Some 36 women to be Istanbul’s first female firefighters
“We will show that Turkish women exist in firefighting, too,” Hakan Karabulut, the deputy of Firefighting Training Center (İBİTEM), told the Demirören News Agency.
According to the official, the firewomen will start working at their place of duties as of Sept. 13 after a ceremony held in the fire department.
“I decided to be a firefighter after thinking that saving lives is not only men’s work,” said Duygu Özdemir, one of the female firefighters.
İBİTEM opened a quota for 50 women firefighters at the beginning of the year. “At first, only 36 women qualified to be firefighters. But we want to employ more women in coming times,” Karabulut noted.
When asked if firefighting is a harsh profession, Özdemir quickly replied, “Yes.”
“Physically, it forces us. Not easy. You know, we face temperatures between 600 and 700 degrees Celsius. But we try to overcome. Our trainers help us a lot,” she added.
Nurdan Nalçakar is another female firefighter who is willingly doing the job.
“We are learning how to put out a fire without having any harm,” she expressed.
Karabulut underlined that firewomen had the same training as the firemen. “There is no discrimination on this. They got the same level of training. Now they will show their courage,” he added.
He also highlighted that the Turkish firewomen would someday present the country in international firefighting contests across the globe.
“We have female wrestlers or weightlifters. Why not female firefighters?” he asked.
When asked why she wanted to be a firefighter, Fazilet Nur Karabaş said, “I wanted to be representative of Turkish women working in this field.”
Crawling on the field or carrying fire-hoses is the hardest part of the job, Karabaş said, adding, “Those trainings were really tough.”
However, she is confident that she will overcome all the challenges to save lives. “Being unable to save a life scares me because pangs of remorse would make me thoughtful,” she remarked.
Karabulut, for his part, is also confident about the firewomen. “Our women will work heartily side by side with firemen,” he added.