It was a cool evening in Spring. A ship under the rule of English arm was coming closer to Istanbul. A young girl , about her twenties , looked at the city from the ship “ What a charming city it is ! “ , said the girl to the general next to her. That general , who was about fifty years oldu , was father of the young girl. He was sent to Istanbul as the reinforcement in for putting everything in an order int he city after the invasion. His daughter , Caroline , came to control the accounts of the Ottoman Banks upon which English state distrained. She had studied Economi , she was an ambitious , educated and young woman her father had wanted her to have education , that’s why he had kept close watch on her education. Caroline got so happy when her father wanted her to come with him to Istanbul and to have a duty , because she would be able to show what she had learned about economic. She would serve for her country while doing her job. Neither battle between her country and the country she was about to come at that time or the dangers she would encounter didn’t frighten her. She and her father got off the ship with a number of soldiers around them and they got on a military vehicle. General wanted to take her excited daughter to The Street of Banks where she would work before the headquarters. They got out of the car at the beginning of the street , because Caroline wanted to see that place. The street was ornamented with aesthetic and glorious buildings reflecting German and Italian architecture in both aspects. Caroline thought buildings were too glorious and aesthetic for being used as Banks. She found them so precious. The street had a fascinating atmosphere , and Caroline was excited as she was among the foreing people in a foreing city. The street was crowded with people wearing suits and felt hats , their clothes were reflecting their richness. These people didn’t portray the image in her mind. Then she realised that she was int he Banks Street. She thought that the lower class could not come to that street because they were poor people and they wouldn’t have an affair with Banks. Caroline and her father entered the building together , anumber of men , seeming to be managers , welcomed them at the entrance. They greeted Caroline and her father in a very kind manner , and smiled at them uttering a few foreing words that Caroline couldn’t understand. Coming closer to Caroline , a man said “ they said welcome in Turkish.” Caroline looked towards the way the man was coming. He was a tall man at his twenties having fair hair and a moustache in Ottoman style. One of the managers having greeted them a few minutes agı said “ Let me introduce you to Orhan who will be your interpreter and guide in Istanbul.” They shook their hands. According to caroline Orhan also didn’t reflect the ottoman image in her mind. He looked her like both Ottoman and European. Caroline’s father left her in the bank for going the headquarters. The managers and Orhan accompanied her to the office at which she would work. They wished Caroline good luck and left Caroline and Orhan in the room. Caroline , admiring his excellent English , asked him where he had learned it. Orhan said he had been abroad for ten years and learned it there. Upon Caroline’s question , Orhan started to tell her abput Istanbul , Ottoman culture and the society. The more she listened , the more she wandered about the city and the people who live in there. She wanted to be united with the culture and the city , upon that she asked him to guide her while discovering the city. “ With pleasure” said Orhan , and left themselves in the hands of mysterious streets of Istanbul. They’d toured around the streets for hours. Everywhere they went welcomed them with a new story. She was listening these stories by Orhan with an absolute care as if he was murmuring the words from a holy book. She enjoyed so much that she didn’t want it to be for the new stories.ended , and was waiting for the new stories. The time passed so quickly that they couldn’t understand. It was getting dark , so they come back to the place where Caroline would work for. Caroline’s father was waiting for her when she arrived the bank. They shook their hands with Orhan. She thanked for everything with the glittering eyes and intense happiness. Orhan was also happy to share the day with her. They had stand still looking each other for a few minutes. The silence was ruined by Caroline’s father. The general caughed as if he wanted to get their attention. Caroline and Orhan was startled with the cough of General and they were ashamed. Caroline smiled at him intimately and Orhan wished them a good nigh and got away from them in a rush. At night , they both thought of each other and of the day they spent together. However , that nice feelings of Orhan’s for Caroline sometimes turned into pessimism and unhappiness. He knowed that he loved Caroline , but she was An English and rom the nation that invaded his city. She was also an intruder ,too. Although his f ather had the thought that there was good sided of English invasion for Ottoman Empire , Orhan didn’t have almost all the same opinions. The thought of faliing in love witth a person having different religion , language and nationality made Orhan get so tired. He couldn’t sleep whole night.Caroline was in the excitement of liking a person. She was happy and eager. All the things happening seemed just like a dream for her. This case was natural as she had a less conversative family than that Orhan had.
