The Cherry Tree
If you had one choice, right now, at the age you are — would you choose to forget or to remember?
Set in Brighton, Istanbul, and Ankara, The Cherry Tree is based on the "Return to Life" operation in Turkey in 2000, in which Gökçer Tahincioğlu masterfully addresses themes of love, betrayal, memory loss, and resilience in the face of political oppression.
In the midst of political turmoil in Turkey in 2000, Hivda, a passionate socialist, finds herself at the forefront of organized protests against the creation of F-type prisons. When she meets Deniz, a young journalist covering the protests, they fall in love, but their relationship must remain a secret. However, their happiness is shattered when Hivda is sent to Istanbul for a secret mission and is arrested and brutally tortured by the police. Devastated, she suspects Deniz of betrayal.
Suffering from memory loss due to the traumatic events, Hivda undergoes treatment in Brighton, struggling to regain her memories. Returning to Ankara, she faces challenges from her family, a conservative grandfather, and a police officer who harbors feelings for her. She also reconnects with Deniz, who has lost his memory as well. Despite their past, they fall in love again but are haunted by the shadows of their forgotten history.
With the help of friends, Hivda rebuilds her life and becomes a volunteer for rehabilitating victims of the past operation. As truths are revealed, Hivda and Deniz decide to build a new life together, leaving behind a past they cannot fully remember, and continue their struggle hand in hand.
In The Cherry Tree, Gökçer Tahincioğlu seamlessly weaves together personal struggles with political events, creating a compelling narrative that captivates readers and leaves them with a deep sense of resilience in the face of adversity.