C.K. Garabed to Lecture on Etymology of Armenian Surnames in New York

TEANECK, N.J.—After years in the making, The Dictionary of Armenian Surnames, researched and compiled by Armenian Weekly newspaper columnist C.K. Garabed, will be available online. The occasion will be marked with a slide lecture called “What’s in a Name? The Etymology of Armenian Surnames” to be delivered by Garabed at St. Illuminator’s Pashalian Hall (221 E. 27th Street, New York, NY 10016) on Sunday, December 9, 2018 following Holy Badarak.

At this event, Garabed will discuss the origins of Armenian surnames and the detective work involved in researching name derivations with examples of some highly unusual surnames. The program will start at 1 p.m. and is sponsored by the Regional Executive of the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society and St. Illuminator’s Armenian Apostolic Cathedral.

“C.K. Garabed,” pen name of Charles Garabed Kasbarian, is the columnist behind “Uncle Garabed’s Notebook,” which is in its 30th year in The Armenian Weekly.

This dictionary project first came about when, in the late 1970s, Garabed started collecting names from church directories and donor lists as a hobby. In 1989, Garabed started his weekly column in the Armenian Weekly newspaper, but it wasn’t until 2004 that he began to include in each week’s column an Armenian surname, its definition and background. This resulted in many readers contacting him who wanted to know if he could tell them what their own family names meant, as they didn’t know. To date, more than 10,000 names have been compiled, but not all of them defined. While curiosity was his first motivation for exploring the subject of Armenian family names, Garabed says he came to appreciate the diverse nature of Armenian surnames, “which appear to cover the gamut of our ancestors’ life activities in the Old Country.”

Included in The Dictionary of Armenian Surnames is an Introduction, a Pronunciation Key, and an A through Z listing. To make the dictionary widely accessible, the work will be posted to the website Armeniapedia.org, available to all at no charge.

“With names like Bajaksouzian (which means legless; assigned to a short man), Soghanyemezian (which means one who does not eat onions), and Srmakeshkhanlian (which means owner/worker of a factory where gold/ silver thread is drawn), I sometimes think we Armenians—more than any other ethnic group—possess the most fascinating surnames,”

To carry out his work, Garabed consults Hrachia Adjarian’s Root Dictionary and Etymological Dictionary of the Armenian Language; Tigran Avetisyan’s Dictionary of Armenian Surnames; Stepan Malkhasian’s Explanatory Dictionary; dictionaries in Arabic, Armenian, Assyrian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Greek, Kurdish, Persian, Turkish; other volumes; and many knowledgeable people to whom he is grateful.

“I was struck by how many Armenians didn’t know the meaning of their names,” says Garabed. “While I am not a linguist nor philologist, it still gives me great pleasure to conduct research in my modest amateur capacity and then pass on the results. I feel gratified in helping people learn more about their names.”

In recent years, people of part-Armenian ancestry have begun to discover their ancestral roots via genealogy tests. As such, Garabed hopes that they, too, may find this Dictionary helpful in deciphering their Armenian surnames.

“With names like Bajaksouzian (which means legless; assigned to a short man), Soghanyemezian (which means one who does not eat onions), and Srmakeshkhanlian (which means owner/worker of a factory where gold/ silver thread is drawn), I sometimes think we Armenians—more than any other ethnic group—possess the most fascinating surnames,” Garabed says. One will observe that an Armenian name can denote a number of things about the possessor of that name: aristocracy, patronymic, occupation; geographic origin; physical traits; other special circumstances; and those assigned in derision by Turkish officials.

“People often are attached to their names because it gives them a sense of continuity and tradition,” explains Garabed, “There’s also the desire to honor their martyrs by perpetuating the memory of their identity as Armenian Christians. We should be grateful to our fellow Armenians for retaining their names as eloquent historical testimony to the oppressions their ancestors suffered at the hands of the Turks. Had the Armenians not clung to their names, I might not be working on such a project today.”

Prior to publishing this Dictionary online, Garabed produced, in 2013, The Dikranagerdtsi Vernacular Handbook, freely available here. Other books by Garabed in the process of being published include An Unusual Look at Biblical Subjects; The Tales of Nasreddin Khodja; The Tale of Shah Ismail; and The Dikranagerd Mystique Armenian Cookbook. He can be reached at ckgarabed@aol.com.

