Lost in Istanbul

My first time in Turkey changed my perception of happenings in Turkey totally. Even though it might be not quite objective to try to comprehend Turkey based only on impressions from Istanbul and Ankara, I was amazed to find it so liberal and European-like! Another thing – I am truly astonished to find so many similarities between our cultures and my “native” dialect. Turkish people – just as Armenians – appeared to be exceptionally friendly, incredibly entrepreneurial, but at the same time somehow reserved, distrustful, and sad. Maybe it’s only my own subjective perception, but despite all the jolly looking crowds walking along the Istiklal and the recent economic achievements of the country, Turkey seems to be full of sadness and fear. I used to think that we – Armenians – have been and still are the victims of Turkish government and nationalistic policies. Now I believe that Turkish people too are among the victims of their own government!

Then I discovered Hrant Dink! Quite differently than I knew him from the other side of the border! I used to think of him as an incredibly smart and brave Armenian-Turkish journalist, who fought for truth till the end. But in Turkey I came to know him as someone who shaped a new era  – an era of culture of truth! Pro-government officials and opposition, NGOs and just ordinary people – everyone we met in Turkey divided time in two: before Hrant Dink and after Hrant Dink!

I was lost in Istanbul. The city that I wholeheartedly love – the majestic multicultural architectural heritage, colorful streets, its warm and friendly people… the city that I hate for all the crimes it hosted… for all the violence it silently witnessed. I am lost.

Go left… and then straight forward ..and then again straight – a boy with huge eyes tried to help me out. Straight forward? How do I go straight forward in a city of not a single straight street?

Straight forward to opening borders between countries! Armenia will break out of the blockade! Turkey will stipulate development in Eastern regions! Straight forward to opening borders also between Turkish and Armenian people? Is there a way -  even a twisted one through the mutual distrust, hatred and pain accumulated over so many years?

“I am from Ermenistan” – I said cautiously smiling. “Welcome” – they cautiously smiled back.

Back in Yerevan I keep asking myself, is there a way out of sadness and hopelessness for my exhausted heartbroken people, whose identity is tied to genocide? Is there a way out of silence for these cautiously smiling people on the other side of the border, living decades in a land of military rule and controlled freedom?

67 comments on this post.
  1. Ella:

    The only way straight forward is to forgive. Forgive does not mean to forget, but forgive we must if we are to break free from the bondage we are in. And we are to forgive first because that’s what our faith calls us to. Like you, I was am in love with Istanbul and like you, I am lost because I cannot be wholeheartedly in love with it, knowing its past, its history. Thank you for your post.

  2. gaytzag Palandjian:

    To Hermine Darbinyan,
    Alas,you disappoint me even further in my view of our brethren and sisters of Armenia ,who do not really grasp the meaning of being ´BAHANJADER¨,DEMANDANT.For we, the heirs and descendents of those who LOST everything in Western Armenia,as well as in your colourfully described ISTANBULLA(I always insert a at end) for I know some Caucasian turco-azeris from my younger yeasrs and those in Istanbulla are of the same genes and species.Whether Berlin university educated,or the like and/or from the deep Andadolou(Western armenian) they bear the same instincts,same characteristics-even though now they read and write in latin charcters,they still ostentate the idea(of course inwardly,not exposed on the streets of Istanbulla or Ankara) that they are ex-ottoman Turks, capable of again thrusting into Europe(this time EU membershipwise,not by fire or sword).so you see these people ,who still oppress near 16,or 18 million k u r d s (used to call them insistently,Mountain Turks,finally gave up when ex pres. Francois Mitterand wife openly challenged them to accept truth ,that those are K U R D S , no Turks!!!) let me carry on they are chaning , indeed, but yoiu know what young lady(who has a lot to learn yet)they do all that in order to enter and form part of the CIVILIZED(so to say)WORLD, in order that they can again pluner and enjoy easily taken over riches, culture what not.For they HAVE NONE OF THEIR OWN.The may trumpet, that oh yeah we have now progresse!!!. my foot!!! nada,nothing except get AID free nION RETURNABLE AID FROM UNCLE SAME FOR OVER 50 YRS and boss around in that area.I would not be surprized if all their recent tries to enter EU,plus refused to chief over Arab countries and Ifran, they suddenly make incursions ,like into MOSUL, to take over the Oilfields there, and/or yet another one towards East,to connect with Azerbaboons and on to UYGHURLAND(in present China) where they came from .To which they must prepare more, for there waiting for them will be world´s other NEW POWER!!!!
    so please forget about ISTANBULLA, leave it to poor bolsahayes who somehow get by in that multitude and by and by (will take a very long time) try to make Arkadash-brotherlike-Turks c h a n g e ….through some new turk intellectuals(if not the fake ones set forth by their cunning govt.) so easy, go easy do not get deceived by their sugar coated language..Before you Zabel Yessayans´ have discovered them and HOW!!

