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Story of Ismail from Arhave ((Nazim Hikmet Kuvayi Milliye Destani)
1.       thehandsom
7403 posts
 19 Sep 2009 Sat 10:50 pm

This is another chapter from  Nazim Hikmet´s Kuvayi Milliye Destani (The epic of Turkish Independance war) 


This is chapter 3..

This chapter tells us a story of a guy who was trying to smuggle a machine gun from Istanbul to Anatolia for the Independance war.

The guy´s name is Ismail and he is from Arhave

Infact, the weapon smuggling from Istanbul to Anatolia during the independence war was a legendary activity.. 

Here is the translation: 


The year is 1920


Story of Ismail from Arhave


We have seen the fire and the treachery 


The enemy army has started to march again.

Akhisar, Karacabey, 

Bursa and  Aksu east of Bursa

We withdrew while engaging with them...

Usak fell into the enemy

At 29th August

In 920.

Though, We are wounded,

And furious

But, so sure of our land..

We are at the back of Dumlupinar.

Nazilli fell too..




We have seen the fire and the treachery.

We have resisted

And are still resisting..



1920 February, April, May

Bolu, Düzce, Geyve, Adapazari:

Sultan´s army against us,

Anzavur rebellion 

And along the same line,

3rd of October , Konya**

Delibas, entered the city early in the morning with green flags and 500 army deserters.

They celebrated their victory at the Aladdin hill for 3 days and 3 nights

And when they retreated to their deaths towards Manavgat

They took severed heads on the back of their saddles.


And 29 December Kutahya:

4 cannons

And a treason with 1800 horses

I mean, Cerkez Ethem

They switched the side  

By taking the cattle and with halis and kilims loaded mules

And crossing the enemy lines one night.

Their hearts were dark,

Their belts and whips had silver,

Their horses and themselves were well-fed..


We have seen the fire and the treachery.

Our souls are stormy, our flesh is enduring.

It was the people with their unbelievable weaknesses,

at the same time with their fearsome force, who resisted,

Not the passionless giants with no love.

Their horses were ugly,

And uncared.

They were not that high either.

But they knew how to full gallop in the steppe

without boiling over.

People had long army coats,

People were barefooted,

People had calpacs on their heads,

Sorrow in their hearts,

But there was a terrific hope in their hearts.

People fell down, they were full of agony with no hope.

People were forgotten in the village houses

With bullet wounds in their flesh.

And there,

They were lying down on their back next to each other,  

As skin, wrappings and as army boots.

Their fingers looked like they were ripped off,

They were bent and curled.

And in their palms were soil and blood.


And the army deserters,

They were passing through the villages with 

Their rifles, naked and dead feet and with their fears.

They were hungry,  


And unhappy.

They were coming down the empty roads,

And confront the horsemen coming with the stars and horseshoe sounds

And because they could not find any bread, 

They would throw the carriages carrying leather, salt, cigarette paper and soaps, off the cliffs

In Bolu mountain.




And far away

Far far away in the harbours of Istanbul

During this late time of the night

Takas of Lazs*, loaded with weapon and army jacket

Were freedom and hope,

The sea and the breeze.

They existed since the first ever voyage in the sea and breeze taken place

Their boats were made of chesnut tree

They were from 3 to 10 tons capacity,

And normally they would bring hazel nuts and tobacco

And took back sugar and olive oil.

But now, they were carrying their big secrets.

And now they were entering Black sea from Bosphorous.

Small, clever and proudly and while 

Flowing in front of the armoured American army ships in the dark waters.

Leaving behind the voice of a human

and sarrows of the steel ships

and the lights of the shaking boats at Kabatas.

There were people in the cabins and inside.

They were

long and crooked nosed and

They were people with passion about their talks

And they could die without asking for anything from anybody

Like they would sing a song

For the victory of corn bread and their anchovies.


That grey boat which looks like crimson in the dark 

Is a British torpedo boat

And the one which is waving on the sea and burning in flames

Is a 5 tons Taka belonged to captain Saban.


