Stories for Peace

Amelia and Me at Walledcity Famagusta

We shared two ‘peace’ stories with the editor in chief of Amelia and her partner Josh. This inspiring couple created an online platform for travel video/ bloggers to share their stories. There are many ways for peace making; art, architecture, storytelling, permaculture, economy and many more. Our first story came from art in which my father talked all about the “Risky Travels”.  Second story followed as “The Famagusta Ecocity Project” which displays great potential for a peaceful co-existence. Thanks to Amelia and Josh for making us part of their stories in Cyprus.

Me, Munise and Amelia, hanging out in Famagusta

Josh and Amelia, interview with Baki Bogac


Cyprus: The Trapped Treasures of a Divided Island

»Source: Euronews

euronews“Good morning everybody, welcome to this amazing walking and talking tour of the wonderful city of Famagusta,” says archaeologist and art historian guide Anna Marangou. As always, she and her fellow guide Orhan have words in Greek and Turkish to welcome their party.

Their bi-communal efforts was one of the examples recognized by the Stelios Foundation bi-communal initiative rewards.

Anna is Greek Cypriot, and co-guide Orhan is Turkish Cypriot. Together they take their fellow islanders around discovering Cyprus’s rich cultural heritage. The island has been divided since 1974, with Greek Cypriots in the south and Turkish Cypriots in the north.

Today they are taking a group of Greek Cypriots around the medieval city of Famagusta, in the north. It was once Cyprus’s biggest port, and a shared past is everywhere.

“We shared this cultural heritage from the very ancient times until today. We can live together and we have proved it, because the Greek and Turkish Cypriots have been working together,” says Anna.

Common prosperity is one of the driving hopes of those who strive for reunification.
Many sectors could benefit, not the least tourism.
But it is not what motivates Anna and Orhan the most.

“We are doing it, not for benefits, not to earn money, but to earn our future, and to make a good country for our future for our children and grand-children,” says Orhan Tolun.

The visit ends at one of the conflict’s most symbolic sites, Varosha, the former beachside district of Famagusta.

Under the watchful eye of the Turkish army the area has been abandoned since its Greek Cypriot inhabitants fled over 40 years ago.

“Filming is not allowed in the ghost town of Varosha, the symbol of divided Cyprus,” reports euronews’ Valerie Gauriat. “But if reunification took place, it could become a symbol of a new golden age for the island.”


Andreas and Ceren want to believe that.
He is Greek Cypriot, she is Turkish Cypriot. Both are architects, and are part of an ambitious reconstruction project. They imagine Famagusta as an eco-city, a possible model for sustainable development and also the flagship of reunification.

“It can become a hub of civilisations and commerce, with a Levantine coastline across. It can aim to sustain the existing buildings, preserving memories, and at the same time benefit from 21st century infrastructure and practices regarding ecological performance,” says Andreas Lordos.

For his Turkish Cypriot colleague, the project could be a model of reconciliation.

“I think this project is giving voice to many trapped souls. And we’re trying to pull them from behind this unreal curtain.These people once lived in here, and they want to live again. And half of their soul is there. And half of our soul is also empty. Because we cannot get integrated,” she says.

The Cypriot business world also strive for an integration which could boost the economy as a whole.
The president of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce north of Nicosia, believes a political solution would produce a great leap forward .

“The Turkish Cypriot community will be freed of sanctions. And we will be able to benefit from the entire Cypriot market. Not to mention other European markets.

The geopolitics in the eastern Mediterranean will benefit hugely, because it will enhance regional cooperation. The Greek Cypriot community will immediately enjoy the economic benefits of being able to trade with Turkey,” says Fikri Toros.

Meanwhile, “You still need to go through checkpoints to get from one side of the island to the other. Trade is limited by the so-called green line regulations and, in the absence of a political solution, represents less than 10% of the potential commerce,” says Valérie Gauriat.

