Dersim: A First Step in Facing the Past in Turkey

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week apologized on behalf of the Turkish Republic for the 1937-38 Dersim massacres. In his speech, Erdogan showed documents dated August 1939 that stated the Turkish government had organized military operations resulting in the deaths of more than 13,000 civilians in the province of Dersim. Erdogan further defined these events “as the most tragic events of our near past,” adding, “this disaster should now be questioned with courage.”

Sabiha Gokcen standing beside her plane, holding a bomb.

Dersim is an eastern province of Turkey, bordered by the Erzincan, Elazig, and Bingol provinces. During Ottoman times, the Dersim region formed part of the Harput province, adjacent to the Erzurum province. Its population is comprised of mainly Kurds of the Alawi sect, Shiite Muslims often persecuted by the majority Sunni Muslim Turks.

In the Ottoman period and, later, the Turkish Republic, the central government had difficulty establishing authority in this region, controlled mostly by Kurdish feudal lords and tribal chieftains. The killings took place when the Kurdish population of the region resisted the efforts of the newly formed Turkish Republic to exert its authority there. After disarming the local population and arresting its leaders, the Turkish Army attacked the entire region, killing indiscriminately. Women and children trying to hide in caves were either smoked out or burned alive by sealing the cave entrances. Army planes dropped bombs and poison gas on the fleeing civilians. One of the bomber pilots was Sabiha Gokcen, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s adopted daughter and a war hero in Turkey, whose name was later given to one of the two Istanbul airports. All arrested Kurdish leaders were hanged. The number of dead ranged from 13,000 according to Turkish sources—40,000 to U.S. and 80,000 to Kurdish sources. One fact remains clear: Dersim was de-populated, with most of the remaining population forcefully deported to western Turkey “in order to accelerate the Turkification of this rebellious group.” Decades later, these people were allowed to return to Dersim, which was renamed the Tunceli province. For the past two decades, it has become one of the hotbeds of the Kurdish resistance movement.

Many interesting twists of events led Erdogan to issue the official apology about the Dersim massacres. Two years ago, when Erdogan first attempted to end the Kurdish resistance peacefully, one of the leaders of the strongly nationalistic main opposition party, the CHP, roared that the correct way to deal with the Kurdish Question was not through peaceful means, but through tried and true methods used in Dersim in the 1930’s. Ironically, the main opposition party is now headed by Kemal Kilicdaroglu, an Alawite from Dersim. (One of his party members recently demanded that Turkey face its past and apologize for the Dersim massacres; for this outburst, he now faces party discipline hearings.) The main motive behind Erdogan’s apology seems to be to put the blame of the Dersim massacres squarely on the CHP opposition party, which was in full control of the government in the 1930’s—in the era of Ataturk, Ismet Inonu, and Celal Bayar—as well as to attempt to lure the votes of the ethnic Kurdish population. Another opposition official from Diyarbakir praised Erdogan and criticized his own party for not issuing the apology, and was immediately expelled from the CHP. A member of of Erdogan’s governing party proposed to delete Sabiha Gokcen’s name from the Isanbul Airport, and was promptly silenced by Erdogan. In the meantime, Kilicdaroglu accused Erdogan of treason and said he wouldn’t be surprised if Erdogan apologizes to the Armenians next. Erdogan responded: “How dare you compare me to the Armenian Diaspora!”

There are several Armenian connections to the Dersim story, both ironic and tragic. During the height of the 1915 deportation and massacres, several Armenian groups from neighboring provinces sought refuge in Dersim. An estimated 25,000 Armenians from Erzurum and Erzincan survived under the protection of the Dersim Kurds, and most of these Armenians converted to the Alawite religion. It is said that one of the reasons for the fury of the violent attacks by the Turkish army in the 1930’s was vengeance toward these Kurds who saved the Armenians in 1915. It is also said that a significant portion of the Dersim massacre victims were converted Armenian women and children.

In stark contrast, the war hero and pilot Sabiha Gokcen was in fact an Armenian girl from Bursa, adopted by Ataturk after being orphaned during the genocide. We cannot help but wonder ironically: What did Sabiha Gokcen think when bombing the people below? That she was a Turk bombing the Kurds? Or did she know that she was an Armenian bombing Armenians? The revelation of Sabiha Gokcen being Armenian was exposed with documentation by Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in 2004, which started the ball rolling toward his targeted assassination by the “Deep State” in 2007.

