A Turk, a Kurd, and an Armenian Walk into a Church

We park the car near Lake Van and start our long hike towards the side of a hill where the ruins of a medieval Armenian monastery await us. It is a long hike over uneven surfaces thoroughly sprinkled with dry manure. We had met the culprits earlier, near the lake—a large herd of sheep that covered the landscape stretching between two hills. A few shepherds greeted us and offered some tea.

We had met the culprits earlier, near the lake—a large herd of sheep that covered the landscape stretching between two hills. (Photo by Khatchig Mouradian)

After nearly an hour, the church is in clear view. “I have never walked this long to get to a mosque!” one of my companions, a Kurdish activist from Diyarbakir, jokes.

I smile, but I also want to use the opportunity to make a point to everyone in our small group. “You know, I do not hike for hours to get to churches in the U.S. Or anywhere else for that matter,” I say half-jokingly. “This is about genocide, dispossession, and a search for meaning…”

He knows.

I am being preachy, my American friend’s eyes are telling me. I notice the box of Turkish delights she’d purchased earlier protruding from her handbag. “Your bag is so delightful,” I say, attempting to be funny. We soldier on.

“This is about genocide, dispossession, and a search for meaning…” (Photo by Khatchig Mouradian)

The monastery, historically known as Garmravak, but called Gorundu Kilisesi by locals after the nearby village, is perched majestically on the side of a hill. Two large holes on its dome face each other, indicating that the church could have been bombed out before being left to the mercy of the forces of nature. Still, beautiful khatchkars (Armenian cross-stones) and engravings adorn the outside walls of the scarred, ravaged church.

We walk in. My Turkish companion, a soft-spoken urban designer from Istanbul, points to a large hole dug in the middle of the church: Treasure hunters have been here! After six trips to historic Armenian villages and towns over the past two years alone, this is an all too familiar sight for me.

A few minutes later, I am alone in the church. I slide my hand on its walls ceremoniously, like I have done with every single church I have visited in historic Armenia. I know it gives me strength.

I would like to believe that the church also wants a reassuring hand telling it, “Hang in there! I know in my heart that we will be whole again one day.”

Two large holes on its dome face each other, indicating that the church could have been bombed out before being left to the mercy of the forces of nature.


Beautiful khatchkars (Armenian cross-stones) and engravings adorn the outside walls of the scarred, ravaged church. (Photo by Khatchig Mouradian)


“Hang in there! I know in my heart that we will be whole again one day.” (Photo by Khatchig Mouradian)

Armenian Weekly Editor Khatchig Mouradian just returned from a trip to Dikranagerd/Diyarbakir, Sassoun, and Van. This is the first in a series of articles written about that trip. 

Dr. Khatchig Mouradian

Dr. Khatchig Mouradian

Khatchig Mouradian is the Armenian and Georgian Area Specialist at the Library of Congress and a lecturer in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University. He also serves as Co-Principal Investigator of the project on Armenian Genocide Denial at the Global Institute for Advanced Studies, New York University. Mouradian is the author of The Resistance Network: The Armenian Genocide and Humanitarianism in Ottoman Syria, 1915-1918, published in 2021. The book has received the Syrian Studies Association “Honourable Mention 2021.” In 2020, Mouradian was awarded a Humanities War & Peace Initiative Grant from Columbia University. He is the co-editor of a forthcoming book on late-Ottoman history, and the editor of the peer-reviewed journal The Armenian Review.
Dr. Khatchig Mouradian

Latest posts by Dr. Khatchig Mouradian (see all)


  1. As I will probably never have the money or stamina to make the journey myself, given that my mother’s family originated in Van, I look forward to making the journey vicariously through your upcoming articles.

  2. Figuratively, that would be great if a Turk, Kurd, and Armenian could all walk into a church together. When I saw the khatchkars strewed around in Van, that constantly crossed my mind. I was with a photographer, who was photographing them for a calendar. When the calendar was completed, I gave one to a social worker at a refugee resettlement agency. He was Kurdish, and he was resettling Kurdish refugees from northern Iraq into the United States. We talked about how the Armenians were refugees after World War I, and how the Kurds were refugees after Iraq’s Anfal campaign, and how this calendar can serve as a reminder of both people who suffered. He said he was very much aware of what the Kurds did to the Armenians during World War I, and how the Kurds are now in the same position. Which showed us both, that human rights abuse is perpetual, and how an oppressor can turn into the oppressed.

  3. At the end of the article you mentioned Digranagerd/Dyarbakir. Dyarbakir is not the former Digranagerd. Dyarbakir was called Amida in the past. Digranagerd was situated at the town of Silvan. Between Silvan and Aghdam (Artsakh), where he also had a castle, King Dikran was ruling his kingdom from three more castles, most probably all called Digranagerd.

    • There is the city of Diyarbakir and the province of Diyarbakir. I’ve read that Dikranagerd is located near Silvan- which is in Diyarbakir province.

    • There are supposed to be several Dikranagerts. The one in Artsakh is indeed on the road from Aghdam heading north, not far from the river Khachenaget, located on our liberated lands. The Azeris had ruined it and completely buried it underground.
      Now it has been being excavated by Armenian explorers and revealed. It has foundations similar to Amaras church in the south. I was there in 2011.
      There’s also a second church in Dikranagert up the hill behind the museum.
      Sorry, but it seems to be impossible up upload pics.

  4. My late Mother always referred to herself as Dickranagertsi and so did her relatives that were found over the years, so there has to be some connection between Diyarbakir and Dickranagerd. RVDV is probably right that Dickranagerd is in the province of Diyarbakir rather than the two being the old and new names of the same city.

  5. Wellcome to home Mr. Muradyan. You are touching to souls as well, and i beilive that, souls’ nationalty is humanty.

    i wish you can stay and live here, in your motherland.

    • We already stayed and lived there, in our motherland, istanbul-Christian Constantinople. And what did the Turks do to us? Now we’re “invited” to live there again among unrepentant, unremourseful, unapologetic Turks? No, thanks. We will live there as free Western Armenia not Republic of Turkey.

  6. With due respect to all [posters.All are in praise of the fanciful and well compossed article by Mr. Kh.Muradian.no doubt.
    But only the last two are to be commented upon by me as STRANGE,to say it rather softly…
    I refer ,first to Mara M.K.’s one totally out of place word “inspiring”
    what on earth dloes she wish to convey _-=-
    That we be inspired as to what,that the great Turkey is to offer us on silver platter thoe half ruined churches some day,or what inspiring us to do what…
    As to the last one, in spanish one would say ,”esto ya es el colmo”
    translated, this is already the top or summit…meaning “irritating” sickening.. I WISH YOU CAN STAY AND LIVE ,IN YOUR MOTHERLAND…
    INDEED, THIS IS A VERY incognito phrase…..
    What come and live side by side with people that near ……did us in….
    Are you in search of more Tashnags ,who took the bait..in 1908, when the Young Turks were supposedly comrades in arms with the Armenian Young?
    If there are Armenians who still believe that the Turk has changed.They are welcome to go and live with those Arkadash Turks.Not those like me who have truly accepted with my father hs nmarrated to me (from Erzeroum , till age 17 and on till 38 ion Istanbulla!!!!

    • Dear Gaytzag Palandjian, I am a Turk, i was born in Yozgat, have been living in ıstanbul. I dont know which country you are living? I have been living with Armenians in here from my childhood, like lots of other Turkish people.
      Turkey and Turkish people are changing, this is not about democracy, because they are learning, we didnt know what happend in the history. In Turkey right know more than 30 different ethnic group living together, of course i am not talking about a dream country. Turkey will change faster because people want to learn truths. I am not inviting Armenians to my home, here is your home as well, here is my motherland like yours. This is my feelings and my opinons, like my wife, my little kid, my friends and lots of people from here.

      My English is not very good sorry about it, but i am sure you can understand me, we are not from same mother but we are from same motherland.
      Best wishes from Republic of Motherlands.

    • Yes, istanbul (originally Constantinople–the capital of Christian Byzantine empire), there in modern-day Turkey, long before the intrusion of the Seljuk Turks, was Armenians’ home as well, and there was our motherland before almost all the Armenian inhabitants were savagely mass murdered and forcibly deported by the Turks. What do you, Turks, should do now? Apologize to the descendants of the victims or attempt to lessen your guilt by saying “we didn’t know what happened in history”? This is not something that a 21st-century man should say. In the era of the Internet and digital access to materials in various world repositories, to say “we didn’t know what happened in history” is lame and immature… or just Turkish.

    • Istanbul, yes, many Turks and Armenians and others live peacefully beside each other in Turkey. But that doesn’t change the fact that your people, your government, your nation must admit to the savage crime committed under the cover of WWI and apologize and make reparations. Without this there will never be healing and real peace. It is no longer acceptable to say “we didn’t know.” You know now. What will you do?

    • istanbul, what we call Bolis,

      Your comments are humane.

      However your state and culture are not hospitable to Greeks, Armenians, Gypsies, Assyrians, Europeans or Arabs. “Armenian” is an insult in common usage.

      If you want to see what my grandmother lived through, watch the first 12 minutes of America America, in which Armenians are burned alive in their vilage church.

      Your Generals and Admirals are still killing Christians, as was the case in Malatya. The killers encouraged each other to bring extra towels to soak up the blood.

      Your state wants every single Armenian dead. Those in Yerevan, and those in Turkey. Do not be deceived by the spread of liberalism into believing Genocide is in the past. Your countymen simply ran out of Armenians in the east to kill.

    • İstanbul,

      I was same as you , a humanist, before i met AW.

      After 2 years of conversation with them, now i am an ultra-nationalist/anti-ermenian.

      I thank all of ermenians who helped me to find reality.

    • necati, it’s obvious from your typical gibberish you don’t even know the definition of the words humanist and ultra-nationalist. Two years ago you were an illiterate peasant, today you are an illiterate brainwashed brainless imbecile peasant. You have put donkeys to shame. Congratulations.

    • Dear Boyajian,
      I am agree with you, govermenth must apoligize, i think they will do. Also Turkish people made a campagne and apoligızed on the internet also for a few years at the 24th april in istanbul Thurkish people make demostartions for the victims, lots of books have been publishing about genoside in Turkish.
      I know we connot changed painfull past but we can built a hopefull future together.
      Best wishes

  7. A story written wuth passion and meant to elucidate a community. May not have been uncovered unless somelike took the time and effort to perceive such a subject matter. The striking photography is a further complement.

  8. I am thankful for Khacho for posting this article and bring to readers attention the state of monuments in former Armenian capital, the historic city of Van. I like to add the following clarification, the Karmrakvank is the historic monastery on shores of Lake Van and the church is Surp Astvadzadzin. I strongly recommend reading the details on “www virtualani org / karmrakvank”. There are large number of Armenian churches scattered all around lake Van, and this is one of the surviving example, the largest complex is the monastery of Varakavank, with seven churches. On first week of October, the Varakavank was in headline news, when the owner of the church decided to secure a permits to build a mosque in the grounds of this church complex, an Armenian Activist Nadia Oygun exposed the story and let the world know, it turned out the owner of the church complex is Fatih Altayli, the chief editor and owner of Haberturk. She was successful in cornering this Turkish media mogul and force him to corner where he agreed on returning the SEVEN CHURCHs to the Armenian Patriarchate of Bolis OR the Turkish antiquity department… not calling a victory yet, but the news is very welcoming and need to be echoed in Armenian and world media.

  9. Dear ARx,
    You have amply contested/replied to Istanbulla.
    I have neithr the disposition nor time to write and explain more …to some one who writes like he does.Very much ala turca.

  10. Upon entering the Church, the Armenian will ask “where is the Russian?”, the Turk will pinch him to wake him up from his dream since it is Turkish territory, then the Armenian will take it personal (because the Armenian Catholicos who lives in Russia has hijacked his brain) a fight will break out between the two, the Kurd who sees this from a distance will join in acting with his heart rather than his logic & the Kurd will kill the Armenian to help the Turk, hence he does not have a protectorate as Armenia (France, Russia, Great Britian) and feels safer with the Turk. (In hindsight looking at the Syrian’s, Palestinian’s, Iraqi’s who have resisted zionism & have been doomed to fail)

    • I am sure the Kurds feel safe with Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. The Great Powers are no longer intervening on the Armenians behalf. That is when they were subjects of the Ottoman Empire. The Israelis and Palestinians are going to have to settle it out themselves.

