Adnan Ahmet, who made efforts to build bridges in through-art communication of the Middle East, moved the Kelimat Art Gallery to Istanbul after the war, which previously served in Aleppo for 21 years. They have brought many valuable artists and painters with art-lovers together until today with the partner of the gallery, Hüseyin Emiroğlu. Not only the Arabic painters but also Turkish painters took part in the exhibitions. We asked for Adnan Ahmet to tell the Istanbul experience with his own words for Marmara Life, who has said “The war has separated us, art will unite again. And Istanbul will be the junction of that meeting.”
How could the time and space similarity relationship be established between the birth of a child and the birth of an artist to the world of art? And which birth pains accompany with the second birth which is more complex than the biological birth? It seems to me that such a question asked for the second birth is similar to the bond between culture and art, painting and the book. What is at issue here is the actual birth of a child in “Fafin Village” and his birth to the world of culture and art as being the owner of a publishing house and a gallery. In one sense, his metaphorical birth in this world. In fact, an endless space and time gap which becomes interlaced by the merger of real and metaphorical is of concern. In that space vacuum, other births are also possible to occur and I am generally one of those who believes that people may be born more than once. This could be defined that this is the intermediate distance between rural existence and urban existence. I should go back to the place I enwombed first, to my initial waters, to my land of creation in order to be able to write the summary of an honest and sincere biography or first pages of a section; which was expected to be completed before moving to the city and explaining my purpose of existence in this world.
Aleppo in My Eyes
Aleppo was always able to rise as a shining star from the wreckage brought by the time, and neither the wars nor the earthquakes were able to destroy it. The restored Aleppo is the soul of cultural heritage and nobleness. An open museum enchants you upon which the sun has been rising and setting for centuries, and you feel that you are more captivated on each time you see that. It is like every time it is hiding or keeping a camouflaged secret between the sky. And behind those walls, it is like telling a part of the endless life, secrets, voices of the ones living there in the intensity of time and the stories.
Living in Istanbul
People will definitely admire this city and feel excited when they live in the lands of Mehmet the Conqueror where the mosques of Sinan the Architect exist. It is definitely a great chance for a person to live here who is passionate about history and aesthetics. Everyone coming to Istanbul with the passion for creativity and creating will try to make voice and verbalize this declared visual magnificence according to their own spirits. People, who exist at the dead center of that place by feeling those beauties to the fullest, will be so impressed that they would sacrifice all they have in order to live in this magical atmosphere. The door of the city is wide open for those who have a tendency towards watching, learning, thinking, meditation, discussion, and research and those who want to make a difference here and aim to be creative. It will be required to take the risk of sacrificing long years even for adding a stone to that enchanting and admiring architecture and for making a tiny contribution.
Istanbul is virtually a sculpture, a decoration or a work of engineering. If you think about it with its deep history and archaic minarets, you will definitely be astonished and feel that history. What makes me surprised most is that I realize the things each day that I have not seen before despite they have been existing there for centuries. The archaic cities with the depth are always like this, we only see and know a part of their beauties and histories. How could a 3000 years old city reveal all its history and mystery to you at one stroke? A quite long time is needed for it to be able to tell all those legends, wars and the roads. There is a long time needed, perhaps as the life of a city in order to see all layers of the history and hear the sounds of war horses which go back to their castles from the war exhaustedly. In order to be able to turn that page of the book afterward and go to one of the historical coffee houses and to read a part of life that rolls by as fast as the clouds. Because loving the cities is fate and predestination.
Uskudar is the Beating Heart of Istanbul
We were talking about the history, land, and people of Turkey with my dear friend Hüseyin Emiroğlu, and when it came to Üsküdar; he said: “Üsküdar is the beating heart of Istanbul.” What adds more beauty to the beauty of Üsküdar, which is next to the Bosporus on Anatolian side of Istanbul, are the sounds of prayer calls coming from Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, which was built for the sake of Sultan Süleyman’s daughter being one of the most beautiful architectural works of Sinan the Architect, as well as the fresh Bosporus air, sounds and smell of the waves. In order to reach my goal, which was to realize the project we carried from Aleppo to the Istanbul of Mehmet the Conqueror; I have spent all my days by walking through; until I came to Üsküdar. Kuzguncuk… It is one of the most famous regions of the history containing many unique places and in which many cultures and races exist such as the Jews, Armenians, Romans and Turks and where brotherhood dominates. I leaned my back on the Bosporus Bridge in order to distribute the love I have felt for this place to all people who pass through Kuzguncuk, which is a cute district of Üsküdar county that is on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, which is the capital of the world’s civilization.
For All Who Passes Through Kuzguncuk; The Historical District of Uskudar
I am telling stories proving the history, culture, and art; on the Anatolian side of the city; which is the capital of modern world, away from the traffic, crowd and buildings of the European continent, at Bosporus; the heart of Istanbul and without letting people to go by without listening among balsam trees. It does not seem surprising that people gather around me. I have already come to Istanbul from Aleppo in order to discover this civilization, culture, and history all the way. I order to face the best of my fates…
By: Adnan Ahmet
*This article was published in the May– June issue of Marmara Life.