The hidden Armenians of Dersim have recently “come out” and officially formed the Dersim Armenians Union, some even changing their names and religion from Islam to Christianity. Their leader has recently stated that nearly three quarters of Dersim villages are inhabited by hidden Armenians, but many are scared to reveal their real identities.

All these interrelated facts lead toward Turkey’s inevitable need to face its past—and not only the selective good heroic deeds of its forefathers. Prime Minister Erdogan has taken a first step by acknowledging and apologizing for the Dersim massacres. Other events that Turkey must face include the 1942 Wealth Tax imposed on minorities, which resulted in the total transfer of their wealth to the Turks, and the violent Sept. 6-7, 1955 events, which resulted in the minority Greek population fleeing Turkey. But the biggest elephant in the room remains: facing the truth about the 1915 genocide.

Raffi Bedrosyan

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."
Raffi Bedrosyan

Latest posts by Raffi Bedrosyan (see all)


  1. “What did Sabiha Gokcen think when bombing the people below? That she was a Turk bombing the Kurds? Or did she know that she was an Armenian bombing Armenians?” and I would add, Or did she know that she was an Armenian bombing Kurds?”

    I am a Kurd from the Dersims. What you have written above made me wonder how you are still disconnected from the history. Instead of morning every tragedy happened in the history, you are trying to make your point my taking credit from others suffering.

    It is sad too see this is coming from a member of a nation that suffered greatly.

  2. Thank you for an informative article. Kurds and Armenians and other minorities lived peacefully side by side in the Ottoman Empire. In the empire’s interests they were successfully ruled by divide and conquer and often by pitting one ethnic group against another.

  3. “An estimated 25,000 Armenians from Erzurum and Erzincan  converted to the Alawite religion in order to stay in Dersim region.”

    I agree with Raffi Bedrosyan at this  .

    There are still many Armenians in the region today who  name themselves “kurdish Alevi”.

  4.   I believe Martin makes a point worth considering. The Kurds are the Armenians of current times in Anatolia. The Dersim massacre is an example of the common behavior of the Ottoman’s and the Republic towards non-Turkic minorities. The Kurds have suffered unspeakable oppression from successive governments for decades in many region. Our outreach to them should be for the empathy we feel for their losses and for the common experience of repression.
          The only major difference is that the Kurds are still quite indigenous to eastern Anatolia, while our people were removed or murdered. If the Kurds had been removed from their homeland and became a full diaspora by default, I doubt that Erdogan would acknowledge Dersim or any other Kurdish massacre. They represent political capital to him as an indigenous population.
            As  victims of this long standing policy of “purification”, we must acknowledge the Kurdish “question” just as we expect others to acknowledge our mission. What the Turks call “resistance” and “rebellion” is the familiar excuse of the oppressor to deny the oppressed certain God given rights. Turkey has no solution for their minorities except to  oppress, deport , intimidate or worse. Never to embrace their rights. For this reason their society is hopelessly divided. The day of the Kurds and others is emerging.

  5. Thank you Raffi for a very insightful article.

    A minor point here, and I don’t mean to be picky, but it is quite relevant. While the Greeks suffered the biggest blow during the pillaging and riots of September 6-7,1955, the Armenians also were targeted and suffered a lot. A great number emigrated after these events. This probably was the intention all along. The saying was Turkey is for the Turks….

  6. Let us be optimistic but realistic.  It will take Turkey about a year to get their public opinion ready for the truth.  The time to keep an eye on is any any all statements coming out of this government between 6 January 2014 until 5 June 2015 (forty days after the anniversary).  If Turkey is serious about this Dersim acknowledgement being a step towards other things, then we will see a lot more discourse in Zaman and other pro-government papers in Turkish about human rights.  In the meantime Turkey’s defenders in Congress should face heavy Armenian donations in the 2012 and 2014 campaigns.  Outreach must also be made to communities that have traditionally shielded Turkey from accountability and who now have problems with that country.  To conclude, while this is a positive step, it should be a warrant for further pressure on Turkey not less.

  7. Martin –
    Although I’m very sympathetic towards Kurds, you should remember that Kurds, too, partook in the mass killings of Armenians during the genocide.  But, in contrast to the Turks, Kurds had the courage and dignity to acknowledge the crimes and apologize to Armenians.  Cheers.

