Arap Kızı Camdan Bakıyor

The black girl looks out of the window

Approximately there are about 20.000 - 80.000 Turks of African descent living in Muğla, Ula, Köyceğiz, Arcata, and Dalaman regions. Black people have for long culturally adapted Turkish society, and as a consequence, there is almost nothing that indicates an African heritage in a cultural sense. As a result of the search for their roots, activists revived certain ancestral ceremonies and African traditions. And the search goes on.


The Ottoman slave trade, which was part of an increasingly globalized trafficking network of the early modern period, brought millions of people from the surrounding regions of Europe, Asia, and Africa to the Ottoman Empire. While abolition and emancipation movements occurred in various forms throughout the last century of the empire's history, slavery remained in practice until its very end. In recent decades, the ignored history of the Ottoman slave trade has received more attention.

Still, there has been considerably less discussion of how enslaved people brought to the empire contributed to its socioeconomic and cultural transformation and where their descendants live.  

"The black girl looks out of the window" (Turkish: "Arap Kızı Camdan Bakıyor") is a quote from the song "13,5" by the Afro-Turkish singer Esmeray from 1975. In this song, she sings about her experiences with racism in Turkish society. Esmeray was very popular all over Turkey and addressed racial issues in Turkish pop culture, which wasn't very typical at that time.