The Biggest Problem in the World

When I was a student at TOBB ETÜ, the final exam of “Science, Ethics ve Human” course, which I remember with my opened horizon, light and good memories wanted us to define the biggest problem in the world and propose a solution.

Thinking this issue was rather inspiring. As a piece, a resident of the world, hope to solve a problem of this planet where we taste existence beckoned muses and worked the mind like the wheels of a clock.

It was not an ordinary exam that we shut ourselves away in a lecture hall and solved questions through two hours. If I remember correctly, it had a deadline a month or a week later. We would write an article, describe the biggest problem in the world and go to a solution step by step. I wrote the following on April 6, 2019:

The Biggest Problem in the World

The only way to answer a question is to understand it very well. “What’s the biggest problem in this world?” In order to answer this question, we first need to define the word “problem”. For example, is it a problem that a meteor hit the Earth? Is it a problem that dinosaurs went extinct or that living things had to kill each other in order to survive?

The definition of the word “problem” in TDK is as follows:

1. The situation that needs to be researched and learned, considered and resolved, and concluded; issue.

2. Annoying situation, trouble. [1]

The first definition states that the “problem” concerns only human; because the actions of researching, learning, thinking and analyzing and concluding can only be done by humans. Other living things cannot do research, and they cannot go out of doing what is necessary for their instincts and evolution. For example, it is unthinkable for gazelles to set up barricades or to research new defense tactics to get rid of lions. Gazelles simply run and the weak feeds to lions, because running is enough for the individuals to survive and the wheel continues to spin.

If it is not the “problem” that any other species other than human brings to nature, we arrive at the answer to our first question: No extinction action involved in the natural functioning of nature is a problem.

The human understanding of the problem will remain, again, as actions that harm the human species in a highly selfish framework. We want to protect other species in nature for our own future. Our conscience, which is disinterestedly saddened by global warming, the tormented animals and the uncontrolled increase in consumption, again protects us from us. In other words, we save ourselves as we save others. Still, “problem” and “solution” remain human-oriented concepts. After that, “What is the biggest problem in this world?” We can easily give the following answer to the question: Everything that harms humanity in the short, medium and long term.

Specifying a Broad Concept

Strong nations have a policy known by centuries on weaker nations: divide and rule. In fact, this strategy is valid not only in the field of management, but also in all the jobs that a person is trying to achieve and all the questions that he seeks answers. A writer writes his novel by dividing it into chapters. A person who tries to remember a song he forgot, first hum a small melody, repeats it over and over and tries to revive the other parts. “Everything that harms humanity in the short, medium and long term.” It is necessary to divide this definition in order to examine it properly.

What are the things that harm humanity in the short term? Let’s limit this concept of short term to a hundred years. In this category, there are generally political problems such as wars, occupation, polarization, bad politicians. Even the wounds of world wars, in which millions of people lost their lives, could be healed in a few decades.

What are the things that do harm in the medium term? Let’s define the period between 100-3000 years as “medium term”. In this category, there are problems such as the extinction of civilizations, prevention of scientific curiosity, and general paradigm changes such as racism. For example, the assassination of the female philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria by the fanatics has the same reasons and the same intellectual background as the witch hunt that lasted for centuries in Europe.

Environmental and natural problems are the things that hurt in the long term. Humans have harmed nature by using technology incorrectly, and the effect of this will last for millennia, perhaps causing the destruction of life on Earth.

“Many animals are in danger of extinction due to global warming, poaching and the gradual shrinkage of their natural habitats.

American Museum of Natural History biologists warn that 20 percent of the world’s animal population could disappear by 2028.

It is estimated that nearly 2 million animal species have been discovered so far, but this number is only a small fraction of the animal world when considering species awaiting discovery or already erased from the world.

Studies show that 89 mammals have become extinct in the last 400 years, and 169 are threatened with extinction.” [2]

Solution Research For Problems

Although we distinguish short, medium and long term problems from each other, each of these problems actually leads to the other and cannot be solved independently from each other. Therefore, it is necessary to find the most fundamental problem and focus on it.

Why do political problems that we define as “short term” arise? For this, it is necessary to look at the decision maker. It is the rulers who decide to war. It is the rulers who cannot direct the economy and cause poverty. It is the rulers who cannot prevent the polarization of the people or prepare the ground for this polarization. In this case, we can attribute the problems to the “bad ruler” element, but this is insufficient.

The rulers of a people grow up in that people and adopt the thoughts of that people. This is so from the democratic regime, where the people directly participate in the rule, to the absolute monarchy, because a ruler who opposes his people cannot maintain his powers for a long time, he is overthrown by rebellion. So we can easily say that the ruler is the mirror of the people. This result is in a hadith-i sharif, “You are governed as you are.” expressed as. [3]

A bad ruler is a sign of an ignorant public.

The problems of civilization, which we define as “middle term” directly reach the same basis, ignorant masses of people. The burning of libraries, witch hunts, lynchings, could not have been done without a mass of people denied scientific knowledge. The sources of the problems we call “long term” are also the same, masses of people who do not know what to do. Anaesthetized societies who cannot stop the moves that threaten the future of nature.

The most fundamental problem, then, is the ignorance of societies.

So, the basis of the solution strategy should be social education.

The Ideal of Social Education

Social education, in its simplest form, is to bring every individual of a society to a minimum level of education. The principle of “Primum non nocere” (First, do no harm) in medicine can also be applied to social education. An educated person needs to reach maturity that will at least not harm anyone, even if he/she does not benefit the world.

For example, an educated person should keep himself/herself away from substance addiction, take care of his/her health and thus not harm himself/herself. Except for self-defense, they should avoid violence, get on well with family and friends, respect someone they do not know, not make fun of their physical characteristics, or discriminate. Again, an educated person should avoid harming the environment, do not waste, minimize plastic consumption and try to reduce their carbon footprint.

Social education, which raises “harmless” individuals, is a successful social education.

In addition, a mistake should also be corrected. When “education” is said in public, only “academic education” is understood. However, academic education is far from providing sufficient social maturity. An excerpt from the interview of Evan Stark, who works on women and children victims of violence in the USA:

“Are men with more economic difficulties committing violence? Or is the woman without economic strength and low education being beaten?

Stark: In some places violence is more prevalent in families where men are unemployed. But in the same way, men in positions of authority, be it teachers, police, lawyers, doctors or leaders, ministers, can beat, harass and abuse their wives. This is a very common situation.

Which women are being beaten?

Stark: Award-winning journalists, stockbrokers, politicians, lawyers, doctors, architects, engineers, and even university deans are beaten and harassed by their husbands.” [4]

Although it sounds nice to make everybody a graduate, it does not really benefit society and our problems. Social education is education that can erase the term “learned fool”.

Situations That May Prevent Social Education

Inertia law in physics states that there is a tendency for bodies to maintain the state of motion. Nature resists change. Therefore, the biggest obstacle in social education initiative will be the resistance of the society that does not want to be educated.

Various expressions like “you cannot put new wine in old bottles” will confront those who are committed to the ideal of social education at every stage. Therefore, those who want to educate should first equip themselves. They should develop their qualities such as perseverance, perseverance, persuasiveness.

Another obstacle to social education is the one coming from “above”. Rulers or the wealthy may want to use their influence to prevent this educational initiative. For example, in Turkey, it is said that the Village Institutes that remained open between 1936-1954 were closed at the request of the landlords. Because the peasants did not consult the landlord in all their affairs as before, landlords’ influence was decreasing. [5]

Another danger to social education is that educators become radicalized by change in the face of difficulties and start to inflict the damage they criticize. Nietzsche expressed this danger in one of his books: “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. When you gaze long into the abyss the abyss also gazes into you.”

Those who adopt the ideal of education should develop self-control mechanisms and not be afraid of constructive criticism. Only in this way is it possible to get rid of “becoming monstrous”.

Summary

The biggest problem in the world is anything that harms people. The damages given to nature are also within the scope of the damage caused by the human.

Problems are divided into three categories: “short term”, “medium term”, “long term”.

Short-term problems are problems that can be recovered within a century. Like war, internal turmoil or bad politics.

Medium-term problems are those whose damage extends from a few centuries to several millennia. Burning libraries, destroying information, and adopting discrimination are such problems.

Long-term problems, on the other hand, are those that cause permanent changes whose damage cannot be recovered for thousands of years. Global warming is a long-term problem.

When we look at the basis of all these problems, we see unconscious masses of people. Unconscious masses choose bad rulers, unconscious masses adopt discrimination, and unconscious masses harm nature.

Therefore, the basic solution is social education. The goal of social education is not to educate academically knowledgeable individuals, but to raise individuals who have adopted the principle of “not doing harm”. There are three main obstacles to social education. One is the society that resists change, the second is the influential focuses who do not want their interests to be harmed, and the third is the radicalization of the educators and their transformation into what they criticize.

Bibliography (Turkish)

How did you find the post? Please specify in the comments. By the way, some of the links in the bibliography are currently not working, but I have not changed the original so as not to spoil it.

RENAISSANCE IN THE DAISY FIELD – Prereading

Welcome! Here are the first two chapters of Papatya Tarlasında Rönesans (Renaissance in the Daisy Field). Rights of the book are in Başlangıç Publishing House, and the book is not yet available in English, but studies are ongoing to make it. Thanks to Övünç Yaşar for the translation.

A Woman Body in the Rain

2017, Istanbul.

Those waking up grumbling and going into the new day reluctantly; those running to catch up their heart yearning with the calling; sportspersons leaving their beds quickly to befriend the early mornings they love; poets searching for inspiration like chasing butterflies in the meadows; the little kid sneaking out without his mother’s permission to play… Briefly, everyone who woke up at six in the morning and got out in the first Thursday of the March were aware of the mysterious woman body at the foot of the Hisar.

To the contrary of the customary climate of the city of gloom, raindrops had wetted the holes all night. A small flood had covered the unprepared ground secretly. A gift of the rain had been left at the foot of Hisar: A Body… No ID, seems to be in her twenties. She has a smooth skin, but her clothes seem like as if they were made of hay. So yellow, so worn out… The marks of the painful conditions make one question himself, the faith, what we live missing even though the God has given possibilities to be enough for everyone. Even this questioning is far from being sincere as it came up by the effect of the appearance of the girl.

Seven o’clock. The crime scene is full of cops. The yellow barrier tape is set, the public isn’t allowed in. A limited number of cameramen try to shoot for the news. The young lady, whose face is photographed by the police, is being put on the stretcher like a large size doll and taken to the hospital.

Nine. Hisar is completely evacuated. Apart from those satisfying their conscientious feeling via social media posts, the entire Istanbul gets back to their lives.

Twelve. The action is now in the corridors of the Police Station. Archives, missing persons files are being incessantly scanned. If the ID or family of the girl cannot be found in a few days, her photo will be added to the “Unidentified Bodies” page on the internet.

The next day… The body is moved to the morgue of a hospital nearby. Blood and DNA samples are being taken. Three days later, the autopsy will be performed before the district attorney.

The footage of the day she was taken to the morgue is a bit strange. An employee goes down to check the bodies. He checks each cabinet one by one and ticks the list off. When the turn comes to the compartment where the girl is, he looks at the open, working cabinet, lifts the list and moves his pen and he freezes with the squeezing feeling in his wrist. The list falls off the man’s other hand. A few seconds before dying due to a heart attack, looking up a little, he suddenly sees the surprised violet eyes of the girl who held his arm firmly.

The completely naked girl gets scared and bends her legs to her stomach. Meanwhile, she looks around carefully. After sitting there for a while, she stands up, wanders inside the room with her arms wrapped around her body, takes the sheet off from one of the empty stretchers, wraps it around her waist leaving one shoulder open. Then she quietly leaves from the door.

