ABOUT USKUDAR, ME AND FOREIGN VISITORS
I am an English teacher. While teaching English for 17 years, I started to give consultancy service people on personal vision, mission, values and communication. I have 5 published books and have translated 20 books from English to Turkish. Besides I have been writing on my blogs and various websites for six years and there are nearly 300 articles of mine on these blogs and websites both in Turkish and English. I live in Uskudar, of which I am proud. However, I cannot say that I am totally aware of this gift, because it is the flaw of every human that we get too much familiar with what we have in our hands and cross the line and start to ignore it. I believe it is the same with me and I have been looking for some redemption and decided to write about Uskudar in English. Here is my first article!
While I walk to my office from my house, I see foreign visitors nearly everyday and I say ''Hello'' to them and if they need something, I try to assist them. It is not a business, I do not do for a living, I just try to show some courtesy to them and to help them. I have been in 9 countries and 25 foreign cities so I know even a little native assistance counts!
Once, I came accross two young Mexican Girls that wanted to visit Çinili Camii (The Tiled Mosque) (of which imam is the parent of a student of mine) which I visited only third times in 10 years. It is embarrasing!
I have seen a lot of foreign visitors in Uskudar and felt amazed! Because they felt safe and happy in Uskudar and they are right! Uskudar is safe and beautiful! Whenever I see foreign visitors I ask them if they need any assistance. Some say ''yes'' some say ''no, thanks''; some others say nothing! They just ignore me! Once two English ladies said to me: ''No!'' I smiled and said: ''No, thanks'' would be better!'' and they said ''No, thanks!'' But the one, me, who dared to teach some politeness to them, ignored or forgot to say ''Welcome!'' It was a funny of me!
My adventure with a Dennish Couple
Once I took a Dennish couple to the historic building called ''Fatih?in Mahkemesi'' (Fatih?s Courthouse) where Fatih Sultan Mehmet, the Conquerer and a Rum (Greek of turkish nationality) architect stood trial side by side. Because Fatih Sultan, The Conquerer had his guards punished the architect unfairly and the architect went to the Kadi (Judge) and said he wanted to take sue the sultan for this unfair punishment. The Kadi listened to him and said'': ''I heard you, go home and wait for the official notice that invites you to the court.'' The architect got some nervous because he had just complained about the Sultan to the Kadi. After a while he was declared that he go to the courthouse and after he arrived there he saw that the Sultan came to the place and stood before the Kadi. Kadi listened to the borth parties and at the end of the trial the Kadi found The Sultan guilty! Consequently, the verdict was that the Sultan had to be punished in the same way he asked the architect to be! However the architect felt so embarrased and happy that he renounced his right to have the Sultan punished.
Unique events, unique historic buildings, but no English documentation!
The Dennish couple listened to me and looked at me with blank eyes! They heard a great story and we were in that building. However there were no English documents about such an amazing event! They possibly thought that I made up that story!
Another day, when I took two French tourists to the place, the same thing happened! Yes there were Turkish documents about the event and the building, but unfortunately my French friends did not know Turkish! They did not know that we are very familiar with the idea that a Sultan can be sued by a civilian and it is not extraordinary to us!
Later, I saw some English documents about Mustafa Kara, the mayor of Uskudar, but still we do not have English documents about Fatih?s Courthouse! Maybe his advisors think that Fatih Sultan Mehmet does not need to be publicized because he is already very famous. But our mayor will run for the elections so he needs to be publicized! But I really cannot understand why his advisors are so careful about preparing some English documents! Because he is going to run for mayoralty in Uskudar, not in London or New York!
Until my next article, stay aware of what you have and be happy with them!
If you are interested my seminar: ''If I were younger again, What things would I do different?'' please contact us at both the two email addresses below: The seminar can be presented in Turkish or English.