THE CARPET THAT WAS MADE FOR ME-
Yes I saw this carpet in May 2016 within the collection of a friend of mine in Kızıltoprak,İstanbul.Erhan Ör is a famous producer of Turkish Hand-Made Carpets from Hereke.I kindly asked him if they could make one for me.It took the young lady four months to finish this historic artwork.When I paid for this beautiful carpet it was September and ever since that day I tried every possible channel to reach our president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan so I would be able to present this carpet in the name of ''International Peace''which is highly needed.I was able to reach him on the 20th of August 2017 so I gave him my ''Peace Carpet''The last picture shows you the moment when I was able to deliver my carpet.Why was it necessary that I tried so hard to present him this carpet?I shall dwell on this question a little later.For now here is a short recap of what happened regarding my vision for the ''Bridge to Peace in the Dardanelles.''
About seven years ago Binali Yıldırım our present Prime Minister was back then our Transport,Maritime and Communication Minister then he announced that a bridge would be built in the Dardanelles joining Europe to Asia.Being a tour guide now for fifty years;seven years ago this was wonderful news to my ears.I started to hope that it should be built by the Turks and the Anzacs as they had been enemies when they landed at the Anzac Cove in 1915.This is a long story of these three nations who ended up being good friends in the last one hundred years.Every ''Dawn Ceromony''that takes place ever since brings peoples of these three nations together in the Dardanelles as well as the ceromonies held in Australia and New Zealand.Todays generations remember the legacy that was inherited from their grandfathers who are burried side by side on this secluded peninsula. Since 1934 the words of then our founding President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk are written on a monument in English in the Anzac Cove which here you see are knotted into this very fine carpet. Each time we visited the Anzac Cove most of my visiting ladies were in tears when they took a picture of that monument.Now let me disclose the details about my carpet.
First let me try to describe the design used in this pure silk Hereke with 144 double knots/sq.cm or 928 double knots/sq.inch approximately.When you check the knot count of a hand-made carpet you should always use the word ''approximately''as it is hand-made the daily performance of the lady will change from one day to the next especially when she finishes each line of knots she will beat down the pile with an iron comb and her beating down the pile force is naturally effected by how she feels that day psychologically.If she feels aggravated she will tend to push the pile down harder which will effect the length of the carpet.Shortly if she hits the comb harder the length will be shorter and if she does it gently then the length will be longer.That is the reason why hand-made carpets will be unique as they can not be duplicated and because of this uniqueness eventually they will become collectables if you take good care of them while a machine-made counterpart can be be duplicated within minutes and will not ever be considered as art pieces or collectables. The special design shows us the general lay out of The Dardanelles.The Dardanelles is a natural straight that seperates Asia from Europe and is fourty miles long.North is Europe and south is Asia.The battle of Gallipoli took place on the European section between the defending Ottoman Turks and the Germans against the Allied forces of the British ,French and the Anzac troops in 1915 while the historic battle of Troy between the Achaean Greeks and the Trojoan Empire took place in 1275B.C.on the Asian section.The Greeks burned Troy down after ten years of fighting and their commander Agamemnon;the king of Mycenaean Greece ended the sixth city of Troy.
On March 18,1915 some 18 British and French battle ships tried to pass through The Dardanelles which ended with failure for the Allied fleet.Three ships sank while three others were partially damaged so the Allied commander called off the assault.So here you can see some of those ships knotted into the carpet.One of those ships was called Agamemnon;isn't that rather ironic;and another one you can see was called ''Vengeance''.I am not going to dwell further into whose vengeance or revenge that should be associated with but rather leave that for you all to think about.The Turkish soldier all referred as ''Mehmetçik'' by the Turks when their names can not be remembered; is carrying the British lieutenant John Casey,who was wounded and the Turkish soldier carried him to his trench for his safety while bullets were flying around so he could live long enough to be Governor General of Australia in 1967.Throughout the years I even guided some members of the Casey family when we visited Gallipoli.As the first carpet was presented to Anthony Abbott;The Australian Prime Minister in 2015 on the centennial ceremony here one can see the Anzac and the Turkish flags flying side by side just like the Johnnies and the Mehmet's are burried side by side at the Anzac Cove.The poppy flowers which grow naturally in that region is reminiscent of the landscape forms a beautiful borderline to this unique design.