  11. Dear ARx,

    I appreciate your comment about unrepetant, unremorseful, and unapolgetic Turks. It is certainly true that there are many in the population who may feel that way. That being said, there may be a few Turks who are remorseful. I don’t know without speaking directly to them. In my opinion, boundaries of countries, in general, can only be changed by force of arms. The alternative is dialogue and education from a place of reconciliation with preservation of integrity and justice. Blanket condemnation of every Turk is certainly the right of every one, but may not be an effective strategy. Just my 2 cents.

    • Perhaps there are remorseful Turks, but I haven’t seen single Turk posting in these pages who’d unambiguously say: “my nation has perpetrated genocide against the Armenians–i.e. a deliberate mass extermination of a particular ethnic group–and I personally offer an apology to the descendants of the innocent victims”.

      Boundaries of countries can be changed not only by force of arms. Internal disintegration, revolution, and self-determination movements also change boundaries. Consider the USSR, Yugoslavia, and Kosovo, to name a few.

    • One Turkish individual, RVDV, who visits us regularly @AW has unambiguously stated that he, as a Turk by choice, has no doubt that OT and CUP Turks committed Genocide against Armenians.

      He has in fact gone beyond mere acceptance: he strongly and proactively confronts Denialists of all stripes on the pages of AW.

      Regarding the apology: my personal feeling is that no individual Turk needs to apologize for the deeds of people who they had no control over. If they apologize, fine: nice of them to do so. If they don’t: no strike against them, as I see it.

      But for me it is far more important for righteous Turks to confront and shame their Denialist compatriots everywhere they find them, and join us in our efforts to defeat the worldwide AG Denialist campaign. Merely accepting the AG in the year 2012 is too little, too late.

    • I have interviewed people, who were taken in and hidden by Turkish and Kurdish families. One woman told me, how a Turkish family hid them in a cellar. If the Armenians did not know Turkish, they would make up another minority like Arab, or say they were deaf. Villages were combed all of the time for hidden Armenians. So their task was just as dangerous as Poles hiding Jews. There needs to be an Avenue of the Righteous Gentile for those Turkish and Kurdish families, and the three Ottoman governors who got removed from office, when they refused to have the Armenians removed from their provinces.

    • Somewhere else I’ve noticed RVDV claiming he was a Kurd, not a Turk. If it is so, then it is safe to say that until now we’ve seen no individual ethnic Turk (if there’s such a species at all) offering apology to Armenians for the crimes of their grandfathers.

    • I am a Kurd. But I identify myself as a Turk. Not Turkish or from Turkey, Turk. And yes ethnic Turks do exist. They are a race, not a species. There is only the human species. After centuries of forced intermixing, and sometimes times of peaceful coexistence- Ottoman Armenian relations didn’t start in 1895- Turks and Armenians aren’t as different as you might hope ARx. You can of course accept this, and look for the actual reasons the CUP committed genocide, or you can be as irrational as some of the Turkish posters here and make it about DNA, and the “savage” Turkish gene. I have offered an apology on behalf of my ancestors, even though none of my ancestors personally did not take part in any killings, and to my knowledge my great grandfather helped his friends and neighbors escape death, and eventually was hanged for it. So you’ll understand I’m sure if I don’t feel particularly apologetic towards an irrational racist such as yourself. You clearly see Armenians above Turks- calling Turks a possible “species” and saying Armenians are clearly the more advanced and civilized people.

    • RVDV,

      I am not sure Turks are a race. They are an ethnic group. However, Turkish population in present day Turkey is only 5-10% Turkish genetically.

      I am not sure you can say that Turks and Armenians are not that different. I have met Turks, but never felt I was close to them in any way. I even went once to a Turkish restaurant out of courtesy to my colleagues and I did not feel that I was in a familiar place food-wise and culture-wise (by culture I mean restaurant-culture). Maybe Armenians in Ottoman empire were close to Turks culturally but that was pretty much about it.

    • Sella,

      Here is my three cents.

      There are no races other than one human race. Neither Turks nor Armenians nor Lapps are a race.

      Ethnicity is chiefly a linguistic and social set of agreed upon norms, and the identification of who fits and who does not fit is often very inconsistent.

      There is certainly a genetic component most of the time, but not always – for example, the leading Italian football player today is of 100 per cent African heritage. Is he Italian? Yes, most think. Were German Jews ethnically or genetically Jewish, German or Spanish? Most came to German lands following the expulsions? I have no idea. Are Serbs and Croats one ethnicity, given they speak the same language? They would say no, and have gone to war to prove it.

      There is no dispute that a very large number of people who call themselves Turkish or Kurdish have ancestors, some recent, and some remote, who considered themselves Armenian, Albanian, Caucasian Albanian, Cherkess, Laz, Chechen, Greek, Pontic Greek, Jewish, Arab, Assyrian, Serbian, you name it.

      There is certainly more of this diversity and heterogeneity among Turks’ ancestors than among the most isolated homogeneous populations such as the Japanese or the Lapps, although even they have diversity in the more distant limbs of the family tree- Japanese have some ancestors called Ainu, who are classified as Caucasoid according to Victorian norms, as well as Pacific Islanders and Han Chinese and Koreans.

      What this tells us, and what genetic science tells us, is that these antecedent groups and self-identified Turks of today have very little genetic distance. A study about four years ago found that self-identified Anatolian Turks had more genetic distance from Central Asian Turk-identifiers than they did with us and the other groups in Asia Minor.

      My conclusion is that ethnicity is what we agree it is, but it is equally true there are 10M of us who insist our ethnicity survive and thrive, no matter how soft the contours of ethnicity may be to a social or genetic scientist.

      As to how they act: my sample is limited. When I go to Turkish restaurants, I am always uncomfortable. I won’t even go in one if the Turkish flag is evident.

      However, when I have met Turks in social functions, I see reflections in their features and attitudes which are familial to me. I also often find that they have the typical exquisite good manners of all Middle Eastern people, ourselves included. However, the Turks I have met socially were pre-screened by the host as those who admire Armenians and weep for our losses. I have met a few Turkish businessmen also, and they were often imperious in a way that Persians and Arabs never are.

      I think something we are blind to about Turks is that they see themselves, no matter how low their station, as the elite heirs of an Empire, an empire which, by the way, was established by the Byzantines, which Norwich said should actually be called the Graeco-Armenian Empire, so many were the Armenian Emperors and Generals. In other words, many Turks see themselves as a superior race, a la the Germans of the 1930’s.


    • ” many Turks see themselves as a superior race, a la the Germans of the 1930′s.”

      Yeah pretty much. But the Germans were punished for their actions and beliefs and have changed. Maybe the same will be true for Turks one day.

      But I don’t understand what you mean when you say: ” the elite heirs of an Empire, an empire which, by the way, was established by the Byzantines”

      The Ottoman Empire was established by the Byzantines? The Ottomans didn’t inherit an empire from the Byzantines, they took it. With force, with war. I think that is the real source of pride among Turks, from basically nothing in 1299 to a global superpower in the 1500s.

    • There’s no need to make hasty conclusions out of an innocuous post, RVDV.

      I said no word about Turks and Armenians being different (which they, of course, are in many respects). And I said no word about Armenians being above Turks, for which you called me “an irrational racist”. Might you have a reading comprehension problem? Re-read the post, if you will.

      You seem to be irritated by the term ‘species’. Well, the term has several annotations. The one you mentioned, human species, is just one of them. What I meant was another annotation: ‘kind’ or ‘sort’. Please look up Oxford English Dictionaries.

      As for your post, there are several flaws in it.

      First of, who exactly are “ethnic” Turks? You mean the descendants of the Seljuks and the Mongols?

      Second, Turks are not a race; they are an ethnic group.

      Third, Ottoman-Armenian relations didn’t start in 1895 (you meant the Hamidian massacres in which up to 300,000 Armenians were savagely slaughtered, correct?), but for the whole period of colonization they were strained as a result of Turkish gross mistreatment of native minorities.

      Fourth, Turks and Armenians are very different. Armenians are one of the most ancient peoples inhabiting the Earth, while Turks are relative newcomers (appeared in Asia Minor just in the 11th century AD). Armenians are a sedentary people, while (Seljuk) Turks were originally nomadic. Armenians have developed their own, unique culture and civilization (alphabet, language, architecture, religious traditions, etc,) while Turks have heavily borrowed from the cultures of other peoples (script, language, cuisine, religion, etc.). Armenians are earliest Christians. Turks are Muslims. Armenian language belongs to the Indo-European family of languages, while Turkish belongs to the Altaic family. Armenians are an Aryan people, while Turks are descendents of a branch of the Hsiung-nu (Huns) living in the Transbaikal area.

      Given the history of their existence and their accomplishments, it is safe to say that Armenians are clearly one of the advanced and civilized peoples. Stating this doesn’t make Armenians the only advanced and civilized people, nor does it denigrate in any way the other peoples.

      I appreciate your offering an apology on behalf of your ancestors as an ethnic Kurd. I have hard time understanding your phrase: “I am a Kurd but I identify myself as a Turk”. These are two different ethnic groups. Perhaps you meant that you were a Kurd but you identified yourself as a Turkish citizen? That’d be understandable.

      P.S. What are “the actual reasons the CUP committed genocide”? What are the actual reasons Abdul Hamid committed wholesale massacres? Generally, why do you think one nation can slaughter the other en masse and the other nation cannot?

  12. HarryA
    You said Fatih Altayli who is owner of the church was going to built a mosque but he was exposed. What kind of person are you? Fatih Altayli most probably doesn’t believe in any religion let alone he will built a mosque. Why do you need to distort something you really do not have to do? I think that this is an Armenian habit to change or distort the stories ha?

  13. I continue to be overwhelmed at the beauty of our ancient Armenian churches. I had to bear the unbearable, to view Mouradian’s magnificent photos of Akhtamar knowing it is considered a museum. How simply magnificent it must have been for Arshile Gorky (Vosdqanig Adoian) to have lived near Akhtamar and to have been inspired by its unbelievable surroundings to create his marvelous paintings. We Armenians long for the return of our lands and for our people to be reunited for the good of all Armenians everywhere. If I can never make this same trip, I hope Mouradian continues to do so for enriching all of us with his knowledge and sensitivity to his dedication to being Hye. Please continue to reveal the Republic of Armenia and Historic Armenia to me. I love and treasure looking at all the photos with amazement and pure wonder. I remain proud of Armenian art and dedication to their Christian faith. I too want to run my hands over the surface of the church’s walls and to feet the art work, if not on earth, then in Heaven.

  14. Hi again, first off all, i will not change my mind, i beilive that this country belong to many different origin people. Who feel belong to this land they must be live here.
    History is bad, not only for Turks also for other nations, even all nations.
    Istanbul was constantinapole sure but before Khalkedon (Greek colony, now Kadıköy) before, a neolithic settlement (now Fikirtepe, also neolithic settlement in Sarayburnu) before paleolithic settlement in the Yarımca caves, at that time there was no nation. Nation is not very old if you think the human history. Probably somebody want to use people that is why they produced ‘nation’ ‘religon’ they need nationalist and religois people, because this kind of people dont need to think they just beilive. I have read many racist coments in Armenian weekly, from Turks and Armenians. I beilive that, they have same surname only their names different.
    Best wishes from motherland.

    • anbul-historically Constantinople,

      Various lands naturally evolved in the course of time: from neolithic times to the Byzantine times, as with Constantinople. But you conveniently avoid mentioning the fact that the “evolution” from Constantinople to Istanbul was NOT natural. It was the result of invasion of Asia Minor of your predecessors–nomadic Central Asian Seljuk terrorizing warriors and the consequent siege of Constantinople by the Turkish troops. Try to understand the difference: Turks are aliens to the region where many original, indigenous and more civilized nations lived. Turks chose not to live with them but to exterminate or forcibly deport them. That is the whole point!

