Diyarbakir Mayor to Armenians: ‘This city is yours as much as it is mine’

Largest Church in Middle East Being Renovated

DIYARBAKIR (A.W.)—Speaking at a reception held on the occasion of the closing of the dome of the Sourp Giragos Armenian Church in Diyarbakir, the mayor of the greater Diyarbakir municipality Osman Baydemir told the Armenians gathered there: “This city is yours as much as it is mine. You have as much a claim to this city as I do.”

Baydemir (L) and Atesyan exchanging remarks during the reception.

The ongoing renovation of the church in the heavily Kurdish populated area is being performed by the Armenian Patriarchate and the municipality of Diyarbakir.

The reception on Oct. 23 was attended by Archbishop Aram Atesyan of the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul, local leaders, and members of the Istanbul Armenian community.

Unlike the Holy Cross Church in Van, which the Turkish government turned into a museum and did not transfer to the Armenian Patriarchate, the Sourp Giragos Church is being renovated jointly by the patriarchate and the Diyarbakir municipality and will be run by the patriarchate.

The reconstruction of the church, an architectural marvel and the largest church in the entire Middle East, is expected to cost more than $2.5 million and be completed by next year.

The Turkish press has thus far failed to provide appropriate (if any) coverage of the reception, although it was quick to glorify every step of the renovation and “museum-ization” of the Sourp Khatch Church in Van. Reports about the reception are available, however, on Kurdish news sites.

One commentator told the Armenian Weekly that the relative silence of the Turkish press is “because the language used in this entire exchange between Atesyan and Baydemir [during the reception] runs counter to the dominant discourse” in Turkey regarding the Armenians.

Click here to watch the video of the exchange between Atesyan and Baydemir.

70 Comments

  1. Hye, being of Dikrangerdsi heritage, and having seen the video of Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian of blessed memory, when he and a group from the USA visited Sourp Giragos
    (visiting all villages of their families’ origins).  Wat;ching the video, seeing our church still standingt, roofless, knowing that my father’s family worshpped there, Dikrangerdsis
    were eliminated by slaughers, tortures, rapes, and the trek to their deaths… This group conducted memorial service – and the birds who lived in the ruins, stopped singing
    and listened… as if they had been awaiting for our return – for our sharagans.  Manooshag

  2. I think we can say that, Harout. Kurds’ attitude is quite different from Turks’ and that makes a huge difference in our relationship with one group versus the other.

  3.   Even with taking into account the agenda that everyone has in these types of events, what a refreshing picture. Here we have a Kurdish mayor of this historic city who recognizes and respect who we are, a church to be renovated not a museum and the Patriachate is the responsible authority. Erdogan are you watching. Reconciliation is a tough road filled with unpredictable obstacles, but mutual respect is essential.
           Perhaps the success of Soorp Giragos can help transition Soorp Khatch into a church with proper jurisdiction and then on to Holy Virgin at Ani etc, etc, etc.
           As we have seen in the last several months our cause manifests itself in many ways. This is an opportunity to make progress and bring the current issues in western Armenia to light. Our cause is not a generic overwhelming abstract. It has many dimensions and these churches are a great opportunity to make our lost homeland real for many in our nation. We must unite in our efforts to renovate…reconsecrate… award appropriate jurisdiction and establsih pilgrimages. When we lead with our faith, God will continue to bless our people.

  4. Gina, The Kurds came a long way, since today they are being victimized by the Turks; now finally they come to understand and sympathize with us.  Whereas almost a century ago, they used to side with the Turks and slaughter us.  Not every Kurd of course; but a good number of them acted out the same barbaric ways as the Turks.  Now finally they understand the Turks’ barbarity when they feel it it themselves.  In Armenian, “yerp gezkan tsave irents mortin vera”.  Today they feel their mistakes of the past and sympathize with us, well I will not be the one to turn my head the other way. 

  5. As a bit of history, the original Armenian Cathedral in Amid (Amida; Diyarbakir; Dikrisagerd; Dikranagerd) was called Saint Theodoros (Sourp Toros).  In 1517, when the Ottomans conquered the city, they seized the Armenian cathedral, and converted into a mosque.  It remains today, and is called Ulu Cami.

    The Armenians then took another one of their churches, called Saint Sergius (Sourp Sarkis), and designated it as their cathedral.  It is still standing, with its three altars, but has been gutted and is being used as a storage warehouse.  The cathedral was famous for the Relic of the Right-side Nail used during the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  This relic was used in a procession several times during the year.  Alas, in 1915, the relic was lost.

    In the middle of the walled city, there was an Armenian cemetery.  Inside, there was a small chapel, dedicated to Saints Cyriacus and Julietta, which had been donated to the cemetery in memory of a young boy who had died.  (Saint Cyriacus was just 3 years old when he was martyred in front of his mother, Julietta, and so the little chapel was dedicated in this name).  When the Ottoman authorities announced that no cemeteries could exist inside the city, all of the remains were exhumed and buried outside of the walls. 

    It should be noted that the law of the land said that when an Armenian died, the corpse had to be carried down near the ground as they walked from the church to the cemetery.  Why?  The Turks said that even in death, and Armenian could not be raised higher than a Turk, and so the caskets could not be carried on the shoulders of the pall bearers.

    The land of the former cemetery remained, and so a larger church, also called Saints Cyriacus and Julietta was constructed on the property.  This church was destroyed by fire on June 10, 1880.

    The community decided to rebuild and enlarge the structure, which was completed in 1883.  At the time, it was purported to be the largest Armenian basilica in Anatolia.  It consisted of seven altars: five on the ground floor, and two on the second story.  From the northeast to the southeast: Saint Gregory the Illuminator, Saints Cyriacus and Julietta, Holy Birthgiver-of-God Mary (main altar), Saint John the Baptist, and Saint Stephen the Protomartyr.  Upstairs, Saints Peter and Paul, and Holy Archangels.  The basilica was built with 16 monolith columns which supported 20 arches. 

    Surrounding the cathedral were a series of buildings: chapels, rectories for the priests, classrooms for the Sunday School, bookstore, kitchen for preparing food daily for the poor and elderly, and the offices for the prelature.  The chapel of Sourp Hagop is still in use, and following the collapse of the roof over the cathedral, services were transferred to this chapel within the compound.

    The belltower of the cathedral was struck by lightening on Holy Saturday morning, 1913.  It was rebuilt that same year, and when it was completed, it was the tallest structure in the city – this was a point of contention with the Moslems, since the Armenian belltower was taller than any of their minarets.

    On May 28, 1915, as the Ottomans were dragging the Armenian prelate, Mgrditch Vartabed Chulghadian, off to be tortured and eventually martyred, the artillery cannon from across the city aimed at the belltower, and shot it to pieces as the prelate was forced to watch.

    Most of the Armenians living inside the city were trapped, and neighborhood by neighborhood, the Ottomans pillaged and killed the helpless Dikranagerdtsis with nearly full-proof entrapment (they sealed off each street, and then raided the houses).

    After 1918, the few Armenians who survived both inside the city and from the surrounding villages, congregated inside the large complex, and continued to maintain the remnants of the community.  Until 1985, there was a permanent priest living inside the compound, and services were continued daily for the remaining 100 or so families.

    By 1990, the conditions had changed.  One night, during a severe snowstorm, the entire roof of the cathedral collapsed, leaving the basilica with just four walls and no protection from the elements.  At the same time, economic and political conditions in Diyarbakir forced most of the Armenians to leave, either to Istanbul or to Europe.  Today, there are only 6 Armenians living in the city.

    It gives a very different meaning to the words of our beloved song:

    “Umoonuh daran, yesi chi daran, key amoh”

    Quite a drastic change from 1913 when Archbishop Zaven Der Yeghiayan (later Patriarch of Constantinople) reported that the city held more than 5,000 families, and the surrounding villages had an equal number of Armenian families.

    Some of you may know that my baptismal name is Giragos.  My mother’s mother was baptized in the Cathedral of Dikranagerd, and being a good “Keaghkatsi”, I was named in honour of the patron saint of the seven-altar cathedral.

    Briefly, Julietta (Houghida – or Oghida) was a Christian woman.  During the persecutions under Diocletian, she was hauled in front of a pagan judge, who accused her of not worshiping the pantheon of gods and goddesses.  Julietta did not deny her Christianity.  She held her little son, Cyriacus (Giragos), who, seeing his mother’s steadfast commitment to her Faith, also began to say to the judge “I am a Christian!  I am a Christian!”  The judge became so infuriated that, in front of Julietta, he grabbed little Cyriacus by the feet, and swinging the little boy, smashed his head against the wall, killing the child.  Julietta died immediately of mother’s fright after watching this heinous act.  Throughout Armenia, and throughout Armenian history, these two saints have been venerated for obvious reasons, and hundreds of churches and shrines were dedicated to them throughout the Armenian highlands.

    + George-Giragos

  6. There are several, reliable histories on Amid/Diyarbekir/Dikranagerd which have been printed over the century in Armenian, Turkish, Syriac, French and English.  I have drawn my summary from all of these sources since they provide corroboration of important facts, dates, and information.
    In 1950, a Dikranagerdtsi named Dikran Mgount compiled a two-volume study (in Armenian) entitled “Amidayi Artzakankneruh” (“Echoes of Amida”).  It was printed in New Jersey.  Under his Americanized surname, Dikran Spear prepared an English language synopsis entitled “Traditions of the Tigris” in 1946.
    The confiscation of Saint Theodore Cathedral (“Sourp Toros Mayr Dajar”) and its subsequent conversion into a Sunni mosque was a repetition of the confiscation of the Byzantine Greek Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople.  The Armenian community was not compensated for the seizure in 1517.
    We need to say a special Thank you to the Syrian Orthodox (“Asori”) parish of Saint Mary the Virgin in Dikranagerd.  After 1960, when there were difficulties in securing a permanent priest for the Armenians at Sourp Giragos, the Syrian Orthodox priests and parish were open and welcoming to the remnants of our community there.  It should also be noted that the Chaldean Catholics continue to maintain their ancient parish of Mar Petyun.  At one time, there were 14 churches of various denominations within the old city walls.

  7. I wonder how the Kurds have reconciled or dealt with the fact that they too were guilty of massacres against Armenians during the genocide?  I wonder what can be learned from them?  It seems that they have some wish to ‘make things right’ for Armenians in Diyarbakir. 

