Oh Gaziantep, Oh Turkey

I ate pistachios
in Gaziantep
city of heroes
had baklava
and favored coffee
in pewter cups
ate kıyma kebab
in an Ottoman style restaurant
wandered through Zincirli Bazaar
and Bakırcılar çarşısi
fingering the copperware
beheld the mosaics
in the museum
wandered the ramparts
of Gaziantep Castle
where local warriors
fought the French
in 1920
for Turkish independence
was treated with warmth
and kindness
by the people
on its ancient streets
those streets now
soaked in blood
Oh Gaziantep
Oh Turkey

27 thoughts on “Oh Gaziantep, Oh Turkey

  1. Australians have a real bond with Turkey and those who think can understand your feelings. As Mustafa Kemal Ataturk said in 1934 in reference to the ANZACs who fought at Gallipoli,in 1915 – “Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives. You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore, rest in peace.There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers,who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears, your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well”. One would hope that a new Ataturk can come to heal Turkey.

  2. My thoughts are with you and the pain you are feeling for your Country. My thoughts go to all those that have lost their Loved ones. One World and people out there want to destroy it all?

  3. I admire these lines Leonard for their compassion and their dignity. It is so difficult to know how to respond in poetry but you have found a sensitive tone and a fine control.

  4. Oh this is so very very heartfelt. Having been in Istanbul several times, I love the city, its culture, and I am so very very sad each time I read of bloodshed and violence. Take care –

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