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39 Comments

  1. Yes, I agree that Armenians possess the most fascinating surnames. Armenian surnames, are also the most colorful. On the other hand, those White American racists certainly do not find anything fascinating about Armenian surnames. If I had a quarter for all of the times that they would go out of their way to deliberately mispronounce my Armenian surname as well as the surnames of my Armenian friends, then I would easily be a millionaire by now.

  2. The family names have Turkish words which sends back us the time when the Armenians were called “Milleti-i Sadıka – Loyal Nation” . Why then they rebelled their state? Armenians need to solve that question…

    • How about massive disproportionate taxation on christian subjects and treating them as second class citizens in court procedures. for a start…

    • The Turkish state needs to answer why it labeled Armenians the Loyal Nation then went about annihilating them. No numbers game, just a straight answer.

    • Excellent question. When will they ever learn to listen at least to their first Prime Minister Hovhaness Katchaznouni’s admonishment as far back as in 1923 not to follow the Dashnaks for they had “Nothing To Do Anymore.

  3. The only family names (surnames) which had Turkish words in them, were the ones that were “assigned in derision by Turkish officials.” Therefore, these particular surnames were not real Armenian surnames.

    “Why then they rebelled their state?”

    That’s a rather stupid question. With such an enormous amount of oppression (along with massacres) taking place against the Armenian inhabitants of the former Ottoman Turkish Empire (prior to the 1915 Armenian Genocide), how could it therefore be possible for the Armenians to not rebel in some sort of manner? And even when they attempted to rebel (in order to defend themselves), these were nothing more than tiny, weak rebellions.

    As you correctly stated in your first sentence, the Armenians of the former Ottoman Turkish Empire were a “Loyal Nation.” And indeed, they remained a “Loyal Nation” all the way until the start of the Armenian Genocide, when the Ottoman Turks attempted to wipe out the entire Armenian population from the six Western Armenian provinces.

    Sadly, after 103 years gone by, the shameless Turks have still failed to solve the question on how to face their enormous criminal history.

    • Dear Yerevanian, Western Powers decided to split up the Ottomans after the Berlin Conference of 1878. They mobilized minority groups such as the Armenians to do the dirty work on their behalf. Eastern or Russian Armenians were especially well trained and successful in fomenting hatred and instigating rebellions among Western or Anatolian Armenians, who were members of the “Loyal Nation”. What would you expect the central Ottoman government to do, watch while the country was falling apart? The Sarikamish disaster of December 1914 caused by some inept Ottoman generals who believed traitorous Armenian band leaders, were followed by the Van massacres of April 1915 which witnessed the terror of Dashnak bands who killed the respected Armenian mayor and slaughtered tens of thousands of non-Armenians. The Government’s response was resettlement. This was not a genocide, but the self-defensive response to the traitorous actions of some members of a highly respected and prosperous minority against their own country! Please read Armenian Prime-Minister Katchaznouni’s report to the 1923 Dashnak conference.

    • Fikret Semin, please read material on this subject that is not provided for you by the Turkish government. Now, back to Armenian surnames…

    • MY COUNTER COMMENTS:
      For ronnie : The Armenian males were excluded from the military service. On the other hands, Turkish males sacrificed themselves for the security of the Ottoman citizens, including Armenians, and the country. Do you know how many beloved ones we lost during a quarter of the century. Is my comment a sufficient answer for you? Who says Armenians were second class citizens? Armenians were generally in the higher positions of the state.
      For Diran : Starting the first quarter of the 19 th century a lot of Armenian rebellions caused the lost of their their faithfulness. You should read the US Prof. Justin Mc Carthy who said in front of the US Foreign Commission that “there is no kill order , on the countrary there are orders to protect the relocation convoys, provide food and shelter.”
      For Yerevanian: Family names were “assigned in decision by Turkish officials is not the case. There are family names with full Armenian language. Is it a double standard ? It is normal that the states official language should be applied for the surnames. You should ask your parents why Armenians of the Ottoman citizens rebelled. If you do not have an answer review the archives, i.e. Russian, Ottoman, Armenian,etc. You should also read documents on the Armenian rebels not only 20th century, but also 19th century as well. You do not know that you are not authorized to spell genocide according to UN Convention 1948. Your genocide claim is baseless, it is a relocation of the Armenians in certain areas, a relocation from area A to B in the same state. You should think what the US’ s decision after Pearl Harbour for the Japan origin American citizens, even they did not use arm against their state. Did rebels defend themselves against small children, women and old males? Because the young Muslim citizens were fighting against the invaders in six military fronts. You should develop your information on the population rates in the six provinces during Ottoman times. Diaspora is a threat for Armenia, since they do not let Armenia correct its relations with Turkey. Turkey is the door for Armenia opening to welfare and security. My last sentence would be such as yours;” After a century shameless fanatic Armenians continue to reiterate their baseless claims to deceive the world public opinion…

