Güntürk Üstün

Güntürk Üstün

Raised in Izmir by the Aegean Coast, Mr Güntürk Üstün, a retired medical doctor, a poet, a long-time transportation fan has lived in Istanbul for the past 24 years and he currently works on his new books of poetry [He has written and published 7 books (all in Turkish) until now]. His poems have been published in various literary journals and anthologies in Turkey as well as in a English language poetry website called Mediterranean Poetry [www.odyssey.pm] based in Sweden. As an avid reader and researcher on the transportation issues, he also comments regularly (as a weekly columnist) by using some of his poetic skills in a popular Turkish logistics/transport news website [Lojiport]. Mr Üstün is fluent both in English and French. He divides his time between Istanbul and Izmir.

BIBLIOGRAPHY (Published Books)

  • Kıyı Şeridi Ve Kıyı Sakini Şiirleri (June 2014)
  • Demiryolu Palas Oteli’nden Şiirler (April 2015)
  • Limanı Gören Bir Çatı Katından Şiirler (November 2016)
  • Raylı Sistemin Uzun Öyküsünün Kısa Şiirleri (November 2016)
  • Denizyoluna Turkuaz Gölgeli Dizeler (May 2017)
  • Raysever Şair Merhabasının Dizeleri (May 2017)
  • Havayoluna Selam Uçuran Dizeler (September 2018)



How can I not be drawn to important waterways?
They give me a soothing calmness
Plus an abundant writing creativity


Under the secret aegis of the Aegean Sea
I feel confident about my Mediterranean poems
On their maturation marine journeys


Dear turquoise blue, are you aware that
You’re more melancholic, nostalgic and poignant
Than dear turquoise green?


Wherever you visit on the Atlantic seaboard
You can be sure that those ships that were
Once called “transatlantic” won’t follow you


It was an utterly unforgettable experience to lunch
At that al fresco seafront restaurant in the appetizing company
Of my pretty Anglo-Polish girlfriend and a pretty potent strawberry


Last night, amid the voracity of a strangely colorful dream
There were palm, orange, mandarin and lemon trees everywhere
I was supposed to be located near the Aegean or Mediterranean


The perfume of the sea, the scenic harbor
The panoramic views of the surrounding fjords
And a mug of hot coffee try to make me fall in love with the freezing


İstanbul glows with the Bosphorus
Lisbon glitters with the Atlantic Ocean
Naples glares with the Tyrrhenian Sea


“Even though I am situated within the Athens urban area
Luckily, I am not called the port of Athens but the port of myself”
Sighs the crowded, bustling and proud port city of Piraeus


We must always be watchful on the captain’s bridge
We must always learn well from maritime mistakes
We must always remember that the sea takes its toll repeatedly


All the modern jetliners flying over the Mediterranean
Secretly roar like this: “Let’s keep this unrivaled sea alive
We don’t think it’s from here but from another planet”


Empty paths under the afternoon sun
Cool walks on the isolated evening beach
That’s the bona fide nature of my solitude on the island


Naturally, Vrångö which is the southernmost island
Of the welcoming Gothenburg archipelago isn’t kidding at all
When it tells me that its waters are cold in a brutal but healthy way


The master and his team’s apparent failure
Caused the imminent cruise ship allision in the port
What could the expert tugs and their crew do in such a case?


Once in a while, it feels like a foreigner
In a foreign land but the shy Ligurian Sea
Is completely Mediterranean, born and bred


Biarritz is one of those epic beach towns
Where to sunbathe, swim and surf
Move together in remarkable harmony


Why not admit it in all sincerity and accuracy?
The amazingly beautiful and remote islands in the Aegean Sea
Are the perfect shelters to escape cold weather and negative people


The most convenient time to go on a cruise
In the Mediterranean is mid or late spring
When the weather is warm but not sweltering


Calling all maritime aficionados from the Istanbul docks
“Please keep in mind that most ancient port cities
Are still famous for their gorgeous harbor traffic”


After saying goodbye to the Santa Lucia train station
I skipped the crowds and hopped on a half-empty vaporetto
For a short winter visit of Venice’s outer quiet islands


The great Mare Nostrum corners
Love dearly to hide themselves behind
Extraordinary cliffs, extensive sandy stretches and small coves


If you find the breezing magic of Mediterranean Poetry
Hard to believe, then check it out for yourself
The versification paradise is within your mind’s reach


From the Mediterranean to the Aegean
The Greek Islands are immersed in an enviable
Charm, climate, culture and conundrum


In the serious storm aftermath
All clear, safe and sound again
At the busy ports of the region


Capsized and sunken towboat with crew
Coast Guard cutters on the search mission
Curious albacores in the proximity


Its fast-developing peninsulas and islands
Embody the constantly renewed spirit
Of the Mediterranean’s anti-mediocrity habit


For the best deserted beaches
I often visit my night dreams where
Only one delightful lady speaks my language


We winded down at a recently restored hotel
On the European side of İstanbul which mixes
Artsy and refined with its spacious rooms


Mediterranean countries like Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey
Inhale marine beauty, marine history and marine gastronomy
Through all their invisible pores incessantly for ages


Honeymooners or eternal romantics
Shouldn’t stay away from visiting the tropical islands
Or from cruising with the floating island-like colossal ships


The endless sea is honored
With precision and elegance
By being called the “ocean”


It’s much better to visit Bodrum
During the whole summer season
In order to appreciate its little İstanbul-like vibe


Come on, love, that ostentatious ferry to the island can wait
We must first visit the town’s renowned pastry shops
And slowy try to taste their exquisite specialities


There is a big rebuilt French-style café and bistro
With a public library style small reading corner inside
Finally, a good reason to spend time around the marina


My flag-like faithful greetings
To the “kayıks” of İstanbul, the “gondolas” of Venice
And the “dghajsas” of Valletta


Despite the unpredictable Mount Etna as its smoking backdrop
The rococo city of Catania does not intend to give up being
One of the Sicily’s chic and picturesque coastal spots


As far as I know, Henry Miller never met Leonard Cohen
And Leonard Cohen never met Henry Miller but the Hydra Island
Met them both when they were breathing and authoring


It’s almost always the Mediterranean literature
That often awakens the thinking people’s fragile minds
About the futility of panick attacks and pipe dreams


My moveable maritime poetry
Struggles to retain its soul
And shows no signs of slowing down

For other contributions by Güntürk Üstün, please follow the links below:

Poetry in this post: © Güntürk Üstün
Published with the permission of Güntürk Üstün