Tuesday, October 30, 2007


These are the latest words of the Prime Minister who will meet with President Bush in a few days.

Everybody is talking; Rice, Putin, Ahmenijad, Barzani, Talabani, old and new CIA analists and even Kremlin commentators.

Sceenes on TVs are not from Iraq but inside Turkey. One can think they are from a hot war and though it is hard to accept, it is a hot war on the way. They say people have to be ready for any consequences any minute.

Lights are raining as shooting stars from Cobra and Skorsky helicopters, F-16 jets at the twilight. Troops are every where. Clouds, fires are raising from mountains, valleys. Number of terrorist deaths are unknown. They are "unknown" for the news, dont even have a number.

I cant imagine how many villages are there under those shooting stars, how many children hiding their moms' arms with fear in those villages. I cant imagine what those 19-20 years old soldiers dream if they can have any sleep. And I cant imagine the worry of mothers whose sons, daughters trapped on those mountains.

It is easy to say "terrorists" and walk away. What about their feelings, their loved ones, their dreams? Do their dreams much different from the soldiers of the same age? Do they want to die any more than any youngster? Do those 50 or more years old warlords, terrorist leaders who dont have any other life left, have any conscience leading 15-16 years olds to death?

Eight kidnapped soldiers are still at the hands of terrorists. Goverment wanted cencorship over the media but High Court refused the request. There is nothing at the international media. People around the world is not aware of what going on as if nothing is happening.

Is it possible to think their goverments dont want them to know because they dont want their roles to be exposed? They all have blood on their hands as always? Sure they do.

While they are saying they are against an operation from Turkey, they are winking for hidden consent. Why would they care for our Kurds or our unity? We are just another market, another play ground.

If only our blind nationalists and deaf Kurds can understand!... If only we can take a breath together before cutting our own umbilical cord to death!..

Here is a little part of the latest report on where the arms are coming from. Thanks to the arm salers of the world....

Origins of 36,563 weapons captured by Turkish security officers from the PKK, giving their serial numbers, places of production and countries of origin as follows:

* The countries of origin for 4,500 of 11,297 Kalashnikov rifles could be fully identified using the data on them. Accordingly, the breakdown of their countries of origin is as follows: Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) (71.6 percent), the People's Republic of China (14.7 percent), Hungary (3.6 percent), and Bulgaria (3.6 percent).

* Of 5,713 Kannas, BKC, Dragunov, Arbiki, G-3, M-16, G-1, Mavzer and weapons of other make, 959 were found to come from Russia and CIS (45.2 percent), the UK (13.2 percent) and the US (9.4 percent).

* Of 1,610 rocket launchers of various makes, 313 were identified to be Russian-made (85.3 percent), Iraqi-made (5.4 percent) and China-made (2.5 percent).

* Of 2,885 pistols of various makes, 2,208 were found to come from former Czechoslovakia (21.9 percent), Spain (20.2 percent) and Italy (19.8 percent).

* Since some of 11,568 land mines were destroyed on the spot, the countries of origin of only 8,015 land mines could be determined. The majority of them were Italian-made (60.6 percent) while 28.3 percent were Russian-made and 6.2 percent German-made.

* Of 3,490 hand grenades of various makes, 136 were found to come from Russia (72 percent), the US (19.8 percent) and Germany (8 percent).

* The A-4 and C-4 explosives used in terrorist attacks in cities were found to be


They had many names in the history; Saint islands, Monk islands, Sprit islands, Genie islands or the most common name Prince islands. You didn't hear them? They lie just at the enterence of Bosphorus in Istanbul. Ask them to Turkish locals and Greek immigrants, Rums of Istanbul, they would tell you endless stories.

I could reach the end of once colorful years. I am talking especially about Heybeliada; you can call Dimoniso, Khalky, Halkitis or Halki as you wish.

I still remember the love of aunt Cilveli (flirtatious) Eleni and uncle Dönme (convert) Ahmed. Mom says uncle Dönme Ahmed turned back to Trabzon and get lost. She suspects he was helping the Rums immigrated to Greece to take out their wealth they left burried back. Cilveli Eleni stayed at Heybeli alone waiting her love. She should be dead by now.

Though we moved when I was only two, we went on spending our summers at Heybeli. All begun to change when I was 6-7 and get lost in years. No more chatting in Rumca (greek) around the caffes at seaside, waiting at wharf; no more joyful songs any more.

Do you know "rembetiko"? It is becoming popular again lately. Rembetiko is the music of love, seperation, undegrround, haish haish, unhappiness, poverty, prison, death, immigration and taverns. They sang beside raki or uzo (traditional Turkish and Greek drinks) at meze (appetizer) tables, with zeybek (zeybekikos) or kasap havası (hassapikos) dances.

I dont remember few Greek words from my childhood anymore, I dont even remember my vhildhood friends left in hurry. But I miss alot. I always missed and dont think ever give up missing.

