An Untold Love Story
By Yagmur Dursun
My name is Yagmur (it means "rain"). I was
born in rural Turkey, in a village. Generally Turkish women enjoy many freedoms, which our Arab
sisters canít even think of. Rural Turkey is a different story. Honour killings take place every day, women donít
have much say (if any) in household matters and female employment is out
of question. However, much hard work is done by women because men donít
want to strain themselves; women are like cattle or slaves. If husband
tells you to do something, you have to obey.
My mother was a fairly educated woman, she taught me
at home and I even went to school. My hobby was reading books. Through
them I learnt different languages and acquired a lot of knowledge.
I was a disciplined and obedient girl, unlike my
sister who was somewhat uppity. When she was 18, she fell in love with a
young man. They both loved each other but he was meant for another girl,
thus his parents had decided. Dating is utterly forbidden in Islam,
marriages are arranged and often young people meet on their wedding day.
My sister was rebellious. She ďdatedĒ that young
man. Every night she would go to see him. They even kissed and actually
their relationship went too far. She got pregnant. At first they planned
to run away to a big city where they would be safe. They knew in villages,
religion rules and they could be in trouble. Authorities donít
care whatís going on in rural Turkey. Sometimes imams, mullahs and elders who try to practice Sharia and break
the secular state law are punished but usually authorities are more
interested in big cities full of tourists and turn a blind eye to what
happens in villages.
I remember their young faces. I didnít understand
the whole situation; I was a little girl. But when I looked at them I
could see they were happy. Their happiness made me happy too and I wanted to
Instead of eloping, they decided to speak to my
father. "Pregnancy is a very good reason to get permission for
marriage", or so they thought.
Alas, my sister had miscalculated my fatherís love for
her and his obsession with his religion. He became furious. Instead of
letting the two young lovers marry and build their nest of love, he took
her to the religious elders and they ruled that she had committed
adultery. She was sentenced to death by stoning. They showed no mercy even
for her unborn child. She had stained the ďhonourĒ of the family and
the only way to remove that stain was to nip her life in the bud. Her unborn
baby was a stain too and that little creature had to be destroyed as well,
so my family could live honorably.
In the evening before her execution, she came to my room and told me that
she would miss me. She was crying and hugged me to her bosom. Then she
smiled and said that soon she would see her unborn baby. I was blissfully unaware of her fate, but I
felt that something bad was about to happen. I was so scared!
I still remember her black eyes; she
stared at the sky while she was dug into the ground. She was wrapped in
white sheets and her hands were tide to her body. She was buried up to her
waist. The rabid mob circled her with stones in their hands and started
throwing them at her while the roars of Allah-u-Akbar Allah-u-Akbar added
to their frenzy. She twitched
with pain as the stones hit her tender body and smashed her head. Blood
gushed out from her face, cheeks, mouth, nose and eyes. All she could do
was to bend to the left and to the right. Gradually the movements slowed
down and finally she stopped moving even though the shower of the stones
did not stop. Her head fell on her chest. Her
bloodied face remained serene. All the pain had gone. The hysteric mob
relented and the chant of Allah-uíAkbar stopped. Someone approached and
with a big boulder in his hand smashed the scull of my sister to finish her
off. There was no need for that; she was already dead. Her bright black eyes that beamed with life
were shut. Her jovial laughter that filled the world around her was silenced. Her
heart that beat with such a heavenly love for only a short time had stopped. Her unborn
baby was not given a chance to breathe one breath of air. He (or she)
accompanied his young mother in her solitary and cold tomb, or who knows,
maybe to a better place where love reigns and pain and ignorance are not
known. These two budding lives had to be nipped so my father could keep
prepared for stoning- Iran
She wanted to marry a man whom she loved. She dreamt
wearing a white wedding dress, that there would be a big ceremony, lots of
people would be invited and they all would congratulate her, chant merry
songs and throw flowers and confetti at her. Yes there was a
ceremony, but it was not her wedding. She was dressed in white but that was not
her wedding gown. Lots of people came to the party but they came to curse her and to
throw stones at her. No music was played and no merry songs were sang; only
screams of Allah-u-Akbar filled the air. The only hug she got was from the
cold earth in which she was half buried. The only kisses that she received
were from the rocks thrown at her that tore her flesh and broke her bones.