  4. Let’s assume for a moment that Mr. Tan’s view on the rebellious Armenians has some merit.
    Does it follow, then, that the Turkish method for dealing with rebels is to exterminate them?

    • Dear Garabed, according to the 1914 issue of Encyclopedia Britannica the Ottoman Armenian population was 1.5 million, and more than a million survived the war. Human lives, whether Christian or non-Christian, are all sacred.Many more Moslems perished in the war in defense of their homeland than the Armenians who chose to act with the Western Powers which utilized them to split up the Ottomans.

  5. Fikret Semin,

    “According to the 1914 issue of Encyclopedia Britannica, the Ottoman Armenian population was 1.5 million, and more than a million survived the war.”

    Exactly how can it be possible that the 1914 issue of Encyclopedia Britannica claimed that “more than a million Armenians survived the war,” when the “war” (World War One) had not ended until 1918? Anyway, for your own education, the 1914 Ottoman Armenian population happened to be 2.1 million (after it had previously been 2.6 million in 1882).

    And as usual, just like the rest of your fellow Turk denialists, you are spewing the same pile of denialism garbage against the memory of the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide.

    Contrary to your false claim that “the Western Powers decided to split up the Ottomans after the Berlin Conference of 1878,” they actually attempted to preserve the Ottoman Turkish Empire by undoing everything that Russia had achieved in its successful victory over the Turks in the 1877-78 Russo-Turkish War. It was actually Britain, who was the most hostile against the Russian gains (which included many Armenian territories). Therefore, the Ottoman Turks appealed to the British to reverse what Russia had gained from the Treaty of San Stefano. The British agreed, and a new treaty (The Treaty of Berlin) was created, which also gave back thirty thousand square miles of territory to the Ottoman Turks.

    By the way, here’s one of the many eyewitness accounts of what it was like to be an Armenian in the former Ottoman Turkish Empire:

    “The British ethnographer, William Ramsay, who spent more than a decade in Turkey doing fieldwork and was fond of the Turks, described what it meant to be an infidel”:

    “Turkish rule…meant unutterable contempt…The Armenians (and the Greeks) were dogs and pigs…to be spat upon, if their shadow darkened a Turk, to be outraged, to be the mats on which he wiped the mud from his feet. Conceive the inevitable result of centuries of slavery, of subjection to insult and scorn, centuries in which nothing that belonged to the Armenian, neither his property, his house, his life, his person, nor his family, was sacred or safe from violence, capricious, unprovoked violence, and to resist which by violence meant death.”

    In terms of Katchaznouni, yes, I know very well how Turk denialists (such as yourself) use falsified translations, published by Kaynak Yayinlari, which are the exact opposite of what Katchaznouni stated. In the original text (page 7), Katchaznouni clearly states that what happened to the Armenians was a “holocaust.”

    As much as you attempt to deny the Armenian Genocide at every possible level, it happens to be an extremely well-documented fact with an enormous amount of factual evidence from foreign diplomats and military officers, who were present during the period of time that these atrocities were taking place (as a matter of fact, the U.S. ambassador to the Ottoman Turkish Empire, Henry Morgenthau, happened to be one of the biggest witnesses of the Armenian Genocide). That’s the reason why Britain, Germany, and the United States possess such a massive amount of factual evidence on the Armenian Genocide inside their archives.

    Furthermore, the Armenian Genocide is recognized by the International Association of Genocide Scholars. The Armenian Genocide, is also recognized by the Human Rights Association of Turkey.

    What about Raphael Lemkin, who invented the term, “genocide”? One of the two main reasons for this, was based upon what had happened to the Armenian population of the former Ottoman Turkish Empire.

