Raşel Meseri is a writer based in Izmir, Turkey. She published seven children books and one novel (Köpekbalıklarının Kayıp Şarkıları, Delidolu, 2018). She is the co-editor of Being Jewish in Turkey: A Dictionary of Experiences (Iletisim, 2017). Some of her theater plays are put on stage in Izmir and Istanbul. She also makes documentaries and short films, including Izmir Sea Children (2007) and Jewish Family Houses: Kortejos (2010).
Being Jewish in Turkey: A Dictionary of Experiences, ed. Raşel Meseri & Aylin Kuryel
Being Jewish in Turkey: A Dictionary of Experiences is published in November 2017 from Iletisim Press, Turkey, edited by Raşel Meseri and Aylin Kuryel. It is a collection of short accounts of experiences related to being Jewish in Turkey, written by Jewish and non-Jewish people, including family histories, historical traumas, discrimination stories, the use of Ladino language, stories of immigration to Israel and back to Turkey, Jewish and non-Jewish encounters, the relationship between different Jewish populations such as Sephardic, Ashkenazi and Romaniote Jews, almost forgotten songs, food and everyday traditions, daily life in different cities, stereotypes about Jews, among others. There are more than 300 short entries, put together in the form of a dictionary, written by 71 people. It provides an overview of being Jewish in Turkey through emotional, playful and strong stories, revealing how personal stories are intertwined with history and politics. The book is appealing to the general reader who is interested in Jewish and minority cultures in the world, with its accessible and fluent style based on story-telling. Putting forward a novel genre, “experience dictionary”, and shedding light on historical and cultural codes, it can also be a source for academic and non-academic researches on the subject.