  8. As the lion will lay down with the lamb, will peace and reconciliation actually reign in the land?  We can only hope. This is another major step for Turkey and represents a massive change in attitudes, mindsets and official policy.  Will it last?  Again, we can and must hope. It is indeed sad that Hrant Dink did not live to see these events, but I sense that Turkey is working very hard to improve its image in light of it. I also believe that this is either a prelude to, or a proxy for, an explicit apology for 1915, that will unfold at some point in the future.  

  9. Karekin — Could you refrain from using epithets such as “major” and “massive” when commenting on essentially minor steps? Do you know that preservation of Armenian cultural heritage was an obligation under the Treaty of Lausanne in which Turkey was a signatory? Look what happened to the thousands of our churches and monasteries in Western Armenia: that’s massive! Massive destruction and explicit cultural genocide. Renovation of just one or two of them is by no account a “major or massive” step. If an apology for committing genocide will unfold, THAT would be a major and massive event, not a renovation of a church beside thousands of others desecrated, detonated, or transformed into mosques or sheepcots.

  10. Karo…you seem to ignore the here and now and prefer, instead to focus on what was done long ago. My grandmother used to say don’t cry over spilt milk…which I think is very good and timeless advice. It’s a waste of time. You can’t put it back in the bottle once it hits the floor.  Remembering the past is one thing, and of course it should not be forgotten, but considering the overall attitude of the past 95 years that led to the desecration we all know about, you should be happy to see a turnaround, no matter how small. It might be difficult, but try to get that chip off your shoulder and try to appreciate the smaller things in life…they may be small, but they all add up to a larger picture. And yes, the picture is changing and is vastly different from what it looked like just a few short years ago. If you can’t see that or the improvements, because you’re blinded by negativity, I’m sorry for you. But, you should realize that the best sea captain in the world can’t turn a massive ocean liner around quickly, and neither can someone do that with an entire country or society. It takes time…so, one step at a time is better than none at all. As the 100th anniversary of 1915 looms on the horizon, the key is to be part of the solution, not part of the problem, or its continuation.

  11. No Mr. mayor,Dikranagerd does not belong to u..it was built by Dikran II, Dikran the Great,who conquered as far as Lebanon and Jerusalem more than 2000 years ago …at the time where were u?

  12. Karekin, for the hundredth time: spilled milk can’t put it back in the bottle once it hits the floor, but whoever spilled it can apologize for misdemeanor.  Further, if you consider museum-church for 2 hr-museum carousel or a decision to renovate another church a small turnaround or a smaller thing, as you correctly called it this time, then call it small and avoid hyperbole (“major”, “massive”, “unprecedented”, etc.). Again, preservation of Armenian cultural edifices was obligation that Turkey should have honored as a signatory to the Lausanne Treaty. What exactly should I be happy about? That for PR purposes Turkey renovated a church while for the past 95 years effectively committing cultural genocide of the Armenian heritage? One step at a time is better than none at all? And where was Turkey during the past 95 years to take one step-at-a-time approach? Sleeping on the clouds? If this murderer-state just awakened, then let it take a step at a time: place all Armenian heritage, even piles of stones that remain of our magnificent monasteries, under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate. Even if the Patriarchate won’t be able to stage Masses in or beside the structures or ruins, I’d be then happy to see that one, out of many wrongs has been corrected by the Turks pending the recognition of the genocide. I’m not “blinded by negativity.” In contrast to you I have an ability to judge things realistically and not aggrandize minor events that mostly serve Turkish propaganda purposes, not expression of remorse and repentance. I’m sorry that you readily and blindly accept anything the Turks do as a demonstration of the change. Change should be based on history books that are distorted and willingness on the part of government whose prime-minister, may I remind you, only recently threatened to expel Armenians in the best Turkish tradition and declared cynically, making himself a laughingstock, that Muslim Turks are not capable of committing genocide. You expect real change from such a government and such a society? I’m more than certain that these crumbs that Turks strew before Armenians like you who’re ready to pick them up, is nothing else that the consequence of a mounting international pressure, EU entry ambitions, and world-wide Armenian diaspora actions. Nothing can persuade me (and you may call it “negativity”, I don’t care) that Turks are making these steps out of compassion, remorse, and admission of guilt for massacring millions of innocent people and depriving them from their historical homeland. The solution to the 100th anniversary of 1915 is the same as it had been for the past 100 years: repentance, apology, reparations, and restitution of the stolen lands. Armenians were and continue being a part of this solution for decades through their international efforts on recognition. We do our part, Turks will be made to theirs: repent.

  13. I wonder why anybody is not giving any credit to Bolsahays. This small community is taking care of close to 40 churces in Bolis and Anatolia, too. They are paying all the expences for renovations. Besides, they have 17 schools and now they are going to pay 1 million and 750 thousand dollars for this church, which makes 70 percent of all deal. In Armenian we have a saying, if you have nail, scratch your own head.In one century we put our hopes to others, we expect them to save our everything, and we sat there and watch the destruction. It is always easy to blame others. We do not have any organization like  All Armenian Fund, or anything that could gather everybody in Diaspora,collect money and keep our churches and vanks. Simple as that!

  14. All of the views above posted hold truth and have reasons.However,following suggestions are presented with all due respect to  those who wrote them:-
    1.Years ago-some 30 ,more or less  there was this kurdish delegation that had come to a Symposium in Madrid,Spain and  had in one of the influential newspapers inserted their map and article re what was going on at the time on the European political scene.On the one hand some”Khent” Armenian young  had taken centre stage demanding  that the government of Turkey change  its stance towards Armenian Genocide Recognition and on the other hand these “kurds” ,or so they presented themselves  had drawn up that map that…also included part  of present (at that time)SSRA (soviet socialist republic of Armenia) as far as including YEREVAN in it.
    This servant of the Armenian people protested and wrote back that “believe  me it would be hard to dispute any chunk of land from RRSA,that forms part  of the mighty soviet union…etc., etc., etc.,
    At present diplomatic relations have been frozen between R.of Armenia and Turkey,after  the infamous protocols.None the less, our neighbour R.of Turkey is displaying these newly introduced steps whether in Akhtamar,or through kurdish populated Diaarbekir.
    I suggest  “we wait and see”  what  is next on their behalf. My conviction is that their approaches are -like in Ottoman times-very slow,”Yavash ,Yavash”,piano piano in italian ,or Gamac Gamac in our own tongue.They not only thus feel our pulse but also the kurds.  For  there definitely are those kurds like those above described  that are pro great Turkey and/or  simply placed  there  by Turkey to act  for them.Other -the majority  now- of them that have for the past 70 years been mal treated can indeed be cautiously approached(Dr.Henry Astarjian,I believe on this platform,has quite a bit of knowledge as to the latter kind of kurds).Whichever is the intention of R.of Turkey will,sooner  or later surface.If  only to gain Entry into EU,we do not loose anything,let Europe worry about  that and decide.If they actually have decided  that they should by and by come to an understanding with us Armenians-in their above manner-again we wait and see.
    We are famous for being an over- patient people.Let us put more efforts in re-organizing our Diasporas to become a fully fledged partner with R.of Armenia/Artsakh

  15. I’m very happy to see some sensible thoughts expressed here, which is always a good thing. We all need to realize that this period of having an azad Hayastan is a very rare thing in history. It is a miracle and we should never treat it in a cavalier way.  What is here today could be gone tomorrow. There are no guarantees in this world and promises made on paper are among the most vulnerable. And, more than anything, actions often speak louder than words, because talk is easy and very cheap. It is easy to sit back and criticize, even when something positive happens, as if you are ordained with the ultimate level of righteousness. Well, while you sit there the world often keeps moving and passes you by.  So, hop on the train or else you will be left behind, by history and by everyone else.  The opportunity to save what is left of Armenian heritage in Turkey is here and now. We should cherish it. As Arx says, the Bolis community is doing all the work and shouldering the expense all by itself…and the rest of us should applaud them, shower them with praise and offer help, rather than criticism.  It is not easy, yet they do it, without complaints and without begging. We have to respect that. Abrees hayrenageetzner.

  16. Over they years, as my husband and I would watch ‘ignored/neglected’ awareness of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation… here in the USA… And occasionally, there would be a chink/a break in this attitude… and then, we would see that we were being ‘used’…
    Hence, we came to the reasoning:  Armenians trust none but Armenians!! Hmph, but today – we have Armenians in Haiastans govenrnment – whose stance against Haiastan is not any better than the Turkish leaderships pursue…  Trust none but Armenians-even
    then, not all Armenians have the same goals for a free Haiastan.  Example, the organization who sides with the USA State Department’s years and years of pro-Turk attitude – actually siding with the ancient and dated attitudes of this governmental office.
    And more.  We are human, we make mistakes, but seek the honest groups, organizations dedicated, honestly, for Haiastan.  And support them…
    Manooshag

  17.  Arx has made a very good point. We usually write off the actions of our brothers and sisters in Turkey as ” under pressure or fearful”. As a result , they are usually given little credit in the larger picture. This is a time for all Armenians to respect each and find common ground on our national issues…. if we are unable to agree then let’s keep it “in house” and not let our adversaries take the advantage. Let’s support what are breathren our doing and find ways through UNESCO and NGOs to enhance their efforts.

  18. The Armenian Cause is not limited solely to having an azad Hayastan. The Cause is comprised of inextricably intertwined elements: strengthening of Armenia and Artsakh and restoration of justice for Armenians worldwide for the Turkish crime. One cannot exist without the other because all of them are parts of what we are, out identity as a people, our common security, our place and role in the world. Independent Armenia is not a “rare” thing in history. Independent or at other times marzbanic Armenia existed up until the 14th century AD when our last kingdom of Cilicia fell to Mameluks. And then, of course, the darkest period followed, when Armenia was colonized by the Ottoman Turks. It had a brief independence in 1918-1920, then Sovietized for 70+ years, and then independent again for the past 20 years. So, by no account, our independence can be considered “rare.” Even under foreign rule Armenian were able to sustain strong independent principalities, like that of Bagratunis. I should like to see any nation in the middle ages that was unified, strong, and independent in the genuine sense of the word. “What is here today could be gone tomorrow” is as true as “What was gone yesterday can be here today.” Everything’s relative, and adherence to the first or the latter truth essentially shows what kind of person is the one who utters either of them.
     
