Halid Ziya Bey's recollection of his recruitment by the bank

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  • Title: Book page
  • Transcript: ...two days later, while I was lazily lying in bed, trying to overcome the sleeplessness of a night spent at the theatre, someone knocked on my door, and I heard the loud voice of my uncle who was not in the habit of coming to my door: -Are you still sleeping Halid? Get up, quick, you have to go to the Bank and see Istepan Nubar Efendi. He wants to talk to you. Then come and see me, I am curious, you'll tell me why they called for you... -Ah! Yet another translation job, I said to myself, deciding that it wasn't worth spoiling my lazy morning. I turned around to go back to sleep but a moment later curiosity got the better of me, and I got up. Istepan Nubar Efendi was an important person in the Izmir branch of the Ottoman Bank. This person, who had deep feelings for Turks though he was not one himself, was not only the liaison between the Bank and the public and private Turkish realm, but being a very industrious man by nature, he had burdened himself with the internal matters of the Bank that would otherwise occupy ten employees. He explained why I had been called in four sentences: The Bank had always wanted to employ a Turkish youth who knew foreign languages. Mehmed Efendi of whom they were very fond of... (This Mehmed Efendi was the father of Tokadizade Şekib Bey, one of the most distinguished masters of the literary world the noblest personality in Izmir and a very able poet as well.) Thus, Mehmed Efendi would be released of his burdening over load. The youth the Bank was looking for would be, in a way, schooled in accounting and correspondance. The head office in Istanbul would be notified, and a salary of ten liras should be considered a good pay. As these words spilled out of his mouth, one curtain after another rose before my eyes allowing me to view the appealing scenes behind each and everyone of them. In a matter of minutes, I was introduced to the branch director, Heintze-a German-, the assistant director, Lawson,-an Englisman-and all the other directors of the branch; I was taken to the cashier's department; in a single jump I settled on a high stool that stood next to an impressively high desk; one of the many columned cash account ledgers kept by Nubar Efendi himself was placed before me.