Despite months of investigation, no one could find who she was or where she is. She doesn’t appear in other records of the hospital as well, as if she had vanished.

This incident devastating the hospital management was not leaked to the press to protect the reputation of the hospital. At the end of the search period, the records were destroyed with the permission of the police and shortly after, the girl is forgotten.

Daisy Field

1374, London.

Even though it was summer, there was a painful cold in the dungeons of a tower only four years far from its third hundredth anniversary.

The London Tower. It allowed mostly noblemen, sometimes the common public to pass through its doors. Has been the middle square of the chessboard, determined the winner in the bloody civil wars. The tower is the iron fist of the crown and the reign, also a prison built in the nightmares – a special guesthouse the king had prepared for his high ranked enemies.

It was noon; however, this place wouldn’t get even a single drop of sunlight.

The ground and the walls were made of stones, the doors of the cells from iron. The cells were for one man, had such a low ceiling only to allow to stand up and narrow as much as for one’s feet to touch the wall when laid down. There was a separate compartment on the corner for toilet, but there was no tap.

The only sources of light that let the huge guard walking with an oxtail-like whip in his hand and a never-ending rage in him to see were the torches placed between each two doors.

The guard was bare foot. The cold ground would make one feel a refreshing coolness at each step. The guard stopped in front of the door he aimed. He squeezed the flask filled with water in his left hand a bit more and pinning the whip in his right hand between the fingers of his other hand, he looked for the key in his leather belt, on which there was no empty space.

The old lock opened clacking. Inside was seen a man kneeling. His clothes were new but torn down. His fingers were on the ground. The guard looked carefully to see what he was doing, could only understand a few minutes later. The young prisoner was writing something using the dirt on the ground.

Going mad, the guard threw the flask aside. Grabbed the prisoner from his hair, “Didn’t… I… Tell… You… Not to… Write… Things… Here?”

Hitting his face to the wall at each word.

“Stop, please!” said the prisoner desperately. When the guard left him, blood was leaking from his nose. When he gathered strength enough to talk “I am just doing what needs to be done for the prosperity of our people,” he said, “I won’t veer away.”

“Good for you.” The guard was talking mockingly. “Wait for the trial to pass, then we’ll see. Let’s see if you will still be so determined groaning on the scavenger’s daughter sweet boy?” – what he meant was a round torturing tool famous for breaking the backbone of the accused – “Ah, if only I had the authority, ah! My fingers itch!”

The guard threw the flask, all the water in which had scattered around, in front of the prisoner.

“Mr John Joseph Daisy, get ready. You have your trial in two hours.”

The door, which left a thin beam from the light of the torch when it opened, closed slowly, and turned inside over to the dark.

“My God…” grumbled Joseph. Took the flask on the ground and wetted his bone-dry lips with a few drops left in it. “You know God…” he said. “You know.”

This was the only sentence he said until the trial.

The square was thronged. The poor Londoners had gathered at places where the trial would take place to watch another public event which was their only fun. “Wow…” whispered people around, “Look at the doc!” Their dear doctor whom they admired with goosebumps only one week ago was now a man to belittle. When devoid of a bounding consciousness, the majority was not a good mate. As much as a falling star could divide the darkness of a sunless sky, so much could the love of unconscious masses help one.

Doctor John Joseph Daisy, who was an idol for good people and was even the topic of discussions whether he should be deemed a saint, had published an article titled “Immortality” exactly eight days ago. This article involving arguments which the King and the Church was not a fan of had been enough to bring the doctor from the saint level down to a pervert being tried for irreligion. Joseph had been waiting in a narrow cell far from his warm house for seven days. He was weak due to the cold, dirt and the moisture and had started coughing seriously – and he wasn’t even cracked yet! If a little later this young man doesn’t admit before the judge that he tried to subvert the holy British Kingdom and apologise stating that he gives up on everything he had written, he would be returned back to prison and until he comes clean, he would be tortured with methods which no one should have even heard of.  

Amongst the crowd, a woman with messy blond hair looking like hay held a boy in his arms even tighter. She looked for a place where she could both see the trial to begin and to avoid attention from people. This young woman, Sarah Daisy, was one of the most well-known women of London after the nobles. Her name would be uttered with a little admiration and a little envy as she was one of the hundred people who were literate, was both rich and generous at the same time and most importantly, was the wife of John Joseph Daisy, one of the most important doctors of the country. Sarah, just 22 years old, had given birth to a son in the eighteenth month of her five-year marriage.

Sarah got to the side of a wall and held Orson even tighter to avoid seeing people’s pitying looks almost screaming “Poor you, how the mighty have fallen.” She got lost in thoughts while the chairs of the judge, the clergy, and the interrogators were being prepared.

Towards the sunset, the wind patted her hair. Sarah felt more and more incomplete at every touch of the wind. She wasn’t used to have messy, dirty hair. She missed Joseph loving her “Jasmine…” and washing her hair with the jasmine flowers he boiled. And then knitting each knot kissing her, them reaching to the morning like that…

She was “Miss Daisy”, or “Miss Sarah” for everyone, but white jasmines next to Joseph. Whenever he washed her heart with beautiful smells saying “My Jasmine…” she would call her dearie husband back “My Daisy…”

On their door was written the Daisy Field instead of the Daisy House. They would live a flower garden happiness behind this door every day.

“Ah Daisy…” she hummed once more. Soon enough, at the centre of this circle, while he was trying to prove the judge that he is innocent, how much she would wish to hold his hand!

The dead sound of the beadle broke the humming like a dandelion:

“Silence! The trial is about to begin!”

Gong rang. Sarah cringed her corner even more while the public hustled and made more room for themselves to see everything better.

A guard, waiting alone inside the iron passage and eying the solitary places of the tower, squinted his eyes when he saw someone from the crowd coming his way. First, he saw his long dress. A black, bright dress with fur on its collars… He got anxious. What was a man from the judiciary board doing here?

“Sir,” he said stopping the man whose face was shaded. On his face was the worry of a man confronting an officer. “You cannot get in. The trial begins, you need to be ready.”

There was no anger on the face of the board member. “I know,” he said, he was calm; he had a deep but harmonious voice. He reached to the big cross on his chest, hung on a thick silver chain. “This won’t take long. I want to pray to God to be able to make the fairest judgment.” Satisfied, the soldier moved away and let him pass. The member wandered away dragging his long cloak and faded in the dark.

Reaching to a corner where no human being could notice the smallest movement, he ended his long walk. He took off and threw first the neckless with the cross and then the cloak. He leaned on the old walls behind and caught his breath. He took an old mirror from his inside pocket and checked his face. It was dangerous. “They wouldn’t like purple eyes here,” he said, as if he was advising himself.

He focused all his thoughts to one single point and closed his eyes. He hummed a few times: “Menni nomen sakrifin, mutare menum statim”, it was like he was talking in his sleep. “My name is the sacrificed, change me, now.” It sounded like Latin, but it wasn’t.

When he reopened his eyelids, the man saw the change in the mirror. His skin that got a bit darker, his duck egg blue eyes… The pleasure could be read from his face. Maybe not natural but was better than nothing.

He did what he had to, now he had to hurry. Re-dressing his cloak and neckless, the member left his hiding place to get to the court.

The two and a half hours long silence of the dungeon was broken with the guard’s voice:

“Doctor!”

Joseph startled with the unexpected sound. When the door of the cell was opening, he squinted his eyes with a surprising light. The guard had entered the cell with the torch in his hand.

His never soft voice was still rough but had nothing to do with its previous threatening mood. “You don’t want to look bad in front of the public, I am ordered to bring you new clothes and lots of water.” Throwing the clothes in his hands in front of Joseph, the guard placed the torch next to the door, so inside of the cell became light enough. “Drink some and wash your face and tidy your hair with the rest. Soldiers will be here to take you to the court.” After carrying the bucket full of water inside carefully, he left the door halfway on his way out. All this happened so fast that Joseph couldn’t even say thanks.

The first thing Joseph did was putting the cup inside the bucket left for him to be able to drink easily aside and tossed the bucket off. After refreshing his burning body a little, he cleared his mouth with his sleeve. Maybe, he thought, this was the tastiest water he ever drank.

Right after that, he tossed the bucked off again. This time he didn’t leave it back until he felt that he is full to the neck. He stopped when he can’t drink anymore. He was smiling unawares.

Spilling the one-cup water remaining at the bottom of the bucket down his head, he rubbed his face. He came around.

He changed his clothes, tidied his hair. Stood up and rehearsed standing upright. He felt the pang of grief most when he thought about his family. He decided not to look at the spectators in no way, because he knew if he saw Sarah and Orson, he wouldn’t be able to hold it together.

The rhythmic footsteps reminded the doctor that it was time. Joseph got ready, checked himself one last time and waited for the soldiers.

Those entering the cell at this third instance were two cavaliers. These were low-rank escorts who had small duties such as escorting the messengers to appear before the King or the prisoners before the court. Joseph’s wrists were not cuffed, his arms were not held tightly. Only, one of the soldiers showed the way with the tip of the spear.

The doctor thought whether these attendants treating him well might indicate his exoneration. Maybe he could tell that the theory of immortality didn’t contradict the religious doctrines in anyway. “If I can tell enough…” he thought. “I can even get the allowance for the theory to be put into practice. Just speak well Joshy, speak well…”

He closed his eyes before getting under the sunlight. He could feel the curious looks of hundreds of people, their shaken trusts, the wandering whispers… “I have only one shot to clear off all the doubts,” he hummed himself.

It was hot outside. Getting to the hot weather suddenly from the cold inside made Joseph sweat. His red orange camise was shining under the sun, his boots raised the dust. They walked together till the felon’s dock. Meanwhile such a humming rose from the people that one of the attendants had to silence the spectators for the second time.

Beginning the trial, the judge looked right into the eyes of the judged.

“Mr Daisy… at five in the afternoon at the 4th day of June, you had sent an article to the Science Magazine. In this article, you claim that the human body is not obliged to experience the diseases and the death, and the human life could be extended to hundreds of years with the right nutrition and correct treatments. However, in Bible, it reads clearly that the human body is obliged to death. The wish for a long life is to become evil and polytheism. Defend yourself.”

“I pay my respects to Your Honour, the establisher of the justice, and to all Londoners,” began Joseph his words. “What you said is correct. I argue that by arranging the nutrition and the treatments, it is possible to increase the life quality, triple or quadruple the period of life, and completely eliminate the death arising from diseases.

I argue that we can live in cleaner and healthier streets. Our country can reach to welfare. We can prevent our streets going down like ninepins. We can spend joyous times with our grandchildren, and maybe with their grandchildren. The cold face of the diseases can leave all households of this holy place, as long as we try it hard.

This in no way contradicts the rules of the God.

Just think about it… If the God didn’t want us to live as long as possible, why would he cover our body entirely with reflexes that protect our bodies, the life? If he didn’t want us to dip into the beauties, why would he create these most natural fruits and flowers in numerous colours?

Life is our reality, and my wish is to live well.

Today, you claim that I am an acolyte of Satan. In fact, I learnt that the diseases are sent to increase our patience and strength from your preaches.

How can a challenge that we don’t tackle increase our strength?

The real patience is not just waiting. The real patience is not wasting time with complaining but to do our parts to resolve the trouble. My theory will realise the aim of the God and the humankind.”

Ending his words, Joseph looked in front of him and licked his lips. He was happy that he didn’t stutter.

The judge was consulting with his assistants and cleaning his forehead with a hanky from time to time. After a few minutes of passionate debate, the judge silenced the humming and turned to the doctor.

“Many saints have been tested with diseases to this day,” he said. “Many of them havened in the prayers, showed patience refusing the treatment, and there have even been those dying because of this. Patience is the virtue, but you direct people to worldliness, withholding them from the virtue.”