    No one is “ordained with the ultimate level of righteousness” to criticize as much as no one is “ordained” with the right to judge others or blaspheme Christian religious relics. Look who is talking! One needs to avoid hastiness and self-deprecation in calling upon others to “cherish” Turkish PR stunts and typify them as “major” and “massive.” I don’t believe that Turks do these minor steps out of remorse or under the Treaty of Lausanne obligation. They do this for their own propaganda purposes. Before cherishing it at breakneck speed one needs to pause and try to understand what lays under such steps. Arx, I appreciate that the Bolsahay community is shouldering the expense all by itself, but isn’t it what any Armenian community does all over the world without complaints and without begging? That you cannot organize funds as All Armenian Fund, isn’t it because the government of Turkey generally doesn’t tolerate manifestations of ethnic, religious individualism? I unconditionally praise your efforts in such a hostile environment, but I believe that the only substantial step that all of us would call “major” and “massive” would be placing all Armenian religious edifices under the jurisdiction of the Constantinople Patriarchate pending the recognition of the genocide.
     
    The prevailing majority of Armenians know the Turks too well to avoid “cherishing” their PR stunts at breakneck speed. It is astonishing that a person here who disseminates a “gamas-gamac” approach in bringing justice to Armenians for the committed genocide, now rushes us to “cherish major, massive” steps of the Turks at the lightning speed. A Bolsahay arx living in Turkey sounded Turkophilic in his comment than Karekin who lives in America. It’s all about one’s nature and peculiar psyche… The one that Karekin has is already known to the most of commentators in these pages.

  19. Karo jan, who told you that I am living in Bolis? I am living right in the middle of Los Angeles. We need to see the truth. Do not take extreme nationalistic approach as a norm being a good Armenian. This will ruin every peaceful steps towards our nation. You can not undermine Bolsahays’ efforts to keep everything which belong to us. They deserve huge credit for that. If you like it or not you can not change the reality. If you can just help them instead of criticize. Empty talkings are not going to take us anywhere. It is time to work and do something,because we already lost hundred years by talking.

  20. Rita,

    You’re living in the past. Time to wake up to reality and the present! Otherwise, you’ll need to blame all of the many other empires who occupied that region (and I sure as heck don’t see any of you doing that).

    Karo,

    How many mosques are in Armenia? With Armenia claiming a 98% purity rate, how many Turks, Azeris, or Moslems are living in Armenia right now? We’re waiting????

  21. Um, Robert, hey buddy: Armenia is a tiny country; tiny countries usually are not filled with minorities. And Armenia is tiny because the Ottomans tried to wipe it off the map. Furthermore there is in fact a very impressive Persian mosque in Yerevan, functioning as a mosque, and not as a “secular state museum” (hint hint). There is also quite a vibrant Jewish community in Armenia. And I would go out on a limb here to say that Muslims, Turks, and Azeris don’t WANT to come live in Armenia, probably because of the way they are indoctrinated–although a number of Turkish intellectuals went to Yerevan two weeks ago as part of the Ani Dialogue, at the invitation of Armenian civil society mind you.
    You’re missing the point with your tired argument. Muslims have never had a historical presence in today’s Armenia (although they did try to invade circa 1918 and 1993). So why on earth would there be mosques in Armenia if a) there was never any Muslim civilization there to build mosques and b) because few Muslims live in Armenia now?
    The reason why there are minorities and churches in Turkey is because Turkey bloodily and through genocide took the lands of indigenous Christian peoples. Turkey’s ‘heterogeneity’, despite its best efforts at the homogenizing force of Kemalism, is proof of its genocidal past.

  22. I Shall Return Where I Belonged
    “Dikranagerd-Tikranagert ”
    Even Your Name Degraded Harshly!
     
    Return dear Armenians from everywhere
    Return to your real land
    From Artsakh to Anatolia and further west to view dead rivers.
    To Tikrangerd where King Tigranes II (Dikran the Great*)
    Implanted his first stone to build
    A civilized city, which turned to green.
     
    See the invaders change everything including the name
    By smashing every piece of rock carved with it,
    Changing it from Dikranagert to Diyarbakir;
    Changed King’s Dikran name to Diyar from word dar
    That means ‘homes’ in stolen languages and…why
    The Bakir…means an new land…newborn!
     
    Return
    To see your churches, cathedrals destroyed
    Their grounds no longer filled of marbles …stones
    But full of wild plants…dried weeds and smelly sands,
    Bones of killed animals, and insects scattered, dry, breathless.
    No khoran, shrine left to pray and call old God.
     
    Even the Almighty, scornfully lost his faith
    And left those lands
    For scavengers to breathe in,
    Robbers of stones and of churches to
    Build on seized lands, many ugly shanty homes.
    Deprived of basic art…
     
    Nevertheless…still, you can see some stones
    Carved on crosses typical of Armenian art, Khachkar
    In the Armenian alphabet which can still be read.
    Some rocks are decorated by ancient animals and stars.
    Your BC summitries are alive only awaiting excavation,
    Let souls of DNAs arise and wrestle with slayers and
    Scream to reach the sky…narrate what the slayers did
    In that artful, educated, dedicated people’s fertile lands.

    Recently I saw on TV…Photos that left me shocked:
    Dikranagerd, Tigranagert
    On my grandparents’ serenade dative soil
    There were schools, colleges, goldsmiths, music, art…
    On every corner, the bells jingled calling saints.

    My grandmother used to say,
    “Our house was near the cathedral.
    Every Sunday the city was quiet
    Believers attended there to pray!”

    June 27, 2010
    ______________________________________________
    * Tigranes II (140-55 BC): King of Armenian, who distinguished himself as the most glorious among all Armenian kings. He succeeded his father in 95 BC. Brother-in-law and true ally of Mithridates the Great, the glorious King of Pontus, he struggled together with his formidable relative against the Roman dominance. Tigranes the Second also known as Tigranes the Great, extended the Armenian borders from Caspian Sea to Egypt, gaining full control over the vast territories. After having subdued the provinces in Syria, Cappadocia and Mesopotamia, Tigranes also conquered Palestine, taking many thousands of prisoners. He united all the Armenian lands and built four large cities in different parts of his empire all four called Tigranakert. Just like his father Artashes, Tigranes transported from Greece many statues of the Greek Gods. A gigantic statue of Zeus was erected in Ani fortress, and sanctuary for Anahit (Aphrodite) was raised in the city of Ashtishat.

  23. Alex….I appreciate your thought, but sorry, it’s not true. The population of Yerevan c. 1915 was roughly 30,000 people, and at that time there was a Muslim majority in the Yerevan khanate.  In the province, Armenians were roughly 20% of the overall population (see Bournoutian).  And, at the time, the city had 16 mosques. Most eastern Armenians lived outside of Yerevan, as well as in more vibrant places in the Caucasus, like Tiflis (which had an Armenian majority) and Baku, both of which had many more Armenians than Yerevan.   

  24. Arx,
     
    Where in my comments have you seen that I “undermine Bolsahays’ efforts to keep everything which belong to us”? Made me laugh… I only posed a generic question: aren’t we all—Diaspora Armenians—keeping our churches functioning to the best of our abilities? Of course Bolsahays deserve huge credit for that as any other Diasporan supporting his or her community. Where have you noticed “criticism” on my part? My criticism was addressed to a known commentator on these pages who tries to slow us down when it comes to fighting for justice (it is not a “extreme nationalistic approach”, by the way, it is our righteous indignation as victims of a heinous crime), but rushes to demand that we “cherish” Turkish PR stunts as “major” and “massive.” They are not. Major and massive step, as I see, would be placing all Armenian religious edifices under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate in Constantinople. My comment had nothing to do with Bolsahays deserving credit for keeping everything which belong to us (of course they do) nor with “extreme nationalistic approach” in suggesting that we hold back and see how things are unfolding in Turkey instead of “cherishing” masquerades with transforming a church into a museum then back to a church for 2 hours and then back to museum. Is there anything remotely “extreme nationalistic” in such a suggestion? Or you expect us to sing praises to unrepentant Turks for every dog & pony show that they stage for their own propaganda purposes?

  25. Karo – you may want to ignore the significance of the political and social changes that have come about in Turkey since Hrant Dink was assassinated, but they are, in fact, very real. The power of the ultranationalist Ataturkist generals and politicians has been severely curbed. How can you ignore that or that it has resulted in a much more open environment for Armenians there?  The fact that the Turkish govt looks the other way regarding 100K or more Armenian migrant workers (who by the way, are doing alot to help their families back home) is significant, and the fact that, as arx says, there are 40 churches (mostly in istanbul – with doors open every single day) in Turkey, is also something not to be ignored. As far as I know, Armenians churches in the US are locked shut most days of the week.  I realize that the prevailing diaspora mindset has been largely conditioned to demonize anything Turkish or Turkey related, and I understand why, but if you sincerely want a positive change, both for Armenians and Armenia, you need to realize that Armenians are and have been, in a position of disadvantage in terms of numbers, clout, influence, etc. So, you need to find a newer, smarter way of achieving those changes you champion. I’m totally with you on the ultimate goals and hai tahd, but not on the methods you would choose to get there.   

  26. Alex,
    I second your thought that Armenia (Eastern or Western) has never been and could have never been a historical homeland for Muslims that appeared on the map only in the 7th century AD or more so Turksm whose House of Osman formed only in the 14th century AD. Newly-cooked nations like Turks could not possibly inhabit Armenia, one of the most ancient nations on the face of the earth.
    For those who denounce your thought as “not true,” let them go educate themselves that Erivan with a majority of Muslim population was a khanate under the Persian domination and then a guberniya under the Tsarist Russia and, therefore, ethnic policy, population proportions, and number of mosques or churches were not administered by Armenians per se, but by those who governed the town and the district in various historical periods. Yes, centers of Armenian culture and businesses at the time were in Tiflis and Baku. Following the perverted logic of some here overemphasizing the fact of ethnic majority, are we expected to announce that Tiflis and Baku were historically Armenian cities? Certainly not. Empires, such as Persian or Russian, often artificially manipulate population proportions as they deem appropriate in order to facilitate the control of the central authority. Who doesn’t know this?
    The bottom line is that the destruction of several mosques in Yerevan, along with many more Christian churches, was the result of evil work of atheist Soviet Bolsheviks, and not the result of anti-Muslim attitudes of the Armenians.
    Turks like Robert bring this laughable crap here from time to time simply because they he and his ilk have no other substantial arguments to cover the genocidal physical and cultural extermination of Western Armenians by their grandparents. Just disregard cheap Turkish crap, Alex… Cheers.

