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#21 bellthecat

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 12:24 PM

Once again from that same site. The title of the tpic is Elazig, Harput. It sepaks about the few Armenians and Assyrians left there and churches.
Click the icon at the bottom left "Harput" and get a surprise.
I may post one ,ore wher this guy Sebo, must definitely be an Armenian weites about this "Beautiful Armenian city, Kars"

http://f20.parsimony...ssages/3223.htm

There looks to be a lot of interesting stuff on that site - a pity my Turkish is not good enough to read any of it. :(

The Kars post in English is a quote from VirtualANI. :)

There are big blowups of that (and other) Harput postcards in a little museum in Harput. But all the "offending" captions that mention Armenians or the American Mission have been blacked out.

The old, derelict Syrian church below Harput castle has now been renovated and returned to the Syrian Church. This happened quite recently I think - I saw a bit about it on a news report on Turkish TV at the start of August this year - and had hoped to visit it when passing by Elazig on a Sunday in the middle of August.

Steve

---
Note: Edited by Sip.

#22 bellthecat

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 12:39 PM

Arpa - did you notice that there are other old pictures of Elazig on the same site as the old view of the American Mission: http://www.elaziz.net/elazig/nostalji/

I've seen the one of "Beskardes Street" before, in an Armenian book. It is actually a pre-1915 picture of a street of new Armenian houses in Elazig. They look just like a typical Victorian terrace of middle-class houses like you could find at that time in any town in Europe or America.

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#23 Arpa

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 01:25 PM

Here is what Hamshentsi wrote today.
I am trying to locate his private address so we won't have to go through the forum where there seem to be very hostile Turks.
Note that, even though he/she is a western Armenian, is using the Mesropian orthography such as "barew, bari galust", not "parev, pari kaloust" etc.
I am trying to find out the best way to engage them privately and maybe even invite them to this forum.
Note also the last phrase where he says; "Yes hye em, katch prince Hamamin tor'n em, Hamshentsi em yes".


Makale yazari: hemsin basköylü Tarih, gün ve saat : 11. Eylül 2003 15:34:39:

Su yaziya cevaben: Hello makale yazari: Ermeni Tarih, gün ve saat : 11. Eylül 2003 02:57:31:

barew, hjur, bari galust

yes, wir are also the peoples from northeast anatolia and other minorityS from historical- ottomans area.
examply: rum"s (horum)from pontius, hamshinsi"hys from historical-hykland, laz, megrelian,abhazian, cherkezian,chechenian,and other minoritys, and turksfriends.................
yes hy em,
kathc princehamam"in tornem yes, hamshinsihy em yes

hemsin basköylü


#24 Arpa

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 01:34 PM

Yes Bell I did notice that that page about Kars and Ani was from Virtual Ani.
It goes to show that these guys are well informed about Armenian issues. One of them, Xristos professes to be Pontus/Rum, Bashkoylu Hemshin, you saw his response, and then there is one called Sebo who also seems to be Armenian. One of them, I forgot which, seems to be connected with the Dprevank in Polis.
I am still fascinated, considering the fact that if thse guys actually live in the neighborhood of Hamshen they would be a stone's throw from Ani and Kars.

#25 bellthecat

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 07:07 AM

If anyone wants to see some pictures of Hemshin/Hamshen, then I could post some here. Might also try and mpeg some of their music (I've got a bundle of commercial tapes I bought in Pazar).

Steve

#26 Nikephoros_Phokas

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 12:59 PM

I would think that the Hemshins hate being called Armenian. Turkey is a country where being recognized as a minority and with rights like Armenian and Greek Christians from Turkey with protected rights in the Lausanne treaty have been treated worse than minorities with unprotected rights.

It seems in the Kemalist system that minorities deserve nothing other than to be called a Turk and like it, if you are Turkish citizien you are a Turk and if foreign powers help grant rights for minorities then treating them badly should be a duty of all Turkish nationalists to combat foreign imperialism.

Edited by Nikephoros_Phokas, 12 September 2003 - 05:26 PM.