Wish I could sing with my words and make you listen those songs; Üskudar - Eskutari, San Pas Ta Ksena - Eğer Gurbete Gidersen (If You Leave For Foreign), Hanımlar- Ta Hanumakya (The Ladies), Kadife- Kadifes (Velvet), Kanarya- Ta Kanarini (Canary) or Yemin Etme Yalancı Kadın - Min Orkizese Vre Pseftra (Don't make Promises, You Lying Woman).

Yes, they are gone. Canarys, Velvets, Zeybeks are still here but they also left for foreign. I know they miss here too, as much as I miss them. Sad part is they are not the only ones I miss, I miss all others. I miss all colors. I miss all the cultures signed these lands in centuries.

I wouldnt want search for their shades but have them alive all around me. I dont want to seperate from any colors any more, I need all of them, all the rainbow to survive.

Wouldnt you miss hewals...

Monday, October 29, 2007


Wars shot women and children first and worst. Higschools and universities didn't have graduates for years during National Independence War. Women and children fought with soldiers. We used to read their stories and see their photos. But we don't want to see similar images in 21st century.

Today's lost is; 4 martyred soldiers and 17 terrorist or in other words; 21 mothers and unknowns relatives shedding tears after their sons. All our people.

Iraq is voicing words overstepping the meaning of some terms, concepts. It is our people dying, our mothers crying whether they are Turkish or Kurdish. Unfortunately, countries founded on maps by other countries, people didn't won their independence by their own efforts cant understand the meaning of freedom, solidarity and brotherhood. They loose themselves in drunkenness of fake powers given by their invaders.

Great poet Nazim Hikmet says;

let's give the world to the children
at least for one day let the world learn friendship
children will get the world from our hands
they'll plant immortal trees...

And I call let's give them the happiness of celebrating independence but not let them even "play" with guns, don't let them live the pains of wars. May we never see guns, even as toys in the hands of children...


Today we are celebrating the 84th anniversary of our republic, raised on the ashes of the Ottoman Empire. After the invasion and division of Ottoman lands, Turkish National War had won by the participation of all ethnicities living on this lands.

There are not only Turkish names carved on the monuments of martyrs. There lies Laz Osmans, Turkish Mehmeds, Kurdish Ahmeds, Pomaks, Tatars, Cerkezs and all who fall for the freedom and independence lay side by side.

Yet, I don't feel like celebrating but more sadness. I feel pain because of our fallen sons regardless to ther ethnicty. Two of the young sons martyred by PKK were from Kurdish origin.

My Armenian friend's son and four of my sons' friends from different backgrounds are preparing to join their military service in five weeks. One of my son served at the border last year. I know how it feels for a mother. I cant take my other son's service postponed to next year as being lucky because they are all my sons in my heart.

Unfortunately diplomacy is apparently failing and we will undertake the military operation into Northern Iraq. Celebration of Independence Day is a sob locked in my throat with flare-ups of ethnic hostility in the society.

I am well aware of the reasons behind the provocative attacks of PKK and the behavior of so-called strategic partner countries.

As I am aware of the Kurdish problem. Kurds have all the rights of Turkish citizens. They can be generals, mayors, parliamenters, ministers or even the President. We had and have several prime ministers, generals, businessmen, and other public figures who are Laz, Cherkez, Albanian, Tatar, Macedonian, Kurdish, Georgian, Turkmen Azeri and all.

Other than Armenians, Greeks and Jews, other ethnicities as Kurds didn't have the minority rights (cultural rights, speaking or publishing in their language, broadcasting or education in their own schools, own language) because they were seen between the main founders of the Republic according to the pacts after 1st WW until recently. But they have most of these rights now with the democratization process of the country.

One of their complaint was not being able to give Kurdish names (which is solved). They are forgetting that it was not only their problem. During military coup years nobody was able to give dangerous (!) names to their children. I couldn't get birth certificates for weeks because of the names I want to give my children too.

Our biggest misfortune was being a good ally of US. That US which planned and applied mass murders of Alevis in Maras, Malatya to prepare Military Coups, that US which distribute the torture handbooks to the juntas. They didn't differ us according to our ethnicity aiming their guns, under tortures or in endless courts.

Democracy and human rights cant belong to only a group, ethnicity or nation. If you are crushing others' rights, murdering them, involving in suicide bombings between civilians you cant be anything else but terrorists. Those who don't regard others' human rights cant claim defending their own.

Once upon a time (before junta years) we were afraid to take buses because fascists were hijacking and murdering the youngsters. Yesterday I had to be at the book fair. While I was waiting a taxi in front of a shopping mall suddenly I get suspicious of a truck and hurried away. Last year we keep away from shopping malls for months. Some municipalities don't put trash basins on the streets to avoid bombings. What is this if it is not terrorism? Or is there a new version of fascists who try to drown this country in blood?

