General Question

Bioplasmic's avatar

Who wrote this letter?

Asked by Bioplasmic (123points) August 9th, 2008

Letter found in a dumped book:
Buca Celaevi
Turist Kogusu
Izmir 35108

Hi Brother Adam,
26th Jan ‘87’
You’re beginning at last to sound like a Jew spewing out the figures of your finances but I’m confident that by the time this letter reaches London town, you’ll be back to your habitual bankrupt condition. An Adam with bucks in the bank sounds distinctly unhealthy.
Here it’s the same old waiting game, keeping it together by concentrating on my kids but that just leads to another kind of insanity.
Only 104 days left, nothing compared to the time under my belt, but Jesus are they passing slowly. I’m trying to concentrate on the moment but thoughts keep tangenting off to the great outside
Hey, remember Mandy J————from Chelsea C.N.D. days, she spotted one of my letters in the ‘Observer’ and wrote, she’s an actress / teacher / two kidded mum living up in East Anglia.
And Adam, seeing as I’ll just have to do the decent thing and hang out in Berlin, would you have the guts to brave the Iron Curtain to visit for a while. Dear Daddy has buckets of East Marks to spend, a weakness for even unsuccessful artists and, the ultimate lure, one of his jobs is to interview young dancers and actresses for the State Art School. Think about it, there may be no other way to get together for ages.
Sorry, the Gov wants to see me, be back in moment,
The moment lasted 3 hours, part of a far too obvious game being played by the Gov to ingratiate himself both in my eyes and before his superiors.
Like a pet monkey I was paraded before a visiting Judge and his old lady ,listened politely to their coos over my fluent Turkish and took my leave without scratching an armpit. I’m tempted to really blast out to the press when I’m free and really speak my mind about their fucking penal system but that would be childish and anyway change nothing. The state of prisons is the least of the problems facing Turkey having suppressed the commies and fascists the generals are now back in the shit dealing with Islamic fundamentalists. The entire country is now buzzing with the kafka-esque threat of the headscarf, the generals say it’s only worn as a form of civil disobedience, the women say they wear it to keep their hair in place and the men are saying rather loudly ‘’ lock up the fascists, torture the commies but keep your hands off our women’’. You’ve got to admit with such comedies going on, the Turks are endearingly irresistible.
O.K. Adam, I’m signing off, you may be freezing 2 degrees under but the weather here has turned agreeably mild and I’m off for a pleasant walk in the sunshine. Eat your heart out snowman.

Love D-nny

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8 Answers

nayeight's avatar

It wasn’t me!

marissa's avatar

Here is what I have found so far, if you are looking for possible leads.
Buca Celaevi does in fact appear to be a Turkish prison (as you must have known from your topics).
The Observer that is referred to is most likely the British Observer. Although I couldn’t find archives on the web going back to 1987 – 1986 (since this letter is from January 1987, it is most likely the letter printed in the Observer was printed in 1986 or early), if you contacted the Observer or a major British library, they would probably have archives of the letters printed in the Observer at that time.
The other option is to ask the British embassy for a list of Britains in Turkey at the time. They probably would have a list of those in prison in Turkey also.
I hope this helps.

marissa's avatar

One caveat, I am assuming the writer is British, but even if they aren’t, the Observer lead should still work.

PupnTaco's avatar

Good detective work Marissa.

I’d scan it & send it to Found magazine – that one’s a keeper!

marissa's avatar

Question, in the letter above Mandy’s last name is missing. Is it actually missing from the letter or did you not post it here for privacy reasons? If you have the last name, you may be able to track the letter writer by tracking down Mandy.

breedmitch's avatar

Saying “bucks in the bank” sounds American, or like someone raised in the US. However, Daddy’s “buckets of east marks to spend” and his job for the “State Art School” can only mean a father in East Germany (East Berlin).
The Chelsea CND comment is interesting. In England the CND is the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. (and coincidentally part of the history of the modern day peace symbol) There might have been a Chelsea branch.
“Mum” in “East Anglia” certainly is British.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Response moderated (Spam)
Bioplasmic's avatar

Hi Guys I found him and his story is incredible.
He’s Daniel De Souza and he wrote about his time
in a book called Under a crescent Moon.
Here’s my letter to him and his to me!

Hi Daniel,

Twenty years ago I was twenty seven

It was the late eighties near Warwick Avenue tube I noticed an old hardback book In a skip in the road,
I can’t bear to see books dumped, so took it home. It was a copy of Charles Lamb’s Letters to Elia.

A letter fell out dated 1987

It was from a Danny to a Brother Adam.

I have been trying to find out who wrote it for years, but without a surname I was stuck.

The radio 4 book programme with Mariella Frostup was running a feature on things found in books,
my wife suggested I mention the letter from a Turkish Jail.
The Producer did a telephone interview that was broadcast live on Radio 4.

I thought Danny was a female because the address IN Turkish seemed to be a womens prison

Anyway, I just got an email from my Dad who is on Holiday in Antalya with the your name ‘de Souza’

Searching the Guardian archive I now Know a little about what you went through. I have ordered your book.
Google found your website for me.

I’ll attach a text copy of the letter

Who was Brother Adam?

Kind regards

Nigel Jones

Hi Nigel

My you’re curious. Well the Brother Adam was, and I presume still is, Adam Kisch, an old school friend from Holland Park Comprehensive. As you can see from the website, I’m now settled in Turkey running a hotel/art centre/café in Gümüşlük near Bodrum. Why don’t you drop in one day.

All the best


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