Author Topic: My new project: Writing a book, gathering memoirs  (Read 866 times)

Offline Turkish007

  • Masterspammer
  • ****
  • Posts: 4.055
  • Mini-mod necromancer
    • View Profile
My new project: Writing a book, gathering memoirs
« on: 17-04-2014, 08:04:28 »
Hello guys,

So recently I have thought of making a simple book which gathers the memories of the veterans of the Turkish-Kurdish conflict. First of all, we have a lot of men who have served in the south-east of Turkey since 1984 (which is the start of the conflict).  The cashier in the grocer, the vice principal in our school, even my neighbor has some experience from their service. All I have to do is to interview the veterans, gather and put the dialogues in order, and send it to print. I can also do the page alignment and cover, I have all these opportunities to make it an actual book (but I wont register it and there wont be a lot of copies, it will be something like a personal project)

But then I came up to a tight situation. I allready read a lot of books and websites on the subject, and know a lot about it. So I couldnt come up with any questions. So I was gonna ask, what would you, -a normal person found in every society, with a curiosity on military and war history- like to know about the conflict? If it were you to speak personally, what would you ask them?

So basically I am asking for question ideas. It could be anything, anything ranging from life in outposts to operations in North Iraq...

I think this project of mine will turn out to be awesome and its products will be really good! Thank you for your help!  :)

Offline Kalkalash

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 644
  • aka Niko1992
    • View Profile
Re: My new project: Writing a book, gathering memoirs
« Reply #1 on: 17-04-2014, 08:04:27 »
How did the recruitment work? I know Turkey has military service but were the men to be sent to the conflict zone based on volunteers?

If they were volunteers, what was their reason for going?

I guess overall stories on battles/combat/odd encounters would be interesting as well.
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” - George Carlin

Offline PanzerKnacker

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1.912
  • Tommyjäger
    • View Profile
Re: My new project: Writing a book, gathering memoirs
« Reply #2 on: 17-04-2014, 10:04:06 »
What are the odds? Not half an hour ago I was walking home from down town and thought about gathering (WWII though) memories from my relatives and then any other surviving (sane) WWII vets in this region.

Strange world, huh? ;D
He was not wrong. Amateurs talk tactics, pros talk logistics.

Offline Turkish007

  • Masterspammer
  • ****
  • Posts: 4.055
  • Mini-mod necromancer
    • View Profile
Re: My new project: Writing a book, gathering memoirs
« Reply #3 on: 17-04-2014, 11:04:33 »
How did the recruitment work? I know Turkey has military service but were the men to be sent to the conflict zone based on volunteers?

If they were volunteers, what was their reason for going?

I guess overall stories on battles/combat/odd encounters would be interesting as well.

Thanks for the ideas! I noted them down  :)

What are the odds? Not half an hour ago I was walking home from down town and thought about gathering (WWII though) memories from my relatives and then any other surviving (sane) WWII vets in this region.

Strange world, huh? ;D

Oh wow, these kind of coincidences never cease to amaze me  ;D

Offline Surfbird

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1.101
    • View Profile
Re: My new project: Writing a book, gathering memoirs
« Reply #4 on: 17-04-2014, 11:04:16 »
What are the odds? Not half an hour ago I was walking home from down town and thought about gathering (WWII though) memories from my relatives and then any other surviving (sane) WWII vets in this region.

Strange world, huh? ;D

I can just suggest to do this. Especially when you have relatives. I actually did a video interview with my grandfather. Partly about WW2, but pretty much with him telling stories of his life. I am feeling very satisfied that I have done this.

ontopic:

How were the living circumstances, the comradeship, the overall mood in the army?

What did your family think about you being fighting? Have they been supportive towards you, or did they dislike what you are doing?

Did your point of view on the conflict change when you became part of it? If yes,  in which way?

Did you ever feel like fighting people that could as well be your friends or have you always viewed them as fierce enemy?

Have you made any defining experience from the time that you will not forget?

How have you been since you retired from the army/stopped fighting? Did your situation improve and how difficult was it to get back to the jobmarket and a regular life for you?

Do you think that the time and experience overall had a positive impact on you as a person?

----

That's what comes to my mind right now.

Offline Turkish007

  • Masterspammer
  • ****
  • Posts: 4.055
  • Mini-mod necromancer
    • View Profile
Re: My new project: Writing a book, gathering memoirs
« Reply #5 on: 17-04-2014, 12:04:44 »
How were the living circumstances, the comradeship, the overall mood in the army?

What did your family think about you being fighting? Have they been supportive towards you, or did they dislike what you are doing?

Did your point of view on the conflict change when you became part of it? If yes,  in which way?

Did you ever feel like fighting people that could as well be your friends or have you always viewed them as fierce enemy?

Have you made any defining experience from the time that you will not forget?

How have you been since you retired from the army/stopped fighting? Did your situation improve and how difficult was it to get back to the jobmarket and a regular life for you?

Do you think that the time and experience overall had a positive impact on you as a person?

----

That's what comes to my mind right now.