    So, by continuously and desperately denying the Armenian Genocide, you and your fellow Turk denialists are therefore causing further shame to your culture, which already happens to be filled with shame.

  6. I don’t understand Armenians who have been cherishing Turkish names whilest identifying their beings with a non-occurred Armenian genocide.

    • You Turks, don’t have anything that the Armenians could possibly cherish. Not only is your whole entire country stolen, but on top of that, your whole entire culture is stolen. Your cuisine, music, and arts were all stolen from the Armenians and Greeks. Even your genes are stolen, as a result of the massive amount of rape that your forefathers committed against young Armenian women. This explains the reason why today’s Turks look so much like Armenians, as opposed to looking like the Mongolians that they originally were.

  7. The immense hatred of the Armenians against the Turks is enough proof that even they realize that their allegations are false, because it shows that they have no self confidence. Why do they close their mind to the Turkish number of dead in the same location at the same time frame – many in the hands of the Armenian nationalist Revolutionary Federation gangsters. Why do they pick only the hearsay of the politicians who used them to fight against the Ottoman Empire? Any war sounds like a genocide if the dead of only one side is counted!

  8. Susanna, thanks for your comment. Do you think the fanatic Armenians would think over what you have already written here? They believe what they were told for more than a century…

  9. Yerevanian claims that Katchaznouni did not admit to the fault of the ARF, but the Turkish people (Kaynak Yayinlari) translated it wrongly. Let us assume that nobody knows why Katchaznouni’s manifesto is outlawed in the Republic of Armenia.
    Just a minute ago, I received an article from the Armenian Weekly. It shows the photograph of the First Manifesto of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. In 1890, they wrote: “Turkish-Armenia … calls for emancipation.” . . . “The Armenian today has resolved either to live in freedom or to die. He is … demanding with the rifle in his hands. The Sultan is terrified; the Turkish government is in panic. … The Armenian has become a revolutionary today.”
    Obviously, the revolutionary ideal of the ARF mentioned in the following paragraph admitting that similar societies have long been in existence cannot be a mistranslation of the Turks. They are further admitting that “the Federation has entered the war against the Turkish government.” They also vow to fight … till the last drop of (Armenian and Turkish people’s) blood.
    Surely, the Armenian leaders of the time are the guilty ones!

  10. Suzanna, just in case you have never been, go to Turkey and Azerbaijan. There you will see institutionalized hatred — centuries old — for the giavour Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks and taught from a very young age in schools, civil society, the military, the press, you name it. Do not project Turkey’s and Azerbaijan’s own hatred for the Armenians onto the Armenians.

    • Dear Pat,
      In Canada, I see an unexplained hatred (with no reason, just prejudice) among the Armenians against the Turks. But, I do not think the Turks know what they are against. I do not think they know the historical events of the time.
      I read somewhere that most Armenians leave their prejudice behind when they visit Turkey and see the Turks’ side of the story.

  11. “Any war sounds like a genocide if the dead of only one side is counted!”

    And exactly what sort of war were the Armenians fighting against the Turks? For your own education, the Armenians as well as the other Christian inhabitants of the former Ottoman Turkish Empire were forbidden from buying or owning any kind of firearms.

    The continuous, immense denialism of the Turks in regard to the three genocides that their Ottoman Turk forefathers committed against the Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians, is enough proof that their shameless culture will never be able to overcome its shameful past.