Lets put all our pain aside and celebrate our Independence Day, with our hope for peace and human rights for all regardless to our ethnicity.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


In a Legend Of Omen

this is Gallipoli...
can't tell the history hiding under every stone
hundreds of thousands still lie buried
just under the earth under your feet
dig only a little, there lies a story
a soul from the time-changed late history...
that is Troya...
calling from the other side of the sea
with laments and tears of Helen
and going further, there lies mount Ida
Zeus reigned from its cloudy peaks
you can hear Homeros calling from Iliada
Aphrodite, promising the most beautiful to Paris
this is the Aegean coasts of Anatolia...
as a lace embroidered history...
civilizations born, reigned and ended
layers over layers, centuries after centuries
leaving behind their sayings, legends, myths
not only of endless loves but more of wars...

I am flying off slowly...
leaving the lands where I played as a child,
found the skeleton parts of dead soldiers
hundreds years old carved stone pieces...
where I learned first laments
the meaning of love, joy, pain and mercy...
what a long way I have to fly,
what a great land you are Anatolia!
I wonder how many know your name:
Anatolia, Anadolu, full of mothers
it suits you so incredibly...
not only those Godmothers, Goddesses
hiding in your unique past, depths
but also the mothers of our days.
are the mountains below their generous breasts?
rivers running coming from their tears?
how many tears are needed to make those lakes?...

is that Mesopotamia on the horizon...
being born from your heart
passing borders to reach the Middle East.
clouds are getting darker around me
wind is blowing harsh
mountains getting wilder below
reaching out as if to catch me
and take in the caves at their peaks.
there is a smell of rain in the air
I feel a storm is about to blow...
again legends are surrounding me
I don’t care if they are Taurus mountains,
Ararat or Nemrut below…
I don’t care if that can be Noah's Ark
the cave of Abraham or giant sculptures
legends, myths are all the same today...
clouds are carrying the winds of wars
rains are pouring with tears of mothers

dream voice chooses to talk: "this is Zap Water"
wild grey river is running from grey high mountains
reaching wildest grey sky, pregnant to wildest storms
this is my land, this is my home
from Aegean coasts to Mesopotamia
this is Anatolia...
legends covering all the elements
all the earth, sky, rivers and lives
where lives are fires…
this is the land living the legends of omens
where people devote their lives to legends, omens
mothers singing soft lullabies to unborn babies
flow those legends, omens from their eyes
these are the lands impossible for others to understand
our motherland worthy to sacrifice our lives…


All I can think lately is; how could we come to this point. Politicians, military experts, strategists, sociologists, journalists (they are expert on everything!), psychologists and every other have a view to voice. Their various views, voices heard for sure by people.

People is already in pain for years. I cant imagine mothers' pains who lost sons from both sides can differ. But life thought us so many things we cant imagine can be possible.

How many of us can see what is going on behind the reflections on the curtain they make us to watch? Let aside the bigger projects, plans; how many can question the role of illegal oil trade,US made weapons in the hands of terrorists, the presence of feudalism at the area.

Media is fueling nationalism to already disturbed society. There wasn't so many flags around even during the "Republic" demonstrations against the islamists before the last elections. Pain is dangerously turning to hatred in ordinary people's mind.

Our country suffered alot from nationalism in recent history. Terms may reflect different concepts according to how we perceive them. There is a very thin line between nationalism and fascism. Behind all unidentified murders of 70s-80s or mysterious mass events were the ones who called themselves as "nationalists" (but we called "fascists").

Unfortunately, raising to defend Kurdish people's rights couldn't keep PKK to become an ethnic- nationalist terror group too. Nationalism feed nationalism in years.

It is easy to say; "We should do our best to prevent any kind of war". It is not easy to do much if peoples' minds from both sides invaded by planned propaganda, if feudalism is fighting for presence hiding behind false human rights demands, if warlords can direct and profit from ignorance so easily, if we let them, if we don't have our say, if we don't differ the thin lines, if we...

Our people, regardless to their ethnicity don't deserve such a mysterious future. A future decided by imperialist hands and minds and their puppets years before... If only we can recognise the footsteps of fascism where ever, whom ever it comes from...

Saturday, October 27, 2007


"Why a chatter like me is in lack of words when so much is happening?..Because I am still in shock. I am witnessing the most dangerous thing, nationalism is invading people's mind at both sides. Thousands are walking with flags, shouting "Allah" as the other side is not Muslim or 15-16 years olds taken to protests from school, talking to TV cameras as "Turks will invade us" while the police try to prevent boys and girls come together. This is mass madness. I am feeling religion and nationalism as threat more than ever. I couldn't hide my tears when I watched the fear in the eyes of 14-15 year old Iraqi Kurdish school girl when she say; "no, no they will invade us". My heart cant deal with the Turkish soldiers' funerals any more too. I don't know what to think. I never felt such stupid in analyzing the events before. I don't believe any leaders once again. All they do is agitating people, society with false fears and sacrificing to economic benefits. I don't want my country to fall in the swamp of Middle East but they put people in such a rage that any little bombing or event may end deep there. Iraq ordered PKK to leave their lands but they are still talking to journalists from mountains, saying their actions will spread to the cities soon. Crazy world..."

