Retired Boston Globe Reporter Kurkjian to Speak at NAASR

Stephen Kurkjian, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter (retired) for the Boston Globe and the son of a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, will present an overview of his ten years of research into a unique Genocide-era photograph in the illustrated lecture “Kiss My Children’s Eyes, Revisited: A Ten-Year Search for Answers to the Armenian Genocide Through One Remarkable Photograph” on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at 7:30 p.m., at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) Center , 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, Mass. The lecture will be held on in commemoration of the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

The photograph is virtually unique in showing a group of identified men rounded up by the authorities, many of whose fates—public executions, massacres, death marches—are known.
The photograph is virtually unique in showing a group of identified men rounded up by the authorities, many of whose fates—public executions, massacres, death marches—are known.

A group of Armenian men are photographed standing under Ottoman Turkish guard in front of a building in Gesaria (Kayseri) in 1915. The building is a prison and the men, most of whose names have come to be listed under the photograph, will soon be taken away and murdered, early victims of the genocide of the Armenians committed by the Ottoman Empire. Who were these men and how did they die?  What became of their families? Who took this photograph and how did it survive?

Steve-Kurkjian
Stephen Kurkjian

The photograph is virtually unique in showing a group of identified men rounded up by the authorities, many of whose fates—public executions, massacres, death marches—are known. Yet until the past decade it had never been researched. Acclaimed investigative journalist and long-serving NAASR Board Member Stephen Kurkjian has attempted to decode the story told by this photograph and gone on an odyssey with unexpected revelations and continuing mysteries.

Using his skills as a reporter and the historical documentary resources available to him, Kurkjian has unraveled some—but not all—of the puzzles of the photograph, and, with the assistance of a number of researchers including renowned genocide scholar Dr. Vahakn N. Dadrian, traced how the Armenian Genocide came to Gesaria. Focusing on the microcosm offered by this single photograph, Kurkjian has found a unique window into the macrocosm of the destruction of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire.

An article based on Kurkjian’s research will appear in the April 2014 special magazine issue of the Armenian Weekly and subsequently in the Journal of Armenian Studies.

Admission to the event is free (donations appreciated).  The NAASR Bookstore will open at 7:00 p.m.  The NAASR Center is located opposite the First Armenian Church and next to the U.S. Post Office. Ample parking is available around the building and in adjacent areas.  The lecture will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. and interested parties are strongly encouraged to arrive early as space is limited and a large turnout is anticipated.

More information about the lecture is available by calling (617) 489-1610, faxing (617) 484-1759, e-mailing [email protected], or writing to NAASR, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA 02478.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.

5 Comments

    • Front row (left to right)
      1) Bookseller
      2) Rug dealer from Gurin (Hagop Sudjian was rug dealer says Tekirian) (Tekirian) KAYSERI
      3) Hovannes Soogurlian/Sooungourlian
      4) Garabed Zambakjian
      5) Parsekh Kilimian
      6) Garabed Jamjian
      7) Nishan Halajian
      8) Yervant, a lawyer
      9) Karnig Kouyoumjian
      10) Soongurlian Jr.
      11) Varteres Armenyan
      12) Karnig Ougurlian/Oughourlian
      13) Avedis Zambakjian
      14) Krikor Kerekmezian / Guerekmezian
      15) Haroutian Der Mgurdichian
      16) Hagop Timourian
      17) Bagdasahr, shoemaker
      18) Sakalle Ohannes
      19) Dr. Levon Hunjakian

      Second row
      Karnig Balukjian **
      Hagop Churakian *
      Hovannes Ekmejian *
      Mardiros Lousararian
      Hagop Avsharian
      Hagop Merdinian
      Garabed Navrouzian (Hovannes Nevrouzian
      Hagop Nevsherhilian
      Vahan Kurkjian **
      Daniel, grocer
      Tekeh Ehyonin
      Khache
      Krikor Deukmejian
      Madiros Boyajian (Taniel Boyajian**)

      Back row
      Voskian Minassian
      Karnig Jurjurian
      Bedros Matossian
      Haroutian Boejekian
      Mihran, candy maker
      Hagop Kherlian
      Garabed Matossian
      Garabed Elmajian
      Minas Minassian
      Boghos Meshjian
      Hadji Mirijian
      Dikran Ohanian
      Garabed Istamboulian KAYSERI
      Turkish police officer

  1. WHAT A CHILLING PICTURE OF ARMENIAN MEN ROUNDED UP JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE ARMENIAN, YOU CAN SEE SOME MEN IN PRISON LOOKING OUT THE WINDOWS WONDERING ABOUT THEIR FAMILIES AND FATE,THIS HAPPENED ALMOST IN EACH VILLAGE, ARMENIAN MEN ROUNDED UP TORTURED AND BUTCHERED BEHIND A HILL OR MOUNTAIN NOT TOO FAR FROM THEIR HOMES, SHAME ON TURKEY, ARMENIANS ARE CRYING OUT FOR JUSTICE

  2. Stephen- I have another picture i would like to send you of a scene in St. Gregory the Illuminator from the 1920’s. I tired to email you at the Boston Globe address, but it didn’t work.

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