For a moment, Joseph thought he won’t be able to talk at all, but a single sentence just spilled over his lips like a fall: “If the saints were treated and recovered and were with us today, wouldn’t it be better for the sake of our religion? Wouldn’t the God want that?”

This sentence creating an effect of a stone dropping to a still water made everyone suddenly fall into silence, followed by a whistling clapping from the stands.

There was nothing more to say. The public was convinced that Joseph was right.

The board stood up. The judge and his assistants looked one another but this time no one spoke.

The doctor was startled by the screams supporting him. His eyes breaking up his own words searched for his jasmine and his own piece in the crowd. Not finding them, he turned back.

“The verdict!”

The rising humming was suddenly cut. All the people sitting, including Joseph, stood up. The doctor tried to hide the grimace on his face, he felt like there were worms in his stomach.

As sure he was from the righteousness and necessity of his theory, so more his predictions that he cannot leave this court with a happy ending were growing. He could accept a bad call but the predictions emerging and vanishing in the fog of the thought, waiting hesitant, ah, the waiting… he would collapse and cry out loud like a child if not embarrassed.

“The verdict…” repeated the judge one more time, “your theory will be examined again, and the final verdict will be left to the next session. Meanwhile…”

Sarah and Joseph caught each other’s eyes from the most inner and outer points of the tower garden used as the courthouse as if they planned to do so.

“… as the case puts the public safety in danger, it is decided for Mr. Daisy to be jailed pending trial.”

While accompanying soldiers were coming with cuffs in their hands this time, Joseph sighed. He expected being arrested again anyway. In the end, which criminal of thought could have convinced the judges to this day? What good does the wisdom have where the power rules?

Everyone clearing away, Joseph’s name echoed in the walls. While Sarah was running inside as a rolling stone with her son in her arms, her cream skirt flew in the wind.

“They can’t take you my daisy! They don’t have the right!” she turned to soldiers, “You hear me, you don’t have the right!”

“My jasmine, don’t make it harder, please. Look, I am not accused. There will be a second trial in a month. I’ll walk free.” He held her hand tightly. “Take good care of our son.” Joseph letting her hand go slowly, Sarah felt the void of one falling down a cliff. She couldn’t even look behind him when he was being taken back.

When the square became as empty as the hearts of those staying up at night, she held her son’s hand “We are leaving Orson.” Turning back to go home, she was scared to death.

A man, seemingly to have a good place in the judiciary with his cloak, had come right next to them. Sarah would recognise this sly smile no matter where it is or how long it has been.

“Eagle… This is you.” She looked away for a moment and then turned back to the man.

“What are you doing here? And… and you are accepted to the trial as a board member! But you… How?”

Her past she left behind opening a new chapter as white as the clouds of a sunny day was standing in front of her as dark nightmares.

“You had my husband captured, right!?” Meanwhile she was poking the man’s chest. The man named Eagle was still smiling like nothing happened while a purple smoke was mixing with his blue.

“You look exactly the same. It is really smart to use a fake name and make your husband call you with your real name as a word of love. I am happy to see you again years later my childhood friend Jasmine Llyin.”

Thank you for reading! This is Goodreads page.

How Did I Meet Wattpad?

I want to tell about my Wattpad adventure in this article. It has high recognition among young readers; has brought many writers, good and bad, to the literary world; sometimes became the target of prejudice, criticism or appreciation.

Wattpad, is a social media founded in 2006 in Canada. It enables users to share their writings with other users. In short, it’s a literacy platform.

The books here are published without any editorial control, which brings positive and negative results. Freedom and ease of access are examples of good effects; but there are also downsides such as poor quality books to stand out because they are popular.

In 2014, I created an account on Wattpad.

I still don’t remember how I discovered this website. I must have seen it somewhere, then I must have created an account with a few clicks. I’ve always been someone who likes to write; but the idea of publishing my writings in a place like this was new to me.

I would delete most of what I had written before, and keep some of them on the computer. Oh, also there were fan fictions I posted on pages on Facebook. I used to think and write these fictions instantly, and they mostly stayed where they were published. Therefore, I don’t remember the name or the subject of any of them except two.

Who was I writing about these fan fiction, of course maNga. ☺️ I was maNga’s crazy fangirl when I was a teenager. I still listen to their songs and they are still my favorite band, but there is no old craziness on me, I grew up.

Vahşetten Öte (Overviolence), this was the name of one of the two stories that I remember. In 2013, I wrote on a page called Rockluminati. I had a virtual friend group of ten people who followed each chapter with enthusiasm. I was also using their name in the story. It was a psychopathic story. The killer kidnaps group members, lock them up in the basement of a mansion in the woods, and torture them. My nickname among friends was Saw VIII. I loved to write killer or horror stories until I fell in love with science fiction.

Later, I tried to rewrite Overviolence a few times, took it out of fan fiction category by putting original characters it in, but no way. That vibe was not got again.

A painting from the times I tried to rewrite Overviolence.

Until I got the idea of injecting this story into another story that still had not a vibe…

Yes, I’m talking about Balçık ve Sırça (Clay and Glass). In 2016, I started to write this novel, which I deleted and started over and over again, in which I talk about the human-like creatures called megalas.

Readers remember, at first there was Horan, who was only a zarkanat as the main character, talking about his daily troubles, etc. Later, the kidnapped people got into it. Here that part of the novel comes from Overviolence. For now, it’s well. Let’s see if I can finish this time.

The second story that I remember from my fan fiction periods is Ben Senden Vazgeçmem (I Won’t Give You Up or another name I prefer: Not Allowed). In 2014, I wrote three or five chapters and left it unfinished. When I found the drafts in 2017, I cleared the fan-fic elements and rewrote them with original characters.

The bottom line is, I created my Wattpad account in 2014 and haven’t touched it for a few months.

I was in search of new things.

The next year, in 2015, I was at a loose end. I was religiously confused, my life was confused, my academic life was terrible, etc. In this bad period, writing reached out to me like divine help, like an olive branch.

I started writing. I was writing, adding new chapters, posting my old writings on the one hand, and promoting on social media on the other hand. Transplant of Life, was the book I wrote at that time and which I trusted the most. Apart from that, there were a few other books I wrote but I deleted them because they were weak; For example, I was writing an action book called Rüyalar Kızı (Dream Girl), a high school student by day and a teenage girl who is a mafioso in the evening. It was full of clichés.

The former name of “Transplant of Life” was “Live Reincarnation”. Above is the oldest cover. “Show Me Life” is the old name of the current “Featured Poems”. “My Sister Poli” is an unnecessary and irrelevant name that I used for a while for the “Rebel of Three Cities”. I was publishing short stories in “Torn Passage”, I deleted it soon after.

I also wrote the first draft of Renaissance in the Daisy Field earlier that year, but it would take September to publish it on Wattpad, and for the first time I was going to start enjoying success that month.

The oldest cover of Renaissance in the Daisy Field. Six years old.

There was hope for me among daisies.

I had begun to write Renaissance in the Daisy Field with strong inspiration. Sentences were being built in my mind one by one. Most of the time, my hands couldn’t keep up with my brain speed. The book attracted considerable attention on Wattpad, and the comments on each chapter also increased my desire.

In the early days of writing, I started making videos to promote the book. Of course, both my technical knowledge and my financial strength were not enough to make a short film; I was doing it by cutting appropriate scenes from existing films.

I used Windows Movie Maker 12 to cut and combine videos, and Audacity to edit music.

While I was looking for sections that could represent my characters in the book, the movie called S. Darko came as a godsend. The lead actor resembled Crescent -one of the book’s protagonists- and the movie wasn’t watched much.

You know the movie Donnie Darko, it’s about time paradox, it’s a really nice and brainstorming movie. Again, you probably know that sometimes they make sequels to well-liked quality movies just for the money, and this new one will suck. Huh, that’s it, S. Darko is one of those movies.

Like a tailor making new clothes from old dresses, I took it, cut and made into an edited video. I stayed awake one night, worked for ten hours, and I made this promo video:

(Turn on subtitles before watching)

The milestone of the book was this video. After uploading it on the Facebook group “Wattpad Türkiye”, it took over 200 likes and comments in a short time. I remember very clearly my surprise and joy.

In the following days, Renaissance in the Daisy Field came to the top in Wattpad’s Historical Fiction category, it was placed for a long time in the first and second place and the final was published in May 2016. (I finished writing a few months ago, February or March. I was posting ready chapters.)

The Interregnum

In the fall of 2016, I started books titled Fatma’nın Portresi (Fatma’s Portrait) and Balçık ve Sırça (Clay and Glass), which I still can’t finish today. However, the books did not sit easily with me, I could not post chapters regularly. My mind, working like a machine gun, had run out of bullets. On the other hand, I was dreaming about my finished book and I was getting desperate when I could not realize it. At that time I wanted to be a writer, have a printed book, but I didn’t know exactly what to do.

This was the case until the spring of 2017. A message came from Wattpad in March. Soysal Publishing Group, wanted to talk about Renaissance in Daisy Field.

So we met, signed the contract – the publication of the book was delayed to the next year for some reasons – and the interregnum ended. My hope, excitement and muse were back.

Muse Knocks at the Door Seven Times

At that time I was living my student life in a dormitory in Ankara. Sometimes I could not sleep at night. I was walked into the empty and dark kitchen, wandering and dreaming.

The same figure had begun to appear insistently in my imagination. A girl. Her hair was short. At first, I thought she looked like Velma in Scooby Doo, but over time her appearance started to take on characteristic features.

There was also a young man. From far away he was coming to visit this girl. I didn’t know why he was coming. This girl lived alone in space in the back of beyond. At first there were only these two figures.

One night I realized that I must name them, or rather find their names. Ideas blew in my mind, names came to the tip of my tongue. I thought, “Iskender…”, yes, that was it! The name of the girl was also Hayat. Hayat and Iskender were formed in my mind. I was going to write a story for them. One day, I was going to write a story and it would take place in space.

I started to constantly think about some concepts and symbols. Black hole. Relativity of time. The number seven. Menorah (seven-armed candlestick). Ulu’l azm prophets. Being stated in the Qur’an that the universe was created in six days (stages). Six. Seven. Black hole. Time. I should have combined them. It seemed like I was going crazy, but it was a sweet craziness.

After a few days of thinking, I started thinking that I would write a heptalogy in the future. It would be called Seven Candles. The titles of the books would go as the Seventh Candle, the Sixth Candle… Hayat and Iskender would be protagonists. I thought that I had to do a long research and planning and that I could only start writing in 2020.

I returned home when school broke up because of summer vacation. On a July night, I veered away from my older thought. Because the first chapter’s first words were suddenly embodied in my mind and ready to be written.

I knelt, took a deep breath to feel at the space station where the first chapter was set, and after a while I got up and started writing Seven Candles’ first sentence.

“You’re here,” she thought. “Where stardust forms your cells.”

When I reached 1111 votes on December 30, 2017, I took a screenshot.

I actively wrote and read for the next three years. After Renaissance in the Daisy Field was published in 2018, I opened an Instagram account to promote it, started reviewing books there. Then I graduated from school, got a job, completed Seven Candles. Thus we have come to this day.

So, I met Wattpad like this. I hope coming days will bring us all goodness.

THE POSSIBILITY TRIANGLE – A Paradoxical Story

❝You’ll lose your name, your title, you job and you wife. You’ll lose everything you thought that belonged to you, but indeed didn’t. You say you love your life, but life is not only about your job or other similar things. Just like your id and your body is not who you are.❞

This story has waited for a long time in a dusty computer folder and is now in daylight! Thanks to Övünç Yaşar for the translation.

“Good morning love!” said Soner, to his wife Serra.

“Good morning!” trilled the woman. Her blue eyes were fairly sparkling with joy.

