civilization cat | Tayfun TIMOÇIN


They are always a bit skeptical. To live, of course. Photo by Mikhail – Vasiliev – Unsplash

Civilization has always emerged – to put it bluntly – “at the water’s edge”. Being next to the streams was a necessity, because as we have already talked about, there is no life without water. We need water to live. Our habit of separating all that exists as animate and inanimate is very bad. We put water in the “inanimate” category, right? But no living being can live without water. Is the water lifeless now? Anyway, let’s skip the subject which could provoke deep philosophical discussions. In short, we can say this: if there is no water, there is neither life nor civilization. This is why rivers are so important.


civilization cat


The Euphrates and the Tigris originate from Anatolia.

The name of Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, already means “between the rivers”. The great and ancient Sumerian civilization was formed between the Tigris and the Euphrates, followed by the Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian civilizations. If we say Egypt, which developed almost simultaneously with the Mesopotamian civilization and undoubtedly took something away from it, it would not have been possible without the Nile. The famous sentence written by Herodotus, the father of history, in his book (II/5) but which in fact belongs to another historian Hecataios of Miletus, born 60 years before him, was not said in vain: “Egypt is the gift of The Nile.” Both are our citizens, Herodotus is from Bodrum and Hekataios is from Miletus.
The Yellow River in China and Seyhun and Ceyhun (Siri Derya, Amu Derya) in Central Asia are also distinct cradles of civilization. The Indus River, from which India takes its name (and the origin of its culture), is different, and the Ganges, which has become sacred and declared “mother”, is even more different. All the ancient tribes that formed the basis of Europe flourished along the Danube. Who knows, if civilization heading west from Mesopotamia had not encountered the Jordan River in the land of Palestine, it might not have taken root so well there.


One way or another, the cradle of human civilization is Mesopotamia. The Euphrates and Tigris rivers fueled this great development. Obviously, without them, this “cradle” would undoubtedly have shifted elsewhere. The Euphrates and the Tigris originate from Anatolia. When you open the world map and look at it, you will see that, interestingly, the Nile, which gave life to Egypt, the parallel civilization to Sumer, also arises from hidden corners of East Africa. East and empties into the Mediterranean with great enthusiasm. . What you will see on the map is that the Nile strengthens as it strengthens towards the north, as if it wants to send its waters to Anatolia. Summer is approaching, many of us will be immersing ourselves in the cool waters of our Mediterranean beaches. Don’t forget that those who bathe in the Mediterranean also touch the waters of the Nile. The surface currents of the Mediterranean lick the northern coasts of Africa eastward, carrying these waters northward along the coast of Palestine to our shores, and continuing their course westward along of our Mediterranean coasts. From there, some of these waters enter the Aegean Sea, some of them return to the Peloponnese and the Adriatic. I mean, whether we like it or not, we can swallow the waters that come from Aswan, Abu Simbel, Luxor, the Valley of the Kings, beyond the Pyramids of Giza by swimming. I think it’s very exciting. Let’s move on.



Sir, our main topic today is the Euphrates and the Tigris, which originated in Anatolia, almost created history and are mentioned in creation myths. It is said that the Euphrates derives its name from the ancient Persian, that is, from the ancestor of Persian. It is claimed in some sources that it comes from “ufratu” meaning “to cross”. However, it is more correct to examine the language of older civilizations that we know lived on the slopes of these rivers. You know who we are talking about, the Sumerian language of the Sumerians and the Akkadian language which became the language in which the Sumerians spoke and wrote over time. The Sumerians called the Euphrates “here”. In Akkadian, which developed after them, this word turned into “Purattum”. It is also quite normal that the Akkadian word “purattum” turns into “ufratum” in the Persian language that appeared later. It is also quite normal that this word is called “Euphrates” in the West, under the influence of Greek.



civilization cat

You’re beautiful, but we don’t need to snuggle up too much. Photo Blake Meyer – Unsplash

The Tiger was recorded as “Idigna” in the Sumerian language. This word became “Idiglat” in the Akkadian language. I-diglat! Akkadian is the father of all other Semitic languages. Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic all come from there. Of course, they also translated the word in their own way. The word, which became “hiddeqel” in Hebrew, became “diqlath” in Aramaic and “dijlah” in Arabic. In short, we consider it normal that the common ancestor word, which sounds like “diklat”, enters Greek as “tigris” and is thus transferred to the West.
On top of all that, the word Tiger has a completely different adventure. There is a very dangerous predatory creature that lives east of this river, namely the Tiger. In fact, there are! Tiger! Kaplan is entirely in Turkish. It comes from capture. It’s like snatching… Because the tiger is the largest of all felines. He is quite large, and if you ask me, he is one of the most beautiful and magnificent of all living beings. I don’t know about you, but I never get tired of watching it. If possible, I always prefer to watch from afar.



