from: ahmet uhri
title: izmir atatürk high school
form: e-mail letter
You were the head of our Culture and Literature Team, I was a member of it. We had aimed to issue a periodical entitled Kıvılcım (Spark). You were a Grade 3 student, I was in Grade 2. Our teachers of literature, Bünyamin Gündüzalp and Birgül Çirik, allowed us to do what we wanted to do, God bless them. And there was Mamfi (Come Home Sıtkı!). You once invited me to the evening seminars held by Genç Öncü*. After that we had watched the play ‘Teneke’ (Tin) written by Orhan Kemal, at Izmir State Theatre, played by Cezmi Baskın and others. At that time I had believed in revolution. Being a leftist was both a game and adventure for me. And there were the football matches of Göztepe. You somewhat scorned both me and Mamfi because we were going to matches and acting like a lumpen. Then you moved to the Faculty of Science. Then came the hideous years. Those years I remembered in black and white. We were drifted to different locations. I didn’t hear from you for a long time. Until seeing your works at Bienal. And now, Yalçın Çıdamlı and Arzu told me of your project and gave me your adress last night. So I am writing this letter. My student registration number was 552, name is Ahmet Uhri. I hope you will remember me. There was also Semih Kaplanoğlu. Is he and Semih the film director one and the same? He looks very old in his photos. So do you; of the photographs, the only one I know is the third from the left. Other photos of you are stranger to me, but there is a kind of familiarity for me in them. As to me, I didn’t change in my opinion. I see the same face in the mirror every morning, and the mirrors are always by my side. I struggled to hard not to lose them. And I have a portrait painted, to allow it to age on behalf of me.
*Genç Öncü (The Young Avante Guard) was a socialist youth organization affiliated to the Labour Party of Turkey which was active before the 1980 military coup and was closed after 12th September 1980. (H.A.)