  27. My “method”, Karekin, is to evaluate “changes” in Turkey realistically and cautiously, and not make myself a laughingstock by prematurely pronouncing Turkish dog & pony shows as “major” and “massive” events. You are blinded by your Turkophillia and the millet self-deprecation before the “master.” In many historical instances, may I remind you, it was not numbers, clout, and influence that made the oppressed victorious, but their SPIRIT, RESILIENCE, and FAITH. Again, whatever different methods for bringing justice to Armenians may be, and I admit they may be different, one thing is clear. Turks show signs because these methods have worked, and not because their unrepentant murderer state has become remorseful. This is as clear as the daylight. In major part it worled due to a 100-year long fight of the Armenians for bringing justice to their nation. You may continue to disregard this major “method,” but it worked, and it must continue because it proves to be the most efficient one given our disadvantage in terms of numbers, clout, and influence, as you say. Is it the only one? Certainly not, and you may wish to fight for the cause as you deem appropriate. But just refrain from heaping Turks with hugs and kisses for every minor, unsubstantial step. Bear in mind that physical, moral, cultural, and financial destruction and theft that Turks have brought upon us is much, MUCH more massive than a couple of their insignificant moves.

  28. I AM AFRAID  KARO -I GIVE  HISW NAME-WHJEREAS HE REFERS TO MY WORDS GAMAC GAMAC-BY AND BY  IN THIRD PERSON..THIS IS NO ETHICS  DEAR  KARO,
    .AFTER ALL WE ARE ALL ARMENIANS-LIKE SAROYAN  WROTE-
    SECONDLY YOU,KARO READ BETWEEN LINES.I DID  NOT USE “CHERISH”, OR “MASSIVE”, TRY AGAIN PLEASE rE-READ…SOME ONE ELSE DID.CAPICH?
    WHAT  IS MORE IS WITH REFERENCE TO TURKISH “SLOW” VEERY SLOW MOVES,NOT MINE…I SUGGEST  WE  WAIT AND SEE WHAT NEXT?
    OTHERWISE  SOME OTHER DEAR COMPATRIOTS  HERE ONLINE HAVE VERY WELL DESCRIOBED DEMOGRAPHY AS RGDS ARMENIANS IN THE CAUCASUS,FOR THOSE WHO DON´T KNOW,RE MOSQUES AND CHURCHES BEING DESTROYED BY THE SOVIET AUTHORITIES,TRYING TO DRIVE HOME THEIR LINE OF “BROTHERHOOD”,INCOGNIZANT OF THE TURCO-AZERI MINDSET THAT  HAD TAKEBN LENIN IN -THIS JUST AT THE BEGINNING,WHEN LATTER THOIUGHT KEMAL WOULD BE BRIBED BY THE HUGE AMOUNT GOLD HE/LENin bestowed upon them…but then there was this competition between the communists and the Brits.Latter  ,left a huge  amount of their military Cache to Kemal,at Kars  -see prof.Richard g.Hovanissian 4 volume Republic  of Armenia8all from foreign gov.archives…
    I  shall not repsond to you dear karo if you again address me in third person -without giving my name.This is  tantamount to real old very old Armenian trait…that one very very famous Armenian some 75 yrs or more ago said goodbye to Armenidad(Alas) declaring Armenians do not cooperate and are  very jealous of ea  other..the book he wrote ,rather booklet entitled “And I was 21” to that effect,was very fast taken out of circulation ion Europe  by our establishments,wherreas they should have  done the opposite,re-publishing it in larger numvbers  so that Armenian  would  read  and try to get  rid of their 2 said bad traits.Turks  know  that and are stirring up trouble amongst us ,also making  use  of these traits  of us…
    Please beware…there are plenty of their “agents” with Armenian names amongst  us…
    g-p

  29. “Newly cooked nation”? What’s that supposed to mean? Karo, do you genuinely believe that Turks popped into existance in 14th century with the “house of Osman”? Or is it another way of humiliating turks?

  30. Yes, Karo, but tell me, how was it that Armenians could have lost so much over such a long period of time?  Was it because they had superior armies?  Perhaps, if they had played their cards right, or if they had superior numbers or if they had their own empire…yes, maybe things would have been different. But – they didn’t and as a result, have never been able to fend off the big guys, be it the Byzantine, Ottoman, Russian or Persian Empires.  Those are the cold hard facts, like it or not. The demise of the Ottoman Armenians has nothing to do with any flaw on their part, but rather to the sinister forces who overtook the Ottoman government during its sunset years.  But as we know, to the victor go the spoils, as well as the right to write history as they so choose.
    I agree that like the black South Africans, Armenians had a right to have their own country, and like the Tibetans, had a right to resist domination.  However, unwritten ‘rights’ often don’t translate into either justice or reality.  If you don’t like today’s Turkish ‘dog and pony show’, why not stage one of your own?  What would it be?  At the same time, you seem to have a serious grudge against ‘western Armenians’ for some reason.  Why is that?  Are they a lesser species than other Armenians?  I would hope not, as most Armenians have their origins in western Armenia/Asia Minor/Anatolia, including such important figures as Krikor Lusavorich and Mesrob Mashdotz.

  31. Teoman, “newly-cooked nation” is supposed to mean what it historically is. Concurring to it has nothing to do with humiliation that you, Turks, brought on you heads by yourselves by denying your crimes against indigenous inhabitants of the lands where you now live. Turks emerged as a nation-state in the 14th century whereas other nations inhabited these lands for millennia. Is it anything new to you or they teach you at schools that you inhabited Asia Minor from times immemorial? Yes, as compared to Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians who have multi-millennia history on those lands you are relatively new. You have a problem with history?

  32. First, I think you owe me an apology, Karekin, for wrongly assuming that I have a “serious grudge against Western Armenians.” Where is it in my comments that you picked up such nonsense? How can I have a “serious grudge” against myself and all of my relatives? Not surprised, though, remembering your sacrilege of Christ.
     
    Armenians had lost so much for the reason you yourself brought up in the second part of the sentence: “over such a long period of time.” Most of ancient nations lose more than they gain during their long existence. Jews, Greeks… But guess what? Jews were able to re-gain after 2000 years, and Greeks were able to preserve their mainland losing their Byzantine part to the Turks. Armenians also partially re-gained (Artsakh). Other ancient nations were not so fortunate: Assyrians, Hittites, etc.
     
    You can’t evaluate history with “if”-s and “perhaps”-s. When faced with the invasions of brutal, uncivilized nomads, unreceptive destroyers, what cards sedentary Armenians might have played right? Where did you get this self-deprecating trait of putting the blame on a victim? What you’re saying is like the following. A neighbor will break into your house, burn in to the ground, rape all the females in front of you, mutilate children, bury elders alive (all these Turkish barbarities are documented), and then you’d be required to forget the humiliation because you were just not as brutal as the “big guys” to fend them off. What a primordial thinking! This might have been a “norm” in the merciless medieval ages, but, Karekin, a nation of Turks that, I bet, consider themselves “civilized,” how could they mass murder and mutilate, rape and burn alive innocent human beings in the 20th century? No, it just doesn’t always work like this: “to the victor go the spoils, as well as the right to write history as they so choose.” History is a universal discipline, it can’t be distorted. However hard the Turks tried, the world knows what they had done to Armenians. As for the “victors”, as you say, but “murderers,” as the rest of Armenians say, many of them did offer apologies and reparations.
     
    The demise of the Ottoman Armenians was premeditated and carried out by the Ottoman government of Young Turks. Whether the members of the government represented the sinister forces or not, CUP was the official Ottoman government that gave orders at annihilation of Armenians. If the central government was stuffed by “sinister forces,” who, then, were the local valis, provincial administration executives, gendarmes, the Chettes, army commanders, army soldiers, neighbors, ordinary looters, pillagers, and murderers? Were they not ethnic Turks?
     
    Lastly, I don’t have to stage dog & pony shows, I am not a Turk to dust Western eyes. I have a more serious Cause to advance…

  33. Rita, Alex and Karo are right on the mark. Bravo Karo you really are nailing the critical points as usual.
     
    There are legitimate legal channels open to help resolve this issue according to international legal norms that will help lead both people attain reconciliation. These channels are explained quite nicely in Alfred DeZayas’ article. Acting as though the truth alone will heal wounds and lead to genuine reconciliation between Turks and Armenians Karekin is foolhardy.
     
    Why would you ignore these legal channels of expediting reconciliation and resort to crying over spilled milk Karekin? What is your contribution going to be? Are you going to whine over spilled milk for the rest of your life or are you going to pick yourself up and reinvigorate your spirit, resilience and faith as Karo stated, in helping our people achieve peace with Turks through international legal norms.
     
     
    Also, Dikranagerd is occupied Armenian land. For anyone, including a Kurdish mayor to suggest that it now belongs to them as well is ridiculous. Just because the renovation of our Church is being performed by the Armenian Patriarchate and the municipality of Diyarbakir doesn’t make our ancient city, our church and the land it sits on – theirs as well.  The Armenian city of Dikranagerd, Mr. Mayor belongs to Armenians today as much as it did back in 1915. The only difference is that it’s illegally occupied today by the relatives of the looters, rapists and murderers. Got it?…good.

  34. Osman Baydemir is on trial with other Kurds in Turkey, accused of terrorism.  He is demanding Kurdish human rights.  He would like people in Europe to care and speak out for the Kurds in their quest for human rights in Turkey.

    I read this story on EKurd.net. 

    Wouldn’t it be nice if some of you here on the Armenian internet did that, since Turks are certainly reading every word you write.

    Shalom.

  35. I agree with anonymous. Baydemir is a courageous human rights activist. Whether Diyarbakir is occupied or not, it was nice of him to show such warmth to the Armenians gathered there and say those words. He didn’t have to do that. We should show some gratitude for it.  

