Sunday, 5 December 2010

Group Tunnel


“quorsum haec tam putida tendunt, Furcifer? Ad te, inquam.”(*) In the dark of the night he heard his friend screaming: “Run!”. Was his wish to run and save himself or to go back and to struggle with police officers for his fellow. He preferred to run away unaware of how his decision could had such an impact on the rest of his life. Leaving behind his friend’s screamings he disappeared in the back streets of the Tunnel. For days he didn’t receive any news from his fellow. 3,5 months after instead of his friend his dead body came. In the report, which was sent with the dead body of his friend, ‘tuberculosis’ was written as cause of death. Whereas, all knew the truth. Just the same as thousands of young people, his friend could not endure the torture anymore and he died. To see him last time he went to his funeral.
Being lost in the silence of his inner self “How do you know him?” words came to his ears. 1978 winter, Istanbul University – faculty of law… Cold desks, one cold lecture hall, one cold speaking man… “Communist dogs are barking outside, all should be hanged in Taxim!”. Simultaneously, sound of two biffs. “What the fuck are you talking about?!”. Those communists whom you called dogs are fighting to protect the rights of the community oppressed by such flatterers of the government as you and people like you. And after a pair of footstep and door shut and after two “hello”s. This is how I know him. “How do you know him?”. One day in the dining hall… He is in my left but, on my right a disgusting voice and humiliating words of the announcement. All around except us people were standing on the alert. Me, getting smacks at the heart of the tangled crowd, and He, holding my hand and lifting me up in the name of our struggle… This is how I know him. “How do you know him?” – “Run!” this is how I know him. The other thing I knew well was to escape. The only thing he couldn’t escape was this pain and feel of regret and he got older with it. Again one night he was meaninglessly hanging over the Taxim. He saw another face writing the same inscription on the same wall. This time was he himself screaming “run!”. Suddenly he realized that nothing was changed. “Quorsum haec tam putida tendunt, Furcifer? Ad te, inquam.”

*what is the point of such rot gallows-rogue? Tis you I say.


Tunnel, one of the first places that contributed to the process of modernization of the Ottomans. What gave shape to the Tunnel Square was the construction of the first metro in Turkey, and the second metro in the world. Having been ended in 1874, it has become the second oldest public transportation system in the world. The construction of the tunnel has eliminated the ordinariness of the place and has attracted the elite class. This aspect breathed new life and dynamism to it and made it cosmopolitan.

On the one side there are intellectual people sitting in Simit Sarayı, on the other side there is an old man who tries to sell simit on his simit stand. Normally, appealing to middle class people nowadays simit feasting has been transferred to large multi-storeyed buildings. Earlier having only sesame with transferring to multi-storeyed building the ingredients of the simit also increased in variety in the same ratio. Ingredients like sausage, cheese, fermented sausage, olive. Such approach to simit also increased its value, consequently it was reflected as price increasing on it. Location of such a place in Tunnel also added eliticity to its elitness. It is distinguished from other Simit Sarays by its large windows, leather armchairs, upper class customer portfolio. It has added another dimension to the Tunnel square. On the other side an old simit seller struggling for his life, whose stand is empty. People, who visit Tunnel, instead of buying simit from this old traditional simit seller, prefer to buy simit in Simit Sarayı. As it is obvious on the photos , the struggle between weak and strong is reflected even upon this piece of bread.

Straightway opposite to it through the road there is a shoeshiner man maintaining the struggle of simit seller. The cosmopolity of Tunnel Square combines the sparkle of life, laughter of young people on the one hand with the struggle of people for their living by the sweat of their brow on the other hand. While a shoesiner looks at tunnel square as a place advantageous to find potential customers, a bear drinking young community see it as a means for entertainment. In other words, the meaning people attribute to the places can differ in accordance with their aims.

Generally, in Turkiye there is a dilemma inside people to admire all the aspects of the west without questioning them, to fascinate with brand or to protect the traditions. The traces of it can be also seen in cafes, shops and stores at the Tunnel square. The ‘konak kebap’ and ‘gloria jean’s coffee’ can be an example for this dilemma. To approach the subject even in terms of naming, written in foreign language ‘gloria jean’s’ made one step further the ‘konak kebap’ in people’s dilemma being thought that foreign name added something to people statues.

The Tunnel Square with all its factors keeps a variety of cultures together. Consequently, it is people who attribute meanings to places, places that attribute meanings to people. It is people who create cultures, places that bring cultures together.

No comments:

Post a Comment