There won’t be a confession at the end of this piece, and there shouldn’t be one! I am saying that confessing after retreating to a relatively safe zone after all you’ve done doesn’t suit to intellectual minds.
I’ve tried to live my life rightfully without making life unbearable for neither my beloved ones nor the ones whom I’m told to hate. I’ve never been harassing. I’ve never used sentences like “intentionally or unintentionally”.
There are women who I need to apologize to, especially Zelal, the woman who I love, whose life I entered through poet and magical Kurdish.
My dad raising his voice with his rearing up genes…
Braggings like a typical Middle Eastern man…
Asking her “Where is my dinner?” in the first years of our relationship like she is not the one who worked 10 hours more than I did..
Obstinacy, power, roles and other weaknesses…
Weaknesses, yes, because only a weakness, an incompleteness makes someone say this. I am addressing all my Kurdish women audience in the presence of Ursula, who accompanies my dominant “male” character who lost his way in a rainforest in my book titled Xeyb, which hasn’t been translated into Turkish yet. Ursula tells Kendal from Diyarbakır that she will stand up from where crouches on one condition: no matter how bad the condition is, he must be able to control his tone of voice and must never get angry with her. Then again, Ursula is neither a flower not a butterfly. She doesn’t belong to anyone including him.
The youth period was hard…especially when you are crumpled between the novel world and terrifying truth waiting just three steps away from home.
My friends during this challenging journey were not my mother, father, family members or teachers, I will not blame them.
I love my brother to death who tried to save a kitten stuck between construction steels amid a conflict zone, I am afraid of even the shadow of my father, I miss my father’s sweat and face looking like somewhere between Paul Newman-Steve McQueen. I was witnessing fierce fights between my mother and father when he returned from Basibrîn (Mardin’s village of Huberli) to Hezex (Idyl), we were watching what was happening with my elder brother and sister, all crying for my father not to beat my mom and then were curling up in a corner in the light of a gas lamp.
And then that lamp was puffed out. We were feeling like inside an inky liquid like our inside and outside were filled with that liquid. Even our heartbeats stopped. We were bunching up not to go mad. Mom cries, mom grumbles, mom gets beaten, mom cries, mom grumbles, father beats…
When September 12 [coup] stroke, The most frequent words I heard in Hezex were “Hikûmet (government): ‘Hikûmetê girtiye, hikûmetê kuştiye, hikûmetê avêtiye, hikûmetê…’ (Government [in fact the army] captured, government murdered, government jailed, government…)
I had no idea what or who the government was but the things I heard (mostly women were talking) were suggesting that it could be a woman.
It didn’t take long for me to figure out that something wasn’t right and some abnormalities emerged from neighbors to coffee shop, from mosque to schools. I passed through the times when Muslim Kurdish children were causing great distress on Assyrian children, I’ve forgotten many things but not this circle of violence. That is why I feel raged in favor of the oppressed.
Without resorting to neither my poetry book entitled Sözüm Haritadan Dışarı, which took a long time for me to write and cut Turkish poem with a single blow, nor to language of my stories and novels that I started writing in Kurdish, I could go only this far to determine whether what I have to face is “manhood” or “men’s understanding of women”.
I had talked about the difficulties of seeing a “funeral of a separatist” that was initiated by our teachers in high school in the Letter reading “The letter, which was reflected on the wall of the gallery with a jest that raises the autobiographical one to the degree of a sample that has the power of representation, looked like an antique tablet bearing an everlasting message.
What I saw was nothing like the stories told. They were on the ground, they were dressed differently, were ruined, cut, teared…
I could have comprehended it but was I ready for a dead body of a woman, no! I was feeling a causeless anger against Yesenin, also against Mayakovski who hit Nevski’s head on the pavement: My mind wouldn’t and won’t accept it, that was the reason for me to stagger as a man…
It is strange, isn't it? After some time, I realized far too late that by uniting (almost) as a whole family against the political opinions of my sister, which we found 'extreme', and as if she was the sole responsible for all that had happened, as if it was she who brought the curse to Hezex, our wish to see my sister too as a dismembered body under the pergola of the Municipality was nurtured by my mother herself.
