Letter from Turkey

For this new issue of Letter from… column, we asked toonpool.com artist Menekşe Çam about her life and begged for some photographs of her working place and the city she lives in – Izmir, the Turkish port city with a history that goes back 3500 years. Menekse, the charming cartoonist with the most portraits and caricatures made by toonpool friends, is telling us about her curious and nosy neighbor, her lovely town and childhood play fellows. Because we want to know more about dear Menekse than her neighbor does, we went forward and simply asked:

Menekşe some weeks ago

1. Which movie/TV character you see yourself as and why?

I think “Maggie” in “City of Angels” was the character I found myself resembling with, because some of her personality traits and thanks to the extremely convincing acting of Meg Ryan.

2. Next plans or ideas?

I have an unpublished album. I will publish it as soon as possible. Also I’m planning my second personal exhibition for the next year, maybe in Istanbul or Ankara.Apart from these, if I had a red-white mini-cooper, I would never forget where I parked it.

3. Your food today?

Spinach with a little bit of meat and plenty of yogurt.

4. Do you like your place or would you like to live somewhere else?

I’m in love with Izmir. When I had to leave it for the first time, at 21, because of the teachers rotation, I thought I will die in that new place. No sea, no smell of iodine and seaweed, no Jewish patty (Boyoz… a special desert that it’s only found in Izmir), no house made wine from the delicious grapes of the Aegean Sea… But I like very much to travel, to see new places and to meet new people… with the condition of returning to Izmir in the end. Also, I would like not to live, but to have a long holiday on a desert island, away from any kind of technology.

5. What was the huge mistake in your life you (unfortunately) never did?

Unfortunately, I never tightly thumped on the nose of any person who annoyed me up to despair.

Sini Kosk"-favourite restaurant thanks to a good menu, service and live music

Enjoying cold Efes-Beer at the Aegean Sea

6. Who are your neighbors?

I have a neighbor on the opposite side of the road who is constantly watching what I’m doing… and upstairs, the other one who is cleaning his house at very early hours on Sunday.

7. Tell me the shortest joke you know

A man has fallen asleep on the PC and he got sick the very next day. Why?? – Because forgot the “Windows” opened…

A teacher affects eternity. One can never foresee where their influence go.

The school where Menekse teaches. The flags were celebrating the Republic Day.

8. Tell me the biggest prank you did on a friend.

When I was 12 years old, we (me and my cousin) wanted to make a joke on my brother’s expense. He was on a swing and we have made him to become tangled in the ropes by turning the swing… and later we left it. The swing rapidly began to turn in the other direction side… turned… turned… and suddenly the rope broke.

My dear brother was tossed to one side and the swing to the other side. When he came back home from hospital he had sutures on his head. We had disappeared for 24 hours. (He is a surgeon now)

9. How to ruin your vacation?

If I did not go…

Working table. Usually Menekşe lights up the room

40 steps away from Menekşe´s home

Menekşe celebrating with some friends the toonpool.com exhibition hold in Izmir

10. In 1977 NASA has sent orbiters Voyager 1 and 2 into space which will never stop to fly through the universe by gravity. They contain the Voyager Golden Records with many testimonials of the whole mankind, greetings in 55 languages introduced by US president Jimmy Carter (“This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings….”). The Golden Records with a lifespan of 500 million years at least are including drawings of a naked man and woman, detailed genitalia, many scientific graphics, sounds of planet earth and music by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart – and Chuck Berry:


Maybe aliens out there will be shocked in some million years! But in case such a NASA mission will be replayed: which (1) of your artworks should join it?

I think I have a suitable hero for such a NASA mission.


11. Please give us an answer to a question we didn’t ask!

It’s the best question that one could not ask!

Credits to Nicoleta Ionescu for talking with Menekşe Çam

© toonpool.com

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21 Responses to “Letter from Turkey”

  1. Saadet Demir Yalcin says:

    Congrats dear Menekşe and Niki..

  2. Great!I congratulate both of you :)

  3. menekse says:

    Thanks dear Saadet and Çiğdem! Of course thanks dear Niki!

    “Menekşe some weeks ago” Hahaaa!! True!! That picture is not so far away to me as the mood.. :D

  4. alexjaws says:

    It ‘s wonderful to see how you teach your students .. something I’ve always wanted to do
    Izmir seems to be a very beautiful place, your vital epicenter.
    Obviously, aliens will be happy to receive your super snail…certainly he needs some light years to reach living systems in the universe…
    Great both, interview and pics.
    Congrats dear Men and Niki!

  5. Niki says:

    Thank you for the nice words and I am really glad you enjoyed the interview!

  6. Atilla Atala says:

    *S*U*P*E*R! :) )…Congratulations

  7. badham says:

    What a nice interview! :)

  8. Otilia Bors says:

    Best to you, Manekse and have a great inspirations in your future works!
    Best regards from Bucharest!

  9. menekse says:

    Thanks by heart dear Alex, Bad, and Otilia! :)
    All the best for you!!!

  10. Kerina Strevens says:

    What a lovely place you live and teach in. Really enjoyed reading this – thanks x

  11. great interview Menekse! I like the photos (specially the one you are teaching), and your city seems a lovely place to live. I should have come to the exhibition… congratulations!!!

  12. sal navarro says:

    congartulations Dear Menekse..Is so nice to know more about your life and the place you live in…Someday i will be able to see it in person!

  13. sal navarro says:

    and yor baby pic is the cutest I have seen!

  14. Remy says:

    Congrats on your baby picture, the Super Snail Caricature and the best interview. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  15. Kidor says:

    It’s wonderful what we found in this interview …
    Congratulations, Menekse for everything you do and you are!
    Congratulations, Niki for another interview adorable!

  16. supperrrR!!!
    congrats again
    toonpool and world cartoonists..

  17. menekse says:

    Thanks a lot by heart , dear Atilla, Kerina, Xavi, Sal and Kid for your nice responses. :)
    BTW: I certainly someday will host to artists who want to visit Izmir with an organization that arranged better. ;)

  18. Menekse Cam says:

    Thank you so much dear Remy and Don Quichotte! Best wishes for you!

  19. Hezz says:

    Very nice looking places.

  20. R´n´Ricco says:

    Congrats & 1001 THX, dear Menekşe, for your constantly great works, for this intersting interview, pictures from your hometown “IZMIR” and your kind personality & great friend!
    You´re sure that your photo “Menekşe some weeks ago” wasn´t shot just a few days ago???? :o )
    Keep on with your masterful drawings!
    Best regards!

    THX SIS Menekşe (gandhi!) and Niki!

  21. menekse says:

    Thanks Hezz and thanks Ricco for your kind words and your warm friendship!
    All the best!

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