The height of the waves were as tall as minarets,

Where 20 miles off  Kerempe light house 

In the darkness of the night.

And the tips were smashing into white bits.

The wind:

North- north east

British torpedo boat disappeared 

after taking its captives on board

The boat of captain Saban 

sunk into the water with its burning pole..


Ismail from Arhave was

From that boat..

And now, 

Off Kerempe light house,

In the small jolly boat of the sunken Taka,

He was alone with his consignment,

But not by him self:

The crowd of the wind,

The clouds,

And the waves were talking around him all together..


Ismail from Arhave 

Asked himself:

"shall I arrive there with my consignment?"

He answered himself:

"Not arriving is not a possibility".


Earlier at that night, at the harbor of Tophane,

His arm making master Bekir told him:

"My son, Ismail" said to him.

"Nobody but nobody" he said,

"This is YOUR responsibility".


And when the enemy projectors were hovering over the sail,

off kerempe light house,

Ismail asked for permission of his captain:

"Captain Saban" he said,

"We have to take the consigmnent into its place" he said

And jumped into the jolly boat and

off he went..


"The god is great

But the boat is small" said the Jews..

Ismail had serious rain from the front,

One more, a bit later..

Then one more.

He would be capsized if he did not know the sea as well as

He knew how to throw a knife.


The wind was turning to full north,

There was a tiny drop of a red light,

A light from a ship,

Going to Sevastopol..


Ismail was rowing as his hands were bleeding,

Ismail is a calm person in himself,

Apart from the fight and his consignment

His consignment:

An automatic machine gun.

And If ismail does not trust the guys in the harbor,

He will take it to Ankara by himself,

And deliver it by himself...


The wind is struggling

Maybe it will turn to northwest,

The closest land must be at least 15 miles away.

But Ismail trusts his hands..

Those hands hold the bread, oars, lever of a boat

And the nipples of the girl called Fotika in Kemeralti

With the same confidence.


The wind was not turned into north,

And suddenly,

As if all its ropes were cut off...

The wind was dropped..


Ismail was not expecting this,

The waves went on rolling a bit more.

Then, the sea, so plain

And black


Ismail was surprised and stopped rowing,

How awful it is to fall off the fight.

A shiver came into Ismail,

And like a frightened fish,

He saw the loneliness as 

A boat,

A pair of oars,

And a dead calm sea.

And suddenly,

He felt so deep of being by himself without anybody

His hands got anxious,

He pulled the oars with all his power!!!!

He broke the oars..


Tides were taking the boat to the open sea..

Nothing seems possible anymore..

He got stranded in the middle of the dead sea..

He swore first..

Then, he thought of praying.

Then, he smiled..

He leaned and caressed his sacred consignment


Then people were unable to know

what happened to Ismail from Arhave..





*Taka of Lazs

A name of the wooden boats from black sea region of Turkey. Laz is also the name of the people from that area..


**Konya Rebellion was oneof these rebellions that took place in the zone that nearly surrounded Ankara. A secretsociety was caught in Konya in May 1920 and its founders were arrested. This rebellionthat burst out upon these events was suppressed within a short period. An extensiverebellion that was pioneered by Delibaþ Mehmet took place in the month of October. Therebellious renegades captured Konya. This rebellion that lasted until the date of 22ndNovember 1920 was suppressed by the forces under the command of Refet Bey (Bele). DelibaþMehmet took shelter in the side of the French people in Mersin.


Anybody who wants to listen to this chapter of the poem (it is Turkish with great cartoons)



A lovely and very old song from Zulfu livaneli who used some part of this poem in it..



Turkish part




YIL 1920 






Atesi ve ihaneti gördük. 


Düsman ordusu yine basladi yürümege. 

Akhisar, Karacabey, 

Bursa ve Bursa´nin dogusunda Aksu, 

çarpisarak çekildik... 


29 Agustos´u : 

Usak düstü. 


ve dehsetli kizgin 

fakat topragimizdan emin, 

Dumlupinar sirtlarindayiz. 

Nazilli düstü. 


Atesi ve ihaneti gördük. 




