Interviewing Hulya N Yilmaz (Turkey )
Interviewer : Kiriti Sengupta (India)
Hi Hulya !! Greetings from India, this is Kiriti. I must congratulate and thank you for your contribution in the global anthology, Twist of Fate. Would like to ask you a few things, are you ready ?
Hulya: Hi Kiriti! Greetings from the U.S. Thank you for the congratulations regards my contribution to the Twist of Fate anthology. As for your questions, I am ready.
Kiriti: What made you contribute for this anthology ?
Hulya: I was invited by Alan Jankowski, a published author and a friend, to join the “Helping Tornado Victims in Oklahoma” event, conceived by Indies In Action. Once I accepted his invitation, I became a member of this closed group, liked very much how the interaction was proceeding among the members. The objective immediately appealed to me, as I had never been in a situation to reach out with anything of mine to help the victims of a natural disaster. When I was a child and still lviing in Turkey, my country of birth, there was a strong earthquake from which my family, relatives, friends and I, all came out without injuries or heavy material losses. But the fright is something I could never forget. It was a horrifying experience for me. I can’t even imagine the devastation anyone feels after a tornado wipes off so much out of their life. I knew I had to get involved. So, I began composing poems for those who are still suffering.
Kiriti: You did your doctoral research from the University of Michigan. You are a Professor of German language and literature. Higher education usually makes person selfish, this is a common saying. What is your opinion in this regard ?
Hulya: To be frank, I had not yet heard of this saying. Regardless, I would respond to such claim by referring to my extensive teaching commitment – one that spans over thirty-six years. I don’t think any academic can be viewed as selfish, if s/he has had such exceptional dedication to helping students of all walks of life become independent learners of anything of their interest, including their own lives.
Kiriti: It seems from your Facebook profile that you are not interested in Politics as well as in Religion. Do you think barring these would help you serve the people, the victims of tornado better ?
Hulya: What my statement refers to is the fact that both cannot be separated. On my profile page, under “About You” as well as “Favorite Quotations”, I cite from Mahatma Gandhi: “Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.” I have seen too much hatred and destruction all over the world in the name of religion and politics. I have no use of them in my personal life. As for serving the Oklahoma tornado victims any better or worse on account of political or religious inclinations, my actions speak for themselves: Had I not been able to care for my fellow humans on the grounds of my apolitical, non-religious stance in life, I would not have been here in the first place. For, I would not have gotten involved in this project, nor would I have worked hard to compose poetry for acceptancein the anthology. I couldn’t be there in person for several reasons. I will, however, be there through my two poems written only with them in mind – to me, the most sincere way to tell someone you care.
Kiriti: Hopefully you are aware of Paulo Coelho, an International bestseller. Most of his writings involve spirituality. Do you think spirituality sells ?
Hulya: I certainly am. In fact, one of his statements is another favorite quote of mine: “Now that she had nothing to lose, she was free” – one of the rare ones I can re-tell from memory. I am, however, not quite sure what you mean with the question. If you are referring specifically to Twist of Fate being a spirituality-inspiring work compilation, then my answer would be this: I very much hope so! Didn’t we all unite in the creation of the anthology in every which way we could in the hope it will sell in order for the funds to arrive in the hands of the victims?
Kiriti: Do you believe that your contributions would fetch success to the anthology ?
Hulya: I can’t possibly see my work under such self-absorbed lens. Twist of Fate – as every one of the contributions in it – is the product of a large number of creative, artistically inclined or oriented people from all walks of life. The fact that we have united in the making of a memorable work of art, reflections and literature through our hearts, minds and talents would constitute by far the greater potential for success than any one single work.
Thank you so much Hulya for answering me. I wish you all a stupendous success. Keep Well.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to elaborate on my experience with the remarkable group of individuals who made Twist of Fate possible. I, too, wish you much success, Kiriti. Take good care.