REPUBLIC OF TURKEY MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM

GRANDFATHER - Tahsin YÜCEL

GRANDFATHER

According to what my father, uncle Ali Rıza and aunt Zübeyde told, my grandfather was the most silent man on earth before being a principal. Moreover, he used to wish that people around him were also silent like him. Therefore, when my father, uncle Ali Rıza or aunt Zübeyde accidentally spoke aloud after he sat to his small desk, he used to make a sour face as if a needle was inserted to his buttocks. However, as he did not speak much even to express his anger, my grandmother used to intervene: "Be silent, your father is studying, you know," she used to say. They knew, my grandfather was always studying: he used to correct students' homework, read Cumhuriyet newspaper, which was bought from Sunday to Sunday and when there was no homework to correct and Cumhuriyet newspaper was completely read, he used to take out from his drawer the signatures of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, İsmet İnönü and Hasan Ali Yücel cut out from bright magazine pages and compose them in front of him, after slowly smoking one Boğaziçi with his eyes always on these pieces, he used to execute new ones of these glorious signatures on blank sheets under his hands sometimes during one and sometimes two whole hours to reach gradually more fluent, more perfect examples, and he used to execute them so nice that it was almost impossible to tell between the originals and copies. Still, the passion of my grandfather to make copies was never reduced; it persisted with the same intensity until his principality period. For this reason, whenever my father recalled this subject, he could not help saying, "Neither Atatürk, nor İsmet Paşa nor Hasan Ali Yücel could execute their signatures as much as my father; my father broke a world record in those years". However, I should state it right now that my grandfather did not exert this effort just for reproducing a produced thing; after he dealt with this subject that seemed completely meaningless at first sight and filled both front and rear pages of several sheets, he used to take out one more sheet from the drawer and start a new creative effort to start to seek the signature that would both look like one of these signatures and match his name most. As it can be easily estimated, my grandfather found the signature that he desired perhaps a hundred times. However, to find was not a reason to quit searching for the best. Furthermore, my grandfather had the fundamental habit of presenting a new signature as a gift to his friends, relatives, principal and teacher colleagues in all religious and national festivities: he used to sigh happily as if he fulfilled an important task when he wrote his "congratulations and wishes!" with his thin handwriting and vigorous expression on the backside of his unchanged cards with his photograph as a reserve officer on the lower left corner inside an ash-colored star with his cap with the Crescent and Star, single brass on his shoulder, cross strap on his chest and folded pockets and his name in embossed letters, and placed his new signature under it. The interesting thing was that as my grandfather dealt with these, something like magic was spread around him: when one saw my grandmother, father, uncle Ali Rıza and aunt Zübeyde during the filling of festivity postcards, particularly the execution of the new signature watching my grandfather with almost a religious respect, whispering when they had to speak and walking on the tips of their feet when they had to walk, it was unavoidable to think that they were expecting a result that would change their whole lives, a reputation or prosperity that would be reflected from the imitated to the imitator and that they based all their dreams of happiness on this imitation perhaps because they could not see any other skill, any ability in the man that provided their living or perhaps for any other reason.

I do not know if it is necessary to tell this, but this expectation had never come true for my grandmother, father, uncle and aunt. However, given that my grandfather was assigned as the principal of the school in the morning of a productive night when he added an extra !M." at the beginning of his name after many signatures and decided on a signature that resembled Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's signature, it could be said that this amply came true for him. However, nobody except for himself evaluated this event as a promotion that could be associated with an imitated signature. Because, there is no need to keep it secret that my grandfather was assigned to his new position not in the way of being granted a right, but as a result of a coincidence that did not much honor him in the middle of the academic year while teaching a first class consisting of mostly workers', doorkeepers' and civil servants' children: when the principal of the extremely privileged primary school of the most elite district of the city warmed up to his position and started to conduct nonsensical things by regarding the splendor arising out of the position of the school, its structure, garden, principal's room furnished as a minister's room, the wealth of the parents of the students and their activity as a direct emanation of his personality and to oppose to the national education director, the director said "What does this idiot think he is? Is he a rare asset? If I assign a piece of wood in his place, it would better manage this school!" and sent this parvenu principal to the lousy class and seated the silent, stupid teacher of the lousy class, who seemed to have become more wooden since he lost his wife, on the principal's seat; briefly, my grandfather owed his promotion to the image of a wood that he created, not his famous skill. Moreover, as my grandfather appointed physical education teacher Ceyhan as the assistant principal, suspicious persons started to say that this assignment was nothing but a hoodwink: "He wanted Ceyhan, but as Ceyhan was too young and was not liked at all, he preferred to place puppet principal for some time. It is certain that Ceyhan will manage the school for some time and then nobody will find it strange that the successful assistant principal is assigned as the principal." They were saying. However, promotion was promotion and my grandfather, instead of being affected from these destructive rumors, wanted to make the coincidence appear like a revolution by saying "I came to this position with my own strength!". He succeeded in this: he initiated an effort that was never expected from his diffident appearance and realized a revolution emerging in the form of a stringent order covering everything from play spaces in the garden to the inside of heads and from the form of school uniforms and collars to the color of wrapping papers, thus, on the contrary to all negative associations that the word could create, he relieved the most suspicious directors on one hand and started to direct everybody as he liked by making them a part of the order that he established on the other hand.

Indeed, when people entered through the school door between two classes and saw that a different game was played at every corner without the young children mixing with the older ones and girls with the boys, without any small conflict and hoarse voice and as the bell rang, the classes immediately got into a quartet row without anybody obstructing the way of another, any student touching another and walked towards the door with regular steps, advanced with the same harmony without getting out of the line even once in the aisles and stairs and violating the distances, then the quartet row opened like a fan as they entered from the class door, the right row headed towards the desks by the window, right inner row towards the left inner ones, left inner row to the right inner ones and the students sat on their places with a dazzling speed as the ones in front of the row sat at the back and those at the back sat at the front, they shivered with an irresistible feeling of participation and felt that their chests were swelling with an almost exalted power and they started to watch the things happening around them with a greater interest and admiration. Thus, as it was understood that there was a place and time for everything in this school and there were certain rules as to who would do what with whom and when, who would talk to whom where and how, this admiration reached its peak, people felt that the order of my grandfather wrapped their existence as a second skin and they said "No such principal has ever been to this school".
However, I should state it right now that my grandfather did not achieve his revolution suddenly; as his attitude in the first days was observed, it could even be said that he perceived the position of a principal as sitting by the pompous principal desk and executing signatures. The first thing that he did after being assigned as the principal was to have a new card

