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Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Family Saga, Queer, Motherhood, Immigration, Turkey, Germany




This novel is a family saga that follows Gülsün and her two daughters Sevda and Eda-Eva, who are half-sisters. Gülsün agrees to an arranged marriage with Haydar, a factory worker in Germany, and immigrates from her small village in Turkey to Germany. From this marriage Sevda is born. When she is old enough for kindergarten, Gülsün attends a German language course. She falls in love with the German instructor, Günther, and they begin an affair. Gülsün finds out that she is pregnant and abandons Sevda to live with Günther, who moves them to the outskirts of the city where Haydar cannot find her. Haydar, feeling emasculated and unable to take care of five-year-old Sevda, sends her to his family in Turkey for a couple of years. In a moment of intoxication, Gülsün sets out to reclaim Sevda and to unite her with her half-sister Eda-Eva, who knows nothing about Sevda’s existence. Gülsün, having chosen to follow the riverbank to reach the old apartment where she once lived, falls into the river and drowns. To connect Eda-Eva to her mother’s roots, Günther moves them to the city close to the Turkish community, where she makes friends with Sinem and realizes that she is queer. Years later on a train, Sevda and Eda-Eva meet and become friends, unaware of their connection. As their friendship deepens, the two fall in love. Both girls are desperate to leave their homes (Günther has built a new family for himself, in which Eda-Eva feels like a third wheel. Haydar has remarried a woman from his village back home, who takes out her sadness of infertility on Sevda). Eda-Eva suggests they move to the house in the outskirts, where she used to live with her mother. They arrive at the house that holds Gülsün’s memories in the basement. Lying in bed, the two create a fantasy of a future life together, although the truth becomes more and more undeniable to Sevda.

Available for download on Thursday, May 14, 2026