Turkish & Ottoman Studies Program    |    Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures    |    University of Washington

Turkey in Seattle an Oral History Project

A growing collection of in-depth interviews with immigrants from Turkey, whose stories about immigration to the U.S. offer a rich and complex chronicle of identity.

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Constantinople Club
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A Community Event in 2002
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A Picnic in Sammamish

The Turkey in Seattle: An Oral History Project investigates how people from Turkey immigrated to the Pacific Northwest Region. What was the motive behind their immigration? Did they intend to stay? How is their lifestyle today? This research study focuses on socio-demographic profile, education, work, and personal & family life of these immigrants from Turkey, circumstances surrounding immigration, observations about life as an immigrant in North America, their identity crisis if there is any, adjustment issues, and their plans for future. The study covers the immigrants from Turkey who came to the PNW region from the 1950s to today.

The Oral History Project

The Oral History Project started in the 2017-2018 academic year. The ultimate goal of this project is trifold: (1) to archive the stories of immigrants who came from the Turkish Republic to the greater Seattle area; (2) to create a digital library with the materials collected from these immigrants; and (3) to create datasets for researchers.

This project, Turkey in Seattle: An Oral History Project, aims to reach any person that falls into the category of immigrating from the region of Turkey to the Seattle area, no matter what their race, ethnicity and/or religion. It aims to be inclusive and diverse.

Turkey in Seattle Mini Documentary


Visit the Library

The Turkey in Seattle Oral History Project works in collaboration with UW Suzzallo Library, Digital Collections in order to archive the stories of immigrants from Turkey with diverse backgrounds. The stories of narrators will be open to the public once the library’s collection is completed.



The Project continues to conduct interviews with individuals who immigrated from the region of today’s Turkey to the PNW region. If you or someone you know would like to be considered for an interview, or if you have an interview to submit, please fill out this Google Form


If you have any immigration documents, photo albums, letters, scrapbooks, or diaries about your and your parents immigration to the United States, please contact Melike Yucel-Koc at yucelm@uw.edu


“In their rememberings are their truths”—Studs Terkel, Hard Times