Alev Karakartal, is an Afro-Turk woman who now lives in Istanbul. Speaking at a conference there in early June 2012, she described the strategy with which many Afro-Turks confront discrimination. “By entering into mixed marriages,” she said, “Afro-Turks try to have lighter-skinned children, so that eventually their colour will disappear altogether.” But Olpak responds, “We have nothing else left aside from the colour. There’s nothing left culturally any more.”
When Karakartal, who is herself of mixed descent, asked her parents about her origins, the answer was always, “We are Turks and Muslims,” and that roots weren’t important.
In Olpak’s autobiography, he wrote, “The first generation has the experiences, the second generation denies them, and the third generation researches into them.” That certainly applies to the Afro-Turks. Karakartal eventually started researching herself, and found the reasons for the shame and the silence.
"Our ancestors didn’t come voluntarily to Anatolia," she notes. "They were sold as slaves, exploited, abused and excluded." But it’s not just the families themselves who remain silent. Olpak points out. "Nobody speaks about us, otherwise, if they were to tell our story, they would find themselves in conflict with the official version of history. One would have to speak about slavery."
(via dynastylnoire)Source: en.qantara.de