1920 Subat, Nisan, Mayis, 

Bolu, Düzce, Geyve, Adapazari : 

Içimizde Hilâfet Ordusu, 

Anzavur isyanlari. 

Ve ayni siradan, 

3 Ekim Konya. 


500 asker kaçagi ve yesil bayragiyla Delibas 

girdi sehre. 

Alaeddin tepesinde üç gün üç gece hüküm sürdüler. 

Ve Manavgat istikametlerinde kaçip 

ölümlerine giderken 

terkilerinde kesilmis kafalar götürdüler. 


Ve 29 Aralik Kütahya : 

4 top 

ve 1800 atli bir ihanet 

yani Çerkez Ethem, 

bir gece vakti 

kilim ve hali yüklü katirlari, 

koyun ve sigir sürülerini önüne katip 

düsmana geçti. 

Yürekleri karanlik, 

kemerleri ve kamçilari gümüslüydü, 

atlari ve kendileri semizdiler... 


Atesi ve ihaneti gördük. 

Ruhumuz firtinali, etimiz mütehammil. 

Sevgisiz ve ihtirassiz çiplak devler degil, 

inanilmaz zaaflari, korkunç kuvvetleriyle, 

silâhlari ve beygirleriyle insanlardi dayanan. 

Beygirler çirkindiler, 


hasta bir fundaliktan yüksek degillerdi. 

Fakat bozkirda kisneyip köpürmeden 

sabirli ve doludizgin kosmasini biliyorlardi. 

Insanlar uzun asker kaputluydu, 

yalnayakti insanlar. 

Insanlarin basinda kalpak, 

yüreklerinde keder, 

yüreklerinde müthis bir ümit vardi. 

Insanlar devrilmisti, kedersiz ve ümitsizdiler. 

Insanlar, etlerinde kursun yaralariyla 

köy odalarinda unutulmustular. 

Ve orda sargi, 


ve asker postallari halinde 

yan yana, sirtüstü yatiyorlardi. 

Koparilmis gibiydi parmaklari saplandigi yerden 

egrilip bükülmüstü 

ve avuçlarinda toprak ve kan vardi. 


Ve asker kaçaklari, 

korkulari, mavzerleri, çiplak, ölü ayaklariyla 

karanlikta köylerin içinden geçiyorlardi. 




Sosenin issiz beyazligina inip 

nal sesleri ve yildizlarla gelen atliyi çeviriyor 

ve Bolu daginda ekmek bulamadiklari için 

deviriyorlardi uçurumlara : 

sayak, cigara kâadi, tuz ve sabun yüklü yaylilari. 


Ve çok uzak, 

çok uzaklardaki Istanbul limaninda, 

gecenin bu geç vakitlerinde, 

kaçak silâh ve asker ceketi yükleyen laz takalari : 

hürriyet ve ümit, 

su ve rüzgârdilar. 

Onlar, suda ve rüzgârda ilk deniz yolculugundan beri vardilar. 

Tekneleri kestane agacindandi, 

üç tondan on tona kadardilar 

ve lâkin yelkenlerinin altinda 

findik ve tütün getirip 

seker ve zeytinyagi götürürlerdi. 

Simdi, büyük sirlarini götürüyorlardi. 

Simdi, denizde bir insan sesinin 

ve demirli sileplerin kederlerini 

ve Kabatas açiklarinda sallanan 

saman kayiklarinin fenerlerini 

peslerinde birakip 

ve karanlik suda Amerikan taretlerinin önünden akip 



ve magrur 

gidiyorlardi Karadeniz´e. 

Dümende ve basaltlarinda insanlari vardi ki 


uzun egri burunlu 

ve konusmayi sehvetle seven insanlardi ki 

sirti lâcivert hamsilerin ve misir ekmeginin 

zaferi için 

hiç kimseden hiçbir sey beklemeksizin 

bir sarki söyler gibi ölebilirdiler... 


Karanlikta kursunîi derisi kirmiziya boyanan 

baltabas gemi 

Ingiliz torpitosudur. 

