Research was based on a variety of factors, including age analysis, education level, period of radicalization and their position within the organization. According to the findings, 82 percent of the women who join the organization are between the ages of 14-25, of which 55 percent of that figure is between the ages of 15-18, while 20 percent are under the age of 15.
As for the average education level of the female militants who join the terrorist organization, four percent on average are university graduates, ten percent are high school graduates, 57 percent are middle school and elementary school graduates, while nine percent know how to read, 16 percent are illiterate.
While the majority of the women researched described themselves to be 'unemployed' or 'stay at home', the reason behind their radicalization or decision to live in the mountains tends to be due to customs, the threat of honor killings, pressure to marry underage, lack of education, miscommunication within the family or due to poor policies in place by the state.
EVEN MY MOTHER WAS UNABLE TO RECOGNIZE ME
Speaking with former female terrorists as part of the research for the book, Alkan reveals that according to the women, they were used to draw the male terrorists into the organization. Three female terrorists described their experiences, which reflect that of many of the young girls who were drawn to live in the mountains, due to lack of communication within their family, the promise of freedom and incorrect state policy.
* Zelal: "Not even once did my father say to me "you are my daughter, I love you". I never got to experience this and it was this emptiness that drew me to the mountains."
* Bese: "I was up in the mountains and I had a gun and I thought this was freedom. However, I soon saw that I had no character of my own."
* Rojin: "I was just an ordinary person before I was faced with the police. One day I was taken into custody. When I released, even my mother was unable to recognize me. I joined the PKK for revenge."
THEY PROVIDE MOTIVATION
The following is a series of confessions that depict the PKK's perspective of their female members:
* Pelin: "A woman's influence on a feudal Kurdish man is strong. If a woman is going to participate in an armed operation then it is impossible for the men not to join her."
* Ronanhi: "Some attacks are staged by men; however on Roj Tv they release the news stating women were responsible in order to inspire motivation."
* Çiğdem: "The PKK want to keep the women in the organization, because if women leave then men tend to follow and depart the organization even faster."
* Ejin: There were 12-13 women amongst the 41 leaders of the HPG organization; however the men would make us do anything they want.
* Leyla: It turns out that by joining the PKK all I was doing was trading one form of slavery for the other.
* Asya: My friend fell in love. They were charged with the death sentence before they could even testify, however only the girl was actually executed.
WOMEN PREFERRED FOR SUICIDE ATTACKS
Dr. Necati Alkan explains in his book how women were drawn into the organization through establishing friendships, homeland, and familial, social and cultural connections. However, he also goes on to explain that it is quite difficult for women in the Kurdish community to join the organization and in fact never mind going up to the mountains, it is a courageous feat for these women to even leave the house on their own. Alkan also goes on to explain that the organization tends to use women especially in suicide bombings and when it comes to armed attacks, women's roles are more so symbolic and intended to motivate the men.
FORBIDDEN TO LEAVE
Alkan also details the sexual hierarchy existent within the organization and how sexual relations for higher level members is permitted, while it is forbidden for lower level members. When women and men do find themselves engaging in sexual contact, men are treated leniently, yet women are subjected to punishment. Alkan attributes this to the notion that "if women didn't wag their tales, men would do no wrong.' Meanwhile, after a woman has joined the organization they are not allowed to leave according to their own will. Alkan explains that when women make such a request they are treated like traitors and could even be executed.
HOW ARE WOMEN USED BY THE ORGANIZATION?
Alkan lists the ways in which women are used by the PKK terrorist organization as follows: "To contain the power struggle within the organization, to collect information, for propaganda activities, to instill discipline within the organization, to motivate the male members and to prevent their leaving and to bring in additional PKK members."