  8. Before Hrant Dink by 34 years & exactly on 16/08/1970,in Beirut, the editor of Spurk weekly Mr. Simon Simonian published his short story titled ‘Ataturkin Aghchige’.

  9. ‘Instead of morning every tragedy happened in the history, you are trying to make your point my taking credit from others suffering. It is sad too see this is coming from a member of a nation that suffered greatly.’

    It appears that Martin  accuses Armenians of using the Dersim tragedy – e.g. the suffering of Kurds/Alevis – to advance our own Armenian agenda. That’s what I read in the above sentence.

    ‘I am a Kurd from the Dersims. What you have written above made me wonder how you are still disconnected from the history.’

    Can anyone see anything in Raffi’s article  to support Martin’s view ? I sure don’t.

  10. Sabiha Gokcen

    All Politicians are criminals
    Female Orphan killing Her race
    After her own family vanished from
    Earth of Ottoman’s

    We should not call our selves
    We are born scavengers …
    We should hit our heads on walls
    And call our selves criminals …
    Shame on politicians
    Who put on Ataturk grave
    Wreaths after Wreaths
    Instead of putting wreaths
    On Der-Zor and Dersim Memorials…


  11. necati,

    Sabiha is implicated in bombing civilians! Did you understand this part before saying she did a good job?

  12. necati, I read in Zaman your comment that you are Hamshen & 100% Turkish.Now if you are Hamshen & 100% Turkish then it means you do not know your origins & history.As you can see for your types of people, the end is nearing even in your own country.Next is the apology for the Genocide by your president or prime minister & then restitution.You cannot fight it.Remember we are still looking for the last sample of the Genocide denialist for the Armenian Genocide Dzidzernagabert museum in Yerevan.I think I’ll vote for you.You’re doing quite well & all alone almost neglected by your buddies.

  13. The article suffers from an incredible lack of historical perspectives. All you have to do is to look at the map of  modern Turkey to understand how  Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and his “republican” followers have been striving since 1923 to fashion a “Turkish” Turkey at the expense of all the other inhabitants .That effort has not stopped and even though Prime Minister Erdogan has uttered the Dersim apology he is still intent on crushing the Kurdish resistance hoping he would be able to achieve Ataturk’s dream in maintaining the current borders of Turkey. Look at the map again and think about the “first steps”, if you can ! 

  14. It seems some Armenians “want” to believe everything that Turkey says. The article follows that type of logic without presenting any justifications, either by an analysis of relevant facts or an enumeration of policies supporting structural changes in Turkish OFFICIAL thinking. Writing an article is one thing, anchoring it in plausible speculation another thing.

  15. I knew Sabiha was Armenian from a story in an American magazine a long time ago; however, I did not understand that she was a trophy, I think.
    “Originally the word trophy, derived from the Latin tropaion, referred to arms, standards, other property, or human captives and body parts (e.g. headhunting) captured in battle. These war trophies commemorated the military victories of a state, army or individual combatant. In modern warfare trophy taking is discouraged, but this sense of the word is reflected in hunting trophies and human trophy collecting by serial killers.”wikipedia

    It is pretty gruesome and I apologize.  I did not know whether to mention it or not; but I don’t think it was an act of charity that he adopted her.

  16. You make a valid point, Hamasdegh ! When it comes to non-Armenian issues we seem to be thinking smart. No sooner than we immerse ourselves in Armenian matters we bid goodbye to critical common sense. Why would any one see anything positive in what Turkey does in acknowledging the Dersim massacres? Bedrosyan, you mean we are next ?!!! And for what?  

  17. Random:  How many ‘select individuals’ of Turkish origin have you encountered in your life that would be open to dialog while being remorseful to our pain? I can count on my fingers. Do they have a say amidst a 78-million strong repressive state?

  18. VTiger,

    My father had told me that we were “Hemshin” long time age .

    I was in my hometown a week ago. i  went to Civil Registry Office to check my ancestors.

    The officer had records starting from 1823 for my family. And my grand-grand-grand-grand  father is a Turk named “SABAN”  Shaban  which is a muslim-Turk name.

    You know there was no problem with Hays in those times so we can make sure the name is not taken by force or something else .

    Armenians must have left the region of Black Sea  after Turkish Independence War with the fear that we could punishh them for their betrayel by taking side beside Russian Army. So , There is no Armenian at the present  in my hometown  Rize-Pazar. 
    We can get this conclusion from the living way. My people  migrates  to higher mountain pasture every summer  and comes back to willage before winter. You know only Turks  always change place to live between summer and winter. It is an old Turkish Custom.

