About D.

My English is not so good, I know, since I am a “francophone” this is my second foreign tongue, I used Google Translate a lot, but it has a problem with Turkish, some ideas are lost in translation I’m sure. In Turkey, we have a name for this kind of not so good English writings, we call them “tarzanca” referring to Tarzan’s english. So if my writing is also tarzanca, let it be, I wished to be understood by other “tarzans” anyway. D’accord?…

D., March 2023 – İstanbul

The -not so brief- history of mine

(feel free to skip completely…)

Daughter of B… (mother) and A…(father), born in Ankara, in 1970s, my childhood was very serene and happy. These were the years just before 1980’s eventful period of Turkey, I was a happy child going to kinder garden, because both my parent were working full time. Everyone I saw, everyone around me, was from the same class, the working class of state and their families. Life was pretty much the same for anybody, 5 days of work, from 09.00 to 17.00, dinner at home, 2 days of weekend with dinner parties at each others home or at the picnic area around Gölbaşı… Friends and families were living together in peace, from the eyes of this little girl.

Those were the black days of Turkey in reality of course. Working in university management both my parents were in danger of cross fire between the students battle versus the police, but I was a little child, I had no idea what was going on around me. Except the feelings of everybody, even back then, I was like a sponge sucking water, I could feel deeply whomever feels bad, or sad, or confused, somehow I were the mirror of their feelings even as a child. I remember the fears, the sorrow of the grownups, the confusion and the anxiety of the teachers, most of all the chronic feeling of loneliness that never bothers me, at all, like I’m supposed to be alone, to better observe everyone else.

Since I could feel whatever they did, I always knew what people are expecting to hear, and I did, I told them, and they felt good, when they did, I did feel good too.

I lived almost always in small circles, after my early childhood in Ankara, we are moved to İstanbul, with my mother’s new job at another university. This city is the first city that I fell in love, who wouldn’t love İstanbul? The first sight of the most beautiful sea shore, with seagulls screaming like “welcome”, the ships crossing each other at the sea, ah the smell, salty smell of the sea, most of all the freedom, the freedom of wandering around on the streets, the freedom I could have, since now I was not a little child anymore.

Perhaps the timing was overlapping, us moving to İstanbul, and my growing up, the freedom and İstanbul had the same definition on my heart’s dictionary, I had the most wonderful adolescent years here, in Istanbul. My friends were the best childhood friends that anyone can wish for, at least at the neighbourhood. The high school, well, that is something that everyone had to survive, yes? I did, barely, at Saint Michel High School, I was very naive back then, I believed in goodness, that everybody is good, and if they’re not, the bad circumstances had forced them to be bad, right? I loved the people around me, I loved them very much, but I could never really see the true faces of some of them, how they never loved me back, they just tolerated my existence, but in the end, it was not important. I never understood that, I could only feel, feel the little good in people, and that always helped me to love them and this way I was always protected, my naiveté was my shield.

This shield and my guardian angels both brought me to a place, with the chain of fortunate events, I found my self at the second most happiest places of my life, at University of Galatasaray, and in its first year of its existence, in 1993.

This time I had learned my lesson, I knew the real friendship, which had happened here. My lovely Sürü (means The Pack in Turkish, an inside joke!) friends, my dearest friends with whom I had had many academical battles, whom I will love forever, happened here.

For the 6 years of my life, (I had to repeat the first year, and the first group of the brand new University had to had education for 5 years). I had to study a lot, but I learned a lot from very good teachers in various subjects introduced to us such as international and national law, consular law, criminal law, human history, sociology, economics and communication theories, journalism. broadcasting, television broadcasting… Why are there so many law courses? Because it was a new university and the professors were mostly friends of our founders who were law graduates. That’s why we had many courses on law in the first 3 years, even though we were students of Communications department. But that helped us unite even more so the name “SURU” (Pack) was born and I was a proud member of it.

These are not my only good friends on GSU, in fact my best friend was also from the same university but from a different major, engineering faculty. Mostly engineers, these friends were my ferry buddies. You see, since Istanbul is a city that straddles the Bosporus strait, lying in both Europe and Asia, and my house is in Asia side and the university is on Europe side, I had to cross by ferry every morning, so had many other students. We were all ferry buddies, since each one of us had usually the same course hours, from 9.00 in the morning until 18.00 in the afternoon, we mostly did travel together. We had so much fun together, because it was the after school hours. Many social activities happened after the ferry, many love stories and many friendships too. I will cherish forever those precious 25 minutes in my memories, of the ferry travel between Kadıköy and Beşiktaş, with many secrets, laughs and joy.

