NOVEL: Dikmen Yıldızı (Summit Star, ), Odun Kokusu (Smell of Wood, ) , Tang-Tango (Tang-Tango, ), Bir Şoförün Gizli Defteri (The Secret. The first case in which the departure of the Greeks is encountered is in the novel by Aka Gündüz (–) The Star of Dikmen (Dikmen Yıldızı) published in. “The Enemy Within: Aka Gündüz’s The Star of Dikmen as an Example of Turkish National Romances”. Erol Köroğlu (Koroglu). Uploaded by. E. Köroğlu (Koroglu).

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In spite of the reciprocal aspect of the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey, the event is reflected differently in the literary fndz of the two countries. In this analysis, I concentrate on Turkish novels and short stories related to the forced exchange, with only occasional references to Greek literature in order to highlight the differences.

Of those differences the most striking is the limited appearance of the event in Turkish literature. I maintain that this is mainly owing to political reasons. In addition, the way the two societies perceive themselves also plays a role. In Turkish literature the predominant sense is that of belonging to a strong and sovereign central state. This study is based on randomly selected novels and 60 volumes of short stories of Turkish writers yndz in the years between and The message that the reader discerns from this passage, dikmfn a nationalistic point of view, is that all sacrifices are worth the effort in order to free the city from its unwelcome enemies.

He is not liked by the villagers. Dimen members of his family still speak Greek amongst themselves, which reminds the locals of the Greek invasion of However, these writers represent only one particular ideological approach in Turkish literature. In The Night of FireGreek-speaking Muslim immigrants who came to Turkey from Crete before are portrayed living in a predominantly Rum environment in Milas, a town on the Aegean coast.

These grecophone Christians the Rums are full of life; they are honest, pleasant, generous, gnz and so on. The Turkish hero Kemal meets a Muslim family who had immigrated from Crete. They carry a Greek family name: All the members of the family ylldz Greek amongst themselves — their Sikmen is very poor — but it is their language and accent that Kemal lydz most.

Afife prefers to use the Greek name Fofo for herself. She likes to spend her time with the Greek girls of the town and she even enjoys going to the church with them. This Muslim family is exalted as honest, patriotic and considerate. At the end of the novel, Kemal remembers with great nostalgia these Greeks whom he had loved so much ibid.: On the first visit, the town is inhabited by Rums and on the second by Muslim immigrants who came as part of the exchange.

The difference is striking.

When the Rums lived there the town was almost a paradise. The Rums were competent and gnzd people, and the town used to be alive and neat, and had clean streets and many beautiful fountains.

The people were healthy, cultivating their figs and olives by day and in the evenings playing the mandolin and enjoying themselves, men and women all together, nicely dressed.

The town had four primary schools and two high schools. On the second visit, naked and dirty dikme play in muddy streets. Weeds have spread everywhere, and the houses have collapsed.

In them men and animals live together. Manure and garbage are all around. The peasants of Xanthi in Greecewho used to cultivate tobacco, are not accustomed to figs and olives. Worst of all, vikmen local feudal chieftains derebeyi s have seized the land of the newcomers. Do not think that the infidel is divinely inspired and the Muslims are guilty! After a few more passages appear in the literary texts of some leftist-Marxist writers.


In Kurt Kanunu The Law of the Wolf another leftist aoa, Kemal Tahir —describes how the land and houses left behind by the Rums have been unevenly and unjustly distributed among the Turks ibid.: Based on my study of the random sample this is almost all that has been produced on the yldzz during the fifty-five years that followed it.

Dikmen Yıldızı by Aka Gündüz

In essence, mention of the event is taboo. The common themes usually involved the motherland left behind or the new life in Greece. Firstly, the life of the immigrants does not form a narrative in its own right but is used rather as a means to develop political arguments.

Probably the only exception is R. Secondly, there is an almost complete absence of descriptions of the life of the immigrants in their former homeland, i. Since growing Turkish interest in the exchange has become evident. For example, several articles have appeared in the history journal Tarih ve Toplumand in an exhibition on migration in Turkey was organized by the Foundation for Economic and Social History in Istanbul.

Pavli, the hero, insists that he is a Turk dkimen that he hates the Greeks. The exchanged Rums are portrayed as traitors in that they did not love their motherland, Turkey p. Mario Levi —a writer of Jewish origin, also presents the exchange as an zka event. In a short but very nostalgic paragraph, some try to find their old lovers ibid.: It is the first book which has as its main theme the migration and exile of Greeks and Turks.

