Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Old family photos

This weekend Engin and I went to visit my family. I decided to do some digging for my research while I was there. So I looked at Mom's photos and tried to find some pictures that I didn't have and that might be relevant to my autoethnographic research. I found these photos which made me realize that I had not included anything about my extended family in my literacy narrative so after looking at these, I went back and added some more stories and information to my narrative about my extended family. Though I do not know much and I do not have any evidence but stories I have heard from my family members. I'm afraid I don't have any interesting characters in my family. I just have a great uncle (my father's mother's uncle) who was one of the first pilots of the Ottoman Empire and then Turkey. Sounds cool, right? But although he was rich and well educated I hear he was a horrible person. One day the bad things he had done caught up with him, things which are not clear to me but I have the impression that a woman was involved, and he was murdered. The rest of my family were regular people, farmers, carpenters, housewives, shoemakers, soldiers, clergy, etc.
As far as I know my great grandparents immigrated from the Balkan region. As the Ottoman Empire's fall was approaching, my father's side immigrated to İzmir by the Aegean Sea (you might know the region as Smyrna, the homeland of Cybele) and my mother's side immigrated to Tekirdağ, (Thracia, the homeland of Dionysus). Eventually, my grandparents moved to Istanbul when my father and mother were kids and that's where they grew up, met and got married. As far as I'm concerned, my parents meeting and having me is nothing short of a miracle if you think about all the moves and wars and hardships my great grandparents and grandparents had to endure. I mean they survived two Balkan Wars and two World Wars and witnessed the end of an empire and the birth of a nation.
Anyway, below is what I found. I cannot help but chuckle when I look at these old family photos. I'm sure one day somebody else is going to find MY photos amusing :-)

My grandfather and grandmother (my mom's side)

My father before his circumcision

My Dad and his uncle

My Dad and his brothers at their circumcision ceremony

My Dad and his mother

My parents, grandparents and uncles at my parents' engagement ceremony

My parents

My Mom's family

My grandparents (Mom's side). Wow, do you see how long my grandma's hair is?

My Dad's family

Do you remember the photo of the pocket watch that belonged to my grandfather. When I realized I didn't have anything from my other grandfather, I asked Mom and found this wooden box that belonged to my grandfather. Apparently it was a present from a friend to my grandfather. It has an inscription and it reads "a keepsake from M. Çakır to M. Posos 1944/1945" Posos sounds quite Greek to me. I wonder what it means.

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