Soner admired her more and more each passing day. Her frizzy, wavy hair, her deep blue eyes contrasting her black hair, her smile, joy, her way of taking the life easy… He held his Serra firmly in his arms.

Serra responded with her killer smile. She gave her husband a big hug as well.

Soner was almost like detached from the life. He would feel like dying at the tiniest attention of Serra. He would die and catch the bird of happiness.

He returned to reality with her wife calling out “We should have breakfast now”. He was about to be late for work.

He was working as a sales manager in a small construction business. He lived with his father till his marriage. He didn’t know of a mother’s affection because he lost his mother, who was told “to have become an angel”, when he was four.

On the verge of his graduation, when he thought he would never fall in love with anyone, till he came across Serra, his own special medicine. At first sight, he gaped her beauty till she scolded him “Sir, why are you staring at me for minutes?”

“Uhm…” said Soner, “I just wandered.”

Serra just passed by that day saying a simple “huh!”, but then again didn’t rejected Soner’s dinner invitation three days later.

When he couldn’t talk at all and then drop his plate to the ground, he saw the eyeful laughter of his wife-to-be for the first time. He wasn’t offended, to the contrary, his love peaked even more. That day, they talked, agreed, and had their marriage ceremony right after their graduation.

If one asked Soner “What is your characteristic you are proud of?”, he would say “I wouldn’t fall under the spell of love and take wrong a marriage step”. Marrying Serra, it was also him who made the most detailed research. He knew the temporariness of such feelings; he couldn’t take a wrong step and rely on the possibilities.

Closing his office door gently, Soner took his seat. The moment he turned on his computer, he sighed. So many emails had piled! “Come on big man, get to work” he said himself and began answering his mails.

By noon, his eyes, hands and back were hurting. He must have finished the three-hundredth mail too. Thinking he would reply the remaining twenty-seven, he got to the dining hall. While drinking his after-lunch-tea, his boss called him out right at the end of his lunch break.

“Mr Soner, you have a lot of files that you have to check immediately.”

“But Mr Deniz…” he wanted to say but rushed to his office with the answer “I wouldn’t call you out if it wasn’t urgent”.

“Ah!” he said seeing the files. He couldn’t finish them till the evening, in fact it would take about two days. Mr Deniz said all these files had to be handled by the end of the shift on his way out; a note was attached to the envelope carrying the files.

The work was work, he would have to do them anyway. Sat on his chair and began to read the first file.

“Russian!”

As if it was not enough with the density of the workload, now they would also call in a translator? Soner began to shout silent swears to the sending firm, though there wasn’t a clear firm name on the envelope. Which enterprise would be so frivolous?

“Well!” Yes, this was written by Latin alphabet, but whoever had written it must have just walked over the keyboard. Making of no meaning from the randomly typed letters, Soner thought he was about to lose his mind. What the hell was this? Some sort of encryption?

Losing his hope, he grabbed the third file as well. If this one also involved meaningless writing, he would throw them all to the trash! Fortunately, his guess was wrong this time. There was one sentence in the entire paper and that sentence was the first meaningful one of the files:

“Do not try to make sense of the previous files.”

“Well, I didn’t!” said Soner, wondering why he left his hot tea behind and read these. He grabbed the next file.

“I meant do not try to make sense of the Russian one. There is no Russian words there, it is just random letters.”

Soner had a trembling moment. He indeed intended to call in a translation for the first file. He put this one too among the ones he had read and checked the next file.

“You may be surprised but this does not mean that every file has only one sentence.” He thought what this meant, but then he understood. It meant that he should check back of the previous file as well. Then something hit him; whoever had written these, they knew, or had guessed, that he wouldn’t check the back of the fourth file.

He lifted the paper as if it was a bomb.

“I am happy that you understood that I understand.”

Soner was talking to either a master oracle, or a wizard, or a psychology genius. “If they know what I can think at each step, they can only be one of these three.”

Then he immediately flipped the back of the fifth file.

“I am not an oracle. I am not a Wizard either. I am not a psychologist, and no at all a genius.”

At that moment, the only think in Soner’s mind was to set all the files on fire.

What was written in the next file was this:

“If you damage the files I sent, you can never find out what will happen to you.”

Soner thought he has gone mad, and if he had, he had to continue the game, right?

“Well,” he said, “Then tell me what will happen to me.” He grabbed the sixth file and threw it away quickly. In the seventh file it said:

“You’ll lose everything you have.

Note: you are not crazy.”

“Everything I have?” What the hell does it mean now? The only think Soner knew was that he was not ready to lose. He loved his life. Slowly, he grabbed the eighth file.

“You’ll lose your name, your title, you job and you wife. You’ll lose everything you thought that belonged to you, but indeed didn’t. You say you love your life, but life is not only about your job or other similar things. Just like your id and your body is not who you are.”

Soner tried to make sense of these words. Yes, he was not talking to an oracle or a wizard, the man he was talking to could only be a wise man who understood the deep secrets of the life.

“Leave your prejudices behind and come to the address written on the envelope, and I’ll teach what you really are and what your life really is.”

“No, thanks!” shouted Soner. The fact that he was impressed did not mean that he would go to an unknown address alone. No one could guarantee him that a mental wouldn’t be there waiting for him.

“Shame. You’re afraid of the things to be harmed that already don’t belong to you. You see them your purpose, Soner. But know this:

The sentence was left unfinished. Soner checked the back of the file, it was empty. “He can’t blame me because I didn’t want to go there. If he is that wise, he could teach me who I am here.”

“… what life is cannot be taught, only you can find it. By searching. You’ll lose everything one by one Soner.”

“Oof!” said Soner, “Enough with you! When I have numerous emails to answer and a lot of files to handle, I read this crap. Can’t deal with it, I have work to do, goodbye!” He threw all the files to the trash.

Other work that made him feel very tired normally began to become pleasing. By late afternoon, all the work was done. Soner got out to the balcony, lit his cigarette. Soon, he would say goodbye to Mr Deniz and leave. Reach home, to his Serra.

Before leaving the work, he sighed finding out that Mr Deniz had left for home in the afternoon. “One should be a boss in this life” he said. “He is his own boss, of course he’ll leave whenever he wants… And what do we do apart from spending the half of the day to modern slavery?”

Mummering, he began to wonder. He got back upstairs, checked the trash and found the address on the envelope. It was the address of a village cemetery about half an hour far from the city centre.

Sighed and “He just made it up thinking I would go and check it…” he thought. However, if he had taken out the last page which he never read, he would see that it read: “You will regret not believing in these writings and not reading this file.”

He left the building, got to his mid-class car and began to drive in the north-south direction highway. If he wanted to go to the village, he must have gone straight ahead, but he took a right on the third turn as he wanted to go home. Seeing a peaceful light traffic instead of the rush hour intensity, he felt joyous again. He stopped in front of the florist shop on the side of the road.

It had only been five minutes since he hit the road. If he had decided to go to the village, he would still be on the highway, going on the same direction.

The possibilities… they were the breaking point of the ordinariness.

“Can I get a single red rose for my wife please?”

“Sure!” said the florist. Carefully tied a bow to a fresh rose and gave it to his him and sent this familiar customer whom he had seen a few times before off. Soner felt like a king after this attention.

Dreaming about the face of Serra, a warm smile flew around his lips. So, he drew his car at the highest speed possible not exceeding the limits. When he entered the parking lot of the site he lives in, it had only been 20 minutes since he left his workplace. While taking off his licenced pistol which disturbed his back and put it into its box in the car “Good that I didn’t go to that village” he thought. “I would have just seen the city border sign.” 

He didn’t ring the bell not to ruin the surprise. He opened both the building door and his apartment’s door where the lift reached in seconds. He got inside quietly. The house was quiet, apart from the hoarse, indistinct laughter and conversation sounds coming from behind a closed door. “The bedroom” he said for the source of the sound, listening carefully, “My love watches series again in the bed.”

He placed his hand on the door handle of their private room. Took a deep breath and counted to three. Opening the door shouting “Surpriii…” his vocal cords stopped working. The letter “Z” ran back to his throat. The rose in his hand fell on the ground.

Serra… The beautiful Serra blushed with remorse; hugged the naked body of Deniz a little more.

“Explain” Soner could only say. His tongue was refusing to move inside his mouth, his eyes were crying out to blur this disgusting image. “I am ready to believe!” he shouted. “Make an excuse no matter how stupid it is, tell me you didn’t cheat on me Serra!”

Even though he had a mocking expression on his face, Deniz was afraid that this furious husband could shoot him. He stood up and began to get dressed saying no words. Meanwhile the husband was looking with his bloodshot eyes and the wife was covering herself with the blanket.

When Deniz got dressed completely and was about to pass through the door, Soner held him on the neck and pin the stocky guy to the wall. Upon this, a scream came from the bed: “Don’t!”

“Shut up!” said the man going crazy. “How could you do this to me? Not ashamed to smile at my face, sleeping with me? I still love you, still can’t put the blame on you!”

He felt dizzy. The letters on the broadsheets were wandering around in his mind. When he felt he lost all his power, “do what the hell ever you want” he said and slammed the door. Getting of the lift, his knees were trembling.

Reopening the driver’s door he opened half an hour ago, he now knew where he wanted to go. If he had thought on the address, he would remember that it was the cemetery where his mother rested. If he had gone there directly, he would have arrived in the cemetery at the moment he held the door handle the second time. He would have seen a guard shack there. He would find an old computer, keyboard and printer there. If he had checked carefully, he would find the empty envelopes in the dusty drawer. He would understand that those random letters, weird messages were prepared here.

He would linger around for half an hour. When he checked the keyboard, the colour of which became invisible due to the dirt, he would see some Cyrillic letters. He would try to remember whether or not keyboards were produced in Old Soviet countries and then pass it as he had no idea. Half an hour later after he arrived the cemetery, he would hear a high-pitched engine sound. He would get out of the shack and see his own car in shock. Thinking it was an auto-theft, he would look inside the window and see himself: a Soner whose collar fell apart, face swollen and eyes crimson red… he would first be scared, but then his curiosity would take over. He would approach to the idling car and demand for himself to open the window.

“Explain” would say the normal Soner to the devastated one.

“It is over!” would shout the man in the car, “Your wife is cheating on you with your boss, they are all dirtbags, your life is over!”

The Soner outside would try to understand these words, he would leave the side of the car with no reaction because of the shock and enter back into the shack. He would notice that he had even lost his name. “If the other man is Soner, then Who am I?” he would ask himself. First, he would believe that he has gone mad, but then he would understand. The possibilities… The possibilities had torn him into pieces.

When he would enter into the shack the second time, he would move the mouse of the computer. He would notice that a saved file came out and he would be surprised. When he would open the file, he would see that there were random letters, writing and messages there.

Maybe Soner would come to the village not today but yesterday, before getting the envelope. To visit his mother… then he would notice the empty guard shack. Noticing that the computer is on, he would be surprised like today, and create a Word file and begin writing thinking “How would I react?” First, he would notice that the computer was set to work with Cyrillic alphabet, press the letters randomly, then correct the settings, type randomly with Latin alphabet, then in the third page, explain that the first two pages have no meaning, and so on…

After printing what he wrote, he would hide his ID and post it to his workplace, to himself without a name on it. Wandering what would happen, he wouldn’t go back to his house that night. He would inform his wife and spend the night in the cemetery with no guard, next to the soil covering his mother’s body.

He would wake up late afternoon the other day. With the dizziness of sleeping for about twenty-four hours, he would sit up, look around. He would relax seeing his car. First, he would crawl a little, then he would stand up and walk, and anger would replace the comfort seeing the stranger in his car.

He would feel backpain, so he would notice that his pistol was still there. The well-educated Soner who had never even got involved in a street fight would sleepily grab this killing metal. Seeing the man across also going for his gone, he would understand that he is in an armed conflict. He would use this device for the first time.

