My Grandmother: An Armenian-Turkish Memoir

Transforming into up within the small city of Maden in Turkey, Fethiye Çetin knew her grandmother as a cheerful and revered Muslim housewife known as Seher.

Only a long time later did she become aware of the reality. Her grandmother’s identify used to be now not Seher yet Heranus. She used to be born a Christian Armenian. many of the males in her village have been slaughtered in 1915. A Turkish gendarme had stolen her from her mom and followed her. Çetin’s kin historical past tied her on to the bad origins of recent Turkey and the equipped denial of its Ottoman earlier because the shared domestic of many religions and methods of life.

A deeply affecting memoir, My Grandmother can also be a step in the direction of one other form of Turkey, person who is ultimately at peace with its prior.

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Haluk was once baby and in swaddling outfits. Handan used to be nonetheless in nappies and had a pacifier in her mouth. My father had dropped us off at my grandparents’ on his option to Diyarbakir. in keeping with what i discovered out later, there have been a telephone name from Diyarbakir – ‘The merchandise you ordered has arrived’ – and my father had long gone off to gather it. it seems that, it was once a Singer stitching laptop with pedals. He’d been making plans to come back with it the next day to come. That evening, we performed playing cards till very past due. My grandmother’s favorite video game was once ‘elevens’, and he or she performed it good.

Simply because she enjoyed to sing, her repertoire used to be consistently starting to be, and she or he could additionally attempt to educate no matter what she discovered to her sisters, brothers, and cousins. yet there has been one music she enjoyed greater than the other, and he or she could go back to it as frequently as she may. And whilst her grandfather sat her on his lap to educate her new songs, he may stroke her hair to allow her understand how a lot he cherished the way in which she sang them. She was once frequently the only to begin video games; she was once the chief, the one that confirmed the way in which, and the opposite teenagers have been chuffed to move with her.

She lives in Istanbul.

Colonel Hüseyin sought after me to name him father. He was once more than pleased each time I referred to as him father. “Call me father back, my girl,” he’d say. ‘One day a neighbour’s baby cursed my father on the street. I obtained very offended, and that i cursed his father utilizing an identical be aware. This child’s mom got here to the home to whinge that evening, to assert that I had used a swearword. After the lady left, Colonel Hüseyin referred to as me to his aspect. I went with my shoulders bowed, looking forward to a punishment. He pulled me to his part and acknowledged, “So inform me, my woman, what occurred this day?

After we obtained domestic, we discovered our mom anticipating us on the street. She embraced us with pleasure. My grandmother had triumphed, once more, yet – as used to be continually the case – she didn’t brag approximately it, and not pointed out that day back. That evening in our apartment there has been a lot dialogue as to how, whilst the bridge have been closed to all site visitors, my grandmother had controlled not only to move the bridge yet to persuade 3 policemen to hold us. even if my grandfather paid tribute to ‘Sergeant Seher’, she nonetheless confirmed no wish to reside on it, and right now attempted to alter the topic.

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