#27 Armat

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 01:08 PM

I would think that the Hemshins hate being called Armenian.

N.P. why would you think that.Are you speaking from experience? or just assuming.There are lot of minorities in Turkey including Laz,Kurds, Armenians and Greeks who don't think they are Turks!

#28 THOTH

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 01:42 PM

N.P. why would you think that.Are you speaking from experience? or just assuming.There are lot of minorities in Turkey including Laz,Kurds, Armenians and Greeks who don't think they are Turks!

So true (though not universaly - because many have forgotten that they might be something other then just a Turk)...

But my experience from several visits to Turkey is that Kurds in particular are often very interested in informing you that they are in fact Kurdish and not a Turk (particualry after me telling them I was Armenian - but otherwise as well). Other groups - who are perhaps more isolated and of smaller number may just be more fearful of being singled out (just my opinion). In some cases where I probed a bit folks admited to some non-Turkish ethnicity - in other cases you could tell that they didn't want to go there (particualry if I suggested that they might be Greek). The Hemshin I met recently were very proud of their being such and also expressed a favorable opinion of Armenians - though weren't so sure of the connection. They were also very proud to be "Turks" and proud of their country. We talked quite a bit about differences in social structure, friendliness of people etc between Europe/US (one Hemshin lady was married to a German and lived in Germany). At one point I told them that friendly people eisited in the States as well - was not limited to Turkey - and that they shouldn't believe everything they see on TV or in the movies regarding life in the US...

Also - on a number of occasions - upon learning that I was Armenian - various locals would talk in great detail about Armenains or Greeks who still lived in various places. For instance one individual from Capadocia - who did business in Keyseri - informed me that he knew numourous Armenians there.

#29 Nikephoros_Phokas

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 02:25 PM

Alot of the people in this thread are projecting their world view on these people. What if they learned they were of a different ancestry, they would want to embrace this and they are assuming this is the same for the Hemshins. But Turkey is only like the Westernized countries most of the Armenian diasporans posting here live in only on the surface. So you can not assume because you would be interested in investigating and affirming your hidden ancestry that it is the same for people in Turkey.

Personally I am Greek and I discovered a site about the muslim Greek Pontians written by muslim Pontians called Sumela. (The site is dead so I have linked to an archive version.) Do I assume that this means most of these people are dying to be called Greek Pontians to invite repression because of this one site and what these people are saying in the relative freedom of the internet? There have been articles in the Greek press about these muslim Pontians, some of them have declared themselves Greek and moved to Greece. But when they do this they are not accepted in Turkish society any longer and this publicizes them and the Turkish authorities know them now, and they are not really accepted in Greek society because they are muslim and "Turks". So they are misfits. But there is a difference between these muslims of Turkey the Hemshin and the muslim Pontians, can these Hemshin realistically declare themselves Armenians and expect to immigrate to Armenia and find a job when the Armenian economy is even worse than the Turkish?

Why would they want to be called Armenian? To not be accepted by both Turkish and Armenian society? Remember they live in Turkey, being considered Armenian will endear them with the Armenian diaspora like the posters on this board and gain them friends in Armenia, but will this save them from the repression of Turkish authorities? Turkey is the kind of a country where if the Greek government tried to protect these muslim Pontians and their culture this would just cause a nationalist Turkish backlash of the Turkish population and repression on the part of the Turkish state. If Armenia tried to become the protector of the Hemshin it would be equally counterproductive and Armenia has a much weaker position as it has a weaker military. Remember the Lausanne treaty and the interventions to protect Christians under Turkish misrule have only made the Turkish population to hate Christians more and repress the Christians under their rule more. A Westerner may think that these Christians should be treated better anyway, so why are the Turks getting offended about what they are perceiving as foreign interference when these new supposedly improved Kemalists are suppossed to be anti-Sharia(Sharia which implies muslim domination and non-muslims are relegated as conquered inferiors). But what someone living in countries where the values of the Enlightenment and Renaissance have penetrated perceives is different what a muslim Turk will perceive. So you cannot take your perceptions and assume that they are dying to be called Armenian. For the muslim Pontians to be considered Greek could pose an advantage economically since the Greek economy is stronger than the Turkish, but even this is not enough incentive to risk repression only to not really be well accepted in Greek society and earn enimity from Turkish society for declaring to be non-Turkish.

