I want to study at the conservatory and follow my dreams.

I am one of those who walk alone. Some people say, ”My eyes used to shine with joy, but something bad just happened.” I don’t know where to start my story. Should I tell you about how my dream of a music career ended before it began or about how I fell in love with my relative’s son, which costed my freedom?

I have been living in Istanbul since 14. I have born and grown in Istanbul. I was a shy student. I just used to talk with my music. I used to never attend the lessons in middle school because of my shyness. But when the course was music, no one could understand how the time passed thanks to my songs. Even though all my teachers told my family that I am talented and, if permitted, can achieve many things, what my mother did was enough to make me sick of and give up my dreams. I pursued different things. I thought that if I could find love in something else, I could forget it. Then I fell in love with the worst person; my uncle’s son. I wasn’t aware that I would regret it after years. My family’s letting talk with my cousin because he is a relative made it more attractive to be with him. I told him that I want to study at the conservatory and become a singer. He said ”No.” I started to wear a headscarf because he wanted. When I tried to take it off, he said, ”If you do, we will break up. I can’t marry a woman who does not wear a headscarf.” Four years passed in this way and the university preference time came. I preferred a branch which I really didn’t want. After two years, I quit school and came home. And after years, I tried to take off my headscarf again.

Now I am 21, and I want to bone for the university exam again. This time I want to study at the conservatory and follow my dreams. About taking off the headscarf, even my sister, who does not wear a headscarf, says, ”What do you want, will you be a whore?” My mother says, ”Go to a bordello if you take it off!” I also broke up with my uncle’s son, who makes my life miserable. He said, ”Everyone loves me. No one can find someone like me. Who wants you?” He was idolizing himself. I was waiting for a reason to break up, and when I found it, I broke up. If I were married to him, I wouldn’t be able to go to the market alone. I would have to say goodbye to my friends because he wouldn’t let me see them. I wouldn’t even work. He said, ”You couldn’t even finish a school.” And her mother said ”Women don’t work. They stay at home, do housework, give birth, and look after their children.” Just two weeks before, I was napping because I was fasting and tired. And then she complained about me to my mother and said ”Such a girl she is!” I used to don’t share my face on Instagram because of his son. I either put an emoji on my face or scribbled it. I won’t do this anymore. Everyone will see my beautiful smile.

This year I have to get into conservatory. Even I can’t; I want to go to university to get away from home. I will enroll in courses for singing lessons in the place where I will have gone to university. I want to take off my headscarf, and I will. When I start university, I can’t get financial support from my family because I am sure that they will all get up against me when I take off my headscarf. They will say, “You had been wearing it for seven years. You study Imam Hatip1, and you went to Umrah.” I studied Theology in a correspondence school. No matter how much someone is educated about it, I know that no one’s freedom can be restricted because the bird in the cage will find a way to escape one day.

I don’t know if I bother you with my story, but I have one more thing to say. Even though I am unhappy with him, my family says that they will disown me if I don’t marry him. If they learn that I broke up, I can be subjected to physical and physiological violence in any way. It will be over, of course, it will. There are dreams. Dreams deserve to come true; captive souls deserve to be free. I know that we won’t walk alone.

[1] Imam Hatip schools are educational institutes in Turkey where people are trained for religious professions such as imams.

(Image: Charles Lapicque)

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