I'm on a long, tight road

The time to leave has come. In a few hours I will take a flight to Rome. Istanbul will remain behind. I am leaving Turkey, my time here, for now, is over. I feel like I am going back to Rome not since I moved here, but since one day I just came here for a visit, a few months before moving here. Because after that trip actually the idea of moving here started growing. I remember that I was about to lose the flight and I remember I could not find the key to open my post-box where the flight ticket was (I could see it, but not take it). So I forced the lock, I rescued my ticket and I ran just in time to the airport. Sometimes I feel like this stay in Istanbul was always like forcing. Like if the lock was closed and I didn't have the key. But still I was there to see what was inside. So I forced it.
Who knows? Maybe sometimes things must simply be forced. If I think of all the traps I found on my road in these last 2 years, my friends, that's enough reasons to be happy to be alive. And still I am going on my road. The road "tight and long", "night and day I am going".
Here's a turkish song that contains one of the most amazing things I have learnt here in Turkey. I dedicate it to all those I met here in these last 23 months. Those who have gone forever, those who have just gone, those who have gone and maybe will come back, those who just came into this world 2 days ago.

Tehran stories

When you travel from Istanbul to Tehran by bus, Iran starts at the first stop on the highway. The first talking with other passengers, all Iranians. We can speak Turkish together because they are from Tabriz, a city in the north of Iran, the majority of the population is Azerbaijani so their language is similar to Turkish. "Iran is not a good country" they say. They seem not happy to go back after a few days of work or holiday in Istanbul. The worse words are spent for the president Ahmadinejad, they don't hide their hate. They are surprised:
<<Why 2 Italians are going to Iran?>>. We are going for work, we say. After all it's not false, I am invited by a film festival.
<<Oh>>, they say. <<And how it comes that you speak Turkish?>>.
<<I live in Istanbul>>, I say.
<<What? An Italian living in Istanbul, going to Tehran by bus?>>.
<<What is strange? Istanbul is a good place>>.
<<Oh, Istanbul, we love this city, we use to reach it sometimes, we have friends there, we don't need visa, we can understand the language and we can have fun. All that is forbidden in Iran is free in Istanbul>>.

Wine by the moonlight

<<Drink wine and look at the moon and think of all the civilisations the moon has seen passing by>>, is written in the "Rubaiyat" (READ HERE) by Omar Khayyám, one of the greatest persian poets. So, it means that also these satraps one day will fall and a new civilisation will have birth. I am leaving, but I am not leaving Tehran.

Landing in Tehran

Well, actually it was not a landing, in fact we came by a 2 days trip travel with a bus from Istanbul, through Turkey and North of Iran. Anyway, we could catch and see people, landscapes and stories. Now we are in Tehran, guests of the "Moqavemat International Film Festival".
"Isti'mariyah - windward between Naples and Baghdad" is in competition.
But, for the rest, it was a landing, not only because it is my first time in this country, but also because the world from here seems to be seen from another point of view. Anyway, the pace is breathless and there are many things to do. Wait for the next post. Stay tuned. 

Turkish dilemmas

What is better: a hostel more in Istanbul or a theater? Today I am pretty sad and thoughtful. I left my room at GAF, where I was hosted in these last weeks. The theater will close next week and I had to find another room. In fact GAF was not only a theater, it was the effort of a few guys to imagine another way to theatric idea. Most of those guys were living in the building where the plays were performed. But the European Union decided to deny the funds for the coming year, so this experience must close. The actors will work in other plays in other theaters and will try to bring there their theatric idea and their experience. The building instead will become a hostel for young foreigners.

Iraq and Libya: lies and false sorries

It's raining hard over Istanbul. Alex, the German guy living with me at Gaf, has left 1 hour ago. He is going back to Germany, to Berlin. And it seems he's bringing also the summer away. We will meet there soon, man.
Tonight, suddenly, I heard raining and I woke up to find a blanket to cover myself. It seems that the autumn is here already. One night finally was enough to leave everything behind. But oh so many things we saw together, do you think? Will you keep them?
Well, I just have been in time yesterday to take some picture of Istanbul at sunset, the last day of summer. You can find here below.
But anyway, I am not here to bore you with these nostalgic issues. I am writing because in these days, beside many things, I happened to think about that humiliated land of Iraq. The President of United States announced the withdrawal of the American troops from the ground. Well, actually, many will stay there 1 year more, 50 thousands, but will not intervene, they say.
I am reading some comment and interview from Iraq institutions and it seems that the idea which they want to send to us is that now they are in fear to be alone.

Saturday sun

Today I am here to remember one saturday of a few years ago. Actually was not a saturday. It was not a real saturday, I mean. Or better, it was not really happened that way. And it was not only one saturday, but many saturdays. Or even it was many things happened in different days but all collected back together in one saturday. At least in my memory. Well, if I have to be definitively frank, in my memory there are also a few things that didn't happen exactly that way, but nonetheless I decided to keep in my mind. And to write down. Because, from that saturday, I made a tale. I wrote a story. Unfortunately I decided to write in Italian, my own language, so many of you perhaps will not understand. Mm, sorry for that. Actually I decided 1 year ago, when I wrote this tale. Then, in fact, I kept in my hard-disc for one year. Today, it's saturday. I don't know why, but I finally decided to publish it.
CLICK HERE TO READ: "SABATO POMERIGGIO".
"Sabato pomeriggio" means "saturday afternoon". I decided to invite you also to listen to this song, which also speaks about one saturday.
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO "SATURDAY SUN".

Deniz üstü köpürür

Hey, how strong was the wind in Ayvalık! So strong that the surface of the sea foamed. And I burnt in the sunlight.
 
