Dream of Istanbul

We present this work in honor of the 85th anniversary of the poet’s death.

12-27 Ersoy
Mehmet Akif Ersoy
1873 – 1936


The boat was rolling over in an ocean…
The dream threw me on the shores of Marmara!
I saw from only a couple of miles away
your blackened Istanbul clear as crystal,
Its forehead shining like a crescent:
She’s laughing; coquettish, charming and attractive.

What base destitution now, alas!
What arrogance, what ostentation!
Many schools are opened, men and women study;
factories are in full steam, textile industries progress.
Printing houses work day and night.
New companies emerge for the benefit of the people,
New parties arise to enlighten the people,

Economy prospers
And ships unload wealth from length to length of her shores.


Translation by Mevlut Ceylan

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