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I work outside because there is no electric light in the house.
   I graduated from high school in 1973. I was tremendously happy, above all because this diploma made me eligible for the entrance exams to
the prestigious Istanbul fine arts academy
(Devlet Guzel Sanatlar Academisi). Entering this school had become an obsession in recent years. I left Tatvan with a heavy heart, leaving behind the paradise of my wild youth.

The blue-eyed girl had never answered my letters. Thirty years later, she is still my muse.

My room in Tatvan (with my notebooks)
On my arrival in Istanbul, I joined my eldest brother, Halis. Ten years older than myself, he had left Tatvan with his wife (since 8 years) to look for professional opportunities in a bigger city. He had been looking for regular work for eight years, like the ten thousands of natives of villages and hamlets in the hinterlands of Turkey who come to the major cities every year. Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir were magnets to the hopeful and often the theatre of their great disappointment. I found my brother at his place of work, a café in the dreary suburb of Topkapi, were he had a part-time job and, after hours, he took me home. We took the tram to the suburb of Tozkoparan, past low-cost state-financed apartment buildings, but my brother did not live here.
First day in Istanbul