The one next to the gravestone would kill the one in the car. The one in the car on the other hand had already killed the one by the gravestone. The one in the shack would come out, see the deaths and kill himself taking out the gun in his waist.

Soner could not go back home. Soner had not gone back home. Soner would not go back home. There also wasn’t a body there because the possibilities had killed one another.

The other day, Deniz woke up yawning. He kissed his Serra, his second spring he could meet after years in the cheek and got ready. On his way to work, he was thinking about setting a meeting with HR department. He wanted to renew the ad for the manager post as there hasn’t been a convenient candidate for a long time.

Entering his workplace, he noticed an envelope on his desk. On top of it, there was a note that read “To be responded today!” There was no sender. Deniz walked through the envelope and torn it open and saw a lot of files.

Took one out. “A lot to do today,” he thought. “Wish we had hired a linguist here, now we’ll have to call in someone speaking Russian?”

“Yedinci Mum” (The Seventh Candle), Seven Candles’ first book is out

❝Humankind settles in Milky Way and other galaxies around it. In an old calendar used in Earth, the year is 3672. In the furthest reached place, Dwarf Serpent Galaxy, there is a space station in a black hole’s orbit. Here a person lives alone: Hayat.

The purpose of the sudden raid is to throw her into the black hole to death. But the soldier on duty has scruples. They jump together into the black hole to travel to Earth by a method called ‘gravitational reflection.’ However, the place they arrived is quite different from the known Earth. It is covered with forests, and it is deserted. When they witness the first murder of humanity, they understand that they have come to prehistoric times and that things are deeper than they seem.❞

Introductory Bulletin

Paperback, 112 pages. Published March 2021 by Nar Ağacı Yayınları. Goodreads.

Pre-reading is here.

WHAT HAPPENED

  • In 2017, I started writing the Seven Candles series as I explained in the article “How did I meet Wattpad?”
  • I completed the series in March 2020.
  • A contract was signed in the last days of last year, I shared it here.
  • It was edited, typesetted, its cover prepared, and it came out of the printing press on March 10, 2021.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN

I will start working on Altıncı Mum (The Sixth Candle). It will probably be out in the summer months.

Also, I imagine that Seven Candles series will be translated into foreign languages and take place on international platforms, although I have not made any progress yet, I will strive for it.

I will complete my other unfinished novels. If I can do that, I plan to write a spin-off series (in the same universe but with different characters). There will be important side characters that are mentioned in the Seven Candles, but whose stories have not been told. Like Lara Şara, Vatan Talatoğlu, Haarez Nazra…

As I write these lines, a parcel full of books is right next to my desk. Yay!

TWIN HOPES – A science-fiction story

❝A total of eight babies were born alive. They were all born in this lab, for my experiments. I have not kidnapped anyone; I have not smuggled people. I did not go against ethics. They were all my people! It is ethical when other scientists generate organs out of stem cells, but it is not when I produce organisms. Is that so? Who says that? Is it my colleagues jealously gritting their teeth because they cannot invent something useful by any chance?❞

It is a one-part science fiction story. Have a good read.

There was little chance of an event happening that could change the life of an adult in her late twenties who had already left behind the stormy years of high school and the joyful years of college and who had spent her weekdays working in front of a computer in an air-conditioned office for over eight seasons. As rare and almost miraculous as the formation of DNA from the primordial soup of a planet containing liquid water, two of such events, however, happened to Şule in the same hour.

One gloomy Monday morning, the young woman with her hair tied at the back was reading the news while sipping her granulated coffee mixed with cheap whitener. When she saw a headline that read “World-shaking incident! Illegal human experiments in Greece!” on a stock image of a lab purchased online, she rolled her eyes. She thought it was one of those stupid contents crafted as clickbait. Still, she clicked on the article so as to have an excuse for wasting a little more time before she set about her work for the day.

“World-shaking incident! Illegal human experiments in Greece!

An incredible scandal showed up following a drug raid at the old university building in Athens.

After the closure of Didymoi University in Athens in 1993, Professor Ilias Barakos, one of the country’s few wealthiest people, purchased the school’s land, its buildings, and all its fixtures and equipment as private property. Barakos had taken measures to prevent strangers from trespassing in the land and announced that he was conducting important scientific research and would publicize the results.

This led to a reaction on the part of some academics in the country. Faculty members arguing that a university land should not be the property of a single person repeatedly reported to the authorities that Barakos was doing illegal work inside. The land was raided by the police several times over the past twenty-five years.

Compartments underground hid crimes

The most recent raid was made when a local citizen came forward saying he saw Barakos’ aides burying bags filled with white dust in the soil.

At 3 o’clock at night, police troops entered the Didymoi land from all directions. As the buildings were searched, a policeman found one of the aides trying to break into a pit in the middle of the field.

The pit turned out to be the exit for one of the tunnels leading to the underground compartments, which remained undiscovered until today.

A scene reminiscent of medieval dungeons

In the compartments below there were no drugs but a gruesome sight. Unidentified half-naked people were found in cells separated by iron bars. The individuals, ages 25 to 27, were reported to not even know how to speak.”

While the news article went on, Şule’s blood was running cold, and she had no strength to read the rest. She sighed and pressed the top right button. “So many lies just to get a click!” she thought.

She worked pensively until her lunch break. She could not get her mind off that news article. Her imagination envisioned the likely story of those poor people dressed in rags, and the images she produced became more and more sad. She finally decided to do some more research. She typed “Ilias Barakos” into the search engine and chose English as the language. Here, on the first page, hot news reports by world-famous news channels were listed.

She clicked on the link which read: “Barakos, the lead figure in the human experiments scandal: I have not kidnapped anyone, I have not smuggled people. I did not go against ethics. (CCB, 14 hours ago)”

This website featured a news report similar to the post she read on the website she visited in the morning. A testimony by the suspect was also included here. The professor admitted to having experimented with those people and even told that he had only purchased the university land for this purpose. However, the subjects had not been kidnapped and brought to the laboratory from outside.

“I produced them all myself,” the professor said. “The placenta or, in terms you can understand, the piece of flesh expelled from the mother’s womb during labor, is very rich in stem cells. Stem cells are our building blocks! They can transform into all tissues and organs.

I separated the stem cells from the placentas I had people collect from various hospitals. I produced an artificial human womb using the first incoming cells. I controlled and activated this organ by means of low-voltage electric currents. Then I placed other stem cells in the uterus and let them grow into embryos. A total of eight babies were born alive. They were all born in this lab, for my experiments. I have not kidnapped anyone; I have not smuggled people. I did not go against ethics. They were all my people!

It is ethical when other scientists generate organs out of stem cells, but it is not when I produce organisms. Is that so? Who says that? Is it my colleagues jealously gritting their teeth because they cannot invent something useful by any chance?”

Feeling a chill, Şule glanced through the lower paragraphs. The assistant who was responsible for collecting the placentas told during his interrogation that he had paid visits to a number of hospitals in Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey. At the very bottom was a link to photos of the “lab people.”

Although she fought herself not to look at the photos, her curiosity prevailed in the end. Trying to avoid catching the subjects’ blank glances, she first read the informational captions under each image. Barakos had named them with Greek ordinal numbers. The male subjects’ names ended with “-os”, and the female subjects’ names ended with “-a”. Protos… Deftera… Trita… Tetartos… Pemptos… Ektos… Ebdomos… Enata…

After she had scrolled the page several times, she mustered the courage to look directly at the subjects. She looked slowly up at their faces. When Deftera’s turn came, her heart skipped a beat. Her eyebrow shape, her eyes, her nose, her lips, her chin, her cheekbones… She knew this face. This face was her own. The subject named—or numbered—Deftera was as similar to Şule as her twin sister.

Her blood pressure dropping, she suddenly felt faint. She had to take time off from work and spend the rest of the day at home.

Since they were born out of cells stolen from placentas, these people must have been the genetic twins of free people living in the outside world. It took more than two weeks for Şule to recover from her shock. She consulted the authorities and provided them with a DNA sample to find out if Deftera really was her genetic twin. When she went to the hospital, she sought a consultation with a physician from another specialty and had an X-ray of her aching shoulder. It was a long-standing, insidious but bearable pain. That is why she had postponed her examination until that day.

The days of her waiting, while few, were very slow. Eventually, Şule went to the hospital to learn both the gene test result and the x-ray results.

She was stunned when she entered the lounge in the genetics unit. Her twin, who was given a short haircut and dressed in a hospital gown, was sitting right there, staring in front of her with a still expression. As soon as the results were released, Greek authorities had sent Deftera to Turkey.

“Alone in a lonely, helpless, crowded and colorful life,” she thought. She felt her heart broken. Without any hesitation or a feeling of remoteness, she walked up to her and softly spoke her name.

Deftera raised her head when she heard the voice. She looked into Şule’s eyes. Somehow, Şule, the twin who grew up in the heart of society, felt an urge to cry.

There was a policeman with the stranger girl. Şule left them to learn the x-ray results and went to the doctor’s room. She wanted to get her muscle relaxant prescription and go out to the garden as soon as possible. In fact, there was no need to even go to the doctor for this simple shoulder pain. Why did she want to get this job out of the way last week and wasted time anyway?

She thought very strange events awaited her in the days ahead. It was because Şule had not told her parents anything yet.

“They have no idea you exist. They probably didn’t even think of you. You aren’t aware, either, that they exist, however. O stranger, let’s see if you’ll love this huge world! Have you ever imagined the cities, the seas, the fields that lie behind the walls of that hell called the laboratory?” she thought to herself.

She entered the doctor’s room and settled on the armchair. Not noticing the dark, painful look on the doctor’s face, she lined up her questions. Only five minutes was enough for Şule, who was glowing with joy, to come out of the room sobbing. Five minutes, two words.

There was very little chance of an event happening that radically changed the life of a twenty-six-year-old adult who had everything going for her, but in a single hour two of such events happened to her. One was Deftera’s arrival; the other was that the doctor said he suspected lung cancer just seconds ago. Additional tests were required to make a definitive diagnosis, but even the possibility was enough for Şule to shed tears.

Color MRI… Biopsy… PET-CT… It was soon realized that the doctor’s suspicions were correct.

Şule had to undergo heavy chemotherapy. The lung cancer had progressed in the most insidious way possible and spread to surrounding tissues without any symptoms except shoulder pain. The doctors were talking privately among themselves that there was little chance of success. In the meantime, Şule’s parents arrived in Istanbul from Edirne to support her.

In the hustle and bustle, Deftera’s presence could be forgotten. However, Şule wanted her twin with her even in her most sluggish condition. She sat her next to herself and tried to teach her to speak, to read and write, and simple math. This was the sick woman’s greatest source of good spirits. Time was passing cruelly fast. One’s hair was growing while the other one’s was shedding; one’s body was recovering while the other one’s was melting.

As the treatment process progressed, a growing fear of death swept Şule. She came to regard Deftera more as a surrogate who would replace her after her death and continue her unfinished life than as a sister. She tried to prepare her for this “duty” by explaining her one by one everything she liked, took an interest in, thought, or opposed during her healthy life.

She asked for the CD player, which had fallen from popular esteem since smartphones came out, from the far back shelf of the pantry. For three days, she rotated the disc with a red-haired girl scratched on its cover and had her memorize her favorite song under the weary glances of the nurses.

“Come, look, sky is still on one of…” started Şule.

“… my hands,” continued Deftera.

“And shooting stars on other.”

“La la…”

When the doctor bluntly said, “We can get your daughter out of the hospital and terminate the treatment,” it was three months into the diagnosis. “Chemotherapy has no effect anymore, other than to cause her pain; cancer cells have already spread to all of her organs. It would be much better for her to spend her last days at her home.”