Do you know that of this magnificent creature that once lived throughout Asia, there are only 3,900 left in the world, according to July 2019 data? This is the number of tigers left to die by us, who think he is the master of the whole world, the sole owner of all living beings and the ruler of nature. But our subject is different. Is it any wonder that this magnificent creature is named after the river “beyond which it lives”? I do not think so. The name for the tiger in Western languages ​​is “tiger”. Each nation pronounces it differently, but that’s how it’s spelled. Tiger takes its name from our Tiger, “tigris” in Greek. This is how the Latin accepted it. Of the tiger that once had 9 subspecies, we have only destroyed 3 in the last 100 years, only 6 remain. See, for example, Panthera tigris altaica, Latin for Siberian tiger. All other tiger names also always have “tigris”. Panther, on the other hand, dates back to the Indian language and is the general name for predatory felines that are not lions.



So my friends, the river and the tiger come from the same word, the Tiger. If we pay attention we can see that when we talk about the ancient Sumerian civilization we are talking about the places where there were settlements that reached 4000 BC or even more, the majority of these settlements are on the shores of the Euphrates, not the Tigris. All subsequent major cities, including Babylon, were built on the banks of the Euphrates, not the Tigris. A civilization not far from the Tigris, but not too close. Like my admiration for the tiger. Let it be there but not too much logic. Because the Euphrates flows calmly, it could have been kept under control throughout history. Come and see that the Tigris is far from such a calm and crazy flow, it does not allow the bridge or the canals to remain intact. Yes, he gave life with his water, but he didn’t treat people very kindly. He had a wild character. Just like a tiger. It cannot be a coincidence that the tiger was named after this river.


But wait, of course, I saved the most surprising part for last. I don’t know any other languages, but it’s a secret that our beautiful Turk keeps. A treasure, a beauty. How beautiful are our cats and domestic cats, who today live with us in our homes, who are abandoned in our streets, aren’t they? Yes, I can’t deny that they are quite strange, there is one in our house, we have lived together for 12 years, they have unpredictable and unpredictable behaviors, despite all their “domestication”. But you must have seen how dignified and charismatic their position is. (All charisma disappears by licking them, but regardless, these cleaning operations are no exception to the general rule.) It’s as if they have this big charisma of their big brother tiger. All their behavior is exactly the same. Only one is 3 meters high, the other half a meter. Our striped cats not only got their behavior, but also their names from their older brothers: Tabby! The word tabby comes directly from the same source, namely “tigris”. He comes from the Tiger. Over time, it became the name for striped cats in general. So when we say tabby, we actually mean tiger. For example, the French pronunciation of tiger is “tigr”, I don’t know if it comes from there. I don’t know if it’s used in a language other than Turkish as it is, but even that is very nice I think. Tiger, tiger, tabby… From now on, you can think of the Mad Tiger running while looking at cats. And maybe in the meantime, you might remember how many living beings we committed genocide and how many species we caused extinction. Like the waters of the Nile, which spread throughout the Mediterranean after following in the footsteps of the pharaohs and the shadows of the pyramids, the pangs of consciousness which come from distant geographies and which murmur in the sweetest corners of our languages ​​do not leave not make us lose their taste, do you think, perhaps we will achieve a better future?


We think the mucilage is over. It is not finished. It can’t stop anyway, because no pollutant that caused it has disappeared, diminished or transformed. It’s good to have an action plan, of course we have to organize meetings on this subject, but the fact that we know that the only method that can give results is to eliminate pollutants, but not doing so shows that we will find ourselves faced with mucilage again. Already the signs have begun. If it continues like this, the people who live on the banks of the Marmara won’t be able to stop smelling, and we won’t be able to eat fish of the variety we have left. There’s no time to lose.


We have the sugar festival ahead of us. It is also called Ramadan Feast, but I prefer Şeker. In these lands, our ancestors called it sugar “to sweeten our mouths”. At the same time, there are those who say it comes from “recognition”. The fact that we are at the end of the month of Ramadan may prompt us to call it Eid-al-Fitr, of course, but the holidays are usually commemorated with the actions they entail, right? After all, there are no months of sacrifice. On this occasion, I wish my dear readers a happy birthday.



Of course, summer is coming, but we should rejoice in its misfires. You are a little chilly this weekend. Classically, this has the effect of the lively windstorm created by the conflicting pressure systems on the Black Sea-Marmara-Aegean line. Although there are some very low chances of passage, no significant event that can be classified as “rain” is expected. So it looks like we have a few days to get by with some cardigans. May we be healthy…

Leave a Comment