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.

Feeling good

Finally the past caught me. It's like a voice murmuring behind my ears: "You ran too fast, you went too far, slow down, look back and wait". So, like a lone cyclist on the run, I have been finally reached by the group. And this was not a bad news at all. I found back a lot of people that probably I left behind me too early. I discovered again people who were my life and always so they will be.
I wrote on this blog more than 6 weeks ago last time. It's a very long and unusual time. But it has been the necessary time to let the smoke and ash fall down on the floor to be swept away then. And so I did.
I am back in Istanbul since 1 day. And I already tasted how it's hard to be ubiquitous and some good thing is simply gone. But no matter.
I also should complain because after all my efforts still the path didn't reach the summit of the mount, but on the contrary, I see that this time in Italy was a kind of extra-time given my life to live again like 10 years ago and put on the table this fateful question for me: was all done what you left? Sometimes the answer is: let's try. Let's try to go back to certain places (or should I call them battle grounds?) and see what happens now that I have grown. Anyway I think this is not a lack of time, I think this is a privilege.
I spent most of these 6 weeks in Milan, then Rome and Bari. I will try to collect here some pictures of this journey. I was fine. Well, actually, I am feeling good.

Hell Istanbul

I finally see that Istanbul is a damned city. It's a living hell. It can happen living there to face really absurd situations, open holes to the flames of the hell. Life is hard there. Like in any megalopolis the struggle for life is hard and the differences are so near to each other that you can see the opposites at the same sight. And even the opposite of the worse things often is not the better things, but still something which is imprisoned in a standard mood and bravely is only trying to preserve itself. My best friends here turned normally (or were since the beginning?) into idiots, psychopaths and motherfuckers, but this you can not see at the beginning, you discover only later, after you start to trust them, (here they are professional hell citizens).
But of course I still have daily proofs of pure and amazing friendship. And like a flower on the shit, a light in the dark, a fountain in the desert, like a virgin in a brothel, it is something that you will never exchange for nothing else.

Hope is a trap

Can you see this picture? I took it a few days ago in the suburbs of Izmir. I like to take pictures of animals, especially horses. So, as soon as I saw those horses I took my camera and I shot. I shot first the horses. Then I saw a donkey, alone, on the opposite side of the field. So I took a picture also only of him. Then I took a photo of the whole scene, the horses on one side, the donkey on the other side, to catch the distance between them.
Then I watched again the picture and I saw there is a barbed wire in it. Finally I stopped and I thought if this picture wants to tell me something.
The day I decided to give the movie this name, "Katırlar doğurunca" (when the mules will give birth), I was only thinking of a tale of Herodotus, where he is mentioning the story of the siege of Babylon by Xerxes, the king of Persians. One citizen of Babylon, after years of useless siege, shouted at the king outside the walls: "Xerxes, it's better if you go back to Persia, because you will be able to conquer Babylon only when the mules will give birth".

Dancing on the railways turnouts

From the cold fields of olive trees in Adelfia to the nice cold gardens in Neukölln. It's not easy to summarize what happened between. I feel like I am living without breath, dancing on the railways turnouts, running fast, without exactly knowing where I am going. It is not that I don't have clear ideas of what I would do. Oh, clear ideas I have a lot. But many things seem out of my control. But still I am dancing, because the run is fast and the chance to turn suddenly direction is so high.
In a few hours I will take a flight back to Istanbul after 5 weeks. Things there have changed a lot. I don't have a place, for instance. But some good friend will host me. Then some people decided to go, to get out of my life. Farewell, in any case.
Probably I will watch the city for the first time as a place which could be not mine anymore. Maybe I will feel a stranger, and it would be the first time after so long. I don't know. Maybe I will watch Istanbul as a love to conquer again and for this reason she will seem even more beautiful to me. Since november 2008 I have never spent so much time far from Istanbul. In any case, this 5 weeks trip through Europe signs the end of an era and a new beginning. Every new beginning is marked by a big backpack full of stuff. Like a turtle I am back to live with all of my things on my shoulders, changing bed every few days, dreaming of a roots ground that maybe really doesn't exist.

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