  36. I am thankful that the Patriarchate and Diyarbakir invested the 2.5 million into renovating our Church. Perhaps the Mayors contribution can be considered the first installment towards Turkey’s future comprehensive reparations package in renovating and restoring our cultural sites. But for the dear Mayor to patronize Armenians with dolma diplomacy regarding the ownership of our land is hypocritical and unnecessary. Hypocritical and unnecessary because he knows very well what happened to Armenians in 1915 and how his Kurdish flock usurped our assets and built their communities on our established wealth.

    Thanks for your two cents anonymous. The Kurdish quest for human rights gets plenty of publicity and support in our Armenian papers even by their own commentators. How much attention and support do the Kurds get amongst your own when its not politically convenient??? Most of us are aware that Turks monitor this website…its nice to know that you folks are also attentively following our every word…

    Cheers!

  37. I like that very much .I mean coming from Shalom….por fin!!at long last one jewish  Armenian kindly-minded voice ..no doubt  this after the Fiasco at sea with the Turkish “contrabandists” shal we say.Note  that i am cautious to eh Shalom..
    I understand that kurds need support,both from us Armenians(if they officially come to us ,at least in Diaspora,through their Parliament if Brussels,is it?..for soon there will be an Armenian  Diasporic Center-whatever the name of it.but then your people also should give them a hand as well don´t you think.After helping so much your ex-ally Turkey (now turned adversary).Try that  through your Government too.at Brussels,won´t ya?
    Time is right for that.Also officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide by ISRAL..
    Shalomª!!!!!!

  38. “What is here today could be gone tomorrow.”  Karekin, then with the same perverted logic explain Armenia’s independence and liberation of Artsakh. Didn’t the mighty Soviet Union exist and was eventually gone? One day genocide-perpetrator, fascist state of Turkey may also be gone because, like the Soviets, it is an artificial creation on the stolen lands of native inhabitants. Everything comes full circle…

  39. To Paul  and Karo,
    In brief.Well wishing seeing things  in rosy colours,is also one of Armenian characters-natures shall we say.But to be  “au currant”,realist and actively pursuing our CAUSE/CASE another.if, as you describe everything falls  in place and Turkey overnight-like soviet union-becomes a democratic (I´d say wild free market economy )country…wonderfull!!!
    But this Ottoman Empire inheritors  are not to be compared with Russians,who are ..Europeans,you forget  with very very high cultural,scientific etc., etc., characteristics and ACHIEVEMENTS.GAGARIN  country kalashnikov,just 2 small examples.Turks? oh yes they are to do the same soon…just follow the line  their Davutoglu  is working on…
    in spanish there is a saying”soñando tambien uno vive”-by dreaming one can also live…
    best luck to your wishes….but I suggest we prepare for the worst from those 2 neighbours  of ours…period!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  40. If your family was from Tokhlan, Tchavlig, Oughnout, Hajyiana, Almalou, Ufundou, Palu, Alou,, Alipiran, Tchuruk, Kghi, or any of the many villages in the Upper Goynoug of Daron’s Dzayratatav, they were in the  Death March caravans that all ended at Diyarbakir. These caravans were primarily of women and children, all the men having been murdered much earlier. Any who were still alive in Diyarbakir, were murdered by Kurds and Ottoman Turks. None of the women and children survived beyond Diyarbakir. This church should be dedicated in their memory. I thank the Kurds for their participation in its renovation. The  cost of renovation and perpetual maintenance of our church should be fully funded by both Kurds and Turks whose present day wealth is built on the plunder of our murdered ancestors.

  41. “Turks emerged as a nation-state in the 14th century”
     
    this is wrong karo, first turkish state using turk in its name is Göktürks founded in 552 in central asia where our ancestors migrate from.

  42. I think that if there had not been a genocide in 1915 then maybe the Kurds in eastern Turkey would have continued, just as they had before, to help Turks kill off Armenians down to the present day.  I doubt there would solidarity between the two groups now.  Turks and Kurds would be ganging up on Armenian villages and robbing them and killing people.

  43. Karo, the Soviet Union falling is not the same as Turkey, though it may be compared with the demise of the Ottoman Empire. Today’s Turkey is not an empire. And while we may mourn the loss of sovereignty in Anatolia, that took place a very long time ago, and yes, Armenians helped in that regard. Armenian generals actually welcomed the Seljuks and joined them to oust the Byzantine Greeks, whom they detested. In other words, they turned on their bosses because they hated Byzantine Greek rule, thinking the Seljuks would be better. This is what you do when you are small, outnumbered and lacking in power. You form alliances that will help your people and your country. This all took place in the late 11th C. and then the Giligian kingdom fell to the Mamluks in the 14th C. I am not denying for one second that what the CUP did to Armenians was, until, the worst human crime in history….I get that, I really do. But what I don’t get is the insistence that we can turn back the clock. Neither you nor anyone else can turn it backwards for one second, let alone centuries. It cannot happen. Yes, the Greeks preserved mainland Greece, but they never got their land in Anatolia back…and I don’t hear them saber rattling for it, either. We have our Hayastan, and more importantly, should be demanding that it reunite with Karabagh…as soon as possible. But, they haven’t even recognized it as anything yet. So please, get with the program. If someone offers to restore Akhtamar, or any other historic Armenian monument in Anatolia, say ‘thank you’, rather than issuing insult, after criticism, after demand, after, etc, etc. because you know what?  All your rants are meaningless and will not even come close to achieving what is being done without your help. As I said, the train has left the station, and you are on the platform screaming at it to stop….which is something that clearly will not happen. Time moves on…..sorry.

  44. Teoman, you’re a classic example testifying to why it is hard for Armenians to discuss things with Turks. I said “Turks emerged as a nation-state in the 14th century,” meaning a state formation, and not a clan of tribal chieftains who came to be known as the nomadic Göktürk Khaganate, known for roaming Altai mountains in northern Mongolia and on the steppes of Central Asia. If I referred to Armenians in the same manner, I’d have gone as far as the 5-7 millennia BC when first proto-Armenian tribes existed and then created a confederation of Urartu. I was particularly talking about the nation-state that after destructive invasions of your forefathers Seljuks and Mongols into Asia Minor, was created only in the 14th century AD (Ottoman House). And even the empire wasn’t a nation-state in a classical sense of the word, because it essentaially was an amalgamation of newly-arrived Seljuls and Mongols with ancient inhabitants such as Greeks, Armenians, and Assyrians. But thank you, at least, for acknowledging the fact what geographic area your historical origins are. By no account they are where Turks now live.

  45. Incorrigible Karekin. Time and wisdom have long since passed you by my friend.
     
    Demands for the reinstatement of our assets is in no way suggestive of “turning back the clock”. In fact, lawful demands to reinstate our assets seek to account for lost time in order to forge a new future with Turks.
     
    By continuously denying and distorting truth, the Turkish government “insists on turning back the clock” to re-examine documented facts, while Armenians have come to terms with this shared past and seek to make amends through international legal norms of justice in order to attain sincere reconciliation.
     
    Karekin, you make it seem like Turkish authorities placed all Armenian religious heritage under the Constantinople Patriarchate’s jurisdiction and restored their initial purpose as houses of worship. You know as well as I do that Turkish buffoonery on Akhtamar was a dog and pony show to get people like you talking about anything but the truth.
     
    As a refresher: The root word of the term restoration is “restore”. The verb to restore is defined as an act of bringing something back to an original condition (as in restoring stolen funds – thus regaining money that was stolen). The transformation or conversion of our Akhtamar Church into a “museum” requires renovation NOT restoration. To restore a Church would mean the Church would resume its primary purpose in its original form NOT an alternate purpose with a different agenda. If the Turkish government actually restored our Church, then there would have been no reason to convert it into a museum!
     
    When someone actually does “restore” Akhtamar I will say thank you. But, when someone (especially an unrepentant perpetrator of genocide) TRANSFORMS Akhtmar into a “museum” against the will of its parishioners, I will spit right back in their face void of heaping any undeserved over the top praise for shameless propagandists still keen on our demise.

  46. Karekin, how tiresome your mantra can be for commentators, if you only knew… No one compares the fall of the Soviet Union with Turkey, I tried to show that the world is evolving, states disintegrate, new ones emerge (Iraq, Pakista, Bangladesh, East Timor, Ossetia, Abkhazia, Kosovo, Artsakh in not a distant future) or ancient ones re-emerge (Israel, Armenia, Georgia, etc.). Is it so hard to see? Armenian generals never “welcomed” the Seljuks, stop disseminating crap, will you? They just played a centrist game being sandwiched between the Byzantines and Seljuks in order to preserve optimal sovereignty and maintain security. No foreign rule was so destructive in Armenia’s history as the rule of Turkic tribes: Seljuks, Mongols, and especially Ottomans. For the hundredth time: no one “insist” that we can turn back the clock. We insist that the murderer who committed a heinous crime in the past have the courage and apologize to the victim in the present time. Am I not making myself understood or you deliberately twist the meaning of my words? For the hundredth time: Artsakh will be recognized when recognition will serve as a strong counteroffensive against our archenemies: Azerbaijan and Turkey. As for saying “thank you” for Akhtamar, are you out of your mind? Three-quarters of my ancestral lands have been stolen, 2 mln innocent peoples massacred or expelled, their lands, pastures, bank accounts, insurance indemnities, personal treasures stolen, and almost all cultural edifices destroyed, and I’m required to say “thank you”? Unheard of… The train is approaching a new station, Karekin, and its called “Armenia” and I, among millions of others, has put my “two cents” by advancing the Cause in every way. But you can catch the train and go back to the millet system serving your bloodthirsty Ottoman Turk masters… sorry.

  47. Karekin, I don’t often agree with your slant on things, and I don’t like the condescending tone you sometimes take, but I do agree that Armenian should call for reunion with Artsakh today! 

    Also, I am sure most Armenians are grateful that Akhtamar Church was repaired but I still believe that Turkey fell far short of the appropriate and fitting action of returning it to the administration of the Patriarchate in Istanbul.  We Armenians have a right to let them know this.  It is our church not their museum.  Their possesion of it as a tourist destination rather than at the very least, a memorial to the millions that died, is low class and insensitive.  A gift that is more tease and insult than it is a magnanimous gesture.   What’s the appropriate way to say thank you to such a back-handed gift?