    • Balyan family
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Jump to: navigation, search
      This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (August 2011)

      The Balyan family (Armenian: Պալեաններ) was a dynasty of famous Ottoman imperial architects. They were of Armenian ethnicity. For five generations in the 18th and 19th centuries, they designed and constructed numerous major buildings, including palaces, kiosks, mosques, churches and various public buildings, mostly in Constantinople. The nine well-known members of the family served six sultans in the course of almost a century and were responsible for the westernization of the architecture of the then-capital city.

      Until the 17th century, architects serving in the Ottoman Empire were either Muslim or converted to Islam later in life.[citation needed] Most probably as a result of the reform movement,[specify] architects from non-Muslim minorities gained popularity, and among them the Western-educated Balyan family has a distinct place in the history of the empire’s architecture. But in historical resources, it is debated that their architectural identity may sometimes be confused with contractor or project administrator. It is difficult to define who among the family members was an “architect,” “contractor” or “administrator.”

      The Balyans used Western architectural techniques and designs; they did not, however, disregard traditional Ottoman elements. The most important and largest construction built by members of the family was Dolmabahçe Palace, which is considered to be one of the world’s finest palaces of the 19th century.[by whom?]

      Most of their buildings are still in use and registered as historical monuments.[citation needed]

      1 Family members
      2 Buildings and structures
      2.1 Royal residences
      2.2 Religious buildings
      2.3 Public buildings
      2.4 Production facilities
      3 Ancestors
      3.1 Mason Bali
      3.2 Architect Magar
      4 The family
      4.1 Krikor Balyan
      4.2 Senekerim Balyan
      4.3 Garabet Amira Balyan
      4.4 Nigoğayos Balyan
      4.5 Sarkis Balyan
      4.6 Hagop Balyan
      4.7 Simon Balyan
      4.8 Levon Balyan
      5 See also
      6 References

      Family members
      Graves of the Balyan family in the Armenian cemetery on Nuh Kuyusu Caddesi, Bağlarbaşı, Üsküdar, Istanbul.

      Bali (Balen; ?–1725)
      Magar (?–?)
      Krikor Balyan (Krikor Amira Balyan; 1764–1831)
      Senekerim Balyan (1768–1833)
      Garabet Amira Balyan (1800–1866)
      Nigoğayos Balyan (1826–1858)
      Levon Balyan (1855-?)
      Sarkis Balyan (1835–1899)
      Hagop Balyan (1838–1875)
      Simon Balyan (1848–1894)

      Buildings and structures

      Buildings and structures designed and constructed by Balyan family members:[1]
      Royal residences

      Dolmabahçe Palace (1848–1856)
      Beylerbeyi Palace (burnt by Janissaries, rebuilt) (1861–1865)
      Çırağan Palace (1863–1871)
      Topkapı PalaceTemplate:Specify which part
      Sarayburnu Palace (burnt 1875)
      Beşiktaş Palace
      Valide Sultan Palace, Arnavutköy
      Defterdar Sultan Palace
      Adile Sultana Palace, Kandilli (1876)
      Eyup Twin Palaces
      Salıpazarı Palace
      Yıldız Palace
      Fındıklı Cemile and Münire Sultan Palaces (1856–1859)
      İzmit Hünkar Palace
      Baltalimanı Coastal Palace
      Aynalıkavak Palace
      Esma Sultana Mansion (1875)
      Adile Sultan Pavilion, Validebağ (1853)
      Ihlamur Pavilion (1849)
      Küçüksu (Göksu) Pavilion (1857)
      Malta Kiosk
      Sultan Mahmud I Kiosk
      Yeşilköy Hünkar Kiosk
      Old kiosk on Galatasaray islet

      Religious buildings

      Tophane Nusretiye Mosque (1823–1826)
      Ortaköy Mosque (1852–1854)
      Dolmabahçe Mosque (Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan Mosque; 1852–1854)
      Aksaray Valide Mosque (1871)
      Üsküdar Surp Haç Armenian Church
      Kayseri Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Armenian Church
      Beşiktaş Surp Nişan Armenian Church (1834)
      Ortaköy Surp Astvadzadzin Armenian Church (1824)
      Kuruçeşme Surp Nişan Armenian Church
      Bandırma Armenian Church
      Beyoğlu Surp Yerrortutyun Church (1838)
      Kumkapı Surp Astvadzadzin Patriarchiate Church
      Mausoleum of Sultan Mahmud II (1840)
      Mausoleum of Sultan Abdülmecit I
      Mausoleum of Sultan Abdülaziz

      Public buildings

      Istanbul Mint
      Selimiye Barracks (1800)
      Davutpaşa Barracks (1826–1827)
      Beyoğlu Barracks
      Maçka Arsenal
      Ministry of War
      Academy of War
      Palace School of Medicine
      Academy of Fine Arts
      Beşiktaş Makruhyan Armenian Primary School (1866)
      Beyazit Tower (1828)
      Dolmabahçe Clock Tower (1895)
      Nusretiye Clock Tower (1848)
      Topuzlu Dam
      Valide Dam
      Beşiktaş-Akaretler 138 Terraced Houses (1874)
      Surp Prgiç Armenian National Hospital (1827–1834)

      Production facilities

      Zeytinburnu iron works
      İzmit textile factory
      Hereke textile factory (1843)
      Bakırköy textile factory
      Beykoz tannery
      Zeytinburnu gunpowder factory (1874)

      Mason Bali

      Mason Bali (Mason Balen, Turkish: Meremmetçi Bali Kalfa or Meremmetçi Balen Kalfa), a masonry craftsman from the Belen village of Karaman in central Anatolia, was the founder of the dynasty. He moved to Constantinople, where he learned of an Armenian palace architect[citation needed] of Sultan Mehmed IV (1648–1687), whom he replaced. When Bali died in 1725, his son Magar took his place as architect at the sultan’s court.
      Architect Magar

      Architect Magar (Turkish: Mimar Magar) was charged with important projects and was consequently frequently promoted to higher ranks. However, as a result of a denunciation, he was driven away from the court of Sultan Mahmud I (1730–1754) to exile in the eastern Anatolian town of Bayburt.[citation needed] There, Magar taught his elder son Krikor architecture before being pardoned and returning to Constantinople. Following his retirement, his son Krikor took over his position. Magar’s second son Senekerim collaborated with his brother Krikor. Magar died in Bayburt.
      The family
      Krikor Balyan

      Krikor Balyan (Krikor Amira Balyan; 1764–1831) was the first member of the family to use the surname Balyan. He was called Baliyan or Balyan after his grandfather and later adopted this as the family name Balyan. He was the son-in-law of Mason Minas and father-in-law of Ohannes Amira Severyan, both of whom were palace architects.

      Krikor received his credential of architecture from Sultan Abdul Hamid I (1774–1787). He became unofficial advisor to Sultan Selim III (1789–1807), and was close to Sultan Mahmud II (1808–1839). Krikor’s attitude of impartiality and willingness for negotiation caused foreigners to respect him during their visits to the sultan’s palace.[citation needed]

      He was exiled in 1820 to Kayseri in central Anatolia, because of his involvement in a dispute between Gregorian and Catholic Armenians. He was pardoned and allowed to return to Constantinople shortly after a friend of his in the palace, Amira Bezjian, presented delicious Turkish ham from Kayseri to the sultan.[citation needed]

      Krikor died in 1831 after serving the empire during the reigns of four sultans, Abdul Hamid I (1774–1787), Selim III (1789–1807), Mustafa IV (1807–1808)), and Mahmud II (1808–1839). His young and inexperienced son Garabet Amira succeeded him.

      Krikor’s major works:

      Sarayburnu Palace (burned 1875)
      Beşiktaş Palace
      Çırağan Palace (burned by Janissaries)
      Arnavutköy Valide Sultan Palace
      Defterdar Sultan Palace
      Aynalıkavak Pavilion
      Tophane Nusretiye Mosque (1823–1826)
      Selimiye Barracks (1800, burnt 1806)
      Davutpaşa Barracks (1826–1827)
      Beyoğlu Barracks
      Istanbul Mint
      Valide Dam
      Topuzlu Dam
      Fire Kiosk

      Senekerim Balyan

      Senekerim Balyan (1768–1833) was the son of Architect Magar and the younger brother of Krikor Balyan. He worked together with his brother, but remained in the background.[citation needed] He rebuilt the Beyazit Fire Tower, which had been constructed in wood in 1826 by his brother Krikor, but destroyed after a fire. He died in Jerusalem and was buried in the Armenian church yard.[specify]

      Senekerim’s works:

      Beyazıt Fire Tower (1828)
      Ortaköy Soorp Asdvadzazdin Armenian Church (1824)

      Garabet Amira Balyan

      Garabet Amira Balyan (Karabet Balyan; 1800–1866) was born in Istanbul. At his father’s death, he was very young and not experienced enough to take over his father’s position by himself. Thus he served alongside his uncle-in-law Mason Ohannes Serveryan. Garabet served during the reigns of Mahmud II (1808–1839), Abdul Mecid I (1839–1861), and Abdulaziz (1861–1876), and constructed numerous buildings in Constantinople. The best known of his works is Dolmabahçe Palace, which he built in collaboration with his son Nigoğayos. Another notable architectural work of his is Beylerbeyi Palace, which was built in cooperation with his other son Sarkis.

      Garabet Balyan was also active in the Armenian community’s educational and administrative matters and carried out research work on Armenian architecture. His four sons, Nigoğayos, Sarkis, Hagop, and Simon, succeeded him after he died of a heart attack in 1866 while conversing with friends.[2]
      Dolmabahçe Palace
      Ortaköy Mosque in front of the Bosphorus Bridge

      Garabet’s notable works:

      Dolmabahçe Palace, with Nigoğayos Balyan (1848–1856)
      New Çırağan Palace
      Yeşilköy Hünkar Kiosk
      Old Yıldız Palace
      Ortaköy Mosque, with Nigoğayos Balyan (1854)
      Nusretiye Clock Tower (1848)
      Beşiktaş Soorp Asdvadzazin Armenian Church (1834)
      Kuruçeşme Soorp Nişan Armenian Church (1834)
      Beyoğlu Soorp Yerrortutyun Church (1838)
      Kumkapı Soorp Asdvadzazin Church
      Academy of Fine Arts (former cannon foundry) building in Tophane
      Fındıklı Cemile and Münire Sultan Palaces (1856–1859; today Mimar Sinan University)
      İzmit Hünkar Palace
      Academy of War
      Mausoleum of Mahmut II with fountain (1840)
      Bakırköy textile factory
      Beykoz tannery (1842)
      Hereke textile factory (1843)
      Armenian hospital (1832–1834)[specify]

      Nigoğayos Balyan

      Nigoğayos Balyan (Nigoğos Balyan; 1826–1858) was the first son of Garabet Armira Balyan. In 1843, he was sent to Paris together with his brother Sarkis to study architecture at the Collège Sainte-Barbe de Paris. Due to an illness, however, he and his brother had to return to Constantinople in 1845. Working alongside his father Garabet, Nigoğayos gained experience. He was appointed arts advisor to Sultan Abdulmecid I (1839–1861). He founded also a school for domestic architects in order to teach Western architecture.[citation needed]

      Nigoğayos worked together with his father on the building of Dolmabahçe Palace (1842–1856). He participated in the preparations for the Law on the Armenian Nation.[clarification needed][citation needed] Nigoğayos died in Constantinople in 1858 of typhoid fever at the age of 32.

