The Grandchildren : The Hidden Legacy of 'Lost' Armenians in Turkey book cover
1st Edition

The Grandchildren
The Hidden Legacy of 'Lost' Armenians in Turkey

ISBN 9781138515994
Published August 9, 2017 by Routledge
270 Pages

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Book Description

The Grandchildren is a collection of intimate, harrowing testimonies by grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Turkey's "forgotten Armenians" the orphans adopted and Islamized by Muslims after the Armenian genocide. Through them we learn of the tortuous routes by which they came to terms with the painful stories of their grandparents and their own identity. The postscript offers a historical overview of the silence about Islamized Armenians in most histories of the genocide.

When Fethiye cetin first published her groundbreaking memoir in Turkey, My Grandmother, she spoke of her grandmother's hidden Armenian identity. The book sparked a conversation among Turks about the fate of the Ottoman Armenians in Anatolia in 1915. This resulted in an explosion of debate on Islamized Armenians and their legacy in contemporary Muslim families.

The Grandchildren (translated from Turkish) is a follow-up to My Grandmother, and is an important contribution to understanding survival during atrocity. As witnesses to a dark chapter of history, the grandchildren of these survivors cast new light on the workings of memory in coming to terms with difficult pasts.

Table of Contents

Foreword to the Turkish Edition, Ayse Gul Altinay and Fethiye cetin

Foreword to the Transaction Edition, Ayse Gul Altinay and Fethiye cetin

Preface to the Turkish Edition, Fethiye cetin


Introduction to the Transaction Edition, Gerard Libaridian

Guide to Turkish Pronunciation


The Stories

The First Time You Hear It, You Want to Go Out onto the Balcony and Shout, Baris

It's a Terrible Thing to Have Had My Origins Hidden from Me, Deniz

All This Hiding Makes a Person Feel Insecure, Arif

If They Were the Ones Doing the Plundering, They Would Have Taken Their Gold with Them, Ruya

Thousands of Women Share This Story, Gulcin

Why Did My Father Have No Aunts, Uncles, or Cousins?, Nukhet

In the Media, They Use "Armenian" Like a Curse Word. That's So Horribly Hurtful, Naz

Because You Have This "Other Identity," You Go into a Cold Sweat, Wondering What Is Going to Happen to You, Qesra Kiso Ozlemi

I Found Out That My Grandmother Was Armenian while Doing My Military Service, Mehmet

The Infidel Girl Bedriye's Son, Bedrettin Aykin

You're Living Your Life. One Morning You Wake Up and Go to Your Death. How Can You Explain Something Like That?, Zerdust

People Must Accept the Facts about Their Lives, Ayca

Silent All Their Lives, as If They Had Committed Some Crime, Gulsad

My Grandmother Was Named Vartanus, Her Sister, Siranus, Vecibe

Today Is the Day When Armenians Color Their Eggs Red and Pass Them Around, Halide

My Grandmother Was Discovered Sitting Underneath a Tree in the Mountains at the Age of Four, Murat

Let Me Honor His Memory, Even If It's Just Two Lines, Henaramin

Why Are There Only Grandmothers? Why Don't They Ever Have Families?, Sima

Now Why Would This Sort of Person Tell a Lie?, Salih

It Can't Be Easy, Living with That on Your Conscience, Melek

Our Children Need to Learn from History, Asli

We Have Yet to Create a Philosophy in the Name of Peace and Brotherhood, Ali

Can I Look at the History of Ordu through My Grandmother's Story?, Berke Bas

We're Digging Up the Past for the Sake of the Future, Elif


Unraveling Layers of Silencing: Where Are the Converted Armenians?, Ayse Gul Altinay


Commentary, Maureen Freely


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Altinay, Ayse Gul