Tag Archives: kurds

My long-lost language goals and conversations lost (in Spanish)

Interesting that this post was in July, yet it took me months to arrange to leave…
“I always keep a bucket of water full for just such occassions (which are frequent, as it turns out). I am just tired of fighting this. I have alos learned that the culture is much more innuedo-based than I thought. It turns out that someone we know thought I wanted to date him based on something I said about marriage! The fact that I come from a much more direct culture and Turkey is a much more indirect and hint-based culture is a serious problem for me. I think that much of what I percieve to be dishonesty is really a by-product of the Turkish/Asian preference for subtlty (they are a subtle culture while America is definitely not!). The Jewish community is very interesing here. And they have helped me to understand that I will never be accepted as Sephardi. That is one goal accomplished. Another is learning that not only is the Lesbian community completely in hiding and mostly closed but they also really do not want an American coming to try to help them in any way. Took learning enough Turkish before I discovered that one. And as for being accepted (in the closet) as a member of Turkish society, the answer is -only if I give free English lessons and do not make any money in Turkey (and convert to Islam so I can marry a Turk). Which brings me to my last goal, learning about Sufism. It is dead and the city of the Sufies (Konya) is a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism that Turkey is working hard to repress. I was also disappointed to learn that my big brother here in Izmir also believes that Kurds are mostly thieves and (a word I do not know) bad people. So I have met my 5 major goals for coming here, I have learned alot, I cannot do any real good here, and I do not want to stay. But the food is awesome and I have learned how to make my favorite dishes already. So that sums up Turkey, now it’s time to leave.”

and here is that list I’ve been looking for for a few years now:
“end of 2006 -full fluency in Spanish
” 2010 – Turkish
2015- Modern Israeli (and reading fluency in Biblical) Hebrew
2020- Egyptian Arabic
2023- Palestinian and Jordanian Arabic
2025- Portugues
2030- French
2033- Catalan
2035- Greek
2040- Italian”

I wanted to scrub French from my list, but now (2020) I am fully fluent, far ahead of reluctant schedule. I also have mostly reading fluencey in Biblical Hebrew now, though Israeli Hebrew is off of my active list. I also watch TV shows like Hakan:Muhafiz in Turkish, so I put myself between conversant and fluent in Turkish.

And, speaking with a Dutch friend who’d lived in Turkey for a year or more before I arrived:
“2005-07-25 08:32:00
psych. damage… (and damned phone)
Sylvıa pointed out that i seem to see most women (tight clothes, sex before marriage, etc) as sluts according to a comment -they think we are all sluts- that i made as we talked about how the Turkish guys treat foreign women. İ also realized that i had caught myself mentalliy agreeing w/Cengis abi about kurds being theives etc. İ am starting to pick up not only the racist sentiments many people here hold but also the ingrained judgement against western clothing styles and glbt people and open sexual mores that some of my closer friends hold (my religious friends here). But my princples say that those things are all ok -they donot hurt anyone. İ am also starting to look down on myself as a lesbian due to the shame of having to keep it a secret. Cengiz abi again told me not to tell anyone. but i promised myself not to be in the closet anymore a year ago. All means that i am getting no better for being in a society that mostly hates who i am. Even in a perfect apartment and my dream job here, the society at large remains the same -dissaproving of me and seeing me as an outsider only good for certain things. İ will be objectified as long as the system pays us more to work here based on an accident of birth (being native speakers) and people will resent it.”

So, I did swim in the Aegean! I’d totally forgotten:
“I had a good day -i met my Azeri coworker Nazile and we went to our coworker Fazil’s house (it took us from 12:30 until 3pm!), where we all ate lunch, went swimming (the Aegean sea is very very very salty!!), walked around Foca (Phocia) and saw a Greek-Turkish political discussion at a large table outdoors on a stage (I wanted to stay and listen but no one else was interested -frustrating as they were speaking in Greek and then translating into Turkish and people were applauding wildly), then saw the last few dances of a show of a Greek folk dance trouppe (their last dance was Romvini in Turkish, a tsifteteli I believe, and everyone clapped but no one danced), then we went home -at 10m, and I arrived home about midnight, but then joined my farther away neighbors on their balcony for some nuts and karpus, and we talked until 1am.”


And, finally, that conversation I had over LJ with someone who asked me in Spanish about my impressions of how the Kurds are seen in Turkey:
“2005-05-06 11:26:00
İsmet İnönü: una historia interesante… ilginç tarih… interesting history…
Yo estaba hablando con mi jefe en la escuela sobre la fiesta de anoche y hablabamos sobre la fieste de Nevrus y otras fiestas (como el de ayer -Hıdırellez). El me decia que los Kurdos no tienen ninguna problema aqui, aunque mi antigua companera de cuarta decia que a los Kurdos Turquia no les gusta y habia descriminacion y aun ahora quedo una guerra contra ellos. Todo los Turkos decian que eso no lo es, y que solamente (los Kurdos) quieren hacer problemas. Es algo interesante. Desde amos lados hay diferente puntas de vista. Pero no sabia que habia algunas presidentes de Turquia que habian Kurdos. Otra amiga me decia que su heroe es İsmet İnönü. Yo estaba un pocito sorprendida. He encontrado unos datos sobre el por alli:”