A Lament for Atatürk / (Cahit KÜLEBİ)

A land stretches from Edirne to Ardahan,
Doves fly over it on wings of grey,
From Ardahan to Edirne,
From Edirne as far as Ardahan.

There is a flowing fountain on the mythical Mount Kaf,
Whose waters are the depth of a sparrow’s toe
And take no pleasure in sleep,
But flow and flow.

The houses of Samsun look out to the sea,
There is seaweed in the streets:
They range up and down like Black Sea boats, lighters
And fishing vessels on the surface of the water.

I had a beloved from Kazova
Who could lead a man to sin.

The trains that cross the Savaştepe Bridge
Flood into Izmir.
The sea of Izmir is a maid, its maid the sea,
And its streets smell of maids and the sea.

This land is our country,
The loving heart rises to its greatness
And flies like a dove,
From Ardahan to Edirne,
From Edirne to Ardahan.

A horse-carriage full of petrol
Came to Amasya on a rainy day.
The next day, the gendarmes attached a gun to it
In front of the government.

General Kemal came,
Like fire in the heart of our nation.
He scattered the armies of our enemy before him
Like old socks.
What faith that is, Great General!
You went on your way to new battles
Before your horse’s sweat had even dried.

To the sound of flutes and drums
I remember you!
On train journeys,
I remember you!

I was just two years old
When the enemy entered Izmir.

I was going to come too,
But my mother would not let me.
‘You are too young, my son,’ she said.
I told her to let me go.
She told me that was the path I would follow.

Now I am older, and I have come.
‘Go, if that is what you want,’ she said.