Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The third neigborhood

I have visited and written about the first two neighborhoods I lived as a kid, recently I visited the third one with my Mom. I'm trying to find things about literacy and identity in my past but it seems to me that I usually find other things. Unlike the first two neighborhoods this one had changed so much that neither my Mom nor I could recognize many familiar buildings. It made me sad. The only thing I could remember here was how to navigate the narrow labyrinthian streets of Şehremini and Çapa. A lot of people with Tatar decent lived in this neighborhood at that time. They had quite distinctive eyes. There were many Tatars in Eskişehir where my father is from too and I think they were a rather closed group that wasn't considered a privileged group. According to Mom, they were mostly Crimean and Romanian Tatars immigrated more than 60 years ago. I guess this place was diaspora for them. I cannot claim to know anything about them really.





I remember this mosque

An old Turkısh bath. It looks quite run down but once I remember going there.





This is the street we used to live

It always takes all my courage to take photos in public places because I'm quite a shy person and I don't want to make people uncomfortable. As I was taking this photo, the lady you see on the left looking out of the window asked me quite sternly why I was taking photos. My nightmare came true :- ( First I couldn't figure out where the voice was coming from and then I told her the reason and she seemed to be okay with it but I was so anxious to get out of there after that.

This is the spot that I learned how to ride a bicycle.

This wasn't a parking space when I was a kid. It was our playground. It was also a place used during the Eid al Adha, the feast of sacrifice. People would kill sheep and cow as religious sacrifice here. I didn't like this bloody eid as a kid and I still don't. I remember kids killing a poor tortoise here too, definitely not my friends. This place being a playground and a place for sacrifice at the same time sounds rather odd now when I think about it but I didn't think it strange at the time. I could never stand violence against animals but I have to admit I remember being in a physical fight with a boy here. I was a naughty one :-)


On Tuesdays we had this Bazaar. I think there is one at pretty much in every neighborhood in Istanbul. I'm pretty sure I've shared some photos from at least three different ones before.

old tvs

Do you see the top floor apartment on the right with a Turkish flag? I used to live there and actually that's the window of my old room. The windows are very small because originally that room was a terrace and it was turned into a room in a rather sloppy way. I  lived here since the time I was in the fourth grade until college. Being an adolescent and a teenager was not that easy for me, as I'm sure wasn't easy for many people. I hate it when I realize how typical a particular experience of mine is. I don't think I was particularly happy here. It was okay when I was at the boarding school or at the summer house my family used to spend the summers, which I loved. But I didn't get along well with my father since junior high so life wasn't always pleasant. I remember my rather childish fits of rage and frustration and my father's constant and senseless attempts to establish his dominance. I kind of feel sorry for him now since I wasn't a submissive kid and he didn't know that it was a fight he could never win. I drove him crazy and he made my life miserable but he also taught me how to be a rebel at heart even when trapped. In the end he lost all his castles and to his despair I did everything my way even if it meant the hard way. I think my father was the only person I truly hated. But that was a long time ago. Holding grudges doesn't agree with me. The moment I was free of him, the hate melted away. Now I think of him as just a poor old man who didn't know any better, but don't tell him that. We wouldn't want to hurt his pride.
When I was very young, I used to imagine that I was living locked in a tower like a princess (again, what a commonplace thing to imagine for a girl, but at least I didn't imagine a prince charming rescuing me) at the top of this building here at that apartment and that I was kept there against my will by an evil dragon, that is, my father ^_^. Who I wanted to be, what I wanted for myself were very different from the reality of that apartment. So, I escaped to my books.

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