When the unforgettable actress of the Turkish movies Hülya Koçyiğit rolled up her sleeves on carrying the story of a woman, whose trying to hold on to life, to the big screen, we have knocked on her door. Therefore, we have talked about the aspects of womanhood.
Hülya, what is the storyline of the scripted novel ‘Being a Woman in the Suburb’?
In this novel ‘Being a Woman in the Suburb’, Nalan Türkeli tells us her own life. We are going to tell the story of a woman amongst the hundreds of thousands of others who live in the suburbs trying to hold on to their lives. Our movie is going to be based on Nalan Türkeli’s story.
As a woman, who is going to sign under a story of another woman, what would be your wish for women?
Before saying anything else, I would like to remind that women and men are equal citizens. Everyone should act more consciously about the women’s rights. I wish mothers to be gender neutral while raising their daughters and sons and bring them up primarily as good human beings. Isn’t that the most important thing? Being a good person in life…
A WOMAN’S PLACE IS NOT JUST HER HOME
How was the status of the women during your childhood and your youth and if you must compare it to the today’s status of the women how would you describe it?
When I was a child, it was condemned to work outside of her home for a woman. There were many prejudices in question against the women. A woman’s place was only her home. However, under today’s circumstances, it is not possible to support a family with only one income. Therefore, the family members both man and woman have to share the life and operate together. I cannot accept the thought of ‘The responsibilities of the women are within the walls of their homes.’ A woman should be involved in every aspect of the social life. The women show her existence at more business fields as much educated as they become. I hope the number of women who set good examples of being a wife and a business woman is going to increase.
What would you suggest for the homemakers who would like to be involved in business life?
They need to be aware of their own power. To realize that power, their priority should be their professions. Eventually, they are going to become mothers and homemakers, too. It is possible for a woman to become a homemaker, involve in business life, and take part of governing the state. They should believe in themselves.
Who had the power of decision in your family, the women?
In the family that I come from, yes. My mother and my grandmother were powerful women, whom their husbands adored, respected and listened to them.
MY MOTHER WAS MY IDOL
Was your mother also your idol?
Yes, she was. She always has her place in my heart as my hero. I have worked for my whole life in order to be adored and recognized by her. She was a huge believer of my talent and for this reason; she was always there for me. She used to energize and support me.
What was the most important advice that she gave you?
She always advised us to be honest, to stay away from lies, not to have eyes on someone else’s property. She also advised us to show compassion to all beings, to give thanks for what we have, and to share what we have with the needy.
What do you advise to your daughter and to your grandchildren the most?
Above everything else, I advise being a good person to my daughter and my grandchildren. I try to deliver what I have learned from my mother and my grandmother to them.
Were there any lessons that your grandmother had taught you?
Surely, there were. She always used to give me advices. She had some proverbs that she had liked to mention routinely. She often said, “Don’t give up, don’t give in”, “Whoever your heart desires holds the meaning of the beauty to you”, “Do not trust your beauty one pimple is enough, do not trust your richness one flame is enough.” She’d always advised me to be a good person; kept reminding us the importance of nourishing our brains and spirits. She used to recite Rumi’s verses, “I have seen so many people on whom there were no clothes; and I have seen so many clothes in which there were no people.”
THERE IS A SENSE OF JUSTICE IN OUR CREATION
What would you like to say about the power within women, which men always ignore and try to suppress?
Women are really much stronger, more organized, elaborative, enduring, tolerant, and fairer. For one thing, in the creation of woman there is a sense of compassion and justice.
Men would like to see women in their conventional roles. Does your husband have demands like ‘The meal will be cooked; the house will be kept organized’?
He never had demands as such since I already do them with pleasure. I was lucky on this matter. At the beginning, you need some luck but eventually your mind takes over. Our choices usually side with our hearts. Because with the feeling of love, we sense that, we are human. But at the end, maintaining a relationship is a business of the mind. A self-devoted smart person with the will could maintain the marriage by protecting the respect between the partners. Of course, this is not always the case.
Nowadays, the marriages are not long lasting. What would you like to say about it?
You are right. The truth is the women who can divorce easily are the working type and they say, “Why do I need a husband, I have an income, why would I need to endure someone else’s caprices?” I think this is wrong. The families, which do not like to send their daughters to school, say, “Why does she need an education, she’s going to marry and raise her own children.” How could a young girl who is uneducated, unaware of proper manners and life become a mother and raise children of her own?
You look like a very quiet person. Do you ever get angry?
Come on now, we all do get angry but we just do not reflect it to the screen. I usually try to show empathy to the person I am dealing with and if possible, I tolerate the bad behavior. It is a matter of human nature. I am human, too. Sometimes, I endure some unsettling events in silence.
THE CINEMA HAD BEEN SEEN AS A MAN’S PROFESSION
What would you like to say about the status of the women in cinema?
Unfortunately, the cinema had been seen as a man’s profession. However, many talented women have forced their chances into the business and signed under many films successfully. Nevertheless, the women have to demonstrate more effort than the men do in order to prove themselves. The number of the women in comparison is quite less than the number of the men who work in this industry around the world.
Do you cry while watching Yeşilçam movies?
I become emotional while watching many of the life stories told in the movies, in all sorts of movies not only Yeşilçam movies. The fight of the humankind to survive, wars, our patience, our determination to succeed and our behavior against the unexpected negative events move me to tears.
I LOVE TO TRAVEL BY TRAIN
What kind of destinations would you like to travel?
I’d love to visit the places that I have not been before, and meet with different cultures. Actually, I guess I could be a voyager (she laughs). I am quite curious and open to exploring, learning, and tasting new flavors.
Would you prefer traveling by train?
I have traveled many times by train. I love to travel by train because while travelling you are in touch with the nature. I especially like the long train travels.