ABBAS YÜCEBAŞ
Principal
printed, the second was to have the same inscription engraved in brass letters and at a ten-time greater size on flag-shaped marble pieces, the first to be placed on the right edge of his desk, second on the left edge and third on the glass closet behind him; thus, he started to execute his signatures with a greater confidence among these evidences leaving no suspicion as to his position as a principal. When there was no paper to be signed, he was playing with the leather, marble, ivory sets on his desk, emptying and reorganizing his drawers, he was incredibly happy to sit in this room, on this armchair, by this desk and when a teacher, student or parent came and started to talk by frequently saying "Principal", his happiness was reaching its peak. But one day, when he looked out of the window of his room and saw students pushing and shoving each other like street urchins and teachers indifferently wandering around with their hands in their pockets, smoking their cigarettes, he started to tremble as if seized by an intense current: whereas these men, these children behaved as they liked without raising their heads and looking at the window of the principal's room even for one second, they were not aware that this school had a principal and it was principal Abbas Yücebaş. It was certain that this would persist as long as he played with his writing sets in his room from nine to five; namely, the position of the principal would remain within the walls of the principal's room. "No, it will not." said my grandfather. Thereafter, he decided to change his attitude and started to wander around immediately the following day, wearing his most attractive suit. Unfortunately, nothing changed: the students were running around him screaming, without even paying attention to his existence and even pushing him if he obstructed their way; the teachers, rather than buttoning their jackets and standing orderly, were speaking to him without taking their hands out of their pockets, were contended to call him with his name as in the old days or contemptuously calling him "director" although they had to emphasize the new situation by saying "principal" or "dear principal". There were also ones going further. For example, in a painting class made in the garden, he reviewed the school pictures painted by the students, then went to the teacher and said "All children are painting the school without flags: correct this error". The teacher dared to say, "Of course, they would paint it without flags, there is no festival!" and laughed. My grandfather could not find an appropriate answer to the man but understood that it was compulsory to establish an order where the principal was never forgotten, contrarily, where everything witnessed his existence, and his first step directed at establishing his order was to dismiss the inconsiderate teacher, who scolded him before the students, due to "insulting the flag". However, while he could not concretize in his mind the order that he wanted to establish with all details, he also could not yet know the way to follow in order to achieve such order. At that time, if someone had told him that he would establish the order he desired by making the thing that he most disgusted all through his life, which was gathering students, teachers, all the school and delivering speeches, the basic element of his attempt, he would certainly have laughed at it. Perhaps we would also have laughed. But, although it is so surprising at first sight, my grandfather owed his order to his speeches.

Undoubtedly, this was not an easy thing for him. Besides not having liked speaking all through his life, addressing the whole school from the floor as the principal was not like speaking with children at home, colleagues in the teacher's room, nor giving lecture in the classroom: a fever surrounding his body before saying the first word was holding his hands and arms and his tongue was swelling so that he could not turn it inside his mouth; moreover, everything was turning into a mess in the first sentence as if it was his destiny. Words coming to the tip of his tongue were either causing him to persistently stammer by resisting to form into sound or dragging the speech to unforeseen directions by turning into unexpected, even opposite words. My grandfather was almost every time leaving the floor without forming even one regular sentence dripping with sweat, saying, "I was disgraced". However, it was understood that addressing a still crowd obliged to listen without any objection despite all disgracefulness had a special pleasure. On the other hand, the speech was always achieving its target despite all faltering and stammering. For example, in his first speech that he delivered somewhat with the compulsion of Ceyhan following the dismissal of the disrespectful painting teacher, although nothing but "a" and "z" came out of what he said, both teachers and students had no difficulty in perceiving that they were facing a principal who was resolved to correct everything from a to z. For this reason, when one of his teacher colleagues attempted to warn him, my grandfather said that as everybody stammered much or less, this was to be considered as negligible and as the teacher insisted in his thought, he showed that he considered the issue as a matter of form by saying "Everyone to his taste". Furthermore, following several weeks of faltering, he preferred to prepare his speech in writing and read them on the floor, thus minimizing the rate of stammering.
In this way, in the small house that he had been living alone in a complete silence after the marriage of my aunt, my grandfather started a new activity: on his small desk where he had once satisfied his intellectual thirst by correcting homework, reading Cumhuriyet or imitating the signatures of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, İsmet İnönü and Hasan Ali Yücel, he was now writing and crossing out, leaving fourth class history book and taking fifth class reading book, leaving fifth class reading book and taking third class science book to search for sample sentences, inspiring words, instructive information, proverbs and Atatürk's epigrams with his lower lip between his teeth as a primary school student not knowing how to deal with a difficult homework, and as a result, he was working three or four hours, even three or four nights for a speech of five to ten minutes. To be honest, he still could not prepare much presentable speeches; they remained as a mixture almost completely stemming from primary school course books, based on ordinary information and stereotyped views. Worse than that, the words never gave up playing games to him: although everything was written in huge letters on the paper before him, he was saying "Atatürk, the mother of all of us", instead of "Atatürk, the model of all of us", then before being relieved of the shame of the first error, in order to say, actually read, that the "great leader" was reputed as a hero not only home but also out of our country, he was saying that he was much reputed "also out of our world" and adding a supernatural dimension to the issue. Fortunately, nobody was smiling or making sour faces; on the contrary, each of his speeches were ending up with long and exuberant applause.

As it can be easily estimated, this long and exuberant applause was the sign of another success too: after even the first speech, the students started to give way respectfully when they saw my grandfather and the teachers started to extinguish their cigarettes and stand orderly, buttoning their jackets as if a miracle had happened, and they were rivaling each other to fulfill his requests, becoming more respectful, more obedient and more harmonious after each speech. Shortly, my grandfather had no doubt that he found the way to prove his existence as the principal of this school, therefore, to manage this school: speech was over all. For this reason, besides soon getting relieved of his former disgust, he started to use every joy, every mishap, every anniversary and every flag ceremony as an opportunity to deliver speeches to the students and teachers. Thus, he had already formed a quite rich "speech days" list in the second year of his post as a principal: in addition to "regular talks" every beginning and end of week before flag ceremony and the national and religious festivity speeches, the anniversaries of all "important days" from 15 November 1638, conquest of Baghdad to 7 February 1921, independence day of Gaziantep and all "important weeks" from Domestic Products Week to TB Combat Week were included in the program. Furthermore, breaking of a window glass or desk by one of the students, the fall and injury of another at a place restricted to be run and bleeding of the nose of a student caused by his desk friend acting as a boxer was necessitating an extraordinary speech, and as the assigned persons were gathering all classes from one to five in the garden or performance hall, my grandfather was immediately going to his room and with the pleasure of delivering a new feast of enthusiasm to his school, starting to prepare a speech as influential as possible.

