Tuesday, October 30, 2007


They had many names in the history; Saint islands, Monk islands, Sprit islands, Genie islands or the most common name Prince islands. You didn't hear them? They lie just at the enterence of Bosphorus in Istanbul. Ask them to Turkish locals and Greek immigrants, Rums of Istanbul, they would tell you endless stories.

I could reach the end of once colorful years. I am talking especially about Heybeliada; you can call Dimoniso, Khalky, Halkitis or Halki as you wish.

I still remember the love of aunt Cilveli (flirtatious) Eleni and uncle Dönme (convert) Ahmed. Mom says uncle Dönme Ahmed turned back to Trabzon and get lost. She suspects he was helping the Rums immigrated to Greece to take out their wealth they left burried back. Cilveli Eleni stayed at Heybeli alone waiting her love. She should be dead by now.

Though we moved when I was only two, we went on spending our summers at Heybeli. All begun to change when I was 6-7 and get lost in years. No more chatting in Rumca (greek) around the caffes at seaside, waiting at wharf; no more joyful songs any more.

Do you know "rembetiko"? It is becoming popular again lately. Rembetiko is the music of love, seperation, undegrround, haish haish, unhappiness, poverty, prison, death, immigration and taverns. They sang beside raki or uzo (traditional Turkish and Greek drinks) at meze (appetizer) tables, with zeybek (zeybekikos) or kasap havası (hassapikos) dances.

I dont remember few Greek words from my childhood anymore, I dont even remember my vhildhood friends left in hurry. But I miss alot. I always missed and dont think ever give up missing.

Wish I could sing with my words and make you listen those songs; Üskudar - Eskutari, San Pas Ta Ksena - Eğer Gurbete Gidersen (If You Leave For Foreign), Hanımlar- Ta Hanumakya (The Ladies), Kadife- Kadifes (Velvet), Kanarya- Ta Kanarini (Canary) or Yemin Etme Yalancı Kadın - Min Orkizese Vre Pseftra (Don't make Promises, You Lying Woman).

Yes, they are gone. Canarys, Velvets, Zeybeks are still here but they also left for foreign. I know they miss here too, as much as I miss them. Sad part is they are not the only ones I miss, I miss all others. I miss all colors. I miss all the cultures signed these lands in centuries.

I wouldnt want search for their shades but have them alive all around me. I dont want to seperate from any colors any more, I need all of them, all the rainbow to survive.

Wouldnt you miss hewals...

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