This was the mail I shared with a group of friends last week. Mass madness is spreading out of control. Authorities including President had to warn the people and media about the danger of nationalist provocations. This is not a Turkish- Kurdish conflict but an intent to end terrorism. Time is passing fast without any solutions from politic attempts.

Some correspondents of international media gives such silly reports which can make local people laugh. All may be hard to understand and seem as any other conflict for strangers. Certainly all conflicts are vital for the participant people while only stories for others to watch from their TVs in their warm living rooms.

We didn't used the know or ever been curious about our neighbours' ethnicity or religious preferences in this country. It is not possible not to worry for where we are now. As usual we didn't come here ourselves but by the imperialist forces pulling the strings. I still hope not to end in war with all my optimism. But I also know optimism has no importance. All depends on what the "War Gods" wants, decides... or do we have the power to defeat those gods...


Can women create a massive movement for peace? When we think of the history of women and the primitive thinking that ignores woman’s existence throughout the history of wars, which sees sexual harassment and rape as the main methods to humiliate the enemy, or accepts women only as survival providers during the wars, it is not an easy question to answer.

I have written so many times about women, women’s rights, political and social problems, sufferings and facts, but when I was asked to write on the subject, "Can women create a massive movement for peace?" I realized that I haven’t even thought about it before. “Why?” I asked myself. My answer was the endless brutality in women’s lives which has always been the primary issue and prevented them from thinking to create a massive movement for peace.

Women have been so occupied with the daily, social, political, economic and gender problems of life, including the ones caused by wars, they were not able to think that the solution of peace may be in their own hands. They were trying to deal with the details while they were not aware that they were holding the whole in their hands. If you read a serious newspaper or watch TV news with attention just one day, if you try to give a look to the hidden lines behind the daily news, it is impossible not to realize that the great percentage of news stories are about or relate to these issues of women. They are everywhere, from the financial news broadcasting from Wall Street to the weather forecasts of droughts or El Nino. Behind the petrochemical product’s share rises and falls there lie the lives of women in war in Nigeria. Behind the effects of droughts there lie the lives of women in war in Colombia.

You can find much research about women in war.Women are present everywhere as assistants or providers in the male-dominated world. They had to struggle for every little lack or right all along the history of wars, from providing food to their children to being able to take part in their wars for national freedom alongside their men. Peace may be the last thing they have considered how to create, between all those issues they have had to deal with. In an ordinary library it is possible to find dozens of books written about women in national movements, in wars or in regional or national peace movements, but nearly no work considering a massive international movement for peace. There is even some serious research about women who devoted themselves to war and terror alongside men. There were women in what were once called national liberation movements which we now call terrorist organizations.

There were women all around the world in movements to gain their equal political rights. There were women fighters in the long history of feminism. Until the liberation of France, a great percentage of the resistance were women guerrillas who were called terrorists by the SS at the time.Let’s leave it to history, as before, to decide what is the changing definition of terrorism and who is a “terrorist” or not. But remember the women, whose social role was mother and wife, had a more active part in many wars than men.

There is also no need to go into the details of some very successful regional women’s movements here. They have already taken their place in the history and we should look to the future now.History doesn't belong to men, in fact!“Shoot the women first”: this was and is the order given to armed anti-terrorist groups of soldiers from the 2nd World War to our day. Writer Eileen Mc Donald’s example in her book of the same name is very interesting. According to Herr Christian Loch of German Intelligence, “It is very logical to shoot women first who values his own life because the woman has more personality, powerful and energetic…They are more dangerous and merciless than men.” And it seems that it is easy to say that some of them are lesbians.This is the point to give some thought. While men are traditionally related with violence and war, women are accepted as life givers. In many studies these women who take part in wars or national liberation movements are considered as psychologically disturbed or having met the wrong men. There were and are so many of them taking part in the movements and acting more violent than men, while normally criminology statistics show violent crimes by females as only six percent.

My own earliest childhood memories are of my grandmother’s stories about how their door opened every day and another male relative’s body was brought in, during the 1st World War and Gallipoli. Later, how their houses were taken from them and turned into the office of the head commander of the invaders. And how their mothers put them in the saddlebags of a donkey and sent them to relatives in far away villages so that they, the mothers, would be able to stay and help their men in the war. . For a dear friend of mine, Joy, it was the brutality of invading Turks that made her Syrian ancestors fly away to the US. One of her family's stories is of her great-grandmother who tried to visit her son in a Turkish jail. The guards were sympathetic but when she told them the name of her son, who was a notorious freedom fighter, they said "Take this woman away and beat her!" She returned to help her son escape. Is there a difference? I don't think so."!....