Ve dalgalarin üstünde sallanarak 

alev alev 

yanan : 

Saban Reisin bes tonluk takasi. 


Kerempe Fenerinin yirmi mil açiginda, 

gecenin karanliginda, 

dalgalar minare boyundaydilar 

ve baslari bembeyaz parçalanip dagiliyordu. 

Rüzgar : 

yildiz - poyraz. 

Esirlerini bordasina alip 

kayboldu Ingiliz torpitosu. 

Saban Reisin teknesi 

atesten diregiyle gömüldü suya. 


Arheveli Ismail 

bu ölen teknedendi. 

Ve simdi 

Kerempe Fenerinin açiginda, 

batan teknenin kayiginda 

emanetiyle tek basinadir, 

fakat yalniz degil : 



ve dalgalarin kalabaligi, 

Ismail´in etrafinda hep bir agizdan konusuyordu. 


Arheveli Ismail 

kendi kendine sordu : 

«Emanetimizle varabilecek miyiz?» 

Kendine cevap verdi : 

«Varmamis olmaz.» 


Gece, Tophane rihtiminda 

Kamaci ustasi Bekir Usta ona : 

«Evlâdim Ismail,» dedi, 

«hiç kimseye degil,» dedi, 

«bu, sana emanettir.» 


Ve Kerempe Fenerinde 

düsman projektörü dolasinca takanin yelkenlerinde, 

Ismail, reisinden izin isteyip, 

«Saban Reis,» deyip, 

«emaneti yerine götürmeliyiz,» deyip 

atladi takanin patalyasina, 



«Allah büyük 

ama kayik küçük» demis Yahudi. 

Ismail bodoslamadan bir sagnak yedi, 

bir sagnak daha, 

pesinden üç-kardesler. 

Ve denizi biçak atmak kadar iyi bilmeseydi eger 

alabora olacakti. 


Rüzgâr tam kerte yildiza dönüyor. 

Ta karsida bir kirmizi damla isik görünüyor : 

Sivastopol´a giden bir geminin 

sancak feneri. 


Elleri kanayarak 

çekiyor Ismail kürekleri. 

Ismail rahattir. 


ve emanetinden baska her seyin haricinde, 

Ismail unsurunun içinde. 

Emanet : 

bir agir makinali tüfektir. 

Ve Ismail´in gözü tutmazsa liman reislerini 

ta Ankara´ya kadar gidip 

onu kendi eliyle teslim edecektir. 


Rüzgâr bocaliyor. 

Belki karayel gösterecek. 

En azdan on bes mil uzaktir en yakin sahil. 

Fakat Ismail 

ellerine güvenir. 

O eller ekmegi, küreklerin sapini, dümenin yekesini 

ve Kemeralti´nda Fotika´nin memesini 

ayni emniyetle tutarlar. 


Rüzgâr karayel göstermedi. 

Yüz kerte birden atlayip rüzgâr 

bir anda bütün ipleri biçakla kesilmis gibi 



Ismail beklemiyordu bunu. 

Dalgalar bir müddet daha 

yuvarlandilar teknenin altinda 

sonra deniz dümdüz 

ve simsiyah 


Ismail sasirip birakti kürekleri. 

Ne korkunçtur düsmek kavganin haricine. 

Bir ürperme geldi Ismail´in içine. 

Ve bir balik gibi ürkerek, 

bir sandal 

bir çift kürek 

ve durgun 

ölü bir deniz seklinde gördü yalnizligi. 

Ve birdenbire 

öyle kahrolup duydu ki insansizligi 

yildi elleri, 

yüklendi küreklere, 

kirildi kürekler. 


Sular tekneyi açiga sürüklüyor. 

Artik hiçbir sey mümkün degil. 

Kaldi ölü bir denizin ortasinda 

kanayan elleri ve emanetiyle Ismail. 

Ilkönce küfretti. 

Sonra, «elham» okumak geldi içinden. 

Sonra, güldü, 

egilip oksadi mübarek emaneti. 


Sonra, malûm olmadi insanlara 

Arhaveli Ismail´in âkibeti... 


As usual..

My try





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