...and are in war with Georgians for independence.
Kurdified - Turkified Armenians
Posted 26 January 2005 - 06:11 PM
...and are in war with Georgians for independence.
Posted 27 January 2005 - 05:13 PM
yes but they (Ajarians) don't see themselves as such and much prefer to be independent from Orthodox Georgians, it's not just a religion issue, it's also cultural etc. A better example are Bosnians and Serbs, Bosnians essentially being just Turkified/Islamised Serbs.
Edited by kakachik77, 27 January 2005 - 05:35 PM.
Posted 27 January 2005 - 10:24 PM
Posted 02 February 2005 - 06:45 AM
BRUSSELS — Sirnak and Silope are nothing more than small dots on the map, but Armenians rehabilitated from these Kurdish villages along the Turkish-Iraqi border are changing the fabric of Armenian communities in at least two European cities.
In Brussels and the St. Jerome neighborhood of Marseilles, the so-called Kurdish-Armenians are seen as the “guardians” and “backbone” of the local Armenian Apostolic churches.
Their children fill the Armenian language classrooms, often helping their Kurdish-speaking parents communicate with social workers and community leaders.
“They have introduced major demographic changes into our communities,” says a second-generation Belgian-Armenian. “The new-comers are in the majority now and it is no secret that they have altered the face of the Armenian community here. These people are unique because of where and how they preserved their faith and Armenian heritage.”
But who are the Kurdish-Armenians, where did they come from, how did they settle in Europe and are they integrating into their new homelands.
There are no historical records about their past, but through interviews and informal conversations with their elders, and observing them in their own environments, it is obvious that they are as Kurdish as they can be in their manners, language and customs, but nevertheless, fanatic Armenians when it comes to their Christian faith and roots.
Most of them, and interestingly enough the older generation, can recite the Lord’s Prayer (Hayr Mer) in Armenian along with sections of the Divine Liturgy (Holy Badarak), but that’s as far as their “knowledge” of their ethnic tongue goes.
At home their language of communication is Kurdish, even with their very young children. Apart from church-related gatherings, they socialize only with fellow refugees and the ethnic Kurdish communities of their immediate neighborhoods.
Mesrop Afshar is one of the pillars of the Kurdish-Armenian community of Brussels. “I think I am 57,” says Afshar, who looks more like 67, if not a few years older.
He remembers growing up in fear in a small town in southeastern Turkey where 40 Armenian families had no choice but to keep a very low profile among a predominantly Kurdish population of 7,000.
“I believe we are originally from the city of Van, but I am not sure,” he said through an interpreter, a younger member of the “Sirnak clan” who had the opportunity to study at the boarding schools of the Armenian Patriarchates of Istanbul and Jerusalem.
Afshar also remembers with a deep sense of awe his grandfather’s Bible and tales from his grandmother relating to their roots in the Armenian town of Van only 150 kilometers to the north in Turkey.
“Fear and a sense of pressure were constant companions. The pressures were great, but our elders constantly reminded us that we were Armenians despite the loss of our language,” Afshar said.
“Our elders used to say they survived the first massacre of Armenians at the hands of the Ottomans in the 1890’s by escaping from Van south to Sirnak where 40 families settled,” he said.
Up until 1908, there was an Armenian school and church in Sirnak.
Sirnak’s Armenians had relatively few problems until the 1915 Genocide when most of the local population and Armenians living in a number of other villages in the area were wiped out. Some were forced to convert to Islam while others escaped across the border to Iraq.
Those who made it to Iraq settled in the Kurdish town of Zakhu, where 70 Armenian families reportedly still live. While no Armenian is being taught, the Armenian school and St. Mary’s Church are still open.
Zakhu and Sirnak are only 50 kilometers apart, but in a sea of Kurdish population and with the long-standing feud between Turkey and Iraq, communication between the two Armenian minorities has been minimal.
“We were kept apart because of a multitude of complex demographic and geo-political reasons. We lived in a cocoon,” a Sirnak elder said.
Those who survived the 1915 Genocide and somehow remained in Sirnak under the tutelage of local Kurdish chieftains did not know if there were any other Armenians left on the face of the earth.
They were alone, isolated, and surrounded by Kurds in the region of southeastern Turkey which the Kurds call “Kurdistan”.
They lost their language, took on Kurdish surnames to “camouflage” their identity and for more than 50 years struggled against total assimilation into the Kurdish landscape.
“I was born in Sirnak and the only Armenians I knew were those in and around our small town. We did not know if other Armenians had survived the massacres,” Afshar said during a recent interview conducted partly in fragmented Turkish or through interpreters — other Kurdish-speaking Armenian immigrants who had learned Armenian since leaving Sirnak nearly 15 years ago.
“We could not go around trumpeting our heritage. You might find it difficult to understand, but for all practical purposes, we lived quietly as Kurds of Armenian descent by adhering to our Armenian Christian faith. It was this faith that kept us together as Armenians at a time when we had lost everything else. We were cut off from other Armenians. Our language was gone, so was our literature and history, but our faith was intact.”
