Dear Çıtlık Tree,
We came along to your village in a spring time, where they had us go through the bushes, pass by the pine trees and left us on a valley.

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?