Rosse Buurt


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I remember my first time in Amsterdam, a magical city with dainty bridges over canals, and quaint buildings along it, whose tops symbolize various forms of architecture. Different gables, bell, neck-shaped and laddered, according to the fashion.

Our hotel was far from Rosse Buurt, so we walked and had dinner in an area close to the district. I never forget that name because it is a vivid memory of how things worked in that part of town. The restaurant had a good view of the Red Light District, comprising of houses whose windows displayed young women in their underwear. Once the curtains were drawn and the light faded, it meant they were busy. Other windows lit up and faded into darkness throughout the dinner. What a life, I thought, open, uninhibited.

Prostitution is the oldest profession in history. I remember seeing a sign in Ephesus, probably the oldest bit of advertising, stating, “If you go right, you’ll find your heart’s key,” pointing to a house of joy.

Men marry proper women who bear proper children, but some can’t stay away from the women of joy, can they, and perhaps have some illegitimate children. What’s the secret? The proper versus the improper? Perhaps they prefer the less inhibited? There are many answers to this question. I think it has to do with the alter ego and the rebellion against what’s proper.

Recently, I read that Rosse Buurt will be moved out of Amsterdam. Amsterdam will not be Amsterdam without Rosse Buurt. It will never be the same. With this on my mind, I listen to Jacques Brel.


The Second Time


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My flash fiction story, The Second Time, is in the March Issue of The Bosphorus Review of Books. Many thanks to the Editor-in-Chief, Luke Frostic.

Happy Spring! 🙂

Thank you for reading. 🙂

Image: Paul Delvaux (23 September 1897 – 20 July 1994) Winter Evening

A Festival of Flash 8 – Janis Freegard, Rob Walton, Iona Winter, Gloria Garfunkel & Şebnem E. Sanders


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I have a micro-fiction story on this page, along with some great writers. Enjoy! 😍 Many thanks to the editors Michelle Elvy and
Witi Ihimaera.

Love in the Time of COVID

You’ll never see unless you look by Janis Freegard

Your head sinks into the pillow, you pass through the tunnel where sometimes, briefly, voices speak words that don’t quite make sense, where there are shapes and patterns you only ever see in this state, then you’re through to the other world, the sleep world.

It’s different here. Life happens in fragments. Time means nothing. A friend can become a cat and then your cousin. You see someone you know but they are wearing a stranger’s face. Electrical appliances will not work. The dead were never dead.

Try to wake up inside this world. This way you can influence events. Flying is a good option for you. It may take a few tries. To start with, you might be hovering just above the ground, worrying about crashing down. Don’t. Don’t think about that. Concentrate on levitating above rooftops and trees. Get…

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The Hunter by Sebnem E. Sanders


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Many thanks to the Editor in Chief, Paul D. Brazill, for publishing my story, The Hunter at Punk noir Magazine.

Season’s Greetings and wishes for much health and prosperity in the New Year! 🙂

Punk Noir Magazine

The Hunter

Blanche stood before the cheval mirror and adjusted her fur hat. Tucking wayward curls inside the headpiece, she buttoned her fitted long coat, and picked up her gloves.

Fat snowflakes dancing like butterflies greeted her as she stepped into the street lined with terraced houses. She pulled up her collar, and glided over the soft mounds on the pavement. Warm lights pouring from windows and lamp posts illuminated the blanket of snow which muffled the sounds of traffic and footsteps. A postcard scene, as though time had stopped. Turning left at the bottom of the road, Blanche continued towards the High Street.

Loaded with bags, Christmas shoppers headed in all directions. Passengers stepped onto or off red, double-decker buses along the main street decorated with colourful lights. Children fascinated by displays, stuck their faces on the windows of the Toy Shop as their parents pulled them away while…

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Happy Birthday, Ripples on the Pond! Recap, December 8th, 2020.

Happy Birthday, Ripples on the Pond! Recap, December 8th, 2020.


Another year has passed and I still haven’t published my longer fiction… Sorry, I have been distracted for more than a year watching movies, series, human stories I love. Maybe I should attempt to write reviews on these, not as a critic, but as a spectator. Never mind, maybe I will, maybe I won’t, but I know it’s time to concentrate on my longer fiction and stop procrastinating …

Anyway, I’m updating the below post from a year ago, with a few new photos, some reviews, and links to the stories which appeared on online literary magazines, before and after Ripples on the Pond was published.

The below stories were first published at Sick Lit Magazine. Many thanks to the Editor in Chief, Kelly Fitzharris @kellycoody.

