Advertisement

I Became a Soldier with a Beard

  • Nadire Mater

Abstract

They used to ask me why my name was such and such. No bad intentions. There were five of us, non-Muslims, coming from Tokat, where we had the basic training. I was the only Rum (of Greek origin), the rest were Armenians. We were sent to different units. When I learned that I was going to be stationed in the First Company, I was not happy about it. In the beginning, I used to sit by myself in the dining hall. I would not say they were marginalizing me, but not knowing anyone, and being shy, I did not know what to do. In the beginning, you don’t know anyone. They had said that non-Muslims are never given arms. So I assumed that I would be given duties in the kitchen or something. However, it turned out that, as a non-Muslim, I was one of the most active soldiers. They used to say that non-Muslims were not given ranks. It depends on whether they like you and whether there is demand. Being from Istanbul means a lot in a situation where there is a lack of trained guys. You tell the guy to turn right and he turns left. Although I was not well educated, I ended up becoming a corporal. The other guys were high school graduates, but their high schools are like primary schools here in Istanbul. They were giving tests before assigning those ranks and I became a corporal as a result of those tests.

Keywords

Military Service High School Graduate Basic Training Civilian Life Greek Origin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Nadire Mater, Metis Yayinlari 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadire Mater

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations