The role of memory in the historiography of Hatay
Demirci Akyol, Esra (2008) The role of memory in the historiography of Hatay. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1266184 (Table of Contents)
This thesis challenges the notion that historical events can be presented in a single way. The possibility,instead, of multiple historical narratives as a result of variations in ethnic and religious backgrounds is put forward via an ethnographic study conducted in Hatay,in 2007.Historically speaking, Hatay’s annexation to Turkey in 1939 is the end point in a series of events beginning as far back as World War I. French occupation of the region by the aftermath of World War I, and years of control by the French mandate regime were effective on shaping the ethno-religiously diverse groups of the city. Claims of Turks, French and Arabs on the region were accompanied by diplomatic relations at the state level. In the course of these events, the people in Hatay developed unique strategies to engineer the best outcome for themselves. Thus, every group experienced and stored the past in a different manner. With the aim of revealing such variation in memory and interpretations of the past, ten oral interviews were conducted with a critical reading of sources. Juxtaposition of the memories and the written sources displayed significant differences in representations of the past. In addition to the nature of the transmission of collective memories, present social, economic, and political conditions effected how people reconstructed the past. Explanations of historical events by groups or individuals of different ethno-religious backgrounds resulted in variations in the case of Hatay. For instance, a Sunni Arab highlighted different points than a nationalist Turk or an Alawite Arab. Consequently, this study will focus on different approaches to the past and suggest that a more complete picture can be achieved when documents and oral narratives are employed together.
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