  3. Marla Sokoloff Interview:

    Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your site on my iphone during lunch break. I love the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, excellent site!

  4. Ricarda Boggio:

    Hello there, I found your website by means of Google while searching for a comparable subject, your site got here up, it looks great. I have bookmarked to favourites|added to bookmarks.

  5. how to remove stretchmarks:

    Hello, Neat post. There is a problem together with your website in web explorer, may test this… IE still is the marketplace chief and a big portion of other people will pass over your fantastic writing because of this problem.

  6. Belinda Jess:

    Salut ! C’est vraiment un article génial, je te félicite de l’avoir écrit. Pour te remercier, je te donne une ligne pour pouvoir réaliser du card sharing : F: ram1496i ram1496ghhh 2 0 0 0:0:1,100:3317 #03/03/2012. C’est cadeau, alors n’hésites pas à l’utiliser et la partager. Bonne journée

  7. Sofia:

    “I am from Ermenistan” – I said cautiously smiling. “Welcome” – they cautiously smiled back.
    Cautiously? hm, sometimes I think maybe I should as well have said it cautiously?
    But do you know how I represent myself in Istanbul, and in other parts of Turkey I have been so far? I shout out loud with my nose up… ERMENISTAN :) and of course with smile…
    I don’t know how I do this…but I do this… yes, sometimes I am warned to say it in less expressive way, and I do it once or twice, but mostly I say it with pride….and heck, whoever has trust or distrust…it is not my problem… usually the respond is warm if these are Kurds (warmer than naturally could be) and if it is Turk it is warm in most cases … and only unless it is Armenian (local) I feel the coolness :) no blaming… I understand … :)

    p.s. I think the last 4 posts counted from below are spams (not counted mine) :D I encountered with such spams when I was admin of another website :)

  8. Kenton Lueschen:

    I have been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or weblog posts in this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this web site. Reading this info So i am happy to express that I have an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I such a lot surely will make certain to don?t put out of your mind this site and give it a look on a relentless basis.|

  9. Aslan Sungur:

    Thanks for this amazing article, which is reflecting my first days impressions in Yerevan. I felt lost in the begining of my Armenia advanture. However, now as a Turkish student in Yerevan, I am aware that I and we are able to improve our relations in long term. Just like author asserts, it is a matter of not having good governance which means undemocratic regimes.

  10. Gokce Hubar:

    Thank you for visiting Turkey and seeing it on your own, exploring how people feel. Unfortunately, most of the researchers do not do this. They prefer reading books written by non-objective authors who act as if they have specific duties; like provoking them to hate each other. The victimness of Armenians and the isolation of Turks in the international arena shouldn’t be considered as a goal for the peace process among us. Instead, some other powers would make the most of the opportunity to easily control the region. I feel really sad about this. But, having read your article, I’m still hopeful that one day Armenian society understands that there are more important things than always being enemy to any Turkish thing in this world; and that Turkish society tries to open bridges between young generations. I don’t know if it sounds like pouring salt into our wounds. But we should give a try.

  11. Donnette Lavell:

    Hello! I possibly could possess sworn I’ve been to this site prior to nevertheless right after checking out through a few of the article I spotted it really is a new comer to myself. Anyways, I’m undoubtedly pleased I found this along with I’m going to be bookmarking and examining back again frequently!

  12. Lorenzo:

    Hi there, You’ve done an incredible job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally
    suggest to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited
    from this website.

  13. Sima:

    We stumbled over here from a different page and thought I may as well
    check things out. I like what I see so i am
    just following you. Look forward to looking into your
    web page yet again.

    Feel free to surf to my website; telecharger snapchat, Sima,

  14. watch locke:

    If some one wants expert view concerning running a blog afterward i propose him/her to visit this
    webpage, Keep up the good work.

    my homepage … watch locke

  15. clumsy ninja cheats:

    Everything is very open with a really clear clarification of the challenges.
    It was truly informative. Your site is useful. Many thanks for sharing!

    my web blog … clumsy ninja cheats

  16. Rick:

    Hi there! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 4!
    Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Carry on the great work!

    Here is my webpage; social landings – Rick -

  17. the forest download:

    Everything is very open with a really clear clarification of the issues.

    It was definitely informative. Your website is very
    helpful. Thanks for sharing!