      Nigoğayos’s notable works:

      Küçük Mecidiye Mosque (1843)
      Ihlamur Pavilion (1849)
      Dolmabahçe Mosque, aka Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan Mosque (1852–1854)
      Adile Sultan Pavilion, Validebağ (1853)
      Ortaköy Mosque, together with Garabet Amira Balyan (1854)
      Küçüksu Pavilion, aka Göksu Pavilion (1857)
      Armenian Hospital

      Sarkis Balyan

      Sarkis Balyan (1835–1899) was the second son of Garabet Balyan. In 1843, he followed his elder brother Nigoğayos to Paris. He had to return to Constantinople in 1845 due to an illness of his brother. In 1847, Sarkis went to Paris again to attend Collège Sainte-Barbe de Paris, which he finished after three years. Later, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts.[specify]

      After returning to Constantinople, Sarkis began working alongside his father and his brother Nigoğayos. Following the deaths of these two, he continued his work with the younger brother Hagop. Sarkis won greater fame than Hagop because he constructed the structures his brother designed.[citation needed] Sarkis is also known as the designer of many buildings.[citation needed]

      Known as a fast worker, his professional life was interrupted by the death of brother Hagop in 1875 and by Abdülhamid II’s accession to the throne (1876–1909). Due to political accusations, he was forced into exile in Europe for 15 years, but eventually returned to Turkey through the intercession of Hagop Kazazian Pasha on his behalf.[3]

      His most important work is the Valide Sultan Kiosk. Interested in all branches of the fine arts, Sarkis supported Armenian writers, musicians, and particularly theater actors. He was also a member of the Armenian Patriarchate’s Assembly. He was awarded the title Sir Mimar (Chief Architect of Ottoman Empire).[citation needed]
      Beylerbeyi Palace

      Sarkis’s notable works:

      Beylerbeyi Palace, with his father Garabet Balyan (1861–1865)
      Beşiktaş Makruhyan Armenian Primary School (1866; dedicated to the memory of his young died wife Makruhi)
      Malta Pavilion (1870)
      Çırağan Palace (1863–1871)
      Valide Mosque, with brother Hagop Balyan (1871)
      Zeytinburnu Gunpowder Factory (1874)
      Beşiktaş-Akaretler 138 Terraced Houses (construction begun in 1874)
      Esma Sultana Mansion, Ortaköy (1875)
      Adile Sultana Palace, Kandilli (1876)
      Dolmabahçe Clock Tower (1895)
      Ministry of War (today the main building of Istanbul Technical University)
      Imperial School of Medicine (today Galatasaray High School)
      Maçka Arsenal (today the Faculty of Mining, Istanbul Technical University)
      Baltalimanı Coastal Palace
      Old kiosk on Galatasaray islet

    • And, istanbul? How do you feel as a Turk that many of the splendid structures and Muslim mosques in your country were engineered, designed, and built by Christian Armenian architects? More specifically, how do you feel about your nation that savagely exterminated the Armenians after all the services that they’ve rendered? In terms of your proclaimed humanity and not nationalism, how does it feel?

  15. Istanbull*la..is now turned the page and is advocating the soviet style…that of All nations are one___
    My foot especially the turks of Axerbaiajn and great Turkey.
    The first one, the AXER…after 70 yrs of harsh soviet rule*also advocating BROTHERHOOD….did not push any brotherhood into the Axerbaijai*turkish heads.As to Contantinopla…welll my Armerican crossing latter,rather staying there a few days, before coming to meet me*us -on business in T..in 1953,told us , that he has seen the maddened, ferocious Truks of Istanbulla burning stores of Greek ownership on main Istanbul*la thoroughfares-streets.
    he was then incognizant that his country the U.s. would as of that date appoint great Turkey as its main ally in the Middle Easat*and Israel…pumping into both over a HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS…with no return condition …now, we are seeing how the effect has been especially in great Turkey…
    Hence to talk of NO NATION AND BROTHERHOOD NEIGHBOURLY COUNTRIES and that of a person of Turkish origin is tantamount to ZERO.
    Certainly like some above have noted there may be ONE or a few in a million that feel and opine differently but the majority is what it is unfortunately AND BELIEVE YOU ME ARMENIANS IN THEIR RIGHT MINDS WILL NOT BE TAKEN IN AGAIN AND AGain…

  16. all radicals…before you start telling you fabricated lies..tell me why did your radical superstars husnak and tucnak kill neutral armenians businessman, priests and so on..why? because these radicals where inhuman..posined with Russian propaganda..of great armenia…and than radicals started to kill destroy kurdish and turkish muslim villages like in 1912 in the Balkan wars…because of orthodox evil radicals muslims turks bosniaks and albanians , chechens laz tatars were all killed and displaced in millions…before you ask as anything..first admit ask us for forgiveness for your evil deeds. Radicals choose the wrong side..that’s all..blame your radicals …thanks

    • Hakan,

      You are in need of independent facts, not those spewed out by the Nazis in your own culture or a smaller and smaller handful of Turkish “scholars.”

      You assert, it seems, that Armenians killed millions of Turks and other Moslems. Odd, by the way that Kurds disagree- several of their organizations have apologized to Armenians for what their grandparents did at the behest of Turks, who promised them the wealth and lands of Armenians, including my family’s wealth, built up over 400 years, now a desert with Kurds kept illiterate by their Turkish “brothers” and living in poverty. In my great grandparents’ time, the fields were full of wheat, the granary was full, there was a small factory that employed Turks and Kurds, and fruit tress. Today…nothing. The eastern part of your put-together country is a vacant lot. 120 years ago it was productive.

      To kill millions of civilians, a power must control arms, roads, and marshaling areas. It is not possible to kill people protected by armed forces. In 1912, Armenians controlled nothing, and were instantly killed if found with a firearm. The gendarmes were Turks, not Christians. Armenians controlled no roads, no marshaling areas, and no armies. They were in fact citizens of the Empire, and they were subservient to Moslems as dhimmis.

      Did you even know that Armenians fought for the Ottoman Empire before they were disarmed and murdered by their officers? Read about Captain Sarkis Torossian, the hero of the Dardenelles, whose family was killed by Turks, even as he fought for the OE. His artillery unit sank a ship for the OE.

      Show the fascist state you love you are smarter than their propaganda. Read the works of Turkish scholars such as Selim Deringil, or Taner Akcam or Umit Ungor before you repeat like a parrot what some idiot taught you.

      Can Turks think for themselves? I have confidence in them, that they can and will because they are human first.

  17. Hakan, it is very sad to read comments like yours which show that you accept propaganda as truth. Please read history and question the propaganda you have been taught. Your examples are exaggerated and misinformed. Armenians were not responsible for what happened in the Balkans. And whole villages of unarmed women and children and elderly never deserve to be marched into a barren desert and exposed to rape, robbery, murder, thirst and starvation as punishment for wanting to live free and equal with Turks. You don’t have to be a ‘radical’ to reject subjugation. jda has said it well.

  18. Thank you Istambul for your wish that comes from your heart. As an Armenian I value even one person’s kindness, regardless of the State and its position. Human life is worthless without humanity.

    • Thank you Nektar, for your humanist comment. All we need humanism, not nationalism or govermenthism.

      Best wishes from here

    • Humanism includes remoursefulness and repentance, Istanbul-Constantinople. And nationalism was the driving force behind the mass extermination of the Armenians. If you don’t need nationalism and need humanism, why didn’t we hear from that you were sorry for the genocidal annihilation of the Armenians by the Turks?

  19. A very nice article from Mouradian. Yes, I believe for Armenians and all that want justice for Armenians that it is important to visit Turkey to see the remains of a once flourishing Armenian civilization in Anatolia. To visit churches like this is one of the factors that keep the remebrance alive.

    • any comment on your ongoing campaign of AG Denial ?

      any comment on your comment about “disposing of” remains of exterminated human beings that built the once flourishing Armenian civilization in Asia Minor, specifically Armenian Highlands ?

      (where is this mythical place called ‘Anatolia’ ?)

      any comment on your ongoing campaign to absolve Turks, towards whom you profess love and infatuation, of the horrendous, epic crime of the Armenian Genocide – by blaming Armenian victims themselves ?

      any comment on your advice to posters @AW, who confront and refute your Denialist disinformation – to, quote, continue our “inbreeding activities” ?

    • I think it is important for you to visit Turkey to see the remains of a once flourishing Armenian civilization in Eastern Asia Minor (where is Anatolia?) so you understand the essence of the Ottoman Turks and the degree of their savagery against the indigenous Christian nations.

  20. When Turks or proturk Kurds-like one above-are cornered here online,they revert to another-very cunningly Ottoman Turkish-i.e..,you Armenians think and behave as though you were above us… AND/OR..you are Radicals…
    No such thing. We never consider ourselves as above any other nationality-people,whether Bengali , a Haitian, a Chinese, or any other..*like our poet Baruyr Sevag has written…But they call us Armenian!!!!
    Indeed, we do not like to be referred to us,as Radicals, Nazis or the Ottomans who acted pretty much like they did..over Jews. Gypsies, christian Assyrian, Armenians and Greeks.What’s more we don’t need to do that. We keep to ourselves and try to be Humanitarian,as much as possible and keep away from those who ARE NOT.
    But I always re assure myself that some day not too far off,more Turks will truly repent -like Jemal pasha’s grandson, Orhan Pamuk ,Taner Ackcam and pursuade their Gov. to do so and officially accept culpability/crimes that their forefathers committed and make amends/reparations.
    My grandfather’s uncle’s reeal property is still there-though illegally occupied by Turks and time will come when these will have to vacate them.Go further West.Let’s then call that area as Anatolia-not the one East to it.This one is clearly -will be -partially Kurdistan and mainly to the East, Armenia.
    We are an overpatient people,can wait some more.But then the Centenary annoversary drawing close will remind us to do soemthing about it.Knock on any door…get the super powers adn powers to acknowledgge that INJUSTICE was done to us and the world owes us JUSTICE.

    • Incorrect Mr. Palandjian. “,you Armenians think and behave as though you were above us…”

      I never said that. What I said was ONE person in particular was acting in that manner. You of course have the right to be angry, frustrated, I don’t blame anyone here if they hate Turks with all their hearts. We deserve it all and more. Until the AG issue is resolved- through Turkey accepting and paying reparations- the issue will remain an uncovered wound for Armenians. I don’t pretend to have the answers to how Turkey will come to accept history, but what I do know is that hate, radicalism, and fanaticism fueled the AG. That same behavior displayed by some individuals here will NEVER lead to a conclusion to this problem.


      This article is about a so-called “cheese” diplomacy between Armenians and Turks. In that article…

      “Yurdum Hasgul Cagatay, a Turkish entrepreneur who recently led a group of Kurdish businessmen from the southeastern Turkish town of Diyarbakir to Yerevan to sign a cooperation agreement between the two towns’ Chambers of Commerce…”

      But when you say “We are an overpatient people,can wait some more.” That is a God-awful mentality. Wait for what? An independent Kurdistan? Do you honestly believe Kurds will just give away land to Armenians? Kurds, who still to this do not have a nation, a people who have suffered for long in so many nations. People who have been undignified in every imaginable way. You think they’ll hand land out if they get a country of their own? I commend your optimism, and belief in the humanity of Kurdish people, but I feel you may be disappointed with the results in the end.

    • RVDV,

      Kurds know that Armenians lived on those lands. I’ve seen Kurdish homes built in part using the stones and cross-stones from the destroyed Armenian churches and monasteries. Several Kurdish organizations have apologized for the complicity of the Kurds in mass murdering the Armenians. Of course, all this may not prompt them to hand out lands that once belonged to the Armenians if a Kurdish state is to be established. But Kurds can be MADE to hand them out to Armenians. It is simpler that you think. And, RVDV, how can a people be more undignified if they were near-annihilated and two-thirds of their native lands stolen?

  21. Dear Arx,
    Various lands naturally evolved in the course of time: from neolithic times to the Byzantine times, as with Constantinople. But you conveniently avoid mentioning the fact that the “evolution” from Constantinople to Istanbul was NOT natural.

    Constantinapole changed Istampoli by the Greek people( not official as using language) and it is turned to Istanbul, it has changed phonoticly, Istanbul is not a Turkish name, there is no mining in Turkish. It has changed phoneticly, for example in English, people were using ‘hince’ hundred years ago it turned ‘since’.
    Also Ankara was Ankyra (Roman time), Sinop was Sinope, Kayseri was Chesaria. Many places are using same names, unfortunatly lots of places name has changed officially, even my village’s name it is a Turkish village, now lots of places start to take their old names in Turkey.
    Best wishes

    • No, istanbul, Constantinople was not changed to Istampoli by the Greek people. Latinized form of Kōnstantinoúpolis, Constantinople meant the ‘city of Constantine’ and remained the most common name for the city in the world until the establishment of the Turkish Republic, when it was Turkified to Istanbul by the Turks. Whether the Turks changed it phonetically and whether it had any meaning in Turkish, doesn’t matter. The ancient Christian Byzantine capital of Constantinople was Turkified to Istanbul. And yes, very many historical places belonging to other peoples have been Turkified in the best Turkish traditions to make them look Turkish, whereas in reality they have never been Turkish. By doing this, Turks exhibit an insecurity complex, knowing too well that most of the lands, the geography, and structures were not originally Turkish. Admit the fact.

