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© 1998

Voices from the Front

Turkish Soldiers on the War with the Kurdish Guerrillas

  • Authors
Book

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-10
  2. Nadire Mater
    Pages 15-18
  3. Nadire Mater
    Pages 19-23
  4. Nadire Mater
    Pages 49-59
  5. Nadire Mater
    Pages 67-75
  6. Nadire Mater
    Pages 97-103
  7. Nadire Mater
    Pages 109-115
  8. Nadire Mater
    Pages 133-138

About this book

Introduction

These riveting first-hand accounts of Turkish soldiers who have fought in the nasty internal war against the Kurds speak to universals: the shock of entering military life and the traumas of warfare; the changes in personality and relations with family and friends, the lingering emotional effects of violence, and the difficulties in returning to the 'real world', to borrow a phrase from Vietnam vets. Corruption, disillusionment and despair alternate with the small victories of humanity overcoming hellish conditions. Mater's reportage is in the best tradition of revealing the surreal, illuminating the universal truth of war's devastation. At a time when American troops are again caught in a vicious insurgency, the Kurdish issue has high visibility, and Turkey is a major actor in the Middle East, the experiences of these former soldiers resonate.

Keywords

corruption Iraq Middle East Vietnam violence

About the authors

NADIRE MATER is a leading Turkish journalist who has frequently covered children's rights, human rights, women's rights, minorities and freedom of expression issues.

Bibliographic information

Reviews

'Voices from the Front is a rich tapestry of oral testimonies that defy easy categorization. While some former Turkish soldiers embrace the war on Kurdish guerrillas as patriotic adventure, others detest the discipline, boredom, filth, and fear. They, too, are victims of militarism and machismo. Mater, a famed journalist and peace activist, conveys their stories with great integrity and courage. '

- James Ron, Canada Research Chair in Conflict and Human Rights, McGill University, and author of Frontiers and Ghettos: State Violence in Serbia and Israel

'Voices from the Front bears the extraordinary stories soldiers brought back with them, with the power of Michael Herr's Dispatches. It provides remarkable insight into today's Turkey and is a brave, disturbing and uncompromising look at the war the world missed but that is all too typical of modern warfare.

- Rohan Jayasekera , Index on Censorship