Are you people who are saying you have met Hemshin, have you met them in their native villages or outside of Turkey. Is the person saying he meet a Kurd dying to be recognized as a Kurd, did he meet this Kurd outside of Turkey or outside of the Southeast or did he meet him in the Southeast of Turkey full with all the village guards, brutal Turkish police, informers, counter-guerillas, etc.? Because a Kurd in Istanbul has more freedom than a Kurd in the Southeast and a Kurd in Germany has much more freedom than both.

Edited by Nikephoros_Phokas, 12 September 2003 - 02:30 PM.


#30 bellthecat

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 05:39 PM

Alot of the people in this thread are projecting their world view on these people. What if they learned they were of a different ancestry, they would want to embrace this and they are assuming this is the same for the Hemshins. But Turkey is only like the Westernized countries most of the Armenian diasporans posting here live in only on the surface. So you can not assume because you would be interested in investigating and affirming your hidden ancestry that it is the same for people in Turkey.

Personally I am Greek and I discovered a site about the muslim Greek Pontians written by muslim Pontians called Sumela. (The site is dead so I have linked to an archive version.) Do I assume that this means most of these people are dying to be called Greek Pontians to invite repression because of this one site and what these people are saying in the relative freedom of the internet? There have been articles in the Greek press about these muslim Pontians, some of them have declared themselves Greek and moved to Greece. But when they do this they are not accepted in Turkish society any longer and this publicizes them and the Turkish authorities know them now, and they are not really accepted in Greek society because they are muslim and "Turks". So they are misfits. But there is a difference between these muslims of Turkey the Hemshin and the muslim Pontians, can these Hemshin realistically declare themselves Armenians and expect to immigrate to Armenia and find a job when the Armenian economy is even worse than the Turkish?

Why would they want to be called Armenian? To not be accepted by both Turkish and Armenian society? Remember they live in Turkey, being considered Armenian will endear them with the Armenian diaspora like the posters on this board and gain them friends in Armenia, but will this save them from the repression of Turkish authorities? Turkey is the kind of a country where if the Greek government tried to protect these muslim Pontians and their culture this would just cause a nationalist Turkish backlash of the Turkish population and repression on the part of the Turkish state. If Armenia tried to become the protector of the Hemshin it would be equally counterproductive and Armenia has a much weaker position as it has a weaker military. Remember the Lausanne treaty and the interventions to protect Christians under Turkish misrule have only made the Turkish population to hate Christians more and repress the Christians under their rule more. A Westerner may think that these Christians should be treated better anyway, so why are the Turks getting offended about what they are perceiving as foreign interference when these new supposedly improved Kemalists are suppossed to be anti-Sharia(Sharia which implies muslim domination and non-muslims are relegated as conquered inferiors). But what someone living in countries where the values of the Enlightenment and Renaissance have penetrated perceives is different what a muslim Turk will perceive. So you cannot take your perceptions and assume that they are dying to be called Armenian. For the muslim Pontians to be considered Greek could pose an advantage economically since the Greek economy is stronger than the Turkish, but even this is not enough incentive to risk repression only to not really be well accepted in Greek society and earn enimity from Turkish society for declaring to be non-Turkish.

Why would they want to be called Armenian? To not be accepted by both Turkish and Armenian society? Remember they live in Turkey, being considered Armenian will endear them with the Armenian diaspora like the posters on this board and gain them friends in Armenia, but will this save them from the repression of Turkish authorities?


Yep, that is sort of what I was saying in my earlier post (sorry people - sometimes I am a bit brutally abrupt when I am writing stuff, it's a bad habit I have). I also should have elaborated that the Hemshinli actually do think very highly of themselves and rather look down their noses at their neighbours, (none of which are ethnically Turkish) . Their lack of enthusiasm in accepting an Armenian identity is not an indication that they are insecure with themselves or lacking any self confidence.

