Dr. hülya n. yılmaz, TURKEY / USA


home to fertile civilizations for years
in multiplied thousands

a grandiose spread of bountiful nature
her integral riches, a modest splendor
distinct collections of artifacts

Ottoman Empire is on its way to fade away

with the onset of the year 1923
a multitude of reforms are set free
a republic is born

neither the Europeans of the West
nor the cultures of the Near East
are any contest to it
as far as civilized new-eties

Mustafa Kemal’s Turkey
learns women’s rights

public seclusion of women is no more
females proudly trot on public sphere
open-platform speakers
writers in fact a notable number of writers

the infant republic
meets her first president
the world-renowned Atatürk

a visionary
a rights-fighter
the gentle father of Anatolia

she leads a prosperous life
is envied by the aggressive back then-world-powers
and abundantly spreads to and through all her territories

the immediate and cosmic success
of the historically marked miraculous come-back
from the ruins of a longest-lived empire
the once-self-celebrated Ottoman spheres
recover from their prolonged death-bed-occupancy

women are liberated
the women of Anatolia

countless daughters merge
from their secluded observation towers
and take their rightful place as cultural icons

immersed in a cycle of an all-inclusive diversity,
faiths of all walks of life settle in safely inside her
while they don a dance of joy
in honor of her legacy

co-existence rules

decades pass

Anatolia hears a knock on her door

religion’s unreligious re-construction
barge in along with their brain-washed populace

her entryway
which for decades
forbade all darkness
is suddenly plundered

the masterfully orchestrated brutal kicks
deliberately vicious strikes for a full-blown ruin
have their way of raping her away

a tyrant violates mercilessly
Anatolia and her daughters
“for the sake of Turkey’s progress,”
is the disguise he and his loyal beasts

hide behind cowardly and relentlessly
while they eradicate her glorious inborn gifts
inhumanity and an all-consuming Stone-Age mentality
rule over the once-untouchable beauty of Anatolia today
implanting into her womb eternally barren ovaries
her promised fate is no more
furthermore, this despot and his herd
leave no room for a single drop of hope
for her daughters’ off-springs to remain intact
beyond this date


The news was impossible for me to disregard,
And regarded, I have.
To word my reaction to it as non-fiction, however,
Was a thought far too disturbing to me.

I, a woman having passed her 60s, born into
And raised in modern Turkey before leaving
For the United States of America,
My anon-similarly-tainted-adoptive-country

In pursuit of an advanced academic career
Numerous decades ago.

I have
To the infinite
Embrace of ease
And offerings of comfort
That only poetry succeeds to lend.

In my attempt
To at least somewhat forget,
I have called in my all-time favorite poet
To please come to my rescue with his worldly work,
And he, the gracious Nazım Hikmet appeared in my sphere.

While terribly saddened by the latest shock
For his legendarily beloved country of also my birth,
I imagined how this world-renowned exilic Turk would rest
His dire concerns about Turkey’s fate
With infinite confidence

In the hands of her women
Who in multiple thousands
Had gathered in a peaceful protest,
And kept marching through the former capital
Going after the proposed Child Sex Law
Not minding the ancient old, hard-to walk-on-streets
That Istanbul, the world’s only dual continental-city
Had seen being etched by countless histories in the making.

After Nazım’s imagined visit to my library of his books
And following a perusal at ease of his legendary trust
In Turkey’s female species he left behind via poetry,
I began to see the thick slices of reassurance
In his persistently prophetic deliberations
Amid his deep-rooted concerns about
The also-back then-objectionable
Status of Turkish women:
Wrongdoings, regardless of their nature
Will persist anywhere in the world. No doubt.
As long as there exist those dear spirits, however
That aim at attaining a balance between the evil and good 
There will always be
Hope for all humanity
From this point on
To eternity


in the hope-filled dreams for our children
we were once one as we had always been
living the privilege of a fertile womb
for eons in its rightful haven
with promise to an offspring

you are no longer

I met you again in your tragedy

the butchery of your yet-to blossom life
and that of the one inside you to love and adore
the internal pump on my left thus burnt at its core

the same decade
though in a different place
may have left intact
your youthful grace

I mourn your brutally wasted precious being
while I wish to have been home-bound kin to you
though we had for long lost each other’s caring touch 
as we were put on foreign tract to relate only from afar
I am the one arriving on time to keep your final breath ajar

Dr. hülya n. yılmaz, a retired Liberal Arts Professor, is a literary translator between English, German and Turkish, and Co-Chair and Director of Editing Services at Inner Child Press International. As a published author, she has presented her work at numerous national and international poetry events. Her work has been published in an excess of eighty anthologies of global endeavors. On May 25, 2018, hülya has been honored by the Writer’s International Network of British Colombia, Canada with a literary award. Since April 15, 2017, two of yılmaz’s poems remain permanently installed in Telepoem Booth – a U.S.-wide poetic art exhibition. She is currently working on two books of Turkish and English poetry, a collection of short stories, and a fictional autobiography. hülya finds it vital for everyone to understand a deeper sense of self and writes creatively to attain a comprehensive awareness for and development of our humanity. 

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