Ursula once said, “My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it”. Nearly 30 years have past from when she said these words and I now feel the same way. My love towards my mother tongue forces me to abandon it. It is this ambivalent riddle which makes me feel like a human and like a fool. This is not only an analogy between my feelings for Turkish and what Ursula said. I deliberately quoted her since I believe what makes imagination possible is language. Therefore, I used language interchanged with imagination.
I first started to write blogs when I was at primary school. My first blog was a result of my excitement and ended because of my fickleness. I couldn’t maintain a solid blog page until two years ago. Several pages were designed, used and ended up in Web’s garbage dump with regard to the booms and busts of my temper. What happened to me two years ago was Hilmi Yavuz, a magnificent Turkish poet but furthermore an influential teacher. I was already keen on Turkish literature, and it was the reason why I took a lecture of Yavuz in 2016 although I was an International Relations student, but he was the one who enabled me to look at literary art pieces in a context. Later on, I discovered the interconnectedness of literary pieces, cultural products, history, sociology, politics, etc. with the courses I took from Zeynep Seviner, Etienne Charrière, Kudret Emiroğlu, Devrim Dirlikyapan and Mehmet Kalpaklı. Thus, study of literature and language became a way of understanding the world for me rather than an entertaining activity. Since May 2016, I’ve continued my blog to express my feelings as well as to exhibit my studies.
It is hard to explain the reasons behind the decision made to continue my blog in English. Of course, this minor change introduces a lot of changes in my way to approach what I do and what I want to do. One thing for sure, I want to study on Turkish Literature and become an interdisciplinary researcher. This desire of mine is the reason why I abandon my safety zone: Turkish Language. Although it seems contradictory, those who know Erich Auerbach and his book written in exile will understand me. Sometimes, it is necessary to abandon something to be able to look at it with the perspective of a bird’s eye. Furthermore, life is full of surprises. I consult Ursula one more time and refrain any further explanations: “The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next”.
I started to translate my previous blog posts. Sadly, some of them didn’t make any sense in English, thus, I withdrew them, including the very first one. And some of them are still waiting to be translated. Sometimes it was hard to translate some keywords, so I left them Turkish and provided explanations. I also changed the way that my posts are organized. I decided to set my main category as “Cultural Studies” in which I will share my thoughts and studies on literature, culture, history and politics. All the other logs of mine will be published under the “Notebook” category, including this one. I will also be sharing my photographs in galleries under this subtitle.
It is hard to be sailing in a heavy sea during the long nights of winter. Sometimes, it is to see the lights of a harbor what makes sailors feel safe and secure. However, a new light might also bring danger and threat. No harbor is safer than a sailor’s homeland. He knows his land warts and all. So, where will he land and take shelter in, if he doesn’t feel safe and secure even in his homeland. It is hard for a human being to communicate as well as sailing, and my safest harbor had been Turkish for a quarter century. This is the time I have to say goodbye, with apologies to a dozen of my blog’s Turkish readers who doesn’t speak English.
Farewell, my safe harbor!
Featured Image: Beyaz Said