You never know who’s looking over your shoulder!
It’s been a pretty wet day today and so I’ve not ventured out, except to bring in some logs for the wood-burner, and also keep the drains clear of mud. The trouble is that a wet day leaves too much time for reflection, and it’s not been a good month.
Apart from the E-400 continuing to be away for repairs, (I gather that it is now back in Turkey but awaiting inwards customs clearance), we’ve all been ill. As a result I’ve been unable to do my regular bit for The Turkish Association For Child Guidance And Mental Health, (CARE-DER); a lot of acquaintances seem ‘in the dumps’; I am still saddened by the death of my childhood friend Nigel Port; and finally Irem has suffered the indignity of being insulted in front of the head gardener’s wife by Alya Gürkan the director of the Amos co-operative.
“If I saw you walking down the street”, she said, “I would not even turn my head to acknowledge you.”
You may wonder what dear Irem, a person who has received International awards for her voluntary work on behalf of Turkish children, and volunteers working with survivors of the terrible earthquakes of 1999 had done that is so beyond the pale?
The answer is that she has done nothing at all, whereas I, (who share the same awards for working with Turkish children, survivors of the earthquake of 1999, and currently train around sixty Turkish professionals including medical doctors, psychologists, counsellors, teachers, and others many of whom are content to travel to see me from Izmir, Ankara, Antalya as well as those in Istanbul), last year had occasion to reprimand her husband Eren Gürkan concerning racist comments made by him following some exchanges between us about the accuracy of the published record of monthly receipts for the Amos Co-operative.
It appears that our directors are unable to accept any unfavourable comment made about them?
My concern was that I was shown as owing something near 500 YTL as arrears when my account is paid by automatic bank payment, is never in arrears, and indeed I am in the fortunate position of not owing a penny to anyone anywhere in the world.
Instead of apologising for the error, or saying that he would look into the matter Eren Bey told me that there was a statement at the foot of the paper, (in Turkish), disclaiming any liability arising from the document’s accuracy. He explained that it didn’t matter a jot that his administration had innacurately published my ‘debt’ to every individual holding property on the Amos Estate, since I could not make any trouble for him.
“You are married to a Turk”, he said. “This is the way we do things”, later adding: “This is a Turkish site for Turkish people.”
I thought that his attitude wasn’t helpful, and took his declaration that the site is exclusively for Turks as insulting, and provocative. I wrote to him reprimanding him for his impoliteness, and his racist comment and thought that this would be the end to the matter.
The published account has now been corrected and I certainly would not be writing about it here were it not for the foolish, cruel and unwarranted attack by Ayla Hnm. on Irem last weekend.
For some reason she is of the opinion that I have nothing better to do with my time than to gossip about her husband and herself to others who own property here. She claims that I have been making trouble. Given that I speak very little Turkish this is a pretty crass assumption. If I choose to make trouble I certainly don’t go around households one at a time to achieve my aims ~ rather I publish in this humble journal, where my life is an open book!
Naturally you may think that Eren Bey’s comment about Amos being a Turkish site for Turkish people was a misunderstanding on my part ~ indeed it’s possible that today he may regret having made it, deny that he intended to make a racist comment, or even deny that he made any comment at all?
The time to have cleared up any such misunderstanding, however, is not now that I have, after several months and only following his wife’s provocation, decided to go public. He could, and should, have written to clear up any misinterpretation after I sent him my reprimand, which I asked to be affixed to the official record of The Amos Co-operative. I wonder if he did so?
I am curious to understand if Turkish people are so different from those of other nations? If it doesn’t matter if official circulations reflect the accurate position of who owes what to whom, what is the point of circulating them at all? Turkish readers please let me know ~ since, as an Englishman, I am at a loss!
Roll on April, a better month hopefully, and one in which life can get back to normal. Ho hum
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