, thus causing him to be incarcerated for years in the terrible dungeons of Potiphar's regime. And it was she who has over and over been blamed, condemned, and...

The Villa in Acibadem

The villa in Acibadem left a clear mark on every stage of my life. It isn't just that it touched my tender years like all those miracles of childhood are bound to do. It influenced my way of thinking, my character. The house belonged to my mother's uncle. Sani Bey was of medium height and had a greying beard when I knew him; he was a wide-shouldered, well-built man with blue eyes. He had once served as captain in the navy. But was he a regular or a graduate of naval engineering?...

from At the Borderline

Set in the border triangle of Iran, Irak, and Turkey, Im Grenzland [At the Borderline] is the story of an Iraqi Kurd who makes his living as a smuggler. Having bought a map of landmines from a former soldier, the smuggler negotiates a path through the war-torn border region to bring items that have become luxuries (due to embargo) back into his country. On each trip he unearths land mines on his way out of the country and buries them on his way back. He reads the empty landscape like a...

Hitchcock and Agha Baji

To my grandmother, and all other grandmothers whom we never treasured as much as they deserved--B. Dayani On that sunny autumn Thursday afternoon, between the hours of two and seven, three unusual incidents took place. From three to five, my friends and I went to Mahtab Cinema to see Hitchcock's Psycho. At six-thirty, Agha Baji came to our house to visit my grandmother. Fifteen seconds later, the tile floor in the bathroom collapsed and I almost fell through into the stone pit...
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