Here begins the paradox I felt. While they were and are seen as the docile mother and wife; while they are the ones most suffering from the wars, not only by facing the risk of being separated from their families, their husbands and children, and being killed, tortured or raped, but also having to deal with the poverty and survival; they are also ready to fight as a female tiger if their children or the country is under threat. With such a burden to carry on their shoulders, how can women think about creating a peace movement? They may dream about peace, but only dream. They have had no time to consider that there can be a possibility of creating a massive movement for peace. In 1991 during the Gulf War, 30.000 women soldiers were part of the U.S. armed forces. They were seen by their country as patriots. On the other hand, the ones who were fighting for their homeland were portrayed as monsters, maniacs, brainwashed. I wonder how many around the world or among those 30.000 sisters ever gave a thought to the condition of the women on the other side. What can motivate a young girl of 18 or 19 years or a pregnant woman to turn into a living bomb? Is it so easy to say, as the experts do, that they are brainwashed or drugged?

If it is; wasn’t it the US and some other civilized countries who had created the “Manchurian Candidates” and masters of the mind control experiments? Is it possible that they are intelligent, knowing what they are doing, committed to a certain belief, acting of their own free will? If they are, what drives them to make this decision?It is generally accepted that women are more accustomed to pain than men. They know how to live with pain better than men because it is already there in their normal daily life.In Palestine, from the beginning of 1987, there were mothers who sent their children from toddlers to 10-year-olds into the streets to throw rocks at the tanks. Young girls made up more than the half of the Sebab, which was the organization of youngsters over 10 throwing rocks. Those women were making their own children lose their childhood. Why? They define it like this: They don’t wanted to be accepted as bugs anymore. They have channeled their feelings of motherhood to the fight. They even say they prepare their own children psychologically for arrest and questioning. An interesting answer comes from the mouth of another woman, a nameless one, who addresses her questions to Leyla Halid after she hijacked an airplane and let the passengers go in 1969. She asks, “I don’t understand: Who are the Palestinians?"

Yes, we all want peace but do we understand what is peace? Do we know the life of the woman of Sudan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Colombia, Nepal, Burundi, Rwanda, Liberia, Guinea or Congo?If we ask the females in an anti-war protest where these countries are, how many can give a right answer, do you think? How many can show the place of Guinea in a world atlas, let alone the understanding of women’s conditions there? How many of us know that there lies the blood of women in the pharmaceuticals we use made by the petrochemical products processed with Nigerian or Iraqi oil? How many of us pay enough attention to the gold trinkets, rings, bracelets we love so much, to see the blood of the Colombian women mixed into that gold?In Turkey alone there are nearly 300 women’s organizations. It is hard to estimate the number around the world. They are all defending peace. But how? It seems like everybody wants peace. But what is peace? It seems like everybody has a different understanding. Every faction has its own truth.

Women’s peace building actions around the world are generally channeled into providing food, shelter, medical care and education. The real activists who are going to those places personally and working with their gender are very few. The ones who really understand or have knowledge of what is going on for women around the world are also still very few. For most women around the world, even for some of those active in women’s organizations, peace-building or creating a peace movement is limited to collecting money, food, etc. to send to the war areas; or taking part in marches, singing peace songs, signing letters for peace to the UN or other international organizations.

Women should review their important role in peace building, both as a part of gender identity and as power. Lack of organization, lack of dialogue, ignorance and poverty are the basics preventing us from building an international women’s peace movement today. Don’t misunderstand: I am not talking only about the women in war areas but also about women in the most civilized parts of the world. It is a sad reality that today’s women in the civilized world can be more ignorant and lacking in organization than their sisters immersed in poverty and war.When in the civilized world most women’s main problems are protecting their social security or changing their divorce laws, how can we make them understand where and what are the problems of a Sudanese women?

The western woman has the political and social power and organization to reach others of their gender around the world. Their gender are not taking part in antiwar protests or singing peace songs. The only thing they can sing are the wailings after their dead ones and the laments of struggle. They have no knowledge of what social security means. They are the ones who lost their households and employment, made to live in refugee camps, forced into informal relationships to meet their survival needs, losing their husbands or having to deal with physically or mentally disabled husbands, having to feed their children – some from different fathers as a result of rape.

When one looks around, one can’t keep herself from asking, how many women can participate in the peace negotiations, decision making, leadership? At least have a look at the latest example of Iraq. The pregnant woman who made herself a living bomb had nothing to lose, no reason to live any more, had already lost her husband, family members and home. Today Iraqi woman are afraid of going out alone. We’ve lost count of the numbers of rapes in the news. But how many women are there in the peacekeeping, negotiations or leadership of Iraq? American women were on the streets before the war and still on the streets to make their troops turn back. It is certain that they don’t want war, they want peace. But how can we make them understand the life of the Iraqi women, or that peace can’t be created so easily? Maybe we should think about an exchange program as they do for university students to learn the world. Maybe we should send dozens of women to the “civilized” countries to educate their gender about their life and send other dozens to the war areas to understand the difference between living and singing for peace. Maybe we can create a real massive movement of women for peace only by creating this bond of mutual understanding and sharing.

