The things you own end up owning you.

Sagrada Familia de Barcelona

barcelona-532 Sometimes wandering in a foreign city, I am after a specific surprise effect.  I experienced it first in my youth, due to our visits to the Agean region, and the antic Greek ruins. The pictures I saw, turns suddenly into reality. But the best part, is the unexpectedness of the surprise effect.

In Ephesus, when you walk along the Grand Anfi Theatre, you sense the Celsus Library is somewhere near. But you dont see it, it is hidden. When you reach the end of the straight marmor stoa, on the right hand side, you at once see the Celsus. It is a stunning surprise.

As I was 20, in my first visit to London, I got off from the embankment tube station I guess, and i was walking on the grand steet. I remember the excitement, where was Big Ben. I could see on the map it was just near. I was so excited that in the crowd before the corner, I asked the Policeman, Where is the Big Ban?, He said, take your time and your camera out, it’s just at the corner right there. I walked and I was big time stunned. A sudden rush of seratonin and the feeling of flying one step above.

I had a similar feeling in Barcelona, as we were walking to the Sagrada Familia of Gaudi. To be honest, I was no fan of Gaudi before, I thought it was also similar to Hundertwasser what I saw in Vienna and somewhere in West Germany.  However, after seeing Parl Güell, I was really in to him. As we were walking slowly and chatting I realised that our host was slowing down, and on the left hand side, I saw her, the Sagrada Familia. This is what I saw, but it does not show what I felt. It was just that stunning surprise, the feeling I chase in journeys.


April 29, 2009 Posted by | Cities I Like | 1 Comment

Distorted Intersubjectivities

Inspiration does not come by invitation, it comes by intuition

Some time ago, a Turkish academic told me an incident he experienced, during the “Cumhuriyet Mitingleri” times. On a sunny Sunday morning he went to a Turkish “bakkal” to gather some daily papers. He said, he bought “Taraf, Hürriyet, Radikal, Yeni Safak” and if I dont remember false “Zaman”. As he was just to pay the bill, an elderly, visibly secular, and I would argue in some way a beleiver in some “specific” image of Kemalism, looked at him in strange eyes. She asked, I have never seen something like this, why are you buying those newspapers. He understood that she was mentioning the Islamist press. He responded calmly and said, it is important to read what people of different mentalities thing.

Yesterday, as I was opening up some internet newspaper websites for my father, he said to me, you dont need this newspaper. I said which one, he said, yenisafak. I asked why not? arent you curious to see what they think about, he said, i can imagine what they think about, I dont need that, honestly, thank you. I was a little bit stunned, because, his library is full of authors of diverse reigns, and he was just reading “Piyale” from the Ottoman script before he asked me to open the internet for him.

I was jut reading Ertugrul Özkök’s article on Akif Beki, and at the end of the article he tells an incident he experienced with Sedat Ergin. He asked Ergin whether he read Arif Beki’s last article, and he responded, I dont read him.

The blind adherence to one’s weltanschauung would bring with it a certain ideological perspective, which can portray quite aurhoritarian tendencies. The technology of perception, though living in 2009, could still be inspired from quite Machiavellian perspectives. the millenial good and bad, evil and god.  When i read the Islamist media, I also mark a strange distaste to the ideas of the “other” bloc, as vice-versa.

Turkey is a land of distorted intersubjectivities, wherein, an authoritarian paternalistic culture superimposes itself on modern day concepts and perspectives. Though the widespread acceptance of the technology of thinking is absorbed, in terms of collective imaginations it is visibly distorted.

When we look at Turkish political parties, I can see petit-Machiavellians, in Turkish “cakma Sultanlar” – fake Sultans. I can see the same intersubjectivity of being an omnipotent “leader”, superimposed upon a bumbastic version of Islamic inspired capitalism or a fascinating misreading of Mustafa KEMAL Atatürk, or some other visibly fascist ethnic nationalisms.

The disconnection of social groups and the lack of organic intellectuals who could bring conflicting parties together through consensus and acquiesence on certain norms and principles, this is what I see.

Isn’t it strange that nobody still cannot agree the term of the Presidency. Isn’t it strange that top level politicians refuse to salute themselves even in highly ceremonial and unitary incidents?

Some time ago, I was reading the memoirs of retired diplomat and former Turkish Undersecratary of Foreign AffairsErcüment Yavuzalp. He recalls a memory, back from 1958, about an incident that took place in the reception of the Indian Embasy in Ankara in honor of Nehru’s visit to Turkey. At some time, the Minister of Interior, Namik Gedik, upon seeing the leader of the oppsition party (CHP), Ismet Inönü, hurried leaves the reception. Yavuzalp, asks the Minister about what had happened, and he responds “Out of blue, I saw that “individual.” At once I left the meeting.” After a half century, I can see no slide of change in the manner of the highest echelons, and as a consequence in the society complex.

I am looking at some webpages, about articles on “hot” themes, but especially I am reading the comments posted by the readers. The enmity is visible. Last week I was at a Panel Discussion in Berlin. One member of the pro-Kurdish DTP, was talking about the sickness of Turkishness, dangerous identities. Another Turkish intellectual was trying to remind the need not to use provocating sentences. I sometimes guess, whole Turkey needs “Gewaltfreiekommunikation” courses.

April 29, 2009 Posted by | Turkish Politics | Leave a comment