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Message From The Mayor

Hello again on the occasion of Istanbulensis Poetry Festival.

For so long, our festival enabling poets from all over the world to meet with our people has been organized in the last three years over a subject matter. This year we decided to have “the Turkish World” as the theme of our festival. The fact that we decided this time means in a sense to make a declaration about a revolt against cruelty. We cannot accept at all the borders drawn by brutal force artificially. It is impossible for us to accept the situation where we would be separated from our brothers carrying the same blood, having the same life, the same religion and faith.

We would like to call to the whole world from here (Sultanbeyli) via International Istanbulensis Poetry Festival we have our brotherhood by means of arts, literature and poetry unifying power. Because we believe in the need to join forces by sharing our experiences.

When we get our hearts closer and combine our material and nonmaterial strengths within Ummah consciousness, then by the Tigris, the Idil and the Danube rivers nobody would oppress anybody, and do wrong. We hope that we can bring back the days when safe traveling was possible from the Adriatic Sea down to the Great Wall of China. In fact, we hope for rebuilding history by means of poetry’s connecting attribute.

Just think, if we combine the forces with our population, qualified labor force, underground and surface treasures, cultural and artistic riches, as Kultegin once said, who can destroy our land, our morals? Who would be homeless and hungry?

We don’t have any dividedness except our geographies. From this time on, we are aware of the high virtue of becoming soldiers shooting arrows at the same target, to stand up against the ones who are enemies to Allah, to their friends and to justice. With this consciousness, we are concerned about warning of the ones who are not aware of what is going on, and about tending the wounds of the wounded. First and foremost, we take refuge in Allah and then the healing power of poetry.

Back in the days, some of our Turkish brothers subjected to the Russianizing movements in the Idil-Ural regions used to start migrating in waves to Turkey which was dubbed by them as “White Lands” (Lands of Right). These lands are White Lands; always Lands of Right. That is why with the responsibility of being a Land of Wright, its loud voice should be heard. Our festival’s mission is nothing but just doing that.

What we would like during our festival is to have the voices of Ismail Gaspıralı, Bahtiyar Vahapzade, Şehriyar, Recep Küpçü, Mağcan Cumabayulı, Cengiz Aytmatov, Osman Türkay, Mehmet Hilmi, Abdülhamit Süleyman Çolpan, Ata Atacanoğlu, Ziya Samedi, and Ata Terzibaşı being resonated. We also would like to have the voices of our esteemed poet friends who came and joined to our festival from different parts of the Turkish World with their differing dialects and accents being echoed. Through their sonorous voice, one more time, let them say “stop” to cruelty.

This year, 38 poets from 17 countries attend the 6th International Istanbul Festival. Throughout four days, the poets from the Turkish World and their poems shall walk the streets of our city. As I conclude, I would like to thank our participating poets and my fellow staff members who saw to the organization of this festival. With all my best wishes.

Hüseyin KESKİN