Are you people who are saying you have met Hemshin, have you met them in their native villages or outside of Turkey. Is the person saying he meet a Kurd dying to be recognized as a Kurd, did he meet this Kurd outside of Turkey or outside of the Southeast or did he meet him in the Southeast of Turkey full with all the village guards, brutal Turkish police, informers, counter-guerillas, etc.? Because a Kurd in Istanbul has more freedom than a Kurd in the Southeast and a Kurd in Germany has much more freedom than both.


Actually, the Kurds have got very "uppity" of late, especially in the south-east - many are not only quite open about being Kurds, but open about their emotional support for the PKK and its aims. And they do this even in the presence of Turks. Actually south-east Turkey is not that full of police, informers, counter-guerillas, etc. any more. And the village guards are starting to think of their future, in the same sort of way that French collaborators with the Nazis during WW2 did towards the end. I think the kurds are imagining a future in Turkey that is similar to what the Kurds in northern Iraq have - a federation in name but a de-facto independence (personally I think they are kidding themselves).

Steve

#31 gamavor

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 07:30 PM

Bell, your expert opinions are most appreciated. I myself have to admit childishly, that prior to reading some articles about Hemshins I had no Idea that there might be Moslem Armenians. I always though that being Armenian means being Christian(at least nominally) or atheist, at large (I exclude people interested in Eastern religion and philosophy simply because they have no great influence over the cultural outlook of the nation.
I disagree with you about calling Armenians nationalist for their natural desire to reconnect with all the lost ones (territory and people). A country that have lost 90% of its original habitat (not always politically defined by administrative borders), and a nation that has been subject to brutal and inhumane treatment by foreign oppressors hardly could be blamed in nationalistic feelings if their only desire is to restore what have once been lost.

#32 bellthecat

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 07:48 PM

I disagree with you about calling Armenians nationalist for their natural desire to reconnect with all the lost ones (territory and people). A country that have lost 90% of its original habitat (not always politically defined by administrative borders), and a nation that has been subject to brutal and inhumane treatment by foreign oppressors hardly could be blamed in nationalistic feelings if their only desire is to restore what have once been lost.

Were you reading my mind :) When I wrote that the Hemshinli are "satisfying their own interests, rather than the curiosity of ugly American tourists" I had intended to add "or the desires of Armenian nationalists". However, I wasn't saying that desires of Armenians to regain contact with the "lost tribe" of the Hemshinli was wrong or was not understandable (I do know how much has been irretrevably lost) - but it is going to be mostly for the benefit of those Armenians, and not much for the benefit of the Hemshinli. And the Hemshinli are clever enough to know this!

#33 gamavor

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 07:57 PM

irretrevably lost!!???!!

Who knows? Soviet Union was meant to stay for ever and ever. Roman Empire too. Some other more pleasant empires are history. :)

#34 bellthecat

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 08:12 PM

irretrevably lost!!???!!

Who knows? Soviet Union was meant to stay for ever and ever. Roman Empire too. Some other more pleasant empires are history. :)

'Fraid so. :( In your heart you know it. :( :( The hard question to answer (and to ask) is whether too much has been lost for the remainder to survive. Was 1915-21 a mortal wound? :( :( :( A depressing thought to end (or start) the day. I'm going to bed.

#35 Arpa

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Posted 14 September 2003 - 11:46 PM

