Türkçe Nupel | Français | English
To see the other articles, follow this link

The deep­est dark­ness of night took shel­ter in the morning’s chest. In the sta­ble, Dap­pir and Derman’s eyes broke through the dark­ness. The two pairs of dis­traught eyes began gnaw­ing at one anoth­er, lit­tle by lit­tle. Der­man with her exhaust­ed eyes looked at Dap­pir “you stran­gled… stran­gled…” she said. Then she cried rivers.

Dappir’s hands were sob­bing, sweat­ing, shak­ing, look­ing for a place to hide under her teats. A bed in which they could dream until eter­ni­ty. “The child was still­born,” Dap­pir said, low­er­ing her eyes. Then she was silent……

Dap­pir hid Der­man for anoth­er two days under a pile of grass­es in the sta­ble. She brought her warm milk, cooked plump dried mul­ber­ries for her but, no mat­ter what she did, Der­man did not put a thing to her mouth. She only drank a bit of water, she drank as if the water was bathing her pain, extin­guish­ing the fire inside her, water, noth­ing else…

Memo was a believ­er. He was a man who had made vows to the huge moun­tains, prayed to the water, the tree, the sun, and who had shed so many tears. “Pity me, now, mas­ter of this earth and of the sky, show me the way.”

Memo woke up on that night bathed in sweat. He had dreamt. In this dream, Der­man was dead! Under a holy tree, there was only Memo and Derman’s remains. For water, there was not even a drop of dew. His daugh­ter was naked and Memo bathed her with his tears.es.

He rose and opened his hands toward the sun about to rise and began with a vow for everyone’s well-being, then for a place for him­self in the cor­ner. Then, he gath­ered all his chil­dren and his wife around the tin stove in which sparks were fly­ing. Hence­forth, no one must say a sin­gle word heav­ier than a rose to Der­man. The god show­ing me the suf­fer­ing from the loss of a child would be best to take his own life. They were going to eat under this roof and man­age, no mat­ter what their fate. They would see what was writ­ten on their forehead…

In a com­mand­ing voice, he sent his wife over to Dap­pir. His daugh­ter was much too pre­cious to be the prey of a “blond bum”, he had not raised her in pover­ty for nothing…

With hands on her chest, Dap­pir greet­ed Derman’s moth­er. As if the moun­tains had crum­bled and Dap­pir had been buried under them. She poured all the pain of her hands on the moth­er, telling her every­thing. How she had pro­ceed­ed, how she could not under­stand either, who would want to mar­ry Der­man with a bastard…It had hap­pened all of a sud­den, there you had it, all of a sudden…

They embraced and togeth­er cried for mil­lenia over their fate.

On these lands, if there is a father behind a woman, if he is as sol­id as a moun­tain, unshake­able, she will not let her­self be dis­cour­aged eas­i­ly. She will not turn into a peb­ble, dust, smoke, she will not kill her­self. Der­man came back to the house with her suf­fer­ing. She with­drew into her­self. “Eh, yeah, no”. With these three words, she built a tomb deep with­in her­self, where she stood guard day and night, she gave her­self up to domes­tic tasks.

Storms broke out, rains fells, the snows from the huge moun­tains melt­ed and filled the streams.

Moth­er Earth called up spring in all its splen­dors. Thanks to it, Der­man got a bit of a grip on her­self. She had taught all she knew, time would take care of the rest.

Der­man was an open wound before Dappir’s eyes, an unend­ing wound strik­ing her hands with a stone. It could not go on this way, it was no longer pos­si­ble. One morn­ing she awoke with the roost­ers. She threw her­self on the moun­tain paths and soon dis­ap­peared from view. She arrived in a ham­let, don’t ask how many vil­lages fur­ther, at Cafer the shepherd’s, her kirve 1Three years ear­li­er, Cafer had lost his wife to pneu­mo­nia, leav­ing four orphans behind her.

Dap­pir sat Cafer in front of her. She talked about Der­man, and about every­thing that had hap­pened: “Der­man is wound­ed, she is young, can­did, if you bind her wound, if you take care of her and heal her, she would be a good wife for you, a good step-moth­er for your chil­dren. Go and get her, take her, save Der­man, save your­self and myself, in the name of the faith…”

Then, out of the pock­et sewn into her belt, the took out a gold coin and left it in Cafer’s hands as cal­loused as stone. “It was the coin for my shroud, you will give it to the girl’s moth­er, as her milk­ing right. Go, that I may be in peace” she said, and returned to her house, with the tomb in her hands.

Cafer had hoped for an eye, Dap­pir was offer­ing him two. He descend­ed like a del­uge, Cafer, and in the blink of an eye, found him­self at Memo’s door. He asked for Der­man as his wife, with Allah’s bless­ing. The gold piece for Dappir’s shroud then found itself with the beads around the neck of Derman’s moth­er, like that of an old­er sister.

Der­man did not wish for hen­na nor for betrothals. She did not ask who was Cafer, nor what kind of man he was, and did not even look at him. A few days lat­er, they left, Cafer lead­ing, Der­man walk­ing behind, and dis­ap­peared on the moun­tain paths.

Cafer always behaved well with Der­man. And, with time, Der­man came to appre­ci­ate Cafer. She nev­er returned to her vil­lage until the death of her father Memo. Dur­ing long years she had no chil­dren, then they had a girl and a boy.

