Monday, 16 December 2013

Turning points

We all have these moments in life,when we have lost our direction.
When we start feeling numb,when we just function.We dont live,dont feel.We are confused,we start thinking our emotions,instead of feeling them.
And then there comes this saving moment.The turning point.For most people its a conversation,a person,a place,a smell,an object.
For me it has always been a moment.A moment of silence. And darkness. I need the darkness,the night,the merciful covering of everything physical.I have to close my eyes,lose my visual sense and let rationality die.
I might even see,my eyes might still be open,but the signals dont reach my brain.I see the elements,but dont get the pictures.Thats when my heart comes back. And it says 'Hey,Im here.I still feel.I am still alive. And hey,I know the direction to go.Im not blaming you for not following the last days.Just come back.Come back.Follow me.I'll guide you home.Let me be your light on your path to Allah.'
At all turning points of my life I've written my feelings down.I've written it all down,let the feelings pour out.

And then I've kept it to myself.

But today I want to share one of these turning points
Istanbul is crazy.Its beautiful and its crazy.I mean Berlin is a metropole.But Istanbul is just a new dimension of craziness and speed for me.And it bcecame too much for me at once.İt was just too much. Too much.Too much at once.
So I was feeling like a machine,I was functioning ,in order to protect my naive,innocent self.And the moment you become a machine,you mistake other people for being machines too.Because you have no heart and you feel with your brain,or at least you think you feel with your brain (I dont know to which extent this is possible,but I'm quite sure everyone has experienced this),you assume that other people dont have a heart either.You dont treat them respectless or rude,but you become passive,you only answer questions.You never ask,because you are not interested in the one in front of you.You are only interested in yourself,in your own state,your own thoughts,your own feelings. The most precious thing one can give is true,selfless interest.For the sake of the other.When people talked to me I was only fed up with behaving right myself,with avoiding risks,with staying in my own state.Sometimes I got bored,I tried to escape out of that cage I created on my own.But I didnt even knew how I created that cage,how could I know which key was the right one to escape?

And then,when I got bored I tried to use other people as a means to explorations,to new things,to excitement and ultimately to any true feeling at all again.I hadnt felt anything in ages,I was even willing to experience the worst kind of sadness,of anger and grief.I was just desperate for emotions.And so I tried to exploit other people,I wanted them to stimulate me,I acted like a parasite and forgot that I was still dealing with humans.Humans with hearts,with emotion. Just HUMANS.

So I sat down this one evening,it was already dark, with my friend at the harbor and was eating kumpir.Not that I was hungry.Again: I was just in desperate search for stimulation.
We sat in front of the mosque,in front of us the now closed historical Mimar Sinan Bazaar and a beautiful fountain.It was not summer anymore,but not cold as well.The ever so vital place we were at seemed to be empty.We were the only ones sitting at the benches.It seemed like humankind had left this place to us.And since my friend is really close to me,I felt like the place was left to me.She was just an extension of me (what a disgusting,egocentric thought,but thats how I felt).We sat there and talked about this and that as the fountain turned off at exactly 8pm.We watched the waves in the water calming down until it was just an even surface.No sound,no movement,no life,nothing.Just calmness.In this very moment I saw myself in the water.It represented me prefectly.The loud noise might have stopped with the fountain.but so did the beauty,the whole purpose of the fountain dissolve.

I started crying.

The tears were rolling down my cheeks and I knew exactly why.
I started talking,but everytime I started something stopped me.Something from deep within held me back.The words were coming to the tip pf my tongue,but there was no way for them to find out.
So we sat there.
And I looked at the water.
And somewhere between the calm surface of the lifeless water and the neverending problems of my teenage-adult-something-in-between-being I chose to turn.To leave the path I was on and get back on track.

I turned.

Turned my face to my creator and again said ' I have sinned,Oh Lord! I have transgressed against my own soul. Forgive Et-Tevvab!'

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Türkiye Gençlik Barış Gemisi - Mediterranean Youth Peace ship

I had never seen such a huge ship.I was amazed and at the same time couldnt quite believe my eyes.Everytime I looked up it seemed even bigger.How was humankid able to build such huge things?

İt was the 29.October when our journey to Bosnia,Croatia and Tunisia with the mediterranean Youth Peace Boat started.We would visit Mostar,Dubrovnik and Tunis.

I wanted to write,but now after writing three sentences I cant do it anymore.

I dont want to talk much about it,I dont feel like writing lately.I am in this time again when I shut up and listen.I soak everything up.Lıke a sponge.And I write,I write,but only for myself.

I am going to let the pictures do the talking.

