In search of past life … – Hubbard Huber

“Dede, you told us about your childhood, your youth, what conditions you were in when you were in the military,” I said, and desperately tried to remind them of those days.

“I used to tell you. What have we seen, what have we felt? But like a dream, they all passed. “

“Do you still remember them all?”

“I do not remember? They are just like yesterday in my mind. “

“Then tell me again?”

“Well, I’ll tell you, as if someone were listening?”

“We’ll hear, Grandpa, won’t we?” I looked to my aunt and Nadia for their approval. Nadia didn’t realize she was staring at me blankly. But my genius-wise aunt understood in one fell swoop where I wanted to go. You tell them, but they won’t listen, do they? That makes him even more enthusiastic, he said.

“The tea is well made now. Let’s go out. I’ll send you something to eat. You can listen to Grandpa in peace.”

Out of the corner of his eye, he made a gesture to the caretaker and they hurried out of the room. There was a comfortable companion chair beside the bed, and after I had Nadia sit in that chair, I pulled up a chair and sat beside her.

I quickly told Nadia a brief summary of the situation, who was looking at me confusedly. At that point, the caretaker brought three cups of tea, a very open one, and a large plate of nuts and gingerbread cookies in a tray – in my aunt’s skillful hands! He emptied my grandfather’s bedside table, placed the tray on it, straightened the pillow on my grandfather’s back and sat him up a little more, carefully holding his tea in his hand, and left the house without saying anything. Words

At that moment, it seemed to me; I activated the voice recording function of my mobile phone and at the same time placed the phone between two pillows which my grandfather was resting on his back. First, I had to translate these stories to Nadia in as much detail as possible, and moreover, I’m going to record almost a hundred years of experience – a part of our family history! – At the same time.

“Yes, Grandpa, we are listening to you with our ears.”

Closing his eyes for a moment, he first found the dusty memories of the distant past stuck deep in the folds of his old brain. (His features softened and he almost started laughing!) He shook it off, cleaned it all up, revived those dull scenes, and softly told us what he had seen:


“Hmm, that year was nineteen hundred and twenty-seven. The fourth day of August. A beautiful summer morning. Place; On the second floor of a wooden house in Bunker Caddy, which leads to Shishen in Caraco, Istanbul.

The house has a great congenital rush. Because, according to the prospective mother and father, the gestation period has exceeded ten months. Even if there is labor pain for a few days, delivery cannot take place. In desperation, the father went to fetch the doctor, who was then called ‘Lootmaker’. Finally, around ten o’clock at night, when he returned home with the doctor, he heard the baby scream as soon as the door was opened. No more lights.

The baby was born at six and a half kilograms, to ensure a pregnancy of fifteen months. This is Ann Vesel’s fourth birth. Although she gave birth to three daughters (Muzein, Feriha and Aliye), Muzein and Feriha did not survive, only Aliye survived.

Inspired by the father’s name, the baby was named Ali.

The parents are happy to have a son. According to Mehmet Ali, his father’s side came to the city with the conquest of Istanbul and settled in the Sultanahmet district. Address of residence in population records; It is displayed as Istanbul, Eminun, Alemdar, Akbayik, Kukurseme Street. However, this road is now in the grounds of a building that serves as a hotel. The garden palaces on the land where the building was built were set on fire by a famous fire in Istanbul. The land registry office in the vicinity was gutted by the blaze and those whose houses were gutted could not prove anything. Everyone stays in the burning plot of their home, and those who get the chance, rebuild their homes with the testimony of their neighbors.

My grandfather was killed in the Balkan Wars and my father was a soldier in Tripoli at the time. My grandmother was living on a burnt house plot with her two daughters (Fatma and Kevsar). However, when the government decided to build a courthouse and detention house, their land was confiscated and my grandmother’s belongings, which prevented her from giving up her land, were moved to the nearest place out of the plan. It is in the southwest corner of Tevkifan, opposite the Cold Fountain, which still gives the name of the old street, where we lived until 1968.

My father was very upset. It was the same in childhood. When he was in his final year of high school, he could not bear the insults of his teacher and objected. In fact, according to the testimony of his friends, he beat the teacher well. Of course, this lawsuit was filed and my father was expelled from school.

My father, who was deeply saddened by what happened in the late 1800’s, became a soldier at a time when the Ottoman Empire was going through a difficult time and was assigned to Tripoli.


(A short excerpt from my latest novel (recently published!) My memoir / documentary novel ‘In Search of Past Lives’!)

Murat Anilmaj / [email protected]

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