Why was it necessary that I tried so hard to present him this carpet?I have to admit the fact was it took the young lady four months to finish my ''Peace Carpet''but took me eleven months to be able to deliver it to our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.Down the road I was even accused of ''Jumping over The Protocol''but thanks to my good friend Yaşar Mustafa Tokluoğlu and Aysun Çelikler and her organization who assisted me with this delivery I was able to do it and here you can see me asking him if we could have a picture together with my phone but our President is pointing to his photographer to do so who eventually took this picture.He is our President and has done so much for his country in the last fifteen years ;and this was the least I could do to show my deepest appreciation for all that he had done is why I wanted him to display it in his office.
Another very important reason as to why I presented my carpet to our President is because of an ungoing project in The Dardanelles.By now the world knows that the longest suspension bridge in the world will be completed in 2023 on the centennial of the founding of our Republic which was established in1923.The length of the bridge will be Inshallah 2023 meters long.They are talking about the name of the bridge to be ''Çanakkale 1915 Bridge''however my desire is to have them call it ''Çanakkale 1915-2023 Peace Bridge''.The whole world needs ''Peace''and we need ''Internal and External Peace''and that is what our first President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk had said ''Peace at Home,Peace in the World''.Without global peace efforts no one is safe at home anymore and sooner we understand that longer peaceful lives we will all have.! We can not ask our visitors to come and visit our beautiful country if we can not provide them peace in this country.In the last fifty years hotel beds in Turkey went from fifty thousand to over one million beds and how will you keep filling them with visitors if you can not have peace not only in Turkey but in the whole region?
I am told some 137 Ocean going vessels go under the three bridges we now have over the Bosphorus every day.So with the name that I am proposing to our officials for the new bridge in The Dardanelles;can you just imagine what that message would do to all those ships that will go under it every day?Those vessels would take our message to the whole world forever and can you think of a better way to express your ''Good Will''?.We have provided shelter to almost three and a half million refugees from Syria and Iraq and have spent 30 billion dollars from our own tax payers money and the world has chipped in only 2 billion dollars so far and when you take into account the per capita income in the world Turkey is the number one country in the world for all the aid that we have provided and we have never ever threatened any nation that we shall cut our financial contribution to their country should they choose to vote against us in the United Nations.!!!Yes the world is far bigger than the five but it is hightime to send the next global message based on my ''Peace Carpet''
İstanbul,29 December,2017 -''MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE THAT I KNOW AND WILL GET TO KNOW INSHALLAH''
As I sent my latest blog to some of my global friends here is what my Aussie friend Thomas Wenkart has said;
A wonderful presentation of the explanation about the Peace Carpet.Thank you.In some ways the replica or was it the original is here in Canberra and recognised here.Hopefully your President also appreciates its relevance and imagery and value to Peace.As always I enjoy your history lessons.May they continue as you weave them into amazing carpets and so bring them to Life! Yes sadly I could not achieve any progress on Australia being part of your Peace Bridge as it too,springs to life now.May your efforts pay off and it becomes known as you would wish.Sincerely,
Tommy I will always remember your endless efforts ever since you wanted to contribute money to this project.As both you and I are not politicians and things work differently in politics at least my ''Peace Carpet''has found its eternal place at the highest possible government levels in our countries.Thank God for that!
I would like to leave you and your loved ones on the last day of 2017 in Peace and hope that our mutual Peace efforts will be knotted into valuable Turkish Carpets forever.
İstanbul,Türkiye 12.30 local time;31 December 2017