It’s always said after wars that atrocities happen, that both sides commit those crimes. Nobody has stopped to think that women could be a “side” as well.The statistics and research of the United Nations and of all the international organizations have shown endless times that the residents of refugee camps are mostly women. They have shown what they are suffering. They have tried to find ways to help with food, shelter and education, but other than very limited or personal efforts there has been no campaign or work for the education of peace and building bonds among all the women of the world. No one has noticed that women have been raped by men and there are no women who rape men. No one has noticed that the women had to take the place of the men lost but no man had to take the place of the women lost.

We read so many papers about the women dealing with surviving with their children after losing husbands, but at least I don’t remember reading any paper about men dealing with surviving with his children. There is an easier way when the mother is lost: to send the children to orphanages. But it can never be the same for any mother. You may have heard about mothers who felt they would not be able to bear any more and decided to commit suicide and kill their children too.I leave it to the psychologists to discuss, but in my opinion it is a woman’s instinct of motherhood, not being able to leave them alone to deal with the world in which she has lost hope.

Suicide is not a disease, sometimes it can be a result of a conscious decision as Hemingway or Camus. During 1998’s most of the suicide bombers in Turkey were females. We were living a period of “executions without judgements”. Human life was so cheap to question that who were the executers. Were those “executers” less maniac or fanatic than the suddenly popping up female suicide bombers in Turkey or their first gender examples against Nazi’s? It was sure that there was also a gender exploitation behind it too but the decade was creating a psychologically torn out generation.There is a female character in most of the old Turkish movies (mostly played by famous Turkish artist Aliye Rona) , who keeps the blood hot always for the old tradition of “blood feud”, “vendetta”. The photographs of the dead ones hung on the walls beside the rifles. The shirts of the dead ones kept as holly gifts to the next generations with its blood on it. The female is the dominant one who raises and directs the males for revenge one day. She has the most powerfull weapon; to bless her mother’s milk or not. She has been thought like that, she never questions if she can stop the vendetta inspide of sacrificing her children to the ongoing feud. Woman is the life giver and the life taker.

Women have never ever considered that they can also be a “side” in wars, not even by themselves. Maybe it is not enough to be against wars, trying to create peace organizations and movements in general; but rather, we should think of ourselves, women, as a “side.” Women contribute two thirds of the workforce in the world and constitute over 52% of the population. What if we can all think of peace together, learn from the experiences of one another and become one voice of peace one day? There are “Women in Black” of Kosovo and many countries, the Women of Greenham Common in Wales in the UK , “Saturday Grandmothers” of Argentina, “Saturday Mothers” of Turkey and so many more I can’t count their names. They are giving a fight of their own in any way they choose. Nothing can make them stop, for years. What if all their voices can come together in a common song?

A massive women’s movement of peace….I made a call to the women around the world to send me their thoughts when I begin to write this paper. I got so many replies that I can’t count. I was thinking that I may be a voice of them here for a peace song, written every line by another woman. Their replies made me understand how wrong I am, how hard to write that song. The song is writing itself but it seems like it will be an endless one, as “a massive women’s movement for peace” once it begins. I dream I may share that song one day, not a part of a paper like this but just as a song itself singing by all it’s writers. I dream all my gender to learn the language of peace and sing that song all together. I believe our voice’s loudness will make all the ones in war to run away and try to find a place to hide. And there can be no more wars at the end if we want it from heart and share.



War and rape… Using rape as one of the weapons is as old as history. The primitive idea that ignores woman’s existence sees sexual harassment and rape as the main method to humiliate and get rid of the enemy. While entering 21st century, sexual violence is being used as a war strategy in the ongoing wars. War that hits woman first, prefers rape to bullet.

She felt like she was in an infinite cavity. The colors were blowing inside of her tightly bound eyes. The hand that was pulling her arms that were tied behind suddenly grabbed her hair and hit her face to the wall. She couldn’t breath. While those hands that she couldn’t see were taking her pants down, she felt nauseous with the man’s disgusting smell. “Rape doesn’t kill”, she thought. The unbearable pain of the electricity came to her mind. “I can stand this one, too. They can’t make me betray anyone”, she said to herself. The blood was flowing from her lips that she had been biting when the sound of snarling of the man behind and the laughter of the others reached her ears among the light sobbing. Life has stopped suddenly when “How do you like our fucking your wife?” asked. 21-year-old woman didn’t need have fear anymore. She didn’t give anyone away; she can’t talk at all for 5 years now. She was from El Salvador, her name was Amaia.

The four young women in the room were all naked. What was happening? When two of the soldiers held her skinny arms and started ripping her clothes part, the silent tears started flowing from the women’s eyes that had lost their meaning. She couldn’t understand why the women were crying and what the soldiers were trying to do. She didn’t know anything about war or men. Suddenly she was shaken by the pain that cuts her whole body from tip to toe. She realized that the man between her legs was one of her elder brother’s friends from school. During the month after that, she couldn’t think of anything, she couldn’t feel anything but the terrible pain. 12-year-old little girl was not pregnant and she won’t be ever. She was a Bosnian Muslim, her name was Enisa.

