MARDIN/EAST IS EAST/ Page 55
is East: Crimea*
is an attempt to explain my thinking in writing
these books, "East is East",
"West is West", "Storm
in the West" and "Love in the
East". Perhaps I am mistaken, but in
most books and articles written about the Ottoman
Period, I find that the usual focus in on is what
happens in the country, which is perhaps as it
should be, but we must not forget the fact that
many things were happening in other parts of the
world, especially Europe.
These events had great influence in the
politics and events of the empire.
must not forget that the Middle East came into
being as a result of World War I. There was no
such thing. It was the Ottoman Empire. The Balkans
were also different. Parts of Bulgaria, Greece,
Yugoslavia were Ottoman, Hungary was a part of
the Austrian Empire.
Bismarck Created Germany after defeating
Austria and France and forcefully bringing all
the German princedoms and dukedoms under Prussia.
these events played a part in the life of the
Ottoman Empire. Of course, there were other influences,
the ulema, the absolute power vested in the monarch,
the domination of women who could not play an
open part in the daily life of the country. Today
they are doctors, teachers, bankers, nurses etc.
They can train for any job and each job is open
could go on and on, but this is a hastily written
letter. Read the books. Hidden behind love stories
and descriptions of beautiful places is the story
of politics. There is much to be learned from
Mardin, March 29, 2005, New York
British army had arrived in Calamita Bay which was surrounded
by a long and sandy beach bounded by shallow cliffs.
Behind the beach was a salt water lake.
On the day of the landing, it had been very quiet. The officers watching through their telescopes
could see a peaceful countryside. Then suddenly, a troop of Cossacks had appeared. They were riding shaggy looking horses
and wore heavy coats.
They carried long lances and heavy sabers.
As abruptly, as they had come, they had disappeared
French landed first.
They had an easier time of it than the British
because they were landing on the beach. The British soldiers were carrying heavy
equipment and found the going rough. They had to carry almost all their equipment and a few days’
rations on their backs as the transports and even the
ambulance wagons had been left behind at Varna.
watched them as they struggled ashore and across the beach.
Many men collapsed and died on the spot. Soon they were
buried on the beach they had come to conquer.
The sick were brought back to the ships where they
lay dieing on the deck.
fell all afternoon into the night. In the evening, it
was cold and damp. There were no fires.
The men were almost exhausted, but plunder of the
countryside had already begun although nobody acknowledged
went with Lord Raglan on an expedition to find carts and
horses. He could not help admiring the Commander-in-Chief’s
courtesy to the long-robed peasants.
He appeared determined that there would be no plunder
by his troops, that everything they took must be paid
was too much equipment and supplies for them to transport
and the French and the Turks were still waiting for the
British army to start moving. Finally, the decision to march was taken.
Jonathan had been attached to the Light Brigade as Liaison
officer, but Lord Raglan decided at the last minute that
he needed someone to go to Istanbul with an urgent dispatch
for Lord Stafford.
needed so many things.
Jonathan could see that, but for once he spoke
up and said that he wanted to stay with the troops and
Raglan rarely lost his temper, but this time he said angrily,
“You are to obey orders, sir. You are to do what
you are told.”
stood at attention and saluted stiffly.
Raglan gazed at the angry dark eyes, the obstinate looking
chin, the full lips trembling with emotion and relented.
“Very well, Caldwell. At the completion of
this mission you will take up your duties as Liaison officer
to Lord Lucan.”
felt elated at the promise, but Lord Raglan looked rather
glum. He dismissed Jonathan and turned to this commanders
and the latest French dispatch from St. Arnaud.
army was moving towards the Alma river when Jonathan took
his leave and sailed for Istanbul on the frigate ‘PRINCESS’.
The grateful Miller went with him.
was waiting on the shore when the ‘PRINCESS’
anchored in the harbor of Buyukdere, a village situated
to the north of Tarabya. It seemed a relief to Jonathan to leave
the military and naval atmosphere and enter a world where
everything seemed more orderly and without menace.
The small caique took him and Miller to the beach
and the two friends embraced warmly.
look good, Jonathan, very healthy. I see that Olga took
good care off you.” Jonathan smiled and tried to
get the sand off his boots in order to change the subject.
“I didn’t want to come back, but I feel better
about it now.”
Excellency has already moved back to Pera. You have to go there.”
I was rather looking forward to going to Therapia.”
was a moment of silence.
is very well. Sent you her love.
She is making all the preparations for the wedding
and hoping to move to London.”
larger Embassy boat was waiting to take them into town.
Jonathan enjoyed the trip admiring once more the yalis
dotting the shore and the changing vistas of the Bosphorus.
Brian had had a picnic basket prepared for them and they
had a leisurely meal as they were wafted along the currents. They were finishing their second bottle
of wine as the caique neared Besiktas.
Brian felt that this was the right time to tell
Jonathan that Lord and Lady Lyle had arrived in Istanbul
on their honeymoon.
felt that he had not heard the words right. "It can't
be true, it can't be true," he kept saying.
Jonathan. It is true.
Quite frankly, I don't understand what possessed
them to decide to come here on their honeymoon. I specifically
asked the Ambassador to request you for this mission so
that I would be able to tell you the news myself.” He added persuasively, “God knows
there is no reason for you to risk your life now. You are no soldier. Let
the professionals do the job."
bowed his head and covered his face with his hands. “All
is lost then. They are really married.”
why did they come here? I don’t understand.”
who is anybody remotely connected with the government
is coming here nowadays.
They probably gave him some kind of title –
observer and advisor, I think. He might even go to the Crimea.”
Jonathan, don’t be childish.
You are very young.
I know you love Cynthia, but you will get over
it. There will be others.
After all, you said yourself that she never promised
she would wait for you.”
I betrayed her. I was unfaithful to our love.”
felt convinced that he was being punished for Olga. How could he have been unfaithful? How could he blame Cynthia who must have been under a great
deal of pressure from her mother when he had been behaving
as he had?
all,” Brian was saying, “What can a young
girl do when she has a dragon for a mother?”
Agatha, of course. “How do you know that?”
is with them.”
Agatha is with them on their honeymoon?”
spite of his misery, Jonathan began to laugh.
He could not stop himself and later, when the tears
came, he let them come too.
is a chapter from the original manuscript of "East is
East, and this is its first publication in English,
and is published with Latife Mardins permission
at the Light Millenniums web site. We thank Mrs.
Mardin for her permission.
is East" was written in English, translated into
Turkish, and published by Oglak Publishing House in Istanbul
Mrs. Mardin wrote her four novels based on the same characters
living through a twenty-year period of history in the
Middle East and Europe. These stories reflect world affairs
and politics from the Ottoman period's dimension.