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I was born in a village in the Aegean Region of Turkey, not so far away from where Homer says The War of Troy happened. I grew up chasing chickens - only to pat them - and listening to my grandma`s tales filled with the most intelligent animals and the most awkward human beings. 

Listening to her stories was one of the greatest privileges I had as a child. In time, I have dug out more meaning from the rich soil of her stories. I started to see history, social life, and religion buried, or disguised in those awkward characters and the way they moved about the world, say, a mad woman who hired frogs to spin the yarn or a man who tried to trap sunlight in a pot and bring it into his living room to dry vegetables for winter. 


In the summer of 2012, returning from the US on holiday, I travelled through Aegean villages to hunt more such stories. “My life would make a novel,” many elders said, when I asked them to tell me a story. I listened and recorded tales about personal, political and natural events such as, elections, the death of a lover, or a flood, that the storytellers comfortably mingled with legends, folktales and fairytales. It wasn’t that easy to chronicle “life” without a touch of the inexplicable. 


And thus was born my Human Landscapes Story Telling Project, which I am hoping to extend beyond Aegean Turkey through an online story telling platform. While the project seems like mine, it is through a lot of discussion, encouragement, and help from Elliot. I also would like to extend many thanks to Meltem Turkoz for offering generous, mind-blowing,energezing advice since I started collecting stories, Zeynep Özel for designing the rooster and wallpapers for this website, Moon and Stars Organization of New York for recognizing this project by offering a fellowship in 2013 and my friends and family who crowd-funded the most recent leg of my story-collecting in Turkey, in March, 2018.  

Translations and mapping take a lot more time than I imagined, but the map for story-navigation is now on and available!!! (see below). :) Stay tuned for updates and please visit other pages on this website to see my other stories and illustrations, photos and videos and blog.

Thank you all for all the support and all the stories!




link for the map:                                                                                                                                                                                            

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