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#sendeanlat #OezgecanAslan Thursday 19. February 2015_Radio Three Terzi

Radio Three Terzi


Another way of telling the story, A Parallel Text: Radio Gugu

As I got into Atatürk Istanbul International Airport during the month of Ramadan, the hajj pilgrims on the flight from the EuroAirport in Mulhouse to Istanbul had already saved their complementary on-flight meals past sundown in paper bags and quickly gulped down the water and eaten a dry piece of white bread rolls just before landing. The hajj travel agents were all swarthy looking males in their fifties wearing bright neon vests, like street construction workers, with the large emblems of their religious travel agency on their backs. All the female hajj pilgrims wore the same white or rose-colored gowns and headscarves beaming with anticipation and idly chatting amongst each other but in a low voice. They all had an air of dignity about themselves amidst the airport shuffle at customs, as if floating in midair hovering by the body scanners, while I had to prevent my pants from falling down to my knees without my belt-buckle which was sitting on the conveyor belt thru the X-ray machine.

I languidly strolled into the duty-free shop a few minutes later in order to get the bottle of liquor as I had been advised early on in my travel arrangements by my fellow peers at home. I first couldn’t decide on what to get at all, because I usually don’t take to drinking alcoholic beverages, due to my emotional predisposition you could add. Shortly thereafter, with my backpack, hand luggage, and slipping a casually looking duty-free shopping bag thru the counter,I was met at the custom’s exit by a young lad whose name I unfortunately don’t remember, but who was sent to give me a lift to the hotel by cab. It was Saturday evening past nine o’clock and the streets to the center of Istanbul along the Marmara Sea coastline were stuck with heavy traffic. The temperature outside was humid even at night and all along the port, people were lounging by the tens of thousands on the nearby dirt-brown lawns at night out barbecuing. The ride almost took us two hours and was accompanied by frequent honking, shouting out the window all the while I was trying to memorize counting to ten in turkish by heart with the aid of my driver, bir, iki, üç, dört, beş, altı, … because that was about the only way of making conversation, since save for saying nasılsın, afiyet olsun or nekadar, my Turkish is literally non-existent and my driver’s English was fair enough to exchange cordial bits of information, like where are you from, what do you do…, etc., none of which I remembered in the meantime, but the first four digits of the turkish numbers, followed by khamsa, sitta, sab’a, thamania, tiss’a, ’ashra and getting it all mixed up.

Later during my week-long stay in Sinop, I should befriend a young butch looking queer around the age of 25, with short blond hair and a light olive complexion with a waxy sheen to it, which made her look slightly feverish and who was dishing out meals at a family-owned business, squeezed into a side corner of the main street leading through Sinop, that served lentil soup and other homemade dishes from the Black Sea. Working while fasting, on 14-hour shifts without a sip of water to drink, seven days a week. After nightfall, she’d occasionally come over to my table and light a cigarette, in moments when the patron was absent from the place, or just wasn’t looking. I liked her right away for both her boisterous yet to the same extent timid attitude towards her predominantly male clients at the restaurant. I invited her to join me for the daily evening film screenings at the Sinopale headquarters after her shift. After a while into silently observing the movies and smoking sitting on a bench side-by-side, she insisted I stay at her place overnight. Her family was living in a town about a day’s travel by bus from Sinop. They were peasants and that week she was due to go help them with their crops during the Ramadan season. She told me that her girlfriend was an obese girl from Istanbul whom she had been secretly dating. Night after night over the Internet she always had to call her on time.

She lived in a place of her own, a three-room flat whose rent was exorbitantly more expensive than my own apartment back home, almost twice as much rent but had little comfort to speak of, not to mention the crooked floors at a steep slant from the entrance down in, with a low ceiling and four battered but ample looking divans in the otherwise naked living room, save for a large poster of the Eiffel Tower in Paris to one corner, a heap of dirty laundry to the other and an ironing board. As I flapped myself onto one of the sofas, she kept shouting at her Canary bird in a small plastic bird’s cage, while going back and forth to the kitchen to brew some turkish tea in two pots and telling the bird to shut up and stop hating her so much. She then came back to the living room, asking me to undress and squeeze myself into tight lilac satin pajama pants of hers and a T-Shirt in bright pink.

Feeling both frisky at that moment and slightly uncomfortable at the risk of making a complete embarrassment of myself over cheating on my girlfriend, I obliged and even agreed to let her take pictures of me with my camera, all to her exasperated bemusement, like the young flower vendor covetously careening as Mr. and Mrs. Tavernier take pictures with her pocket camera on a weekend night out in a motel room in the countryside, silly drunk on champagne with a wealthy German tourist and his siren blond wife half his age, that she and her boyfriend posing as a war veteran, had sportively befriended over a car race between the German Silvery Roadster Mercedes with wing doors and a stolen American Packard Limousine driving down the highway full speed at 100 miles an hour, while Jeanne Moreau as Florence Carala, the spoiled rich but desperate wife of an industrial arms dealer, was pacing restlessly up and down the neon-lit cafés, bar rooms, arcades and shopping windows of the boulevards of nightly Paris, in search of her lover stuck up an elevator shaft, in Louis Malle’s “Ascenseur pour l’Echafaud”, France 1958.

Please Visit:


Collecting the Future
A Sinopale Exhibition

Corner College Collective, Curated by T. Melih Görgün and

co-curated by Dimitrina Sevova

from Friday 13.February until Friday 13.March 2015

at Corner College, Kochstrasse 1, 8004 Zurich


Reflections on a short Note: In Light of the latest cases made public in the media, of the gruesome and horrific, often deadly violence and hate crimes against women in post-developing, „still“ non-European countries and the concurrent flaring up of civil demonstrations and protests in Turkey by Women’s Rights associations, movements and advocates, I’d like to make mention, that from a Eurocentric point of view of being a white, male heterosexual, the violence against women is not solely the problem of a mostly muslimic or oriental other, but is structurally implicit in the dominant hegemonic view of the Western Male Gaze towards our sisters of Color as well. So whereas the plight of women in predominantly muslimic countries like Turkey are largely ineffable by our „westernized, central-European standarts of sexual liberation“ and the state of affairs by the patriarchical, male-dominated governments of Turkey is lamentable enough in regards to women’s rights, let alone the vindictiveness of the hate crimes themselves, Europe is no exemption to the cause and effect, because economically speaking, Europe or „the West“ thrives on these mysoginistic politics of countries such as Erdogan’s Turkey or Egypt under Al-Sissi’s Military Junta parading as Democrazy and it is futile to blame it on Religious indoctrination alone. The White Male Gaze is part of the rule of exploitation and structural violence against women and therefore we are not exempt by laying blame on the civic „backwardness“ of an oriental other, but exactly the opposite is true, we profit. My prosperity, my sense of safety as a Swiss or European citizen is bought in cold blooded murder.


by Elif Sari



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