Renowned painter, educationist Professor. Dr. Filled with the life, difficulties and successes of Jahit Buikislien, his daughter Burkak Buikislien Gonul wrote. The book, Against the Windmills, also provides an opportunity to witness the development of contemporary Turkish painting. We had a wonderful conversation with Burçak Büyükişliyen Gönül about the book and his father.
– Mrs. Burkak, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born in 1970 in Iskenderun. The first years of my childhood were spent there, then in Castle, Germany. I am a chemical engineer. I grew up in a family where many books were read; An artist father, a graphic artist mother, a cello artist sister… I moved from Ankara to Istanbul, where I spent my youth, and for many years worked as a director in the pharmaceutical industry. Later, I became a managing partner of a company that worked in a corporate structure as a trainer-consultant. I am currently living in Abu Dhabi. I am married and have three children, one of whom I gave birth to.
– In the book, we come across many cities in different countries like Mersin, Medina and London. How have different cities and different cultures influenced your book?
When it comes to storytelling, there are books and movies that take people to different places and keep the past of cities and places alive. There is a book in ‘Against the Windmills’ that smells like many cities in the line. I think it creates an effect that the reader finds himself sometimes on a palm-fringed beach in Iskenderun, sometimes in the middle of the desert of Medina, or in the muddy streets of London, in a museum in Florence and adds a richness. Towards the story .. In recent years, I have been very happy to discover new places by traveling, not as a tourist, but as a traveler. I had the opportunity to stay in most of the cities mentioned in the book. I’ve done a lot of research for cities I haven’t seen before and where I haven’t been, and I’ve tried to imagine them. During my research, I learned a lot that I didn’t know, and I set new travel routes in my mind. These descriptions will take the reader on a delightful journey, as I felt at the time of writing, and will help them discover different cultures.
– We know you have previous writing experience. So, should we read ‘Against the Windmills’ through the eyes of a writer, or through the eyes of a girl whose father wrote it?
For many girls, my dad is my hero. In addition to being my father, whom I admire for his position in life and for many of his qualities, this book describes the life of Professor Zahit Buikishlian, a valuable educator, educator, and an important contemporary painter. As her daughter, although I am a person who best understands and interprets her sensitivities, concerns and reactions to events, I take care to preserve her feelings while writing and to reflect them without changing them. I have tried to understand him better by asking questions in places that did not come to my mind. If the purpose of this question is to find out if I am intentional at the time of writing, I can fully say that I am. However, I believe that ‘a writer who wrote about his father’ contributes to a more sensitive narrative, especially in some parts, and the reader will feel it.
– What is being said is actually your life. At the moment, at the time of writing the book, what was it that you wanted to write but gave up?
Of course, although there are some parts that intersect with my life, this book is about the adventures of Jahit Buikishlian from beginning to end. So I didn’t think of adding anything about myself except what my father wrote or said. Every human life, even the most ordinary life can be turned into a novel if they are properly fictional. To do this without touching water and soap, is it entirely in your favor, or to accept right and wrong and write the truth without filters? This is a personal choice. I wouldn’t even think about going back to the things I wanted to write about if one day I could describe my own life. I want to write bold and without censorship. Just like we tried to do in this book.
– Don Quixote is a character who doesn’t give up fighting like your father Zahit Bay. Then why ‘against windmills’? Why not Don Quixote and another character?
Don Quixote is the protagonist of a dream that has been interpreted by many painters, from Dumier to Picasso. A collection of paintings by Zahit Büyükişliyen centered around this character. ‘Hommage a Don Quixote’ – Homage to Don Quixote ‘ The exhibition made a lot of noise. The picture used on the cover of the book is from this series. Why not another character? Because Don Quixote is the forerunner of irresistible idealism, which empowers people with the power to change everything. Although he was destroyed while standing by the oppressed and dealing with evil, his zeal never faltered, he always pursued his purpose. Like Don Quixote, Zahit Buikislenen’s motto in life was to fight against what he thought was right, even though he knew he would sometimes run against the current. He lived a dignified life without bowing or kissing anyone and he paid the price. When my dad was telling Don Quixote’s adventures with color rhythm and dynamism, I wanted to reflect his outlook on life through words and with the contribution of my husband, the author of the book.
– We see in the book that your father’s life struggle story, and there are anecdotes that will set an example for young people. Based on your dad’s life and this book, what would you recommend for teens?
Those who read Don Quixote know. At the end of the book he makes Don Quixote ‘intelligent’. However, even though he lost the battle with Windmill, he showed everyone that he could fight them and became a source of inspiration for the new Don Quixote. I hope this book will encourage young people to read without fear, frustration and loneliness. Not only in the academic world, there are injustices, mistakes and injustices in different stages of life. In the face of all this, a really strong life force is needed to not lose inspiration, to start new, to keep exploring and to produce. I think this is one of the strongest aspects of Zahit Büyükişliyen which should be taken as an example. Also, his vision, which he started developing through reading, observation and thinking while he was a young artist candidate, his efforts to become a world citizen in those years and even in difficult situations, his patriotism and loyalty, environmental awareness, love. For nature, people and animals, selfless attitude towards everyone, art I believe that many of its features, such as its interest and respect for all branches, and the fact that he is a progressive educator who does not set boundaries for himself and leaves room for his students. , Will be a source of inspiration for young people.