Talented people pen a letter to share the love of that thing they are passionate about. The world needs more love and more love letters.
Dear Çıtlık Tree,

They first showed us the centuries-old, wise, abundant olive trees.
It is not hard to fall in love with the olive. Yet to love you, one needs to know how to see instead of just looking and believe in love that develops over time, rather than the love at first sight.
With your graceful leaves, tiny black fruits and your white-grey textured trunk which resembles a Birch tree that is in love with the Northern cold, you have found yourself a place amidst the olive trees. You are surrounded by the wild and thorny blackberries.
We asked them: “Would you introduce us?”
“This one?” they asked. “It is the çıtlık tree, that’s how we call the turpentine here. This village is called Çıtlık, as well.”

That day, we decided to live with you forever. We wanted to build our heaven right by your side.
We loved you, your soil, the pine trees on your back, your shadow, your fertility and your neighborliness with the olives.
The blackberries were cleaned out and your stature has come to light. We combed your hair and smartened you, we began to get to know each other. You told us that your fruits are especially good for the birds in Permaculture and you want no other plants other than the nightshades on your skirts because you are jealous. You demand no extra care. Then you told us how they make elastic and aesthetic sticks out of your branches and evil eye necklaces for protection. You told us how the children gather your fruits to spit them at one another. And most importantly, you told us how willing you are to provide us a place on your skirts to tie a hammock so that we can enjoy a siesta in that extremely hot summer afternoon.

Then we learned your original name, “Celtis australis”.
We learned that you even had a story in mythology.
It was due to our own ignorance that we had not learn more about you in all those past years. No one who tastes your fruits can ever abandon you. And we decided that we could never leave you even before we tasted your fruits. How could we ever imagine that you were to make us fall in love so gracefully by means of your virtues, not by your striking beauty!

And you have such a fertility that each of your fruits is a candidate to be a new you. Our garden is now full of finger-length Çıtlık babies. Day by day, we loved you more. We became mesmerized and fell in love with you. If one day we die here, being buried by your side to nourish you will be our greatest season finale. We came to spend a lifetime with you.
Would you welcome us dear Çıtlık tree?

FROM THE ARCHIVES
FEASTS
FINDS
CASE SERIES
ALL ARCHIVES
FROM THE ARCHIVES
FEASTS
THE DIAMOND FOLD

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FINDS
THE BARBICAN CENTRE

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CASE SERIES
MEMOR(Y)IAL DESTRUCTION

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BLACKOUTS
SEGOVIA

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LOVE LETTERS
FEM GÜÇLÜTÜRK

The love letter to Çıtlık Ağacı (Turpentine Tree) that botanist Fem Güçlütürk wrote is reflecting something beyond the love that we know.

SENSES
AYŞE BOYNER

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CITIZENS
NURAY ADA

Best friend, a local break spot, a deep relaxing breath, or maybe a handful of mud ready to be shaped…