Kemal Yalçin: Opening Silenced Memories, Seeing the Invisible
Voyaging throughout the villages and towns of historic Armenia, dissident Turkish writer Kemal Yalçin discovers hidden, secret or crypto-Armenian families whose disguise of national identity, suppression of memories of historic catastrophes and fear of discrimination are experienced as personal tragedies. Yalçin describes his journey of discovery of silenced memories and invisible identities in his book You Rejoice My Heart (2007) – a documentary, fact-based collection combining features of a novel and political history blended together. The significant point that the present paper emphasises is the fact that the recording of the pain and the hopes of hidden Armenians is Kemal Yalçin’s autobiographical confession and his protest against Turkish nationalist and chauvinist policy, against the intolerance and aggression of Turkish authorities and his recognition of the Genocide of Armenians in 1915.
keywords: Kemal Yalçin. Turkey. Journey of discovery. Genocide. Free expression. Crypto-Armenians.
Language: enSubmitted: May 15, 2020 Accepted: June 23, 2020 Published: July 12, 2021