Most of the Turkish citizens do not have the luxury of learning more about family genealogies as written documents about it were not a priority for Ottomans. Many of us learnt bits of information through fragments of verbal/ oral history. My father once said our ancestors came from Algeria. I thought how come he can bullshit like that. Later, when I was reading Suraiya Faruqi’s The Ottoman Empire and the World Around It
I saw in passing that Ottomans once brought Turks to Northern Africa to change population balance and when the empire was retreating some Turks began to go back to Anatolia. Maybe that’s what my father was referring to without knowing the historical background.
Anyways, one of the rare goodies Turkish state recently offered was to check out one’s genealogy up to early 19th Century. As I expected our family history is just located in Bayburt. Only my mother’s background dates back to İspir, Erzurum just next to Bayburt again. Nothing to boast about. Damn!
Many Turkish citizens have taken steps to try to obtain the second citizenship, upon discovering their ancestry traced back to other countries such as Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.