Some precious stuff you have in your mind! These are also very quality questions. Also noted down, thank you :)
« Last Edit: 17-04-2014, 16:04:57 by Turkish007 »

Offline Slayer

  • Freeze Veteran
  • FH-Betatester
  • ***
  • Posts: 4.124
    • View Profile
Re: My new project: Writing a book, gathering memoirs
« Reply #6 on: 17-04-2014, 20:04:57 »
Best advise I can give you is to let your stuff read by a non-Turkish and non-Kurdish scholar, or by both Turkish and Kurdish scholars, so as to keep your writings as objective as possible.

Writing about conflicts, especially the more recent ones, will always produce bias and it would be great if you succeed in diminishing it to the max.

Offline Turkish007

  • Masterspammer
  • ****
  • Posts: 4.055
  • Mini-mod necromancer
    • View Profile
Re: My new project: Writing a book, gathering memoirs
« Reply #7 on: 17-04-2014, 21:04:27 »
Your are right, Slayer. I thought a lot on this. Some books got banned in the 80's because they sounded so biased, and that's something I really want to avoid.

I dont want to make a pro-Turkish or pro-Kurdish book out of this project. I will make sure to trash the biased parts of the interviews and include a few words on how I wanted to make an objective book and how the book does not represent my or anyone's view of politics and the conflict in the foreword. It is a delicate thing, but I will hopefully manage to balance it.

Offline Slayer

  • Freeze Veteran
  • FH-Betatester
  • ***
  • Posts: 4.124
    • View Profile
Re: My new project: Writing a book, gathering memoirs
« Reply #8 on: 17-04-2014, 22:04:08 »
Good goal you've got there. Good luck on the project and keep in mind that in spite of your efforts, some people will always view your book as biased simply because you are Turkish.

Offline Kalkalash

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 644
  • aka Niko1992
    • View Profile
Re: My new project: Writing a book, gathering memoirs
« Reply #9 on: 18-04-2014, 08:04:37 »
In my opinion, you shouldn't censor parts of the interviews just to avoid bias. Every person you interview is likely to have a bias one way or the other. Just have the sections with your own text be factual and analytic and add footnotes to the interviewees stories.

Something like this:
Quote
"...we killed a total of 50 hostiles in that battle[1]..."

[1] Official records indicate only 20

Doing things like that would give the reader perspective on how the people "on the ground" might have experienced things differently than those sitting back home.
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” - George Carlin

Offline Turkish007

  • Masterspammer
  • ****
  • Posts: 4.055
  • Mini-mod necromancer
    • View Profile
Re: My new project: Writing a book, gathering memoirs
« Reply #10 on: 18-04-2014, 14:04:59 »
In my opinion, you shouldn't censor parts of the interviews just to avoid bias. Every person you interview is likely to have a bias one way or the other. Just have the sections with your own text be factual and analytic and add footnotes to the interviewees stories.

Something like this:
Quote
"...we killed a total of 50 hostiles in that battle[1]..."

[1] Official records indicate only 20

Doing things like that would give the reader perspective on how the people "on the ground" might have experienced things differently than those sitting back home.

But I cant access the military records? How can I know how many casualties the militants gave? And they also escape with the bodies, the exact number is not known, it can only be estimated. Therefore, its impossible.

Offline Surfbird

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1.101
    • View Profile
Re: My new project: Writing a book, gathering memoirs
« Reply #11 on: 18-04-2014, 14:04:50 »
In the introduction of the book, state that the numbers and general stories told are from subjective point of views and that you can not check how much truth is in it. That you are only showing the personal impressions of the people but can not guarantee there are no historical inaccuracies. You can suggest the reader to look at it objectively and that everyone needs to judge the impressions for him- or herself. Then you don't need to cut things out and simply have the impressions of the people in your book, while you stay as neutral as possible as an author, which is important. I strongly suggest to not edit the interviews to cut out stuff that is possibly biased.

Offline Slayer

  • Freeze Veteran
  • FH-Betatester
  • ***
  • Posts: 4.124
    • View Profile
Re: My new project: Writing a book, gathering memoirs
« Reply #12 on: 18-04-2014, 14:04:47 »
If you will do research besides the interviews, you might add connotations where the numbers or facts are in doubt (like on Wikipedia: "This article is disputed" or "This article has issues").

Offline Turkish007

  • Masterspammer
  • ****
  • Posts: 4.055
  • Mini-mod necromancer
    • View Profile
Re: My new project: Writing a book, gathering memoirs
« Reply #13 on: 18-04-2014, 15:04:42 »
I see. These are some important statements that I will consider.

Offline MaJ.P.Bouras

  • Masterspammer
  • ****
  • Posts: 3.210
  • A Hellenic version of Jackie Chan.
    • View Profile
Re: My new project: Writing a book, gathering memoirs
« Reply #14 on: 18-04-2014, 17:04:03 »
The problem, which i can already see, is that this book is already about the turk side of the story. Unless you find Kurds who fought at that war then its obvious who the book will be supporting.