Selfie group shot, Ayse interview. Team members and Nikki Brown (far left)

A note from Dr. Nikki Brown

I first visited Turkey on a Fulbright teaching fellowship to Bilkent University in Ankara. I met Phaedra Gwyn, a wonderful foreign service officer in Cultural Affairs in Ankara, who introduced me to Mustafa Olpak, the founder of the Afro-Turk Association and the political leader of the Afro-Turks. Since 2014, I have made many trips to Turkey, first as a visitor and then as an academic.

In 2018, I was awarded a second Fulbright award to Turkey, and this time I chose to work for a year at Ege University in Izmir. The city also has the largest population of Afro-Turks in Turkey. Working with the Afro-Turk Association and with the generous support of the United States Embassy in Ankara, a wonderful group of graduate students in the Department of American Culture and Literature at Ege University conducted six separate interviews with elders in Afro-Turk communities outside of Izmir. We were also helped by seasoned journalist Ayla Yackley. Moreover, the wonderful group of Ege University graduate students translated Mustafa Olpak’s memoir about his life as an Afro-Turk into English.

There are six interview participants on this website currently. More interviews will be added later as more interviews are conducted. I welcome your comments and assistance in transcribing the interviews from Turkish into English. Please sue the comment box on the homepage. I will try to respond within two days.

All videos are the property of Nikki Brown, the Afro-Turk Association, and They may be used or reproduced for educational or academic research and scholarship purposes. For other commercial purposes, access and use require the expressed written consent of Nikki Brown and the Afro-Turk Association. Before using the interviews for research, educational, or commercial purposes, please email Nikki Brown for more information.