People who were unfamiliar with the air of our school, like my father, were much surprised at that. They were saying, "How can Abbas excite people in this way despite so much stammering? It is impossible to understand that!" But, when I think about it now, I see that there is nothing that can not be understood. Just as my grandfather proved his existence by speaking, listing advice and orders one after another, the ones who listened to him proved their existences by listening, applauding, fulfilling the advice and orders. It also appeared that this speech activity, nine per cent of which was performed at flag ceremonies and the anniversaries of the glorious victories of our ancestors, proved almost in every recurrence that the past was much more important than today and the basic requisite for the words to reach their objectives was coming to the ancestors, accompanied by as many flags as possible and as much in the air of a brilliant ceremony as possible, and my grandfather, as a manager who consciously perceived his function, was better complying with the requirements of the situation day by day. In this manner, as speeches conditioned acts and acts conditioned speeches, with the support of School-Parent Association, he increased the number of flags in the school so that there was one flag for every four students, ornamented all the walls of the school with the gilded framed pictures and epigrams of famous Turkish notables who "demolished and established states" starting from Mete, Çoluk Kağan, Attila, Cengiz Khan and coming towards the heroes of our era, then, when all kinds of undisciplined behaviors started to look like a "shameful murder" before the "eyes and words" of hundreds of heroes who made their names written in the pages of history "in golden letters" under the shadow of flags that waved on the towers of three continents, he established rules for everything from the manner of entry in and exit from classrooms, sitting in the desks to the plays in the garden, from dressing to manners of talking and greeting after working for weeks together with his assistant Ceyhan. Not contended with these, he determined which books would be read in which classes, which poems would be memorized, which songs would be song and formed definite lists, and prohibited all kinds of books, poems and songs not included in the list. Within the framework of the same approach, the honor of establishing the first Janissary Band and first Turkish Folk Dances and Turkish Folk Songs groups of the metropolis belonged to my grandfather. Turkish Classical Music Group, Turkish Modern Classical Dance Group and Turkish Theatre Group followed them in short intervals. My grandfather made folklore an inseparable element of daily life before many others. Thus, he ensured that the school was not only an environment of order, but also a constant festival ground. This was to such an extent that, it was almost impossible not to hear drum, pipe or Turkish music melodies while passing in front of our school at any time of the day, unless it was Sunday or 10th November. Fortunate members of the groups were continuously shuttling between the past and today: Turkish Theatre Group was complementing our knowledge and conscience by performing the glorious pages of our history, Turkish Folk Songs and Turkish Folk Dances groups were bringing various airs of the "country geography", Turkish Classical Music Group was witnessing our "distinguished artistic genius" and Turkish Modern Classical Dances Group was establishing "a strong bridge" between the past and the future by inserting a few ballet forms into the lively belly-dances created by the same "genius".

Moreover, all these groups were also fulfilling the important mission of preparing the appropriate environment for the "regular talks" and speeches of my grandfather together with the Janissary Band and Young Scouts Company. As a requirement of this mission, the young scouts were lining up in three rows on two sides of the performance hall, with their caps on their heads, trumpets in their arms and bags on their backs; just before the stage, the most famous and largest Janissary band of the city's primary schools with bright dresses and large drums ready to campaign or already campaigning; behind it, Turkish Theatre Group with privates, noncommissioned officers and officers with black headgear, clerical officials with red fez, imams with round beards, village youth with baggy trousers and kohl brides; behind it, ornamented peasants of Turkish Folk Songs Group carrying various instruments from large stringed instruments to violin, from pipe to whistle, with group leader standing like a monument at the right end; reduced dadaş, seymen and efes* of Turkish Folk Dances Group; singers and musicians of Turkish Classical Music Group playing a hypothetical role under huge quilted turbans, furs as wide as tents and heavy velvet folkloric gowns; boys appearing as if the black, shining clothes were stuck on their bodies with gum and girls ornamented in wide, semi-transparent white, pink and yellow silks of Turkish Modern Classical Dances Group followed them. Thus, when the pompous marches played by the Janissary Band started with flags and streamers all around, the groups of my grandfather created an enchanting effect. The interesting thing was that those who created and were affected by the magic were almost the same persons; because the students who had to attend the meetings in class uniforms with white collars and black dresses as they could not afford the costumes and equipment required to join any group were quite a small minority in the school. However, most of these students were freed from the quality of ordinary students by wearing different colors and sizes of armbands as Chief of Class Sanitary Branch and Assistant Chief of Class Sanitary Branch, Chief of Class Red Crescent Branch and Assistant Chief of Class Red Crescent Branch, Chief of Class Library Branch and Assistant Chief of Class Library Branch, etc.; therefore, everybody was designated with a certain function and position except for a few unqualified students, and the school was appearing as a living body with each organ performing its specific function.

Briefly, the great dream that my grandfather had dreamed of while looking out of the window of the principal's room at the students screaming like street urchins and teachers wandering along with their hands in their pockets, smoking cigarettes in the garden was almost completely realized now: whether he was seen or not and whether he delivered speeches by gathering the students and teachers in the performance hall or not, everything, everybody, every move, every standing was witnessing the existence of the principal, just like the witnessing of the existence of the brain by every move of the body. My grandfather was not contended even with that and in order to make his existence felt always and everywhere, he had numerous epigrams bearing his own signature hanged on the classroom and corridor walls among those of the famous Turkish notables, in gilded frames like those of them, such as:

"FORESTS ARE THE LUNGS AND OUR CHESTS ARE THE SHIELDS OF OUR COUNTRY.
Abbas Yücebaş
Principal."
or
"AZAN IN THE MINARET, PRAYER IN THE MOSQUE, KNOWLEDGE IN THE SCHOOL
Abbas Yücebaş
Principal."
or
"TOURIST IS THE MASTER OF TURKS.
Abbas Yücebaş
Principal."

He made it a settled tradition to perform "principal's inspections" in every class and every group at least once a week and increased the number and duration of his speeches at least two times.

