I have also been wondering if there is a possibility that "Albanian Virgins" fought with the Turkish forces.Albanian Virgins
Quite interesting. I know a bit about Albania and Albanian society; haven't entered, but have spent about 18 months in the immediate vicinity (only know four-five words of Albanian, which I think they call Sqiptari (sp?), which I think translates to "Eagle-speak"; they fancy themselves eagles). Their traditional ways are really extreme, and my extreme Serbian nationalist friends, who hate Albanians on principle (an issue dating to 1389, Vidovdan), nevertheless really admired them for the extreme nature of their blood-feuds and other nutty stuff, and even drove up to New York City to party with them, in a terrible slum area of the Bronx that the municipal authorities have given up on and the Albanians have taken over, although the population is mostly "non-white".
But I had not heard of the "Albanian Virgins". A couple of reasons why it is unlikely that some went to Gallipoli. First of all, the two cultures are quite different, and of course about half the Albanians were/are Christian. Religion was not mentioned in the piece; we do not know if it is a Muslim tradition, a Christian tradition, or if it spans the communities. (Speaking of virgins, the Virgin Mary is quite a Muslim saint, they accept her virgin pregnancy, although the Muslim spin on Christ's birth (Christ being one of the top five Muslim saints, John the Baptist being another) is different, and to my mind more fun than the Christian story. I have heard that the Qur-ran has more text on the Virgin Mary than the Bible does, but I have not verified that myself.) So it is very unlikely that the Turkish authorities and military would allow it themselves.
Secondly, why would an Albanian want to voluntarily fight for the Turks?
Thirdly, it is extremely unlikely that an Albanian woman would know Turkish. A man, perhaps. How and why would an Albanian woman know Turkish? From dating, or sitting about in coffee-houses chatting Turks up? The languages are very, very different (I believe), and Turkish at least enormously difficult. If you think it would be hard for a Turkish woman to "pass" in a Turkish unit, it would be impossibly difficult for an Albanian woman to "pass". And if the Imams would object to a woman in a unit, they would go bezerk (sp?) at the idea of an Albanian woman in a unit.
Turkish units were ethnically segregated, partially just to facilitate communication. (If American blacks spoke Albanian, they still would be in segregated units, IMHO.) I have heard of Armenian units (later only work batallions), Greek, Arab, etc., but not units from the Balkans, I can't recall any. So again an Albanian woman would stick out like a sore thumb. The only units I can recall fighting at Gallipoli were Turkish units and some Arab regiments.
You are right about the liberal take of the Young Turks to women. Didn't the new Turkish government, in the 1920s, give Turkish women the vote before they got it in the US? But that does not mean that they wanted women in combat units. That is, unfortunately, a lot of trouble. The Israelis had women in combat units, and they reversed that, not because the women behaved badly; the men did, being overly protective, etc. It is done in the US (sort of), but it is a big problem; 10% of all US women soldiers are pregnant at any point in time, I understand, frankly, it is very hard for women in the recent combat, a great deal of sexual abuse and rape, the vast majority not being reported, or leading to a very bad outcome for the woman if she reports. But recently the US has been desperate for "manpower" with the demands of Iraq and Afghanistan, without the women it is hard to see how the US Army could have operated recently. We recently had a case at the US Air Force Academy where a woman cadet was raped, and the woman was treated very badly "by the system", treated as an offender, not a victim, and had to leave; the interesting thing is that her mother was there, a full Air Force colonel on the faculty, and even she could not protect her daughter from abuse by the system.
I think that I am very supportive of women, have been all my life, for 13 years most of my socialization was with a good number of lesbians (I could get even juicier here, but will spare you), but I really feel that women in the front lines is a big problem, and the problems are not with the women, it is with the men, the beasts.
Is there a known example of a British woman, not dressing up and hanging about the front for a little while, but getting into a unit, being in combat, etc? If one did sucessfully she probably would "tell her tale" after the war, one would think.
The real test would be how the Turkish Army ran their induction and medical services in WW I. Certainly it would have been flat out impossible in the German Army of the period.
I agree with Bryn tht the passage, as posted above, seems to be the repeating of a rumor about a woman's body, not the testimony of a witness doctor. Even if you take it seriously, consider the possibility of a eunech or of an abnormal physiology. (A friend of mine, a doctor and a professor of medicine, had a specialty dealing with such cases in children, and in some cases, depending on his assessment, sometimes had a child who was a boy but looked like a girl surgically converted to a girl (of sorts), sometimes without the explicit permission of the parents.) Between such anomalities and the damage of shellfire and perhaps decomposition a man (of sorts) might be mistaken for a woman, without a professional examination. It would be a long shot, but more probable than an actual woman serving in the Turkish Army there.