Bedri Baykam : Farewell to a Republic mother

While you are reading this article, it will be one day since I delivered my dear mother to the ground.

He was a cube of intelligence and grace that was able to balance two difficult people over life despite all their sharp sides…

My father is Dr. Subhi BaykamWe lost 26 years ago. He was not an artist, but a revolutionary of life and politics, passing through time like a meteor. Both the adventure he embarked on and succeeded in establishing the CHP Youth and Women’s Branch for the first time in Turkey, the creative opposition tactics he found in the parliament and on the streets against DP fascism, and his country tours that blended the country from top to bottom in the 60s as the first spokesperson of the Left of the Middle. both in economy “people’s sector”his insistence on revealing the “mad cartridge” he carried his extraordinary energy that cannot be held back. My mother comes home every day after finishing her responsibilities as an architect at Iller Bank, my dear sister. dream and while I was playing, he would set tables for maybe 3-4 deputies that my father invited to his house.

As for me, the madness of the little boy who hasn’t been able to sit still since he was 6 years old was not less: tens of thousands of signatures to move to America penniless at the age of 23, to undertake all kinds of innovations in art without fear, to take international actions to end the western hegemony in contemporary art, to unite the parties in politics. to gather together, to aspire to the summit of the CHP, to attempt to democratize the party from top to bottom with a brand new statute, to live under constant threat in the fight against bigots, to carry contemporary Turkish art abroad by working like the Ministry of Culture…

yes, my father “artist” was not; but he was a much more revolutionary, innovative and constantly young, fresh mind than an artist. He was fearless. He does not think of death, “I have a 1000-year contract with God” he would say.

We had one thing in common with my father. “Life is a calculated risk” was his main motto. Likewise, I learned not to be afraid of anything, to confront the world, to Kemalism and pluralist democratic parliamentary leftism from him.

There was this crazy firecracker father and a sensible woman who balanced his crazy son in every step… He was born 94 years ago, met and fell in love with a young doctor candidate 72 years ago, decided to marry him and continue his profession in parallel, his life was financial-spiritual-national. She is a determined, disciplined young Anatolian woman who is not afraid to be a bad person with everyone, including her husband, for the sake of saying what she believes.

Mutahhar Yalçın, with the surname of Youth, was the product of the Cumhuriyet project. The success of the first generation of the Republic… Her sisters are doctors and geologists, her brothers are legal counsel, mayor and mechanical engineer… It was a young couple from Akşehir who lit the wick of enlightenment. Mutahhar Baykam also chose to be a Master Architect Engineer studying at ITU. She was a young girl who became an example to Turkey, as the generation of the Atatürk Republic, who had a university education. He worked as a responsible architect for years, first at Iller Bank and then at Public Works and Settlement in Istanbul. This year, he was awarded the plaque of his 70th graduation year.

However, the fact that my mother was working never detracted from her caring attention to her children. I started painting using my mother’s drawing materials at home. According to my mother, who first saw that what I did was different, of course, she was herself, and to my aunt, she was the undisputed one. I think of course they were both right!

If Mutahhar Baykam had not been such an extremely careful and successful woman, Dr. Suphi Baykam, neither my sister nor I could come to the positions we were in. The greater my father’s imagination, the more invaluable my mother’s realism and prudence to stretch her legs over the quilt. Thanks to them, my sister Hülya and I grew up in the best possible way, we studied, and beyond the successes in our professions, we have reached the competence to become the World President of our mass organizations in tourism and art. We were able to make the right synthesis choices between the qualities of the two.

The buildings designed by my mother as the architect of the first generation of the Republic are still the subject of admiration and research this year and in the past years, various documentaries have been shot about them, and file research has been done. Theater writer Utku Erişık, founder of Analysis Magazine, is currently preparing for publication the book of interviews he conducted about my mother’s extraordinary life.

In this book, you will witness, together with colorful memories, of how an Atatürk generation Republican woman could be the modest but extremely determined and effective “director” of a family that started in Akşehir, the heart of Anatolia, and spread over almost a century, from politics to art.

Also, let me tell you how well my mother followed the political agenda throughout her life: Cumhuriyet and Sözcü newspapers were definitely read every day. Every morning, İsmail Küçükkaya and every time Uğur Dündar’s programs were watched, for sure. Any day I wanted, I could safely send him on my behalf in a political discussion program that I would attend. If he saw my articles before they were published, he would find spelling mistakes or arguments that needed to be added. That was his level until the last day he fell at home 5 months ago.

Did I say keep up to date? Do not think that the subject is limited to politics. Dear mommy, she is also among the Yellow and Navy fans, with all due respect, my dear son Suphi is one of the best “Watching a game at home” was my partner. He watched every match, ruthlessly criticized either the referee or our own players. Enjoy watching the game with him. “it was inedible”. And their understanding and interpretation of everything from offside to in-game tactical errors was unbelievable! If he knew that Fenerbahçe President Ali Koç and Fenerbahçe High Council President Uğur Dündar attended his funeral – maybe he does – he would be infinitely happy.

For each of us, maternal affection and love are invaluable. As long as we know their value while they are alive…