Evolving Armenian Realities and the Surp Giragos Dikranagerd Church

I would like to share my thoughts about Armenian realities—evolving ones, forgotten ones, and new ones.

This church had more than 200 deeds showing that a significant portion of the Diyarbakir city center belonged to the church prior to 1915. At present, several apartment buildings, state schools, offices, and shops are on these lands. So, the long and difficult process has begun, to reclaim these lands and properties by their rightful owner, the Surp Giragos Church.

Until 20 years ago, the Armenian reality was mainly Soviet Armenia and the diaspora. Then, a double miracle happened and we had a free and independent Armenia and Karabagh, creating a new reality, which became the triangle of Armenia, Karabagh, and the diaspora. And yet, throughout the past century, there’s been an often forgotten or dismissed reality—the Armenians remaining in Turkey. This is a tiny community of about 60,000, generally called Bolsahays as they live mostly in Istanbul, which was the intellectual, cultural, political, industrial, and social center for Armenians before 1915. Although they are called Bolsahays, they come mostly from the historic homeland, where they lived continuously for more than 3,000 years. These people are not exactly diasporan or Hayasdantsi. So, how do you define them? Where do we place them in the Hayasdan-Artsakh-Spyurk triangle? I suggest placing them in the middle, in the heart of the triangle. Let me explain.

For almost a century now, despite the hardships, pain, and grief caused by the Turkish state, despite the discrimination, harassment, and insults hurled at them by the general Turkish population, these Armenians have continued to preserve their identity and carry the heavy burden of protecting the legacy and heritage left behind by their ancestors, at least in Istanbul, keeping an open and active the Armenian Patriarchate, more than 30 churches, nearly 20 schools, and 2 hospitals. Until recently their efforts were all managed defensively, in a survival mode, until one Armenian, originally from Malatya, stood up in Istanbul and called upon the Turks and Turkish state to face their past, stop falsifying historical facts, and talk about the remaining Armenians. He stood up as an advocate of dialogue and a bridge between Turks and Armenians. Unfortunately, the enormous impact of Hrant Dink’s critical message and the new reality was only understood after his murder.

Around the same time, another Armenian in Istanbul, this time from Dikranagerd/Diyarbakir, stood up and declared that the historic Surp Giragos Church had to be reconstructed. This church, with its seven altars and capacity of 3,000 people—the biggest Armenian church in the Middle East—was partially destroyed by cannon fire in 1915 and left in ruins, on its last legs after its roof collapsed. Until recently, the Turkish state had not allowed even minor repairs to the Armenian schools and churches in Istanbul, let alone the full reconstruction of a historic church in Anatolia. And yet, Vartkes Ergun Ayik persevered; he hired expert architects, historians, and builders, obtained all the required permits and approvals, and even more incredibly, convinced the Diyarbakir municipal government to pay for one third of the church’s reconstruction. The construction is now underway, with two thirds completed, and more than half of the financing also secured.

This church had more than 200 deeds showing that a significant portion of the Diyarbakir city center belonged to the church prior to 1915. At present, several apartment buildings, state schools, offices, and shops are on these lands. So, the long and difficult process has begun, to reclaim these lands and properties by their rightful owner, the Surp Giragos Church.

This is the first time Armenians have begun to reconstruct a building in their ancestral homeland. It is the first time they have claimed the land and properties from their ancestral homeland, after losing them in 1915. This is a new reality.

Another new reality is how this church is helping shape public opinion in Turkey. Whoever sees the Surp Giragos Church, whether in person or through the media, keeps asking, “Where are the people that belonged to this church?” “Where are they now?” “Where did they go, and why?” The ever-changing and most recent version of the official Turkish state history claims that Armenians revolted on the eastern front during World War I to join the Russians and that, as a result, the Ottoman state temporarily deported them from only the “eastern war zones” to the south toward the Syrian desert. But Diyarbakir was not in the eastern front, nor in the war zone; nor was there any Armenian revolt. As these facts become evident, Turkish citizens—both Turks and Kurds—have started to question the falsified history. Still a tiny percentage, there is nevertheless an ever-increasing number of Turkish citizens, especially of the younger generations, who have started “seeking the truth” and demanding that the state face its past and stop its denialist policies. There are also Turkish citizens who are fully aware of the truth, and have developed a guilty conscience about their ancestor’s past evil deeds. This year, the April 24, 1915 events were commemorated in five Turkish cities, including Diyarbakir. This is another new reality.