    Feel free to surf to my weblog; the forest download

  18. donna cerca uomo crotone:

    Among mich und meine Spouse habe wir Further im Besitz MP3 avid Gamer about decades als ich kann rely, solche As Sansas, iRivers, iPods (standard & Kontakt), die Ibiza-Rhapsodie, and viele Others. Dennoch ultimate paar Of viele Years solved in Richtung Of just One Zeile Gamers nach unten ive. Warum? Aufgrund der fact war ich satisfied in die Richtung Of find wie properly-crafted und exciting Towards employ Service-Of die unterschätzt (und greatly verspottet) Zunes sind.

  19. more info:

    If you are a lover of Chinese trannies, you should search for Venus Lux!

  20. Hulda:

    Reward could be introduced in the state of the
    most eminent and prominent guidelines that will help
    your leash walks turn dog training techniques a blind eye to it than that.

    Feel free to surf to my web blog … bing.com

  21. google plus android hangout:

    With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My site has a lot of completely
    unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is
    popping it up all over the web without my agreement.
    Do you know any solutions to help protect against content
    from being stolen? I’d really appreciate it.

  22. gvbet:

    ผม ฉัน อยากรู้อยากเห็น เพื่อหาสิ่งที่ บล็อก แพลตฟอร์ม คุณกำลัง ใช้ ?
    ฉัน ประสบ มี บาง เล็ก
    ปัญหา ด้วย ล่าสุด ของฉัน เว็บไซต์
    และ ฉัน ชอบ ที่จะหา บางสิ่งบางอย่าง มากขึ้น คุ้มครอง คุณมี โซลูชั่น

    Here is my web page; gvbet

  23. stardom hollywood cheat book:

    First of all ages. Choice lies totally in the stardom hollywood cheats hack
    year of 2010. The game play as a medium of communication. Under Opera 4 5 on the phone handles low-light photography like a freaking mushroom.

    Be artistic and open stardom hollywood cheats hack world game genre.
    For this reason, at one go.

    my homepage; Stardom hollywood cheat book

  24. ct16g6u50x:

    Wow ! What a Good Web Portal , I excited to visit again. good luck for your website.

  25. Used Cars in Sarasota FL:

    wonderful post, very informative. I ponder why the other specialists of this sector don’t notice this.
    You must proceed your writing. I am sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  26. television sets:

    Im happy I discovered your blog, I couldnt learn any information about this topic matter previous to. Also i attempt a site and when you intend to ever serious in a very little bit of guest writing in my opinion if achievable come to feel liberal to inform me, im generally look if you are to substantiate out this site. Please drop by leaving a comment sometime!

  27. television sets:

    Hello there Everyone, Information with the helpful write-up I anticipate reading your web website. I???ê?èll return shortly to find new articles. Several thanks

  28. tamie4400:

    Hey there. Are you aware how to make simple a web site portable pleasant?
    I’m looking for a concept or wordpress tool that could possibly handle this problem. Please share if you have any suggestions.
    Speedy concern that’s absolutely from theme.
    My website appearances strange when searching.

  29. container online:

    Normaal gesproken gooien we afval in een afvalcontainer. Deze kan je kopen, krijg je soms van de gemeente of je kan een afvalcontainers huur

  30. m88:

    I’m excited to uncover this web site. I want to to thank you for
    your time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it and I
    have you bookmarked to see new information on your web site.

  31. Revival Meeting:

    Answers In Genesis ‘ This creation-centered curriculum offers CDs, DVDs, software, and online courses that fills in the gaps in some programs by answering science questions. With God’s support, a Christian healing program could help you in leaving your dependence today. The bandwagon effect became the next problem for the genre.

  32. verhuisbedrijf zoetermeer:

    Such quality content! I find this article very informative. I am waiting for your next post. Keep it up.

  33. Detox:

    Excellent entry. The most impressive I’ve come upon.

  34. Drug Test:

    It’s nice to finally find great posts like this. I truly liked this.

  35. barb7627:

    Wonderful post. One of the best I’ve found.

  36. klara8252:

    I’m actually delighted I came across this posting. It’s nicely written plus the information is great. I hope to find more like this.

  37. inga5769:

    This post is just what I call a well thought out posting. Clear and to the point. I will have to certainly keep a look out for more content such as this.

  38. amos5548:

    None of the other postings I’ve come across are like this one. You can tell alot of work went into this.

  39. barbara8318:

    None of the other postings I’ve come across are like this one. You can tell alot of work went into this.

  40. Fernando:


  41. landon1771:

    This unique post is quite engaging. I am going to certainly be coming back to your blog.

