Photo taken in:IstanbulCountry name at time of photo:TurkeyCountry name today:Turkey
In this picture my mother, father and I are spending a day’s holiday together. My father is, as usual in a suit and tie, even though we are sitting on the rocks! My mother on the other hand, has gathered her hair back in a bun.
I had a childhood full of quite nice memories. We would gather in the gardens, and play games. At night girls and boys, Muslim or not, would gather and play hide-and-seek with a piece of wood. We would spin a big piece of wood in the middle, and try to hide ourselves till it stopped spinning, then the "it" [the one to close his eyes] would open his eyes, and start searching for us. Throughout Ramadan [Muslim month of fasting] we would gather around the mosque and sing all together during Iftar [the end of Ramadan], when all the lights were on. These songs were children songs at first, then became the popular songs of the time.
During the summer months, my mother would take me to the place of today's Ciragan Palace to swim. She couldn't swim, but I learned how to swim in the Bosphorus.
Not every household had radios in those times. Our neighbors had one in their house, and we would listen to the "children's hour" on Saturday mornings over at their house.
During the summer days, I would go on a ferry with my mother from Ortakoy. The ferries were the most important means of transportation, which were in use between the two sides of the Bosphorus. We would go to Bebek [a neighborhood on the European side, near Ortakoy] to meet my father, who would be coming home from work. Sometimes we ate a sandwich in the tea garden, and sometimes fish at the fish restaurant. It always gave me pain to witness my father's movements getting restricted after he was diagnosed with the Parkinson disease.