Author, Researcher, or Creator

Mneesha Gellman, Emerson CollegeFollow


Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies


Mneesha Gellman

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Publication Date


Brief Description

In this article I ask the question: how do citizens use memories of violence in dialogue with a democratizing Turkish state? To address this, I unpack how memories of violence influence solidarity communities in addition to those who are direct descendents of survivors. I also examine how these solidarity communities are widening political space for contemporary dialogue about the Armenian Catastrophe. To demonstrate the connection between memory and political participation, I identify three discursive moments where Turkish and Armenian citizens invoke memory in dialogue with one other and with the state. I use the 2009 online campaign for a Turkish apology to address the Armenian Catastrophe, the aftermath of the murder of Hrant Dink in 2007, and a controversial 2005 academic conference on the events of 1915 as focal points to discuss how memory impacts the way people behave as citizens. My argument is twofold: first, elite-led solidarity networks play an integral role in shaping the discursive space between citizens, the state, and the international community; and second, dialogue about memory can grow space for citizen participation in Turkey.

Recommended Citation

Gellman, Mneesha. (2013). “Remembering Violence: The Role of Apology and Dialogue in Turkey’s Democratization Process.” Democratization. 20(4), 1-24.

Preferred Citation Style

Chicago Manual

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