Fortunately, as he quitted tearing off his speech texts after using and started to file them carefully, he did not have to study on his small desk for hours any more. Say, if he would prepare a new 23rd April speech, he was opening his file "23rd April Speeches", quoting two sentences from here, one sentence from there, one sentence from his mind and one sentence from the reading book and completing the speech within half an hour. If that was not enough, he was referring to his "29th October Speeches" and "19th May Speeches" files, quoting an "introduction" from one and a "conclusion" from the other and thus solving the problem. Therefore, he saved time in this way on one hand and as these similar, repetitive words were kept in mind better, the number of his traditional stammering was decreasing to a great extent on the other. The only drawback was that he was feeling as if stealing money from his own pocket. But my grandfather overwhelmed this too: using a very honest auto-reference method, that is to say, inserting parts of his old speeches into his new speeches with introductions such as "As I had said in my ordinary week opening talk of 15 December 19.." or "In my speech of 23rd April 19.., I had literally said:", he was both lengthening the speech some more and transforming repetition into proofing. Moreover, referring to previously told word with day, month and year in this way was something like making them historical. Later, my grandfather started to add expressions such as "You will remember" or "As you will remember very well" and share the historical nature with the audience. However, sometimes he could not find a balance. For example, when he started a long sentence with a tender smile on his face like, "My dear first class children who are stepping on the first threshold of sacred school stairs, I am now speaking to you and saying..." and continued it like, "As you will remember very well, I addressed you four years before from this floor and said..", I was among the first class students who were "stepping on the first threshold of sacred school stairs". As I was not accustomed to the famous speeches of my grandfather, I considered this as a clear incoherence. As soon as he finished his speech, I got out of my row and ran to him with my hands on my back, smiling widely and scolded him with a much spoiled voice, "Grandpa, how can we remember what you told here four years ago?" My grandfather sweetly smiled at first but them immediately twisted my ear with two fingers pretending to caress my hair and then leaned as if willing to kiss me and whispered "There is no grandpa any more, you will call me principal like everybody else and will not come near me frequently. Now right back to your place!"

As I was not aware that nobody could go near the principal comfortably, and when one was before him it was necessary to stand approximately one meter far from him as a sign of the respect to be shown to the "greatest person of the school", with the middle fingers of "both hands" on the stitch of the skirt or trousers, orderly like a soldier and to wait for permission to speak and every sentence should begin with "principal", this harsh reaction, this trick of passing from intimacy to distance, from "grandpa" to "principal" appeared to me like an unforgivable brutality. I sobbed all day long. In the evening, when my father heard what happened, he blew his top. I can not forget that he was muttering, "This man has thoroughly gone nuts: he is trying to act great just like all small men but all he makes is reduction; he reduces everything to his small dimensions: here is the last example: he reduced his own grandson to a student".

Leaving the unjust despise it contained to one side, my father's desire was not so incorrect: my grandfather tended towards an increasingly large scoped reduction. His speeches repeating each other, his order consisting of repeating always the same behaviors and the same words under the same conditions, his determining the books to be read, poems to be memorized and songs to be song and certainly restricting all kinds of books, poems and songs remaining out of these were his unrestrained passion towards reduction. However, it seemed that there was nothing to belittle and to criticize with that; on the contrary, reduction, at least in the way that my grandfather applied it, was making everything clear, easy and comfortable by discriminating necessary from unnecessary and useful from useless. Rules, once they were adopted, were rather than being regarded as restrictions, providing everything to be made almost spontaneously and prohibitions appeared like an informational and cultural revolution rather than an information, taste and opinion restriction, because when what would be known were clearly stated and what would not be known were absolutely prohibited, there was no problem as "unknown" for the ones who learned those to be known, they had a healthy feeling that there was nothing that they did not know, and moreover, they became entitled to qualify the ones reading prohibited books and attempting to obtain prohibited information as ill and pervert persons. Despite everything, before five years passed from the assignment of my grandfather as the principal, every student graduating from our school could already list the names of the leaders of sixteen Turkish states, colors and symbols of their flags, the dates, reasons and results of all great wars, read thirty great Turkish poems from Mehmet Akif's "Çanakkale martyrs" to Yahya Kemal's "Festival morning at Süleymaniye" by heart and "feeling" them, could solve all tap / pool problems without any difficulty and could easily find all capital cities of the world on the map. Against these great successes, all the inspectors coming to our school were attracted, they were shaking my grandfather's hand with great enthusiasm and saying, "You should be congratulated for these great successes". My grandfather still did not interrupt his studies even for one moment and was willing that nothing would remain unformed according to the requirements of his definite order. The thing that my father qualified as "shameful" without hesitation, namely his initiative to establish and order, therefore a ceremony for the affairs of "presenting gifts" by the students and parents of the students to the teachers, at first stemmed from this tendency; in other words, it was the result of a requirement for a perfect order, a specific reduction rather than a coarse concern of interest.

As he clearly stated in his speech number 17 in the file "School-parent relations speeches", my father very well knew "as a soldier of the education army since thirty years" that the valuable parents of the students had great pleasure to sometimes present some gifts to the "self-sacrificing and faithful" teachers, who devote their lives to the success of their dear students; he would not even think of opposing to this meaningful tradition; on the contrary, he was approving it with all his heart and willing that it would continue; however, in accordance with the school's tradition, to make "reason and order" dominant in this matter as in all other fields, he was proposing that "non-durable" gifts especially such as flowers, cakes, chocolates, etc. and "less durable" ones such as shirts, ties, sweaters, watches, pens, wallets, belts, etc. as well as those ordinary ones, which were not "economical" since we had them previously or they did not match sometimes with our bodies and sometimes with our tastes and moreover, were considered as bribery by some narrow-minded people would be abandoned and instead of these, the gifts to be presented to the Republican teachers would be "durable"; to this end, taking into consideration the principles of bearing "both material and moral" values and "unity", a single but meaningful gift such as a "plaque" would be presented to our "self-sacrificing and faithful" teachers with the contribution of all students in the classes on a certain date every year, for example on the second Friday of May in a ceremony to be held "school-wide". Also in the same speech, after stating that he did not suspect "even for one moment" that the "said plaques" would be completely golden on the basis of both the high level of wealth of our esteemed student parents, "making all of us proud" and the value attached by the children of the same esteemed parents to their teachers and the "sounding of intentions" that he had been making for some time, although he knew that it was natural that the school administration refrained from making any proposal on this matter, he was coming to another point that he deemed useful to handle in advance: as it was known, music and physical training teachers and the school principal had no classes. Indeed, they were "serving" all the classes, not only one. As it would not be considered to leave these "valuable personnel" "out of gifts", a solution that "would not charge the parents with "a further burden" had to be found: this solution could be allocating fifteen percent of the golden plaque fund to be collected in each class for the plaques to be purchased for the principal and music and physical education teachers. A "last and final point" that he had to mention was that it would be appropriate that the plaque of the class teachers are presented by the parent who made the greatest contribution in the purchase of the respective plaque, those of the music and physical education teachers are presented by two persons to be nominated by the school principal and the head of School-Parent Association and that of the principal by the head of the School-Parent Association, in case any minister, governor or mayor was present in these gift presentation ceremonies that he did not suspect "even for one moment" of the realization.