Some companies have been able to maintain an enduring cross-border dialogue, and are merely waiting for the restrictions to be lifted says the president of the Cypriot Republic’s Chamber of Commerce in southern Nicosia.
So are foreign investors.

“The business communities are already talking to each other, about possible partnerships, joint ventures, or cooperation. Talking to investors, I believe that there will be a renewed interest for large projects. Let’s not forget that Cyprus is on the route of transporting to Europe natural gas, a lot of which has been discovered in the eastern Mediterranean basin.” says Phidias K. Pilides.

Do we really belong to our places for a lifetime?

Speed of life is fast, -perhaps too fast! We are experiencing it within all aspects. We are moving. And our places are moving with us too. Places are not stable entities any more…

Even speed of life is fast and everything is moving, ‘Belongingness’ still stays Abraham Maslow’s list of hierarchy of needs. As Malsow described people whose physical and security needs satisfied, strive for the fulfillment of ‘love and belongingness’ need to be belonged to someone, some group, some place etc. People’s belongings are an extension of his personality, and ‘places’ are major actors to define one’s identity. Physical settings reflect and help shape people’s understanding of themselves both as individuals and as members of group. That’s why people put years of effort into transforming their ‘houses’ into ‘homes’ that in turn reflect their individuality and/or identity.

Many researchers has already showed that past experiences of people give shape to an unique emotional dimension that bonds people to their houses through a strong relationship with their culture. People need to experience the environment as a pattern of meaningful relationships and to do so, they use their previous experiences and time, and experience is required for the full development of three dimensional visions.

Attachment to a place grows just as our self-evaluation process does. Our grand-mothers were living in the same house may be for a lifetime. At their society level, this relates with shared values, ideas and past experiences coming from the same culture that bonds them to certain geographies.

What about us and our children? Does our children’s development of three-dimensional vision different than ours, in this fast-food, fast-move, and fast-consumption age? Do we see ‘places’ as our grand mother does? Do we live in same kind of places? Do we belong to our places as our grandmothers do? Do we really belong to our places for a lifetime?

A New City Which Will Grow With the Changing Memory of It’s Users: FUNGI CITY


If the water freezes into an unknown city...

Who can put her heart on a piece of paper? The whole world is in vain, you start to feel your hair as a rain… The words of vine are infinitive. The summers are all same; you start disperse with the ink of the night… my heart just likes a far and innocent cue…  this cue says “…if you adore to love, love from your heart; if it breaks off, let it break off your heart!”. Who can tell from which rivers we are flowing to the sea; from which river to you?.. Look at to the sea, to the horizon line; your face is at the blue color of horizon line and my face stands on that line.  I am an arrow coming through you, can I turn back? While I am burning, the candle light grows more. Who can tell that “love” is not being alone?

Every separation is coming together,

Every coming together is a sad separation…

How many pomes stand between us? How many cities? Without a lie, there is always poet blood in poem. That’s why love bleeds with poems… time had stopped, my heart had stopped when I kissed you. Everything flows from inside to out. My words got lost! I cannot find any word to write…

I shall form a city to be together with you there!

Inside the Brutal City

I feel like my body is covering with silver while night is falling into my heart

If you are at the surface and your love is at the bottom; that means you exaggerate yourself and you are close to lose your love. This time it will be different. You are the only unusual thing in this usual world. Your skin is made of pearl; that protects you from the rain. Some of your birds fly to the sun; others are under the ground. If you find yourself untouchable beautiful; your beauty turns into a trap. Get away from that trap; let your birds sing only in your hands. What is this world? Is it a lie, a dream or every day suicide? If we are all deaf, how can we hear the same song? Your eyes are made of crystal; that protects you from the tears. Some of your birds fly over the ocean; others are under the sand. Something wedges my heart into darkness. Something drags my blood from my veins. Life kisses me with its poisoned lips. I breathe an acid air. I taste your flavor in the dark waters. Satan speaks with the language of love. I hear your silence in my room. This life is pressed into two words; birth and death. How caw we face with reality?

