“ Screams from Beyoğlu” takes us on a fascinating and dark journey through the heart of Istanbul. Fragments of a sick, lied, ruined life. The voices of women whose dreams have turned to pain, shame and ashes. The muffled cry of girls deprived of their right to life and self-respect - the bitter sediment of the cheerful life of Istanbul's Beyoglu district.
Kicked, passed over, insulted, the prostitutes of the most cosmopolitan Turkish city openly and unpretendingly tell their stories, which come to life in thick and bright colors through the pen of Murat Tunçel.
No one could ever make a complete guide to Beyoglu, because millions of pieces of the world's puzzle are assembled here. In Beyoglu, the colors are bright, the people endlessly interesting, and the stories happen in real time and are remembered for a lifetime. The neighborhood is located between the Galata Tower and the famous Taksim Square, and in the evening after sunset, it completely changes its clothes, becoming a kaleidoscope of events that constantly changes its configuration.
“I got to know Beyoglu after a few evenings spent in the company of my journalist friend Serkan Karadzuk. I admit that maybe the magic of the neighborhood remains hidden for its inhabitants, pressed by the grayness of everyday life, but I discovered in Beyoglu an unknown and mysterious world. I was delighted both by the lunches at Refik and by the European church music we listened to in the courtyard of the Basilica of St. Antony of Padua'. Usually in the evening, Serkan and I tried the wonderful brandy in "Chat" and had dinner in Pera to the sounds of classical music. I remember very clearly the cheap food in Çiçek Passage, the newly opened upmarket restaurants and the nostalgia that overwhelmed me while we sat by the grill in the inns. During my stay in Beyoğlu, I discovered that you can meet anyone there, from the most influential politician to the smallest official. The neighborhood is a home for some and a place of entertainment for others. As night falls, all inhibitions fall and while some take pills to see the world in a new way, others lie meekly in bed and await death.
After midnight, the rhythm of life accelerates. Music is blaring everywhere. Young girls roam the discotheques and clubs, and the customers of the establishments stare with blurred eyes into their glasses. Time flies so fast that you don't notice anyone.
Suddenly, the blue lights of the police cars patrolling the neighborhood flash. Istiklal Boulevard is teeming with taxis. As you look from Imam Adnan Street to the endless stream of light, you can't help but ask yourself, "Where does Istanbul end and Beyoğlu begin, or is it the other way around?"
I generally don't like prefaces, but in this case I thought it was worth giving a brief history of how my book came about. I have dedicated the current stories to the women in Beyoglu who have come to know the dark side of nightlife. I have learned from experience that they do not like to talk about the hardships they have gone through. I spoke to several women, each of whom told me they wanted to give me their diary, but of course that never happened. My stories are inspired by their stories. I admit that I have almost no credit for writing them, and I would like to thank the women who helped me peer into the unknown world of paid love. I am also sincerely grateful to my friend Serkan Karadzuk, who guided and accompanied me during my journey through the mysterious Beyoglu."
About the author
Murat Tuncel was born in Hanak District, Kars Province in 1952. For some time he worked as a teacher in various elementary and primary schools in Turkey. In 1984, Murat Tuncel decided to give up teaching and develop professionally in the field of journalism. During this period he worked for a number of newspapers and magazines and edited dictionaries. In 1989, Tunjell left for the Netherlands.
In 1981, the first book of Murat Tunjel was published. Until now, his works have been published mainly in various literary magazines. The novel "The Blue Courthouse" was published in Dutch under the title "Valse Hoop", and his book "Third Death" was adapted into a screen by the Turkish production company "Mavibeyaz".
Over the years, the writer has won a number of literary awards: the award for the best young writer from the Ministries of Culture and Sports, Republic of Turkey, with the story "Ambulance Merchant" (1979); the award for the best novel "Syukryu Gümüş" with the novel "The Blue Courthouse" (1994); the award for best short story writer from the Dutch radio NPS for the story "And Paradise Gone" (1997); the prize for the best novel from the Culture and Art Competition of the Cultural and Educational Centers in Turkey with the novel "Third Death" (1997); the Orhan Kemal Award for Best Short Story with the short story "Ghost Girl" (2000).