Life Stories and Living Texts
The Political Use of Oral Sources in the Storytelling of Turkey’s Past
This contribution deals with issues related to the use of oral sources in historical research carried out during times marked by high political tensions and it focuses on the case of contemporary Turkey. Storytelling implies selection and assembly, through which interviewees shape an image of themselves but also of their relationship with others and with the world. The purpose is to analyse the narrative potential of oral sources by examining a sample of biographical testimonies of left-wing intellectuals who actively contributed to the constitution of the ‘civil society’ during the 1980s. The selected interviews show how contemporary political events deeply affect the relationship with the past.