This article is taken from Stand 236, 20(4) December 2022 - February 2023.

Nazli Karabiyikoglu The Lubunya trans. by Gözde Solak
You were watching the city from the top of the tower. You had waited so long for this moment: you had dived into the seven seas, had stood up against the grey skies of Scandinavian cities, had lit and put out fires in the cottages of mountaineers, had eaten the strange plants cooked by the people of the Aegean. In each desert you had retched and dried your skin under three different suns and found another star to guide you. Even when your mind could not fit anywhere in the globe, you always dreamed of the morning you would climb the tower – when you would most likely reach the sense of belonging you had been looking for. However, you decided to pursue lesser possibilities first. You shied away from belonging to Istanbul as a city, its atmosphere, light, cloth, or landscape. You were ashamed even of the borders of belonging.

You believed that anyone who could thoroughly see Istanbul could see the whole country. You wanted to climb the tower. You thought you would be captivated like those who climbed it before you if you watched for hours the blue waters where Bosporus and Golden Horn meet. Like the dynasties of emperors, kings, sages, and generations of merchants who transformed and expanded Constantinople and who found a place for themselves between two continents and lie buried there, you yearned to become part of the city’s history, transforming and dying. It was the only landscape that was a true source of life. ...
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