Recently, those impish puppets, Saf and Dobra, to be specific, expressed their hot and cold feelings about their home country through sharing (veiled commentary) poetry from Wislawa Szymborska with you.
As you may recall, these two puppets (just two of the larger troupe that resides in and around my mind these days as I navigate my Turkish and American life-parts) have a love-hate relationship with their country of birth. You can read about that here, where they talked about how in Turkey, they felt “human life had no value.”
Well, those two impsters, they had me up early this morning as soon as M. began to relate the news in the Turkish press about the latest shelling from (allegedly) the Syrian army into Hatay Province in south western Turkey. You can read one English-language account of that here – it seems to me to indicate that the Syrian army is shooting at Syrian opposition forces and missed – but that’s just my read. Shaking me awake, they were almost speaking in tongues in their frustration at Erdogan’s comment that “The saying goes: ‘prepare for war if you wish for peace.’ So war becomes the key for peace.”
Saf said: “Will you listen to this insanity that Recep Tayyip (their nickname for Erdogan, as it is for many in Turkey, fan or foe alike) is spouting now? War is necessary for peace? I mean, really.”
Dobra couldn’t speak – too consumed with frustration.
Saf continued: “This is the typical drivel we get – this double speak, political speak, so frustrating – but now we can’t even depend on our America as a respite from the madness that is our beloved Turkey – as they are likely behind these shellings into Turkey – at Turkey’s suggestion, no doubt, in order to spark a war.”
Dobra, as if strangled, could only splutter “conspiracy theory, yes!”
And so this is how it went in our home this morning, with all manner of cynical assessment of what, exactly is going on in Hatay province, a place we loved so much when we visited 3 years ago. You can read our raw travel notes about the city of Antakya here or here or about the Armenian village of Vakıflı here or check out the photos of the Antakya bazaar here. We only have photos of our drive from Arsuz (where M. spent some of his military service on officer’s vacation) to Samandağ. These photos were taken in military land, thus the lack of buildings – but once out of the military area – it’s back to medium-sized towns and our hearts break to think of what may happen there. To think that the towns we drove through (Güveççi, Akçakale, Yayladağı and Samandağ, to name a few), are being and may continue to be shelled or worse, engulfed in a conflict if it gets that far, saddens us.
Saf is jumping up and down, eager to break in to make a point, “M’lady, these shellings, mistake or not…we are curious, however, to know that most of the shells have landed in “open areas” away from most of the populous of those towns suggests intent, don’t you think?” As Saf relays this, M. is saying the same. Time will tell.
But for now, Saf and Dobra are all twisted up in their love-hate of both Turkey and the U.S. until further notice. Now, you know, my puppets are what guide me through all matters of my Turkish-American life, but when they are confused, it’s tough. Saf and Dobra are so vehement in their confusion, if that is possible, that the other puppets are cowering under the couch.
At least, the puppets agree, it is good to know that there were many anti-war protests over the past few days!
- Turkey has fired into Syria for a fourth day after a Syrian mortar landed near … (bbc.co.uk)
- Turkish and Syrian forces exchange fire (nzherald.co.nz)
- Turkey moves to war footing (smh.com.au)