An Assyrian Orthodox priest came to Sirnak from nearby villages under the cloak of darkness to baptize the newborn, sneaking out before daybreak to avoid attracting the attention of the town’s Kurdish population.
Weddings and funerals were done in the same way.
“Among ourselves, we were Armenians. As our children were baptized, we gave them Armenian names like Sarkis, Tavit, Noubar, Kevork and Saro but out on the streets we were like the rest of the town’s population. We had Kurdish surnames like Euz, Yalik, Odemish, Yajir, Birgin,” Afshar said.
One fateful day in 1965, however, the isolation of the small Armenian population of Sirnak was broken. As if by fate — or sheer accident — an Italian missionary working with the region’s Assyrian Christian minority was informed of “these other Christians” in Sirnak.
“This papaz (priest) came and talked to us and later went to Istanbul and briefed the late Patriarch Shnork Kaloustian of our existence.
“It was not much later that we saw the first Armenian priest since the Genocide. In time, his visits became more and more frequent. Our teenagers were taken to the Armenian Patriarchates first in Istanbul and then Jerusalem for education and finally, thanks to Patriarch Kaloustian, the entire population of Sirnak and Silope began evacuating in 1980 to Belgium, France and a small group to Holland,” Afshar said with an emotional voice.
By 1986, the entire population of Sirnak and Silope were out ... saved from imminent annihilation as Armenians.
Today, this peculiar “branch” of the greater Armenian family numbers several thousand citizens clustered around Armenian churches in their adopted homelands.
Testimony by first generation Armenians in Brussels and Marseilles is overwhelming. “Their faith in the Armenian church is very strong. For them, the church is not folklore or tradition. It is treated as a national treasure and that’s why the presence of these Kurdish Armenians has given a new lease to our religious life,” says one Marseilles resident.
Posted 27 February 2005 - 05:13 PM
In addition to common knowledge, I was able to dig out some extra info on turkified Armenians around Tokat in Lesser Armenia and Malatia/Adiyaman area in historical Tsopk. just click on the map to see the news.
Visit http://www.geocities...cryptoarmenians for details. Site is under construction.
Anybody fluent in turkish?
Seems this has something to do with Armenians and malatya
I would appreciate your brief narrative.
Edited by Karen, 27 February 2005 - 05:50 PM.
Posted 28 February 2005 - 01:46 PM
chojookh!! kheeyar adom!! eeshalah!
Posted 28 February 2005 - 01:47 PM
I'll be more than happy to translate these for you. Don't forget to notify me by mail.
Posted 16 April 2005 - 09:55 PM
AZG Armenian Daily #068, 16/04/2005
ARMENIAN CONVERTS IN TURKEY BRAVELY AVOW THEIR NATIONALITY
The oppressed minorities of Turkey, most of whom evaded genocides by passing
into Islam, are getting bolder in their speeches and activities as the
country bids for the EU. The Greeks of Pontos, Assyrians, Arabs and
especially Armenians of Hamshen, Mush, Sassoon, Vardo, Zakho and other
regions who were "turned into" Kurds and Muslims are living days of
wakening. The latter sent a delegation to take part in the rally of European
Armenians in front of the European Parliament last September. Afterwards,
excited by the ongoing pressures on Turkey to recognize the Armenian
Genocide, the Armenian converts give interviews to French, German, Belgian,
Turkish and Armenian newspapers.
We called the "mother" of "Kurdized" Armenians and Hamshen Armenians in
Germany historian and political scientist Alis (Aliye) Alt to get
information on these issues. He said from his Frankfurt apartment which is
in effect is a castle for preserving the Armenianhood: "We always follow
your articles on Hamshen Armenians and Armenian converts. Thanks to the
influence of these articles that are often posted on the Internet, hundreds
of lost Hamshen Armenians who feared to reveal their identity in past get in
touch with us now. Certainly, the important reforms that took place in
Turkey under the EU's pressure and... the threat that a Kurdish state will
emerge forced Turkey's state circles to be a little more democratic with the
free press and mass media. We call on the Armenians of Armenia and Diaspora
to provide care for their brothers and sisters who were forcefully converted
and who number 1.5 million in Turkey. Time is ripe for a conference to
assemble all Armenians who are willing to get out of forced isolation,
reveal their identity and tell about their 90 years long persecutions in
European institutions. This is to be an all-Armenian initiative with
contribution from all organizations", the author of "Hamshen Armenians in
the Mirror of History" tells.
Simon Geonden is from Karmir Khach village of Mush who currently lives in
Wiesenbaden. He lived the greatest half of his life as a converted "Kurd"
but returned to his roots due to the Kurdish national awakening. Emigrating
to Germany as a student, he got in touch with national minorities from
Turkey, including Armenian Genocide survivors.
"We are hopeful that the European Armenians will be more kind to us. Some
people have morbid understanding of the converts and want to see everything
settled in a few days. Time will solve all our issues and will heal our deep
wounds", Simon Geonden said.
By Hamo Moskofian in Frankfort-Wiesbaden
Posted 17 April 2005 - 06:08 PM
Posted 17 April 2005 - 08:08 PM
Posted 17 April 2005 - 08:24 PM
Actualy, I think this article is highly exagerated, and contain mispresentations.
