“Undici storie di resistenza, undici anni della Turchia” by Murat Cinar

This article is also available in: Italiano

“Undici storie di resistenza, undici anni della Turchia” by Murat Cinar is an anthology that will allow you to discover a hidden Turkey but which at the same time affirms its right to exist

Undici storie di resistenza, undici anni della Turchia

Since 2010, many people have left Turkey for political reasons or because they did not feel safe: university professors, students, parliamentarians, mayors, lawyers, judges, senior army officers, journalists, trade unionists, activists from the world of associations and even doctors… Thus a new diaspora in Europe was born and raised. In this book I tell the last 11 years through the stories of 11 people. 11 human stories of great determination, strength and conviction. 11 stories of people who, after their arrival in Europe, did not stop but continued to work to create an alternative to the regime in power in Turkey. 11 immigration stories, full of difficulties, obstacles, discrimination, but also made of welcome, empathy and affection.

Anthology of the Turkish Resistance in Exile

Murat Cinar’s book is a mosaic that leads us to discover dissident and revolutionary Turkey, one of the liveliest and most pulsating hearts of this extraordinary country, but which, for various reasons linked above all to the political sphere, is still hidden so much from the foreign public. as for the rest of the country. A Turkey that, despite the incredible pressures received every day, resists and believes in a different future, less tied to nationalist and patriarchal logic and more open than ever towards “the different”, be it from the Left, Kurdish, Armenian, homosexual or, simply, dissident. But be careful: this is a Turkey that does not intend to “become like Europe”, but to find its own autonomous path in the world, something that allows each individual to realize himself in his own country and that is not forced to emigrate, that can achieve the “Turkish dream”, not the “European” or “American” one.

Murat Cinar
Barış Sulu

To do this, the author chooses 11 different characters with very different paths between them. There is talk of Serdar Başeğmez, a computer scientist who emigrated to London to guarantee a better future for his family, of Ömür, an expert in interreligious dialogue linked to the Gülenist galaxy who has lived in Italy for years, as well as of Bawer Çakır and Barış Sulu, activists for the LGBT world fled to Spain and Germany; Barış Sulu, in particular, was the first openly homosexual politician to run as a deputy in the Turkish parliament. Each chapter is preceded by pages of Murat Cinar’s personal history, a very high level glue that allows us to better understand some extremely present aspects in the life of every Turk but which are rarely told.

Pages from Murat Cinar’s life and Turkish history

In fact, we hardly ever talk about how the militarist culture is massively present, just as we hardly ask ourselves about the functioning of the school system or what it really means to be part of a minority in Turkey that simply affirms its right. to exist in this country. By narrating the pages of his life, Murat makes us get in touch with his childhood and what it means to live as a Turkish in Istanbul between the 80s and the early 2000s, allowing us to finally give context to the many information that often arrives in a confused and / or partial way from the eastern shore of the Mediterranean.

Murat Cinar
Murat Cinar

Combined with all this, many cultural references and a lot of contemporary Turkish history such as the birth and development of the Gülenist movement, the political and economic foundations of Erdoğan’s power and what it means to be homosexual in Turkey. If you are looking for a book on a different and certainly more “Left” Turkey, this is without a shadow of a doubt the book for you. I am infinitely grateful to Murat Cinar himself for giving me the book.

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