The church, when reconstruction is completed, will become a historic destination of pilgrimage for all Armenians—a memorial and reminder of the past Armenian presence in Anatolia, and a hope for the future.

Armenians are few in number, and Bolsahays are even fewer, but by engaging in a dialogue with liberal-minded Turks and Kurds eager for the democratization of Turkey, and through cooperation with their colleagues in the media, academia, law, construction, finance, and political fields, these few Armenians remaining in Turkey are learning how to undo past wrongs much more effectively than the diaspora. No matter how often Diaspora Armenians gather together to hear their leaders give speeches demanding the return of their lands or to stop the denial, the deeds and results achieved inside Turkey are much louder than the words outside. The diaspora’s efforts surely serve a useful purpose in helping younger Armenian generations keep their identity, or even in reminding foreign politicians of the past injustices, but in terms of reversing these injustices, the Armenians remaining in Turkey are starting to play a vital role through dialogue and cooperation with their fellow Turkish citizens.

The Armenians in Turkey, therefore, deserve the maximum support of their fellow Armenians in the diaspora and Armenia. And this is the most important new Armenian reality.

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If you are interested in supporting this project, you can send your tax deductible donations, payable to Toronto Holy Trinity Armenian Church, at the following address:

Surp Giragos Dikranagerd Church Reconstruction Committee c/o Raffi Bedrosyan, 40 Strathearn Blvd. Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5P 1T1

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Raffi Bedrosyan

Raffi Bedrosyan is a civil engineer, writer and a concert pianist, living in Toronto. Proceeds from his concerts and CDs have been donated to the construction of school, highways, and water and gas distribution projects in Armenia and Karabakh—projects in which he has also participated as a voluntary engineer. Bedrosyan was involved in organizing the Surp Giragos Diyarbakir/Dikranagerd Church reconstruction project. His many articles in English, Armenian and Turkish media deal with Turkish-Armenian issues, Islamized hidden Armenians and history of thousands of churches left behind in Turkey. He gave the first piano concert in the Surp Giragos Church since 1915, and again during the 2015 Genocide Centenary Commemoration. He is the founder of Project Rebirth, which helps Islamized Armenians return to their original Armenian roots, language and culture. He is the author of the book "Trauma and Resilience: Armenians in Turkey - hidden, not hidden, no longer hidden."
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36 Comments

  1. Armenians must demand our Western Armenia including punitive sanctions against the Republic of Turkey. Where have been our traditional political parties? Armenians need a new national political party to represent all armenians in the world and protect our national interests around the world. Turkey better off to have a viable state to its next door. Otherwise it might below up and cost Turkey arms and legs.
    United we would be dictators, divided we would be slaved!

  2. It’s 1908 all over again where Armenians engaged in dialogue with “liberal-minded” Turks, and all we know how that ended up.

  3. I agree with Dave. WE our the ones who must learn from our past and remember what false hope brought us back then in 1908-09.
    Yet we can’t be pessimistic about our future.
    What rings loud and clear from your article is that “the deeds and results achieved inside Turkey are much louder than the words outside”

  4. Great Article by Raffi Bedrosyan. We do not need more political parties.  We need:

    Recognize the new reality in historic Armenia and recognize the ones on the ground.

    Strategy adjustment from hard politics to softer more inclusive of culture, religion, social.

    Harmonize the vision, mission and goals.

