Many stories in this book show how categorical constructions and discrimination serve to conceal other dynamics and lead to a distorted remembrance and representation, as has become clear in the narratives of the non-Gypsies and Gypsies in the town of Bayramiç. The categories of Gypsyness and Turkishness became rigid and powerful during the attacks as they were mobilized to exclude the Gypsies and to legitimize collective violence against them. However, the attacks were not caused by the existing categories. The cause was just the opposite. The categories became powerful and functional for the attacks, not the other way around. Moreover, the attacks also sealed this rigidity. People who were called Gypsies became “more Gypsy” during (and after) the attacks. The content of Gypsyness was enlarged and demonized in this process. It became more rooted in concepts of evilness and led to alienation between Gypsies and non-Gypsies, although the same people were also referred to as “our Gypsies” with whom one could share commonalities in other contexts.
KeywordsSocial Distance Oral History Power Inequality Categorical Construction Forced Dislocation
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