    Our musical instrument is TULUM which is only played by Turks and scotch and mentioned in ” Divani Lügat-İt-Türk” by Kashgarli Mahmut. Armenians do not have this Tulum in their culture.

    But , still , there are some words which  i cant understand  meanings. I think it is because of interaction of languages.

    Anyway, Avery said once that : even if he had not born to Armenian Family, he would empty the  blood  in his vessels and fill  back with Armenian blood which he thinks is perfect. 

    Thanks  god i am a Turk. no need change blood.

    • Necati,

      You say you are Hamshin. Do you understand this song?

      I am ready to embrace our Hamshen people, Muslim or Christian, when they come back.

      Hamshen Armenians converted to Muslim long time ago; it is only natural for them to have Muslim names.
      “We can get this conclusion from the living way.”

      Turks are not the only people who does that. Yezidis in Armenia do that too.

  19. Martin,around 2004 Hrant Dink in his Agos paper & in Turkish published the short story of Simon Simonian titled ‘Ataturk’s Daughter’,where all your questions are touched whether real or fictional.Probably you can go into the Agos archives & find it.

  20. How realistic  Hamasdegh!!! Bravo,
    You have completely comprehended  how  Premier Erdogan is  performing (Ottoman style)while appeasing …sort  of..even near pursuaded,convinced  some Paremids  that at long  last  they are changing…Not so!!!  not so at  all.
    They are getting ready to CRUSH  kurds or their freedom fighters at any rate..
    Will it work-like  many times  before-I doubt  it.Not  afterTHE SPRING ARAB  RISINGS!!
    That  part  of the world has to undergo  change!,may take  more  than a few yrs but it is on its way to  real  c  h  a  n  g  e  …it won´t  work Mr. Erdogan … your  wheeling and dealing….
    People  in that  part  of the world are fed up with dictators,fascists  and OPPRESSION!!! 

  21. “I am not Armenian But I am a human searching justice for Armenians”

    Many people on this site who think…
    They belong where they are
    They have Very-Very-Very little knowledge about genetics…
    There is no pure human genes specially Middle East people
    And more the Turkish people
    Who says I am Pure Turkish …
    He doesn’t know who he is 
    So he is searching for his Identity…
    in a real corrupt place
    Where everything can change in seconds…
    By showing Sharp Scimitars

    Turkey is not England to say that prince Diana had in 17th century an Armenian gene 
    Neither to say Margret Teachers daughter had Beduin’s Genes
    When I am in England… They think i Am a French
    When I am in Bavaria …They think i am Bavarian
    When i am in Middle East …They think I am Lebanese
    When I am in North of Germany They think I am Turkish…

    Who I Am I Am 
    I Am A Human
    Born to serve humanity…

    I am here not to take side 
    I am here because my grandparents where killed and driven 
    They escaped with their life
    There is nothing left from them
    Except endless childhood stories of genocide 
    I am here to find Justice
    To an artful honest nation…
    Called Armenians 

    I will sign down my name
    Not an Armenian 
    I am only A human
    Written instantly
    December 4, 2011 

  22. Bedrosyan’s article is most worrisome for the trend it represent: an effort by a certain segment of the diaspora to convince  the Turkish government that a dialogue is possible with “good” Armenians as opposed to”bad” Armenians who refuse to consider the distorted Turkish propositions to solve the “Armenian question”. I was furious as an individual and independent minded Armenian  to learn that a delegation of Armenian businessman led by an Armenian religious leader from the USA visited Istanbul recently to meet the with Municipal authorities there to discuss “hopeful future developments”.Frankly I could not figure out what “hopeful developments” they were talking about.To claim ,as the article does , that in the case of  Dersim Turkey took “A First Step in Facing the Past” is so ludicrous that I wonder whether the author of the article has any understanding of the issues involved and the implications of what he has written. By the way I congratulate Armenian Weekly for having printed this article and the discussion this has generated.In the absence of a commonly accepted view  and understanding as to how to regulate our common approach vis-a-vis Armenian-Turkish relations all sorts of individuals have lately come up on the scene to formulate and advocate views that are confusing at best. I recognize that dialogue is important and that the diaspora is made up of different segments of Armenians from different parts of the world and they have their proper interests as citizens of the countries they come from: however in this instance what is good for the gander is not necessarily good for the goose !