    • istanbul:

      Was Mt. Ararat changed to Agri Dag phonetically, too? From Old Testament times onward the sacred mountain for all Christians, and especially the Armenians, was called Ararat. That is, Armenians didn’t call it Agri Dag, as you claim Greeks called Constantinople Istanpoli. So, was this change from Ararat to Agri Dag also phonetic in nature or maybe it was done in the best traditions of the Turks to Turkify anything that never belong to them?

  22. Sella
    Turkey has a huge population and territory so there are many different Turkish cultures. For example; the traditions and cultures in Sivas, Erzincan and Erzurum are very different from the ones in Trabzon, Istanbul or Adana. I personally wouldn’t want to live in Elazig(Kharpet) or Erzurum because people are generally ultra nationalist and religious.

  23. RVDV with Russian two headed Eagles next to your name..Do you admire Russia,are you Chechen from that part of Russia? or what,just curious?
    Whetther you referrred to one Turk or many is the same.Don´t worry about that we know better, no need to point out.
    As to your query that I think great Turkey will ever pay reparations,or accept history and officially ask for forgiveness, I have this to say.
    A very important Powerful nation(even again today) Germany did that….
    and paid and is still paying reparations(BLOOD money actually) as the Jews ,not all of them owned property in Germany or in Europe as a whole they also lived in rented houses,apt,s etc., but theyDEMANDED AND GOT PAID CASH,para in Turkish…
    Empires have collapsed disappeared or near disappeared…no need to name them…
    Kurds? we know them better than you do we lived millenia side by side with them before the invading seljuk Tataar.Moguls set in…The are conveniced NOW what Truks are and What armenians are…don´t worry abpout that.
    As to the followign.-Even if a Turk come up and say our Gov. coffers are empty ,all billions have been spent and come see for yourselves…WE can still find way to solve that problem…..
    You see you are the hard liner,as Istanbul la above says now names of villages are being re changed again to ERMENI ones…that they are softenning up.You wann a know how come….easy someone with upper hand on you guys tells you to do so.Like not long ago the U.S. Senate urged to return back to armenians the churches in Istanbulla..
    pretty soon -like I heard Mr. putin had indirectly made Mr. derdogan understand not to send in soldiers not even one into Syuria…
    Times do change Mr. RVDV(or shall I refer to you as person next to a2 headed Eagel sign…try to be a bit patient like us armenians…

  24. Just to add Mr. RDVD that I ventured into your quoted NY Times and you are right(you may stay content/satiosfied) that as yet our press here is painting a totally different picture of the FACTS,historical facts.Rejoice!!!
    But I assure you it is not going to last forever,nor for long…the ice berg is giving signs of being melted down by and by…
    We are an overpatient people.We can even swallow what ignorant Euro-Ams think or intentionally appear to think about the whole Armeno Turkish <KNOT
    it will be opned sooner rather than later,i can tell you that…
    great turkey is being cornered by adn by, piano piano..
    Why? because we all know(at least pe0ople who know the turkish KHERS..
    Your people ´s chieftains may at a bad feeling moment-siuch as not being let to enter Syria or have all arab countries under your umbrella,or IRAN, suddenly decide to unleashi the huge army into a neighbouring country….
    But then like an old lady-believe you me an old lady-but ex journalist editor of a soviet paper told me the next was -if it happends won´t be on the ground…it will be a missile warfare mainly….Heaven forbid of course!!!!
    we do really I SWEAR TO GOD ALMIGHTY TO ALLAH-if you believ e in him,do not desire war or further bloodshed…like yiour little brother ALi ogluor Ali ev(Rusianized) is day in day our trumpeting!!! we need peace!!!
    But for that we have to be ready to fight again if need be…..
    Today we signed quite an IMPORTANT AGREEMENTS WITH KINDLY NEIGHBOUR I R A N , railway construction, Hydro ñElectric Station on River Arax on the irano armenian border and lot of other things…people can be FRIENDLY EH..Mr. RVDV????

  25. Dear Arx and Guergen,
    I am agree with you this is a sickness of goverments, to change the names, I’ve wrote before, my village’s name has changed, it is a Turkish village.
    I have send to AW, a very long list, The Balyan Family’s great works, i can not understand your blaming ‘How do you feel?’ If ı have send this things What can i feel, or if you look at my comments, what i feel? What do you think?
    In my village in central Anatolia(Anatolia is Greek, phonoticly changed became Anadolu) there was a man who was Armenian origin, he lost all family at 1915, if i know that what i feel, what you think?
    Mt. Ararat is beatifull name its sounds like batifull song’s lyric, it is better than Agri Dagi. Also Ararat is my friend’s little kid’s name, she is Turkish, her husband is Armenian, What do you think about Ararat, he is just one year old, is he Turkish or Armenian? or is it really important?
    Dear Arx hope to see you in Constantinapole,and together, have a dinner at an Armenian resteaurant after have a cup of Turkish coffee by the Dolmabahce Mosque( Armenian architect built it), and lets talk about what can we do for the future.
    Best wishes from Constantinapole or Istampoli or Istanbul, i like this city i am sure you will like it.

    • istanbul-historically Constantinople,

      YOU tell us how you feel, don’t ask rhetorical questions: “What do you think I feel”? I don’t know you. Maybe you feel that Armenians (like Balians and others) were given high positions in the Ottoman empire that shows that all Armenians lived lavish lives under the Ottomans? Or maybe you feel that Ottoman Turks were so humane, loving people that they allowed the Armenians to be chief architects of their empire? I don’t know, YOU tell me! Genocide denialist Turks love fairy tales about Armenians and other native Christians enjoying all aspects of life in the wonderland called “Ottoman Empire”. Maybe this is what you were trying to say by giving the Balians’ example? YOU tell us.

      Anatolia is Greek, but it has been Turkified to ‘Anadolu’ which replaced the historical name of the region in which the Armenians had their ancestral homeland for millennia: Eastern Asia Minor.

      What do you mean by “Mt. Ararat sounds better(?!) than Agri Dagi”? Mt. Ararat is known from Biblical times as Mt. Ararat. What the h*** is Agri Dagi? Where did it come from? Was it also a “phonetical transformation” or maybe the name of the mountain was deliberately Turkified? It IS important that original names stay intact, because they demonstrate that the lands or structures on them were never originally Turkish.

      My grandparents’ village [still] is in Sasoun. They were among those few lucky ones who managed to flee Turkish barbarity in 1915. And I will visit Turkey only after your government apologizes for the genocide and will start paying reparations for the extermination of the whole people and the theft of their lands. I cannot dine in a restaurant in the country whose government denies the truth about the Armenian genocide. Sorry.

    • Dear Arx, I am agree with you the goverment has to apoligize from Armenians, after has to something. we will see it, it will hapen.
      Also, of course original names have to saved, they change names because they want to cut links with past. It is about human enginering it is stupid also it is a crime against to humanity and civizilation in my opinion.

      Why i have send the Balyan Family, i saw a comment and its said ‘Armenian architects built beatifull churches in Anatoia’. I wanted say not only churches they have built many beatifull buldings even beatifull mosques, that is all.
      Do you know that, even for Turkish language Armenians made lots of things. Please read it.
      Agop Dilaçar was born in İstanbul, as Agop Martayan, in 1895. He graduated from the Robert College in 1915. He was proficient in 22 languages,[1] and in addition to Armenian and Turkish, he knew English, Greek, Spanish, Latin, German, Russian and Bulgarian. He worked as a lecturer of the English language at the Robert College, and of Ottoman Turkish and ancient East languages at Sofia University in Sofia, Bulgaria.

      He was invited on September 22, 1932, as a linguistics specialist to the First Turkish Language Congress held in Dolmabahçe Palace supervised by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey, together with two other linguists of Armenian ethnicity, İstepan Gurdikyan and Kevork Simkeşyan. He continued his work and research on the Turkish language as the head specialist and Secretary General of the newly founded Turkish Language Association in Ankara. Following the issue of the Law on Family Names in 1934, Atatürk suggested him the surname Dilaçar (literally meaning language opener), which he gladly accepted.

      He taught history and language at Ankara University between 1936 and 1951. He also was the head advisor of the Türk Ansiklopedisi (Turkish Encyclopedia), between 1942 and 1960. He held his position and continued his research in linguistics at the Turkish Language Association until his death on 12 September 1979, in Istanbul.

      Best wishes from motherland ARx,

    • In conclusion, Istanbul comes here in peace, accepting the Turkish government should acknowledge, apologize, and pay for its past crimes. Aside from this, Istanbul is making a point as to no matter how much Turkey tries to deny everything it did to Armenians, the Armenian influence in everything from architecture and the modern Turkish language itself is far too great to deny. THAT is what he or she is trying to convey. ARx on the other hand, is attempting to provoke a person who is just trying to show support. And its pathetic.

      Just curious, did Armenia have sovereignty over western Armenia in 1915? Or 1815? Or 1715? Or 1615? Or 1515?

    • ARx is not attempting to “provoke a person who’s trying to show support”. ARx attempts to understand what that person tried to say by bringing up examples of Armenians who made many contributions into the Ottoman state and culture, because denialists, too, bring similar examples in an attempt to show how well the Armenians have been treated under the loathed Ottomans. Clarification of one’s position is not pathetic. Pathetic is to be curious if Armenians had sovereignty over Western Armenia from 1515 onwards knowing too well that Armenians, and other native Christians, were subjugated into the Ottoman empire and became a millet while being the masters of their lands for millennia. Just curious, did Turks have sovereignty over Turkey before the 16th century when their filthy Ottoman empire was organized? Had Turls any sovereignty over the lands of the Hittites, Byzantine Greeks, Armenians, and Assyrians before 1453, or 1071, or—what should be scarier for the newcomer Turks—in the 5th century AD or the 1st century BC or in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th millennia BC? Any sovereignty at all? I wonder… Why is so hard for the Turks to understand that in the 11th century, when they appeared in Asia Minor from the Central Asian steppes, the lands were inhabited by OTHER peoples? Turks came as invaders and colonizers. They never originally belonged to the lands where they are now. What do the Turkish history books say, I wonder? That Turks inhabited these lands from the times immemorial? There’s no question that the territory of modern-day Turkey originally belonged to other civilizations, all of whom were physically exterminated by the Turks to satisfy their inferiority complex, that is: that nations and structures that lived and stood on those lands before the intrusion of the Seljuks were Hittite, Byzantine, Armenian, Assyrian, Kurdish, but never originally Turkish.

    • “Just curious, did Armenia have sovereignty over western Armenia in 1915? Or 1815? Or 1715? Or 1615? Or 1515?”

      Armenia lost its sovereignty after a prolonged period when Turkic illegal aliens invaded from Central Asia, and illegally settled on Armenian lands. Eventually these nomads came up with genocide to criminally deny the natural indigenous Armenian population from practicing their natural right of existence and self-determination on the lands of their ancestors. Thus an artificial nation was born based on genocide and the destruction of others.

      Now did “The Republic of Turkiye” ever have sovereignty over western Armenia before 1923? Or 1823? Or 1723? Or 1623? Or 1523?

    • “Now did “The Republic of Turkiye” ever have sovereignty over western Armenia before 1923? Or 1823? Or 1723? Or 1623? Or 1523?”

      Yes, yes it did. Since Turkey is the successor state to the Ottoman Empire it carries on its history, legacy, and is the new in many areas the continuation, in a smaller form, of the once larger Ottoman state. This means Turkey is liable to acts in Ottoman history- such as the Armenian genocide. So why wouldn’t Turkey get credit for Ottoman conquests in its imperial history?