  5. Thank you Raffi for the article and great thoughts.I do not understand why people are mixing and compering now with 1908. The political situation and our goals were extremely different at that times.Now we are living in a different era and have enough self confidence and courage to protect our rights. Thanks to Hrant, he open a new page in our life.He gave us the torch and we need to follow him.
    We need to support people who are living there and working hard to make the right decision. Diaspora can say whatever wants but the final word and the right one willbe

    theirs.

  6. I have a problem with the present Diarbekir = Dikranagert equation.  I think the actual origional Dikranagert was further to the east.  I admit that I have not actually been there to investigate this myself, but that is my understanding from reading the professional  literature.  Any comments?

  7. Dear NSH:

    You said this:

    “Thanks to Hrant, he open a new page in our life. He gave us the torch and we need to follow him.”

    So, NSH, you wish to follow Hrant Dink?  Perhaps someone should remind you that Dink wound up riddled with bullets, buried in a Turkish graveyard, along with more than 2 million similarly assassinated Armenians.

  8. Dave, you need to read it many times in order to understand that. Look from another angle. What do you suggest ? Sit back and relax.Maybe that’s your choice but there are people who are thinking differently. With peace everything is possible.

  9. Very nice article. I’m wondering if the Turkish goverment is using thier Diospora (Turkish citizins, which Armenians from Turkey are as the author of this article suggests) to finance (fundraise) the renovation of a tourist destination in their country.

  10. That comment to NSH about Hrant, is a “low blow” and uncalled for. NSH, myself and millions of other Armenians who followed and appreciated Hrant Dink’s approach-although with great RESERVATION- thought it was a fresh and new angle of looking at things. It was, and still can be a new starting point, and a new way of thinking-one which may have a BETTER chance to be successful. Hrant, during his time on earth, by himself, by his brave approach, without the help of any organization, and/or any political parties’ backing, managed to turn everything upside down in Turkey about the truth of 1915, and about the reality of the Armenian Genocide. Did it change the reality on the ground 100% ? Certainly not, but did he make a difference? Without any doubt! Today, there are more people in Turkey, discussing about the Genocide, there are more people in Turkey now, who are wondering what happened in 1915, and there are more people who are questioning the official government explanation of 1915  mostly (not only) because of Hrant’s approach. We also realize and understand that he paid a big price for that. NO NEED TO BE REMINDED! The real question is, what is the alternative approach? What alternative, those of you who are categorically rejecting Hrant’s approach are offering? Where are you hanging your coats from -for the Armenian Cause- US congress? French parliament? EU? Russia? Who do you think has a better chance to stand up against Turkish government in this economically charged political environment? Hrant’s answer to this question was: educating the Turkish people about the history will be the force to stand against a century long government lies in Turkey. Let them see, learn and ask the question “where are these Armenians today who built Surp Guiragos more than a century ago?” Since the answer of that question by itself will bring the truth out within Turkey, and that -knowledge- my fellow Armenians, is a powerful weapon! Again those of us who appreciated Hrant’s approach, also know and understand what and who we are dealing with. “Please” don’t come back with a party line answer and accuse us for being “naive”. Contrary to that common accusation we are wise enough to know and understand that we do not have much of an alternative. History shows that! Time after time US Congress proved that to us! Just recently we witnessed how the French Senate backtracked on this very issue.
    Therefore, pragmatism with reservation and caution, in my opinion, is a sign of strength and wisdom. Nobody else feels and cares for our pain and for the Armenian cause, since for others, financial gain, economical and political interest, speaks louder than our pain!  

  11. I happen to think that KYB is right on the money.  Hrant showed us the power (and danger) of the truth.  He was martyred for the sake of truth.  I don’t want to see any more martyrs; we have had too many.  But what is the alternative?  No country on this earth will stand with us to the bitter end if they stand to lose power, money, prestige, economicl or military control.  No one else feels our loss or anguish or desire to see justice done.  The power of truth, when handled with prudence and intelligence, is our greatest hope for change in Turkey and best weapon against the institutional lies of its government.  It is also our greatest source of strength as a nation.  We should draw courage from it and encourage each other with it, and demand the same of our leaders. 

