TURKEY
Mürsel Sönmez
TURKEY
A poet, writer and editor, MÜRSEL SÖNMEZ was born in Mesudiye, Ordu. His first poem appeared in Miliyet Arts Magazine. He continued his poetry production in such literary magazines as Mavera, Yönelişer, Hece, Kardelen, Düş Çınarı and also in Bir Nokta magazine where he served as its editor-in-Chief. He also wrote, for some time, his column in a newspaper. His published poetry collections include: Cüzler (Fascicles), Göz Aydınlığı (Congratulations), Epitaf (Epitaph), Tütün Küfesi (Large Tobocco Basket), Güvercin Ağacı (Witch Hazel) - Sare’ye Şiirler (Poems for Sare)-, Külçe (Nugget), Mansur Ahengi (Mansur’s Harmony) and the most recent  Üzüm Meseli (Adage for Grapes). His prose writings: essays entitled Dar Vakit Günleri (Days with not much Time), Su Terazisi (Water Scales), and Ticaret ve Hayat (Commerce and Life). Another prose work of the writer is called “Good Name”. Currently he serves as the publishing consultant for Bir Nokta literary magazine, and has been working to prepare the publication for 16-years alongside with his colleagues.
 

THE FIFTEEN JULY EPIC

 

We rose to the challenge of the night when treason set the county on fire

We were a river, and we strangled the poisonous snake with our paws for faith

 

As the evening with its cold gust was just entering through our windows

A storm which knocked out our dinner table burst over us

Bewildered, worried and uneasy as well as resigned, we were curious:

What was it, what was going on and who was the darkness entering into our life?

 

It was a July, it was a hot Friday, and there came a shadow of nightmare

When the crimson spray of the evening light was hitting the windows, the screens

The streets and news channels started  rattling like an adder’s hissing

The bandits were descending on the city, so were bullies of the earth on the country

While fear was blocking all the street heads with all its armies

The sword of valor was being sharpened already

It was a July, it was a hot Friday

City by city the whole country

Individual by individual, wave by wave , step by step transformed

Into a Zulfiqar, which strangled the traitor in its fork, and reborn from their hearts

 

Man and woman, young and old, with or without white beard, the ones underground and on the ground, all of them

Were awaken from their daily sleep through the Doomsday Trumpet

Badr is awaken, so are Malazgirt and Çanakkale

It just arrived

In the steel wall of the enemy of mankind, nature, and sacred ones

And  of the fire eating, oppressing and blood sucking universal snake

At the risk of blood, life, big hearted, blameless folks took to the squares

Poor fellows, have-nots, roughneck guys, dervishes, mullahs and all the countrymen

They bent the steel with their steely arms, and they beat the death with their desire for martyrdom

And this way one night was replaced by a day

And another oppression salvo was defeated

 

“Oh my people, my people”

You kiss wonderfully

The resistance at its heart

And how admirably

You shoot the vandal in the forehead

 

We silenced the barrels which were bleeding the time by saying Allahuekber with one voice

That night in the life and death situation, we died and stood guard

 

Mürsel Sönmez                              

English Translation by Mesut Şenol