The Spectrum of Istanbul: The Silent Observer

Big thinker, the guy who writes about usual things in an unusual way, analyser of human behaviour, looking for inspiration in simple things, passionate about the classic literature, who is […]

Big thinker, the guy who writes about usual things in an unusual way, analyser of human behaviour, looking for inspiration in simple things, passionate about the classic literature, who is stepping in the same stream, admirer of Nietzsche philosophy.

His name means Sea Soldier of the Ottoman. He believes in one story if people get two lives he was a slaver of captive rowers. The Pirates took him on the ship, he is feeling in his bones that his “ex” life was difficult.

Coincidence in which I met Levent is really exceptional and absolutely amusing…It was when I was hitch-hiking to İzmir with my friend. One man stopped for us on the highway to Yalova. We wanted to get on the ferryboat there. We were surprised that he could speak English and he was going in the same direction. He did not seem dangerous so we just got inside the car. During our conversation in really modest way he confessed us that he loves writing and he has already written his own first book.  At the end of our conversation in a really spontaneous way I told him: I want to hear more about your stories which are part of your book. He said: no problem.

Today he is sitting in front of me in one coffee shop located in Taksim Square. The place where we have our meeting seems to be so climatic. Levent does not like commercial places. Despite that this place receives a lot of famous actors. Even the owner used to work as an actor.  He said me that this place has exactly been one of the inspirations to write his book. He was writing in this café about human behaviour.

He was watching people really carefully. For example: One afternoon, a beautiful woman with fancy, luxury clothes came to me with a really clear purpose.  Many women try to flirt with actors because they believe that in this way they can get a job in the famous movies. Then, Levent opened his book and he was reading me his English translation of one fragment which included this episode: “When I was sitting, chilling and smoking my cigarette. One woman came to me and started to poke me. She was thinking that I belong also to elite of famous actors. I just respond her:  “Sorry Miss, I am not famous,” I was just laughing and then she just left.

Levent grew up in a village. He was born in Malatya.  As a child he used to read lots of books. People around him had predicted that he would be a writer in the future.  His father was a teacher. Sometimes his dad was checking if he was reading an academic book or some novels. After he started to know some tricks, he was trying to hide the storybook behind his academic book and when his dad left the room, he just changed into the novel.

He was a really good student at the school. When he was 10 years old, he moved to Ankara.  When he was 12 years old, he started writing some short stories. He thought to himself: when I am fifty, I will print it! He was studying at the Economical University. After that, he started working quite early as a financial expert. His company needed someone who could speak English fluently for future partnerships with international companies. His boss saw potential in him so he offered him to the United Kingdom. They said to him: Levent you have 6 months to study English. This experience has totally changed his mind.

Levent Yetkin - Monika Pietrasik

After some time he spent there, he found out that even in a super modern and open-minded country like the UK democracy does not exist.  He feels that democracy is just for British people; not for foreigners. He was feeling a bit worse than others. On 9th September, following the attack to The World Trade Centre police called him to the police station. He was so surprised. He was asking many questions: for what are you calling me here? I am not guilty of anything. Police officers were silent. He suspected that it is about his religion and nationality. In accordance with usual stereotypes:  All Muslims are terrorists. They stayed in front of one table. The officer was trying to make some wrong accusations. Levent was just smiling and looking at him. He was just smiling. But surprisingly, after that he gave him the business card and said: If you have any problem call me.

During time in the UK he sometimes felt homesick for Turkey. Once he met one Turkish girl and he started conversation with her, which lasted 9 hours.

I asked him how long he had been writing his first book. He answered me: just one day.

In one evening, he went to the İstiklal Street and he just started to watch people and tried to remember every detail of them. Then he came back to his flat. He bought one bottle of Raki and just wrote all the things he had witnessed. He finished his stories around 3 am. The next day he went to his job and one of his friends saw the file on his laptop. He started to read the document. He said to him it is an incredible story and nobody has told İstiklal in this way before. He said that he wanted to be sponsor for printing his book. Since then he has been pushing Levent to write more stories.

Sometimes he hates Istanbul but on the other hand, he likes the life style in Istanbul. For him, Taksim Square is like mystery. In this place he notices weird energy which works like a magnet. He usually goes there every week. He really appreciates the diversity of people here. He really enjoys being in Bosphorus. He likes staring at the ships. Currently he is writing two more books; one is a kind of psychological story and the other is a mix of drama and romance. He does not receive a lot of money from the books. Levent is satisfied that some people appreciate his effort, read his works and support him to write more.

PS. You can find his book in the book store!

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