Hamshen Armenians existed for long, and before the genocide, they were "differenciated" before 1915.
A large part of those "hidden Armenians" or converted Armenians predate the genocide, because during the genocide, there has been various circular telegrams by Ottoman autorities, which ordered to "relocate" Armenians that were converting to Islam. There has been 90,000 Women and children reported being converted by the Kemalist autorities, and many were just "returned" back, and others few tens of thousands might have been not counted(but given the fact that many of those 90,000 became refugees later, it compensate those not counted). On the other hand, before the genocide, there was hundreds of thousands of Armenians converts, and Hemshens... and there is probably many still living in Turkey and hidding, but those Armenians did not hide following the genocide, or were assimilated during the genocide, but before it, the non-Hemshens more massivaly during the Hamidian reign. From the data I gathered, and some even from the official Turkish foreign ministry official released archival records... during the war, a decision was taken to deport Armenians that were converting, and them too, after were not spared, the garanty was for those Armenians that were already converted before the war and not during.
The "spared" Armenians during the genocide, is from what I have read, a myth, beside those orphans that were under the custety of Kemalistic "conversion" "orphanages," Edib himself was part of it, and condemned it. But from those records, and other valid ones... the Armenians converting during the genocide and who were able to escape the "relocation" as a result has been largely exagerated, and is far less than the 200,000 figure often provided.
I am ready to change my mind, if I get evidences.
Posted 17 April 2005 - 08:25 PM
Those that have sold their owns were not "few" but many.
Posted 17 April 2005 - 08:37 PM
Well, it does not take more than one person to betray a village.
Edited by TMNT, 17 April 2005 - 08:39 PM.
Posted 17 April 2005 - 10:45 PM
True, but I am talking about neitboors selling their neitboors, or those Armenian guards in the concentration camps being as brutal as Kurdish irregulars.
Posted 28 May 2005 - 12:55 PM
When you take a look in what scholars have to say about this, I found many writings that say modern day Turks feature Mediterranean looks and losing their original Central Asian looks. This is because many Turks directly decent of Armenians, Greeks and Kurds. The question is however how many Turkish nationals are aware of their Armenian background, do they want to join the Armenian community and is this possible for them?
Posted 01 June 2008 - 01:17 PM
Friday, May 30, 2008
MALATYA – Doğan News Agency
A local musician in the eastern province of Malatya applied to court Wednesday to get a name change, declaring that he was really an Armenian.
Kazım Akıncı, who lives with his mother and makes a living selling his albums, said his family hid the fact that they were Armenian Christians, but had decided to stop hiding his true identity after Turkish journalist of Armenian decent Hrant Dink was killed early last year.
He applied to a Malatya court to change his name to Serkis Nerseyan and went to the local population registry to change the religion section of his identity card from Muslim to Christian.
Speaking to the Doğan news agency, he said, �I live in Malatya and neither I nor the society has any problem with me being an Armenian. However, my family hid this fact for years due to a baseless fear.�
He said his sadness over Dink' murder had made him decide to declare his identity. �I make a living by selling my albums. I am well liked by those around me. They like me not because I am �Kazım' or �Serkis.' I am liked because of my personality. There is no reason for fear or hiding.�
Dink was shot and killed in front of the office of the weekly Armenian newspaper Agos in January 2007 by an ultra-nationalist teenager. Dink was also found guilty of insulting Turkishness by a court.
Malatya made the headlines in April last year when five ultra-nationalists raided the offices of a publishing house, murdering two Turkish Christian converts and a German national, all of whom were working as Christian missionaries.
Un arménien qui veut redevenir un arménien en Turquie
dimanche1er juin 2008, par Stéphane/armenews
Un musicien de la province orientale de Malatya en Turquie a demandé à la cour mercredi 28 mai 2008 d’obtenir un changement de nom, déclarant qu’il était vraiment un arménien.
Kazim Akinci, qui vit avec sa mère et gagne sa vie en vendant ses albums ( sous le nom de Kazin Akses), a dit que sa famille a toujours caché le fait qu’ils étaient des arméniens, mais qu’il avait décidé d’arrêter de cacher sa vraie identité après que le journaliste Hrant Dink ait été tué au début de l’année 2007.
Il s’est adressé à une cour de Malatya pour changer son nom en Serkis Nerseyan et est allé au service de l’état civil pour changer son statut sur la section religion de sa carte d’identité passant de musulman à chrétien.
Selon l’agence de presse Dogan, Kazim Akinci a déclaré « je vis à Malatya et ni moi ni la société n’avons le moindre problème que je sois un arménien. Cependant, ma famille a caché ce fait pendant des années en raison d’une peur sans fondement ».
Il a aussi précisé qu’il était triste au sujet de Hrant Dink dont le meurtre l’a décidé à déclarer son identité. « Je gagne ma vie en vendant mes albums.Je suis bien aimé autour de moi. Ils m’aiment pas parce que je suis « Kazim »ou « Serkis ». On m’aime à cause de ma personnalité. Il n’y a aucune raison à avoir peur ou à la dissimulation ».
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