Nene Hatun is a plain Ottoman lady who worked in agriculture with the inhabitants of her hamlet, which is situated in the Aziziyah area of Erzurum in eastern Anatolia, and nearby is an Ottoman fortification that was resisting the Russian soldiers’ onslaught on the city.
At the start of the Russian-Turkish war, notably on November 7, 1877, the Russians conquered the Aziziyah citadel after killing the entire Ottoman garrison.
Who is Nene Hatun?
The Russian-Turkish conflict took place between 1877 and 1878, and the Russian army was three times larger than the Ottoman army, and it was assisted by soldiers from Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Montenegro, in addition to its advantage in guns.
This evening, Hasan, Nene Hatun brother, died of grievous wounds sustained while defending his homeland. The following morning, she learnt that the Russians had conquered Aziziyah’s castle, so she pledged “to revenge God, her brother’s murder, and her damaged motherland.”
Nene called her three-month-old baby, her tears mingled with those of her daughter who would leave her, and she got her tiny axe and her deceased brother’s rifle and went to join the parents. The people chose to confront the enemy in retribution for the deaths of the faith, the motherland, and the army young.
The people’s army was made up of elderly Ottoman citizens and women, and their weapons were little more than axes and farm tools, but in the eyes of the Russian army, they were stronger than the armies of the world.
The people’s army marched, lead by Nene Hatun, who charged ahead of everyone, confronting the Russian arsenal with a basic weapon. The Russian army cringed at the prospect of meeting this army, who fights with hearts like mountains and iron, and despite the deaths of hundreds of Ottoman citizens by Russian bullets, the people were able to penetrate the stronghold after breaking its iron gates.
About 2,000 Russian soldiers were killed, they were killed with hands, axes and knives, and the rest of the Russian soldiers fled. When Nene Khatun was found, she was injured and unconscious, clutching her ax tightly with her bloodied hands.
Admittedly, Nene Hatun was the most heroic in this battle, and became a symbol of courage, not only in Turkey but in Russia and the world as well. NeneKhatoun spent the rest of her life in Aziziyah, and years later she lost her husband, and in the Battle of Çanakkale in World War I, her son Youssef was killed.
And after the Turkish War of Independence in 1952, General Red Joy visited her, and asked her if she could take part in a new war? She replied, “Of course I will.”
All members of the indigenous army that participated in that battle died, and only Nene Hatun survived in 1954.
General Bernasil, the commander of the Third Turkish Army, paid her a visit, and Nene Hatun became known as the “Mother of the Third Army,” as well as the “Mother of Mothers” on Mother’s Day in 1955.
Nene Hatun died of pneumonia on May 22, 1955, at the age of 98, and was buried in the Martyrs Cemetery in the Aziziyah Fort.
In honor of Nene Hatun, the Turkish film “Gazi Kadin Nina Hatun” was produced in 1973, starring Turkan Şuray and Kadir Inaner. a second film, Nene Hatun, was produced in 2010.