The story of the struggle of Bilge Derin, who is a pilot with the Turkish Airlines family, and of her mother that was crowned with victory will be a source of inspiration for everyone.

Famous poet Özdemir Asaf said, “Everyone has a story, but not everyone has a poem.” One of these strong women whose story turned into a poem is Bilge Derin, one of Turkish Airlines’ young, successful pilots, and another is the story of her dear mother.

When Bilge was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2017 she was 31 years old. While she was still researching the meaning of the word “tumor,” she learned that her 55-year-old mother was also diagnosed with the same illness. All of a sudden her life had changed. But she made a decision, and apart from her closest friend she did not tell anyone about her illness, including her mother. She took a break from flying, and supported her mother throughout her five months of treatment. In her own words, she first became acquainted with her enemy, then she learned how to defeat it.


After hearing the good news of her mother’s results, in March 2018, Bilge also began to receive treatment. Naturally, this process was extremely difficult, especially for a young, active, social person who enjoyed her job immensely. Some days she found it difficult to lift her head from the pillow, let alone go out of the house.  But Bilge, who focused on victory during this process, did not give up her love of nature, her social life, or her laughter. She wore a mask to protect herself from viruses, she ate healthily, and never delayed her treatment. With the support and love of her family, and colleagues, she managed to overcome 16 sessions of chemotherapy and 33 radiotherapy sessions. And Bilge, like her mother, turned her 10-month struggle into a victory. Bilge, who has now returned to her job and to her flights said, “I may not have long hair as I used to, but now with my short hair I am happier, much freer. I am enjoying and experiencing every moment of my life. I love my job, but I will never delay anything in my personal life. I do not worry about trivial things, and I am always laughing. I have got to know my body better; I am eating healthily and living a quality life.”


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