#DuranKaragöz – Taking the best of his spirit into M’lady’s new year!


20130620-230555.jpgToday’s blog post is all about Karagöz, the shadow puppet from Turkey – and namesake of the famous “Karagöz Oyunları” or “Karagöz puppet troupe.” As you can see from the photograph to your left, he is standing today, joining the Turkish movement of standing men and standing women and well, standing people! All of these standing people (and the standing puppets in life of my mind) are protesting extreme police brutality, iron fisted control of Turkish media by the AKP government and increasingly authoritative behavior on the part of Turkey’s ruling party.

As it is my birthday today, and as I wish for the next year that I had some of this particular puppet’s energy as it relates to #OccupyGezi.

First, in general, if you read this blog much, you have likely caught on by now that he hs known to be a trickster and an agent provocateur – some might even say an agent provocateur extraordinaire according to the resident Ms. Manners.  And, you see, this little puppet character, he has been this way since Ottoman times when he was born in Bursa, along with his original companion & sparring partner, Hacivad.

Even though this agent provocateur puppet watched live DHA feeds along with us with just the glimpse of a tear as Turkey erupted into chaos over the last weeks – his tongue in cheek, sarcastic and sometimes caustic humor alienated some of the puppets in his puppet troupe (here in my mind).

20130618-110825.jpgWhen Karagöz first heard about the standing man (#duranadam), for example, who stood for eight or so hours in Istanbul’s Taksim Square as a performance/protest against the police inflicted deaths during #OccupyGezi, that little puppet erupted in such chortles of laughter and splutters of glee and sarcasm you might think he would damage his camel’s hide-constructed self.

And the rest of the puppets made their displeasure known – more than usual – MUCH more than usual – and then, something different happened. Usually, Karagoz doesn’t care what anyone thinks. But the very best side of him came forward in the face of his peers. He apologized – did you hear that? Karagoz APOLOGIZED to his puppet troupe. And now, with very few agent provocateur interruptions (they are part of his nature, after all, he really can’t help it to some extent) he does his best to stand along with them as he is reallly upset about what is happening to his homeland as well, very, very upset indeed. The puppets are up to four days now, on the standing front.

20130618-110832.jpgSo, as I look toward the next year of my life, which I already know will include some major challenges, here is what I hope to take from the very best parts of Karagöz’ example in these tough times:

1) Cultivation of lots of energy channelled in positive ways (but no cartwheels for me).

2) His zest and passion for living life in the moment.

3) The honor to admit when he’s wrong – and to stand up and change even if (slightly) embarrassed.

4) Commitment to having more fun with his sparring partners – the other puppets and especially his beloved Hacivad. (Jolly Joker, that’s for you, canım benim).

5) Most importantly, drawing on his activist spirit to speak the truth to power when necessary…and perhaps especially when others are afraid to do so!

Viva #DuranKaragöz!

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This entry was posted in Turkish Controversies, Turkish-American Matters, Visits from the Karagöz puppets and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to #DuranKaragöz – Taking the best of his spirit into M’lady’s new year!

  1. Cheers. Huzzahs, Bravos, and a Standing O for you, Dear Wise Woman who has withstood so much in this past year. Well done, well done! And O, may those birthday wishes all be fulfilled! It doesn’t take a Turkish puppet to know that your immersion in this marriage, that culture, life, the works of the mind, art from everywhere, and family, is a marvelous swim! May there be candles today, and lots of cake, and hugs, and good wishes from all over the world -including mine, sent with love for both of you!

  2. Alan says:

    Happy Birthday for you and the people – hugs to M – that puppet listened well when he was briefed!

  3. omentide says:

    Happy birthday and may your wishes for the year come true.

  4. Ben Leib says:

    Happy Birthday

  5. lizcameron says:

    Hey Ben, thank you so much for the birthday shout out! Much appreciated from writer to writer. I wish I had your discipline of 1000 words a day. Will get back to it when I can!

  6. lizcameron says:

    Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! They are already coming truly little bit. Very curious about how things are going your way – need to hop over and catch up on your world of pul biber.

  7. lizcameron says:

    Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! Yes, I was pretty surprised at how well that puppet did listen when he was briefed – a lesson in advocacy and individual level change, I suppose.

  8. lizcameron says:

    Dear Nancy, thank you very very much for the happy birthday wishes – but even more for your marvelous complements. You keep me afloat sometimes, and I very much appreciate that. We are keeping things quiet, which is really nice, and all is as well as it can be! Love, Liz

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