Exile, Social. Memory and Cultural Migration: A Study on the Ahiska Turks in USA

Kolukirik S.

BILIG, no.59, pp.167-190, 2011 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 59
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Journal Name: BILIG
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.167-190
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: No


Exile means being geographically away from one's home, and corresponds to a process which has political, cultural and economic dimensions. As culture and identity are closely linked to every aspect of life, memory that captures pre- and post- exile experiences is transferred from generation to generation through profound social relationships. The memory of a group or individual depends essentially on self-experiences and bears the possibility of having an emotional character. However, the existence of similar memories reveals that a certain event has been experienced by the individual or group, and emphasizes the homogeneity of social memory. Accordingly, the exile narratives of the Ahiska Turks, who were exiled to the province of Fergana in Uzbekistan by the command of Stalin in 1944, demonstrate the homogeneity of the accounts and objectify the consequent effects of the process of exile. In this study, the role of the process of exile and displacement in social memory and cultural transfer is discussed through the example of the Ahiska Turks, who had to migrate first to the Krasnodar region of Russia and later to the state of Utah in the United States as a consequence of the Fergana events.