Here is the e-mail I got from from what seems to be the webmaster of that forum. His name is Tigran. I have edited out his full name until I know it is safe for everyone concerned. The forum seems to be initiated and administered by Armenians and other Christians although they attract many Turks, Azeris and other Moslems. The Armenians seem to be holding their ground formidably. Today there was a post by one who calls himself Ohan/Ohannes who says he also has a Turkish name (Ihsan), that he was born in 1915 and that his father was murdered and his mother took them away to another city, that he comes from well to do families from both sides of his parents but now they have barely anything left. And at the end he expresses his love and admiration to all people be they Turks, Azeris.... and Armenians.
The e-mail below is self evident but I will translate (?) it anyway.
=======
"Barev jan,
Unfortunately I cannot write English and Armenian well enough but I know German and Turkish. You can write in German or Tuekish. Yea, we are Hamshenahays from the historical Haikland oh northeaster Aantolia-Pontus. Our people live all over the world. We have Moslems and Christians. We speak Grabar Hyeren...."
barew, cjan,
I cannot gut unfortunately well english and
hyeren.ich speak German and Turkishly well. you can
write into Turkishly or German.
yes , we are hamshinsihys from historicelhykland
(north-north east anatolia-pontius)
we are living all the world. we are moslems and
christians. we speakings krapar-hyeren.
tigran..........
hemsin basköylü

=======

As to inviting them to this forum. I'll have to mull over it and perhaps excange a few more notes to see if it will be safe for everyone concerned as I am sure they are being closely monitored. They don't seem to mind it as in some of their post they don't pull any punches, they even use mildly insulting lnguage towards their detractors, such as "you mangy Turkish dog" etc.

PS. I will write another item under another topic to kind of address this issue. I will give you a hint. It will not be pretty, it will be addressed to all of our bleeding heart so called Christian forumers who have been boring us to death with their sermons.

#36 Nikephoros_Phokas

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:48 AM

... I always though that being Armenian means being Christian(at least nominally) or atheist ...

There is a good reason to think this way. Under the Ottoman Empire and its millet system, nation and religion was one and the same. So the Hemshin Armenians though they are culturally more similar to Armenians no doubt, than other muslim populations living next to them are part of the same nation as them and not so with Christians who speak the same language as them. Now the Christians had different national churches when the Ottoman Empire collapsed but it is a shame the muslims did not have the same situation because modern Turkey would not have been possible.

Ethnicity is not just about language. If this were so there would be no conflict between Bosnians, Serbs and Croats, but since they are different religions and Christian dominations they are hostile to each other and look to different foreign political entities.

#37 Arpa

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Posted 26 October 2003 - 07:51 AM

Another item from that same site.
Posted what seems to be an Armenian Hamshenite Sebo.
My limited French tells me it is written by a Turk or a turkophile. The number of 300,000 is a staple Turkish cliche, and the accustaion that these people created an atmosphere of terror in Turkish villages where their numbers were less than 25%. Someone more proficent in French may translate for the benifit of all.

[b]Fransizca bir yazi Musluman Ermeniler veya Hemsinliler (Les Arméniens musulmans

Makale yazari: ou Hémichis) Sebo Tarih
Les Arméniens musulmans ou Hémichis

Arméniens aussi mais jamais considérés comme tels ni par les Arméniens de Turquie ou d'Arménie, ni par la diaspora, les Hémichis (Hemisi) sont musulmans. Ils vivent principalement dans l'Est de la Turquie, dans les régions de Diyarbakir, Van, Erzurum, Erzican, Harput, Mardin, Avanos et Malataya. Leur nombre est estimé à près de 3 millions dont une bonne partie parle encore l'arménien malgré une assimilation en voie d'achèvement.
Les Hémichis, comme une partie des Slaves, Crétois, Romains et Caucasiens de Turquie, se sont convertis à l'islam au cours de la période ottomane. Sous l'Empire, ils faisaient partie de la Nation (Millet) musulmane, comme les autres ethnies islamisées, les alévis et les yézédis, contrairement aux grégoriens qui avaient leur propre Nation.
Les Hémichis, malgré leur conversion, continuèrent à vivre côte à côte avec les grégoriens; sans problème majeur. C'est lors de l'annexion des royaumes caucasiens par la Russie, au début du XIXe siècle que commencèrent les ennuis pour les Arméniens musulmans installés dans les régions comprises entre la Géorgie actuelle et le l'Azerbaïdjan. Refoulés vers l'Empire ottoman en même temps que les Circassiens, les Ossètes, Tchétchènes, Abkhazes et Adjars, on retrouve des réfugiés dans une large bande allant de Trébizonde à l'ancienne Cilicie.
1914 fut l'année la plus noire de l'histoire des Hémichis. La Russie ayant promis l'indépendance aux Arméniens chrétiens de l'Arménie turque, encourageât ces derniers à créer un climat de terreur dans les villages musulmans de cette région peuplée à 25% d'Arméniens chrétiens (excepté la province de Van, où ils formaient la majorité).
Ainsi, des massacres à grande échelle eurent lieu jusqu'au début de 1915, dont les victimes kurdes, circassiens, hémichis, turkmènes et autres caucasiens n'avaient que deux points communs, soit d'être ottomanes et musulmanes. On estime à 300 000 le nombres des victimes (massacre des musulmans d"Erzurum et de Van compris), oeuvre des milices indépendantistes arméniennes (chrétiennes).
La République créa un climat favorable aux Hémichis non seulement de Turquie, mais aussi à ceux du Caucase soviétique qui trouvèrent une terre d'asile et s'installèrent dans les régions où les Arméniens grégoriens avaient été forcés de partir (déportation par l'armée ottomane et massacres de 1915).
Aujourd'hui les Hémichis sont avant tout turcs et revendique leur appartenance à la Nation. La confiance entre Arméniens chrétiens et musulmans est toutefois limitée même si l'on n'assiste pas à un réel clivage.
Cette communauté n'est pas considérée comme minoritaire, puisque la notion de "minorité" n'est pas ethnique ou linguistique en Europe orientale, mais uniquement religieuse.p/b]

