By KANI XULAM
“Mother,” said little Pearl, “the sunshine does not love you. It runs away and hides itself, because it is afraid of something on your bosom. . . . It will not flee from me, for I wear nothing on my bosom yet!”
“Nor ever will, my child, I hope,” said Hester.
“And why not, mother?” asked Pearl, stopping short. . . . “Will it not come of its own accord, when I am a woman grown?”
This mother-daughter conversation between the innocent Pearl and the condemned Hester in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlett Letter reminds me of Professor Ismail Besikci, a persecuted Turk, in “modern” Turkey.