“Turkish Turkishness” in Lebanon

"Turkish Who?"

“Turkish Turkish…”

“No, really?”

“Yes Turkish Turkish…”

“Naaaa! Seriously what’s your nationality?”

“OK, I’m sorry but TURKISH TURKISH!!!”

This used to go on and on for a long time till I could convince my Lebanese acquaintances that I was actually ONLY Turkish Turkish!

Disappointment blended with a doubtful smile is the first facial expression I receive each time I duplicate my nationality.

In Beirut, where it’s quite common to hear people describing them as “Lebanese Armenian” “Lebanese French” or “Lebanese American” my “Turkish Turkishness” of course remains as the least interesting combination.

I thought for a while to create some more interesting combination for myself. “Ottoman Turkish?” Noo, too dangerous… Particularly those times of Turkey reviving its existence in the Middle East, recalling to imperial Ottoman rules might not be a good idea…

And we were trying to be a part of European Union if I’m not mistaken… At least I’m not that aged yet to forget our dreams of travelling around Europe with no visa requirements… Anyway, “Ottoman Turkish” does NOT work…

How about being “Greek Turkish?” Hmm… It wouldn’t be pointless since some of my family members used to live in Greek Islands during the Ottoman time before moving to Izmir (Smyrna in Greek). I even remember some of those Greek words commonly used around me when I was a kid… We share a history of “good friendship” But no ok… Confession. We could not go far than just being “good enemies!” Again, didn’t work. Too dangerous.

Our “conqueror genes” still fear our neighbours… C’mon we are in the Middle East now…

Anyway, how about “French Turkish?” It worked once when I was visiting an Armenian family in Beirut. I had to pretend as a French just to “save” my Armenian friend’s reputation in the neighbourhood! I had written a First person article about it for The Daily Star once. But NO! Again can’t work. My broken French accent would definitely urge the need of another nationality and that would be like “French Chinese Turkish!” Too long! I can’t spend three seconds of my life stating all in once…

Ha! Eureka!!! “German Turkish!” Always worked, always works… Apart the fact that I can only say “Ich liebe dich” in German, I can easily fit in this context. Ah, I also need to change my Turkish accent though. Still… At least I can try, just not to disappoint my Lebanese friends most of whom are “Lebanese Something!”

Oh dear… But then I’ll have to prove them how I enjoy listening the Arabesque German Turkish Hip Hop Rap mix tunes of this new generation music that I frankly cannot stand for a single minute!!! No! Doesn’t work again! Music is still Morrissey for me.

What abooouut…. Ermm… “Turkish Armenian????” Ok ok… Not even getting any closer…

Argh! Giving up! I’m sorry I can’t! I am “Turkish Turkish.” Please do accept this disappointing fact and stop digging into my twisted toxic history!

1 Comment

Filed under Drafts of my life, Turkey

One response to ““Turkish Turkishness” in Lebanon

  1. DamlaC

    How about ‘Aegean or Mediterranean Turkish’?😉 By the way do you really think and believe that we are only ‘Turkish Turkish’? We are mixed of everything like Istanbul but maybe it could be difficult to explain this is Beirut which is also another ‘mixed of everything’…

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