Seljuk Station is a screenplay written by Bahram Beyzai in 2000. In this screenplay Beyzai focuses on the life a French woman searching for fertility.
Where is Seljuk Station?
Seljuk Station is an gas station in an ancient city of Ephesus, three kilometres southwest of present-day Selçuk in İzmir Province, Turkey. The city used to be one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Greek era, but later on after invasion of Seljuk Turks in 12th century, its name changed into Seljuk. Seljuk city is one of the top tourist attractions of turkey filled with archeological sites particularly Temple of Artemis.
Who is Cybele?
Cybele or Artemis was the goddess of fertility in ancient Greek. The Cybele Statue in Ephesus Museum is a small statue in a sarcophagus-like shape with two animals (Stags) next to her feet. Her multi breasts emphasize her fertility and potency of giving birth.
Seljuk Station Plot
Isabel and Francois were travelling to Ephesus to adopt a child in a war-stricken village of Turkey on Isabel demand, since she is infertile. On the way to Istanbul, in the early morning, on a gas station in Seljuk district, Isabel got off the bus to use the toilet, while Francois was asleep in the bus. Two young boys teased her by occupying the toilet before her. When she left the toilet, her eyes caught the glimpse of the store next to gas station and stepped toward it. All of the sudden, she realized that the bus was moving. She ran after the bus, but it was in vain.
Left alone in gas station, she tried to get help from the locals. However, no one understood her. No one spoke French. She tried English and luckily, one spoke back. One tried to give her a ride in his car but the local warned her against it. He was notorious for being womanizer. Wrapped in blanket giving by the owner of the local shop, she sat on the ancient plinth close to the station, hopelessly.
While she was alone, she began to think about her husband behaviors and attitude toward her resolution: adopting a child. The situation began to go awry as her fears turned into nightmares. Her emotion became over her so much that she even blamed her husband for being left alone. Suppressed voices of unconscious welled up and made her had a second thought about her life.
Meanwhile, her husband, François, attempted to back for her with all difficulties. Isabel constantly dreamt Francois was coming back with a child, but it was a pipe dream. When finally, he came back, Isabel made up her mind and got on another bus and left him. She could not bear the situation anymore. The modern East where all the magic was gone disillusioned her. Along with that, she realized that her husband has prevented her to achieve her goal.
Seljuk Station Review
Bahram Beyzai , as usual, uses a historical place or historic moment as a jumping board for his narrative. In “Seljuk Station”, Beyzai excavates into the life of French couple visiting the magical East to adopt a child. According to Francois, he is not going to adopt a child from a Germany, Italy and Russia because they are the child of Nazism, Fascism a Communism, respectively. He was against the Turks or Kurds too; however, Isabel talked him into it.
Isabel was desperate to have a child. She taught that East was the same thing she had read in books and stories. But once, she was there, it became dawn on her that she was wrong. The modern East has lost its charmed taste. This disillusionment was paralleled with reevaluation of her husband and her life with him. Her nightmares were nothing but her wishes and fears. Wishes for a child. Fear of being raped. Dreaming of uniting with her husband plus a child captured her body and soul to the verge of nervous breakdown.
Similar to all other Beyzaie’s screenplays or plays, the female protagonist made an important decision that is rebelling against the status quo and made her free of all the masculine shackles.
Quick Facts about Seljuk Station
- Full Title: Seljuk Station
- Author: Bahram Beyzai
- Type of Work: Screenplay
- Genre: Drama
- Language: Farsi (Some English Sentences)
- Time and Place Written: 2000
- Date of First Publication: 2000
- Publisher: Roshangaran Publication
- Point Of View: Third Person
- Tone: Straightforward
- Setting (Time): Circa the publication
- Setting (Place): Ephesus, Turkey
- Protagonist: Isabel
- Major Conflict: Isabel attempts to adopt a child in Turkey
- Rising Action: Isabel missed the Bus to Istanbul
- Climax: Isabel got on the bus alone and left her husband
- Themes: knowing the truth about her life; Pregnancy is impossible; Huge gap between her and her husband, The magical East is gone
- Motifs: Nightmares and dreams, Smoking, Road
- Symbols: Cybele Statue