As the mother and father listened to these bitter words, they heard a scream from Şule’s room reaching the end of the corridor. The doctors, nurses and parents filled the room, ready for any intervention. However, the girl’s scream was not caused by pain or ache.

“Deftera is not here!” the patient was crying, with hiccups. “She ran!”

Indeed, the former subject was nowhere in the hospital. She had left no trace behind. For three days, they searched all over Istanbul for the young woman, who had dropped off the face of the earth. They reported to the police offices around Turkey. Meanwhile, as Şule’s only source of good spirits was gone, she got worse and was taken to intensive care following her loss of consciousness.

“Say goodbye, get ready,” the doctors were saying. “She won’t wake up.”

At the end of the third day, the family received a phone call from Edirne Police Department. Deftera was caught trying to escape from Turkey to Greece. Although she was interrogated at the police station, she never spoke. The court ruled for her acquittal on the grounds that her perception ability was still lacking and therefore she did not have criminal liability.

When Şule’s father returned to the hospital with Deftera, the patient was still in intensive care. Her mother was waiting in a seat in front of the service, and her eyes were red from weeping. The former subject walked into a corner. She leaned against the wall. She put her index finger in her mouth and touched her little tongue. She was vomiting. First, the remnants of the last meal she ate came out, then some gastric juice, and finally a portable memory in a plastic package.

With the memory opened, the facts were revealed. Before she left the lab, Deftera secretly had taken a portable memory containing important documents with her and threw it on the ground so that it could not be found while passing through customs. When she escaped from the hospital and came back here, she swallowed it and hid it in her stomach so that it would not be taken away from her.

Ilias Barakos was talking about a method called “Phoenix Therapy” in the files in this flash memory.

“Phoenix, Anqa, Simurgh… Known by different names in many cultures, this mythological bird inspired me to develop my revolutionary scientific treatment method.

As you know, when Phoenix gets old and approaches death, it starts to burn. After turning into a handful of ashes, he shakes his hairless, fresh head as a baby so that he is born out of his ashes. In my opinion, this mechanism symbolizes the life cycle of cancerous cells.

Normal human cells cannot divide an unlimited number of times. Cleavage is controlled by long strings of bases called ‘telomeres,’ located at the ends of chromosomes. These sequences decrease with each division. When telomeres shorten to the critical point, cells stop dividing.

So a Phoenix representing normal cells could not be born from its ashes in all its freshness every time. He is born a little older each time, and at the end of a few life cycles, he would irreversibly burn down.

Cancerous cells, on the other hand, have the capacity to divide infinitely. They gain these properties through the telomerase enzyme. Telomerase preserves telomere length, limiting the number of divisions.

While this enzyme is not active in normal cells, it is very active in cancerous cells. Therefore, experimental studies on treatments targeting the telomerase enzyme are continuing in the academic world.

I, on the other hand, developed this treatment using an opposite approach. Phoenix therapy aims to increase, not reduce, the said enzyme. It is not necessary to reduce the cancer cells, but rather to increase them and ensure that they cover the whole body.

Because only two types of cells have high division ability and telomerase activity: cancer cells and stem cells.”

After this paragraph, oncologists were sure the study was ridiculous and stopped reading. Only Doctor Gökhan, who was in charge of Şule’s care, took it seriously and stayed in his room all night to read and evaluate the entire study.

Barakos listed the common characteristics of cancer cells and stem cells in the remainder of the study. For him, cancer was not a disease, but an opportunity for rebirth and renewal. The cause of cancer death, in turn, was the incompatibility between cancer cells and normal cells.

In the first phase of the treatment, it was necessary to destroy normal cells and to ensure the rapid proliferation of cancer cells. However, they had to complete this process and be over with it within hours. Otherwise, the incompatibility would hinder the functioning of the organs and cause death.

When the body became composed of cancer cells, these cells would be “trained” and restored to their previous DNA makeup. The second phase of the treatment needed to occur in the following order:

  1. The body would be moved to a cold environment, thus slowing down the metabolism and cell division.
  2. The techniques used during the production of organs from stem cells would be applied exactly on these new cells. Thus, the cells would specialize and regenerate the old tissues.
  3. After making sure that all cells were differentiated and symptoms such as excessive division and telomerase activity ceased, the body would be taken to a warm environment to accelerate the metabolism and the healing process.

Barakos admitted in the final parts of his study that the chances of success with this method of treatment were extremely low. “However…” he said, “if it is applied accurately, it will be possible to cure even the most severe cancer patient within a maximum of eight hours. The Phoenix legend was not spoken in vain; we humans are Phoenix. As long as we face rebirth and face death.”

The doctor, who wanted to apply this treatment to Şule as a last resort, initially encountered a great reaction from his colleagues. This unusual treatment proposal was against the rule which was the basis of medicine: “primum non nocere”, i.e. “First, do no harm!”

However, Gökhan insisted because he thought they should give this remedy a try. He carried out the procedures, signed documents that he assumed all responsibilities. Finally, it was decided to try the Phoenix therapy on Şule.

The discussions lasted two days. Meanwhile, Deftera had retreated to the room vacated by Şule. The hospital was so busy that no one was interested in her or questioned why she stayed there. The former subject was running the CD player at a low volume and listening to“Don’t Leave Me” over and over.

On the night of the treatment, the mother and father waited without sleep, hugging each other. As the day dawned, the fate of their daughters would become clear. Şule would either lie ice-cold on her bed or open her eyes to a new life.

The hour and minute hands were very lazy that night. Sleep was also shy and coward… The hours never passed. The eyelids of the doctors and those waiting were refusing to close.

There was an oncologist at the hospital who was never convinced of this method of treatment and strongly opposed it: Doctor Altan. He claimed that Phoenix therapy would kill the patient 100 percent, and urged the family and other doctors to give up. Nobody saw him on the night of the treatment. Şule’s doctor was more hopeful and proud in the absence of Altan. He was already in the mood for victory.

In the early hours of the morning, the body in the bed opened her eyes. She was still exhausted, but healthy. The light hitting her face caused her to squint out of reflex. The parents were waiting speechlessly, while the doctor was tearing up with joy and saying “We did it!”

This peaceful moment was interrupted when the door opened wide. Doctor Altan entered with the police behind him. While the police were directly handcuffing doctor Gökhan, who was suspected of Şule’s murder, he asked the family “Did you like what you did? You destroyed your daughter. Are you happy?”

He walked over to the living body in bed. “I tried to explain it to you. I tried to explain since the beginning. It is not the number of brain cells that determines a person’s personality, but the connections between those cells, that is, the electrical currents. You can generate the cells. But how do you bring the links back? Those links were all of Şule’s experiences and memories since she was a baby. It was a sense of self. You destroyed them all. Congratulations!”

“You are lying, here is our daughter alive!” the mom objected.

“Your daughter is alive, huh? Do you think that breathing organism is still your daughter? Yes… They carry the same genes. But they are not the same person. Just as Deftera and Şule are different people despite having the same genes, this nameless body and your daughter are also different people. Moreover, this new body will not even have a personality. Because there is no exchange between her synapses. Her brain is empty, entirely empty! She doesn’t even have the ability to learn. Enjoy your new child, who has only basic reflexes and will live and die as a piece of flesh!”

Not having uttered a word since the beginning, the father broke his silence saying “Why didn’t our doctor tell us these?”

“Your doctor didn’t even care about your daughter. Your doctor acted with the same motivation as Barakos; he was only after fame and money. Primum non nocere! First, do no harm! We, as doctors, look for ways not to harm a patient even more before we look for a treatment. Hippocrates did not make that statement for nothing centuries ago. Your doctor intentionally and knowingly destroyed Şule’s millions of healthy cells. He deliberately killed Şule.”

The mother cried out. Şule’s doctor was taken to the police station, to his future where he would be arrested with a demand for life imprisonment. At the same time, Deftera was lying on her bed in the room unaware of everything and listening to the song.

“Both fears and hopes are mine. Don’t leave me… Don’t leave me…”

Alternative link for the song

News About “Yedinci Mum” (The Seventh Candle)

When will the first volume of the Seven Candles Series come out? I cannot give an exact date, but I can say that it will be soon. The proofreading is over; we are working on the cover and the back cover text.

It’s one of the covers I use on the internet. This cover will not be included in paperback edition. Thanks to designer Gülnur-E

Last December, Nar Ağacı Publishing House and I signed a contract for the series Yedi Mum (Seven Candles). I edited the first volume Yedinci Mum (The Seventh Candle) and submitted it in January. I inquired about any recent developments yesterday. The editorial reading is complete. We will determine the cover and the back cover text. Then it will go to press.

THE SEVENTH CANDLE

I don’t know where we are. I do not know what era we are in. I don’t know if we’re going to spin around the world or fall into space. I don’t know anything but our fate: Death. I want to enjoy it while it lasts, survive until time speeds up like crazy, that’s it!

The Seventh Candle opens with a raid at a space station in a distant galaxy by two unidentified soldiers. They are supposed to kill the young girl (Hayat), who lives alone in this station, throwing her into black hole. However, the soldier on duty (Iskender) has mercy on her. They jump into the black hole along with the young girl to travel to Earth over the event horizon of the black hole, using a method called “gravitational reflection.”

However, where they end up is quite different from Earth as we know it. It is covered with forests and is desolate. By witnessing the first murder of humanity, they realize that they have arrived in prehistoric times.

Seven Candles is a Turkish science fiction heptalogy.

You can see a prereading for the first part here.

THE SEVENTH CANDLE – Seven Candles #1 – Prereading

Welcome! This pre-reading contains the first chapter of Yedinci Mum (The Seventh Candle). This book is part of the series Seven Candles, the rights to which Nar Ağacı Publishing House has acquired. This book is not available in English yet, but work is underway.

As in every twenty-four-hour cycle, that morning, too, a light-yellow light lit the dining room. Daylight imitation. Running on the circadian rhythm, the body needed it to be vigorously ready for the new day. In the annular armchair surrounding the round table in the middle of the room, whose walls had adapted to the sunrise theme, were two bodies: a human and a humanoid robot.

The human was only sixteen years old, female, had short straight bob-cut dark hair and large hazel eyes. Her elbow was on the table, her hand clutching her cheek. At the same time, the young girl was playing with her nutritionally balanced breakfast. She didn’t want to get one more bite down her throat because she didn’t feel hungry. She wanted to return to that absorbing book, which she read yesterday by moving her finger on a transparent screen until it was her bedtime, but she knew it was not possible.

She had a stable daily schedule. She would wake up at the same hour every morning, have breakfast and a shower, and then attend classes until noon. Astronomy, mathematics, biology, language… The afternoon would be time for free research, and she would spend the evening with games and recreation. She would go to bed at the same hour of each such cycle and wait for yet another day to begin. She had spent all sixteen years since her first breath following similar patterns, depending on her age.

She could hardly see the body next to her through the strands of hair which had fallen on her forehead. Suyla, this was her name. She was a robot. A blond, tall, humanoid robot that looked like a young girl. She knew she wouldn’t be permitted if she said, “I want to go,” because if she were to finish her breakfast early, it would hinder the daily routine. Even if it looked like a human being, there was no way she could convince the robot, who was in charge of maintaining order at the station.

The human would not object to this because Suyla would always come up with an alternative. It happened as she guessed. “I can read the book for you,” said the energetic sound of the device, “you can listen to me while eating.” Continuing to stir the plate, the human nodded slightly. White shaded letters roamed like flies in the air and distracted her attention, which had already become as light as smoke.

“Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?” said the robot, changing her tone in a theatrical way. “… and sometimes, ‘Do bats eat cats?’ for, you see, as she couldn’t answer either question, it didn’t much matter which way she put it.”

The fork stood on the plate and the human person fixed her eyes and listened. “True,” she whispered.