Flying over the nest

I didn’t really choose to be a graphic designer, it chose me. Namely, I was working on the first monthly newspaper of our faculty, called Detay (means Detail). When our graphic designer assistant brother had to take a break from university to finish his military service, since I knew a little about computers thanks to my engineer buddies, it was left to me to complete the graphic designs. I did manage to do it for more than 2 years, and even I won the prize for graphic design of Young Journalists Awards, not by myself of course. We had a great team back then, most of which are still my friends now, even there is no such newspaper anymore today.

This is how my life was mingled with graphics and I felt for them dearly, they did complete my imagination’s need to express it self. I was writing articles for the newspaper, and scenarios and stories for the courses back then, but never they did fulfil my hunger, for more vivid, colourful, linked details which I found on graphics.

In the summer of 1999, we did graduate almost all 16 of us, proudly and all together. We went on a great vacation together and we returned home and preparations for our future lives had become. It was time to fly over the nest.

Then it happened, on the night of 17th of August, in 1999, the scariest, the worst of all disasters, that no one can predict before, the earthquake which will be recorded in the history with the name of Izmit Earthquake. Wikipedia explains this better than I would so I quoted:

An official Turkish, estimate of 19 October 1999 placed the toll at 17,127 killed and 43,953 injured, but many sources suggest the actual figure may have been closer to 45,000 dead and a similar number injured. Reports from September 1999 show that 120,000 poorly engineered houses were damaged beyond repair and approximately 20,000 buildings collapsed, resulting in more than 250,000 people becoming homeless after the earthquake.


Thank God I wasn’t injured, nor my family, I didn’t lose my house either. Some of my friends did sadly. But that night, my hopes for a bright future died, I lived, but the guilt of surviving changed me, somehow I lost myself and became even more depressed. I closed myself at home, I was thinking that since it survived that earthquake it must be the safest place ever and I refused to go out for a long time.

Glued to the nest?!…

So, what does a person do if she never leaves the house? She would read of course, and I did. I read so many books and got bored, so much so I decided to self teach about a brand new tech called “website”, started to learn about HTML and CSS with the help of my ferry buddies and the books. The first website that I created was about X-Files, the famous tv show which was on air at the end 90s in Turkey. The website was a success for me, it has 800px width and 600px height, these were the standart website sizes back then. I did write it with the help of Notebook software on a PC, with Win 3.1 OS on it, like a joke today, right? Later I learned Dreamweaver of Macromedia, and it really felt like a dream.

It was the star years for Macromedia, who also owns one funny software, called Flash, and almost no one was using Flash on my country back then, you could make animations and movies with it, so I felt in love with it immediately. I remember which version was it by the time I mastered it, it was version Flash 3 if I’m not mistaking. So I did manage to create my first personal website with Flash, I made an animation based on my education knowledge, I did the editing and the designs. Sadly I did not kept a copy of it, I wish I did… The only thing left, is the soundtrack: The Sting melody was my main music. Of course mine was a wav file that I found from a friend. Back then, we shared everything, it was legal and the polite thing to do. Later came the capitalist money hunters and the beautiful sharing world had disappeared, this my dear reader is another subject to discuss for another article.

So my first website with my mind who spent all its energy on it changed my life forever. It did land me my first job. After a long time living at home, I could manage to get out, to prove that I can, I did go to my first job interview and they hired me, as a web designer. My first job at the web agency called Buyutech, a word game made in Turkish, “büyüteç” means a loop, and tech is English abbreviation for technology, half of each created büyü+tech= Buyutech. In 2000s, on my country those half English half Turkish names were a thing, they were very popular, most of the start-ups or these little ad agencies called like so. Buyutech was a very small agency with 3,5 staff and a lady boss, one secretary, one other designer who became one of my best friends also, me and a half time intern for coding.

The boss lady has a great network since her father was from the high society of Istanbul, so we did have some important accounts, including one of the major football team of Istanbul and some famous singers.

Anyhow, there I worked for almost 3 years, others were added, and I had good friendships, mostly among us girls. We got older in time and we have separate lives right now but we never lost touch, my “Buyutech Ladies” were my first confidantes and probably will stay so forever. We shared our first serious boy friend secrets, we witnessed the marriages, the first births and many good stories.

Chapter Two: Galen

When my technique is developed and Buyutech became unsatisfactory to me, I quit and I searched for another job. I wished to become a web developer so I started to work on that rather than web design. I, again, created my second website, and worked hard on coding. When I went to the job interview, because I am a better graphic designer than I am a coder, my bosses almost always ignored my wish to become a developer and casted me as a designer. So the second boss too, referred me as the second designer of the agency and I started to work on Galen Ad Agency, web department. I worked there more than 5 years and became the Art Director of the web department at the end. I had a great team working with me, a great environment but very tiring and exhausting tempo. We worked with very famous and powerful firms between 2001-2006 and I single handedly worked as a designer on every web and interactive project that Galen made. It was fun but also intense, and some day my energy has drained completely and I am done. I asked for another team member for graphics, bosses said no, I quit and worked as a freelance graphic designer since.