Dappir’s hands spread out on the grass and on the stones. Every­one end­ed up learn­ing about the blood on those hands. She lost her respectabil­i­ty, became anoth­er Dap­pir. For that Dap­pir, dis­dained by all, chased away from every­where, even in the ceme­tery where her kin were buried…So, she sold every­thing she could, and set­tled in a vil­lage of Kuzuova.

When had Dap­pir arrived in this vil­lage, how the thrown stones pur­sued her all that way, no one knows. All that is known is that no one likes Dap­pir anymore.

Dappir’s death…

Kuzuova’s poplars are reput­ed… They becomes hous­es, fences, they become lad­ders for the roof. One day, while climb­ing to the roof, Dap­pir slipped on a rung and fell. Her hip broke. Her grand chil­dren rushed Dap­pir to the hos­pi­tal, in vain. She was old her bones were like dust, her leg would nev­er heal…

For Dap­pir, the black­est days arrived after this. She could no longer go to the toi­let on her own, she could not get up to take her bread. It was sum­mer. It was hot, the flies mul­ti­plied in the stench. Dap­pir was car­ried on her mat­tress and set before the door. She lay on this ter­race raised by two steps the edges rein­forced by branch­es and twigs, she moaned under the pain. Passers­by in the street held their nose and ran away. All the old rags and linens in the vil­lage were gath­ered up and placed under Dap­pir, but noth­ing helped. Her meals were rationed to a sin­gle one per day. Every time she dirt­ied her dia­per, with hard blows and kicks her cries resound­ed “wuyyyyy!”.

She looked like a skele­ton stuck to her pal­let. All she could say was “some water­rr!” My moth­er would give her some cool water from the well. Then she would give her some fresh bread, say­ing “may it touch your moth for the soul of your father.” Her daugh­ters-in-law scold­ed  and chid­ed my moth­er “of course, you’re not the one clean­ing her diaper!”

In the end, her eldest daugh­ter-in-law and her chil­dren were stuck with Dap­pir. She was the one receiv­ing her old age pen­sion. “Water­rr!” Dap­pir moaned, a voice from inside would answer “drop dead­dd!” From so much lying down, her back, her hips were bruised, wound­ed. One month, two months. Things went on this way. And before our eyes, like an old pho­to from days long gone, our moth­er still brought Dap­pir water from the well, secretly.

Her deep suf­fer­ing moans still ring in our ears.

It was a rainy stormy night… Light­ning glim­mered, the sky growled, Kuzuo­va was shak­en like a crib. All day, Dappir’s cries of fear filled the streets. A slight dark­ness had fall­en and Dap­pir was not call­ing for water, nor was she cry­ing “wuyyy”. Yet she repeat­ed a sin­gle thing over and over again “I will not stran­gle this child, I will not stran­gle this child, I will not stran­gle this child…” A few hours lat­er, not a sound rose out of Dappir.

My moth­er then said “Dap­pir has giv­en up her soul, she is delivered…”

Bars were nailed up, a cur­tain of sheets  yel­lowed by the pestil 2put up in front of Dappir’s remains. Her clothes were cut up with scisoors, burned one after the oth­er. Her body was washed until two cakes of soap had melt­ed away.

Behind the sheets, the blue beads on her neck­lace mixed with the suds, moved gen­tly in the dirty water, brush­ing against her hands…

Translation from French by Renée Lucie Bourges

Sup­port Kedis­tan, MAKE A CONTRIBUTION.

We maintain the “Kedistan tool” as well as its archives. We are fiercely committed to it remaining free of charge, devoid of advertising and with ease of consultation for our readers, even if this has a financial costs, covered up till now by financial contributions (all the authors at Kedistan work on a volunteer basis).
You may use and share Kedistan’s articles and translations, specifying the source and adding a link in order to respect the writer(s) and translator(s) work. Thank you.
Suna Arev
Née en 1972 à Uzun­tar­la (Elazığ).Dans une famille de huits enfants, elle est immergée dès son plus jeune âge, par­mi les tra­vailleurs agri­coles à la tâche. Tel un miroir qui date de son enfance, la péri­ode du coup d’Etat mil­i­taire du 12 sep­tem­bre 1980 a for­mé sa vie poli­tique. Diplômée de l’École pro­fes­sion­nelle de com­merce d’Elazığ, elle a vécu, en grandeur nature les com­porte­ments fas­cistes et racistes dans sa ville. Mère de qua­tre enfants, depuis 1997, elle habite en Alle­magne, pour des raisons politiques.
Suna Arev was born in 1972 in the vil­lage of Uzun­tar­la, Elazığ dis­trict. From a fam­i­ly of eight chil­dren she became one of the agri­cul­tur­al work­ers at an ear­ly age. The mil­i­tary coup d’état of Sep­tem­ber 12 1980 served as a mir­ror in shap­ing her polit­i­cal out­look. After obtain­ing a diplo­ma from the Elazığ Pro­fes­sion­al Busi­ness School, she expe­ri­enced the full force of fas­cist and racist behav­iours in her town. She has lived in Ger­many since 1997, for polit­i­cal rea­sons. She is the moth­er of four children.