The minister of Youth and Sports Suat Kılıç :) The whole trip was sponsored by the ministry I didnt pay anything :)

Sunday, 13 October 2013


I did it -as thousands of young Turks before me I went back to the country in which I am accepted for what I am.
It is the late evening when I get my ticket for the flight.It says 'Berlin SXL - Istanbul SAW' and some strange warmth floats through me when I read 'Istanbul'. Its an irrational warmth.Nobody would be able to explain why I feel it,not even myself.
Nobody except for people in my situation can understand how much blood pulls.How it pulls you,almost calls for you.When you eavesdrop in the evening and see the turkish flag waving in the wind in front of your eyes before you go to sleep, you can hear how it calls your name. And you can feel how you secretly belong to this flag,this ground which calls for you. Sometimes you ignore it,at times you even neglect it,otherwise the longing would make you go crazy.It would fill you with hate and rejection. But this is not a story of hate.It is a story of love.It is the story of a young girl in the prosperity of her life,the best age and in front of opened doors in every direction.It is the story of a girl who is looking for orientation,for some ideas,for acceptance and warmth.

Things I didnt find in Berlin.Dont get me wrong,please.I like Berlin.It is the city of my birth,the city I was raised in,the city I explored like no other city.I know Berlin like my pocket.And there are places in Berlin which I love,people I adore and yes I also liked some bahaviours of Germans.I like it,but I dont love it here.I dont do so because every time I start falling in love with this city someone makes me hate it again,makes me feel that no matter how much I will like it here, I wont be accepted.

I get hit in the metro and shout at in the streets,I get insulted in school and stared at at the mall.Whenever I talk to someone the topic is the same.
Im tired of it.Im tired of being recognized as a mere object of sociological and demographical processes,tired of being a mere object of politics.
Because I am more than that.Firstly I am a human being and Id like to be treated as one.As a living being,a human, with emotions,moods and insecurities.I dont always have to be strong.Why should I ? Why should everyone have the right to be insecure,to be weak at times,but I have to be ready,happy,active,better than the average? Why ?  Could this probably have to do something with me having to proof the opposite of something? Of some idea that people dont get tired of telling me that its non-existent? Nice try.

In Istanbul its different,of course.
When I walk in the streets nobody stares at me.When I walk around at the mall nobody hits me,when I am at the university nobody shouts at me for no reason.And I dont get insulted while using the metro.
Its such a peaceful,easy life.I can focus more on pleasing my creator instead of always defending myself in front of other people.I can focus on being myself,on enjoying,on my studies.Its easy.And thats why it also leaves questionmarks in my head.Has it been right to leave? To just GO ? To leave and choose ease instead of all the struggles?

I dont know.
I probably should have stayed and struggled with my people.I chose not to.At least for the next time not.I chose ease.And a little bit it was chosen for me.

All I can say is: I love Istanbul.
I love it here.I love my people and I love the way of living here.I love it. For the very first time since a few years I am able to sit down and listen again.
I found piece - in this vibrant city with thousand faces.

P.S.: I know this post has like no main idea or message. Its just like me.I dont want to tell anyone anything.I just feel like listening.
I just felt like it was time to upload a post again since this is my blog.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Im ready for Istanbul

I havent blogged in ages! Ive had holidays,finished school and am now ready to study. I have been writing and writing and writing during the last two month (in which I -as shocking as it is for me- havent published ANYTHING) and never clicked on the "publish"-button. I feel like they are not ready for the public yet.

But today I found my "Fasting is not a diet"-post published in the Islamic newspaper , which I can highly recommend.

And I felt the urge to write again!

So what happened ?

As I mentioned, I finished school and got my Abitur with the Numerus Clausus 1,7,which is not brilliant but quite good.A few years ago you could study medicine with 1,7.Last year the whole situation changed -to the worse. They shortened schooltime from 13 to 12 years so that two years and so to speak double the amount of students as usual finished school at the same time.On top of that they cancelled military service,which lead to an explosion of people who wanted to start with Uni. As a result people with good grades werent able to start with Uni anymore.You had to be brilliant ... or rich to afford private Uni.And I am obviously not rich.

And as I got the offer to study in Istanbul at the Istanbul Sehir University my dream - psychology .... you can imagine the rest.

I am now looking forward to study Psychology and - if I can manage it - Islamic Studies too.I am looking forward to spend 4 years in this city I love everything about.This one city,which I miss everything about -except the traffic. I missed the adhan, the heat,the people.I missed the full bazaars,the smells and the colours.I missed the people,their smiles and the mosques.I missed my relatives,the bosphorus and cay.I missed the seagulls,the variety and the feeling of being at home, to be accepted, to be part of something bigger.I am so looking forward to wake up with adhan for fajr,to lift my blanket and realise, that I am where I want to be : In Istanbul <3

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

İftar at Sultanahmet mosque - İstanbul

İ love Ramadan.  Who doesnt?
İ love Turkey.     Who else?
İ love İstanbul.    How couldnt I ?