There is no need to say that the parents never stopped bringing "non-durable" or "less durable" gifts to the class teachers and even the principal himself. But they adopted the proposal on "durable" gifts with "exuberant and continuous applause". So, during the years that I was a student of that school, chic, smiling ladies and gentlemen used to form groups in the garden, at the stairs, aisles and classroom doors at the cost of upsetting the school's order just after May 1 Spring Festival, discuss, make calculations and comparative examinations on the samples, and my grandfather, with a modest smile on his lips, used to go from one group to another, shake hands with everybody, advise the parents in the light of his former experiences and ensure that the weight and magnificence of the golden plaques were not less than those of the previous year. Then, when the first Friday of May came, the whole school, with its teachers, students, parents and guests, used to experience a unique enthusiasm from three in the afternoon until eight in the evening. Following the National Anthem song under the conduct of Mr. Ceyhan, my grandfather used to come to the stage with applause and deliver his written speech indicating the "meaning and importance of the day" and the head of School-Parent Association used to respond to him with his "acknowledgement speech in response". Then four or five fifth class student, already members of one group each, used to come to the stage with soldier steps, greet the guests and read poems on teachers. After that, Turkish Performance Group used to perform two short plays in one of which Fatih Sultan Mehmet's entry into Istanbul together with Akşemsettin and in the other Salonica Military Scholl mathematics teacher Mustafa's adding the name Kemal to the name of junior Mustafa, who was his best student was performed and then Turkish Folk Dances Group accompanied by the instruments and songs of Turkish Folk Songs Group used to excite the guests by passing from the dances of Kırklareli to Bursa, Bursa to Silifke, Silifke to Erzurum, Erzurum to Rize and Rize to Artvin; then with the accompany of Turkish Classical Music Group, the girls wearing white, pink and yellow tulles of Turkish Modern Classical Dances Group used to start sometimes wandering like swans with a dazzling slowness by collecting all the meaning of their movements on their arms, hands and finger tips and sometimes belly dancing opposite to each other with a surprising agility by condensing all their existence on their hips and bellies; then, suddenly, as the Janissary Band appeared at the rear door of the hall in a deafening drum sound and walked towards them two forward and one backward, they used to scatter with melodic screams among the laughter of the audience. The Janissary Band used to arrive at the stage with the same sedateness as if they were not aware of this joyful event that had been carefully prepared since days and start their performance dusting the hardest marble. When this performance was also over, the "plaque presentation" ceremony used to start from the teacher of 1-A to 5-G. this was a real source of agitation: the guest used not to make any discrimination; they used to applaud all teachers with the same enthusiasm. But when the invariable announcer Mr. Ceyhan called dear principal to receive the last and largest plate and the head of School-Parent Association to present it to the stage, the large hall used to fall down with applause. My grandfather, after receiving his gift at least three times larger and heavier than those of the teachers and examining it a little, used to give it to the scout standing beside him, thus proving that he preserved his patience. However, when he started to thank the whole school "in the person of esteemed head of the Association", his voice as well as the paper in his hand used to tremble and nothing used to be understood from what he had said. For this reason, when my grandfather finished his words and started to wave his hand to the hall, the inexperienced parents of first class students used to attempt standing, having supposed that the ceremony was over. But, would that ceremony end so easily? Mr. Ceyhan used to seize the microphone and inform that the ceremony was continuing and after telling the good news that we would witness a "meaningful surprise" of School-Parent Association, he used to read the names of some eminent persons in the hall, primarily the esteemed principal and the head of School-Parent Association, and call them to the stage. As the invited persons got into the row from the right and left by smiling, a scout carrying a huge and very stylish package used to stand behind each of them. When this was completed, Mr. Ceyhan used to start reading some numbers and names from the microphone and with each name he read, a very thin girl or boy with a faded and short uniform and distorted shoes used to enter the hall from the side door and run to the stage and as soon as he or she received the stylish package passed by the scout to the eminent person in front of him after kissing his hand, he or she immediately disappeared behind the flag-colored velvet curtain at the back of the stage. After this procedure was repeated at least fifteen times, Mr. Ceyhan used to request from the guests to wait for five minutes without leaving their seats and at the end of the five minutes, he used to shout "OK!". Then, the thin children that went behind a while ago used to return to the stage from the point that they disappeared by tearing the dense silence, but this time wearing brand new and uniform clothes from jackets to shoes and from ties to socks, slowly make a length-row as if willing to make their beautiful clothes that would be the brightest indication of their poverty seen well, then they used to stand orderly and cry at the guests three times: "Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!" The guests used to respond to this with applause. However, to say the truth, this used to be the most withered applause of the day. It seemed that they were not pleased to be brought to another, even a contrary atmosphere that they had completely forgotten about the existence of after being exposed to an air of history, palace and military camp for a long time or they used to feel some certain indulgence against these thin children only crying out "Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!" after the successful performance of their own children. Probably decorating poverty in this way and transforming it into almost the contrary used to conflict with their understanding of realism. However, in a moment when they would completely settle in their indulgence, when the flag-colored curtain was opened once more and the youngest of the ornamented children came in front of the stage with a heap of wildflowers in his or her arms, everything used to be the opposite suddenly: they used to be relieved against the symbolic consistency of the wildflowers, then when the child started to throw these wildflowers towards them one by one, they used to applaud until their palms ached by feeling their wealth as a permanent happiness against the gratitude show of poverty knowing its place and borders well.

I watched this gift ceremony that was the crowning of the efforts carried out during the whole year every year during my five years of education in my grandfather's school, I had the opportunity to watch it several times after that, but I did not see that it was conducted in a different way even once. Certainly, the students making up the groups or receiving new clothes were changing at a certain ratio. The audience was changing, the heads of School-Parent Association, although they said almost the same things, were not using the same words, there were some different items even in the speeches of my grandfather, but the ceremony was always conducted in the same way; scouts were always standing at the same place, Turkish Folk Songs Group always song the same songs in the same costumes, Turkish Modern Classical Dances Group always played the same dances, the Janissary Band always entered the hall with the same noise and the classes were always making rows in the same order and at the same places. In fact, most proposals for change came for this ceremony. Some teachers, on the pretext that being awarded together with the poor children overshadowed the golden plaques, requested that the final section of the ceremony be taken to another ceremony such as 23rd April or a separate "aid to the poor" day be organized. My grandfather refused such recommendations sometimes kindly and sometimes angrily. First of all, the things given to the poor students were aids, not gifts; secondly, things to be used were given to these children, not things to be preserved; thirdly, it was a nice thing for the teachers to see the poor students pleased on this happy day; fourthly, changing the program could cause distrust against the administration; fifth and the strongest reason, although not mentioned was that my grandfather's passion to make rules for everything had transformed into a way of living: now, after reducing the whole past to several dozens of commemoration days and transforming life into folklore, he was living somewhere between Middle East deserts and Vienna gates at least a very long diachrony between 1071 and 1923 as a complete synchrony and he was considering everything out of this synchrony and the ceremonies, which were the reflections of such synchrony, as a terrible deviation and fatal degeneration. The reason why he sent back a young teacher assigned to our school before one week passed from his assignment was that he detected such a degeneration in him. As we learned later, that teacher attempted to teach a poem not included in the list to his student and when my grandfather heard about that a great dispute started between them. The young teacher, without thinking about who he was talking to, dared to say "But you want everything to be repeated in the same way as a blind man depending on his stick! This can not be! This is acceptable neither for education nor for life!" and when my grandfather said that he was speaking like traitors fed from outside, he himself issued the decision of his dismissal by laughing and saying "Are you fed from inside? One of your feet is in Vienna, the other in Alma Ata". But my father much admired his responses; he was continuously saying, "Well done young man! He observed it very well: he really wants everything to be repeated in the same way". He found an explanation for that: he was saying that my grandfather was much accustomed to the seat of principal and was deceptively hoping that by continuing this infinite repetition he would also maintain his position as a principal and "This is why he quitted smoking; he quitted it with the fear that he would become ill and stay away from his seat" he was saying.

