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Despina, My Dear

Yasemin Ozek

As the Asia Minor expedition unfolds, seven-year-old Emin Ali has a wonderful childhood in a seaside village on a Greek island across the Turkish coast. A Muslim, a child of a mixed family, with a Greek mother and a Turkish father, he feels for the first time the thrill of love for his Greek neighbour Despina. His life will be suddenly turned upside down with the population exchange after the 1922 catastrophe. Emin Ali will start a new life with his family in Aivali, where strangers arrive among strangers, never forgetting Greece and Despina. His mother, Eleftheria, although a Christian, in order not to risk losing her family, wears the veil everywhere, while at the same time she puts up her own struggle to fight for her freedom, thus giving substance to her name. Hushnu's father will do his utmost to keep his family together, but with grief and nostalgia etched in the depths of his soul.

"Despina, My Dear" is a novel about a traumatic historical moment through the eyes of a child who experiences all aspects of exchange, uprooting, unbearable separation: love, hatred, longing, identity issues.


The book is available at the Library; Call. No.: 894.3533 Oze [in Greek].

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