Meltem Arikan


You shouldn’t load your fears onto me. Until now they’ve always been wrapped around me, squeezing me. I was always doing what was required, always crushed, always shaped by you. You domesticated me. You tamed, trained and bent me by judging me. You educated me, you distanced me from who I am. I was so fearful of being alienated, my fears destroyed me. I lived silently within you, breathing evenly. I breathed in, I breathed out, there was nothing left. Enough. You exhausted me.

Korkularınızla giydiremeyeceksiniz beni. Bugüne dek hep onlarla sarmalanmış, sıkışmış yaşadım. Hep gerekenleri yaparak, hep ezik, hep sizlere göre biçim alan. Evcilleştirdiniz beni. Evcilleştirdiniz beni, eğip, büküp, yargılayarak. Eğittiniz beni, beni benden uzaklaştırarak.

Dışlanmaktan öyle korktum ki, korkum yok etti beni.
Sessizce yaşadım aranızda, düzenli nefes alışlarımla.
Nefes aldım, nefes verdim hiçbir şey kalmadı geride…
Yeter artık yordunuz beni.

Meltem Arıkan is a Turkish novelist and playwright. Her fourth novel Yeter Tenimi Acıtmayın (Stop Hurting My Flesh) was banned in early 2004 by the Committee to Protect the Minors from Obscene Publications, with the accusation of "Writing about the non-existing incest fact in Turkey, attempting to disturb the Turkish family order with a feminist approach.” The ban was lifted after two months and Arıkan has been awarded with “Freedom of Idea and Statement Prize 2004” by the Turkish Publishers’ Association. She published her 9th novel in 2009.  Stop Hurting My Flesh was recently republished in Turkish and will be published in English in 2012.


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