"you’ll treat people as good as you treat yourself, and that circle will enlarge, get bigger and reach a more peaceful state."
N: Everybody becomes a saint in the mountains, isn’t it more important to discover some things amongst the chaos of the city and crowd?
D: This is the thing that I discover every time; it is hard to hear ourselves in the city. A person becomes a stranger to themselves and estranged with their core when not hearing their own voice. If you’re able to hear yourself in this chaos, lucky you. I didn’t feel good in such a crowd. I used to live in Kadikoy. I realized that in that circle, I wanted to get to see people’s cores. What people listened to, what they watched, and who they were was never my concern. When I first started walking, there was no sound that was mine. I really needed to see my foundation and what was in my core. Those who are able to see their core among the crowd are very lucky, I couldn’t manage.
N: Can we say that you set out on this road to get to know people? Did your getting to know yourself start in the journey of getting to know people?
D: I wanted to give everybody a chance. When I was in the crowded circle, to understand everybody, to give a chance to see everybody’s core, first I needed to love and adapt to myself. This always starts with you. While I was travelling through walking, I saw that you are everyone in this circle. I saw the bad in me, I tried to make peace with them. The day I realized that everything I judged and criticized as bad was in me, I started not to criticize or judge anybody. That’s why, you’ll treat people as good as you treat yourself, and that circle will enlarge, get bigger and reach a more peaceful state.
"One of the most beautiful things that I discovered while travelling is the freedom of being able to say goodbye to something that you really love. "
N: Hundreds of kilometres of road can be travelled within yourself with meditation. Is “walking” the physical version of this journey?
D: I didn’t start walking as a meditation. I discovered the meditative side of the walk while I was walking. My first purpose was to take my backpack and to walk in Italy. What does walking mean, what kind of process is it? I had no idea. I learnt how to pitch a tent and camp for the first time there. I had been through hundreds of things due to my ignorance regarding this and I got hurt due to my wrong choice of shoe, socks. But I realized at the end of every day that the beauty in walking is constantly change places. Just imagine going from Istanbul to Antalya and changing hundreds of villages. What I feel there is that I’m a part of earth, that I belong to everything but I can say goodbye to everthing. This is a state that frees the person, and brings the feeling of getting on the road. One of the most beautiful things that I discovered while travelling is the freedom of being able to say goodbye to something that you really love. You come across someone that day, maybe you shared a meal, they opened the doors of their home, gave their bed. The next day, as you take the road early, sometimes you can’t even say goodbye. I was regretting this at first, then I realized that there’s such thing in its nature of the road, to say goodbye and let it go, to have such a relationship and go on somehow.
N: I wonder if that is joy?
D: Is it joy or balance? When I put the state of being happy and pain on the scale, if I start behaving the same, then I’ll start saying that okay, now it’s balanced and things are settling down in my life. I always try that in my life. I try to behave the same to both.