Transcultural Intimacy in Turkish–Greek Relations
Chapter 1: Translation, popular music and transcultural intimacy
← x | 1 →CHAPTER 1
Sevda (sevdas),2 yakamoz (diakamós),3 aman.4 Impenetrable words for some of the readers of this book, but familiar to both Turks and Greeks, despite ← 1 | 2 →the fact that they speak mutually unintelligible languages and use different alphabets. Grief and tears, rubbing salt and light on one’s wounds – the healing sentimentality of the Aegean people. All the while smoking, with no intention of healing, really; ‘we’, from the Aegean, are usually in love with ‘our’ pain, ‘our’ melancholy. Longing and memories – the nostalgia for a highly reimagined past, for a past before the pain, before the Turkish War of Independence, before the Asia Minor Catastrophe, as it is called by the Greeks, and before the population exchange between the two nations. The other shore emerges here as an image that haunts the people who were violently uprooted from both sides of the Aegean and sent across the sea. The same image has also left its mark in almost every single work of art and literature that contributed, in its own way, to the thawing of relationships between Turkey and Greece through the rapprochement within the last two decades (more on rapprochement in section 1.2).
With its video clip shot on the cobblestone streets of Cunda – an iconic island for the population exchange of the early 1920s – in front of its dilapidated Orthodox church and old Rum houses, later occupied by Muslims forced out of the islands of Crete and Lesbos,...
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