One of my biggest wishes has been to be at the garden of Sultanahmet for iftar once in my life. İ wanted to spent the most intense,the most heartchanging and the most beautiful time of the year in an islamic country.İ wanted to experience the people fasting around me,İ wanted to see the mosques shining,decorated with bright lights, İ wanted to hear the azan calling and the people filling the mosques for tarawih. İ wanted to be in İstanbul.

For the first time in my life (and the last) İ have holidays for three month this year.And for the first time in my life İ am able to spent the entire holy month in my beloved country. Alhamdulillah!

on my way to Sultanahmet

Everyone was warning us.They were telling us scary stories about the amount of people there.Theye were telling us a bout people still being lost, missed children and people staying hungry for hours after iftar because they werent able to buy any food.

Regardless of the warnings we went there.
We went to Sultanahmet.For Iftar !
And İ loved it, İ absolutely fell in love.

İ dont remember seeing so many people on one spot of this planet.İt was the first weekend of Ramadan and the weather  mild . So the masses exploded.We arrived there an hour before iftar and it was already full. So full that we couldnt find any free spot for us to sit...
With five unpatient kids,having walked 3 miles and a heavy watermelon I was near to tearing up. Would that be it ?

Not in Turkey. As the people saw us desperately searching for a place,they stopped us.A friendly old men came to us , greeted us with the most beautıful words  'Assalamualaikum' and invited us to sit next to them.At first we were a little confused where he was planning to get us in.But he talked quickly with the neighbours and they all gathered up their blancets a little more so that we finally saw a little green patch.

We sat down.

people on their way to Sultanehmet

12475391629 people waiting for azan
Outside of the mosque is a huge square where they built a bazar for the tourists.They mainly showed ancient ottoman arts like,çini,hüsn-i hat etc.

İt is impossible to find a place in a restaurant next to the square. To buy something from a fastfood-restaurant you need to wait like half an hour. So the only thing we could buy were soups.


People run around and try to sell their food,but it is so full,the chance that you might not get anything is very high.So we ended up with the most delicious soup İve ever eaten (yes, even better than my Grannys soup!) and some çiğköfte. 
İt looks quite poor.And in comparison to the regular wasteful ,rich iftar-dinner table it looks even poorer.
But it hadnt been about the food at no point of this adventure. İt was delicious and the most filling soup İve ever eaten.We ate and ate and ate and it didnt look like the soup was becoming less.İ felt like İ had eaten in the best restaurant of the world.
And indeed İ had. İ was sitting at the table of the most generous host , surrounded by all my brothers and sisters in İslam,all sitting and waiting and making dhikr. All the talking stopped as our host - Allah (c.c) gave us the command to eat.

We ate and went for prayer. İ have no pictures of that time. İ was in trance. i was loving and crying and thanking my Lord for this gift.

'welcome Ramadan'

İ want to experience this once more. Once more ! Once more ! Ya Allah! İ thank you for all what you have given me.

Dont you love Ramadan too? <3 

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Fasting is not a diet

Assaalamu alaikum dear brothers and sisters in Islam !

Today I want to adress something that bothers me for quite a while now. Asthere is - finally ! elhamdulillah ! - Ramadan coming, the issue of fasting pops up for muslim communities. I am so excited for the three month ! May Allah grant us all a blessed intense month of Ramadan ! A month full of understanding and barakah <3

During the last year I experienced a lifechanging Ramadan. It literally changed me from head to toe. It changed my outlook on life, it gave me inner piety. I dont know how to put it into words, but I guess for the first time in my life my heart was completely filled with the love of Allah . It was completely pure, free from any negativity, from any wordly desire. I was free, seeking only Allahs pleasure. Subhanallah ! Ya Allah grant me and the Ummah one more Ramadan like that ! 

Afterwards I started fasting mondays and thursdays, according to the sunnah of our prophet, to create my own little Ramadan at least twice a week.
It is great to keep you going, to keep you busy, but its not even comparable to Ramadan. Not at all.So I learnt to appreciate Ramadan even more.
Modern muslims dont pay much attention to the three month except for Ramadan. But thats not what I want to talk about today. The issue I want to address is much bigger, a lot more important. It is about pure intentions.

We all know that deeds are judged by intentions, that it is the heart, the inner dimension of a deed that defines its worth.So we want to recheck our intentions over and over again.We want to ensure, that our deeds are for ALLAH and ALLAH only.

And we want to get rid of anything else.We do the deeds,because ALLAH wants us to do them, and as we love HIM our only struggle is to please HIM.So we do it in order to please HIM and not to benefit from it on a worldly basis.There is a lot to talk in this field of pure intentions, but as Ramadan is just around the corner I want to talk about one thing, that corrupts a lot of peoples intentions during Ramadan.

