Wednesday 12 July 2017

Levissi (Kayakoy)

In 1923 the new country of Turkey had been created. Greeks living there were expelled as they were no longer welcome despite having lived side by side with the Turkish Muslims there  for generations.
The town of Levissi (Greek name) Kayakoy (Turkish name) is now a ghost town following the 'repatriation' of the Greeks. Turks however did not want to live there so the ruins have become a haunting reminder of this forced Diaspora of people.

Last Day
The guitars have strummed all night,
not in lament but defiance. We will enjoy,
though our souls are being torn apart;
we will sing and dance, and not think.
The war had been hard and we'd lost,
lost far more than a war, and tomorrow
we will pay the price. The rhythms
grow faster, silhouettes swirl, people
burning away their hurt and pain with dancing.
Oozo is not enough.
Around us the buildings of our lives 
have been emptied, packed, things chosen
rejected, re chosen, crammed in  but 
we can take only what we can carry.
Our pitiful packs cannot contain us, our community,
our Greek lives in a country now called Turkey.
We are Greeks and tomorrow begins 
our forced march to a land where 
we will be known as Turks.
Our gardens will grow unkempt,
brambles choke and weeds devour them,
but inside ourselves, the flowers and herbs
will smell sweeter and bloom with greater joy
than ever reality could produce.
Now however, Deportation, is our truth.

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