CİVAN

Everest Yayınları 2012

Civan is the story of events that took place over three days in a rapidly developing coastal town of Pınarlı in the Northeast. Things start happening faster when the young daughter of Rana and Saim Bulutsuz, Hilal, is kidnapped. It’s the eve of the Greater Bayram and almost everyone is overcome by the languor of the holiday.

The novel begins with the depiction of a conquian scene in Rana Bulutsuz’s home, the eve before the holiday. Rana and three friends, wives of influential people in the town, are playing cards and gossiping at the same time. Meanwhile, Solmaz, a ‘maid’ of Kurdish origin in this splendid house, is cooking for them. Solmaz’s saddened face arouses everyone’s curiosity. According to Rana, Halil, Solmaz’s brother who recently arrived from the East, is the reason. Halil is a true troublemaker.

He has been there before and caused a lot of trouble for Solmaz. This intrigues the women quite a bit; they feel both sorry for the Kurdish people in town and secretly resentful towards them. Theirs is actually the voice of the townspeople. Because their husbands are influential in town, this voice is also of the powerful. Meanwhile, the chief constable of the town,Yaman, calls his wife and says he and his team will stop by there.

In the team there is a once bright, but now banished, commissioner Dumrul Mucib. He is banished to this coastal town where he once came for a summer holiday and stayed briefly with his German Turk family. Despite this odd coincidence, no one but Rana remembers him. And Rana remembers him because of a strange, deep and carefree summer love she and Dumrul had. However, this summer love has haunted both of them and created separate but similar cracks in their lives.

In any case, Dumrul is an old policeman who has gone crazy. Having been involved in mafia affairs, he lost his daughter and with this split he somehow ‘lost’ the rest of his life, too. Rana, on the other hand, has become an extemely unhappy housewife in her marriage, never having been able to get over the strange love she felt for Dumrul. She resembles neither her mother nor her sister Rüya. Just like Dumrul, she is thrown about in a life that doesn’t belong to her.

That eve before the Bayram holiday is the first time in years that Dumrul and Rana see each other again. And with this encounter it becomes possible to see the similarity in their broken lives.

As a result of this encounter Dumrul is once again torn. He steps outside for a cigarette and sees Halil. He instantly dislikes this man who is threateningly demanding money from his sister Solmaz. Reflecting on old times, he sees in him the face of all criminals he has captured and makes a decision right then and there: He will follow him. He decides to closely keep an eye on this man who reminds him of how it feels to catch a criminal, his biggest obsession.

Perhaps that’s why for the townspeople, who are shaken by Hilal’s kidnapping that evening, the suspect is still unknown, but it’s all very clear to Dumrul. His suspect is obvious: Halil. After a short while, the suspect will be the same person for the townspeople. However, Halil disappears into thin air which makes Solmaz’s husband and Halil’s cousin Ramazan the main suspects. The security team in Pınarlı—including Yaman, Dumrul, and Şükrü—corners Ramazan at Emrullah’s rest stop, one of the most important sources of income in the town.

Emrullah is a German Turk of Kurdish origin who came to the town a long time ago. He makes a lot of money with his rest stop and provides employment for the Kurds who come to town. Ramazan is one of these Kurds. After the kidnapping of Hilal, the townspeople, who have always regarded Emrullah with suspicion and jealousy, get the opportunity to spill out the hatred that has secretly been brewing. In a short while the townspeople begin to gather and start attacking his place.

From then on, everything goes berserk. The simple suspicion in the kidnapping of the little girl turns into an attempt to lynch first Solmaz’s brother, then Solmaz herself and her husband Ramazan, and then all the Kurdish people in the town. Incidents flare up when word gets around that the little girl is dead and swiftly escalate from burning Emrullah’s rest stop to targeting all the Kurdish people in Çiçek District.

This district and the people who reside there—always regarded as problematic by the Pınarlı ‘locals’—feel tremendous pressure due to the chaos created by the incidents. With her two children, Solmaz hurriedly leaves town and tries to start a new life. Rana is now completely insane and thinks she is being punished. And for Rana’s friends, the only culprit in this are the Kurds. All of a sudden everything the townspeople have been holding inside erupts.

Chief Constable Yaman realizes he will not be able to do it alone and solicits help from nearby cities. In the meantime, Dumrul tortures Ramazan and coerces him to admit that Halil is the culprit and both have a hand in it.

Everyone in town is now on the verge of a maniacal lynching. Reason has vanished, and people are everywhere. Dumrul Mucib’s dispute with God, like the legendary Deli Dumrul, becomes evident. Dumrul is truly mad at God for first stealing his mother and then his daughter. Even though he knows he has paid the price for rebelling against Him once, he continues to challenge Him. He has now gone totally mad, obsessed with the thought of ‘catching the culprit and serving justice’ while trying to live in a god-like air. At this juncture, the lynching mood in the town and Dumrul’s insanity become parallel, even though they both feed on different sources. What the town has is malice, Dumrul insanity. After a certain point, both emotions will succumb to the face of the truth!

In short, nothing is as it seems. Towards the end of the book, Hilal’s kidnapper emerges as none other than Dumrul himself. Dumrul tracks down the loss of his daughter in Hilal. During his quest, he also seeks Ömür, a Mafia leader’s son, whom he accidentally killed, the broken love he feels for Rana whose love he could not protect, the trace of his mother who killed herself in the bathroom, and his youth which got stuck and rotted in those traces of the past, too.

Can the truth find Dumrul? Will it find him?
Perhaps that’s why he asks Şükrü, a fellow worker, one of those men who book him:
‘We’re friends, aren’t we Şükrü? I mean real friends?’
As one of the basic themes of the book, the answer echoes in Şükrü:
‘There’s no question about it, sir!’
Can friendship, one of the main themes in this book, reunite everything once again? Could the departed be brought back? Maybe.