Under that tree at Göbeklitepe
ERTUĞRUL ÖZKÖK - SAFFET EMRE TONGUÇI had started my day usually with a coffee. I saw that word at the daily Cumhuriyet in an article written by Özgen Acar: “Wish tree.”
The article was about the great archeologist who we lost on July 20: Dr. Klaus Schmidt.
What Klaus Schmidt discovered in Göbeklitepe, I believe, has potential to change many things in the history of humanity and the history of our beliefs.
A group of archeologists from the universities of Chicago and Istanbul visited the southeastern town of Şanluıurfa in 1963. It looked like a routine visit. When they reached the hill 10 kilometers away from Şanlıurfa, they noticed a tree. The tree that was standing by itself all alone in an empty terrain was impressive. It was a mulberry tree and local people called it “the wish tree.” People have been going to the tree to make wishes since ancient times.
While the archeologists were examining the tree, one of them noticed a small hill a bit further away.
The texture of the soil was different; it was as if it was hiding something. They examined it for a while, began to dig slightly and came across some lime stones. The Chicago archeologists went back to their countries and wrote reports on their findings. They wrote that there were no noteworthy discoveries from that hill. They claimed that it was probably a Byzantium outpost and that the stones belonged to a grave stone. The file was then closed. The tree had given its first signal, but it went unnoticed.
Some 25 years later, a villager named Şavak Yıldız who was practically born and lived under that tree, found a set of two sculpture-like objects in 1988. He looked at them for a while but continued with his work. He brought them home in the evening. His nephews and relatives then looked at them for a while with one of them suggesting that he should sell them to the antique shop. However, Şavak Yıldız was determined: “I am going to take them to the museum.” They told him it was too far away, but he set out the next morning, with the hope of an award in his mind.
After a long journey he arrived at Şanlıurfa Archeological Museum. The Museum Manager Adnan Mısır looked at the two small figurines, and then told Şavak: “They are useless, you may take them back.”
Şavak Yıldız was upset. “What can I do with them? You keep them.” While he headed back to his village, he was not aware he had carried a sign that could change the history of humanity to Şanlıurfa Museum. The Museum manager told the superintendent to put the figurines in the storehouse. They had not noticed the second sign the tree had sent.
The mysterious statues, like an Indiana Jones film, were in dark storage room waiting for the next person to discover them. Six years later, that would happen at a library in Berlin.
A person reading the report in the library of the German Archeology Institute in Berlin in 1994 said, “This cannot be true” after he finished reading the report. His name was Klaus Schmidt and he was 41 years old. He had found the Chicago University report by coincidence, read it to its last detail and was stuck at the sentence: “These findings may belong to a Byzantium outpost.” He was surprised that nothing noteworthy was found after these discoveries as he had some knowledge of the region’s history. It was not possible that what was discovered had belonged to the Byzantium’s. A voice inside told him that there was a very important thing there. He then decided that he had to go immediately. The sign coming from the tree at Şanlıurfa had finally been found.
When Klaus Schmidt entered Şanlıurfa Archeology Museum one week later, a journey that would change the course of humanity and religious history began. The tree was finally able to make its voice heard. Maybe the first divine message of the history of humanity was coming from the roots of that tree. Professor Klaus Schmidt was sure that the tree on that hill was hiding the biggest secret of humanity, religions and beliefs…
“The Big Bang of belief had occurred there and constituted the first black hole…”
Maybe that divine voice that called Prophet Abraham to those lands came from under that tree.
A while after he started digging, he was to come across such a thing that many archeologists and conspiracy theorists alike would turn their eyes too. Göbeklitepe which kept silent for 11,000 years was talking for the first time…