My mother did not love my sister in any way whatsoever... What about me and my big brother? I really do not like this word, big brother! How was it possible that we, as people who read Hugo von Hofmannsthal, wanted to punish her for polishing her nails? Alas, mother, I wish you had loved us a bit more instead of protecting us!
We should have loved her very, very, very much...
Unfortunately, I cannot say that the transformation had started with the early period political readings; they were annoying books and deadly subjects. Although the Left had created an awareness in me, it later on tried to destroy it and in this state, it looked terrible. The Maoist fathers I knew were boor men who inflicted violence on their women and daughters and used the Red Crag as a weapon. Magnificent manhood, overt or covert, was nurtured by fascism and fascism was programmed to destroy life.
Even though the times when I found the time to selfishly underline an effective sentence or statement from a book which I read long time ago (and which rarely let me down when I recalled) and wrote it down on a notebook without indolence have long passed, I will still borrow one of them at this juncture for the fate of this article.
In his book which was translated into English as The Political Function of the Intellectual, Foucault wrote, How can we save our discourses and acts, hearts and pleasures from fascism? How can fascism which has penetrated into our behaviors be expelled? What I am talking about is the situation when some words rise to your consciousness at some times and visit you at some places.
You surely have such quotes, too!
It is such a statement in the end; but this quote from Foucault has a more encompassing side to it when compared with the On Literature and Art booklet by Marx and Engels, which I have not forgotten since high school (at that time, I went to high school in İdil district of Mardin) and which has remained in my memory with the good remaining prologue, "The mode of production of the material life also determines the political, cultural and intellectual processes of life."
Another book was the Future Lasts Forever by Louis Althusser, which I read with my heart sinking and that tore my reflections about the future, which were already not very bright, to shreds. I felt that I could not really comprehend the structuralist Althusser. Did he really kill his wife? The impact of the book naturally did not last very short -they never know where to stop! It was a critical threshold; I knew that, as an existentialist young reader, I was not in a state to judge Althusser and this fluid thought strangely opened a venue of terror which was filled with serious perspectives defending him against the victim.
There was not a single drop of fascism inside me but this ephemeral world did not guarantee that fascism would never find its way there. Since the day when we started killing women and freedom through a masculine language filled with numerous mentions of women, numerous mentions of love and numerous mentions of freedom, I understand that in my rough geography, no poem can be written -and the resulting text would not be a poem- and poetry is over!
Poetry is over after the white scream of Yazidi women, because there are no more women!
We have killed all women, our hands are all green.
We wait for a time when the God will give them us back as more obedient people. Fascism which has penetrated into our behaviors.
These words are constantly hitting me...
I was not at an age when I could expel either the fascism indoors -all of our deeds point to childhood as the source of all fears- or the fascism that had penetrated into my Western teachers (most of them are not alive today). Why did they beat us? Were there not any other ways that would help us become better (!) people? Was it genetical to shrink in the face of oppression, did this mallady pass down to us from our mothers and fathers?
You either forget all of these or one day, you witness that the fascism inside you manifests itself in a way that would even surprise you. Saying "It was a great movie!" after watching the arbitrary violence directed against the fugitive - or let's say insane - Daisy Domergue in the Tarantino film, The Hateful Eight (2015)... Did it not show what else we can or cannot affirm?
I was actually tracing what has penetrated into words, into images. In fact, these words were sometimes composed into novels, sometimes into poems and sometimes into independent art works or even creations.
Let's drink to Daisy... For having trampling on the magnificent manhood...
52 MEN 52 WEEKS
"This campaign has been produced as part of Sivil Düşün EU Programme, with the support of European Union. The contents of this campaign are the sole responsibility of IPS Communication Foundation/ bianet and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.
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