My Paper Memories / The Train

King of Hearts

Zero plus One

First published at Twisted Sister Literary Magazine

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Yes, I got Georgia on my Mind because it’s significant and the song plays in the background as the US election results painfully unfold. So slow, so unnerving, but we must bear, and the winner will be announced before the next century.

This is where we have arrived now, the most powerful nation on planet Earth cannot decide who is the winner, while the grapevine grows and spreads words of conspiracy… Stealing, winning, losing, suing, etc.

Amid a worldwide pandemic, human or otherwise caused, we are at a standstill, waiting, waiting as to how our fates will unfold.

Hegel says, “thesis, antithesis, and synthesis.” White, black, and grey. We are familiar with the whites and blacks, but who is in the grey area? Who will win? The blacks, whites or the greys? Everyone knows the blacks and the whites. No one knows the greys, made up of all they agree from the synthesis of the whites and blacks. A little bow to the left and some to the right, while making their own synthesis. Will this work? Probably not, because people would rather think in black and white, than try to understand the shades.

Sorry America, sorry the World. We need to learn more, but it will take ages…Meanwhile, Back on the Chain Gang ….

Hunter’s Moon by Sebnem E Sanders


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I’m honoured to have my story, Hunter’s Moon, at Punk Noir Magazine.
Many thanks to Author, Paul D Brazill, for publishing my story. 😍

Punk Noir Magazine

Hunter’s Moon

A freelance journalist and photographer, Ali had been on the road for six hours. Although he had intended to reach his destination in Izmir that night, he almost dozed off as the head and taillights from the motorway traffic danced before his eyes. Sipping coffee from the thermos no longer kept him alert. He decided to stop for rest and took the next exit marked, Altınkum 50 Km, a seaside resort on the Aegean, famous for its golden sand beach.

The idea of driving another fifty kilometres sounded challenging. In hope of finding some kind of accommodation on the way, Ali followed the country lane that snaked between vast olive groves on either side. His thoughts drifted to the past, long before the motorway to Izmir had been built. The old road meandered through quaint villages and lively small towns, then. Coffee houses full of men sipping…

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Loss is like something torn out of one’s soul. Something strong grabs hold of it and takes it away. Never to be replaced in this life.

I’ve lived through loss. Of parents, lovers, and relatives, but this is the first time I’ve faced the loss of a very good friend, the only male one. We had been friends for life, he was a month or so younger than me. Our grandmothers were friends, our mothers, and us.

I keep thinking of England, when he came to my wedding party in Warwick. He and his wife were the only Turks there, besides another friend Mehmet, and his English wife. Azmi and his wife gave me a silver tray as a wedding gift. That tray has been sitting on my coffee table for a while, waiting to be put away. You know how one forgets things, after a recent event.  I wonder if that was a sign. It is still there and now I cannot put it back in the dresser. Another gift he gave me, sits among the small silver knicknacks. A milk pitcher with a ladle. I love it and polish it, thinking of him.

After our school days, we were apart. He got married and moved to England, while I got married and began to work. We had no contact during the time I lived in the Far East. When I returned to London, we were both separated from our spouses. It was a difficult time for both of us. We stuck together, supporting each other and shared things. Going out at night, to shows, dinner with friends, and countryside rides.

During my miserable days in London, he was the only beacon of light that kept me going. I hope I was the same for him, for his losses.

He used to take me to a night club called The Escapade in South Kensington, very close to the Bibenium. That was the only venue open until the early hours of the morning, after the Pubs closed. South American owners, Argentinian steak, music, and dancing, and Londoners from all walks of life. Then, he’d drive his classic Lancia along Park Lane, breaks and tyres screecing, taking me back to my flat. He was a gentleman, generous, courteous, intelligent, and kind. Despite his excellent education and high qualifications, I don’t think he found the dream job of his life. But he tried, through thick and thin, he tried, to his last day, always…

Then we’d have Fish&Chips at Notting Hill, watch the Talking Heads movie at the ICA, go to Sunday lunch with his friends, or mine at my flat.  

I returned to Istanbul after two years, he followed a couple of years later. Being an engineer, he had turned his skills to IT. He became a programmer, an international one. He worked in Beirut, in the UK, and wherever his services were required.

Then life happened. Companies closed, he had the big C. He never ever gave up, until the last moment.

Wherever you are, my friend, may you rest in peace. I have thousands of memories to cherish, once I can deal with your loss.

Dedicated to Azmi Tenikalp, 1950-2020, Istanbul.

Dark and Light


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Dark and Light

The morning was dark as night

the evening bright, as the moon,

stars, and constellations

illuminated my path

There is light among the darkness

and shadows of darkness in light

The magic is to find the beam of hope

whether it’s daytime or night.

©S.E.Sanders 2020