I thought that this was an inconsistent explanation: it was true, my grandfather wanted everything to be always repeated in the same way, but he was wanting that with an intellectual requirement increasing day by day rather than egoist concerns. Once he got accustomed to this order that he created without considering the range and meaning of, he started to regard everything remaining out of it as a contrast, a degeneration, even a hostility directly towards himself and he found the sole salvation in taking shelter in his own order. Therefore, he started to include the theme of "enemy" primarily in his speeches. For example, in his speech number 89 in "Regular Talks File", he was recommending that we "do not trust to anyone at all, even our fathers" and in his speech number 91, he was stating that all world nations from English to Russian were our mortal enemies and adding our own people to that and including everyone from dark powers fed from outside to corrupt or deceived bearded youths who turned their backs on our traditions, to the footless beggar at the street corner and the bread-cake seller selling the bread-cakes in open at the school door into the "enemy lines" and saying, "You have to be very cautious because the eyes of internal and external enemies are always on you; they were on you yesterday, they are on you today and they will be on you tomorrow, believe me". We were believing these because we were in the same state as him: every evening, when we got out of "a history of a thousand years" with tambourine and drum sounds in our ears and efe, dadaş, seymen and janissary images in our eyes and joined an undisciplined crowd with non-uniform clothes, who did not comply with any row and did not work with regular steps on the distorted pavements of a foreign scope and a foreign era, we were regarding every citizen as one potent enemy that could fly at our throats any moment and we were deadly frightened despite our glorious past. Furthermore, the enemy was everywhere, not only at the borders and streets: if glasses could be broken, desks and walls could be scratched, and students could attempt to hit each other even in a model school like ours, this was because the school and the class as well as the country and city could not be cleared from "internal and external enemies". So, we should be very cautious in the school and class too and take measures by knowing our enemies. As my grandfather specified in many "regular talks", these "in-school enemies" could be roughly divided into three classes:

1) Those who upset the order without knowing what they were doing;
2) Those who attempted to upset the order because they found it amusing;
3) Those making recourse to disturbance consciously in order to create confusion and fright.

As also mentioned in many "regular talks", the first group could be gently warned and brought to reason. The second group should be warned with minor penalties and directed to satisfy their amusement needs in healthy ways and the third group should be instantly crushed with the most severe penalties wherever they were found and should be dismissed by all available means. Another discrimination that my grandfather made, although he did not mention in any of his "regular talks", was that the first group came among the children of supreme officials and wealthy persons, the second group among those who made a certain contribution to the School-Parent Association every year and the third group among those living in shanties or basements. Even when the committed offense was completely identical. For example, when the son of a famous wealthy man in fifth class made it habitual to pinch the legs of the girls, my grandfather was contended to call him to his room, caress his cheek and "friendly" warned him to quit this habit; on the other hand, when the thin son of the doorman of a new block constructed close to the school, enrolled in 2-G, went across grown girls of the school, said "Oh, look at that girl, she is not wearing any underpants!" and made her open her legs, my grandfather called the doorman to his room and told him to immediately take this child from the school, otherwise he would never be a third class student as long as he was principal there. However, as he did not give any clue on this discrimination to us, we could not easily decide on what to do. For example, did Hülagu, who blew up our ball without any reason and attempted to fight when we asked "Why did you do that?", do this thing without knowing what he did, or for amusement, or to cause fear? Should he be trained, warned or crushed and dismissed? We could not decide and as we could not decide we were continuously suffering. Shortly, our life was not only celebrity, festivals and proud, but also suspect, fear and depression.

Undoubtedly, my grandfather was also showing ways to overwhelm this depression in his famous speeches. He was saying, "Whenever you feel bored, whenever you are in trouble, open your pressed fists, stand up, hold the hand of your friend near you and sing the National Anthem. You will see how you are relieved". However, perhaps because we misunderstood, this method turned out to be inapplicable. Generally we could not know whether the friend near us was a friend or an enemy and besides, he could say, "The National Anthem should not be sang so frequently; furthermore, holding hands is disrespectfulness against the National Anthem". In this case, the only thing left to do was to apply the method incompletely, that is to say, stand orderly alone in a corner and sing the National Anthem silently. Another safe method was to refer to the "other prescriptions" frequently recommended by my grandfather, namely, to trust the most noble blood circulating in my vessels, to love our flag, history and arts very much, not to deviate from unity and to work, work, work. Unfortunately, except for working, working, working, which made us temporarily forget about our fears, while silently singing the National Anthem without holding anybody's hand did not clear suspicions much, his "other prescriptions" did not relieve us sufficiently, because when the songs and speeches finished and we were alone, they started to appear one by one -or we felt like that: our trust in our blood was infinite as it was the blood of Atilla, Barbaros, Sokullu and Sinan, but when we thought that the shanty child rubbing the mud on his hands on the flag post, the university student with crazy thoughts and the footless beggar who attempted to live on others instead of earning his money carried the same blood, our blood appeared to us like an essence that varied from man to man, at least lost its savior effect in some vessels, despite its red color, just like our glorious flag taking its color from our blood. Our history and arts made us proud. Malazgirt, Çaldıran and Mohaç (wars) increased our confidence, Baki, Nedim, Yahya kemal, Abdülhak Hamit, Hamamizade İsmail Dede Efendi, Hacı Arif Bey, Münir Nurettin Selçuk and the "anonymous composers" of our folk songs fortified our belief that there was no nation superior to us not only in war, but also in arts, but it was not possible to love our history much and not worry about Baltacı Mehmet Pasha's being defeated by the coquetry of Katerina, Kanuni Sultan Suleiman's returning from Vienna gate and Genç Osman's being cruelly murdered and to love our arts very much and understand non-allowance of any book out of the reading list of around one hundred books and when our new music teacher attempted to teach "Emine'm" and "Muallim" folk songs to Turkish Folk Songs Group, my grandfather's becoming enraged and shouting, "No, sir, no, such a nonsense is impossible! You can not pickle in a cup, you can not make a broom from clovers!* These are rubbish!". The same was true for unity. We were loyal to that principle from the heart. We were even in such a unity with my grandfather that when in a "Talk" my grandfather, referring to a match thrown in a dustbin in the garden burning, said "my children, gone by to all of us: we overcame a great miracle this morning", we were just feeling both the nullity of the danger and the funniness of the stammering as a slight pain on our body, but as my grandfather himself said that our internal enemies were much worse than our external enemies, they existed today as they did yesterday, they would exist tomorrow as they did today and they penetrated into the villages, cities, the school, the class, everywhere, it would not be surprising if we were terribly entrapped just when we thought that we ensured unity. Therefore, even the people closest to us were once more appearing as potential enemies and we were living in fear even in this beautiful country, school and class extending from Middle Asia to Middle Europe, with its past and future.