  23. Yes, it may be, but I am sure you recognize the difference between writing about Ataturk’s adopted daughter being Armenian and publishing it in Beyrouth vs in Istanbul are two different things and certainly serves two different purposes. It in deed did, Hrantpaid for it with his life. Since his article was received by the deep state as an attack to the fabric of the Turkish society, since it was bringing the main question to the for front. Why did Ataturk adopt an Armenian girl? Why? After all Sabiha Gokce was the first female Turkish pilot, a feminist to a certain degree, a women leader representing the status of the Turkish women-but Hrant’s article was showing that she was Armenian and not Turkish ! And Deep State could not handle the truth to come out, the rest is history!

  24. I only hope to live long enough to witness Turkey’s facing its criminal past, apologizing for the shameless crimes against humanity committed by their predecessors, and face all legal consequences including returning of Western Armenia to its rightful owners, Western Armenians!
    This article and similar articles should be printed not only in Armenian media, but international media!
    Diaspora Armenians, specially our wealthy Armenians should invest in publication of articles, books and big screen movies highlighting our sufferings in the hands of Turks!
    Why can’t we do the same as Jews do with Holokaust stories, books and endless big screen movies? What are we waiting for? Self-righteousness by Turks????

  25. What you say is right about individuals. However, the State, in capital letters, does not answer to that description. In this case ,I am sure, Turkish officials recognize they have a problem but as a State they recognize the dangers an apology entails.

  26. Necati

    You are dead wrong about your origin and history. Venomous  Armenian Tiger knows the best. Okay lets get the facts right. the mother tongue of Adana Armenians are Turkish . This doesn’t means that they are Turkish. dear Venomous Armenian Tiger. I am married to a woman from Trabzon. My mother in law and father in law used to speak local Greek language from time to time when they were alive. He and a few other relative told me that there were around 100 Turkish houses in their village and several hundred Greek houses so the Greek population were sent to Greece after the agreement between Turkey and Greece. which means they simply adopted the Greek language in their daily life as the Armenians in Cilicia adopted the Turkish language as their language. If you simply believe in the spin doctor Astarjian You will struggle to spew your valuable venom

  27. John the turk,it seems I touched a raw nerve & here you jump to defend your defenseless friend necati.Let me make it clear to you that the Adana & Cilicia Armenians’ language was Armenian but they were forced to speak Turkish.Remember ‘speak turkish’ campaign in the 1950-s?Its origin is 1890-s.Up to this date in Armenian schools in Turkey it is dictated by the state authorities what curriculum they have to follow & above all no Armenian history lessons.However in the Hamshen & in your in-laws’ case they were not forced to speak Hamshen Armenian nor Greek for that matter.You might have married a Greek lady without knowing.Do not worry they’re good people & nice housewives.

