Tamerlane, Hodja and trucks…

Tamerlane, Hodja and trucks…

There were reports Jan. 19 that the Gendarmerie was after three trucks on the Gaziantep highway. What will be the outcome? I have some idea, but saying so might be considered a prejudiced approach.
After all, the government of the almighty sultan know-all cannot be carrying weapons to help some Islamist zealots kill and eat the hearts, livers or whatever part they might like of troops loyal to the Syrian dictatorship.

I remembered a Nasraddin Hodja joke. Did it correspond well with the situation? Who cares, I am in the mood of telling a joke.

It was during the time of Tamerlane’s occupation of Anatolia. Not only had Tamerlane insulted the captured Ottoman sultan by his forcing the wife to dance naked in front of a crowd or offered her to some of his commanders, he was also known for being merciless to ordinary people as well. At least that has been the “official” presentation of him on this part of the world.

One day, Tamerlane and his mighty army, which included many elephants, came to Akşehir. Tamerlane settled at one of the big mansions in the city. The army’s elephants were distributed to villagers to look after during the stay of Tamerlane. One of those elephants was given to the neighborhood where Nasraddin Hodja was living. The people were hardly feeding themselves and could not afford to look after an elephant. Yet, who would dare to say that to the almighty sultan who had a merciless reputation?

People of the neighborhood went to the Hodja and asked his help. They asked him to go to Tamerlane as their representative, explain to him the immense difficulty faced by the people and request the elephants be taken back.

Scared as well, Hodja thought on the issue for a little while. “Alright,” said the Hodja, “but I’ve one condition. Twenty of you must come with me.”

So, the Hodja, leading a crowd of twenty villagers, set on road for the mansion where Tamerlane was residing. But during the journey one after the other, the villagers fled. The Hodja, believing they were following him, went to Tamerlane. He entered the “reception hall” alone.

When the Sultan asked him, why he had come, the Hodja replied: “The people of our neighborhood...” He could not finish, Tamerlane roared “What people, Hodja?”

“The people of my neighborhood,” Hodja said indicating with his hand where he believed the people to be. Then he saw he was alone and continued “Yes the people of our town,” Hodja said with a devilish grin on his face, “have taken pity on the elephant and if it is a female, they want a male, and if it is a male, they want a female, so that it will have company.”

Tamerlane was of course very happy with the reply. “As it is male, I will give you a female,” he answered.

When the Hodja went out, he saw the people who had run away.

“What happened,” they asked. The Hodja replied, “Good news, the species’ females will come as well, it’s on the way.”

One truck last year… Another truck last month… Three trucks yesterday… Either Turkish intelligence has forgotten how to conduct discreet “aid to Islamist rebels,” or a “Hodja” is trying to show Turks what they insist on not seeing…

What happened to those three trucks? Is it really important to learn how the government will try to cover up the issue?