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x0x The poetry of Agva Goksu

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    [See more at: http://turkradio.us/k/goksu/ ] x0x The poetry of Agva Goksu By AKGUN AKOVA A river that empties into the Black Sea at one end of Istanbul is a
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 11, 2007
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      [See more at: http://turkradio.us/k/goksu/ ]

      x0x The poetry of Agva Goksu

      By AKGUN AKOVA

      A river that empties into the Black Sea at one end
      of Istanbul is a source of inspiration to
      visitors!

      The dragonflies have folded their wings and
      departed. Likewise the summer crowds that filled
      the beach. At the first sign of the autumn sun,
      the sea turtles happily climb the trunks of the
      dead trees poking out of the water. The trees
      along the banks of the Goksu have long since
      started singing their autumn song. But the leaves
      are still holding out, not turning yellow. For
      they know that the river that gives them life will
      also nourish their roots in winter. As the Black
      Sea prepares for new storms, a hush falls over the
      banks of the Goksu, which was born to join it. The
      first thing that caught my attention when I went
      to Agva was the contrast in the terrain here. On
      one side the tempestuous Black Seas foam-spewing
      waves; on the other a quietly flowing green river,
      the Goksu.

      And lining the banks of the river wood frame
      tourist lodges that compliment the natural
      setting. A tiny fishing village years ago, Agva
      today is a refuge for Istanbulites looking to
      escape the big city.

      Those seeking nature all year round alight in
      particular at Agva.

      Autumn for them is a lyrical tour by paddleboat on
      the Goksu amid the falling leaves, a romantic
      melody listened to while sipping coffee among the
      red-tinged ivy vines, or the appetizing aroma of a
      freshly caught fish cooking on the grill. Not to
      mention the cottony white breads of Agvas
      bakeries! If you happen to catch the Friday
      outdoor market, you can buy beans, mushrooms and
      eggs and return home with fresh provisions.

      A DECEPTIVE SILENCE

      Although autumn is associated with rain, the
      autumn sun that comes out after a rain creates a
      magical light in Agva, bringing out various tones
      of brown on the newly cleansed and purified trees.
      The sparkling drops are scattered in the air as
      the kingfishers flap their colorful wet wings.

      If it hasnt been muddied by the downpour, the
      surface of the Goksu fills with reflections. The
      ripple caused by the touch of the oars reflects
      nature in a different way, as if the poetic
      silence created in you a sense that the world is
      always filled with such tranquility.

      The deception actually begins on the road from
      Istanbul to Agva.

      Bordered by the Goksu on one side and the Yesilcay
      on the other, Agva is one of the last points
      northeast of Istanbul, situated on the delta where
      the two rivers empty into the sea. It even owes
      its name to its geographical position. The word
      Agva has its roots in Latin where it means place
      between two rivers. To go to Agva, take the TEM
      (Turkish-European Motorway) on the Asian side of
      the Bosphorus and turn off at the Sarigazi-Sile
      exit. You wont believe youve left the city until
      you reach Sile at 70 km. But everything will
      change once you pass the sign for Agva which will
      direct you to the right as you enter Sile. The
      forest, the countryside and the rural atmosphere
      begin here. When you reach the village of
      Cayirbasi youll have a decision to make.

      Either you will turn left and take the 25-km long
      coast road to Agva, or youll turn right and take
      the 40-km route through the forest. Both roads are
      asphalt. Though longer and winding, I would
      recommend the forest road in this season. Besides
      the tunnels created by the trees that arch over
      the road, the logs stacked up by the charcoal
      burners, and the conical piles of wood that look
      like African huts, you will also pass children
      dying to sell you fresh corn on the cob boiled up
      in huge cauldrons. And sometimes your tires will
      be rolling not over the asphalt but over the thick
      layer of leaves that carpet it.

      THE TOURISM OPERATORS LOVE OF NATURE

      There are many reasons for staying a night on the
      banks of the Goksu.

      Among them the accommodations, the tiny boutique
      hotels. Most of their owners are people who built
      houses in Agva years ago and then were unable to
      leave for sheer love of the place.

      They have also incorporated their love of nature
      into the lodgings they have built, adorning the
      banks of the Goksu with many charming accessories
      all the way from wooden ducks floating on the
      water and enormous pumpkins to bird houses and
      model airplanes. A seductive jazz melody or a
      Neapolitan song played on the mandolin may reach
      your ears at any moment. And if no rain comes to
      call at the end of the day when the sun slips
      early behind the hills, fires are lit in the
      gardens.

      Not just for warmth, but to give guests a chance
      to chat, mix, make friends. A chance for Goksus
      tranquil spirit to permeate them, a chance to take
      refuge in a poem. To prepare perhaps to encounter
      Ilhan Berks lines in the morning: The day
      brightened. Had we ordered our sage tea? Three of
      us were sitting in a corner mending our nets. Some
      playing dominoes, some smoking cigarette after
      cigarette. It was as if the world had stopped, so
      engrossed were we. Just being ourselves.

      HEAVE HO!

      Morning lifts the Goksus curtain, spreading a thin
      fog over the water.

      Thats exactly the moment you must get out of bed.
      Just when youve begun to miss the warmth of the
      thick padded quilt, you open the window and the
      scent of damp earth, damp leaves and damp clouds
      fills your lungs. Mosey down to the shore and
      unfasten one of the boats.

      Come on, dont let the rain stop you. Put a whistle
      on your lips and heave to! Its not only the rope
      of the boat that will be loosed. All the troubles
      knotted up inside you, all the petty anxieties,
      resentments, disappointments and loneliness youve
      been carrying around inside you will disappear in
      thin air! Green in good weather, light brown like
      a hawser after a rain, the current of the Goksu
      will flush them all away. When you return to the
      wooden quay, another line of Ilhan Berks will come
      back with you from the water and you will murmur
      as you head towards the aroma of the freshly baked
      bread: I wear everything out, your beauty is all
      that remains.

      Thats the banks of the Goksu for you, like a
      hidden garden you enter to renew your spirit.

      --------------------------------------------------
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