“She felt that she was dozing off, and had just begun to dream that she was walking hand in hand with Dinah, and was saying to her very earnestly, ‘Now, Dinah, tell me the truth: did you ever eat a bat?’ when suddenly, thump! thump!”

The last sentence of the book overlapped with the destructive noise filling the station where she lived. The human tried to calm down, placing her palm on the left side of her chest. She lifted her head and opened her eyes wide. Just as she was about to raise her voice to call the robot’s name, she choked. Suyla, whose head had fallen backwards, was no longer that light orangish color unique to humans but grey; she was dead white around where brown pupils should have been.

The quake was blowing everything down. The lights inside the station were going off one by one. The book she read, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, was once again unfinished. Just like her life… As the fork fell from her nervous hand to the ground, she felt as though her knees flattened independently of her will. Her eardrums only transmitted a ringing to her brain, the external sounds disappearing into the vortex.

“You’re here,” she thought. “Where stardust forms your cells.”

The station was raided. The military squad that had set off from the Milky Way towards the Dwarf Serpent Galaxy five years ago, which only had two humans among them, entered this station, which orbited the black hole called Bilye. The human superior in rank was tracking automatic devices while the other one was looking at the place where the girl was being held, at the corner deliberately left in the shadow.

“Where the building block cells attached to each other. Where the zygote falls into a mechanical apparatus and divides.”

“Captain Miler, is she the target?” asked the subordinate, not changing the direction of his eyeballs. He had difficulty swallowing because of his narrowed throat. “Her very self.” said the other without a moment of hesitation. When the subordinate got the answer, he searched for a way to separate his personal feelings from his military assignment. Conscience and command conflicted for the first time.

Alone at a black hole station, where you were born, with tubes in your throat.

The captain examined the data sourced from the station’s brain. He raised his eyebrows and made his mind up.

Where a yoctoprocessor is a mother. Yocto meant ten to the power of minus twenty-four. Divide one by a million, then divide it by a million, then divide it by a million, and then divide it by a million once again. Where a repetition unit teaches you to speak and artificial arms teach you to walk.

They made the young girl leave the dinner table and walk and then kneel in a dim corner. Her head was tilted, and her hands were fixed behind her–not through the use of a physical means such a ligature or handcuffs but only through the blocking of the nerve cells involved. Even though her auditory capacity was shut down, she could tell that the invading machines were going in and out everywhere. Still able to move her eyes, she was scanning around, searching for an image other than the black cloth on her knee and the light-colored background. The locks of hair on her forehead made her face sweat, and her wide glasses kept making a red triangle with a yellow exclamation mark in it gleam in the white of her eyes.

“Emergency! Emergency! Emergency!”

The only settler in the station orbiting the celestial body called Bilye was not aware for how long she had been cringing like that. She didn’t know how many times Cesium isotopes had vibrated since a big noise broke out above.

The human, a member of a species which could name time, was trying to find out what was going on using all her senses but was still unable to name the burning and piercing sensation extending from her belly down to her legs. Fear? No. Excitement? Maybe but not exactly. The young woman was only able to name the emotion as the shadow of an approaching soldier fell toward where she stood.

Reality.

She had spent her whole life in a sheltered case. She could go into any movie she wanted, touch any book she liked, watch the outer space dotted with little moving lights through the small glass window, or play fun games on smart computers. Only one thing was impossible for her: reality, to live reality.

The soldier took off the glasses and put them aside. Then, when he grabbed her bob-cut hair and lifted her head, the pain in her hair roots made her forget everything she ever knew. She watched the gray silhouettes transforming on the bright black wall in front of her for a while. As her knees flattened against her will once again, she tried to read her future off the figures she saw. She could not.

The soldier led her into a corridor. The walls she had seen for a long time were no longer familiar. The screens which used to smile at her and the colorful lights which used to illuminate her way were turned off now. No sound reached her inactive ears, but the crowd of gray-uniformed and black-helmeted soldiers was invading her vision.

The rough hand in her hair continued to drive her body in one direction. When she saw where they were heading, she felt fear for the first time and tried to go back, opposing orders from her brain.

“Please …” she said, her free vocal cords tense with a begging tone. “Please, we can work out a deal, please don’t take me there.”

She knew what would happen if they entered the technical zone at this station, which spun at a tenth of the speed of light. As she tried to fight him off, an oxygen mask rested on her nose, shutting her up. The red door, which would normally be locked, opened. A sudden decrease in pressure almost vacuumed her lungs.

Taking deep breaths, she continued to moan under the mask.

“Please…”

The tears she shed out of a human reflex would evaporate into the air without touching her eyelashes. The captive girl couldn’t see the technical zone because she had to close her eyes so that they would not go dry. As she was forced downhill, her steps became harder and slower because the force weighing down her feet was growing. Just as she could not take it anymore, the soldier finally released her hair, and the girl threw herself on her hands and knees.

When she began hearing some howling, she realized that her ears had been reactivated. They had restored her hearing. When she opened her eyes slightly, she found herself besides a manhole in the middle of the funnel-shaped room. A single number and five words engraved around the round lid were repeated one after the other.

“… far away – Event Horizon 73000 km far away – Event Horizon…”

She closed her eyes as if she could escape the reality awaiting her. She was no longer “tied,” but as she was barely able to move a finger, she could not fight and escape them. How, at the point in the station closest to the black hole, where the gravitational force maximized, could the soldier be standing?

Event horizon, she thought. The final point where light and matter can escape the gravitation a black hole. The ultimate limit where the known laws of physics apply. If things would go as she anticipated, the gravity would shatter her body before she could reach this horizon.

I am sixteen years old,” she said to herself. “I am waiting for death in the orbit of Bilye.”

She had lived here for as long as she could remember. In a kind of spacecraft orbiting a black hole and taking its energy from it. She was shown a map of space in the astronomy class. What had remained with her the most from that class was the size of the universe, which defied any boundaries. A lot of lights in blackness, reminding fireflies in a dark night; it was a representation of the observable universe. Each of those lights was a supercluster. When approached, it became apparent that a single supercluster consisted of dozens of galaxy clusters. Each cluster of galaxies contained dozens of galaxies. Galaxies contained billions of stars.

She knew where she lived. She knew where Bilye was. The station where she was during all stages of her existence was located in the Dwarf Serpent galaxy in the outer reaches of the Local Group cluster in the Virgo Supercluster.

“The vast majority of humans live in the Milky Way Galaxy.” her teacher had told her. “A population of almost the same size is spread across Andromeda and the Triangle, which are the other largest galaxies in the Local Group. Other nearby galaxies have no widespread settlement yet, but work is ongoing. Bilye Station, on the other hand, made history as the furthest base because no travel has been made to another galaxy located as far in the external zone as the Dwarf Serpent yet.”

She was always proud to have this piece of knowledge. She had been told she would live here until she was twenty and then would travel to the Triangle Galaxy and settle in a double star system called Miranda-Balay there. She would receive a training on the special traditions and way of life of that star system. For now, however, she did not know much and could only speak their language. While she still had four years before she transitioned to a new phase of her life, it was already all happening.

When the lid opened, she let out a scream. Since the air in the technical area blew out through the hole, the wind was dragging her toward the black hole. She desperately caught the soldier’s leg, her vocal cords sore from crying. Although the soldier staggered a little, he managed to keep standing.

A shout was heard from afar.

“Do your duty!”

“NO!”

She climbed up, holding on the soldier’s uniform. She tightened herself around his waist like a belt. There was no trace of the original color of her face; she was all red and white. Her wheezy screams were clearly audible even from under the oxygen mask.

The captain repeated the command, more loudly this time. Feeling she was being held under the armpits, the poor human began to flutter, in a clear contrast to her behavior a moment ago, but she did not untie her arms from around the soldier’s waist. As the soldier, supported with a rope behind him, approached the lid, her cries became louder.

“RELEASE ME!”

The wind was intensifying. All air in the technical compartment would run out before long.

The soldier moved a little closer to the void. Just as she was about to fall, a part of her brain shut itself down. She suddenly felt tired. She stopped screaming and struggling. She took a deep breath and took off her oxygen mask with one hand and threw it down. She watched it fall, this was her preparation for death. She held her breath, looked up, and opened her eyes. She looked at the black helmet of the soldier holding her. The sight facing her while she heard the commander scold the soldier to get him to rush was the reflection on the helmet.

She wanted to leave a legacy in his eyes and smiled. The pain in her eyes forced her to close them immediately and so she did. One of her hands was empty, and she released the other one, too. She knew that her shoulders would remain out in the void, that the sensation of falling would encompass her everywhere, and that she would then split into her atoms.

That she would then disappear.

That at least her body would.

But when her feet were cut off the ground and she quickly got driven into the black hole, the hand holding her did not let go of her shoulders. On the contrary, it held her even tighter.

Before the air flew away from around her, she opened and closed her eyes once more and saw the soldier jump with her.

Her lung muscles relaxed, her last breath mixed into space.

She couldn’t take it back now. The last thing she perceived before she lost consciousness was his arms gradually loosening and leaving her into the void.

I will later add addresses where you can purchase the book. Thanks for reading!

FAILURE – If You Insult Your Landlord… – A Horror Story

❝In fact, the landlord did not seem angry at any other word of his tenant; the words like “You are tight as the bark on a tree”, “you old fart” and many insults of him; just like he was not the one who debtor… However, when the tenant said that he was a senile who must be locked in a madhouse, his face had changed and he promised that he will live what he said. He was going to drive him crazy and provide him to locked up in a madhouse, at all costs.❞

Here you can read the horror story I wrote for a competition in June 2020 and ranked third. Of course, this story is completely imaginary. Thanks to Enes Talha Coşgun for translation.

With the shadow of his stubbly beard growing on his face, the man ran his finger across the border that separated the flickering shadow of candlelight from the ring of light. For the last twenty days, Tuna’s life had taken on a strange path. The argument between him and the property-rich landlord, which is caused by his rent debt, was harder than he expected; the guy he accused of being stingy because of he couldn’t tolerate the late money from a small flat among the hundreds of rental income, had threatened him by saying “I am stronger than you think” and “You will live the last thing you said”.

In fact, the landlord did not seem angry at any other word of his tenant; the words like “You are tight as the bark on a tree”, “you old fart” and many insults of him; just like he was not the one who debtor… However, when the tenant said that he was a senile who must be locked in a madhouse, his face had changed and he promised that he will live what he said. He was going to drive him crazy and provide him to locked up in a madhouse, at all costs.

Tuna had laughed about this intimidation. However, the failed attempts of the landlord, of whom he was even more certain that he was a senile by that last event, was enough to spoil his mood. He was not being surprised by the absence of electricity, he was lighting candles in the dark room and sitting down to find out how to prove in court that the landlord was the one who had done all this. At the end of the sixth power cut, “Enough!” he said, stood up, and took a glance at the furniture of his humble bachelor house. When he had the chance of to move the house, why the hell he was bothering himself by dealing with this mess?

The next day he started transactions. While he was filling a parcel of supplies, he was talking to the shipping company, with the phone in his other hand. He borrowed a big sum of money from a close friend. He had to give some of the money to the shipping company, and he had to pay off the rent debt, and than he had to call the landlord on the purpose of tear up the contract and to get out of this stupid situation. He handled his phone and tapped the number with the name of Kamil Maraş. He listened to the tone.

“Good day sir, i…”

“Did you call to apologize?”

The young man sighed.

“You still have a chance.” said the landlord with his dead sound. “Apologize for calling me senile and crazy, and I’ll leave you alone.”

Tuna bit his lips, it could be called a smile; mixed with disgust and obstinacy. “I’m sorry for delaying the rent.” he said. “I am sorry for everything i said, but i don’t apologize for calling you ‘senile’. Make peace with your old age, Mr. Kamil.”

