Muhacirnâme: Poetry’s Voice for the Karamanlidhes Refugees
Translated by David Selim Sayers, Ph.D. 2014.
“In the midst of the daily toil for food and shelter, the struggle for survival and their daily bread, in indescribably harsh conditions, the Turkish-speaking Anatolian refugees penned poetry whose inner depths portray it all. The death of loved ones during the flight from their native lands, tuberculosis, typhoid and malaria that wiped out many people sheltering in the swamplands, the hunger, the search for shelter, land and a day's wages; the inability of the ill-prepared Greek state to deal with such misery, the political conflicts and passions they observe in bewilderment, ignorant of politicized life; the savage exploitation of the poor and the persecuted by the wealthy opportunist, the daily confrontations and the fierce clashes with the natives over the sharing of the paltry resources, the scurrilous attacks, the local community's suspicion and scornful behaviour towards the refugee, made manifold in the case of the Turkish-speaking refugee. The collection and publication of these unknown Karamanlidika verses on refugeeism is first and foremost a tribute to their memory.”