Since the beginning of April, I was expecting the days following the lockdown to be rather quiet, but April started a very busy period for me. Readers & friends following my Diary would recall that I already have several stories with the ‘messages received’ from my father. Now I have another one, and this time it is my tribute to him and his 'thank you' messages to us!
I was invited to write a dedication to my father for his 98th birthday on 27.5.2020. I shared my dedication with few friends. I received the following note from my friend Bernadette May, and following her encouragement I decide to include the full story on my diary. With my thanks to her, I am first sharing her note:
"Thank you for sending me this link about your father. It is a
wonderful story and it would be great if more people could read it.
Congratulations not only for the contents but also it is a joy
to read in the manner you put it all together.
I suggest you post on your website as it is something positive,
true and beautiful. We should say who we are, I think your father
would be proud”
Below is some background information & link to my tribute to him...
April 23, 1920 is the date when the Turkish Parliament was formally established by Atatürk, who led the nation to founding a democratic secular Republic of Turkey. The same date was also dedicated for Children’s Day, which was later formally recognised in 1927.
The same year (1927) Ataturk had given a six-day speech (called Nutuk- which was translated into English under the name of ‘Great Speech’) with his own account of the War of Independence which led to the foundation of the Turkish Republic.
In 1997, my father was commissioned by the Ataturk Culture, Language and History Institution to write a brief epitome for the children (Çocuklar İçin Nutuk), in a language that they could easily understand.
In May 2020, US Turkish Library & Museum (www.turkishlibrary.us) and The Light Millennium (LM) (http://www.lmglobal.org- which is a Charitable Global Human Advancement Organization and is associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications) included it in their websites.
Also included was the tribute I was asked to write- please see the link below:
I can now start my story here
During my correspondence with Ms Bircan Unver- Founder-President and Head Representative of The LM- mentioned that she was in Istanbul, and would like to bring some of my father’s children books to her young grandchildren when she goes back home in New York. She also asked me if any of the books had stories relating to ‘space and the universe’. Having read the biography of my father, and learned that he studied Astronomy in 1940’s Turkey, she was interested to find out if he brought in the subject into his books.
I could not help her as I have been away from my family since the university years, therefore, I was not familiar with all of his books. I have only a very small collection of some of his old ones with me. After his passing in 1998, I collected all the originals and notes/press cuttings together, and left them in Istanbul. I have the intension of bringing some of them to life by publishing online. As I recall, he had more than 400 children’s book published.
While corresponding about my father’s books, I took the box with few of his old books from the storage as I never had time to read most of them before. I opened the box and picked one of the books. It was titled ‘The Trumpet’ and was published in 1991. It included 14 short stories. I started reading the first story ‘Düş”- translated as ‘The Dream’;
‘Erkin had read all the books on the space and the sky. He was very curious about other beings in the universe. He had learned that the stars, like our sun, were made of …..'
I knew that it was a ‘thank you’ message from my father to Bircan. I smiled. I knew that I would also receive a message from if only I could find time to sit down quietly and meditate! I informed Bircan about the book, hoping that she may still find a copy in Istanbul.
It was another surprise when Bircan responded. She was telling me that the granddaughter, who is at an age to read it, is called ‘Rüya’..another translation of the title of the story 'The Dream’ in Turkish!
I next picked up another book from the box. It was a book of poems, published under his pseudo name Adnan Ardağı in 1944 while he was still at the university. I opened the book. On the dedication page it said;
“To my first born child”
A. Adnan Ardağı
I was most surprised as I never knew. Here was his message to me, his first born child! The loveliest message that I could have received from him.