France had been a center of attraction and a country of asylum for the dissidents of the political regimes in Turkey since the nineteenth century. Starting from the first crackdowns on the Communist Party of Turkey, many politicians, artists, journalists, and students accused of communist activity sought refuge in the Hexagon. As the number of migrants and refugees from Turkey increased after the influx of workers, their families, and the victims of two coups d’état during the 1970s and 1980s, the political activities of Turkey’s left-wing diaspora in France diversified and cherished. They built strong links with their French counterparts, varying from the Communist Party of France to the intellectuals and artists, like Pablo Picasso or Irène Mélikoff. They participated in the struggle of the French working class, exposed human rights violations in their homeland, and tried to unify the Left under the same banner.
Relying mostly on the archives of the Communist Party of Turkey and the Workers’ Party of Turkey, this work tries to illuminate a neglected side of Turkey’s left-wing diaspora in France and Western Europe.