  12. THIS IS ONE WAY ALL ARMENIANS CAN FINANCIALLY CONTRIBUTE TO A LASTING
    ARMENIAN CHURCH FOR CENTURIES TO COME
    I WILL CONTRIOBUTE $ 100.00 US DOLLARS.  HOW ABOUT YOU OTHER ARMENIANS?

    ALBERT THE ARMENIAN

  13. Thanks KYB for a wonderful answer! I hope people who are very pessimistic and negative about everything can learn something and change their attitudes. We can not live in the ashes of 1915 and do not thrive.We need to let go of our resentments and do something positive by building, renovating and taking responsibility on our shoulders. Not begging and asking other nations to take action for ourselves. I feel pity for “some” people who are not able to understand this. 
    Dave, you don’t have the right to be disrespectful to Hrant’s memory.It was very rude and shameful. Next time think carefully before you right anything about him. He is in an Armenian cemetery which is a shrine for many people.

  14.  
    Why would you finance the renovation of a tourist attraction center that belongs to the Turkish government? Unless you’re a member of the Turkish Diaspora and want to support your government?

    The property does not belong to the Armenian Patriarchate. This article is clear. I, as a member of the Armenia’s Diaspora (not Turkish) would not support it unless the church is returned to the Armenian Patriarchate.

    Unfortunately the Turkish government is using their Diaspora (Turkish Armenians) to divide and conquer Armenia’s Diaspora.

    The Turkish Diasporans should pressure their government to return the confiscated churches to the Armenian Patriarchate instead of financing the confiscated properties that are being repurposed.

  15. Diyarbakir Surp Giragos church will belong to the Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey. This is the important point that should not be missed.  It is NOT like Akhtamar.  Akhtamar was reconstructed/rebuilt by the Turkish Government and turned into museum. (Anit Muze). This very important difference should be noted.

  16. Hairo I question your reading comprehension.
    “This is the first time Armenians have begun to reconstruct a building in their ancestral homeland. It is the first time they have claimed the land and properties from their ancestral homeland, after losing them in 1915.”
    This church is private property. It does not belong to the Turkish state, unlike Akhtamar. It is confiscated property which has been reclaimed.

    This nonsense suspicion of other members of the Armenian Diaspora–be they Turkish, or Muslim–has to be stopped. Only through unity will Armenians succeed.
     

  17. Dearest Raffi; Thanks to you from Istanbul… We need to open-minded people in this community we don’t need to nationalizm, nationalist only speak thats all… We had a centuries old culture… We need more Raffi’s… We need more hope…

  18. Alex, you have a comprehension problem as well. By definition, no confiscated Armenian church — including Akhtamar — can legally be the property of the Turkish state.  The Turkish government stole these properties, and eventually they will be made to return them.

  19. Lolo, I respectfully suggest that you direct your comment to Hairo, as he is the one who claimed that the Giragos church “belongs to the Turkish government.”

    When I said “unlike Akhtamar,” I meant it in the de facto sense. Legally it does not belong to the state, you are right, but for all intents and purposes it is the state exploiting and benefiting from and controlling access to it. Giragos will be different as it will be rightfully returned to the Armenian Patriarchate. Thank you for the correction.

  20. Before renovating or reconstructing something, why not the Turkish government asks for forgiveness of the Armenian people to start with.

  21. Why people like to live in denial? Just go to YouTube and watch everything.One more thing, Surp Giragos was not confiscated, it was a working church until late sixties. I have a picture of it which belongs to 1961. At that time there was a small community living there and the pastor was Der Toros Chalgichian.After a snow storm the roof collapsed and the locals were not able to renovate their church. Now the situation is different.Like I mentioned before and I do not repeat myself again and again, they are collaborating with the municipality not the state. I also want to repeat one more time that Bolsahays are keeping five churches outside of Istanbul. When you don,t have enough information just search and learn, instead of spraying lies and wrong ideas.There is information about Surp Lusavorich in Gesaria on YouTube. Take a time and search.Good days!