We fast.During this time we dont eat, dont drink, have sexual intercourse, fight,curse anyone etc. . We stay away from haram and even from some halals .

As we stay away from food and drink we lose weight.Naturally.Most people are extremely happy about that.No problem at this point, right ? Wait, its coming .

As we know that we can expect weightloss we look forward to Ramadan to slim down.Why do we want to slim down ? To appear prettier, to appeal to PEOPLE.So this becomes one of our motives for fasting and we automatically -without awareness- put PEOPLE in our hearts.We corrupt our intentions
.What was once for the sake of ALLAH only , becomes now a splitted thing.It is for ALLAH yes, but also for people ,
 or ourselves, our husbands, wifes or whatever.It doesnt matter at this point really. What matters is, that there is something or someone else you do it for.

1) Ban your scale
For the time of Ramadan just dont use it, or better put it in some shelf.Dont control your weight.Just dont.

2)Big Mirrors
Dont try to replace your scale with your Mirrors.If there are big Mirrors in your room, put some fabric over it  and make a habit of not staying in front of mirrors too long.Not longer than 40sec, to check your clothing.

Dont go shopping for clothing during Ramadan.Firstly there is a lot of things you could spend your time instead of shopping and secondly shopping for clothing will make you judge your body.Our prophet said

"Many people dont get anything from fasting except hunger and thirst,and many people who pray at night get nothing from it except weakfulness." (Al-Bukhari). Leave the unneccessary out.

Ramadan is a month full of Barakah, you really cant efford wasting this time.

4)Lose clothing
In fact, this should be selfunderstanding, but unfortunately its not.I started wearing only Abayas since 3 month, and im more comfortable than ever before.

" O children of Adam! We have indeed sent down to you clothing to cover your shame, and (clothing) for beauty and clothing that guards (against evil), that is the best. This is of the communications of Allah that they may be mindful." (7/26)

May Allah grant us all the most intense and heartchanging Ramadan <3

May peace be upon you <3 

Thursday, 18 April 2013

hüsn-i hat

I admit. I  hate  dont like art. On its own.

In my eyes art has never been something worth my while.I just couldnt see any sense in sitting down for hours and drawing, I always thought, that I was going to be asked   about where I spent my time  on the day of judgement.

But lately I was introduced to the ancient ottoman art of "hat", which changed my outlook on art completely !

The ottoman art "huesn-i hat" means art of line. Its about writing arabic letters as beautiful as possible.
I started attending a course in my local mosque a few month ago and it turned out , that I really liked it ! At first I thought "youre going to waste your time there Ayse!You are going to be asked about this!" But then it was introduced to me as a form of ibadah.

The "hattat" (writer, calligraph) is supposed to be in a constant form of remembrance of Allah as he is writing. This is why every calligrapher has to start with the dua

"My Lord facilitate , dont complicate for me. Give me goodness in my work ! "

And you can only take satisfaction and joy from this incredibly patience requiring art if you remember Allah while writing. 
Hüsn-i hat is not only the artwork you see at the end on the paper. It comes with a whole mindset.
A mindset of modesty, of humbleness and awareness of  the finiteness and irrelevance of your ego in comparison to the greatness of Allah and the concept of Islam.

You are supposed to write this until you are perfect at it. For some it might take years...
And dont be fooled, it might look easy, I love it, but the true masters of this art are never satisfied with their own work. How could they be with yours ! :)
Every letter has its own measurements, which depend on the thickness of your pen (a bamboostick, called "kamis") :) 

The ink is made out of soot, which is beaten up to 500.000 times by hand to refine it as much as possible.
Having ink made out of fine soot is important to prevent a streaky appearance. 
The process of beating the soot is called "terbiye etmek" which means edifying. The whole art is practiced with the purpose of edifying the calligrapher.May it be in patience, in discipline, accuracy or consistency...

My "hoca" (my teacher) is one of the most humble people Ive ever met. He told me, that before he started with calligraphy he used to be a very irascible person.Always in a rush, quick to act.
Hüsn-i Hat had made him patient, quiet, humble.
And it is doing the same with me. Alhamdulillah! 

I now love spending my evenings with the art of hüsn-i hat...

A hattat has to spend his life fighting his ego in order to dissolve himself in the love of his creator.He has to purify his heart in order to become nothing more than a sharpened sword of his Lord. To let his ego die to be  a lover of the Prophet (pbuh). To forget about himself in order to be a soldier on the way of Allah. 
The biggest enemy he has on this road is himself.

                                         one of the best documentaries about hüsn-i hat (turkish) :)
                                                                     Stay humble <3 

                                                          Be in constant remembrance <3