After all, we were still children. We could have overlooked some important details and falsely considered what we were told. In fact, why would we consider? It was sufficient to transfer what we listened literally to our memory and leave the rest to our elders in mental and psychological ease in order to be grown up as "persons useful for the country and the nation" instead of asking questions and deriving conclusions. My grandfather wanted that from us, only that. According to him, all kinds of comments and questions were undisciplined behavior and an internal hostility against the principal, school, country, nation, history, blood and flag. When I was in the fourth class, as the history class inspection once more closed up with the words, "My children, believe me, each span of soil of this country has been watered with the bloods of our martyrs" and a friend who newly joined us said, "How can it be dear principal? We fought on enemy land for centuries, shed our bloods on their soils, but we did not allow enemies to step on many places of our country", my grandfather got very angry at that: he started with the ignorance of the child and ended up with his unconsciousness and creating discord, called his father to the school and attempted to direct him on strengthening the patriarch sense of the child and when the man said that these words of the child could be considered as a good example of patriarchy, he hit his fist on the table and said: "No! No! No!": "No, sir. If everybody attempts to show his patriarchy in the way that he perceives it, there will be nothing as patriarchy!" The father of our friend asked, "So, you think that patriarchy should appear within the same templates to be considered as patriarchy?" and my grandfather finished the discussion by saying, "Not templates, template". This short discussion was revealing another important aspect of the issue. If the first condition of achieving spiritual and mental comfort was to trust our elders without asking questions and trying to derive conclusions, the second one was to turn towards uniformity in dressing, talking, behaving, worrying and being proud: in this way, as "uniform" would appear as good and "different" as bad, we could differentiate the enemy at first sight and be able to confidently progress in the route drawn by our elders without being confused and staggering. From this perspective, my grandfather's method of reduction and repetition gained a deep meaning.
However, this was not only a method of education and management for my grandfather; as I said before, this was an intellectual requirements, an intellectual requirement covering the whole life. For this reason, knowingly or unknowingly, my grandfather was transforming all his life into a self-imitation. For example, in the class and group inspections that he performed every week, while observing chorus or instrument studies, we was contended with silently sitting on one corner and keeping time with his head and foot. In Turkish Folk Dances or Turkish Modern Classical Dances Groups, he was interrupting the studies and after emphasizing that the most important element of dance was movement, he was explaining that there were three basic movements as a) downward, b) upward and c) sideward, that is to say rightward and leftward and these basic movements were also divided into the three movements of a) head, b) body, and c) arms and legs, then he was leaving by saying "You continue", as if the essence was solved and only secondary elements were left. He was finishing all mathematics class inspections with the words, "Do not forget that the most dependable solution is the noble blood in our vessels", all geography class inspections with the words, "Land is a homeland only when there is someone dying on it" and all history class inspections with the words, "Believe me, every span of soil of this country has been watered with the bloods of martyrs". Particularly in the recent years, with the influence of the same requirement, besides limiting the books to be read, the songs to be sang and the games to be played, he was frequently dreaming of reducing the school to only members of groups, the janissary band and scout unit and keeping fifteen poor children and dismissing the rest of students. But he was quickly awaking from this dream. He was saying, "It is impossible to make this; moreover, I don't need to do it". He really did not need: anyway, the students had become the passive elements of a strict order that he established and anyway, he was exciting and enchanting the parents who were educated in the greatest schools and assigned to the most superior posts and the most stingy inspectors; he was bringing them to anywhere he wanted to.

My father always associated this with the opportunism of the parents rather than the personal ability of my grandfather: according to him, if the parents "flattered" my grandfather so much, this was because they knew that the training and education most appropriate to current needs was provided here, in my grandfather's school, with his efforts. Given the fact that the students graduated from our school were treated with honor in all secondary schools that they went, it could be considered that there was some truth in this opinion. But, to me, my father was wrong, very wrong also in this issue as many others regarding my grandfather: to understand that the deep love and respect shown to my grandfather, the great excitement that he created around him much exceeded any concern of interest, therefore had nothing to do with flattering, it was sufficient to see the sincere glitter in the eyes of the parents, students, teachers and people while watching him wandering around in the garden and in the aisles and speaking on his platform dressed up to the nines with his fatherly and modest air. If they had not really loved my grandfather, if they did not really admire him, their eyes would not glitter like that. As for the real reason of this love and admiration, I think that the secret of this should be sought in the double principles directing my grandfather's behaviors and his famous speeches dented with these double principles, just like the secret of the success of students. Undoubtedly, when read with a cool approach without considering the concrete conditions, the speeches of my grandfather were appearing like a heap of words reflecting each other with an endless mirror game, repeating each other, with no definite start and end, and they were making an impression of overwhelming stillness. However, as a person who lived those days, I can certainly say that my grandfather was enchanting people with this very character of his speeches: teachers, students and parents were finding themselves in a familiar field each time they listened him, they were not encountering anything unknown and unexpected, and they were relaxing and becoming confident. What transformed this relaxation and confidence into excitement was that, as over one thousand of speeches that are available witness, my grandfather never, in no speech surpassed the level of primary school, the information in primary school course books, because they reached the warm focus of the general and superficial as is returning to one's father's home. When janissary marches with plenty of drum, sword and shield clatters, efe, dadaş and seymens were added to these, everything gained a depth and loftiness. Furred ladies and well-to-do gentlemen were recognizing their settled knowledge, radical opinions and old longings, being excited and applauding, feeling that they were stepping on a familiar and strong soil in terms of flags, blood, history, art, patriarchy, humanity, order and every subject, and they were uniting with excitement and happiness in a friendly field where there was a certain answer and definite solution for everything.