Amaia and Enisa, are only two of the millions whose names and ages are unknown. They are only two examples of woman bodies that were used by men as battlefield throughout history. In ancient Greek, Roman and Jewish cultures, woman was gained as part of the land and spoils. It was rape and slavery that were waiting for women as it was told in the war of Troy in Iliad. Woman without any legal rights has been seen as the property of man for many centuries.

Raping women perceived as an attack on enemy men and society. The men of the lost side saw the rape on their women as the biggest humiliation. It was indeed their male pride that was wounded. This egocentric view changed protecting women into protecting male pride.

The body of the raped woman became the battlefield where the flag of victory is hoisted. In spite of small progresses in the 19th and 20th centuries, rape stayed a method of satisfying the feelings of power and the latest hit! It’s impossible to see the rapes that took place in wars as the result of misdirected primitive sexual desires or lust. This state that was ignored by the historians and psychologists until recently, is in fact nothing but using woman body as a strategy. In World War I, when Germany entered into Belgium, rape was the gun of violence. Group rapes of Jewish people were the beginning of Nazi campaign. It was the tool for revenge when Russian army walked into Berlin. US soldiers used Vietnamese women as whores. They put snakes into their vaginas.History belongs to men. Rape, which had been considered a natural part of war until the happenings of Bosnia were revealed, carries in fact the message of destruction of culture and society. In men’s history of war, woman’s body is given to “devoted” soldiers, is used either to punish the enemy or for vengeance. Even the words of propaganda that the nations use in war are enough to explain everything. “They will rape our women”, “Let us protect our honor”.

There is no doubt that women face the risk of being separated from their families, their husbands, their children, and being killed or tortured. But none of these can be compared to rape and its consequences. The main motive of the happenings in Bosnia was to show scorn to men rather than their wives, to eliminate their culture. In the eye of rapist, the victim is the symbol of the enemy. In terms of national values woman is the property of the man-enemy, and rape is the last sign of contempt towards the enemy. The bitterest side of the issue is that society has a hard time accepting the woman who has been raped. Even though he knows that woman is not guilty, man does not manage to handle it. The woman who has been raped is regarded as an object, a passive vessel receiving the seed of man. Woman’s identity as an individual and her existence are pushed aside; she is reduced to the level of used property. Making the woman pregnant and forcing her to bear the child are the most horrifying dimension of the issue. Carrying the enemy’s child in her womb, everybody’s recognition that it is the child of the enemy, her knowledge that it also belongs to her, are the biggest tortures for the woman. As rapists tell women’s husbands that their wives are worthless now that they have given life to the enemy’s child, the bitterest part is that the husbands feel this way as well.

In fact, based on Geneva conventions, a special protection should be provided to women because of their sex. To protect women against the humiliation events; especially rape, forced prostitution and any kind of attack; to provide separate sections for women in concentration camps, for women was criminals and to provide women supervisors for women convicts are included in the convention.

While the criminals were supposed to be judged in the international courts, after the World War II, Nurnberg and Tokyo courts didn’t do anything even the committed crimes were in terrifying level. Yet, Japan soldiers raped almost all the women victims in the Nanjing massacre where 300 thousand Chinese were killed. 200 thousand Korean and Asian women forced to be sex slaves. Very few women from Ukraine could escape from Nazi rapes. The young women collected from Smolensk streets were sent to the brothels opened for army officers. Russians raped 110 thousand women when they occupied Berlin in 1945. In 1943, the rape certificates were given to the Algerian member of the French army. Only Italian government in 1943 provided retirement salary to the women who were raped by French soldiers. In Germany, only one woman at the end of the war could receive a salary because she was raped by Russian soldiers. Committed crimes against women were not even reviewed in Vietnam and Afghanistan wars.

Who is going to be judged in the court? Bringing women to the court is also not as easy as one might think. To be able to bring some security to the court; professional help, women translators and supervisors, safe place in the court, physical protection and prevention of meeting with rapist face to face are needed. The raped woman doesn’t want to go to the court; not to see the rapist again, not to be judged and examined in the court, feel humiliated and ashamed, not to be questioned about her private life. Telling in the court how the sexual violence took place is difficult because of the privacy and uniqueness of experiencing violence. The committed crime is, because of war and having lost her loved ones, the already in pain woman is humiliated all over again while explaining her pain in the court. Even if she goes to the court, she doesn’t see any salvation for herself. She is already in a situation where she lost everything; she feels insecure, hopeless, helpless and futureless. A very few of them actually fights in the court by taking all the risks and pain for revenge.

For the first time in 1993 the United Nations’ Human Rights committee recognized rape as a war crime. Even if it is encouraging examining the rape cases committed in Bosnia in wide dimensions in the International War Crime Courts, to have only two officers, having only two women judges out of 11 makes it suspectful that the sexual aspect of the committed crime is being forgotten and makes the whole thing to be treated as a janist weapon. The court becomes responsible for human rights rather than daily justice issues. The events happened in Bosnia cannot be compared to anything. The women who’d give their statements and identify criminals were allowed to be present in the court via one-way video connectivity.