  28. necati,I am copying & pasting the here below article,please read & see the similarities of what you write & note that one of the authors is Hamshentsi:
    By Ruben Amshenci and Grigor Hakobyan
    Branches of Hamshentsi Armenians
    According to professor Bert Vaux (University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee) Hamshentsi Armenians are divided into 3 main groups: Western, Eastern and Northern.
    Western Hamshentsies (Hemshinli) resides in the area of Bash-Hemshina. They live primarily in mountainous villages of Rize province. They are Sunni Muslims who in large numbers also reside in the areas of Chamlihemshina (Viya) and Hemshina. A much smaller number of them live in the westerns provinces of Turkey, such as Istambul, Sakarya, Dyuzche, Kochaeli and Zonguldak. They speak a different dialect of Turkish, called ‘Hemshinche’.
    Eastern Hamshentsies (Homshentsi) are originally from the Khopa Hemshina region. Homshentsies are also Sunni Muslims who predominately reside in the province of Artvin and in other parts of the region such as the city of Kemallasha (Makriali), Khopa and in the village of Muratli (Berlivan), which is part of a sub-province called Borchka.
    Great portion of eastern Hamshentsies used to reside in Adjaria (Georgia), but they were deported to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan by Joseph Stalin. In 1989 a great number of these deported Hamshentsies relocated to Krasnodar region of Russia after wrongly being labeled as ‘Turk Meskhenties’. This eastern group of Hamshentsi Armenians speaks in an archaic Armenian dialect, which they self-proclaimed as ‘Homshentsi Lizu’.
    Northern Hamshentsies (Hamshentsi) is comprised of Christian Hamshentsies who refused to convert to Islam and fled the town of Hamshen during the conversion of their compatriots to Islam. They primarily settled in the regions of Samsun, Djanik, Kurshunlu, Charshamba, Ordu, Giresun and Trabizon (in the valley of Karda-dere ‘black river’ located to the east of Trabizon).
    Currently, majority of them reside in the Krasnodar region of Russia, as well as in Sochi and Adigey (Southern Russia). As Christians, northern Hamshentsies have maintained their unique culture and Hamshentsi self-identity. Just like their eastern compatriots they speak Hamshentsi dialect, which they call as ‘Hyeren’.
    Hamshentsi Armenians are known for their long tradition of storytelling, jokes and historical narratives. Some of the jokes told by Muslim Hamshentsies are based on more ancient Armenian stories and fables that survived the Armenian conversion to Christianity. Hamshentsi Armenians have traditional dances accompanied by their local musical tunes played on a musical instrument called Tulum (Western Hamshentsies), Shimshir-Kaval (type of a flute used by Eastern Hamshentsies) and Hamshna-Zurna (large wind instrument used by Northern Hamshentsies).
    Traditional pass times of Hamshentsi Armenians residing in Turkey are growing corn and tea, raising and maintaining of husbandry and working with beehives. Some Hamshentsies in Turkey are renowned gun makers as well. Northern Hamshentsi Armenians residing in de-facto independent Abkhazia and southern Russia are known not only for growing tobacco, fruits, corn, tea and silk worms, but they are also in the food services and commercial transportation business as well.

  29. Dear venomous Tiger

    No you haven’t touched a nerve and I am not in a position to defend Necati. You may find a Turkish lady who is very bad or an Armenian lady who is really good.Turks and Greeks have many similarities . No problem at all.All human beings deserve to be treated respectfully. But this is not what we are talking about I think you need a couple of hours history lesson from Dr. Astarjian before you make any comment on AW. For your information,There is not a single Armenian in the Adana region to be forced to learn Turkish in 1950 as they left the region just after the Turkish independence war  even though the Turkish government insisted that they should stay and their safety is guarenteed(from an Armenian source). So  We aren’t talking about 1950-1960. Please Ask Dr. Astarjian if Armenians in Cilicia spoke Turkish as their first language for centuries then let us know what you have learned 

  30. “You are dead wrong about your origin and history. Venomous  Armenian Tiger knows the best. Okay lets get the facts right. the mother tongue of Adana Armenians are Turkish . This doesn’t means that they are Turkish.”


     Would you make it more clear ?

  31. Sabiha Gökçen or Hatun Sebilciyan ?

    The Agos newspaper, a publication of the Armenian community, claimed that first Turkish woman pilot and Ataturk’s adopted child Sabiha Gokcen, was Armenian.
    The newspaper quoted Armenian citizen Hripsime Gazalyan from Antep as saying that “Sabiha Gokcen was my aunt.” Gazalyan said that her grand father
    Nerses Sebilciyan died during the Armenian incidents in 1915 and “One of his two daughters was Hatun and my mother was Diruhi. Hatun is Sabiha Gokcen, my aunt.”
    According to Agos daily, Sabiha Gokcen who lost her family in 1915 was given to an orphanage and then, adopted by Ataturk.
    Hripsime Sebilciyan Gazalyan who came to Turkey to work as a cleaning lady, told Agop newspaper Feb.6, that Sarkis, Boğos, Haçik and Hovhannes Sebilciyan were the brothers of Sabiha Gokcen.
    Hripsime said that “Ataturk who visited the orphanage in the Cibin village of Sanliurfa’s Halfeti township liked my aunt very much and adopted the little girl. “My mother cried a lot when her daughter was taken away. She was 5-6 year’s old then”
    However according to official registers, Gokcen , who died in 2001, was born in Bursa , and lost her father, an exiled Ottoman official, when she was at primary school. She was adopted by Ataturk in 1925. Later on she became the first woman pilot of Turkey.



  32. VTiger,
    i have read the article 2 times .i found nothing valuable. According to the author almost all of Black Sea region is Armenian.
    You say  Armenians were forced to speak Turkish so  forgot their language starting from 1890s. 

    120 years is enough to completely forget mother tounge?