The following day ; they met again. They worked together whole dy. Orhan admired Caroline’s eagerness and success so much. Caroline got so tired when all the work had finished. Seeing that , Orhan invited her to drink Turkish coffee in Tophane. Caroline accepted his proposal without doubt as if she was waiting for it. It was a nice day for them again. When they were together, they ignored the fact that they had different religions and nationalities. Those differences had no influence on their relationship at all. Days were passing in the same way. They both were so happy for spending time together. One day , Orhan’s mother wanted to talk to him. She sat next to him and said “ My son , it is time for you to marry as you are in your twenties. You’re educated , i have brought up you in a very good manner , i’m proud of this. My last wish is to see your marriage before I die.” Then she said that she had found a girl suitable for him. The only thing in his mind was caroline while his mother was talking to him. He fell in love with Caroline and he wanted to carry out his mother’s wish by getting married with Caroline , but he couldn’t say it to his mother , because Caroline was not the girl having the qualification his mother mentioned. He know that his mother would never accept her. He left home , telling his mother he was not ready for marriage and the responsibility coming with marriage. He was out of the home , but he also ddin’t know why he was there. Only thing he know was that his legs took him somewhere he didn’t know and didn’t plan to go. Yesi they took him to Caroline. He went Caroline’s mansion and asked her to walk together. Caroline didn’t reject him and they both started to walk. Orhan told her the conversation between his mother and him. Caroline was listening him motionless. She gave no reflection. Only thing she uttered was “ Marriage is something good.” She forced herself to smile at him , which was a surprise for Orhan , because he thought that Caroline is also in love with him. He judged her love considering what if she had never loved me. He was wondering about whether she became upset in the case of his marriage with another woman. They were talking to themselves in mind. They watched the Bosphorus silently. A few seconds passed. Abruptly , Caroline moved towards Orhan and said “ Orhan , I love you. There is no cause for me to explain it. I cannot tell you how I love you , neither why. What i wanted is just to live with you forever.”
This was the very reaction of caroline,to which Orhan expected.Caroline put her face into her hands,looked towards him said "I love you too,if I need to marry with anyone,this must be you".And he held her hand,knelt down and said her "marry with me".Caroline hugged him and accepted his proposal and said "yes".The cold water of the strait has already accustomed to such a moment.However this was the most interesting love story which it saw.
Both of them were vey happy but for a moment Caroline by changing her happy gesture of her face turned to Orhan and said to him she had to say one more thing to him.Orhan disliked this as he understood that Caroline would say a negative thing."Yes I listen" said Orhan.Caroline started to her argument.She was ,ones upon a time,loved a young soldier who were from his father's military division.She got married with this soldier with an immediate decision.Their marriage continued for some mounths.Thus the passing time showed them that they weren't the true pairs for each other.Orhan didn't wait such a confession from her.One more obstacle was added ,this was an important barrier for them.Orhan didn't give a reaction for this argument.He held over this to think later.They were so happy in that moment that he didn't want to destroy that happiness.
