Fatih

The charcoal smelling narrow streets of Fatih* know me.

The dignified avenues that have not lost their identity know.

Look! The midwife of our local clinic will appear soon in a station type ambulance car.

Our old downstairs neighbor who owns a grocery store has just returned from Hajj. While daydreaming, he rubs his beard which begins to gray.

The gas truck repeats the same song again and again…

Kids, who are not aware of the fact that they belong to the last generation which has the opportunity to play on the outside, cheerfully play games on the street.

Fathers, who are living in poverty, walk to their homes with coal bags in their hands. They have heavier sorrows than their bags.

Women with cracked hands wash diapers. They know nothing about breastmilk substitutes, vitamin supplements or disposable diapers.

They all remember me.

The fragrant basilines on the steps of the stairs, the red washtubs in which the children are washed, the garden walls of the Fatih Mosque, the food fumes pervading from Atpazarı, the stallholder selling plastic swords at Horhor, same agony which can be seen in everyone’s eyes…

I remember every one of them.

Am I the only one who doesn’t forget them?

I do not know.

But I know for sure, they are the only ones who don’t forget about me.

Every single night, when I lay my head on the pillow, they are my guests; and they don’t let me go to sleep.


* Fatih is the capital district of Istanbul, Turkey; which has many historic sites, and a rich cultural background.

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Türkçe: Fatih

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