Life among the non-muslim spectres of yeldegirmeni: imaginations through space
Ülkümen, Aylin Deniz (2017) Life among the non-muslim spectres of yeldegirmeni: imaginations through space. [Thesis]
Once home to an equal amount of Jews and Turks, and a lesser amount of Greeks and Armenians, the Yeldeğirmeni neighborhood of Kadıköy today is a very populated area comprising mostly from Turks and Kurds, that has been going through a period of gentirification in the last years. There are almost no members of the non-Muslim community left, and the historical or popular accounts on the communities and the events leading to their absence are scarce, and mostly unavailable. Using mainly semi-structured interviews, along with textual and ethnographic analyses, this study explores, based on the case of Yeldeğirmeni, people’s attachments to the place they live in, especially when such place is one that have been abandoned by a group “other” to themselves, in the aftermath of a violent history. How do the present inhabitants of Yeldeğirmeni conceive of the history of the non-Muslim population of the area? How do the inhabitants of the neighborhood conceive of the history of the space and the buildings they live in, what do they themselves remember, and do the non-Muslim history take a part in the history they narrate? When history itself is fragmentary and incomplete - what kinds of affective responses do the unfinished stories of the past of the area evoke, and how are they dealt with?
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