I miss those times

Before moving to foreign lands I recall living in Kadıköy, known in the ancient times as Chalkedon, a small cosmopolit maritime town. I lived in a four storey wooden building where when you moved the wood creaked behind you. I had certain spots where I loved the sound that specific part of the wood created. Anyway we lived in a street where our across neighbour was Jew.

I recall the name of the wife of the house, her name Madame Mati, she had two children my age, one boy and a girl. I recall my grandmother telling me that I was very found of the girl and her brother was my best friend. Our families were very close. We celebrated feasts, festivals, Eids all together.

Without judgment, without prejudice. We were a big family. Our rituals were different but yet in a weird way very similar. Further down our street was an Armenian family who are deeply faded out of my memory for ever. I just know that they existed and that they took care of my mother while dad was serving his obligatory military service. My mom always mentions how close she was with the Armenia family and how well they took care of her while she was all alone with two children. And again we were sharing all their festivals and intimate cultures.

This was just the last sprinkles of the multi cultural memories mentioned  in history. Where humanity mattered, where neighbours cared, where people were real people and not just made up fragments of populist world.

This multiculturalism was what made Istanbul special.

Unfortunately now it’s all gone; good neighbour mentally has died off, people are bestial, unaware and don’t care. Religion has a cutting edge segregation. This brings prejudices, hate and hassle. I miss those times when we were multicultural in a street in Istanbul where we shared all pureness. Yes, you might and can find such interaction still but its so rare and concentrated in such a tiny location. It’s a pity to see from what richness we came from to this point. I miss those times…

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