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Novels and short stories as products of nationalist competition: the case of Dersim 1937–1938 in Turkish politics and literature

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 November 2018

Pınar Dinç*
Affiliation:
Istanbul Policy Center, Istanbul, Turkey. Email: p.dinc@lse.ac.uk

Abstract

This article focuses on the novels and short stories written about the ethnic cleansing of Dersim in the Turkish Republic in 1937–1938. Dersim 1937–1938 has become increasingly popular both as a political debate as well as a storyline in cultural productions over the last decade. The historical episode, once kept a secret, is almost an “industry” (“Memory: Concepts and Theory,” 2014) and an example of “memory boom” [Winter, Jay. (2002). Remembering War: The Great War Between Memory and History in the Twentieth Century. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press]. The aim of this article is to analyze the politics of memory and identity through literary works. It examines novels and short stories that focus on Dersim 1937–1938, or consider the ethnic cleansing in Dersim in a specific part of their storyline. By examining competing descriptions of Dersim memory and identity in these works, my purpose is to understand the mechanisms of literary competition, as well as Dersim's fragmented collective memory and identity.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Association for the Study of Nationalities 

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