    • Karekin Pastermadjian was an arms dealer. He admits to it in his book that he wrote after he ran away to the USA in 1917. Agter the signing of the Lozan Treaty, he committed suicide. He must have felt guilty for causing the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent Armenians of Eastern Anatolia by pushing them into Russia through Van as the commander of the Armenian army fighting against the Ottoman government. I recommend you to read his book explaining “Armenia’s Role in the Present War” published by the Heirenik Press (not Kaynak Yayinlari) in Boston (not Turkey) in 1918. In that book there is the photograph of a 70 year old Armenian priest leading the volunteers to the battlefield. They are all holding looong guns in their hands. Also in that book, there are photographs of Armenian volunteers fighting in the Palestine front in September and October 1918, under the command of General Allenby. They are all armed and wearing uniforms. There is the photograph of the mounted troops of the second battalion of Aremenian volunteers of the Caucasus dated November 1914. In that photo, I can count more than 50 heads on horseback carrying weapons. There is also a photograph of Keri, Vartan and Hamazasp – presented as: Commanders of the Armenian volunteers; Keri of the fourth battalion, Hamazasp of the third battalion and Vartan of the regiment of Ararat. There is the photo of Khetcho – the commander of the cavalry corps of the Armenian volunteers who that book claims was killed in July 1915 near Bitlis.
      There is also the photograph of armed Armenians in ditches (that they prepared specially for their fight) holding guns in their hands. Location: Van, date: April 1915. There is the photo of a huge machine gun on wheels again in Van where the Armenian ‘innocent citizens who never touched a gun (according to your claims)’ overcame the Turkish Army that was stationed in Van. When did this take place; before April 1915!
      I do not believe, you wrote that ‘the Armenians had no arms’ because you are naive!
      No one can honestly ignore the fact that the Ottoman government acted to defend the lives of its Muslim citizens who were being butchered by the Armenian minority living in Eastern Anatolia, in their effort to create a country for themselves during World War-1 (1914-1918) which was fought over the land of the Ottoman Empire. They also mention in that book that the right time to fight against the Ottoman gov’t forces is when they are at war elsewhere. Alas; the Turkish army was fighting in many fronts at the time. Anzac forces landed in Gallipoli on April 24 1915. Palestine, LAwrence of ARabia was organising a war against the Turkish forces in Mecca, The French invaded the Southern coasts with the help of Armenian volunteers. And yoou claim that the Armenians had no arms, they were all innocent citizens.
      I imagine there were many innocents and I pity for them, but I find guilty the modern day Armenians who carry on false propaganda, pretending that they were all innocent citizens. The Armenian leaders should be given then share of the fault of many Armenian (and Turks) dying.

  12. Orhan Tan,

    I don’t need to ask my parents why the Ottoman Turks committed three genocides against the Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians. I already know this particular subject quite well, and much better than they do.

    As for you, you’re just a typical, shameless Turk denialist who has nothing better to do with his time than to come over to this Armenian site and desperately deny your country’s horrifying criminal history.

    Susanna,

    Your diarrhea-filled comment has absolutely nothing to do with the extremely well-documented fact that the Ottoman Turks committed three genocides (between 1915-1922) against the Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians.

    So what if you saw photos of Armenians, armed with guns? And this proves that they started a war with the Ottoman Turks? Furthermore, the small number of Armenians who were able to collect guns to defend themselves against the genocidal Turks had every right to do this, or else they would’ve automatically been butchered. And you’re actually sitting here and telling the Armenian audience that the Armenian inhabitants had no right to defend themselves from being slaughtered by your genocidal Ottoman Turk forefathers? Not only are you shameless, but you’re also an imbecile. If only every single Armenian had been armed with a rifle, then maybe the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian population would have been able to prevent the genocide which was coming their way.

    • So, according to you Armenians should arm themselves and Greek army should raise havoc in Anatolia (now Turkish Republic). Only when the Turks start self-defence, it must be ‘geno’ because the Greeks and Armenians were small in number. Actually, that was the problem. Armenians wanted to establish a republic for their own race in a land where Turks were the majority. But thankfully for the Turks, the Ottoman government took necessary measures to save their lives.

    • Your genocidal Turk ancestors were never the indigenous inhabitants of Western Armenia, nor Anatolia. They barbarically arrived on those lands in 1064 AD, from central Asia, after previously migrating there from Mongolia. As for the Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians, they had been the indigenous inhabitants of those lands (present-day Turkey) for over three thousand years, prior to the arrival of your ancestors. And the reason why the Turks constitute the majority of the population within the stolen country of “Turkey”, is obviously because of all the massacres and genocides they committed against the Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian peoples.

      “Self-Defense”? Once again, what an imbecile you are. By saying that the Turks were acting in self-defense against the Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians, is the equivalent of saying that a pack of wolves are acting in self-defense against three little rabbits, by ripping them apart, and then proceeding to make a rabbit stew out of them.

