I must say that I’ve been wanting to write blogposts on several occasions these past few weeks. I could have written something on the Iran Elections, the re-newed head scarf’s discussion in Western Europe, the tragic death of our pop king, etc. .But I didn’t. Why? Because mentally I’m already somewhere else.
I’ve found myself in the land of my father whilst I haven’t even left the country of my mother. The debate Turkey versus Belgium keeps on taking brain parts on a high. This even more so as I’m leaving for Turkey on the 1st of July and this for 2 months.
This 2 month stay is quite existential for me as I haven’t spend that much time in Turkey since I was 16. Now 8 years later I’m going back to hopefully find my roots and origins back. It has to be specified that with roots and origins I certainly do not mean my biological family as more than once I’ve gotten the question if I would be visiting or as that would be the only explanation why I would choose to go to Turkey for at least 2 months. For shit sake no. I’m not that stereotypical, neither would I survive such an encounter.
But the truth is that I feel very much disconnected with those roots and origins. I do not even feel like I have any roots or origins. With self identification those problems are vastly whipped off the table. But reality is that I do need a feeling of belonging. For the past few years I’ve refused to believe that I belonged to neither the Belgian nor the Turkish society. The mere fact that one of my parents had one of those nationalities did not change that. I’ve always thought of myself, quite ego-centric, as a citizen of the world, a European blabla. But the notion that society in itself does not think that way has changed that. There is apparently a certain need for stereotyping and putting people into boxes. As much as I would love to do that not, it is reality. And no matter how naieve I believe I am, that reality I can not ignore. No matter if I would like it or not people will always put an label on me as being either Turkish, either Belgian or just rather a bastard child of 2 rather ridiculous people. It is as such taunting me. And since I have been living in Belgium for the past 24 years it’s Turkey that I need to discover. Not as a touristic holiday where I would spend most of my days on a beach filled with other whales, but in life itself. I desperately need to feel that connection to a culture, to a society. I’m just not that kind of an individualist that I could survive otherwise. And where better to do this than in Istanbul; the city that is situated both in Europe and in Asia.
So I’m going. With probably way to many expectations. But I’ll survive. And I can’t wait for that 1st of July. Only 1 day left.