They were the kisses of death.
She was not united with the man whom
she loved but was wed to death.
This was a tragedy for my sisterís young lover. His
life lost its meaning. He got lashes but nothing more. He could well
forget about the whole affair and get along with his life, but he didn't.
I recall seeing him standing in front of our house every day, as if
waiting for my sister to come out and meet him. I could see him crying. I
can only imagine that when he was not crying in front of our house he was
in the cemetery, crying over the grave of his love and his baby. One day he could no more bear
his pain and hanged himself.
His death was hushed and no one talked about
it. Maybe no one cared.
He was reunited with his love and his baby. No one can hurt them
anymore. No one can separate them from one another again.
It is a sad story. But unlike the story of Romeo and
Juliet it is a story that is never told. No one talks about those young
lovers. No one sheds tears for them. Not only they were buried, their
memories were also buried as if they never existed - their tender love was
a shame to others - a shame that had to be washed with blood.
But the saddest part is that according to Islam
my sister deserved that death. The elders were sure she would be burning in
Hell for eternity. No, I can't imagine that God can send someone to Hell
for loving and for being happy.
I can't accept a cruel God.
Now back to my life. When I turned 18, I was married off to a Turkish
businessman from Germany. When I came to Germany
I found out that he had another wife.
He is not a bad man at all. He is very kind, but he is
a Muslim. He doesnít understand why Europeans donít like polygamy, for
instance. He doesnít allow us to leave the home. He protects our honour
in this strange way.
Then we moved to the UK. Here we are even more isolated than in
because there are fewer Turks. In
we at least could meet our fellow expats.
As for my relationship with my husband's first wife, we are
friends. There is some rivalry between us, thatís for sure. But I am
alone and canít meet anyone or leave home. Her life is just as dull and
canít hate each other; we should be friends to overcome our troubles. My
co-wife and I are like two cellmates. We only have each other. There is
not much room for antagonism or hard feelings.
I have 5 children, she has 4. She occupies a more
privileged position within our family because she has a son. I have given
birth only to daughters so far.
We are both educated, but she is so obsessed with
kids that she has given herself up. I am still trying to grasp at
non-existent straws; probably one day I will be freedÖ I read books,
keep myself informed and like to think. She is not remotely interested in
reading books or thinking. I am alone.
Sometimes I think of running away, but I have 5
daughters. I can neither leave them, nor run away with them. Actually, I
Even though I left Islam a long time ago, I cannot
stop praying or fasting. My husband keeps a rod for the disobedientÖ
When I try to protest, my mouth is shut up with
quotes from the Quran. Islam defines our lives. Isnít it stupid that
people live according to a book written a long time ago?
I am not whining about my life but I do hate Islam.
At least I could object to certain traditions but Islam preserved the
worst in our culture, reducing women into slavery and keeping them
ignorant. What can you expect from an uneducated woman?
When I look at my daughters, I pray that they may
live in a free world, free from Islam and this slavery.
Ali, you promised to defeat Islam very soon, so
please do it.
I know sometimes you must feel like giving up. It seems to me youíve
devoted yourself fully to the good cause of yours. You may feel at times
that you will never succeed. I just want to say that you are fighting for
women like me. When you despair, think of me and millions of women with
similar tragic experiences. Never give up. You are my knight in shining
armour. I just want you to
know that I am your keen supporter.
Please sent this story to your friends and
publish it in your site.
Yagmur Dursun is a pen name. Some details
of this story have been changed to hide the identity of the author.