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Mass Migration Mass Dreaming

This rather heavy episode tells about the exodus of  the Greek inhabitants of the Turkish Aegean island Imros (Gökçeada) who were forced to leave their home island in the 1960’s; Kurds nearby the Turkish-Iraqi border whose villages were evacuated due to violent conflicts in that area; Kirgisians from Afghanistan who migrated to Turkey due to the conflicts at home and  Assyrians who were obliged to lived for years in European countries and are now returning back to their homeland in Mardin, in Eastern Turkey. These mass exoduses might be different in nature and in cause, but they have at least one thing in common: the longing for home. 

The Imros Greeks were granted minority rights in the 1920’s when the Republic of Turkey was founded. During an escalation of the Cyprus crisis in 1964, authorities built an alleged semi-open prison on the island. This literally meant unleashing hundreds of criminals on the 8 thousand odd Greeks who until then lived there.

Although evacuated to other Kurdish populated areas, the victims of forced migration in Eastern Turkey, over a million in number, fail to integrate into their new environments. Economically, socially and psychologically they become outcasts of society.

The Assyrians on the other hand, who had to leave their villages in the 70’s and 80’s and are now returning home, introduce the European way of living to Eastern Turkey.


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