10 November 2015, Ankara


Two awesome metaphores...

The two are identifiying each other and make a hand-in-hand cross country run of Pakistan and together jump into the Indian Ocean.

"Benazir", is the last book of Yaşar Seyman I read, even before it went to the booksellers racks.

There are two heros, actually two metaphores in the book: The river Indus and Benazir... They are united in such a way that as Indus flows, Benazir is flowing with it. Both of them go to an eternity that is designed for themselves. One is the longest river of Pakistan, the other is the first female prime minister of an islamic country, one is flowing into the Umman Sea and to have its idendity change while the other has a change of personality by the shredding of her body to pieces and scattered to the sky.

Both of them are still alive but we can not see neither the Indus in the Umman Sea nor Benazir in Pakistan.

The book of Yaşar Seyman “Benazir”, can be placed in the “Biografical Novel” category that is very popular in the last years. But in the book, differing from the other biografical novels, we see another , third hero who appears silently and with humility:  Yaşar Seyman.

This way, we see an “epic”  biografical novel that may be one of the first of its kind. The already colorful life of Benazir Bhutto changes into the blazonry of the Amazons because a didactic  verbalism was not used and by the frequent intervention of the writer to life (and certainly to the book). This is the time, when we see the parallelism between The river Indus and Benazir...

From time to time, Seyman tells about herself, identifying herself with Benazir, sometimes she leaves Benazir alone and have her tell all and sometimes she uses pressure on Benazir and interrogates her.

To tell about another woman is one of the most difficult things for a woman. Feelings, successes, sweetnesses, jealousy and female bad tempers get into the picture... but here, Seyman as a great masterchief, pulls herself to a side and presents Benazir to us, saying “that is The Woman”.

When you get the book and go to the depths of the life of Benazir, suddenly you come face-to-face with verses of  Pir Sultan Abdal “my friend, let the winter come and your ways are united”.

You turn the pages to read about the execution of his father, Zülfikar Ali Bhutto, here Benazir questions the ring on her finger. Suddenly you see a lot about the executions of Deniz Gezmiş, Yusuf Aslan, Hüseyin İnan...

You read a lot of pages about the second man who had impressed her after her father and you learn a lot about her love to Asıf Ali Zerdari, but Seyman does no stop here, she tells about the ambition of Benazir for “horoscope” in a sharp criticism.

In the novel, all three are in a run and they know where they are going. Both The river Indus and Benazir run to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean... Yaşar Seyman follows them. There is nothing she can do. She can neither stop Benazir, nor jump in front of Indus. She is just an observer waiting to see what will happen. She compares the people of Pakistan with the incidents going on in her country. She questions what would happen if Benazir was in her country, between lines she sincerely puts forth such a dream. But Seyman knows that very well, she is writing a biography and she must adhere to the rules.

You can easily feel from her lines: she wants Benazir to die in her own bed with peace... If you are writing a biografical novel, even if you insert yourself, the Indus River and your hero into the novel, you cannot change the destiny of all you are writing about. So Seyman stands aside and watches them jump into the eternity of the Indian Ocean hand-in-hand.  She cools the body of Benazir that was shredded to pieces by a bomb, in the cool waters of River Indus. We see and understand this wish of Seyman in the section “the echo of ocean in Benazir” that takes place by the end of the book.

Seyman tells about Benazir Bhutto, she identifies her with River Indus but in another way she tells about “woman”. She questions the biggest problem of Turkey, the issue of woman in the society using Benazir as a basis. She carries the chivalry of the women to the minds of the people thru Benazir and tells about what a women can achieve in the male dominant societies.

Since it is not a didactik verbalism, you can see the complete puzzle as the sections are added to each other. You get to know Ziya Ül-Hak but at the same time, the woman issue in Pakistan is also questioned.


Really, when they will blossom..

Ahmet Mümtaz İdil / Oda TV


Namık Kemal Ataklı

  • bumcombe