Casual Eyes

Woman authors book upon becoming literate at the age of 70

Aya Başoğlu, a 71-year-old mother of nine, has written a book detailing all of her life events over the course of a year.

“I had a very hard life. I want people to read my book and learn from the lessons I learned,” she told the state-run Anadolu Agency.

At the age of twenty, she was coerced into marriage by her grandfather, who did not want her to attend school.

She left her husband at the age of 37 and raised her nine children “while working at a cafeteria to stay afloat,” she said.

However, her desire to learn never waned. She started attending the free classes offered to individuals like her by Istanbul’s Tuzla Municipality last year.

During daily one-hour sessions, she learned to read and write. I, then, understood how ignorant I had spent my life,” she said.

The onset of the COVID-19 epidemic in Turkey in March 2020 prompted her to journal her life experiences while she was confined to her home for most of the time.

Başolu filled the journal with recollections over the course of a year and presented the book to Tuzla Mayor Şadi Yazıcı.

“She had a dream and we supported her. Now we will publish her book of memories. We will show with this book that learning has no age,” Yazıcı said.

“I want my book to be a source of motivation for the younger generations,” Başoğlu said.


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