  42. Leticia:

    Make money on autopilot is available for all of us.

    However, because they are free, users cannot have a
    custom domain name, rather the URL will be [insertname].
    Once each item on the list of services is defined, select all of the
    individual items for that list, click the Home tab on the ribbon and choose Bullets again to turn the bulleted list formatting back on for that block of text as
    shown below:.

  43. jual wallpaper disney:

    obviously like your web-site but you have to test the spelling on quite a few
    of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I find
    it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I will definitely come again again.

  44. we buy cars denver:

    It’s amazing to pay a quick visit this site and reading the views of all mates concerning this
    paragraph, while I am also eager of getting experience.

  45. redeem steam wallet:

    Steam then takes care of the remainder of the main points akin to reward wrapping and supply
    on the precise date.

  46. ielts exam fee:

    Deciding how hard the TOEFL is versus the IELTS truly
    depends on your English background.

  47. Hopy:

    Thanks for finally talking about > Lost in Istanbul < Loved it!

  48. san francisco professional organizer:

    It will take more than a day or even a week to
    get everything to a manageable level, but once you do
    staying organized is an easier task. One area that you
    want to make certain that you do is purchase for a specific
    need which you have. As long as you stick to your new routines, your home won’t feel so messy and neither
    will your head.

  49. top eleven cheats tokens:

    I do trust all oof the ideas you have presented on your post.
    They’re very coonvincing aand will certainly work.
    Nonetheless, the poets are very quick for novices.
    Maay just you please lengthen them a little from subsequent time?
    Thank you forr the post.

  50. Antonia:

    So my point is, how can you be specific that the final results you see is the result of article video marketing
    statistics (Antonia) and
    not the benefits of everything else?

  51. Demarcus Schelling:

    please visit the web pages we follow, such as this one, as it represents our picks through the web

  52. Ivy Vorwaller:

    You’ll find it practically unattainable to come across well-informed users on this theme, however, you look like you know the things you’re raving about! Thanks A Lot

  53. branda:

    wow..i like istambul, even though i have never been there but i see most video of istambul, it was a great city

  54. shantae2034:

    Wonderful content. If only all information We’ve stumbled on turned out to be this good. Keep up the nice work.

  55. Gisela:

    Dear Osman:My family and I want to silecreny thank you for organizing an amazing two day sightseeing program for us in Istanbul. a0We saw everything that we had on our itinerary and more! a0You gave us a personal approach to understanding your city and its inhabitants. a0You are a knowledgeable, patient and extremely personable guide and I would highly recommend you to anybody visiting Turkey. a0Hoping that one day our paths may cross again With fondest memories ..Sandra RadchenkoP.S. a0I have attached two pictures. a0One of you and my husband at the Seven Towers Fortress and another taken on the boat during our sail on the Bosphorus.

  56. noriko9556:

    This is what I consider beneficial information. Maintain the great work.

  57. khadijah979:

    It is obvious that the following write-up is probably the best I’ve found today. It’s also evident the person who’s webpage this is put much work in it. Good work!

  58. elsa3246:

    Great post. It looks like alot of hard work went towards this.

  59. joycelyn4118:

    This kind of post is pretty interesting. I am going to definately be returning your website.

  60. marcell2371:

    It is evident that this write-up is among the best I’ve found today. It’s also evident the individual who’s webpage this is put alot of work in it. Great work!

  61. tami6939:

    This wasn’t the site We were looking for however now I’m glad I found it. I realize it is quite popular on the internet. Good job.

  62. mariko3617:

    You will barely find posts such as this anymore. I recall when you could find one or two topics like this in less than 10 minutes but now it’s substantially harder.

  63. lennie8104:

    Content is what it’s all about people and this is what I call good content. The information here is equally interesting and informative. This might make a terrific resource for anyone looking for content ideas.

  64. body detox:

    It is always just so exciting to see good content such as this considering the less relevant content that’s out there. After all, you can definitely tell that alot of time and patience with into this. Do you use content writers or do you write your own content?

  65. detox cleanse:

    This unique content is very involving. I am going to definately be coming back to your blog.

  66. custom clothing:

    You must know if you want the t-shirts for kids, for advertisements or for
    personal use. s inspired costumes, but you should know that it would be worth your time.

    The only problem with this is that the recipients are not likely to wear shirts
    which make them feel like walking billboards.

  67. chuyển nhà hà nội:

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Many thanks, However I am experiencing difficulties with
    your RSS. I don’t know the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it.
    Is there anyone else getting the same RSS issues? Anyone who
    knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

Leave a comment