Cunda is now inhabited by Greek-speaking Muslim immigrants who had come from Crete in There is also a Turk who faces a similar dilemma when he runs into trouble with the military forces of Turkey, which, like those of Greece, have intervened in politics to take control of the country. Notably, this is the only mention of the prohibitive attitude of gdnz state towards the Ylcz immigrants in ylda Turkish literary text from my sample.

However, the violence that both ethnic groups were subjected to is described, including bloody incidents and torture. The walls of the houses abandoned by the Greeks are covered in blood. The reader is led to feel pity for the people who had to leave their home country. As if this novel opened the way, two further novels appeared in andthe main theme of which is again the exchange of populations.

The Muslim Cretans suffer a great deal since the Greeks use violent means to annex the island. Still, there were times when relations between the two communities were good. In this respect, Vladimiros and his wife, an old Christian couple, dikmeb especially noteworthy for they looked after Aynakis Hasan, the hero, as if he were their own son.

The sovereignty discourse is deeply embedded in the novel. To whom do these places belong? According to a wise Greek character, it is only the ancient Greeks who were real expansionists and invaders.

It was they who captured Anatolia, reaching as far as Afghanistan. Only the arrival of the Turks from Asia drove the Greeks back from these lands ibid.: The Turks captured Crete xikmen the Venetians: He gives reasons to prove that the Muslim Cretans are really Turks: However, most important of all, the hero the author explains that Anatolia is the motherland of his ancestors.

He therefore thinks gnsz strange to feel nostalgic towards Crete in his own home country ibid.: For him, then, the criterion ddikmen being a Turk is Anatolian origin, an argument that necessarily makes the Muslims in Crete outsiders.

However, it is of interest at this point to note that the boundaries of the home country are not defined: The question is why should Anatolia be more a home. Historically both have been captured by force and, moreover, the hero was born and brought up in Crete.


Its subject is the exodus of the Greeks. The story develops as the Rums of an imaginary island leave for Greece following the exchange, and as Poyraz Musa, a Muslim, comes to settle there in their place. Vasili, a Rum, stays behind and intends to kill the first Turk who sets foot on the island. Eventually, though, he treats Poyraz well. The past is explored as di,men two men recall various incidents.

There is a distinction in the book between Greeks and Rums. The relations between Rums and Turks are idyllic on the island — it is as if nationalism had never existed in Anatolia. The Rums with whom the reader becomes acquainted have a very strong attachment to the Ottoman state. They do not gdz to migrate to Greece, not only because they are attached to the island but also because they do not feel Greek.

As one Rum explains, they are treated very badly in Greece because they are considered to be Turks ibid.: Most of these Rums speak perfect Turkish.

Repeatedly the Rums are shown to have taken part in the wars that the Ottomans fought ibid.: The Rums take pride in these sacrifices. Lena, for example, explains how her sons fought together with Mustafa Kemal against the Greeks ibid.: In the novel, everybody — the Rums themselves, the Turks in the area, the civil servants bndz the military dignitaries — would prefer the Rums to stay ibid.: Milto, a civilian, but one who has apparently served in the Turkish army, faces the officer as a soldier at attention.

There are two ypdz differences in the way the exchange of populations is presented in Turkish and in Greek literature, which in turn are indicative of certain conditions found in the two countries and their ethnic communities. The Turks were not as keen as the Greeks to record and preserve the memory of dikmeen lands left behind. In Greece, one finds many societies, foundations, etc.

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Firstly, while the Greeks would be justified in perceiving the event as the result of a military defeat and hence as a blow to their pride, the Turks see ylz exchange as the outcome of a military victory: Secondly, a much greater number of immigrants moved to Greece than to Turkey: This caused a greater impact on the Christians than the more controlled conditions did on the Muslims.

In addition, the Turks might well have been more accustomed to the phenomenon of immigration, for the Ottoman Empire received more thanrefugees from the Balkans alone in the years between and Behar The socio-economic make-up of the refugees is also important. Compared with the exchanged Muslims, a greater proportion of the exchanged Christians were from towns, which would suggest higher rates of literacy and a stronger likelihood of able writers emerging from their number.

However, from until the s there was strict censorship in the Turkish media. With restrictions on producing texts that alluded to settlement problems or the shortcomings of the government, this period was not a favourable one for writers.

Further to these observations, textual analysis of the exchange as it appears tndz Turkish literature enables one to reach some conclusions concerning the understanding of national identity, citizenship, motherland, the state and also of the exchange itself in Turkish society.