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You walk from Tekfur Palace [inside the walls] to … Gates are usually straight, but not this one. That’s why it’s called ‘crooked gate’… When you went out on the right-hand side there was a Greek cemetery, and there was a football pitch opposite, which was called Bozkurt Club. Behind that, there was a big open space where we went to catch birds with my father. We used to get , colourful birds with a red stripe on their heads and white tummies, and browny-yellow feathers. They were good singers… We took one home, and its tummy was not white, more like pink…

In [after the ], the first thing I did was to have a little talk with the bird. As a child I used to talk to the bird, telling it all of my secrets. This time I took the cage to the window and released the bird. I told it that I now understood that we had done a cruel thing by capturing it, because now I felt imprisoned too. 

This is the story of Minas, who is in his 70s now, and lives in Athens.