    Hemshin people used to live ,and still are, in high mountains and had a little relation with officials. how can they forget mother language in such short time 120 yrs? do not be so funny. These are only Armenian propaganda to break up Turks.

    Turkey is a multi-cultural country. There are  Laz, Kurdish,Greek, Armenians. They did not forget their language  but hemshin ? Who will belive this? not me .

    When i was in my hometown, i asked some people: Armenians claim we are Are in fact Armenians, are we? I will not write here their answer in order not to be cencored by AW.

    These propagandas did not work. find something else.

    i almost forgot: Kaval  is played by sheperds in Anatolia. Zurna is traditional musical instrument of ours played during weddings. About Tulum, i have already mentioned.

    one more thing: Black sea people are most loyal to Country. No PKK terrorist can find room there.

    Another thing: as Karekin say, why do you Armenians spend time for such things without result instead of working hard and  develope Armenia ?

  33. “Turks and Greeks have many similarities.” — 
    I imagine a Greek would kill himself after reading that representatives of this ancient sedentary civilization have ‘similarities’ with migrant tribes who formed to a nation-state as Ottomans only in the 16th century AD and as a republic only in the 20th century. Turks must have a serious inferiority complex when they make ridiculous attempts at drawing ‘similarities’ with ancient indigenous nations of Asia Minor, the Balkans, and the Middle East. Of course, if for centuries Turks steal architectural styles, the cuisine, social customs, young girls, etc. of the Greeks, by the 21st century they will have certain similarities. But one should always look into the roots, the origins of a nation. So let those who claim they have ‘similarities’ with ancient aborigine peoples first look at when, how, and where from they appeared where they are now.

  34. John the turk,having read your several posts where you wrote that you are of mixed ethnic origin,you are christian & then that you are a Turk,I can clearly see why I had touched a raw nerve of yours & not necati’s when I wrote:’It is always very tragic that the most extreme Turk nationals & Genocide denialists are of mixed Armenian & other heritage’ which I stand by it 100%.Are you one of those?
    Now coming to Cilicia & Adana Armenians’ language.You have to re-read my previous post properly as you have clearly misunderstood it.’Speak Turkish’ campaign had started in the nineteenth century & had continued until end of 1970-s.So in public life the Armenians of Cilicia used Turkish & at home Armenian.My grandmother was born in Aintab,she spoke Turkish as 1st language however she read her translated into Turkish Bible in Armenian characters.This was one of the ways to keep our identity against forced Turkification.At home we still have her Bible.
    The Hamshens still speak a western Armenian dialect & I understand it very well & your in-laws spoke Greek in between themselves(not publicly probably)as you said.
    I do hope that the above is very clear.Coming to Dr. Astarjian & since you’ve mentioned him few times,could you please copy & paste the paragraph or article so that I have history lessons?I want to understand what you are trying to prove.

  35. necati,I did not write the article but language & history professors did.These are Armenian,French,American professors & their aim is not to break up Turkey but to do ethnological research studies.
    I did not say that Armenians forgot their language,you have to re-read my post & not twist it.
    For your information those eastern Sunni Muslim Hamshens who used to live in Adjaria in Georgia & were deported by Stalin to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan want to come & settle in Artsakh.I wonder why they don’t want to settle in Turkey…

  36. ‘Another thing: as Karekin say, why do you Armenians spend time for such things without result instead of working hard and  develope Armenia ?’

    Karekin posts under a traditional  Armenian name. However, his Turcophile advocacy is known to pretty much all the old-timer here. 
    I respect Turks like you, Necati,  more than ‘Karekin’. At least you are man enough to openly state that you hate ‘gaymenians’. You are honest enough to boast that Turks murdered not ‘1 milllion, but 10 million, so what’ (paraphrased).
    (You did say those things, did you not ?)

    On Armenia:
    Armenia has many problems, but has made tremendous progress in 20 years, despite the efforts of Turks and AzeriTurks to suffocate it. Our beautiful Artsakh is independent. Artsakhsti Armenians are living free of AzeriTurk persecution and safe from extermination. Every month a new school, hotel, hospital, or  library is built in Artsakh. New roads, new infrastructure being laid 24/7.  Take a look at  before and after pictures (available online) of Stepankert, Shushi, Yerevan. (1988 vs 2010). And then ask your friend Karekin to comment on whether  Diaspora Armenians are working hard  to help develop our Armenia and our Artsakh.

