- Summer Comes With Classical Music!
- Heed The Call Of Music
- 100 Depictions Of The Prophet Mohammad In Istanbul
- Keeping The Miracîye Tradition Alive
- Shades Of Anatolia In London
- Confrontation In Venice
- Adhocracy In New York
- Biennale Time On The Canals
- Erol Akyavaş’s Projection Of Life
- Sarkis’s Latest
- Off We Go To The Children’s Festival!
- Passing The Ball To Life
- Surprise Result At Belek
- Time Of White
- In Living Color!
- Shopping Latino
- Ushering In The Festival Season
- A Chosen Artist
- History And Opera
- Yunus Emre Turkey Tour
- Hello, Summer!
- The Rouargue Brothers’ Istanbul
- Keeping History Alive: Safranbolu
- On The Ocean Shore
- Scandinavia In Five Questions
- Wilco Van Herpen’s Kaş
- Documenting The History Of Education
- Smitten By The Bridge
Smitten By The Bridge
Prominent Turkish writer and thinker Gündüz Vassaf tells Skylife readers how the Mostar Bridge inspired his latest novel, Mostari.
My first thoughts upon seeing the Mostar Bridge were, “I’m in no hurry to live or die.” When one visits towns of the Christian Middle Ages, it’s as if one is in a museum setting amidst the commercial diversions of our century. In Mostar, I felt my mother’s childhood harking back to the multi-ethnic Islamic Middle Ages in Europe. The day here revolves not around the clock but the call to prayer. The smell of smoke from wood burning stoves sends you to another realm. There is no rush. When someone says, “Hello,” people listen. Mostar lives in its own time without nostalgia for the past. Calmly, quietly. Unto itself. Amelteng pot of cultures.
Home to Roman, Slavic, Catholic and Ottoman cultures, the town’s sense of identity today lies beyond the grief and sorrow of recent wars.
Close to the border of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires, the town takes its name from Mostari, the name given to bridge keepers in former days.
When I came to the bridge one morning, I jotted down a few thoughts. Seven hours passed. I was still at the same spot writing away. Next morning, same thing. I lived like that for months… until the bridge finally set me free.
Flow of the river. Fluttering of the pigeons. I was taken aback at everything. I wrote about the history of the bridge, an asteroid that passed by our planet… My notes eventually became a book.
I became a bridge keeper, a Mostari. Ivo Andric tells the story of the Bridge on the Drina. Now, after five hundred years, the Mostar Bridge has a book. When someone asked the owner of the coffeehouse by the bridge what I was doing every day, she replied, He loves the bridge.
AN ODE TO A BRIDGE
As in his earlier books, in Mostari: Diary of a Bridge Keeper, Gündüz Vassaf has produced a poetic novel that blends historical fact with fiction.Vassaf has produced a poetic novel that blends historical fact with fiction.