  22. Powerful article! Thank you Raffi. It’s one thing to chant and preach from outside, it takes guts to live with the people who have annhialted a good portion of your people. I cannot even imagine how they do it. This article calls attention to the urgent need to define the different parts of our scattered people. This is a crucial step that needs to be granted immediate thought and expertise. Our people is going through a “regrouping” phase where all of our parts, resources, strengths and weaknesses need to be identified in an inclusive manner. The homeland of most of the Diasporans lies in Western Armenia. It floats in our imagination; a land with colors, smells and pictures woven together by our grandparents’ tales. It is wonderful that we are rebuilding St. Guiragos in Dyarbekir. Yes, it will most likely benefit the Turkish economy, but let’s not be shortsighted. A rebuilt St Guiragos will play a most valuable role in educating the Turks and their tourists about the Armenians. We have a lot to learn from the Jews. They take the back route, the conspicuous,the understated route and they disseminate into the system, become part of the existing structure, they plan and stay the course, until the day they have the entire system in their hands, and that’s when they chant and make their statements. We should reclaim all our ancestral properties. We should also remeber that our people’s palce is now in Armenia and Artsakh. That’s where most of our resources should be invested.

  23. I have a suggestion for Turkey.  Renovate an Armenian house!  Yes, an old Armenian house in some Armenian village in eastern Turkey.   This will prove to one and all that Turkey wants Armenians to come back to Turkey and live in their own houses in safety and peace, with full equality and no danger of any more massacres.

    Get Armenian architects to remodel an old stone or mud hut that belonged to Armenians.  Hire an Armenian chief to set up a real Armenian kitchen there, and hire Armenian actors to reproduce what Armenian life was like before the massacres of 1915, 1909, the 1890’s, 1878, and before.

    I am sure this would draw droves of Armenian tourists.

    Armenians and Turks could sit around the table and break bread together again.

    This would be a fitting tribute to the Martyrs.  I think that Hrant Dink would approve.

    Do one house each year for the next 15 years and move 15 Armenian families in who would re-discover Turkish hospitality as it was before the massacres of 1915, 1909, the 1890’s, 1878, and so forth.

    I think it’s a good idea.  If Turkey can renovate a church, why not a house?  Next, renovate an old small Armenian farm and plant organic vegetables. It can be a place where Armenian and Turkish youth can get together and learn farming together.

    I think I am on to something – what do you all think?  I have hope just like Hrant Dink did.  With renovation of churches, houses and farms, we will all learn to live together again, just as we did before the massacres of 1915 and before.

  24. Armand G. perhaps it is my sleep deprivation but I’ll assume this is a sarcastic post. After all, it draws attention to the fact that the often mythologized pre-genocide “conciliation” or “peace” between Turks and Armenians in the east never actually existed (proven by the massacres you allude to which date back 150 years, discriminatory taxation and other policies). “Droves of Armenian tourists” points to the cynical fact that all these efforts on our old territory benefit economically only the Republic of Turkey and not Armenia. “I have hope like Hrant Dink did” just reminds us that he was killed by the state. And finally, you ignore the often emphasized fact that IT IS NOT THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT WHICH IS RENOVATING SURP GIRAGOS CHURCH.
     
    Also why do you keep using massacres but not ‘genocide’?
     
    If I misinterpreted you, then I’m sorry. Your end vision, if it’s sincere, would indeed be worth pursuing.
     

  25. Wow! Finally someone wrote a peaceful comment.Although some ideas seem utopian, but still a healthy approach than hate and intolerance. Thanks for your original thinking, Armand.

  26. The renovation of this church is a wonderful and great thing, as it reminds everyone of the Armenian presence in Turkey, which is a very good thing. However, I do hope it will be maintained and visited by our diasporan brothers and sisters, to light a candle and make a donation. It is often said that saving one life is like saving all of humanity. Saving one Armenian church is like saving the entire community, its history and its future. You can say or think what you want, but the proof is in the pudding and this new Turkish government, that of Erdogan, continues to open the door to us….a door that has been effectively closed for many, many years.  Let’s hope that he can continue and that this path will succeed well into the future, because going backward is not an attractive option.

