Belonging - how important is it? Somewhere at the core of my being, I have longed to. Here, in the motherland, Turkey, I see how being cut off from my roots and then cutting myself off in a rejection of oppressive, traditional values, only I got hurt. This kind of hole in your psyche can not be filled up with any external thing. After years of seeking, globe trotting, experimenting with lifestyles, careers, romance, anything but the thing I was running from, I realise that only the seed of your being, the people and place where you come from, can give you the core strength or 'roots' to be who you are. But I guess you have to be ready to accept it or the experience, though right under your nose and searching for you, will never find you. Rumi says that it isn't the thirsty wo are looking for water but the water itself that is looking for the thirsty...was Turkey waiting for me?

In Istanbul I feel a new me, harmonious and whole. And though I have been in love with the city, it's wealth of diverse people, social values, culture, music, art and food from the first instant, it isn't only the megalopolis's beauty, or finding my true flock (like the ugly duckling) or being in the country where my ethnic group is not a minority group that has aroused this feeling in me. Belonging is a state of mind, if Istanbul feels like home, it's because I am at home within myself now and am ready to welcome the culture into my life as it has welcomed me. Starting with the music...

In Taksim, in a small instrument shop, I sit every evening with my music teacher Berkan Kaya. So far we have learned a new 10/8 rhythm, 2 makams (melodic patterns) and I have picked up the bendir (a hand drum) and baglama (a stringed folk instrument) to assist with my studies. I have met and heard many musicians, particularly on the street, including the Kurdish street band from the film Crossing the Bridge who play right near my apartment everyday the weather is clear. Music here in the Taksim/Beyoglu area is very accessible and with a little time, I will be performing here too.