Pain teaches how much your heart can be broken when it falls down; knowing that is to understand everything. Time is not passing; we are passing from our lives. What kinds of lives are we living? We will collapse and die in the arms of loneliness someday. All our bodies are full of wounds. When someone strokes them, they start bleeding. This is the prize of opening ourselves to someone; our soul remains in blood. How can we deliver to ourselves to anyone? There will always be someone who is going to hurt you… Where are your birds flying to? Will they turn back some time? Something drags my breath from my lungs. Death kisses me with its honeyed lips. I can’t breathe! I taste your yearning in the cold winters. God speaks with the language of joke. I listen the heart beating of the city coming from outside. My life is pressed into two words; you and I. How can we face with meaningless?

In this city, you will become a pure energy which will keep this city alive…

When the wall that you touch, the floor that you stand on starts breathing with blood, you will hear a sentence such as “i want to live!”; this will make you scared. Every place that you enter and exit, will be your extension, everything that you hand will be a part of you…It will take you inside whenever  you want…You will not possess anything and anything will not possess you. While walking in these spaces you will be able to reflect yourself, and these spaces will be able to watch itself on you..

City Crashes!


The spot which your body starts and ends, is the spot that this city starts and ends…

The shadow was growing… the energy was coming out from the crashes… There were car crashes…airplane crashes…city crashes! The blood and steel were unifying as they have never came together in this way before. The new city, which is brutal, was separating itself from the ground. The city was singing:

Who can see me as I am?

Who can tell what I am?

Look at me… I am the blood that you breathe…

I’m you… I’m your mirror… I’m your pain… I’m your fear…

I am proposing an alive city, that will grove with every piece – which  won’t break  the unity. When it achieves to a social and spatial bond, this city will grow from its own seed. This is a from of inside to outside growth! It has begun to develop from the life energy coming out with Crashes! This is the third day of crashes! Stone, earth and blood are becoming a united whole,in a way thay we have never seen before!

The new city was searching for those who were injured. Who had nowhere to go… who had experienced the CRASH!While taking the crowd inside, the city has started to flow in the air. It was getting more power when it was taking more people inside… It was searching, teleporting those… those who do not belong to your glittering cities anymore!

Life has never been without a movement.

How can a place be without ?

How can cities be without ?

Can’t you see? Your high- culture is broken into pieces! Sub- cultures can not find life any more in the places that they were coming out,were excluded and insulted. The shopping mols, streets fabrics of the social structure which this people can not be a part of it, alienation to them! For whom did they build all these places and now to whom do they serve to? Debris quarters of these homeless, poor, immigrant people, are seperating from your glittering cities!

I wish, we could stay without pain at the wound of a knife

I wish, we could play games without stages, without lies

I wish, it would be only the waves that destroys our castles made of sand

I wish, I could be the pilot of my planes which were made of papers

I wish I could scream and someone would hear me!

Watch the presentation that I made for Architecture Students Meeting in 2004

Towards a new city


I was thinking about a new place for the characters of the Crash movie… These people were unsettled, displaced, incompatible people who lives outside of the circle! My first sketch was as follows:

Somehow I thought that this new city must be attached to the existing one. However there was only a very fragile bond which was keeping them together- just like the characters of the Crash movie who were tied with fragile bonds to the life. The city was combination of many pieces which were scattered around from a crash: Blood, steel and concrete were all there. Time after time new pieces were gathering together, they were sticking to each other…Since this city was flowing in the air, it was taking people inside by teleportation. That was the only way to reach there…

This new city was made out of steel and blood, it was ALIVE! The city was breathing with its every move. The floors, walls, surfaces were moving, hearing, smelling of its own inhabitance. It was a symbiosis of the space and the user, integrating together as ONE. The critical parts of the city were all protected by steel, others were all fragile skin.

This city has a heart. It is protected by a steel cover. However this heart can beat without the body. If anything harms the rest of the city, the heart can separate itself from the main part and wait until the correct pieces comes and get attached to it. This way it can uniform again the whole city, it has never stop beating…