  48. Karo, you are unbelievable,
     
    so you are claiming that turkish guys before ottomans were just nomadic tribes. Even the Seljucs. I agree with you, it is IMPOSSIBLE for you and me to discuss dear history professor. Good luck with your bizarre way of history interpretation

  49. It is painful to see a fellow Armenian with defeatist mentality, in Armenian there is a term that describes this condition, “kdsnogh”.  Brother, I really like to see you man up and defend what really belongs to you.  I don’t have much to say, but if I have no self respect, neither my foes nor my friends will have respect towards me.

  50. As we all know, possession is, in most of the world, at least 9/10ths of the law. Meaning, that if you have something in your hands, you have earned it and it is yours. This principle is what we are using to justify our reunification with Karabagh…something I think is long overdue. We earned it, we can reverse one of Stalin’s fiats in our favor. However, if this is possible in Karabagh, you can’t ignore that the same must hold true (at least in Turkish eyes), regarding Anatolia. Yes, borders move and change during the course of history, but only when one power has the might to force a change. If you don’t realize that we are not now, and have not been in a position to force a change regarding historic Armenia for almost 1000 years, then something is wrong.  Moreover, Armenians have been leaving historic Armenia for other parts of the world for the same amount of time, if not before, in the many thousands. Maybe they all should have stayed put to fight on behalf of a country that ceased to exist?  Sometimes it is just very prudent to be happy with what you have and make the best of it, but it seems we Armenians cannot do that. We have our azad Hayastan now, yet people have deserted it by the millions. We have Karabagh, another dream come true, but won’t recognize or reunite with it. We yearn for Akhtamar and Ani, yet many thousands in Armenia itself, especially outside of Yerevan, live without basic necessities. Irridentist sentiments are fine and dandy, but when they impinge on the lives of real people, then they are just fantasies. To continue to sacrifice the lives and well being of those who struggle to live in Armenia today, for the dream of reclaiming our historic homeland, is just not smart. That is why Pres. Sarkisyan is attempting a more pragmatic approach to the issue of relations with Turkey. He is trying to improve the situation for his citizens as best he can. And, as nice as it may feel for some of us, genocide recognition will not feed one baby nor educate one child nor heat one decrepit home this winter. That’s the reality he is facing and that we all should not forget.

  51. Karekin, you sound so smooth, as if you are ‘knowledgeable and wise…
    Wake up, our nation suffered
    – Turks beginnings of their Turkish Genocicde of the Armenian nation in the 19th century
    – Turks planned the elimination of the Armenians from their own homeland of nearly
    4,000 years
    – My family has never known our family members, from Dikrangerd, great grand parents, grand parents, uncles, aunts, all their children/our cousins
    – The Turk is ‘getting away with murders’ that any civilized nations would not abide today as any and all murderers are brought to justice.  No murders ignored, justice served.
    Do you understand?  OR is the word Genocide misleading your thinking… Genocides means all that was vented upon the Christian Armenians – the elderly, the men, the women and the children… Actually theTurk planned their method of eliminating the Armenians in order to steal their lands, culture, wealths, women, children – to kill, to force them to become Turks, and worse.  Don’t you comprehend that this planned and
    executed vile inhumanity emanated from the minds of the Turkish leaders – humans destroying human lives… AND worse, to this day, all that the Ottomans began – and is today still the ‘policies’ of the subsequent leaderships of a Turkey… As far as the Turk
    leadership is concerned, their leaders never committed the Turkish Genocide of the
    Armenian nation… still today.  Evidently, Turks are, obviously, incapable of joining the civilized nations of the world – since even today the Turks pursue Genocides to gain what a Turkey wants…. Not wars, allied with countries, agreements/disagreements which are not agreed to… ongoing/unending since all the Turks’ actions from their recent history
    (as Turk hordes from the Asian mountains had not any ‘history’) OBVIOUSLY has not changed since they came to the Caucasus to steal an existing nation and take all its
    advances and wealths and more… 
    Hence a Turkey still thinks it has the rights to the lands of the Armenians – not from winning a war… (too, as Azeris in Artsakh (NK).  The only way Turks get what a Turkey wants is their use of inhumanity to humans, illegally stealing lands, today the Genocide of the Kurds.   It appears you don’t know what the Turks are and have been capable of, too all the PLOYs and distractions. deceits and more they employ to avoid joining the civilized nations of the world… Except to unite with others as themselves. Manooshag
     

    • MANOOSHAG, YOU ARE RIGHT IN EVERYTHING YOU SAY, THE TURKS HAVE LEARNED TO JUSTIFY GENOCIDE AND DECEIT AS LONG THAT IT LEADS TO THEIR SUCCESS, MOST TURKS ARE NOT ASHAMED THAT THEY COMMITTED GENOCIDE BY SLAUGHTERING ARMENIANS,GREEKS,ASSYRIANS AND OTHER CHRISTIANS , THEY JUST SIMPLY LOOK AT THEIR GAINS AND THEY HAVE GAINED PLENTY WITH BLOODY HANDS AND THEY ARE PROUD OF IT. THEY WOULD DO THE SAME TO THE KURDS AND ALEVIS IF THEY CAN. LETS NOT BE FOOLED THIS IS THEIR METHOD.

  52. Why, teoman, they teach you at schools that “Turkish guys” before Ottomans were sedentary people? If they were sedentary and not nomadic, why didn’t they stay in the Altay mountains and steppes of Mongolia where, as you yourself admitted, they originated? It’s in the best Turkish tradition to distort history in order to ennoble their nation. But what the Turks are being brainwashed at schools and what the world knows are two divergently different things, dear history student. Seljuk Turkss were nomadic, tent-living, brutal tribes that started scorching Asia Minor in the 11th century AD. Are you reading anything other than Turkish history books? Or you think you’d better not in order not to know the truth about your nation? Or you really think that there was no Byzantine Greece in the western parts of modern-day Turkey or Armenia in its eastern parts? Or you think that thousands of Christian monuments that your nation has effectively desecrated or transformed to mosques and sheepfolds are the works of sedentary, “civilized” Seljuk or Ottoman Turks? Or maybe you think that ancient Byzantine Greek capital of Constantinople was Turkish “Istanbul” and Hagya Sophia was always a Turkish museum? You’re brainwashed, xenophobic, unreceptive and distorting state and I have strong doubts that you’d ever become civilized.

  53. So, Karekin, these are the limits of your mentality and worldview? “Possession is at least 9/10ths of the law” and “if you have something in your hands, you have earned it and it is yours”? That’s simple? You mean by massacring Christian Greeks, Assyrians, and Armenians, Turks have EARNED(?!) their lands? So, you justify mass murders, forced expulsions, and crimes against humanity? Is this the acumen of your intellectual and humanitarian capacity? Then please be advised that Armenians are not using this principle to justify our reunification with Artsakh. Artsakh was HISTORICALLY an Armenian province that in the late 1980s voted for reunification with Armenia. The international principle that’s being applied in the case of Artsakh, to your knowledge, is called the “right of self-determination” and not “possession” through destruction and genocide, as in the case of Turkish occupation of our lands. The two are divergently different cases. Western Armenia has never been an ancestral Turkish land. It’s been invaded, looted, scorched and colonized first by Seljuk Turks and Mongols, the forefathers of modern Turks, and then by the Ottomans. At least thank you for accepting that things can change when one power has the might to force a change. This is exactly what the Armenians are doing: forcing a change to restore the historical justice. Methods vary, one doesn’t necessarily have to have a nuclear weapon to force a change. The major flaw of your mentality, the one that should be pleasing Turkish ears, is that you disconnect the Cause for genocide recognition with strengthening of Armenia and Artsakh. One cannot exist without the other because they are segments of our COMMON, INSEPARABLE history and one only reinforces the other. Also, for your information, president Sarkisyan is not attempting a more pragmatic approach to the issue of relations with Turkey by his own initiative. Protocols were the result of the pressure on BOTH Armenian and Turkish sides by those who watched their signing behind the backs of the two foreign ministers. The establishment of diplomatic relations (that Turks reject) and opening of the border (that Turks have closed) have nothing to do with advancing of the Cause, and Sarkisyan reasserted this on numerous occasions. Had protocols not contained foolhardy provisions on historical subcommission, recognition of borders and treaties, no one Armenian would oppose establishing relations. I believe establishment of relations can only facilitate Turks’ coming to the terms with their own history and admission of guilt against Armenians.
     

  54. KAREKIN IS RIGHT,TEOMAN…BUT PLEASE KAREKIN HAVE ONE THING IN CONSIDERATION..THE PRESENT…
    REPUBLIC OF TURKEY TODAY IS AN IMPORTANT COUNTRY,IF IT WERE NOT SO MANY EUROPEAN COUNTRIES WOULD NOT WOO IT.EVEN RUSSIA DOES,TRADES WITH IT.AND I MA MENTIOING U.S  ON PURPOSE…BECAUSE LATTER FRO OVER 50 YEARS HAS NURTURED IT  LIKE IT WAS A NEWBORN BABY,THINKING PROBABLY THAT THE GROWN UP BABY WOULD BE THEIR STOUT ALLY…
    THINGS CHANGE ,SOMETIMES QUITE FAST.HISTORY? indeed historians´are there too doing their work,but what matters  really are those who MAKE HISTORY:::
    Thence,let us stick to realities.Our present political situation in face of world´s unstable economic and also political situation dictates  TACT.That is what the Government of Armenia is employing.We cannot rely on hypothetic or wishful scenarios.
    1.The complimentaritarian (really a made  up word by V.Oskanian)is still good, as to RA .Artsakh ,pretty much like Cypress is in “abeyance,SHALL WE SAY? SO LEAVE IT THERE.PREFERABLE THAN REKINDLE WAR  THERE…
    IT IS NOT A GOOD POLICY TO THROW TO ONE´S FACE ONE´S FAULTS.IF PERSON OR PERSONS-IN THIS CASE  A WHOLE PEOPLE-IS OF A LOWER CULTURE OR WITH NONE AT ALL,NO NEED TO THROW THAT IN THEIR FACE. WE DO NOT GAIN ANYTHING BY THAT.IT IS ABETTER POLICY ,TRY TO COME TO AN UNDERSTANDING WITH THEM AND CARRY ON.THERE ARE MANY WAYS  THAT GENOCIDE RECOGNITION-WHICH WILL…EVENTUALLY COME TO PASS BY NEIGHBOUR TURKEY,IT IS A QUESTION OF TIME.WHEN THIS HAPPENS REPARATIONS WILL ALSO SURFACE,WHICH AGAIN BY AND BY CAN BE REMEDIED..THENCE WE CANNOT AFFORD TO PLAY OUR CARDS AS THOUGH WE HAD VERY GOOD ONES AT HAND. PATIENCE  IS ONE OF OUR MAIN VIRTUES,WE CAN WAIT SOME MORE…
    ALL SIGNS SHOW THAT AFTER TURKEY´S UNSUCCESSFUL TRIES TO GAIN ENTRY INTO EU AND ALSO AS MAIN PLAYER IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD HAS SOMEWHAT CONVINCED HER THAT IT IS TIME TO TURN MORE EASTWARD AND SHE IS AT  IT AT PRESNT.LET US WAIT AND SEE  WHAT THE OUTCOME WILL BE. MEANWHILE I STRESS THE ESSENTIAL FOR US IS TO PUT THE DIASPORA HOUSE IN ORDER,RE-ORGANIZE  IT TO BECOME FULLY FLEDDGED PARTNER WITH ARMENIA. THI IS  IN OUR HANDS,NOT OTHERS´´
     

