June 21, 2024
Big Shot
Going Home, After 20 Years

Most of the people I loved still lived there, but money had changed Trabzon

By Muhsin Ozdemir

I hadn?t visited my hometown, Trabzon, in 20 years. In some ways it was the same: the people in the markets; the ships in the harbor. I found plenty of my old friends still working and living in the same places. I caught up with Ahmet, in the tailor shop; sat down with Mahmut, in the teahouse; and visited my old friend Hasan, who works for a travel agency. Most of my family still lived here. I saw dozens of other people I?d missed, and still didn?t have time to visit everyone.

Other things were different. The city seemed richer and more developed, but not in a good way. Trabzon had sprawled 15 miles west to Akcaabat, which had been an outlying town before, and east to Yomra and Arakli. To the south, they?d cut down the hazelnut fields, and built apartment houses on that land. This was probably all done with the money people earned working in factories in Germany (there were still daily flights).

And they?d widened the highway that runs along the Black Sea. You used to see hundreds of people strolling by the water there, every day; now the traffic cut them off. I missed the feeling of walking quietly along the water.

One day we visited Uzungol, a village in the mountains nearby that?s become a major tourist attraction. Almost everyone seemed to be running a little hotel or restaurant, though we saw lots of women still working in the fields. Even in June, it was misty and cool. That?s Black Sea climate — good for growing hazelnuts and tea, and for making everything green.

One comment about “Going Home, After 20 Years”

  1. zeynep patan says:

    Muhsin agabey,

    good job!!!

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