Mother's Day

  • Published
  • By Mehmet Birbiri
  • 39th Public Affairs Office

Mother's Day is observed and celebrated in Turkey on the same day as the rest of the world. Flowers and various gifts are given to mothers on that day. I offer my respect and greetings to all mothers worldwide.


Queen Pudu-Hepa, the woman from Cukurova


History doesn't record the migration of the tribes who lived in Anatolia before or after 2000 BC and the nations that founded the Hittites and Urartu states. Therefore, we can say that the Anatolian Turks living in Turkey today are the heirs of the Hittites and other civilizations. The Hittites State which was founded at the beginning of the second millennium BC by the Kizilirmak River in central Anatolia expanded their territories for several hundred years and played an important part in the history of Anatolia.

The second important personality after the king in Hittites was the mother-queen called "Tawannana."  The queen would have the power, authority and title after the death of the mother-queen. The queens bearing the "Tawannana" title represented the state as second place behind the king in official ceremonies, festivals, religious rituals, and sometimes took first place above the king during folk festivities. The Hittites' queen Pudu-Hepa, one of the Tawannanas, is one of the most distinguished and respected women in the history of Anatolia

Pudu-Hepa was the daughter of a priest in Kizzuwadna. Kizzuwadna was the name of the kingdom founded around Adana today, which existed until 13th century BC. It was a strong kingdom which had strong relations with the Hittites kingdom. Pudu-Hepa was the daughter of Ishtar, the priest of Pentip-Sharri, the Goddess of law and war. She was the priestess of the same goddess as well.

Pudu-Hepa married Hattusilis III, the brother of the Hittite King Muwatallis, in Lawazantiya, today's village of Sar, an ancient town north of Adana. Hattusilis III married Pudu-Hepa in Qadesh by order of the Goddess Ishtar and via a dream, on his way back home after the war with the Egyptians in 1285 BC. All this information is engraved on tablets including her biography.

Ten years after getting married, Pudu-Hepa became the queen of Hittites. She stamped (sealed) the Qadesh Peace Agreement, alongside her husband Hattusilis III, who was the king, with equal rights and power. Pharaoh Ramses II represented Egypt by himself, the other side of the Qadesh Peace Agreement, as a result of the very first written agreement in history.

A copper replica of the Qadesh Peace Agreement decorates the wall of the General Assembly Hall in the United Nations Building as a very important document of world history. By having her stamp (seal) on such an important international agreement, Pudu-Hepa earned the title of 'the First Woman in World Politics,' the first representative of the women's rights movement.

Also, by putting her seal on trade and legal agreements, she earned the title of being the first woman in trade and legal history.

Pudu-Hepa was active not only with state and international relations, but also in her country's social life. She had various charitable works, such as protecting and feeding the orphans, freeing slaves, and founding many charity foundations. We can very proudly say that the very first written document of the foundations in Turkey is a Hittite deed of trust of a pious foundation written in 1280 BC.

The tradition of collecting and saving official documents in Anatolia started during Pudu-Hepa's reign. She tasked the chief secretary of the palace to collect the tablets about Kizzuwadna, her home state.

Through her work and successes Pudu-Hepa gained a very special and distinctive place among the other Tavannanas.




Mehmet's note: The article above was written by Mrs. Ulcaz OLGUN SAHIN, the chairperson of the Adana Tourism Association.

Cukurova is the region covering Adana, Mersin and the Hatay provinces today. Anatolia, or as it is called in history books, Asia Minor, is the peninsula surrounded by the Black Sea to the North, Marmara and Aegean seas to the west and to the Mediterranean to the South. It compromises the bulk of Turkey in Asia.