And our songs blowed by that wind.
LISTEN HERE "Deniz üstü köpürür", by Cem Karaca.
 

Footsteps of time

A few days spent in Turkey retracing signs of the old time. The thing that mostly impressed me: Ephesus, the column of Artemis: the only one left with a stork nest on the tip and far in the distance the ruins of Saint John's church and the Mosque of Isa Bey, both built with the material looted from the temple. So what is the difference between paganism and other religions? This picture confused me even more. Not to mention that the temple of Artemis was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world...

My rock of Mompracem

Take a look at this picture.

Where are these women running to? Could you guess it? It's Çıralı, south Turkey, near Antalya, on the beach at 6.30 at morning.
Mm, maybe it's not easy to guess. I will tell you: they are running to the next opening turtles nest that the volunteers have sighted. It seems it's a such important thing for them not to lose even a second of that event.
Well, I must to admit, I came back to Çıralı because I also was missing the little turtles fighting at dawn to reach the sea waters. This year I took a lot of pictures, like the year before. But this year I was quite interested also in all those that like me were there not to lose even a second of that event.
In other words, I wanted to understand, watching those people, what was to push me to wake up every morning and run to the beach to see the turtles fighting for living.
Yeah, we can say it is because people always like this kind of things, anytime the life of somebody else is in danger, people use to have fun, since the battles in the Coliseum. Well, at least in this case turtles always survive, because too many people are there watching after them, like tens of godparents for their baptism of the water.

...

<<En güzel deniz:
henüz gidilmemiş olandır.
En güzel çocuk:
henüz büyümedi.
En güzel günlerimiz:
henüz yaşamadıklarımız.
Ve sana söylemek istediğim en güzel söz:
henüz söylememiş olduğum sözdür>>.
 
Nâzım Hikmet

 


What Democracy is

The smell of eucalyptus trees, the summer heat, the sound of cicadas, groups of people in the shade. This is democracy for me. So, I should say that 2 days ago I found Democracy. Yes. At S. Giorgio bay, Bari, Italy. All these things were there: the eucalyptus trees, the summer heat, the sound of cicadas, groups of people in the shade. What a happiness!!
All these things remind me the Kabylia region in Algeria. There, for the first time in my life, I learnt what Democracy is. It was 2001, and then 2002. Summer, of course. Very hot, incredibly hot. Small villages. Groups of tens of people gathering from the countryside. Let's say, emerging from dusty lanes from the countryside, coming down from the mountains. Old cars, animals or even only their own feet as carriage. Starting speaking, discussing, not about cosmological disputes, but about compelling problems, in a permanent state of mobilization, supervised by local police perceived as the big brother's eye of the government, a kind of distant, arrogant, violent and stranger power as worse it could not be.

Open letter to Bandista

I didn't come. I am not there. After 2 years, this time I am not attending Rock-a Festival, near Izmir, Turkey. The first year it was magical. The beach, the sunset, the music, the olive trees, the people. Something that awoke deep feelings in me and pushed me to radical decisions. Last year it was familiar, like to feel at home and to rise up again after a "long cold lonely winter".
This year life led me elsewhere, kept in Italy for stupid reasons, setbacks, but that make me think that something is not like before anyway. Well, this was clear even before, but Rock-a is the right halfway point which makes it definitively clear.
Years after years, I began to doubt those who abound with nice words. I think some nice manner is preferable between people, but when it is even prominent, it makes me doubt. I remember the first message: "see you tomorrow, my brother". I was on the ferry, crossing the Bosphorus at night, march 2008. I said to myself: "Wow! This might be a very kind person. He doesn't even know me and already considers me a brother: it might be eastern hospitality". Today I know the answer. It doesn't make me proud nor happy to know it. Rather, it leaves me without feelings. Call it comradeship. That is not exactly something I enjoy to receive. The difference between "hospitality" and "comradeship" is easy to see. Both are legitimate, given that, in the case of the comradeship, a common platform is clear for everybody. And often it is not like that.

Ciao, Ali, ich unutmayacam you!

One day we used to have fun making sentences with 4 different languages, usually German, Turkish, Italian and English. All the 4 languages had to be represented in the same sentence.
You had to make efforts in Italian, while my challenge was on German and Turkish. That's why one day I wrote on this blog: "Hayde, Ali, come zurück presto!". It was one year ago, one year and less than 3 weeks ago. You were kept in Cyprus for what was your (and our common) pleasure: a bit of marijuana. We were waiting for you to rehearse for a coming concert.
We have never been best friends, I want to tell it clearly. We happened to be neighbors, especially after september 2009. And you, as a good neighbor, provided me any help. Actually I went even further, I asked you contacts and suggestions, for my life and for work, and you simply gave me all that I needed. In exchange, I gave you some advice on how to menage with some disappointing situation and especially I prepared sometimes my best "italian pasta" I can cook.
Normal relations we can say. I will never forget a few unforgettable nights on the terrace of your building above the roofs around the Galata tower. A lot of good guests, food, bier or wine, lots of funny stories and music, lots of musicians, good musicians, as always, at your place. I remember one night you asked all those who were there to sing a song. I sang a neapolitan song.

Ottoman thrill

Stop the world, I want to get off. I should say I am fucking bored of the Israeli government statements, if you want I will say it. But have we really ever expected anything different? Couldn't we really ever expect this kind of actions? It was a pirate action to attack a peaceful ship in international waters. Yes, it's true. But, how should we call to attack and occupy Iraq for years without having been attacked by it? Preemptive war. OK, so, what is more serious: to attack a peaceful ship in international waters or millions of innocent people at their own home? At least, the first choice is not worse than the second one. We did even worse in the past, so no surprise now.

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