  27. Karekin, don’t be naieve. This renovation is a private venture done by hard working Armenians like Varges Ergun Ayik and the Dikranagert mayoralty. The AKP federal government did nothing. We did not need Erdogan to “open the doors to us,” we did everything ourselves lawfully using our God-given property rights. The economically liberal Erdogan government refused to expropriate private property–how saintly of them! Yawn….

  28. Alex…all I can say is – learn to give credit where credit is due. If you can’t do at least that much, to give it instead of trying to take it, then you are being very ungrateful and arrogant, which is sad and unnecessary. If it was all so easy, as you seem to think, it would have and could have been done long ago…but it was not, was it?  How come?  I think you’re the naive one here, sorry. Turkey is very much like a spider’s web….when you pull on one strand at one end, the other end knows exactly what is happening and why. In fact, they did the pulling. Don’t be so self-assured and over confident…that is a big mistake. 

  29. Until a Turkey stops educating their students AGAINST the Armenians (for the students are now educated via lies to believe that it was the Armenians who pursued the elimination of the Turks – whereas it was Turkey, losing WWI being attacked as a loser – but blamed their losses as if these were committed by the Armenians – the victims of the Turkish Ottoman mentality.  World history, unavailable now to these students, will be quite a shock for them when they will learn it was their own forebears who had pursued and perpetrated the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation!! Their own leaderships had misled them via their school years.  When these students have access to other history books (other than those developed by Turks – for Turks) and learn their nation’s vile actions – all known by all the civilized nations of the world.  Actually, too, how shall these students, learning that their own leaderships while educating them had been lying to them – react?  Actually, seeing/learning of vile actions and feelings of these young Turks – today – it is OBVIOUS that they are being taught ONLY what their leaderships want them to know – all their lies…  Seeking higher education, many shall be exposed to world history, to  other nations, will learn of their own leaderships vile slaughters, rapes, tortures of the Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians and more. AND as the expression goes:  the sh.. will hit the fan!! 

  30. For what are we to “give credit where credit is due”? For wiping out most of Armenian cultural presence in modern-day Turkey as a result of genocide of Ottoman Armenians? Give credit for what? That the remaining handful of Armenians in Turkey and the Kurdish municipality have started a project for renovating our own church? One of a few others still intact after barbarous destruction of almost 3000 Armenian churches and monasteries in Western Armenia? “Credit is due”… How lovely. For 95 years credit is due to millions of savagely murdered, mutilated, raped, and burnt alive Armenians, and we don’t get it. But when it comes to restoration of an Armenian church by Armenians, we’re required to “give credit”?! How cynical and outrageous is this?!

  31. haha, so I make specific points about this venture, and you respond with some cryptic oracle. Clearly you are the more knowledgeable one about this issue.

    You know what’s ironic about your post? It supports my opinion. You claim that the project is not easy. Exactly, it wasn’t. Mr. Ayik and Bedrosyan, both of whom I know personally, had to deal with so many bureaucratic obstacles not to mention threats. If Turkey is becoming so liberal, why did it have to be so hard for them? In fact, why did they INTENTIONALLY choose to pursue this project privately, without engaging the Turkish government? Doesn’t that tell you something about how the Turkish government is viewed as an obstacle rather than as a co-operator, to the Armenians living there? In fact, why did Mr. Ayik have to co-opt the Dikranagerd mayoralty? Why didn’t he go to the federal government? Pull on the spider web and give me answers.

    The only credit which Erdogan deserves is that his government is economically right-wing, meaning he couldn’t credibly expropriate this property and save face with his voters. Mr. Ayik saw that opportunity and took advantage of it.

