Galata by Karin Karakaşlı
Karin Karakaşlı is an Armenian-Turkish poet who lives in Istanbul and writes in Turkish. As well as poetry she pens regular columns and opinion pieces for independent media outlets, and writes fiction, non-fiction and children’s literature. The deep pain and scars left by Turkey’s negationist state discourse on the Armenian genocide of 1915 are visible throughout Karakaşlı’s oeuvre and are omnipresent in her poetry. The Turkish state’s continual suppression of the forming of a common memory aff ects people not only of Armenian descent but from many communities such as the Greeks and the Kurds. This denial is an example of how, government aft er government, those in power in Turkey have consistently erased the history of whole parts of their population. It is in this context of past and present violations of basic rights, freedoms of expression and human dignity that Karin Karakaşlı seeks to exist with her poetry. The poems in this chapbook have been selected from two poetry collections: Her Kimsen Sana / Whoever You Are, (Th is Is) For You (2012) and İrtifa Kaybı / Loss of Altitude (2015). They reflect the intense and painful emotions buried deep in the soul of the poet, and in the souls of many people in Turkey.