    • ARx: this is your argument: The sky is blue, the sun is hot, the grass is green. You base your argument on such obvious, undeniable facts ( THAT NO ONE DENIES BY THE WAY) that you make a meaningful back and forth impossible. You mean Turks came to Asia Minor in 1071? You mean there were other civilizations when Turks arrived? You mean Turks killed them off or forcibly deported them? You mean we’re from central Asia? How is that an argument? Our own foreign minister admitted we’re from central Asia. Turkish being an altaic language in a region of indo-european languages sets off a few flags too.

      I don’t believe land transfer can be a part of Armenian Genocide reparations. Lik I honestly don’t believe it will hold up in an international court- the land claim part. That’s why I asked that sovereignty question. I will gladly explain my opinion on that matter and why the sovereignty question, to me, is important. Should you choose to stop viewing all Turks as the antichrist, and attempt at a real conversation, maybe we could see that we don’t disagree on as much as we think.

    • RVDV,

      If for the Turks ‘the sky is blue, the sun is hot, and the grass is green’ too (which I strongly doubt given the distortionist state propaganda), then please refrain from posing rhetorical questions if Armenians had sovereignty over Western Armenia after the 16th century. Because the sky is blue, you should know what happened after the 16th century to the native inhabitants of Asia Minor. If the the grass is green, then what does your question re: sovereignty essentially suggest? That since Armenians lost sovereignty over Western Armenia for several centuries, the lands were not originally Armenian?

      You failed to answer the question: since the Turks had sovereignty over the same lands after the 16th century, then those lands belonged to whom before the Ottoman colonization?

      Armenian sovereignty over the lands in several eastern Ottoman provinces was ascertained in the Treaty of Sèvres and Armenia’s boundaries were configured by the US government that was charged by the Treaty to draw the map of Armenia. The map is still in the official US repository bearing the Great Seal of the United States. No one declared the Treaty of Sèvres null and void. Therefore, the Armenian cause is not a ‘land claim’, as you put it. It is being advanced based on an international legal document. According to it, Turkey lost its sovereignty over several provinces designated for Armenia. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the reemergence of independent Armenia, the Treaty of Lausanne–to which Armenia never was a signatory–became irrelevant.

      RVDV, where in any of my comments have I viewed all Turks as the antichrist? Is the word ‘shame’ familiar to you? Do I have a righteous indignation against the Ottoman Turkish mass murderers and the present denialist and distortionist Turkish government and state? You bet, I have! Does this mean I view ALL Turks as antichrist? Where is your sanity?

      Do please lay out why the sovereignty question is important. Don’t forget to explain as to why you think the Turkish sovereignty from the 16th century onward is important but the Armenian sovereignty from the 2nd millennium BC and before the 16th century AD s not?

    • ARx:

      Before I get to my main point I would like to make a point about the Treaty of Sevres. First off, the US was NEVER a signatory to that treaty. Second, there was two conditions for that Treaty to go into legal effect. First was that 3 of the principal allied powers had to ratify it. I believe this was achieved. Second, the Ottoman Empire had to ratify it- It did NOT. The Treaty of Lasuanne, which by almost all non-Armenian sources is accepted to be the superseding treaty to Sevres, had the SAME conditions. The difference between the two, is that with the UK ratifying the Treaty of Lasuanne in July of 1924, it took legal effect. I understand the treaty of Sevres nor Armenia are mentioned in Lasuanne, but it is not me saying that Lasuanne superseded Sevres, it is an overwhelming body of evidence, and credible sources.

      My main point: You said “, then what does your question re: sovereignty essentially suggest? That since Armenians lost sovereignty over Western Armenia for several centuries, the lands were not originally Armenian?”

      The short answer: No, not even close to being close to what I was saying. The issue isn’t really about who is the rightful owner of those lands. If it was, the answer would be one word: Armenians. You were there long before Turks walked this earth. Again, NO ONE denies this. But here’s why, in my opinion, the sovereignty issue is important. When we speak of the genocide, we speak of a 100 year old crime. In compensation for this crime, schools, churches, and property must be returned to their rightful owners, and if these these were destroyed or left to ruin, they should be compensated in monetary ways. Then there is the human life compensation. First there should be compensation for the murders, then there should be compensation- very heavy- for denying it for this long.

      All of this is the direct compensation relating to a 100 year old crime. Western Armenia wasn’t taken or stolen in 1915. At that point it had been under Ottoman sovereignty for 400 years. From armenica.org: “Only Armenia and Persia remained in Turkmen possession. Persia, however, with the emergence of the Sefevid Ismail Shah, pulled its forces together, defeated the Turkmen and liberated itself from foreign rule, expelling the Turks in 1472 not only from Persia, but also from Armenia.

      This Persian rule over Armenia was short-lived. At the start of the 16th century, the successors to Sultan Mehmet II resumed the task of expanding the Ottoman Empire eastward. Sultan Selim I attacked Persia, defeated Ismail Shah and, after the great war of 1514-1516, conquered the majority of Armenia.”

      I see nothing illegitimate there. The Ottoman fought the Persians- who controlled most of Armenia at that point- and the Ottomans won. No cunning trick, no genocide in 1514, simply a war between two nations, and the nation that won got the spoils of war. That’s how the world has been through out history, There were Armenian kingdoms in the past. They expanded right? They fought for to gain new lands and retain old ones right?

      You will probably see this differently, but I see nothing illegal in the Ottoman takeover of Armenia in 1514. If you think it WAS illegal, then wouldn’t every conquest of every land by every people in the history of the world be illegal? Because if I expand my territory, regardless of who I am, doesn’t that mean someone else loses some or all of their land? War is a zero-sum game. Always has been, always will be.

      To tie this all in to the sovereignty issue. My objection is, why should compensation for a 100 year old crime include lands that were taken 400 years before the crime? In other words, genocide- illegal- those responsible must be held accountable to harshest extent. Taking over land through warfare or force- most of human history. Does that make it right? No, it doesn’t.

      Now, if Armenians wish to seek their lands which they believe was taken by illegitimate means, by all means go ahead. I don’t pretend to have the answers. I may be completely wrong here. But I would suggest doing it separate from the genocide reparations. That was a very long post, I hope you made it to the end :)

    • RVDV,

      Thanks for the clarification of your point. There are several factual blunders, though.

      First, I didn’t say the US was a signatory to Treaty of Sèvres. I said the US was CHARGED by the signatories of the Treaty to take on the mandate over Armenia and prepare the map of the Republic of Armenia. The map bears the Great Seal of the United States.

      Second, the Ottoman Empire didn’t ratify the Treaty because Turkey—in direct violation of the treaty—has launched shown against its provisions by resuming military actions against former Allied Powers. Turks call it ‘war of independence’, whereas in reality it was a sheer violation of obligations that Turkey took on according to the Treaty of Sèvres.

      Third, the Treaty of Lausanne was not signed under the same conditions, because the very composition of signatories was different. While the Treaty of Sèvres was signed by Armenia, Belgium, Greece, the Hedjaz, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the Serb-Croat-Slovene State, and Czechoslovakia, the Treaty of Lausanne had no Belgium, the Hedjaz, Poland, Portugal, Czechoslovakia, and more importantly, Armenia, while the British Empire, France, Italy, and Japan signed in. The Treaty of Lausanne couldn’t supersede the Treaty of Sèvres because there is no single provision in the Treaty of Lausanne to that effect. From the perspective of international law, your “credible sources” cannot take over what is actually written in the treaty. Besides, no country is bound by a treaty to which it is not a signatory. Armenia is NOT a signatory to the Treaty of Lausanne.

      If I understood you correctly, you think the sovereignty issue is important because the genocide is a 100 year old crime. But here’s a thing. The Genocide Convention clearly states that the prescribed punishment for the crime of genocide is not subject to the limitations of time and place. Another thing being, of course, that 100 years is irrelevant because the Republic of Turkey is the legal successor-state of the Ottoman Empire.

      When Armenians say ‘Western Armenia was taken or stolen in 1915’, we don’t mean to say that Western Armenia was a sovereign state. Obviously, it had been under Ottoman colonization for 400 years. “Taken or stolen” pertain to the massive loss of human life and incorporation of ancestral Armenian lands into the Republic of Turkey. Even in the Ottoman Empire its eastern parts were called ‘the Armenian Vilayets’. Jews never had a nation-state of their own in Eastern Europe, yet their genocide is recognized as a tribute to millions of lost lives and the establishment of the State of Israel is largely attributed as a way of compensation for the Holocaust. In contrast to the Jewish case, Armenians have lost both great multitude of innocent lives AND their ancestral lands, whether or not they were sovereign.

      You say you see ‘nothing illegitimate’ in intruding foreign lands and fighting Persians to take most of Armenia under Ottoman control. What you seem to be pardoning is the law of might. This is a typical pathetic Turkish mentality: if you fought and won, there’s nothing illegitimate in it. Well, there is. You wouldn’t call it ‘legitimate’ if I broke in your house and slaughtered your family, would you? Or if I fought your neighbor, won him over, and took you and your family into captivity. The principal issue here is that Turks invaded the area. Maybe Armenians would in time slipped away from under the Persian control, had it not been the Ottoman expansionism. And even if Armenians couldn’t get loose, the population of Western Armenia would have surely stayed alive and not been savagely mass slaughtered under the Ottomans. If you see ‘nothing illegitimate’ in intruding, fighting, and subjugating, then why the Turks reacted so irately when they were kicked out from the Balkans? After all, didn’t the Bulgarians, the Serbs, the Montenegrins, the Greeks, the Romanians, the Albanians and others fought you, Turks, and won? The nations that won get the spoils of war, don’t they? The difference being, of course, that the Balkan peoples fought for their own lands, whereas Turks fought for the lands of other peoples to make them their own.

      It may be safe to say that the Armenian kingdoms did not expand. They fought intruders mostly to retain their lands. The only exception, perhaps, is Tigran the Great’s empire. Yet, instead of annexing conquered lands and making the inhabitants his subjects, Tigran would install local kings and do no more than collect taxes to lessen resistance from them. Hardly can this be termed ‘expansion’ in the sense Seljuk Turks or Mongols have expanded and scorched. Secondly, Armenian kingdoms didn’t fight in the steppes of Central Asia, some 3000 miles away; while Seljuk and Mongol nomadic warriors travelled across Kazakh and Black Sea steppes and intruded Asia Minor where other peoples lived. Hardly can this be called ‘takeover’ or ‘conquest’ or ‘war’. It was a sheer military intrusion from distant places into an area that was a homeland of other peoples.

      Every conquest of every land by every people in the history is illegal, but the intrusion of the Turks into Asia Minor and the subjugation of indigenous peoples brought about their near-total physical extermination, forcible deportation, and genocide. This is what stands out in the case of Turkish invasion, which you call ‘conquest’. No nation inhabiting Asia Minor—autochthonous or allochthonous—has brought upon other nation such horrible consequences through takeovers or conquests or wars, as Turks. Indeed, neither the Romans, nor the Medes, nor the Byzantines, nor the Assyrians, nor the Persians, nor the Arabs, nor the Armenians would have done things to others that the Turks had done. In none of the histories of these nations can you find extermination of other peoples on the scale and with the extent of barbarity that Turks had committed. If this sounds like ‘viewing all the Turks as the antichrist’ I certainly didn’t mean it, but facts are facts and stating them doesn’t make me a xenophobe.

      You pose an objection: ‘why should compensation for a 100 year old crime include lands that were taken 400 years before the crime?’ I already explained. Because lands that were taken 400 years before the crime were taken as a result of explicit military intrusion into the area by Seljuk Turks. Had there not been this intrusion, no Western Armenian lands could have been ‘taken’ in the 16th century. You say taking over land through warfare or force happens in most of human history. So it does. But rarely do takeovers through warfare or force bring about eradication of the historical presence of the natives or their physical extermination. This is why Armenians believe their lands were taken from them by illegitimate means. Had there not been a crime of genocide, Armenians could have continued securing their presence—even if not sovereign—on the lands of their ancestors.

      How else is it possible to demand land restitution if it’s not tied up to genocide reparations, if the loss of ancestral lands—sovereign or not—had occurred as a result of genocide? Throughout their 1000 year old history—from Seljuks to Ottomans—Turks have been accustomed to occupying foreign lands, exterminating the natives in the end. What can possibly make them return lands if not internationally-imposed responsibility for the genocide?

