A great European master miniaturist and another great master artist are walking through a Frank meadow discussing virtuosity and art. As they stroll, a forest comes into view before them. The more expert of the tow says to the other: 'painting in the new style demands such talen that if you depicted one of the trees in the forest, a man who looked upon that painting could come here, and if he so desired, correctly select that tree from among the others.'I thank Allah that I, the humble tree before you, have not been drawn with such intent. And not because I fear that if I'd been thus depicted all the dogs in Istanbul would assume I was a real tree and piss on me: I don't want to be a tree, I want to be its meaning.
Most of the time it's not the Europeans who belittle us. What happens when we look at them is that we belittle ourselves. When we undertake the pilgrimage, it's not just to escape the tyranny at home but also to reach to the depths of our souls. The day arrives when the guilty must return to save those who could not find the courage to leave.
My fear was not the fear of God but, as in the case of the whole Turkish secular bourgeoisie, fear of the anger of those who believe in God too zealously(...) I experienced the guilt complex as something personal, originated less from the fear of distancing myself from God than from distancing myself from the sense of community shared by the entire city .