fearful suspicions; they were fleeing from me as though as I were going to gobble them up. So to recognize a government whose members and officials are like them and have recourse to it and apply to it, is not sensible but a futile abasement. If it had been the Old Said, he would have said like ‘Antara:
The very water of life becomes Hell through abasement,
Whereas Hell with dignity becomes a place of pride.1
The Old Said no longer exists and the New Said considers it meaningless to talk with the worldly. Let their world be the end of them! They can do what they like. He is silent, saying, we shall be judged together with them at the Last Judgement.
The Eighth Reason for my not applying: According to the rule, “The result of illicit love is merciless torment,” divine determining, which is just, torments me through the tyrannous hand of the worldly, because I incline towards them and they are not worthy of it. So saying, “I deserve this torment,” I remain silent. For in the Great War I fought as the commander of a volunteer regiment. Applauded by the Commander-in-Chief of the army and Enver Paﬂa, I sacrificed my valuable students and friends. I was wounded and taken prisoner. Returning from captivity, I cast myself into danger through such works as The Seven Steps, aiming them at the heads of the British, who had occupied Istanbul. I assisted those who now hold me without reason in this torturous captivity. As for them, they punish me in this way for that help. Those friends here cause me in three months the hardship and distress I suffered in three years as a prisoner-of-war in Russia. Nor did the Russians prevent me from giving religious instruction, although they regarded me as a Kurdish militia commander, a cruel man who had slaughtered Cossacks and prisoners. I used to instruct the great majority of my ninety fellow-officer prisoners. One time, the Russian commander came and listened. Because he did not know Turkish, he thought it was political instruction and put a stop to it. Then later he gave permission. Also, in the same barracks we made a room into a mosque and I used to lead the prayers. They did not interfere at all. They did not prevent me from mixing, or from communicating, with the others. Whereas my friends here, my fellow citizens and co-religionists and those for whose benefits in the form of religious belief I have struggled, have held me in distressing captivity not for three years but for six, for absolutely no reason and although they know I have severed all my relations with the world. They
Majid Tarrad (ed.), Diwan ‘Antara (n.p., n.d.), 135.