Biltin1Biltin Toker, my friend Biltin Toker was my friend at Oxford, he was from Istanbul, Turkey. He studied architecture at Oxford and we became close friends. He used to win prizes for his innovative architecture designs and he and his designs used to be flashed at the Oxford towns local paper, Oxford Mail. After we departed, we used to correspond regularly and I was kept in constant with his art, business and politics. Our ways went in different directions and we lost touch with each other. Suddently now, all of a sudden I got this email from Alaz Toker after he noticed his fathers’s name in one of my artices on my personal blog. I mourn the loss of a dear friend, full of fire and energy and dreams and ideals to create a better world. V. Isvarmurti.

Usually people speak about the good and bad sides of technology and how it(the consumerist mass media society) captures the individual….but this meeting on the internet once again showed/proved me that the facts are not always that bad!… Unfortunately biltin passed away 11 years ago…he was born in 1937 so he was 59 years old when he passed away….Biltin’s father was one of the top doctor’s/prof’s of the country who founded the main 2 hospitals in turkey just after the foundation of the republic in 1923….. Unfortunately, he himself passed away in 1954 when he was 61 years old….our family has a heart problem I believe, like the famous composer Gustav Mahler’s family…. Biltin used to go doctors regularly and he had his check-ups every 6 months…but all of a sudden, he had an heart attack at a bus when he was on his way to a meeting, at the centre of Istanbul-taksim square….

Anyway, after he left Oxford he went to the US, Berkeley-California and tried to do/implement his “revolutionary ideas” there….as you may well guess, he was not permitted!…. Then he returned to Turkey in the mid-sixties and started to work on publishing an istanbul guide and some movie scripts simultaneously…for the next ten years he was half in Istanbul and half in london for the latter jobs…then in 1972 he met my mother at a home-party he was giving in Istanbul, they got married two years after and I was born in 1977….meanwhile he sold his apartment at Soho, started to move all his business to Istanbul…and starting from the beginning of the 80’s he published 3 big volumes of that brilliant istanbul guide, “spot on istanbul”, which i believe is still a unique treause though it is a little bit out of date… Then in 1989 he organised the election campaign of nurettin sozen who is a candiadate for the mayaralty of istanbul from the social democrat party….dr sozen, with whom he was very well acquinted from the socialist movement in turkey for the last 30 years invited biltin to organise his election campaign….the day before the elections, 25 march 1989 saturday, the polls those were heavily manipulated by the bloody right wing press! were %67 in favour of the right wing-thief candidate…and biltin’s side won the elections with a majority of %45, the biggest vote for a left wing candidate for the istanbul mayoralty since the faoundation of the republic…of course he felt, he knew the tendancies and the needs of the poor and opressed people…so he knew how to cure them, which was also one of the main slogans of the campaign:”the only solution is the doctor!” So they were the golden years of his live i believe between 1989-1994, when he was the senior advisor of the Mayor of Istanbul…he was working 16 sometimes 18 hours a day….At that time he suffered a minor stroke which he did not care… He founded close ties with the third world countries at the same time he organised annual meetings called the “eurodilaogue”, where over a hundred mayors alll over europe come to istanbul and discuss about everthing from culture to economy, environement to health…then in 1994 the ancestors of today’s so called “islamist but US based traitor government” came to power…today’s prime minister tayyip erdogan, elected as the mayor of istanbul from the conservative party….from 1994 until his death biltin tried to form an academy called “the urban dynamics academy” where he was planning to spend all his time to his students…by the way, i forgot to tell you one important thing from 1991-1996 he was teaching at one of the top-notch universities of Istanbul-to be precise one of the best in architectury-Mimar Sinan University- as a “guest lecturer”…i have almost been to all his lectures and what i saw was he was the old biltin…progressive, radical, like a sharp knife or a TNT ready to explode!….hah hah hah…and as i said before he passed away on october 24 2006 because of an heart attack… I have studied social anthropology but at the same time, thanks to biltin, i was born into music…..especially classical music….when i was 6 months old he and my mum used to take me concerts where the progarmme was schonberg, webern and berg…. Then i started to listen to Mozart’s, Beethoven’s and bach’s!….to turn the triangle upside down….i was very active during the university period…. I was the head of the Istanbul university-faculty of letters-student council for over 3 years where there were over 12.000 students…left wing, right wing, conservative etc….i made 3 field researches between 1996-2002 but they did not bring me neither fame nor money…then i started to work for a private orchestra as a “technical manager”…and for the last 3,5 years I have been working for the istanbul state symphony orchestra as the programme manager assistant…. I got married 1,5 years ago…i don’t have a baby yet!…if nothing changes, in th 1st of august-2 months later- I will go to the army to do my military service… I know it is a little bit late, but the conditions forced me to postpone this “military service monster!”…. Anyway it is just 6 months for university graduates….the biggest problem is that if i will go/they will send me to the south-east turkey where there is big struggle as you know…US is everywhere unfortunately…they shake and mix up all nations…anyway, hope we will have the chance to speak about these subjects in the future…it was a real pleasure to meet you on the net….. I know that i wrote a lot, but you will understand me, i tried to summarize 45 years in 45 minutes or in 4,5 pages!…..hope to hear from you soon, Warmly, ALAZ. rom: alaz toker [] Sent: Saturday, May 26, 2007 2:42 PM To: V. Isvarmurti Subject: from alaz toker…

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