Not Even My Name by Theo Halo

1257 Words6 Pages
Woodrow Wilson had a different solution to the monarchy-vacuum: ethnically-based, national democracies. In a way, he is replacing the adherence to one family's bloodline with adherence to a collective bloodline. The crumbling Ottoman Empire is one power that attempted such a national identity. Britain began to carve up the Ottoman Empire into little pieces, leaving the ethnic Turks, who had been dominant in the empire, with a considerably smaller base of land. In reaction, Mustafa Kemal, a military commander, led them to move their capital inland to Ankara and declare war on the states that were claiming pieces of Anatolia. They rebranded it as Turkey and sought to craft its ideal citizen around that ethnic ideal. Unfortunately, this devotion to their ethnic bloodlines resulted in bloodshed. The Ittihad had already persecuted non-Turkish minorities during the war, sending many of them into exile or execution in a vast genocidal campaign. However, this killing and deportation reignited in the Greek-Turkish War. Some of the minorities that were pushed off their land in this time had lived in that land since pre-biblical times. Thea Halo, author of /Not Even My Name/, suggests that the Pontic Greeks (one of the minorities) may have been there since the mythic Trojan War. /Not Even My Name/ is a memoir of Thea Halo's mother, Sano Halo. Sano (born Themia) is a Pontic Greek woman who was born in the Pontic mountains of northern Anatolia. It tells the story of what life was like shortly after the first world war in her little village, and then, eventually, the tale of her exile from those lands she and her ancestors had called home. Soldiers marched into the village, but this was different from when they took the men to labor camps. Ever... ... middle of paper ... ...e was one of the first people to welcome my father (a black man) into the family. Hearing him talk about his bias in his youth was a little disturbing. When he continued, he was rather absolved, but in a way that turned the story darker still. He spoke about how the Japanese soldiers would hide in these caves. The US troops would smoke them out in some way and when the Japanese soldiers ran out, they would be dowsed with a flamethrower. He said those raids changed his simple view of the war. “All I could think to myself was, ‘Why am I doing this?’” Works Cited Bulgakov, Mikhail. Heart of a Dog. Translated by Mirra Ginsburg. New York: Grove Press, 1968. Doyle, Mark. "Istanbul 1923:nationalism in the Middle East." Lecture, HIST 1120 from Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN, November 4, 2013. Halo, Thea. Not Even My Name. New York: Picador USA, 2000.

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