The other and greater problem of the bosses is, they had tunnel vision syndrome, they lacked imagination but my team and I, we had one, a very vivid imagination. We were very excited when my best friend brought me the first Apple iPod touch in 2006, we saw the future in it, we talked about developing games and apps as a team, but the bosses saw the expenses only, never the investment to the future.

So one by one, most of my team left the agency. They found other jobs on other agencies and sometimes asked me for designs on their outsource jobs. So I could keep in touch with the agency world for a while, designing never left my life.

Retirement years

I was happy and resting, my last job had exhausted me and I needed to refill my energies, and I did. Then started my anxieties, as it turns out that my father’s side of the family had a genetic mental disease, anxiety disorder it is called. I did not recognize the signs first, I had no idea that what I was feeling is a part of this, I could not move, I could not get into the crowds, I could not tolerate impromptu behavior. I became a prisoner of my mind, it was bad, very bad in fact, and very lonesome… But one of the dear friend from my Sürü (my pack) helped me to find a great psychiatrist and he diagnosed my illness and then I got better and happier, it wasn’t because of my fault, it was something that happened to me, it was a genetic disorder. It could’ve gotten better with a little therapy and some medicine, and it did, with time…

During that time, most of my good friends let me to heal myself, they understood me, I am so grateful for that. By the time I was myself again 4 years had passed already, most of my friends had married, some had children, I would have too perhaps. But I had born an observer and my mission in this life was to observe, not participate, so I did, I continued to observe.

Urban Renewal Nightmare

I needed time to heal the wounds in my soul, I needed peace, but a few pieces of peace that remained in my life disappeared with a knock on the door on the morning of one religious holiday. The government officials declared that they had come to check the building against earthquake. What?.. How?.. Why?.. Who?..

After the Izmit earthquake, the state started an urban renewal movement for the reconstruction of buildings in danger against earthquake. Unfortunately, this turned into an opportunity for gaining more money for the contractors, and the buildings that were solid in fact but, were considered weak somehow, and the inhabitants were forcibly removed and the buildings were given to the contractors to be rebuilt, especially in high benefit areas like Kadıköy. Unfortunately, this unfair system still continues.

In my story, this nightmare happened to me 7 years ago. Someone we do not know closely, who bought an apartment from our building went to the state, with the claim that our building was not solid, and the building demolition decision was taken, just like that, it’s that easy. All other 19 apartment owners would be thrown out.

In fact, this person, who turned out to be the contractor’s man, wanted to take over the construction by deceiving some of the neighbours, and soon it was revealed that they were fraudulent and the court process, which would take years, began.

I don’t want to tell you at length, but only the courts lasted for 6 years, our building was demolished, some of my elderly neighbours, unfortunately, lost their lives, some had cancer, some had Alzheimer, they were devastated. At the end, this year, in 2022, finally we have found a decent contractor, the courts are still processing, they did not decided yet but at least our building is being constructed and hopefully will be finished next year. 🧿🙏

Why am I telling all this, because these are the facts that drowned me, like cannonballs at my feet they were pulling me at the bottom. I had to keep my head above the water and I needed something that I could control, none of these facts can be controlled by me, not the courts, nor the contractor, not even my disease… They exist, I could only keep them at arm’s length out of my mind, but my mind needed a safe harbour, a haven and I remembered, years ago, when I needed a haven, I had my website. It would be my saviour again.

So I started to work on an idea of a website where I could compile all the extra mind-numbing things that I’ve been doing like Tarot reading, culinary experiments and all other Udemy courses that I’ve taken about web development, javascript or even writing, astrology and plant remedies. Thinking about the structure of the website, compiling, analysing the content and creating designs, learning again the current versions of HTML and the CSS and my old friend WordPress, were like a therapy for me. So this is the end of this treatment, my 5th version of personal website after so many years. I wanted to make it in Turkish, but our lives become so bilingual today, the knowledge and the medium are English and so are the terms, it’s impossible to write only in Turkish.

My English is not so good, I know, since I am a “francophone” this is my second foreign language, I used Google Translate a lot, but it has a problem with Turkish, some ideas are lost in translation I’m sure. In Turkey, we have a name for this not so good english writings, we call them “tarzanca” referring to Tarzan’s english. So if my writing is also tarzanca, let it be, I wished to be understood by other “Tarzans” too anyway.

This is how this website is born. It’s still helping me, keeping it updated, recording my thoughts, publishing some of my stories, working for my future projects for it, would help me more, I believe.

So dear reader, this is the last paragraph of a very long post, I release you from your reading duties… I wish you the happiness and the serenity that I have right now. Thank you very much, if you read my whole story, and thank you, even if you skipped to the end!.. Well, I would, I would not read this whole story of another person’s life, why would you? I’m not a famous writer, I am, nothing but, an ordinary observer after all.