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A village in Anatolia, Turkey – 1995

The missing girl


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(Photo: Evgeni Zotov)

Anatolia, Turkey.

“Just use your head!” the village head cries at the top of his lungs, furiously pulling at his cigarette and puffing out clouds of smoke. “There is only one in the whole village who could do something like this! Who else could have done it?” Nervously the village guard goes in his mind through the streets of the village. He passes by all the doors. He moves again his Mauser rifle, which is resting between his knees. He really doesn't know who could have kidnapped Güvercin.

The day before yesterday, Reșit had come to the village head panting and with big eyes. His cousin Güvercin disappeared for no reason. They had looked for her everywhere and asked everyone. Immediately, the village head had gone to the farm to look. Silently, he walked through all the rooms. He looked behind the bags with wheat and chickpeas. Then, he went to the stable and searched every corner. Not a trace of the girl. “Is Güvercin in love with someone? Or someone with her?” he asked her mother.
He ordered the village guard to go to the mountains with a group of men. They searched till dark with no result.


for bigger picture click on this photo

(Photo: Evgeni Zotov)

Anatolia, Turkey.

Since then, Reșit has come at least three times a day to the small office of the village head panting and asking what to do. But he couldn't think of anything until an idea dawned upon him. Cennet's son was the one who could have done it. How that idea had entered his mind he could not explain to anyone.

Cennet's son was a bit crazy. He wandered the mountains for days and said strange things in the village which nobody could understand. Everyone was used to it. The children laughed at him.

“Go and keep an eye on that son of Cennet. Don't lose sight of him for a moment, understood?” The village guard nodded. He hung his Mauser on his shoulder and was sitting on his heels for hours under a tree in front of the house of Cennet. From time to time, he smoked a cigarette. In the meantime, it had become dark. Cennet's son was sitting behind the window. He was writing in the light of an oil lamp. Suddenly, he heard the whispering voice of the village head beside him. “Come on, we will catch him.”
Cennet had screamed and cried. Cennet's son had looked with big eyes and hadn't said a word. In the office, the village head and the guard gave him a trashing. Again, he had looked with big, anxious eyes, and later on he had screamed. Cennet, with her white hair peeking out from under her headscarf, had banged on the door. “Let him go, he didn't do anything wrong,” she had cried. Finally, the village head had released him.


for bigger picture click on this photo

(Photo: Christophe Losberger)

Anatolia, Turkey.

The village head looked at the blood-stains on the wall of the office. Güvercin had been missing for more than a week now. There was no sign of her. Cennet spat on the ground every time she met him. Cennet's son was roaming the village again after a few days, from time to time laughing horribly and shouting: “Why does snooooow fall doooown?”

It was like the sound came nearer. There was Cennet's son staying at the window of the office. He pressed his nose flat against the window. “Why does snooooow fall doooown?” he shouted. The village head broke into a cold sweat.

_______________________

Source
In the book, The Shadowless (1995) the Turkish author Hasan Ali Toptaș portrays the life in a small, remote village. Dreams, delusions, memories, rumors, and stories fill the book. And in the meantime, everyday life goes on. The villagers have no choice other than to get along with each other. From the distant government they expect nothing.



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