My Mother Asks, “Where is Muş?”

  • Nadire Mater


Everyone has something to say, some advice to give. Some tell you to keep a low profile and to stay away from trouble. It is the first time I was going away from home. There was no ceremony, I just left. I was so confused that I kissed my friend Levent’s hand as I was leaving. It is like you are newly born. They tell you “come” and you go. You are waiting for an order to “stand up.” The food is stuck in your throat. Forty others like me who had lost a term before going to military service were responsible for the chores of the whole battalion: carry sacks of flour, bring down the provisions, do a count in the depot, all drudgery. After forty days, we were sent to different places. We received three days of armed training. Normally, you are supposed to cover one topic per day. For us, this was five topics per day, including the technical training. They showed us how to aim inside the training rooms, around tables. That was the first time I saw and handled a gun. The next day, we were outside for shooting. Silence … Everybody is waiting for others to fire the first shot. You see a cartridge case fly by you, your ears ring, you cannot hear anything. You are scared. Your hands reach out for the trigger and you fire three shots with your G3. In my first shot, I was not successful. The next day, we repeated the words they told us to repeat in the oath ceremony. We were now soldiers under oath. During training, I fired a total of eleven bullets. They distributed the forty of us in four places [all in the Southeast]: Muş, BingÖl, Bitlis, and Kahramanmaraş.


Military Service Roll Call Special Team Mountain Village Armed Training 
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Copyright information

© Nadire Mater, Metis Yayinlari 1998

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  • Nadire Mater

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