1st Edition

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

By Ayse Gul Altinay Copyright 2014
    270 Pages
    by Routledge

    272 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    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



    Altinay, Ayse Gul