  55. Gaytzag,
     
    You say there’s “no need to throw in their face” the fact that a whole people is of a lower culture and is, in essence, a nomadic settler and colonizer, not a sedentary native inhabitant like Armenians. I don‘t essentially disagree with you, but on the other hand, how do you educate brainwashed Turks, like Teoman on these pages, who tries to justify Turks’ presence on the lands that were by any historical account their ancestral? I don’t think that confronting their state’s lies and distortion of history constitutes “throwing in their face” the fact that they are outcomers. If their Kemalist ideology has twisted their minds in terms of their origin and formation of their state on the bones and blood of more civilized people, who is going to confront this distortion? There’s no mentioning of Armenian origin near any of our remaining cultural edifices (Akhtamar, Ani, etc.). Why should I tolerate this injustice and sheer distortion of history? So that unrepentant Turks feel them comfortable with their lies? Why?

  56. Karo, you asked so many questions and i will try to explain them one by one:
     
    1. “If they were sedentary and not nomadic, why didn’t they stay in the Altay mountains and steppes of Mongolia where, as you yourself admitted, they originated?”
    This statement is totally absurd. If it were logical, then Germans in the 18th century would also be considered as nomadic because many german families migrated to America.
    Firstly, not every Turk migrated from central asia, some of them had to leave because the arid climate didnot suffice for the increasing population. this situation does not prove they were nomadic, it shows some turks migrated from their home land. If you ever go to Semerkand (which is the TURKISH CITY WHICH IS OVER 2500 YEARS OLD) you can see beautiful turkish architectual works. Buhara for example is another beautiful turkish city in central asia. So, my dear history teacher, turks had their cities, and their literature, and had their civilization long before the ottomans!!!
     
    2. “Seljuk Turkss were nomadic, tent-living, brutal tribes that started scorching Asia Minor in the 11th century AD”
    Just google the capital city Isfahan, see what those “nomadic people” did!!! (it worths googling, you won’t see tents believe me)
     
    3. “Teoman on these pages, who tries to justify Turks’ presence on the lands that were by any historical account their ancestral?”
    Who told you that. Turks began to enter asia minor exactly in 1071 after the Malazgirt war. You cannot find any Turk asserting turks were in these lands before this date.
     
    4. My favorite part:
    “you really think that there was no Byzantine Greece in the western parts of modern-day Turkey or Armenia in its eastern parts? Or you think that thousands of Christian monuments that your nation has effectively desecrated or transformed to mosques and sheepfolds are the works of sedentary, “civilized” Seljuk or Ottoman Turks? Or maybe you think that ancient Byzantine Greek capital of Constantinople was Turkish “Istanbul” and Hagya Sophia was always a Turkish museum?”
    Let me remind you, our conversation was not about these stuff. Besides, i never asserted anything against byzantine culture or armenian one in these lands. i never denied constantionople, i never told we are good at preserving your monuments appropriately. SO WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME THESE QUESTIONS!!! WHY!!!
     
    5. “You’re brainwashed, xenophobic, unreceptive and distorting state and I have strong doubts that you’d ever become civilized.”
    Well, you are not alone. In my last conversation, i saw many commentations support these views. Sorry but this is ridiculous.
    Finally i’m sure you will develop counterarguments to EVERYTHING i said. you have a standard turkish paradigm in your mind (uncivilized, without an appropriate history, brainwashed etc), and for you every turk resembles to this imaginary turk. It is not true Karo, you have to “update” your knowledge about us.

  57. Karo,
    Teoman(what a name,a fake one  of course) who could indeed come FWD and give his/her turkish name as Fetieh, or Mehmet…which goes to show that you are wasting your precioous time to  a fascist agent what transpired in the past.While he /she knows it probably if not better than you me, at least quite well…but  what is the use…
    Persons like that fight it out to the end , until their ideology(in this case kemalism ,if not turanism) expires or rather is toppled .No,not by us,but from within…then at that point of time,i agree, we the Kurds, the Greeks can join in and …you know the rest.
    But until then you are aware(and did not answer to that  part  of my above post)that  Euro-Ams are AS  YET SUPPORTING  THEIR FASCIST STATE…
    PLEASE UNDERSTAND  THAT AND DO NOT press me to say it outright…
    Well I shall, I´m not afraid  and this  I have already said:-This small Monstger was created nay nurtured and aided by billions  of non-returnable aids/handouts to BECOME WHAT IT IS TODAY::::cAPICHE? FOR gOD´S SAKE…
    lEST  US SEE WHAT  MORE THEY HAVE UP THEIR SLEEVES, ANOTHER CHURCH OPENING..E.G…or  opening  the BORDERS ONLY ONCE A WEEK TO GO PRAYU AT KARS ARMENIAN CHURCH-another example…which people like my tolerate…becajuse I know how they will not change  their mindset,thinking strategy-like you hope overnight!!!!
    They will do it their way  YAVASH  YAvash…-o.k:
    BEST LUCK WITH YOUR STRATEGY!!!!!
    I prefer  mine…Wait and see what  is their next  such….

  58. teoman,
    you amaze me. Bukhara, Samarkand, Isfahan are Turkish? Really? Is that what they teach you in Turkey?
    Bukhara and Samarkand are built by Tajik people. Tajiks live in Central Asia and they are muslim and are surrounded by Turkic peoples. However, they are not at all Turkish. Tajiks are much closer to Iranians and Armenians. These cities are currently in Uzbekistan, which is a Turkic country. So what? Uzbekistan never existed before the USSR. It was never on the map. Both cities still have a majority population of Tajiks. Those are their cities. Isfahan is a quintessential Persian city. It was not established or built by Turks. End of story.
    Just because you step a foot somewhere, it becomes Turkish? Is that how things work? You have been living in Constantinople for centuries. How many landmarks in the city are built by Turks?
    Secondly, migration and nomadic lifestyle are two different things. Migrating Turks had no great houses in Central Asia. They were still nomads but moving around Central Asia for a while. I suggest that you take a trip to Kyrgyzstan, for example, and take a look at the houses where Kyrgyz people live and people of other ethnicities live. It will be a real eye-opening experience for you. By the way, if you talk to them they tell openly that they are nomads. Most of the progress that Central Asian Turkic people made in the past century was due to being part of the Soviet Union.
     

  59. Hye, Karo, abrees… a Genocide is a Genocide is a Genocide…  even if the Turk doesn’t know its own history… killings, murders, kidnappings, forced women to and children to become Turks… and worse, victms had horse shoes nailed to their feet… such as this
    torture, as only the Turk mentality can devise -coming as they did from the Asian mountains, not any history of their own.  But knowing that they would take all that was of the ancient and advanced nation of the Armenians, thus assure – believing that the Turk shall stand tall amongst nations…. as were Armenians – yeraz neen metch! Manooshag

  60. Teoman, I’m sorry to say that I’m now convinced that no dialogue is possible with people whose brains are stuffed with sheer distortion and excessive national arrogance typical to a newly-emerged nation. How primitive is it to compare nomads in their classic definition with immigrants? Really, until now I thought Turks were of higher caliber. Also noted is arrogance with which you denounce simple truth about the definition of nomads as “absurd”. Does it mean that anything that you could perceive as diminishing the Turks’ national ego is “absurd”. Why? Are you the center of the earth? If you think you are, show me any ancient cultural, architectural, or scientific contribution that Turks have made in the world civilization!
     
    How insolent a person can be to call Samarkand and Bukhara “Turkish cities”… Jesus Christ! These cities were known as parts of Bukhara Khanate long before any mentioning of Turks in the annals of the world history. They bear strong Persian/Tajik cultural influence. Isfahan? A marvel of Persian culture and architectural exquisiteness! If you dare to tell your rubbish to an Iranian or a Tajik, they will tear you in parts. What degenerated mentality based on decades-long distortion of history, state-sponsored propaganda aimed at ennobling your nation by ascribing others’ cultural achievements as Turkish. My God!
     
    No, Teoman, there are no Turkish cities and literature before Ottomans, because nomads, in the classical sense of the word, are not capable of producing such civilizational accomplishments. They normally live in tents, do horse-breeding, roam and wander, and conquer new pastures. The last one was exactly why your forefather Seljuk Turks moved from the steppes of Mongolia to Asia Minor. They scorched millennia-long civilizations of Greeks, Assyrians, Armenians, and then learnt from them how to try to become more civilized as they settled by adopting the music, literature, some traditions, and even the cuisine of those peoples. On youtube I watched a group of Armenian tourists visiting a site in Kars(? I think), where there is an ancient Armenian church transformed into a Turkish hospital(!). When one of the Armenians who spoke Turkish asked the facilities manager about the origin of the structure, the latter said: “It’s a Seljuk structure.” An eye-catching Christian Armenian architectural structure with a typical dome, arches, niches, and overall décor is portrayed as a “Seljuk Turkish” structure. Why? Because you’re afraid of calling things by their names. If you do, you’ll come to realize that there’s virtually no genuinely Turkish landmarks on the lands you occupy.
     