    Now you will respond with your classic straw-man that I am “anti-Turkish,” blinded by hate, etc. No, my point is not to bash Turkey. My point is that if people like you stand like hungry dogs and eagerly devour whatever crumbs (or non-crumbs, in this case, as I said this was a PRIVATE venture) the Turkish government throws our way, we are leaving ourselves vulnerable and bound to be disappointed.

    And frankly, your self-hate is apparent in your reaction to this article. Why do you congratulate the Turkish government and not congratulate Mr. Ayik and Mr. Bedrosyan? 

  32. Well, of course, I’m more than willing to give credit and accolades to Mr. Bedrosyan, My. Ayik, the patriarchate and anyone else who works to restore the Armenian presence in Turkey.  But, let’s face facts…when the Turkish government restored Akhtamar, the complaints were unending, as if watching it crumble into dust was a more desirable option. The criticism focused on whether or not a cross was put on the roof and its status as a museum.  At the very least, we should be happy that Akhtamar is being preserved. 

    The point is, from what I can tell, you don’t live in Turkey and do not pay taxes there. It’s kind of like someone having a complaint with General Motors…if you’re neither a stockholder or a customer, you have little or no say in how the company is run. So, if they decide to send out a coupon for free gas, most people would be appreciative, even if they drive a Toyota. 

    The other point is, Turkey doesn’t have to do any of this, either in Dikranagert or Akhtamar or anywhere else, so when they actually do something, I feel appreciative. Just recently, the Catholigos at Etchmiadzin said he had no responsibility for the maintenance or upkeep of the ancient vank at Sanahin…..or any other monastery in the mountains. So, it seems he’s not allocating one penny to either maintain or restore any of these site.  Hmmmm…you never know, maybe he’s really a secret Turk with an anti-Armenia agenda?  Based on his comment, I’m really  surprised I’ve not read that here yet…but realize I probably will at some point.

       

      

      

         

      
       

  33. Don’t you think if the Diasporan Armenians live the problems to the local Armenians is more logical than interfere their businesses? After all they are living on that soil and know better to deal with them from inside than outside. They know how to approach the problems more politically and logically than someone who never been there and no idea what is going on there right now. I do not think that anybody living seven thousand miles away have the right to take these matters in his hand and do without consulting with the local Armenians. This approach had been very dangerous and devastating in our history. My whole life I’ve been listening all kind of accusation from elderly people who went through a hell. It is true that history repeats itself, but how long are we going to make the same mistake over and over again?
    I was watching one of our famous activist on TV regarding this issue and surprised to see how much his attitude was primitive and infantile.As if a 12 years old child is speaking. Unfortunately we are lacking highly educated and very smart people with objective thinking.This kind of people can see the problems and the real solution.

     

  34. Arx, I agree with you that those who live in Turkey or are from Turkey would know much better how to handle the Turkish reality.
    You differentiate between Diosporan Armenians and Local (living in Turkey) Armenians. Are you saying that Turkish born Armenians living outside Turkey considered Turkish Dispersion (We know they would know “better”) and not Armenia’s Dispersion? If they are part of the Turkish dispersion then they should not interfere with the works of those who are part of Armenia’s dispersion. Or perhaps work with and not against the Armenia’s Dispersion as those who are part of the Armenia’s Dispersion know better.

  35. Hairo, Your comment is very complicated and hard to understand.I am just mentioning the Armenians who are currently living in that country and trying to take care of the churches and schools. Whatever is in Istanbul is in a great shape due to the constant efforts of the local Armenians.Now, they started to renovate other churches, like Surp Garabed in Diyarbakir. We have five churches outside of Istanbul.Recently a Sasunsi came to Los Angeles and explained about the work that he is been doing. He already filed a complain to EU in order to establish a foundation to gain all the rights of the churches, vanks and the cemeteries. Mr.Sassounian was there but never mentioned in any his article about this because they had other plans. They are just ignoring the people who are working hard and trying the best. They know how and when something is right. I hope you understood what I meant. Diasporan had different things in their mind.I believe locals having been in that soil have their unique wisdom to deal with the problems.This make and will make a big difference to solve the problems.

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