  13. Sorry, we have to agree to disagree. Where do you think the Americans came from? Who do you think the natives of this land were prior to 18th century AD? You cannot assume a genocide is the cause of one nation to increase in number (and the natives to become a minority) and no nation is living in the same lands that they started in. Yes, the Turks had to leave their native lands due to a major draught. They settled down in Anatolia and increased in number. But, it cannot be called ‘geno’.
    The Turks had to defend themselves against the Armenian traitors in 1915 and against the Greek invading army in 1919.
    Please stop seeing any place that an Armenian (no matter how small their numbers were) lived (or existed) as Armenia. I think it takes a lot to govern and establish a country let alone an empire encompassing three continents like the Ottoman Empire. Turks captured Anatolia from the Byzantine Empire in 1071 and the Armenians fought against their Byzantine masters on the Turks’ side at that time. I think it was Fatih Sultan Mehmet who brought the Armenians into istanbul and recognised them as a distinct minority within the Ottoman Empire. All historic records show they prospered due to the fair treatment. After Russia gained military strength (18the Century) and started to expel the Muslims (like the Tatars from Crimea, the Laz and Circassens from the Caucasus and many others from the Balkans) and started to give their lands to the (Christian) Armenians racial awareness became obvious.
    Yes, the Turks were slaughtered in the Balkans (1912-1914) in the Caucasus (by the Armenians especially during the establishment of the First Armenian Republic).
    I wish you can overcome your prejudice to label the Turks (or any other nation) with such a blind sighted assumption and research the true history in an unbiased fashion.
    ANY WAR SOUNDS LIKE A GENOCIDE IF THE DEAD OF ONLY ONE SIDE IS COUNTED!
    Stop acting as if the Turks have no right to exist,

  14. ABOUT THE SURNAMES: Taking a surname became mandatory for all Turkish citizens in the year 1934. Until then families were known by their trade (like saatchigiller meaning watch makers) or the cities they lived in or other family traits (like uzungiller meaning the tall people). Obviously, this caused a lot of chaos. So everyone was forced to pick a surname once the Republic of Turkey was established.

  15. “Stop acting as if the Turks have no right to exist.”

    That’s right! Your criminal, genocidal, savagely violent, stolen culture does not have the right to exist on the lands of historic Armenia.

    Exactly what’s your objective in marching over to the Armenian Weekly, and posting all of these diarrhea-filled comments, which attempt to fully deny the three genocides that your ancestors committed against the Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian peoples? What a shameless imbecile you really are in actually believing that the Armenian audience will accept your extreme denialism garbage.

    • My ancestors were poor farmers, trying to survive. The idea of Nationalism or the idea of racial identity came to them (if it did) after being slaughtered during World War-I (1914-1918). Most Turks are still trying to provide a good education for their children. The only Armenian they know is the poor Uncle Armen who used to live at the corner of the street. May he Rest In Peace!
      If only, we could all try to be humans first instead of this or that identity.

    • I protest you for your profanity. The people like you are all racist and simple ones. You should at least try to obey the rules of the web site!!!

  16. Armenians took up arms against their own govetnment, fellow Mudlim citizens, and even Turkish neighbors. Turks and other Muslims defended their home in the face of such massive revolts and brutal foreign invasions. Some Armenians did not go along with Dashnaks or Hunchaks, staying loyal to their Ottoman state. They eere not moved; othets were #tereset ted (meaning temporarily resettled) until after the war. But the Armenian excesses were such that most Armdnians did not return due to their fear of retaliation by Muslims for the horrible war crimes Armenians committed. The rest is history.

  17. To Yerevanian:

    Your referring to Susanna’s comments as “diarrhea-filled” and calling her “imbecile” is contemptible.
    Such venomous language is unacceptable in a civilized world. When will you learn to use more civilized language in your criticisms?

    As to your claim that the Ottomans committed genocide against Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians, these are all Christian people, and your pathological prejudice against Muslims is much too obvious. More seriously, your comment that Turks’ music and art, and even their genes, are stolen, reflect pathological hatred of Turks. You even call parts of eastern Turkey “Western Armenia.” It is the Dashnaks like you that prevent any meaningful dialogue between Turkey and Armenia. I have known many Armenians; they were warm and courteous, and none of them was like you.

    Before you throw more barbs at the Ottomans and accuse them of treating Armenians as worthless, second-class citizens, consider that during the Ottoman period there were many Armenians who held high government positions (29 generals, 22 ministers, 33 deputies, 7 ambassadors), and in 1913 the foreign minister in the Ottoman cabinet was an Armenian.