    • ARx:

      The Ottoman Empire didn’t violate the Treaty of Sevres. The Turkish national movenment, Kuva-yi Milliye, launched or rather relaunched those wars against the Allied powers AND they overthrew the puppet Ottoman government who had the support of the Allies against the National Movement.

      Let’s even say for the sake of argument that the Ottoman Empire DID ratify the treaty of Sevres. The Turkish National Movement fought against the terms of that treaty, rejected it, and won the wars it waged, and overthrew the government that (in this scenario) originally signed the treaty. THEN, a new treaty was signed to reflect the result of the several wars waged by the TNM. To me, it just makes logical sense that one would overrule the other, but I’m no expert.

      “You wouldn’t call it ‘legitimate’ if I broke in your house and slaughtered your family, would you?”

      If you broke into my house at night while I was sleeping, and say… hacked me and my family to death with an ax- that’s illegitimate. If I knew you were coming, had time to get ready, and wasn’t able to defend what was mine, then no, it would not be illegitimate. Now, it WOULD be illegitimate TODAY, but 1000 years ago, in the absence of really any kind of internationally observed laws or customs, no, it would not have been illegitimate.

      “then why the Turks reacted so irately when they were kicked out from the Balkans?”

      When you irrationely inflate your ego for centuries, things like that can be a hard knock on your ego, and make you irate.

      ” After all, didn’t the Bulgarians, the Serbs, the Montenegrins, the Greeks, the Romanians, the Albanians and others fought you, Turks, and won?”

      Yep, fair and square.

      “The difference being, of course, that the Balkan peoples fought for their own lands, whereas Turks fought for the lands of other peoples to make them their own”

      I suppose so. Fair enough.

      “It was a sheer military intrusion from distant places into an area that was a homeland of other peoples”

      So….. takeover, invasion, conquest, and/or war can’t adequately put a name to what happened?

      “Every conquest of every land by every people in the history is illegal”

      I agree, but illegal by what standard? Modern, 21st century standards? Can these modern, civilized, principles apply retroactively to 11th century, highly uncivilized, events, during which these ideas about invasions and conquests did not exist?

      ” You say taking over land through warfare or force happens in most of human history. So it does. But rarely do takeovers through warfare or force bring about eradication of the historical presence of the natives or their physical extermination.”

      This is EXACTLY the kind thing I was arguing against. All I’m trying to say is that the invasion, the takeover, however illegitimate you may view it to be, did not DIRECTLY lead to the death, destruction, and genocide. It lead to a centuries long chain of events and complex history (there were some not so awful times for minorities in here as well, but I guess genocide kinda overrides that) that culminated in a genocide.

      As to your last paragraph, Good point. Any other means of seeking land returns other than WITH reparations would be much much more difficult. If I misjudged you earlier, I apologize.

  26. Avery
    I believe we have been through this before. And remember the congregations that diminished and received less outside help because one was too concerned with purity of the message and less concerned with drawing in sympathisers even if their views did not coincide with the congregation message 100 per cent

    • They are called zealots and extremists for a reason. Whatever sympathy anyone may have for their mythology, this site is the cure for sure.

  27. Turkificaion of Anatolian Animals:
    Changing their Latin Names To Say,
    ““Their ethnic names must vanish””

    I say, ““Who doesn’’t have an origin
    Can change every grace: color, identity, tongue, face,
    Mother’’s love . . . Vernacular . . . Regretless
    Anything for those cruel, changeable and easy.””
    Even scientific names before AD signed . . . confirmed . . .
    Can you change the dinosaur’’s name to another
    In the artful children’’s dictionary?

    Why not, especially for those who don’’t know
    What historical scientific names mean?
    They can change even the Sun and the Moon’’s names to
    Shine Latinless . . . but Turkish
    Without contributing to build any spaceship.
    Do they have any astrophysicists like
    Andronik Iosifyan or Victor Ampartsumian.

    Everything seems easy for those who
    Never respect the others’’ scientific culture, religion, ethnicity . . .
    For them Turkification of animals will be the easiest task:
    Poor animals cannot disagree because they don’’t know their names
    Even if they cry nobody will read their tears!
    Already they are slaughtered by the cruel hands and their machines.

    Mountain animals are full of vitality, dynamism . . .
    Hence the countless beauty . . .
    They’’re the spirits through them humans breathe . . .
    Through and truly.
    Painters, photographers are passionate,
    Enjoying watching them and picturing: Their bodies . . .
    Their intelligent, watchful eyes
    While zoologists search for their whereabouts.

    And we give them an identity,
    Which can be changed so easily In one book but how can you change
    Names in every science book in each Virtual Library!
    Killers are cunning in killing as they can smash everything.
    If the librarian refuses to change the names of poor animals——
    Those who can’’t harm even an infant
    Slayers can steal that book and throw it away or burn the library.

    Like Hulagu (1217-1265)** The grandson of Genghis Khan
    Who destroyed Baghdad’’s Golden era
    He threw all books in the Tigris River.

    It is an unforgettable history in the Arab world,
    Then . . . No Arab could read and move ahead.
    They must stay illiterate like the emperors’’ slayers.

    You, Turkish scientist, who agreed to remove
    Armenian animal names from your
    Latinless-Turkish dictionary, please do open not only
    Wikipedia but Wikispecies; see how many Armenian scientific names there are (Armenus, Armenum, Armeniana.) The same applies for Kurdistanica,
    You encouraged me to discover and learn more.
    I am proud to read our names in every scientific net. While you’’re slaughtering our names from your non-ethical, Unrecognized glossaries modified to exterminate.

    Don’’t you know you need to be erudite?
    Wait civilized nation you will see more!
    You have not seen yet how the Armenians bleed!
    If they enter EU . . .
    They can Turkify each one of you . . .
    Even your clothes . . . after circumcising . . . you
    You who ignored Us and protected them.
    I say it and I will continue to say . . ……………

    Sylva Portoian, MD
    from the Poetry collection…”My Son -My Sun: Chanta Ann…” June 2012
    * Turkey has said it is changing the names of three animals found on its territory to remove references to Kurdistan or Armenia. Even animal names can become contentious in Turkish politics. The Turkish environment ministry says the Latin names of the red fox, the wild sheep and the roe deer will be altered. The ministry said the old names were contrary to Turkish unity. Red fox known as Vulpes Vulpes Kurdistanica becomes Vulpes Vulpes. Wild sheep called Ovis Armeniana becomes Ovis Orientalis Anatolicus. Roe deer known as Capreolus Capreolus Armenus becomes Capreolus Cuprelus Capreolus. Some Turkish officials say the names are being used to argue that Armenians or Kurds had lived in the areas where the animals were found. Reference: BBC March 8, 2005 bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4328285.stm

    *** The Siege of Baghdad, which occurred in 1258, was an invasion, siege and sacking of the city of Baghdad, the capital of the Abbasid caliphate at the time and the modern-day capital of Iraq, by the Ilkhanate Mongol forces along with other allied troops under Hulagu Khan. The invasion left Baghdad in a state of total destruction. A number of inhabitants ranging from 100,000 to 1,000,000 were massacred during the invasion of the city, and the city was sacked and burned. Even the libraries of Baghdad, including the House of Wisdom, were not safe from the attacks of the Ilkhanate forces who totallydestroyed the libraries, and used the invaluable books to make a passage across Tigris River. As a result Baghdad remained depopulated and in ruins for several centuries, and the event is conventionally regarded as the end of the Islamic Golden Age.

  28. TO RVDV,Rather ,in response to his silly/stupid question Did Armenian have soverignity in those dates/eras…
    Now, git a load of this …Spain for over 6 centuries did not have sovereignity ..iy was invaded and occupied by North African Khaliphates..
    But a spanish princes(later to self proclaim herself as IZABEL LA CATOLICA QUEEN OF Spain, united the princes, got well armed and drove the invadors out.Now that we are at histoy…Again my Armenity speaks here:_
    although the N.African Khaliphates were ruled in spain , they left Architecturla marvels, did not put to the sword the Spaniards(granted when invading , there were victims) .Even now the Jardines de Granada, castles, paalaces and Grand Mosques stand as testimony to their being noble.
    Unlike them, wherever, the Moguls, Tatars and seljuks invaded they ruined ransacked, looted, burnt and killed,not leaving anything of valor value there in Western armenia or elsewhere. This is the nature of our neighbour(s)…
    Back to your original question now.Armenia had Kings and one king of kings Tigranes the Great over centuries…..and after near 7 hundred yrs of serfdom to Ottoman Turkey…became independent in 1918 , having fought to the end the 3 battles ,Sardarabad,Bash aparan and karakilise and threw the invading ottoman armies back.However, suffered quite a bit in 1921 and was about to be invaded(in Eastern armenia proper) when ti let in the Red Army troops, composed mainly of Armenian soldiers and declared itself as the Soviet Socialist Republic of Armenia, joining the soviet Union!!! thuis the Turks were kept at bay…..
    Go get some history books ,look up in the google and fin dout for yourself…
    Now we have to independent States, to the chagrin of great Turkey….

    • As always, you divert the topic as to whether the lands in question were Armenian lands. I asked a series of simple yes or no questions. 5 words, all of them being ‘no’ would have sufficiently answered the question.

      “Even now the Jardines de Granada, castles, paalaces and Grand Mosques stand as testimony to their being noble.”

      There are no grand Mosques in Turkey? No grand Ottoman palaces? Were the Maidens tower and Galata not preserved? Was the Hagia Sophia (yeah yeah its a church, we get it) not revered? What is your point?

      “united the princes, got well armed and drove the invadors out.” Yeah they also threw all the Jews out to, because well, until post-ww2 I guess that was just fashionable. Convenient you left that part out.

      Maybe I’ll be proven wrong, and if that day comes- I have no problem conceding, I don’t see mass territory transfer (Eastern Turkey-> Western Armenia) happening as a part of any reparations. At least not with Turkey and Armenia. But you never know, maybe if Kurds get Eastern Turkey as part of Kurdistan they’ll strike a deal with Armenia, I guess time will tell.

    • Dear Gaytzag
      I really like your information about Spain…
      This is good lesson to everyone…
      Arabs invaded and as you said build a lot of beautiful buildings in Spain
      which still stands…
      But tell me what Ottoman’s build in Arab Countries …
      They invaded and teach Arabs how to bribe…
      Till today when some one gets bribe …They call him are you Turkish?
      They used ‘Kasookh’ to kill Arabs …
      Entering from their secret parts reaching their mouth …
      Word ‘Kasookh’ always used in Arab counties the way of torture…
      Turks call Arabs Lazy Dirty…”Pess”…They spoiled Arab name …
      All our lives living in Arab counties we never felt we are not part of them
      They never tried to Arab-ifiie us like Turks Turk-ified 2 million Armenians…
      There are endless poems about Ottomans, what bad they did for Arabs…
      Some i can’t even translate…From Many well known Arab poets …
      Let Turks not feel Arabs like them …Most they go there and some regret to go…
      They say Europe respect us but not the Turks …they hate us…
      This is latest information…what I gathered from My dear Arab friends…
      who visited Turkey lately
      Arabs buy houses in Spain but never in Turkey…

    • RVDV,

      Well, I am surprised you bring up Hagia Sophia. To me what Turks did to Hagia Sophia was very barbaric, but I know you will disagree. I can say only one thing, even if Hagia Sophia was not located in Turkey, in its current state, I would not set my foot inside it.

      You are right Armenians will not get an inch of land from Turkey, not now and not in 100s years. However, Armenians will get some land back if they cooperate with Kurds. That is the only way. And, even then it will not be the six Armenian villages it will be some land, like mount Ararat, our ancient city Ani, some adjacent land and hopefully a narrow corridor to get access to black sea. We have to live and see what happens. But one thing is for sure, unless Turks manage to massacre all Kurds in Turkey, which I do not see coming, Kurds will get autonomy and later on independence from Turkey.