Rape is one of the most effective ways of making women population passive, taking self-confidence and honor away. Although it’s also a human rights violation, it should be treated differently when happens in war. Just thinking about the possibilities of having 1 out of 100 women pregnant brings us to horrifying results. The social workers who help victims of rape should also take the cultural perspective and personal values of woman into the account. Because rape is used as a military strategy, it is especially effective in the cultures where woman is valued as the “honor of the family”. Many Asian and Muslim cultures have this opinion. The hurt women are not wanted by their families and they are not respected. They have to deal not only with their own personal pain and struggle but also with the cultural values, with the feeling of humiliation and shame, they don’t report what happened.

According to the researches, half of the people who were raped and 98% of them who were exposed to other kinds of sexual violence don’t report. The ones that report might not want to go back to their husbands or touch their children again. They don’t want to be touched, they don’t want to be around men or in social relationships. They go into severe depression, lose weight, lose their hope and belief in future, they are afraid of strangers and feel dirty.

If her culture finds the woman shameful, she blames herself and thinks herself as the cause of the rape. Accordingly to their culture; while South African woman sees what happened as the result of the political movements, the Southeast Asian woman thinks it’s the result of her karma. In Balkans, where honor and shame connection is very strong, woman is valued as the center of the honor of the family and society, this kind of humiliation was very effective. Some of the women in the rape camps that are called “Pakano na zemlji” (the hell on the earth) by women, died by committing suicide.

In the culture where male honor built on “woman’s chastity”, whether it’s forced or not, when woman has sex with someone else, man feels his male honor hurt. In the name of protecting her husband, woman buries her terrifying experience inside.Worse than death! Bringing out their bones by cutting their breasts, taking their babies out of their bodies by cutting their stomachs, putting objects like sticks, carrots into their vaginas and stirring inside until they are dead are some of the events the women have to live after the rape.

Rape and sexual violence are also one of the main reasons for becoming refugee. One of the main goals of the rapes for “ethnic purification” in Bosnia was to force people to leave their home. Sudden migration leaves women and children out of their traditional safety. The women who try to escape from rape then are exposed to the rape by thieves, border guards, police and officers in camps. In Vietnam, women in open sea are kidnapped, raped and thrown away to the sea. In Mozambique, they are kidnapped and forced to serve in guerrillas.The women who are kidnapped from the borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan are sold for prostitution. There’s not enough security in refugee camps. The overcrowd and hunger expose women to the violence of their own societies’ and men in the camps. In Tanzania, 500 thousand women from Rwanda and Burundi live in refugee camps. The number of young women who seek treatment for sexual violence and rape is increasing fast. Having AIDS spread immensely makes young women who are thought to be virgin a bigger target of rape. Even though a bigger part of the refugee population is women and girls, they are not provided with help programs.

Rape is accepted as part of the refugee life. When her baby cries with “I’m hungry” tears, prostitution becomes inevitable.Rape became a part of war in El Salvador, Guatemala, Kuwait and old Yugoslavia in the last quarter of the century. In Rwanda, after the horrifying jenosit in 1994, almost all the women and girls who could escape from the massacre were raped. The Bosnia case is horrifying because of forcing women to give birth. In rape camps, women kept being raped until they become pregnant and too late for abortion. The one who didn’t get pregnant were killed.

United Nation convention recognizes this kind of rape as jenosit crime. It also argues that the rape aims pregnancy should be treated as biological war. The pregnant women who are raped for ethnic purification got abortion even in the late terms of their pregnancy. The ones who had to give birth left their babies before even seeing their faces. One of the rare women who didn’t leave her baby behind explains her contradiction like this: “When he is good, I want to hug him but my arms freeze in the air. When he is bad, I want to punish him but I can’t. My own humiliation comes to my mind”. The rapes in Bosnia are being listed under 5 titles in United Nation commission. Rape in society to destroy the fight and defense, rape and sexual humiliation in concentration camps, rape to aim fear for ethic purification, imprisonment in hotels and places alike to provide sexual service to the soldiers. Guns and broken bottles were used as sexual torture and sadism examples. Family members forced to have sex with each other. Some of the victims recognized that the rapists were actually their friends and their neighbors.

Most of the rape criminals admit that they received orders to rape. This proves that there is certain politics exist as a strategy.It was always said after wars that those kinds of things could happen, that both sides commit those crimes. Nobody wanted to think that women could be “a side” as well. No one noticed that women have been raped by men and there are no women who rape men. However both sides commit crimes, both sides kill and bury each other in graves in groups, torture, put innocent into the concentration camps, rarely cut some of the men’s balls, kill the ones who reject to rape.Either in peace or war, rape is the proof of men ignoring women existence, their equality and their existence as long as men let it. It is the order of the world of men that is insensitive to women’s pain and the military system that is regarded as weapon of war that lets the rape be ignored, even though it was prohibited by the human rights laws for years and years!