Unfortunately, this happiness eventually came to an end like every happiness. My grandfather was retired due to senility and had to silently get out of the door of his dear school at an hour that he was not accustomed and not to return again with my uncle on his right, my father on his left, me behind him and a silver plate under his arm instead of a golden plaque. To tell the truth, he put up with this destiny with a courage that much exceeded our estimations. In the farewell ceremony held by the School-Parent Association, although the paper in his hand continuously trembled as if caught by a strong current, he delivered perhaps his most interesting and most original speech and despite all its originality, he succeeded in making almost every sentence applauded. The excitement of the audience was worth seeing when towards the end of his speech he drew a wide semi-circle with his right hand and said, "I established such an order in this school that, no single student lost his place for years," and added, "I treated everybody equally according to their knowledge, experience and family, because, as you also know, property is the basis of justice". He appeared very strong; he even gave the impression that he was getting larger as he spoke when looked from down. However, when he was silently sitting between my father and my uncle in our house in the evening of the same day, he was transformed into the opposite of that huge, good-looking man: he was shrunken and smaller in his armchair, looking at a permanent point and repulsing all attempts of my mother, father and aunts to speak with a cold glance. My father's plan to gather the whole family in our house and celebrate his retirement among us once more was thus reversed: my grandfather transformed the festivity into almost a funeral dinner with his sullen face and then, even before drinking coffee, said "Excuse me, I am very sleepy, I am going", and went taking his silver plate. My father looked after him worriedly and said, "Dear poor father, he collapsed on the very first evening: he can not stand living without drums and shrill pipes".

None of us said, "No, he will stand", but my grandfather stood; he stood without receiving the assistance of anybody, only with the support of his memories. However, as his life as a principal excessively proved, my grandfather was a man of order and reason, fond of the concrete, tangible and visible. He could not rest the destiny of his memories on unexpected coincidences of blurred images that would pass from closed eyes. He spent almost all of his retirement premium and equipped the dried rose color painted walls of the room, where he had once sat by his small desk searching for his own signature in the signatures of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, İsmet İnönü and Hasan Ali Yücel, with windows up their halves and placed chronologically on the red broadcloth coated and neon-illuminated shelves of the windows the golden plaques that he received every year, durable gifts such as pens, watches, lighters, key holders and ashtrays with Eiffel, Pizza, Notre Dame presented by wealthy parents, "appreciation and acknowledgement letters" given by the governor, national education director and director of metropolitan band, accompanied with explanations written in China ink with a pretty handwriting and filled the upsides of the windows with large and small pictures in gilded frames, illustrating various ceremonies with primarily his oil painting painted by the skillful mother of a student and a "profile" looking like Atatürk made from gravel by the eighty-year-old grandfather of a student. Thus, just like the appearance of a "history of a thousand years" in the performance hall through the gathering of all groups, this room was reflecting the glorious principal past of my grandfather as an undeniable reality and no mental effort was required to revive the life with drums and shrill pipes; shortly, it could be said that my grandfather founded his own museum just like the great parvenus of the recent years. The only difference, if any, was that the only person who made use of the museum was its founder, himself. He was not so egoist. At least in the beginning, he also wanted to open his door to others: after arranging his museum, he had gilded invitations printed perhaps with the last money that he had and invited all the members of the board of management of School-Parent Association, all parents that closely cooperated with him during the last years and all "instructors" (he used to call his teachers like that) from the new principal to the first class teachers to "commemorate the old days". However, no single person other than the family members, whom he called only a few of with the fear of being unable to make his important guests comfortable, came to the opening. My grandfather said, "Such things happen: you are a principal if only you are a principal. Let's enjoy ourselves" and really entertained us, but after that evening, I do not know why, he did not want to welcome anybody in his house, especially in that memory room and firmly closed its door as a temple guard in a rotten city.

This door was opened only for me, perhaps because I formed a part of his life as a principal during five years, therefore happened to know what king of a temple that temple was. When I rang his doorbell, somewhat with the force of my family, he did not go back after looking from the sight hole, he opened the door smilingly and said "Come in, four hundred and seventeen". However, as I was only an old scout, my grandfather ceased communication with me at least in the plane of words: he walked in front of me and sat by his historical writing desk, showed me the chair where I would sit with the tip of his chin and then go on with his customary works, that is to say, he either took out his speech files and re-read his speeches thus, probably making a compulsory memory and conscience loading or tried to achieve the same objective by reviewing with the care of an archeologist groups of principal photographs on the walls that could not be evaluated but duly dated and classified or took a paper out of his drawer and his best pen and started to duplicate his principal signature with double tails infinitely. Once, after watching him executing the same signature during at least one hour, I could not help asking, "Principal, aren't you bored of making the same thing in the same room by the same desk?" My grandfather, just like an old woman hearing a nice word while praying at one corner and inevitably smiling, just happily smiled without stopping. He did not say a word. He need not say: it was well understood once more that repetition was an intellect, even a saint's quality for my grandfather. Particularly now that the signature gained a single and unchanged nature and life transformed into the continuous self-imitation of his own past, my grandfather would nearly say "I am the God". To this end, he added the quality of a monk to that of a saint: while he did not open his door even to his relatives, he did not knock the door of other much. He was getting angry at my mother and aunts who frequently called him and invited him for dinner or tea and demonstrating his passion of reduction and repetition as contemporaneity and saying, "In which century do you think you are living? Does the contemporary man have time to pass with vain things?" Things that were not "vain" in the life of contemporary man were events somehow reminding him of the famous ceremonies of his principal period such as engagement ceremonies, weddings, circumcision ceremonies, birthdays and wedding anniversaries. On these occasions, my grandfather was coming pleasantly even if it was difficult for him to come, taking his paper out of his pocket and after delivering a speech indicating the "meaning and importance of the day", he was "opening" the ceremony by "presenting" a golden or silver, large or small plaque to the "relevant person" according to his financial condition at that time. Therefore, a passion for ceremonies and festivities developed in our family. My uncle, aunt, even my father both for enjoyment and for pleasing their fathers, increased the number of birthdays of their children to two or three and although they had no such habit for years, started to regularly celebrate their own birthdays and wedding anniversaries. Then, with the inspiration of a blurry reminding in almost all of his speeches, they decided to present the largest golden plaque of his life to my grandfather at the twentieth anniversary of his assignment as a principal. A life adventure of seventy five years thus ended with a golden plaque: my grandfather stood at the end of our long dinner table dressed up to the nines, listened to the praising speeches of my uncle, uncle Zülfü and my father with a happy and still smile, however, at the moment when he reached out his hand to receive the dazzling plaque from the youngest member of the family, he suddenly fell down to the floor together with the chair beside him.
The next day, while telling the story of this tragic fall to one of his friend in the funeral, my father said, "Just like Balzac's F'elix Grandet". I was both surprised and angry at that expression and thought that my father was once more wrong about my grandfather: neither the movement was identical nor the passion. But, as I think now, I suppose that the fall of my grandfather could not be better described.

Tahsin YÜCEL