    Thank you, at least, for accepting that Turks began to enter (?! Lol, “invade” could be a proper verb, don’t you think?) Asia Minor in the 11th century AD. Since you said “A” say “B”, too, and ask yourself who inhabited these lands before Turks “entered” the region? Do google search, if you will, and see how Turks “entered” the region: peacefully or destructively? And then ask yourself as to what could have possibly happened to all those sedentary, ancient peoples inhabiting Asia Minor? Where are they now given Turkish “civilized” behavior and your “compassionate” sense of value of human lives?
     

    I don’t have a standard Turkish paradigm in my mind, Teoman, but I have a professional knowledge of non-Armenian historical sources, which I also humbly advise you to get. Knowing the truth enlightens and ennobles a person. In the Holy Bible Christians have a teaching: “And the Truth will Set you Free.” I think it is universal notwithstanding whether you’re a Christian or a Muslim. Be courageous and you can become one of those brave Turkish intellectuals who already came to understanding that things are wrong in your society, that your nation’s history is not how it is being offered in your schools and universities. The one that’s being taught is the easiest and the convenient one, because you don’t have to use your brains to seek the truth. It is very convenient to know that Turks were not nomads, that Bukhara and Isfahan were Turkish cities, and that Muslim Turks had never committed genocide, as your prime-minister recently asserted. Nothing could be far from the truth. It is not a prejudice that the world has against Turks, it is your state propaganda that forges convenient and easily-digestible fairy tales that you come to believe. I don’t think that all Turks fall under the characterizations that you take as an insult. Please don’t. I think it’s not ordinary people’s fault but the great crime of your governments that hide and distort the truth in order to maintain the integrity of the state and enjoy the fruits of genocidal policies against the native inhabitants and their cultural heritage. This cannot go forever, Teoman. The day will come when the truth will prevail.

  61.  
    Thanks Karo and our friends on this site for your information about Tajik culture.
    I know about Isfahan, I never visited there,They call it “Half Jahan”( Half Paradise)
    If people speak the same language it doesn’t mean they have the same culture and attitudes. As an example…The populace those who speak Arabic from Iraq till Maghrib are different as every place has different attitudes, culture, education …so you can never generalize. It applies the same for the religion.We should be aware about this points and read more to know more.
    Thanks for the Internet
    Which provides us more information
    And allow us to communicate
    With educated people
    In our genius atmosphere.
    Sylva
     
     
     
     

  62. Karo – I’m not attempting to ‘justify’ anything nor to ignore anything, just to recognize history, plain and simple. Repeating evil deeds over and over again with anger will not change the fact that we lost, they won and were able to maintain their rule over us for a 1000 years. You may want to brag about how civilized we are, and I won’t dispute that for a minute or that the minorities actually did all the work for the Seljuks, Ottomans and others for hundreds of years, because as you say, nomads didn’t know how to do any of it, but if we are to be seen as civilized, we also have to realize that the greatness of the Ottoman empire was due largely to our contribution.  We need to take credit for all the positives.  While they ran the government and the army, Armenians, Greeks and others did everything else. Let’s engineer a change, not only in attitudes but in the artificial, manufactured history that has become standard fare in Turkey. We cannot do this by endlessly demonizing everything about them, but by highlighting our contributions to their success, because without the minorities, the Ottoman legacy would have largely been just a military one, without much of a cultural component. 

  63. OK, Karekin, point taken. I don’t essentially disagree in theory, but, in practice, will the highlighting of our contributions to the Turks’ success change anything in their stagnated mentality? Strongly doubt. Even on information signss near a few remaining Armenian churches and monasteries turned into Turkish “museums” there is no mentioning as to who built the structure or whose culture the “museum” actually exhibits. I guess this has little to do with the recognition of genocide, right? Then explain why Turks are so uncivilized and xenophobic towards even acknowledging the cultural achievements of other peoples? You know why, don’t you? Because they know that they are outcomers who destroyed, colonized, massacred native inhabitants and then Turkified their cultural heritage. Modern Turkish society is a sick society and you’re offering to highlight our contributions to their success? How can such a sick, xenophobic, “Turks-above-all” society admit that almost entire cultural, business, educational, and architectural foundations were laid by nations that lived on those lands long before world came to know who the Turk is? A society that changed historical Christian Byzantine capital of Constantinople into Turkified “Istanbul” and magnificent Christian Byzantine cathedral of Hagya Sophia into a mosque and then a “museum,” can it be perceptive to our attempts to change their artificial, manufactured history? Strongly doubt. Go tell a Turk that Armenian architects Sinan and Palians are considered founders of “Turkish architecture,” including Dolmabache. See how this changes their artificial, manufactured history. Will they rush to put a sign near every building designed by an Armenian architect acknowledging the fact? How can a Turk acknowledge the cultural, intellectual, and civilizational superiority of other, nobler and more ancient peoples? How serious is your suggestion?



  64. Hemsin:
    Hemshin / Hemshinly / Hemshintsi
    (Turkification of Armenians: Genocide of Identity)

    Armenians of Hemsin.*
    They were forcibly
    Terrified-tortured-Turkified
    From the eleventh century onwards.
     
    When you see Hemsins’ faces
    They don’t look like Turks;
    When you hear their music
    It sounds soulful Armenian
     
    When they dance, their feet stamp their ethnic style
    When they extend arms, cuddle each other’s shoulders
    They are Armenians
    Musically rousing, exciting, dancing the
    ‘Sabre Dance’ of Khachaturian’s** creative eternal ballet.
    Although it might be fair to say that, probably,
    The Hemshinlies have never heard any of that music
    Other than what was imposed upon them forcibly.

    Every star in the sky
    Can sparkle reaching earth…and
    Can swear that the
    Hemsin race were and are Armenians.
    Turks Turkified them forcing them to
    Lose their identity.
    However, their faces, figures, lyrics and
    Their trustworthy smiles
    That shine from their passionate harts
    Stay genetically
    Nevertheless Armenian.
     
    Internet – “The Magic-Box” –
    Will return them one day,
    Spreading the word internationally,
    Who they are …
    Who their race was!
    From whence they came,
    By whom they were prosecuted,
    Why and how!
     
    Now they stay silent
    Fearful of exhaling a stagnated,
    Painful breath that had been
    Inhaled through the centuries…
     
    See their site on DVD
    It looks like Switzerland
    With beautiful wooden villas.
    One would like to reach there and smell the pines,
    Hear the birds singing, hear the waterfalls dance.
     
    Their phenotypes are originally Armenian,
    More than me,
    Turks call them Hemshinly—Hemshintsti***
     
    Even if they stamp ‘Turkish’ on their forehead
    Their blood will chant,
    “We are only Armenians”
     
    Even if we delete all religions
    “We will remain Armenians”
    We can stay with our original honest faith;
    Even if we were faithless,
     
    We would still be Armenian!
    We would like to serenade with peaceful loving nations
    To chant,
     
    “We’re humans.
    Like everyone,
    From the Armenian Highlands.”

    July 8, 2010
     
     
    _______________________________________
    *Armenians of Hemsin: Turkish influence was firmly established in the region after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, after which the Seljuk Turks and other Turkish tribes gained a strong foothold in Central Anatolia and Western Armenian Highlands, often referred to as Eastern Anatolia, bringing the local population in contact with the religion of Islam through persecution. In 15th century, the region of Hemshin was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. During the Turkish rule, two most important developments are human migrations and conversions. Most sources agree that prior to Ottoman era majority of the residents of Hemshin were Christian and members of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The details and the accompanying circumstances for the migrations and the conversions during the Ottoman era are not clearly known or documented.
    The Kemalist “Turkey for the Turks” ideology offered no security for minorities with the tiny Hemşinli group having especially compelling reasons to keep its head down because its members are the descendants of Armenians. In order to avoid accusations of “separatism” the Hemshinli are discreet and unprovocative about their own identity, taking a full but unobtrusive part in Turkish society. The filmmaker Özcan Alper, an eastern Hemshinli, made the first motion picture in Homshetsi, Momi (Grandma), released in 2000. As a result, Alper was accused in the Court for State Security of producing material intended to destroy the unity of the state, under article 8 of Turkey’s anti-terror law. This law was repealed in 2003 after EU pressure, and Alper’s trial did not go ahead. Hamsheni singer Gökhan Birben (from the Western group) and Laz singer Kâzım Koyuncu had also sung in Homshetsi. In 2005, the first music album exclusively of anonymous Hamshen folk songs and sung mostly in Homshetsi, Vova – Hamşetsu Ğhağ was released.
    Older generations of Turkish Hamshenis see the reference “Ermeni” (often used by their Laz neighbours) as an insult but some among younger generations, particularly those with strong leftist leanings tend to identify themselves as Armenians.
    Mesut Yılmaz, a former Prime Minister of Turkey, was born in Istanbul to a family with partial Hamsheni (Western group) origins. Ahmet Tevfik İleri (who was born in Yaltkaya(Gomno) village of Hemşin), a Deputy Prime Minister and before that, a Minister of Education in Turkey within successive Adnan Menderes governments between 1950–1960, as well as Damat Mehmet Ali Pasha, the Ottoman Grand Vizier on the eve of the Crimean War in 1853 were also Hamshenis. The community issued other important names in Turkish history and society such as Murat Karayalçın, current leader of SHP and a former Deputy Prime Minister and mayor of Ankara who is from Şenyuva (Çinçiva) village of Çamlıhemşin.

  65. These arguments are all very funny and nonsense, nobody can be judged because of the history. History should be evaluated and judged in its own conditions of that time. So everybody should ask to himself this question  who was living in europe, in anatolia, in armenia, in russia….. 10000 years ago? :)).  Nobody can say that  ”we are the first residents of this region”. These are all funny really . Can anybody predict the residents of a specific region after 300 years from today?? Everybody here is brainwashed and non-producing people and only concuming and talking about smth cannot be changed. Everybody writing here, You are not owner of a place or a region. You are all concumers and you only own your body, nothing else. Things, countries and regions will change, nothing will stay in place maybe 100 years after today. You are all POOR people and working on things that cannot be changed. The best individual for a society is the individual who produces and cretaes concrete things for the future of that society. Everything else is nonsense and story.  

  66.  
    Al-Ma’arri 1000 years ago divided people to two types:
    “The religious and none religious the clever and the non-clever”
    I would like to say, “The people are divided to two types:
    Real Humans with genes of humanity or birthed without genes of Humanity;
    Thus, ‘Real Humanity’ is never related to race, religion or ethnicity.”
    Sylva

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