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The Tortoise Trainer

Writing shorth stories and poems mostly. I have a published book called somewhere in time.


Auction House

Sunday, December 12, 2004.

Excitement is at its peak before the auction to be held at the Istanbul Swiss Hotel, and more journalists than ever have come to watch the auction.

Art lovers, representatives of families with important collections, museums, Istanbul society, Art Gallery owners, curators, painters, antique dealers and enthusiasts filled the hall long before the auction started. A constant humming, activity, curiosity, impatience dominates the hall.

Only the auction cat Rembrandt senses the presence of the sad-eyed old man in a black suit, with a bow tie, hair lacquer on a Lui-style chair.

On a rainy winter evening in 1959, the three-storey masonry mansion in Şişli was sealed by the police. A rich old man lived alone, never married.

He wished to have a son, who would cherish and protect his wealth and art collections. He had adopted Saim, the son of his beloved friend, send the boy to Switzerland to study.

He was 76 and getting older each minute, he dreamed about establishing an art museum but it was to late, he didn't have much time.

he had doubts concerning Saim and his gambling obsession. Saim would sell his house, shipyards, the collection of paintings, jewels every thing.

What could be done? He had to talk Saim again, send him to rehab perhaps.

That afternoon, at the shipyard in Balat, his blood boiled and he drove the bullet into the barrel. … Oh, that blood on his hands....Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from his hands?


Sunday, December 12, 2004.

Two men came to the chair, talking in a whisper as they smoked cigarettes.

-When I raise your hand for that painting, you must wait for K's rep to raise, then raise your hand.

- Than, I will increase it again if necessary. Always give higher than K.

The man in the black suit with the glossy hair nodded. Would these uncouth people buy the painting?

1960 and later. During a research, Professor Mustafa Cezar learned about the existence of more than forty paintings with high historical value as well as artistic value in a sealed house in Şişli. He visited the owner of the mansion, Saim Birkök, in Sultanahmet Prison, and stated that he wanted to take pictures of the paintings. The sealed door was opened by the judge.

When the door opened, a magnificent treasure emerged from the dust. Forty paintings, five of which belonged to Osman Hamdi Bey, came to light, most notably the "Tortoise Trainer". Photographs of these magnificent pictures were taken.

Then the door of the mansion was sealed again. Professor Mustafa Cezar published these photographs in his book. Thus, a real image of this painting appeared for the first time.

Released from prison in 1961 due to cancer, his paintings were with him as he died, but the next day before his body was even buried, greedy relatives swarmed the house to loot everything. He watched them sadly. There was nothing he could do.

Many paintings were sent to the Museum of Painting and Sculpture. He followed behind the Turtle Trainer. In 1980, a bank owner who was fond of painting bought the painting at an auction and added it to the collection of İktisat Bank.

For a while, he continued to look for his son in the corridors of the dark world because the painting was in safe hands, but his misfortune continued. İktisat Bank went bankrupt, and the entire collection, including the Turtle Trainer, was transferred to a state foundation


Pera Museum

Sunday, December 12, 2004.

When the auction started, the newly rich exporters made bids for a while, the famous auctioneer Rafi Portakal increased the bid, smoking men, a textile exporter, a businessman from Malatya bid higher, then the officials of the newly established museum, young people in black suits began to bid. The newly established Istanbul Modern and Pera Museum were fighting to the death for the painting. The sad ghost liked this new Bidders, Rembrandt sensed his joy. The painting would go to those who would appreciate its value, it was certain.

Rafi Portakal has the knocker in his hand, I'm selling before I could say sold... a new offer was made, the mallet could not land on the ground. All the spectators watched the auction, holding their breath. The figure went way up; So much so that there was no signage to show the last bid of five trillion liras. Even the auctioneers did not expect this much. The new owner of the Turtle Trainer is Pera Museum. The 5 trillion paid was a record for Turkish painting. This high fee made the painting much more famous.

The painting stands so magnificently in its place on the second floor of the Pera museum, the old man with glossy hair, a black suit, and a bow tie, watched all those who came to watch the picture with admiration, a small smile appeared on his lips, disappeared into the darkness, then … The museum cat Osman looked behind him. for a while, then he curled up in a corner and slept as if nothing had happened.

Into the world of Osman Hamdi Bey

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