  37. Armenia IS developing,Mr. Necati,albeit at a slower pace than desired.But then She went through earthquake,War and still in war position (Your little brother azerbaboon day in day out  with their  provocative rhetorics,sniper shootings and also piling  up war material!!!
    How do you expect Armenia to be on a course that would soon make her like a switzerland of the Middle  East…
    We the elders realize  that Armenian should ahve followed a few European (Nordic nations)and adopted  their Governance mode,say Denmark ,Finland ,Sweden and Norway.Alas  it was  to undergo OVERNIGHT  change  ,like the rest 14  soviet republics from dictatorial regime -communistic-to Wild free market Economy.
    Still ,not  too late.THIS MAY COME TO PASS.Hopefully  if ARF, and a few others and indeed, a HUGE COLLECTIVITY  OF MY ENVISAGED  PROFESSIONAL COLLEAGUES ASSOC.MEMBERS  ,HAND IN HAND ACHIEVE  THAT.Armenia cannot afford to stay on present course and imagine She (like many Very capitalistic minded)can stay  like  it is now.  More  people  leaving!!!
    BEST  RGDS,to those  who will give  the above a thought
    Hasgcoghin  BAREV 

  38. VTiger,

    I know it is  not written by you. this is good for you.


    You never respect me (i care?) but say so  for to insult Karekin. You  also use any word , barking, turkophile, brainwashed,…etc to do so  for people against you.

     In your Armenian brains there is only two kind of people.
    1. Good people: Repeats you.
    2. Bad people :have something different to say.

    no gray.

  39. I did not say “I respect you, period”, Necati.
    I cannot possibly respect someone that boasts about murdering Armenian civilians: Ever.
    I said ‘I respect Turks like you, Necati,  more than ‘Karekin’. ‘
    I understand English is not your native tongue, but there is a subtle yet very important difference in the two. 
    In military terms, it’s the difference between someone wearing the uniform of my side yet helping the enemy (a traitor),  and the enemy that fights in the uniform and under the flag of his own country. Traitors are despised. Enemy soldiers  are given due respect.
    (but not the murderers and war criminals in uniform)

    And I know you don’t care: Neither do I.


  40. Venomous Tiger

    I have to admit that I most probably have a mix origin. That’s why I am christian but I am Turkish as well. Where do I stand? I do not prove you anything. I am making some comments for the rest of the readers. 

  41. John the turk,I never had any issue with your mixed heritage nor with your religion,nor race & citizenship.Unlike you it’s not my style to hit under the belt.Still waiting the Dr. Astarjian’s article.

  42. Her fathers name is Hafız Mustafa İzzet Bey iand her mother’s name is Hayriye Hanım, She was born in 22 March 1913 in Bursa. Her father was exiled to Bursa because he was part of the Young Turk movement. Her brother raised her after her parents died, in 1925 she was adopted by Ataturk when she was 12, she asked Ataturk for a boarding school and he was so impressed that he adopted her (after asking permission from her biological brother who raised her)

    Hrant Dink based his claims on the claims of the immigrant Hripsime Gazalyan who claimed that she was Sabiha Gokcens cousin, The claims have later been proven false by multiple sources, and people including those from her biological family, if the claims were were true Sabihe would have been 15 during her first flight (she was 22) and 16 during Dersim.

    • Suleyman,we’re not proud of her Armenian origins & far from it.You can have it & keep it. However,still your version of her biography is far from being the truth & as usual its the Turkish fabricated version.

    • Tiger,

      I agree with you. I actually hope that she is not Armenian.

      Sabiha’s first combat was against unarmed civilians–a defensless enemy. What kind of “combat” is that? Anyone with some training to fly and drop bombs could do it. She is standing in that photo as if she is a hero instead of feeling ashamed of herself.

      Suleyman, you can absolutely keep her. I don’t want to be associated with such a person. She is all yours as are all those “heros” who murdered unarmed children, women, and elderly in “combats” during the Armenian Genocide.

    • Suleyman,

      I am glad you are saying that she was not Armenian. Why would anyone be proud to have a “war” criminal in his nation? Even if she was Armenian, you
      should know that any child is almost a white blackboard, especially in those years and in a country like Turkey, you can write on it whatever you want.

    • Turkish cowboy john the vain,enjoy it & each time you fly from that airport named after her you’ll remember me & hopefully for the rest of your life.

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