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I Could Find No Explanation

July 2002

I went to Canakkale for my summer holidays last year. Canakkale is the place others know better as "Dardanelles" or even better yet, "Gallipoli". I was walking around the battlefields where something like 15,000 were killed in a single day's battles in a single day during WW I, in 1915. The evening was closing in and it was around 7:30PM. As you would easily guess, the sun does not go down before 8:00 to 8:30 on July evenings. So I still had plenty of time to go to my car. My wife had decided to stay with our friends at the park and drink beverages which we had brought along.

I was going through the site thinking in awe of how fierce the battles were. I felt like breaking into sobs thinking of all the lives lost for the power-lust of politicians from all sides fighting there. After all they could have enjoyed beers together instead of trying to drink each other's blood. There were a few other tourists around but far away from where I was, the nearest being something like 50 meters away. I was walking around a long-deserted trench remains when I heard this quite distinctive word : "ay mate, you got a cigarette for me?" It was the strangest English accent I had ever heard in my life. Now I am not a native English speaker but I can make out the difference between accents.

It was something like the Australians' way of talking. The A's were said like "AY" and the word got was said like "gohh" the t eliminated. I instinctively dug into my freebag to locate my pack of Chesterfields and turned around to the source of the sound. No one... I Looked ahead to see if I had overheard the other tourists, only to see that they were too far away to be heard. I shrugged it away thinking that the wind might have carried the sounds to me.

I walked around a little up the steep place where it was told that the battling sides were only 3 meters away from each other in their trenches. I heard this different sound this time, saying "keep your head down" in Turkish this time!! I was frightened this time and started a hasty pace back to the park where my wife and our friends were having that small "picnic". I nervously told what happened. Our friend Cem told me that it was not unusual here and since there was a great loss of lives, the place could have been haunted.

I prefer not think that it is haunted but that all the perished are resting in peace. Well, I seem to be gaining this uncanny ability to sense the unnatural more and more each day and I hate it...

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