What Third World War? What now? Why now?
My life is like a political history lesson. At this age of mine, I have seen three to four coups, several military operations, huge economic crises, dozens of terror attacks, historic protests and major exoduses. If you add a Third World War to it, I swear I will come and find you!
Some 24 hours after I was born, the military issued a memorandum for the government. It was March 12, 1971. There was nothing about me in the context. There was no note such as, “A terrific baby has been born. For her to have a proper education, immediately correct the education system so this wonder kid has a remarkable growth; otherwise, it may be bad for you.” I sometimes think there was a warning between the lines in that memorandum which went, “Listen you, the 3 kilo 250 gram baby, this is nothing; you will see so much more in the years to come.” But, probably I should not take it so personally.
One of my earliest memories is the Cyprus Peace Operation. As a twist of fate, that evening coincided with my older brother’s return from an overseas match with the national volleyball team and the family was extremely scared. I remember the lights on our balcony were covered with black paper and the memory of us sitting in the living room in dark at night; then I remember my brother arriving home. They told me, “You were only a baby; it is not possible for you to remember it,” but those memories that contain fear leave their marks, I guess.
The end of the 1970s in Turkey was the anarchic years, when people raked each other on the streets. I did not know, at that time, at that age; but the world was going through the peak of the Cold War era. Those were the years when we were sent to elementary school with advices not to answer if we were asked “Are you rightist or leftists?”
One morning in 1980, I woke up and they told me there was no school. Well, there had been another coup d’état. There was curfew after midnight. We would rush back home at those hours near the curfew, almost running. I can easily say that a significant part of my life passed under state of emergencies.
To be frank, the 1990s were not so bad. Well, the Feb. 28, 1997, etc. politically dramatic periods were again there; then, we tasted hardcore political-economic crises. I was indeed unfortunate; at those times when I would work and earn some money, the companies started not being able to pay salaries; it was excellent timing.
I don’t think I need to explain the last five to six years, especially the terror of the last couple of years, and other major incidents.
I was saying “even the Atatürk Airport had experienced terror, is there anything worse that we can go through,” then July 15 happened. I had seen the third or fourth coup of my life, the number depends on how you count it. But, for me, July 15 was undoubtedly the worst, the most fearful of all that had occurred up to now.
When winter came, in the chain of terror attacks, one of the bombs exploded 10 meters away from my home.
In sum, during my life, I lived three to five coups, only in the city I lived about 10 major terror attacks; economic crises of several sizes and dimensions; military movements; a variety of conspiracies; several political crises; mass civilian protests; major exoduses, where three to five million people came to our country from other countries, dozens of elections and many referenda. In an ordinary western European country, a person who lives 120 years, cannot even see one tenths of all these.
I really think this is a conspiracy against me. I was thinking I had filled my quota and tried to concentrate on my profession. It was the early hours of Friday when I worked a lot writing and was preparing to go to sleep, at about 6:30, I watched the news. The channels were flashing breaking news reporting that the U.S. was striking Syria.
When a couple of commentators pronounced the “Third World War,” well, I was infuriated.
I take it very personally. At a relatively young age when I can still wear skinny jeans, why are they making me live everything possible that could be lived in the country and the world in political history in a fast forward fashion?
I only have a couple of simple things I demand from the state. I want an impartial judge who knows law if I ever appear in court for any reason; I want the freedom to dress, eat and drink, travel, write the way I like to without having to answer anyone, security, a little bit of peace, and also more parks and cycle lanes, etc.
I am quite nervous. Everybody should mind their own business. This is enough for this soul. Enough. If there is a Third World War, I will really come and get you.