In july of 2008 my father and I visited the village of Cukuryurt, known as Tchouhouri.
See pictures on Flickr.
Here is the intro of my written account:
Tchouhouri, Cappadocia, Turkey, July 2008
We have been travelling on the windy roads of the Turkish countryside for four hours in the blazing sun. Tension is high, because we are about to arrive at our destination. I am almost shaking with anticipation.
Suddenly the driver stops by a house where three men are sitting on the terrace. The driver and my father engage in a conversation with them in Turkish.
–Are we here? I ask my father, in Greek.
–Yes, he throws over his shoulder, while concentrating on the conversation.
I can scarcely believe it is true, so I ask again.
–Are we here?
My father turns around, looks at me, and repeates himself with certainty.
My mind struggles to fathom the reality of it all.
We are in Tchouhouri. The village where my grandfather was born 111 years ago in 1897. The village from which he and his family were driven in 1922. The village I have heard and read about in my grandfathers autobiography. A place my father has never seen until now, even though he speaks two languages from here. A place none of its former inhabitants could ever return to. A place that has existed only in my mind and in my dreams.
86 years after being forced from their homes, the family’s descendants, are standing on the same soil.