His strange smile turned into a grin as he imagined Kamil’s facial expression. After a few seconds of silence, “Well!” said the landlord. “You have chosen your path. Send your debt to my account, i will end the contract.”

Turned off the phone the former tenant, leaned against the wall and lit a pleasure cigarette. This overcoming led to secretion of the happiness hormone and erased all negativity from his memory. So, when his phone rang in the afternoon, Tuna could not remember why his sister called him.

“What a surprise!”, he answered. “What is the noble cause of this phone call? Ah, it didn’t make much sense when I changed the idiom.”

“Brother!” said the woman, on the other end of the line. “The appointment…”

As soon as he heard this word, Tuna’s face fell. “Do not tell me you forgot it. We have no chance to rearrange this meeting with the doctor. There are so many people who want to be examined by him. He is one of the best psychiatrists in the country and has done many studies on Capgras syndrome…”

Capgras syndrome was a delusional disorder. Patients with this syndrome believed that their acquaintances, sometimes even themselves, were replaced by identical ones.

“Allright, Tülay.” the older brother interrupted his sister’s word. “How many times will you tell? Mr. Mehmet Ali is Turkey’s top psychiatrist, he can swimmingly solve my problem, but i do not want to go.”

“My brother…” she said once more. Her voice was muted, between a whisper and a murmur. “”I don’t want to experience again, what we experienced last month.”

Tuna swallowed, and touched his fist to his mouth. Ten days before the argument, they had met with his sister in a cafeteria. Everything seemed fine, but suddenly; the bad intuitions came to visit him during the meeting. Tuna felt himself completely artificial. As if the person sitting next to him was not his sister; but a stranger disguised as her…

“It was a moment thing!” he objected. “I… No, i am not sick. Look, there is no such thing right now. You are who you are. I’m sure of i’m talking to my little sis right now.”

“Get examined just for once.” said the woman on the other end of the phone line, she insisted. “If it’s not something dangerous, the doctor will tell you anyway. I’m coming to get you, okay? I’m in the car now. See you.”

Phone closed. The fact that Tülay was in the car meant that she was speaking by turning on the loudspeaker; and this explains the reason of why her voice were heard so hoarse and excessively… -Tuna thought for the right word- … artifical. No, he wasn’t sick. He hadn’t gotten that strange syndrome, which had a strange name like “Capo-grass”. Just to prove it, he would get into his sister’s car and hear from the doctor that he was healthy.

APPOINTMENT WITH THE PSYCHIATRIST

Soon after, Tuna found himself in the front passenger seat of his sister’s gray car. After they had a small daily talk, he got nervous and frowned when an amusing song playing on the radio. He sensed that a stranger was in the car, as if something was wrong, as if something is artificial. Here, his feelings in the cafeteria were coming back! Ghosts were once again filling his brain.

“No…” he said from inside his mouth, pressing his fingernails into his palm. “There’s no such thing.”

“Huh…?” said the sister, lowering the radio. “Did you say something?”

“No…” said the man, hiding his tension behind his smile as he sweats cold. “The song, just got around my tongue…”

Tülay turned the volume up without saying anything. Twenty minutes later, the car was parked in front of the psychiatrist’s private clinic. Before the woman got out of the car, asked him, “Did you say that your power cut with no reason?”

“There was a reason.” said the sighing man. “The man does it.”

“Who?”

“The landlord, Kamil Maraş. He’s closing the fuses.”

“Well, why would he do something like that…” the woman said hesitantly. “Isn’t it so unreasonable? And don’t get me wrong, but the building you are sitting in is quite old and it can fail on its own…”

Tuna raised his voice. “Stop talking nonsense! Did the fuses that never failed ever, started to break out by chance after the discussion, over and over again? Do you not believe me? Do you think I’m paranoid?”

“I do not think anything. Lately I can’t understand you, brother.” said Tülay, taking a deep breath. She got out of the car and went to the other side and opened the door.

“Come on!”

The clean floor paved with black marble revealed that the clinic belonged to someone whose socioeconomic status was at the top. They knocked on the door decorated with an elegant sign, written in an italic font “Prof. Dr. M. Ali Kaşmar”. After they heard from the secretary that the doctor was available, they entered. The doctor was a thin man with gray hair and no beard. Straightened his shoulders, and “Please come in,” said with his dead sound, as he pointed to the seats. All these features reminded to Tuna of Kamil Maraş.

When he describing his experiences in the cafeteria, this analogy gradually turned into a new delusion, as if the doctor was the landlord himself. It was as if he is in a court as a suspect; a court that Kamil Maraş was the judge. His tension grew and his hands began to tremble.

This situation did not go unnoticed by the doctor.“Is there any problem, sir?”

“I’ll be honest.” said Tuna, he was looking at Tülay. “I guess, i just… Feel like you are not you are. And my sister is not my sister. Who are you? I mean…”

M. Ali Kaşmar frowned. He tied his arms and continued to listen.”

Am i, well, have i that syndrome which i couldn’t remember its name, that thing-gras or something?”

The psychiatrist nodded and calmly asked, “Have you ever watched the movie called Shutter Island?”

“I watched.” said Tuna, after he thought for a while. “Years ago. Why did you ask?”

“Do you remember how things were resolved in the movie? What said the doctor to Teddy in the room at the lighthouse?”

The man who turned restlessly, looked first at the door and then looked again at the doctor’s face.“I don’t know.”

“Why is the full name of the character Tom Riddle different in the translated versions of Harry Potter? For example, when the name was ‘Tom Marvolo Riddle’ in the book’s language, why was it ‘Tom Marvoldo Riddle’ in the Turkish translation of the book?”

“I do not know.” said Tuna, shout, and repeated. “I don’t know!”

“Which method does Dan Brown love in his books? Anagram, huh? Haven’t you ever heard this before, Tuna?”

He didn’t say “Mr. Tuna”, he said “Tuna”. It was a rapid transition from the safe formality to the uncanny sincerity.

“Why are you asking these, why are you saying these?”The young man had stood up already, his face reddened. “Anagram? What are you talking about? What is the connection with my illness?”

“Calm down.” said the doctor. “Could you please tell me my name?”

The other man took a deep breath, and tried to calm down.“Mehmet… Ali…”“It isn’t Mehmet Ali. It is as it says on the sign. M-Ali.”Anagram means to produce a new word by replacing the letters in a word. Tuna envisaged the name “M. Ali Kaşmar” in his mind, divided its letters. Kaşmar… M. Ali… Maraş… Kamil…

“No!” he jumped to his feet, yelling as if to tear his vocal cords. “You senile scum! You are him!” He turned towards his sister.“How did you become a partner of that? How much money did he give you to be a partner for this tricky game?”

“Who the hell is Tülay?” said the woman, leaning firmly in her seat, with a triumphant smile on her face.

“It was so easy…” the doctor smiled. “Plastic makeup, a professional actor, this building, this room… I spent a few hundred times the rent I get from you, but it was worth it. You fooled so easily, Tuna. By the way, how dare you call me ‘senile’ when you had problems with your mind? Didn’t you ever think that i could use this deficiency? Didn’t i warn you, didn’t i give you one last chance? Didn’t i tell you i’m stronger than you think? What was your surname, by the way?”

The standing man was threatening him to call the police. However, he was unaware that the phone signals were cut with the jammer and the cameras were turned off with a planned malfunction. The doctor took out a paper and a pen and wrote the name of the angry man: Tuna Umut.

“Now as a psychiatrist,” he said, “I’ll report that you went crazy and attacked us. I will petition about you to be put in a mental hospital at court ruling. You won’t be able to appeal because -accidentally- you’ll have run away from home. So you ran away to avoid going to the hospital, let’s say. The world will never find you again and you will be forgotten, gradually. Meanwhile, you will be paying the price of your word in a straitjacket in my basement. Electroshock… Heavy drugs… “

There was a word in piece of paper on the table, it was apparently cut from a magazine: “Hell is not the place where we suffer, it is the place where no one can hear that we suffer. (Hallac-ı Mansur)”

Below the word there was a name, and below the name there was a new anagram: Tophet*, forget it.

A Book Review: The Seal Breaker (Gael Scripts #1)

Original Name: Mühür Kıran

In the Andram lands, which have mountain ranges to its west and south, and oceans to its east and north, there lives a human community of “ore” owners. Ore is life force. Those who have the ability to access their ore can move objects, heal others, or gain a range of information by exchanging the power within them with nature.

There is also a special and forbidden group of ore-related abilities. For example, leaking… Leakers can steal life force. That is why leakers, considered dangerous, are sealed and expelled from the Andram lands when they are discovered.

Sealing is a procedure that destroys a person’s ability by tattooing a metal-containing paint into his or her skin. For the metal functions as a kind of Faraday cage and prevents access to the ore. Iron bracelets are also used for the same purpose, but of course, while a tattoo is permanent, a bracelet is only good until you take it off your arm.

Note: The book is only available in Turkish. I hope it will be translated into English in the future.

NINES, DRAGONS AND MYSTERIES

“Two weeks ago, mass fish deaths were seen in the lake near the western border city of Suria. When I researched it, I came to the knowledge that Suira is one of the cities with the highest loss of ore and talent.”

Page 30

In recent years in the Andram lands, the number of children born with talent has fallen, and abundance has vanished. Moreover, leakers, instead of being deported, have begun to disappear. Kyte and Neira Namu agree to investigate this. One of them will explore what happened to the leakers, and the other will sail to the Nines—part of the Nastar mountain range—where dragons are believed to have lived centuries ago, to learn about the fate of the groundwater.

North-East Gael map. Gael’s wideness promises brand new adventures in the upcoming books!

Set in a fantasy world called Gael, this book features many races, societies, and characters. As you read, they each settle in their respective place on the map you build in your dreams. Authors know that the hardest thing in multi-character books is to establish a balance among the characters. The Seal Breaker has accomplished this task extremely well.

There was not one single point where I would go, “I wish we could see this person somewhere” or “Well, that place is mentioned but it should have been described in a little more depth.”

BALANCE

The Seal Breaker is a successful book, which elaborates a fantasy world and where things reach a conclusion, and I enjoyed reading it. It is also the first volume in the Gael Scripts series. In the following volumes, I hope to visit the remaining lands of Gael and embark on brand new adventures. I highly recommend it to fantasy lovers.

There is a balance in the amount of work that goes into the depiction of the characters in their personalities… There is a balance in the spaces and the events… In fact, even ore power, the main element in the book, rests on balance. What more can I say! Read it!

Let’s move on to the spoilers part now.

What follows includes spoilers.

If we had attained the kind of technology that would add new features to our bodies by editing our DNA, I would have liked to be like the dragons in the book. Or to meet a dragon… To sometimes transition to human form and sometimes to dragon form … To soar in the skies, to live on the earth.

While reading the book, I supported the people of the Nines, not the people of Andram, except Neira 😄- Can you condemn a race that has two wings on its back to dance with the winds under the blue sky into the underground, into darkness? Aren’t they right in getting angry, in taking revenge, in poisoning your underground water?

There are good and bad in both races. The bad of the dragons are more frank and honest. Often, they are in solidarity–even though this solidarity might get broken when a human intervenes. Wicked people, on the other hand, are insidious and treacherous. Moreover, they act so as to sabotage each other.

I’m looking forward to the next books with excitement, and I’ll just say “I’m on the dragon’s side!” and go. Hold on a second, before I leave, I’ll tell you something else, which I just thought of.

I wonder what would happen if Neira’s seal were permanent. As I read those passages, I kept saying, “Ryntar, please tell me you made a real seal, you sacrificed your ore for Neira’s life!” However, she couldn’t resist and immediately revealed that the loss of power was temporary. I guess I’m cruel to some book characters. Fortunately, Neira’s ore worked well in the rest.

This was my comment. I’m really going now. Many fantastic worlds!