Orhan returned to home,he would tell his parents his decicion of marriage with Caroline.He called his parents and began to speak.He said he loved Caroline so much,thus he wanted to marry with her.The mother started to cry,"this is impossible my son,I don't want that gir as my sister in law .She doesn't know our culture,faith and language.So don't do such a thing otherwise my milk can't be worth to you.".Orhan expected such a reaction from his mother.However the interesting thing was his father's reaction towards that decision.His father's eyes were full of anger,pain and despair."By no manner of matters" he exclaimed.He stood up and become to walk in the room.He was talking to himself,"this can't be,you are an Ottoman man,what the relatives and community will say no abot this.You are the son of a pasha so set yourself in a order."he bubbled.As if the father din't say these to Orhan but repeated the things which was already taught to him by the culture.Suddenly he stopped and called his wife to leave them in a moment.She left the room drying her tears.He sat down near Orhan,took a deep breath and began to speak:" listen me son,years ago
when I was young and bachelor like you,I fell into love with a Russian girl who was immigrated from Russia with her father.She worked in a sewing workshop and I loved her very much,Thus I decided to marry with her.However my pasha father and my mother didn't permit my marriage with that girl.I pained so much,I tried to forget about her.Even my father not to see her by me bought the workshop in which she gained her living.I met with your mother later and married her.However the wound of love pained my heart even now.Now I think that my decision is the correct one,we are Ottomans ,son.WE have customs and usages,our culture doesn't permit this marriage.Think about you will marry but then will everything be solved or will people look at her in a normal way or will they respect her?no they won't.I dont want to bear on this so I dont permit ur marriage.Forget her,one day you will understand me and agree with what I do now.”he said and left the room.The confession of his father shocked Orhan.His mind was frozen,he didn’t know what is the truth.He didn’t think anything because he was very tired.
The other day Orhan narrated Caroline what the reaction of his mother and mother to that marriage of them.Caroline was so sorryand shocked for that.She realized the fact that Orhan’s life wasn’t like her glorious life.That wasn’t what she want.She asked what would they do to Orhan,and he answered the question in a blank answer:” I don’t know”.They didn’t speak,silence was going on.Their love started with conversations and laughters but now they spoke not with their mounths but with their eyes.Orhan was in between,on one side his family,culture and society said not to marry,however on the other side his lover looked him with innocent eyes.What could he do?She was also a widow and his culture would be against her.
According to traditions of orhan, marriage should be with a woman who is virgin. but, she had been married before so she was not virgin. orhan could not make his parent accept her as a widow. this situaiton was also unacceptable to orhan. although he studied abroad he was still a man of Ottoman culture. he could not reject this.
the time passed. orhan and caroline couldnt find a solution. although they loved each other and continued to meet everything about their future was a quesiton mark. maybe they left all behind flow away. their love, their happiness... orhan wanted to escape to make a choice between his traditional beliefs and his love. he did not know what to do. one sunday he woke up early as usual. he dressed up. he was upset on sundays because sunday was off-day and so it meant that he could not see caroline. orhan went to dining room for having breakfast with his family. suddenly an english man appeared in the front of the door. there was a letter in his hand. he said that it was for Orhan. he left after delivering the letter. Orhan was so curious about it. he felt something wrong. he began to read it. it was from caroline. she said " we should meet immediately. I will wait for you in the front of the bank we work for in the Banks Strett." after reading these words orhan left home and run to the Banks Street. he was so afraid and worring. he could not understand what was so important. ın the front of the bank he saw caroline with her long blonde hair. she looked very confused. she hold his hands and said " l dont have much time. l have to return immediately. nobody knows that l am here. the British Government has started to retreat istanbul gradually. one part of british soldiers ia leaving this afternoon while the sun goes down. My father sends me with them because he thinks that İstanbul can not be a safe place for us any more. l can not change his mind. l can not convince him not to send me. l have to return to my home with a ship. we have to split into if you do not come with us. l do not want leave you, my love. please, l beg you to come to ship this afternoon and we go to England together. be sure that evrything will be better and easier there. we will be together forever and we will be so happy. l promise you". orhan did not know what to say. he could not say even a word. his eyes filled with tears. he looked at her eyes only. "you do not have to decide quickly. if you love me and want to be with me, you can find me on the wharf while waiting for you in this afternoon" said she. she kissed Orhan and run to the coach waiting for her. orhan waited there for a while without moving. maybe he was living the most diffucult minutes of his life. he looked at the bank where they met, the long street and started to walk with slow steps...
the Istanbul strait captivated people with its beauty as usual. the ruddiness of the the sun going down was reflected on the blue sea. the weather was calm. there was no waves on the sea. the sea gulls was flying on the sea. suddenly three British ships appeared. they were moving towards to the wharf. they were moving so slowly.
MINERVA-HAN / BANKALAR CADDESİ