    My last suggestion is: Stop your anti-Turk invective and join the civilized world in arguing disputes.

    • By not accepting the extremely well-documented fact that today’s “eastern Turkey” had always been the western part of historic Armenia (the six provinces of Western Armenia) prior to the Ottoman Turks’ complete elimination of the Armenian population from that particular part of historic Armenia in 1915, shows the pathological hatred that the Turks have against the Armenians.

      And, by not accepting the extremely well-documented fact that the Ottoman Turks committed three genocides against the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian peoples, once more shows the pathological hatred that the Turks have against the Armenians, as well as against the Greeks and Assyrians.

      In terms of “meaningful dialogue,” how is that possible when Turkey persistently rejects these extremely well-documented facts?

      In terms of your third paragraph, you have obviously invented all of those numbers, because by the beginning of the Armenian Genocide (1915), there certainly were no Armenian military generals, ministers, deputies, or ambassadors within the Ottoman Turkish Empire.

      In terms of your “suggestion,” you are in no position to suggest anything to me, or to any other Armenian. Instead, what you need to do (along with your fellow Turk denialists) is rid yourselves of the enormous denialism which all of you possess; stop your massive anti-Armenian campaign; and finally, return back to the Armenian people everything that was stolen from them. Until then, you have no right to call yourselves a civilized people.

  18. Congratulations on Mr Garabed’s decision to make this fascinating information available online. It is unfortunate that the comment section have been occupied by a load of Turkish extremists expressing their usual garbage. However, it is always useful to be reminded of what still exists in Turkey and that the vast majority of its citizens are happy live in a parallel universe where facts and truth just don’t matter. As for the more superficially “reasonable” ones, I have no doubt that Susanna considers herself to be a good person, a human fit to live and function in the modern world, and outwardly to the casual observer she may appear to be such – but unfortunately none of it has any substance. Being a decent human requires much more work and much more courage that even “reasonable” Turks are willing to put in.

  19. The gentleman that brought up the heavy defeat December 1914/January 1915 at Sarakamish from the Russian forces must find a more logical explanation to this question:
    HOW DOES HE EXPLAIN THAT ENVER PASHA, WHO LOST TENS OF THOUSANDS OF HIS SOLDIERS DUE TO HIS OWN FAILING STRATEGY, WAS SAVED BY A BUNCH OF ARMENIANS. YET HE FIND A WAY TO BLAME ARMENIANS. THIS GIVE DENIAL AND DEMONIZATION THE wrong RAISON D’ETRE.

    • Alain, I suggest you read Armen Garo’s book Why Armenia should be Free. It was published in 1918 by Hairenic Press in Boston.
      In that book Armen Garo, the leader of the Armenian forces at the time admits that the Turkish Army would defeat the Russians’ if the Armenian forces did not delay them at the Barduz Pass and 70,000 Turkish soldiers would not die at Sarikamish.
      I never heard of Armenians helping the Turkish soldiers in their fight against the Russian invaders during World War I – but just the opposite, because they were duped into declaring a big empire in their own name over Turkish lands of 900 years. So, the Armenian fighters and villagers participated in forcibly clearing out the Muslim residents of eastern Anatolia with ‘mercy’ you think?

    • Again, what an imbecile you must really be to criticize the Armenians for not helping the Turks (who were attempting to completely wipe out the entire Armenian population from the lands of Western Armenia, which they had been living on for over four thousand years prior to the unwelcome arrival of the Turks from central Asia) in their fight against the Russians.

