A Letter to Our Parisian Friend

Dear Fairouz
Our Parisian Friend,

It was September when you arrived Ankara and we finally met. For a few days, you (and we) found a chance to visit some places in Turkey. Although it was raining, we could feel the amazing atmosphere in Cappadocia, visited Anatolian Museum, had dinner in Kayseri, rested about 2 hours in Ihlara valley, etc. You must remember that when we were at a restaurant (in both Ankara and Kayseri), the waiters brought you different foods to taste after they heard that you were a Parisian woman. I think you loved many (if not all) of them and kept notes about your experiences for yourself.

You drank Raki, for the first time in your life.
You listened to Zeki Muren and we tried to translate his songs to you and you liked them.
You did love “cig kofte” (raw meat). That was very surprising for me. I always thought that “cig kofte” was delicious for only Anatolian people.
And of course, “baklava” and “Turkish delight”… they were your favorites.

We talked little about politics but much more about religion and ethnicity.
You always pointed out that all people should tolerate different worldviews and you were angry about racists in France who claimed that there was no place in France for refugees, Muslims, etc. I hope and I’m sure that you are still at the very same position. You love people, I don’t think anything could change this.

When more than 100 people were murdered in Ankara, in 10th of October, you felt the pain as we felt. You said your heart was with us.

Now, the same militants, those who are without any sign of humanity, carried out an attack to your country, your city, your way of life. I can guess how tense is the situation right now. It was shocking and horrible; more than 100 people had been killed without any reason.

I don’t want to tell you anything about revenge.
I don’t want to tell you anything about justice, either.

I cannot tell you when these madness comes to an end.
I cannot tell you when people get along with each other.

I don’t have answers.

Yes, I am afraid to be at war against darkness; and yes I am really afraid to stand still against it.


I am sure that darkness will never win. If it could, then everything including itself will be nonexistent. That’s why we have to win and we will.

Courage is needed in the darkest times of our life.
And courage, my friend, does not mean not to afraid of anything, courage is acting for the truth regardless of your fear.

No, our hearts are not just with you.
We all are a big heart!


Dogan Kokdemir, Ankara