Dr. Hilal Karahan, TURKEY


Twisted roads rush into a quarter
 which is wet and always smelling tarhana*

 Evenings enter always through same door 
to bald houses wearing wigs of arbor 

Smell of fried food binds to life
women who expose their wounds to the court 

Opening with the evening, girls’ eyes at their feet 
a way that a lifetime walking :  flat heel size to thirty-six

*Tarhana: Word in Turkish to define a soup composed of dried foods based on a fermented mixture of cereals and yoghurt.


She may want more children,
she will remarry maybe,
she is young, let not ligate her tubes
I say.

Where can she go?
Both she and her four children
are mine, I bought her with cash money
she says, pulling her grandson.

She looks down on her bride,
who is shorter than,
and as fatty as herself:

I will ligate her tubes, doctor,
it’s enough for her to breed,
my son is unemployed,
I cannot take care them all…”

She hit nape of child, dropping his bagel
She pushed her bride to go out of office…


She shows left arm of her girl,
when asked for the seal:

Instead of her son,
she is angry with the prosecutor,
for exaggeration of a family problem

She repeats frequently,
as if to convince herself:

So what doctor?
last night my son
got a glimpse
of his sister” 

(The above 3 poems are the poet’s translation of her Turkish poems)

Dr. Hilal KARAHAN (b. 1977) is a Turkish poetess, writer, translator, mother and medical doctor. She has been writing since 2000. She has 3 prose books, 6 poetry, and several  selected collections and translated poery collections published in different languages. She associated with many international collective books, bilingual poetry almanacs. Since she is intercontinental director of World Festival of Poetry (WFP) organisation, she is on the  organisation comittee of several international poetry festivals. Recently a member of Turkish PEN, Turkish Authors Association and Turkish Language Society. She is General Secretary of Writers Capital Foundation (WCP) and Turkish Ambassodor of World Institute of Peace (WIP) which are linked to UNESCO, she organizes Feminİstanbul Poetry Festival every year. She has many national and international poetry awards. Since 2017, she is a member of publishing council of international bilingual poetry magazines of  Absent, Rosetta Word Literatura and Sahitya Anand. Hilal can be reached at: hilalkarahan108@gmail.com and 

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