  20. Having been from Turkey myself from a long time ago and attending this excellent lecture, thought it was very informative, and felt compelled, and imperative to write a few points. Thank you very much for an insightful & riveting event Uncle Garabed, you are wonderful, fantastic, and a very compassionate individual.
    Thank you for all your kind and giving efforts!
    Interesting how Turkish surnames were assigned derogatorily, as am sure persons would not have chosen some of those surnames themselves. Would any of you?
    As a side note, yes, everyone was mandated to have last names, and yet Armenian last names at times were derogatorily and arbitrarily assigned. Subsequently, recently, I had read about a report that unless one had an Armenian last name, was not allowed to attend Armenian schools. Is that fair and equal?
    Also recall my dad stating that he was called for military duty 3 times, as a minority.
    Also the Varlik vargisi had taxed non-muslims extremely high, sending them to prisons, and paying taxes for a very long, long time, bankrupting many non-muslims. Is that what’s called equality?
    Is teaching of hatred in schools currently fair? As is done in all schools in Turkey?
    Although I recall being a little boy in Istanbul, my parents always told me not to speak in Armenian, as it was frowned upon, as we were considered third-class citizens, along with Greeks and Assyrians, and all non-Turks, and all Christians. Among one of the token number of Jews that live there, one of their respectful elders, Mr. Isaac Alaton, had stated that since he was very late in the age cycle, he had nothing to fear, and wanted to point out the extreme discrimination currently existing in Turkey.
    Although our grandmother was saved by a brave and righteous Turkish family during the Genocide, whom we are forever indebted to
    Current fact is that Turkey has more journalists in prison than in China, not only in percentages, yet in numbers! is quite disheartening!!! How could it be? And they are speaking of Human Rights? We truly do feel sorry for all the righteous Turks, that dared to open their mouths for equality…like Hrant Dink, and thousands of others that are silenced, one way or another.
    It’s quite shameful. Is this what the Turkish government wants to be proud of, and teach their kids?
    Although during the Hamidian massacres, and other aweful events perpretrated against its own “loyal subjects” where hundreds of thousands of people were killed in mass massacres prior to 1915, the Young Turks had promised equality, and even though there actually were numerous Armenians in the prestigious positions in Turkey, whatever happened to them? One by one? Did they all disrespect and took up arms against the Ottomans? The Turkish Republic?
    Yet, I still do have a lot of respect for the good Turkish people, wish they were more educated without the biases which they are growing up with along with false information. Then, the truth would be exposed, and they would truly realize that they are living the lies being brought up with. If they then are good persons, will apologize, perhaps settle on some sort of compensation (Turkey with its earning power wouldn’t suffer much, considering), and move on to become a truly world power, with not only might, yet the respect they would deserve. Foolish pride is not something that lasts forever, and sooner or later will come to the surface to be quashed by another stronger power. If one has nothing to be ashamed of, one does not have to spend countless tens of millions of dollars thru lobbying, to try to counteract reality and facts, and try to twist them. Bravo to personalities like Dr. OZ who chose not to sign false statements, and lies, and to other Turkish powerful persons, in the past, trying to uphold the truth. If Turkey is so fair, why is it a crime today to discuss the Genocide in Turkey? Article 301 of the penal code I believe, which was recently enacted about 5yrs ago, not 100yrs ago, of anything can be deemed insulting Turkishness.
    If current Turkey had been sincere about their intentions, they would have adhered to the opening up of their border unconditionally, as had originally had agreed to w/o any preconditions.
    If Turkey indeed lost so many people in WWI, which may their souls rest in peace, they were fighting a war, and against armies of countries. Don’t believe justifies annihilating a whole race, people or ethnicities regardless of in military uniform or not.
    Yes, the word Genocide was invented to illustrate the Ottoman/subsequent Turkish govt. atrocities against its own citizens, regardless of army, weapons, right, or wrong of Christians, Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and countless other minorities.
    If as Turkish historians claim, the Christians killed more Turks than they were killed, how come there are 99.9% Turks living in Turkey and only a token number of others, who supposedly killed the population?
    Let’s even accept 1% of the population or so tried to resist, w/weapons, did that justify trying to wipe out a whole people in a Genocide?
    Let’s be fair, if one wants to be fair.
    It is never too late to make amends, and understand that hatred begets hatred, there is always a bigger money deal somewhere, and as humans, we all must try our best to coexist, if a country is to survive for the long term.
    To our world population, and Turkish friends, (am sure in ones own families there are disagreements, and worse, yet it is the higher person that asks forgiveness, and also forgives), it would be wise to settle up with history, and go forward as always looking over ones shoulder is never a good thing in life to live with forever.
    Everyone would live happier and better for it going forward.
    Thank you Uncle Garabed again, wish Turks were in the audience asking why derogatory names were originally assigned?
    Perhaps the lecture should be repeated thru You Tube, and introduce it to Good Turks, and other good persons of sincere feelings, who are truly for justice.
    Looking forward for more interesting, unbiased, informative lectures like this one to attend soon.

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