  29. RVDV,
    Anti chronologically..
    1.The Jews did not confiscate land/property of a whole people/Nation…mind you I did not say- as yet-Nation state..*Armenia,i.e.
    The N.African Khjaliphates-like the Seljuk,Tatar.Mogul Turks, had INVADED and installed themselves in Spain.Hope you see the difference. The Kurds were granted Autonomy aat Versailles after WWI.That’s a fact.
    2.Most of the palaces in Istanbulla*not Ankara, were built by the Balians, sinanians and other less prominent architects. Even Ottoman Armies ‘ powder kegs were manufactured by Armenian scientists…and the line goes on..
    3.Lands…indeed VAn ,Bitlis Surmalu, Igidr , further West to Yerznga etc., were populated by Armenians mainky -unfortunaately so dispersed-I suspect Ottoman cunning policy here.
    Thence, there have been other countries/states that have been INVADED-OCCUPIED BUT EVENTUALLY LIBERATED….ARTSAKH,Nagornyi Karabagh is one such small sample.
    I realize that land is not given…Gen. Kenan Evren said that when the Armenian carzed Young men were conducting “correctional acts of violence”against Turkish diplomats..he said “”come and get it”.Exactly same was said to me ,after a Conference where prof. Richard G. Hovhaniisian SILENTLY BUT BY SHOWING FILMS HE HAD TAKEN WHILE ON A TOUR OF HIS ANCESTRAL LANDS…WESTERN ARMENIA HAD TAKEN.THESE SHOWED WALLS ON TURKISH HOUSES, PIECES OR SLABS OF BIG STONES WITH ARMENIAN INSCRIPTIONS ON THEM THE CHURCH IN
    K A R S CONVERETED INTO MOSQUE…etc., then this man gets up and says ..well “we should live side by side like before, like brothers and sisters again”.After the discourse of the professor, I approached to a group of Turks and armenians and told him .”You are right,but first let’s settle the accounts>>”when he went away muttering “”settle accts settle accts.Then outside he had told Armenian kids go tell that man*meaning me…”come and get it”.I sent b ack message go tell him WE SHALL DO SO DIPLOMATICALLY, by and by, this time over…

    • Mr. Palandjian:

      Point 1: Yes, the Jews did not of that. At least the Muslims had invaded and occupied Spain for centuries, I can understand the animosity towards them. The Jews were thrown out because… well, like I said, that’s just what people did to them.

      Point 2: Like I said in an above post, no matter how much the Turkish government tries to eradicate Armenians, even some of our greatest national landmarks were built by Armenians (Sinan may have been Armenian, debatable), and even the Presidency was once an Armenians home.

      Point 3: I wouldnt look for a conspiracy theory there. What you call greater Armenia is a fairly big region, and through centuries of invasions, the Armenian population gradually reduced in some areas-( just to be clear, what I just said is about a time LONG before the Armenian genocide.)

      Point 4: Unfortunately your example with the Arabs and Spain doesn’t really translate to Turkey and Armenia. The reconquista happened in 1492, this is 2012. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen, but the world is a much different place, and unless foreign powers like Russia intervene, there’s really no way Armenia can regain old lands from Turkey with force. Azerbaijan is a different story, the playing field is level, and in Karabag the majority population WAS Armenian. And let’s just say in the future an independent Kurdistan comes to an agreement with Armenia over land transfer. What you’ll have is a piece of land whose ethnic composition is over 85% Kurd, and essentially no Armenians. Then what? Do the Kurds get to stay? Do they have to leave? Would they want to stay? Would Armenians even move to these new, impoverished, lands?
      These are problems that I’m sure WILL arise if this ever happens.

      Point 5: Kenan Evren can burn in hell.

  30. Unbelievable :) you guys are are living in dream world, do you really think turks would give away eastern turkey to armenians or to kurds for god sake :)

    RVDV you were right when u said borders of turkey can only be changed by force untill armenians, kurds gain enough military power to remove turks from thre i can easily say that turkey wont be giving an inch of her lands to anyone

    if thats the logic every american should leave the continent leaving it to indians austuralins as well for aborjins jews for plaestinians etc ?

    i am an alevi turk and all for all recognition of all suffered minorities of turkey genocide claims for me is unreal if proven to be true i would gladly endorse

    even if it was ture thre wont be land giving back, maybe some money

    • No, Anton we do not think that Turks will give away Eastern Turkey, we think that Eastern Turkey will be taken away from Turkey by Kurds. It takes time. Be patient.

    • Did you really think the Soviet Union would collapse and former Soviet republics regain their independence? Did you really think Kosovo would be a sovereign state? Did you really believe Abkhazia and South Ossetia would be recognized as independent states?

  31. Dear Sylva MD,
    Thanks for your attn>I do not think we can ever make Turks realize how they have put tremendous pressure on us,the Arabs ,kurds etc.,
    They must be submitted to some sort of long HISTORICAL education.Not those that their gov. has had Euro-Am historians re write for them….
    In brief, like the soviet union was toppled or collapsed…..
    the great Turkey concept must subside…
    I was reading article in Armenian weekly*Armenian version….the present Erdogan Gov.t still has hopes to be Policeman in the Region and is working to that effect..indeed supported by near all powers….
    What a FARCE….latter do not realizde that ..\
    neither K U R D DS nor Armenians Assyrians. Greeks,Bulgarians Rumanians All Arab countries and also I R A N do not like them!!!!!!
    period. And until such time as the powers to be or are still stake their hope on the great Turkey genderme or policeman they ERR!!!!!
    They are not wanted there…
    They may as yet strive to that position ,but useless!!!!
    Thence, we Armenians, along with all others that have tasted their rule or policing on us must get together in a conference to determine how how make no not Turks understand that…but the Euro-Ams…
    Again none of the afore,mentioned wish to have great Turkey control them!

  32. Mr. RVDV,
    Please do not twist and chew words and /or totally change them.I meant the N.African Khaliphates.These you denominate as MUSLIMS,just like at beginning of NK Karabagh war great Turkey anmd Axeerbaijan tried to give it that nature.No.All Arabs and Persians and yet millions to the East are Muslims…our problem was not is not with MUSLIMS,but with descendents of Genkis khan Lengtemur seljuk |Tatar, Mogul Turks….
    Even today spain is full of Morrocans*from ex Khaliphate…they even have newly built mosques there aplenty all over the country/Spain.No problems…..
    Next you and this chap newly entered in here called ANTON,
    do not realize that those western Armenian Lands are mainly populated by over 16 million k u r d s *whom your gov. untill a few yrs ago lied and nominated them as MOUNTAIN TURKS…finally gave in as wife of pres. Francois Mitterandt of France supported them and watered Turkish lies..
    I know even that. hence now,even if great Turkey shows on map as if that land is turkish populated is a BIG LIE….kurds reside there and as above someone todl you and co. impossible to vacate them .Like you did to my uncle ,grandfather on Death March to deserts.They will not budge!!!!!
    We shall indeed when time comes come to an agreement with the kurds. We have plenty of means to have our brethren move there ,mainly from Middle East countreis…
    Fact is we keep them there for that reason.Some may have moved to West,but when thaat happends they will come there.
    indeed not all 6 Vilayets will be armenian populated, but near half,certainly.
    It may take time….So you see ANTON or svdv.LAND IS NOT BEING GIVEN it is already under kurdish feet/control.your gov. demolished they say a thousand villages, but they are still there.those kurds are very obstinate people and stick to their lands…cannot drive them to balck sea or desert.
    Fact is they hav e now come to realize that Armenians did not do them any harm,quite the countrary and great Ottoman ciunning turks set them up against Giavours and had them loot and kill us .They have OFFICIALLY IN EUROPE ASKED FOR FORGIVENESS..BUT WE SHALL SEE TO THAT TOO. WHEN TIME COMES.WE need their cooperation !!!!
    Aything else you wish to know,let me know…

  33. “many Turks see themselves as a superior race” said Jda.

    Yes, we do…Because We ARE…

    I told this very clear fact two years ago to you all.

    There is always a winner and a loser. We are the first… We will always be…!

    • if you are the specimen sample of Turkish supposed superiority, we Armenians got nothing to worry about.

      and PKK has been killing Turks troops left and right, with hardly any losses of their own. Some superiority.

    • When I said some Turks see themselves as a superior race, and that it was a key to understanding the psychology and rhetoric of such individuals, I was not also suggesting either [1] that there is a Turkish race, or [2] that it is better than anyone else’s.

      For my part, I value humane accomplishments in the arts, achievement in the professions, agriculture, medicine, physics, literature, architecture, you know – all the usual cultural stuff that advances mankind.

      I think a pretty fair argument can be made that the pre and Christian Greek and Armenian cultures, oppressed and destroyed as they were by
      Turks and Kurds at times, offered mankind quite a lot. I don’t think you can argue that Turkish speaking Moslems achieved more, and some might say, quite a bit less.

      Speaking of your vaunted superiority, how’s the Chess team doing? Must have driven you nuts they played Mer Haireneik in the formerly great City of Constantinople.

      Since Turks are 90 per cent acculturated Armenians and Greeks and Assyrians, why is it that once your ancestors claimed to be Turkish you all forgot how to play chess, design a building, outfit an army or trade with skill?

      Just sayin.’

    • “Since Turks are 90 per cent acculturated Armenians and Greeks and Assyrians, why is it that once your ancestors claimed to be Turkish you all forgot how to play chess, design a building, outfit an army or trade with skill?”

      Because, jda, I think, Turks are not 90 per cent acculturated Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians. That’s just a huge, unbelievable percentage! It may be that their civilizational limitations come from Seljuk Turk and medieval Mongol derivation even despite the fact that great number of Asia Minor Christians has been Turkified in the ‘best’ Turkish traditions.

  34. Just checking into the parallel universe here… It seems it is still parallel, no hope of convergence at any time. Keep up the good work!

    • you got it: no hope of converging the real universe with the Denialist Turkish universe. keep checking: maybe some day you will come out of your Denialist coma and see the world as it appears for the rest of the human race.

  35. Mourad-My heart and I thank you for the breathtaking journey. I COULD FEEL THE COOLNESS OF THE STONES AND KHATCHKARS. Abrees!

  36. You will support the Kurds against Turks. The same Kurds you believe decimated your grandparents.

    This is not about genocide. This is about blind hatred towards Turks.

    • blind hatred is a seljuk turk invention.

      specialty of turkic nomadic tribes which invaded Armenian Highlands and Asia Minor and exterminated all indigenous sedentary peoples out of blind hatred for anyone that did not belong to their savage nomadic tribes.

      there were indeed Kurdish brigands who aided turks in their campaign to exterminate Armenians. Kurds committed many atrocities. Kidnapped Armenian women and children.

      however, unlike tukish public officials, many Kurdish public officials have publicly acknowledged their ancestors’ participation in the Armenian Genocide and have asked for forgiveness from Armenians.

      Armenians know quite well that turks have been trying for decades to slough off the responsibility of their colossal crime on anyone but themselves.
      it won’t work: turks organized it; turkish leaders issued the orders; turkish officers carried out those orders; turkish troops carried out those orders.

      and the enemy of our enemy is our friend: anyone that fights against the Anti-Armenian turkish fascist State is welcome.

  37. Avery, have you seen those bumper stickers … my child can kick your child’s xxx. Well, how about this one: my ancestors were strong enough to take over your ancestor’s land. Call them barbaric, call them whatever, Who cares! History has called them victors. And note that I am not talking about Genocide, but about the facts that, as you say, they came from Mongolia a thousand years ago, and kicked your ancestor’s butt, and still have kept your land for over 1000 years. Let’s see if you can hold on to Karabak for more than 5 years from now.

    • So let me get it straight, Kerim. Are you proud to belong to the tribe of barbarians, invaders, looters, scorchers, rapists, and mutilators? If you justify the takeover of a land by force, then why are you complaining about the Armenian takeover of Artsakh? Aren’t you fascinated by strength? Or you admire the strength only when barbarian tribes win?

    • Gourgen,
      Turks didn’t take Anatolia from Armenians. They fought the Romans. You have an issue, please resolve it with the Romans.

  38. The tower has two holes where two beautiful windows probably used to exist. These wholes are there probably the windows were looted or taken out and the sills have eroded.
    If there was a bomb blasted inside the church, the windows and doors would have also been destroyed, which appear not to be the case.
    Why does the author overly dramatize the lonely church?

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