I had traveled many times from Eskişehir and Ankara to the Aegean and to its capital, İzmir. The Aegean is a direction as it is a sea, a feeling and a wind that even its pronunciation brings mind the sensation of a journey and besides that sensation, it whispers the names of the earthly pleasures to our ears instead of the names of the days as if the days are always holidays in here. You would just realize here that its name and its taste do not rhyme. I am one of those who enjoy and continue being a student always to remember and never to forget but not to learn: retention student, recalling pupil, memory student.
There are ways of learning: by living, by writing and by traveling. By leaving, by running away, by diving, by getting out, by flying, by falling down, by standing up, by escaping… These are all counted as one kind of wandering and in that case, one needs to be a student of them all. Knowledge of trees is a kind of journey and learning as well. Where the knowledge of wind comes is from so much of traveling without stopping anywhere and not enjoying much of resting or sleeping. What about the knowledge of rain? It comes from the earth since the rain is a student of the earth. If the sea is a student of the sky or the sky is a student of the sea, I could not make up my mind on this, so I am making my way out by declaring it as the blue student.
The blue student, in other words the Aegean student; an enthusiast who always misses the Aegean and studies not only its geography, the way of thinking, mythology, civilization but its sea as the forerunner of the summer and its color as the pleaser of the eyes. Seems like when blue is mentioned what comes to mind is a careless and inconstant life that got rid of its memories as if they were excess weights. This is not what I think but what I think does not matter because I know that such a thought does exist.
Now, for students such as myself there is a deep blue textbook and a travel guide available that tempts one to go to the Aegean and then reminds the places seen. It is a pictorial book about the Aegean rail stations accompanied by the photographs of Ertaç Er and M. Şinasi Duman: “3. Blg.” (“3rd Region”) As the Regional Manager Selim Koçbay states, “The Aegean Region that carries the priviledge of having the first rail lines put into service.” The answer to where it starts is of course the Alsancak Station then it goes on to the Basmane, its sister station. As if on a celebration, the train passes through Cumaovası, Pancar, Torbalı, Arıkbaşı, Bayındır and continues its journey to the fertile lands of the Aegean Plain. Our train reaches to Tire, where its beauty caused the father of all travelers Evliya Çelebi name it “ancient throne, great city” and from there to Ödemiş. It salutes the small towns and villages as appealing as the world flavors the Aegean has to offer.
Though it becomes proud with the pleasure of traveling through a civilization from Selçuk to Söke, yet it remembers at once that a train itself represents a civilization. While passing in front of the Steam Train Museum at Çamlık, it thinks of not old but the ancient friends, perhaps now they are living as a “memory museum.” Sazlıköy, just as what Tanpınar says in his poem, “Everything is where it is supposed to be” in this station. Moreover, the beauty of living and leaving everything with a blue, summer sensation.
We travel from Germencik to Denizli filled with these feelings but first we ought to say, “Fellow traveler this is Germencik, the capital city of fig.” Otherwise, fig would be offended and release its milky sap. It would not be right to offend lemons, grapes, figs, pomegranates since they are the ones what make the Aegean. They are the ones, which raise and care this beauty drop by drop like the milk of the sky. Now, it is time to visit Edip Cansever’s station because in his poem stations “smell like Nazilli.” From Halkapınar to Manisa, Turgutlu to Oturak, Akhisar to Bandırma. It is cut out for the blue students. Railrways and seaways are going to meet in Bandırma and the journey will continue like the wind. Go on, may your way be blue!