Sunday, November 11, 2007

who's carrying whose flag now?

i just watched a singers' contest on bbc-prime "conducted" by the legend, placido domingo himself.

the contestants were all in their 20s, young up and coming stars. it was a visual feast for my ears. the second and third prizes were ties, and shared respectively by a chinese soprano and a russian tenor and a russian speaking tenor and bass.

the first prize went to soprano isabel bayrakdarian...

somehow, i missed under what flag ms. bayrakdarian sang, though i doubt it is armenia and certainly not turkey!.. miz isabel is definitely of turkish-armenian stock: "bayrakdarian" means the "child (son, actually) of the flag (standard) bearer" in turkish. the obvious conclusion is that her family were quite trusted servants of the ottoman political (perhaps also military) hierarchy. a surmise is, the family had to leave turkey after the tragedies of 1915; the "genocide" according to many and the "armenian uprisal, forced migration and killings" according to turkey.

whatever happened or why, history hardly ever favoring one side alone in a controversy, however sad or cruel, i deeply regret this very moment that regardless who was right, turkey, an independent, relatively powerful and greater state, never came up with the political flexibility and the ideological, cultural, psychological suppleness to work out the ways and methodoology of leaving the tragic incident and its time weary traces behind as another dark page in history - which, in this part of the world, are far more than glorious white ones.

isabel bayrakdarian could now have been crowned as a turkish (*) singer. she would have once again hoisted the flag her forefathers used to carry with honor, her voice gracing ears, minds and hearts, her charm adding gloss to her glory.

isabel bayrakdarian won, what a loss for turkey's universal presence not to share in her victory!..

today, a hürriyet columnist wrote that the "only other belligerent nation in the world after america is turkey"; so that the world has come to identify us with war.

how many times can one lose the flag carrier, over and over? sad, apparently, may be a choice where the wise becomes invisible to the mind in search of resplendence.

(*) not as an ethnic but historio-geographical reference, i could as easily say "a singer from turkey".

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