#38 Arpa

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Posted 26 October 2003 - 08:12 AM

Arméniens aussi mais jamais considérés comme tels ni par les Arméniens de Turquie ou d'Arménie, ni par la diaspora, les Hémichis (Hemisi) sont musulmans. Ils vivent principalement dans l'Est de la Turquie, dans les régions de Diyarbakir, Van, Erzurum, Erzican, Harput, Mardin, Avanos et Malataya. Leur nombre est estimé à près de 3 millions dont une bonne partie parle encore l'arménien malgré une assimilation en voie d'achèvement.

Am I reading this right?
Is it saying that their number is estimated to approximately 3 million?

#39 Stormig

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Posted 26 October 2003 - 08:32 AM

I don't understand. The Hamshentsi are supposed to be eastern Black Sea Armenians, not all over from Harput to Mardin.

#40 axel

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Posted 26 October 2003 - 09:30 AM

Arpa, here's a quick translation:

Armenian too but never considered as such either by Armenians of Turkey or Armenia, nor by the diaspora, the Hemshins are muslims. In majority, they live in eastern turkey, in the regions of Diyarbakir, Van, Erzurum, Erzican, Harput, Mardin, Avanos and Malataya. Their number is estimated at almost three million, a good part of whom  still speak armenian despite an almost completed assimilation process. The Hemshins, like part of the Slavs, Cretians, Romans and Caucasians of Turkey, converted to islam during the ottoman period. Under the empire, they were part of the muslim nation (millet), like other islamized ethnies, the alevis and the yezedis, contrary to the georgians who had their own nation.
The Hemshins, in spite of their conversion, lived side by side with the gregorians without major trouble. Only with the annexion of caucasian kingdoms by Russia, at the beginning of the nineteenth century did problems start for the armenian muslims located in the regions between contemporary Georgia and Azerbaidjan. Repelled towards the ottoman empire together with the Circassians, Ossetians, Chechens, Abkhaz and Adjars, one finds the refugees in a large strip going from Trebizonde to ancient Cilicia.
1914 was the darkest year in the Hemshin's history. Having promised independence to Christian Armenians of turkish Armenia, Russia encouraged the latter to foster a climate of terror in the moslem villages in this region christian Armenians represented a fourth of the population (to the exception of the province of Van, where they were a majority)
Large scale massacres took place at the beginning of 1915, whose victims (kurds, circassians, Hemshins, turkmens and other caucasians) only shared two things, either being ottoman or muslim. One estimates at 300000 the number of victims (massacre of muslims of Erzurum and Van included) by armenian independentist (christian) militia.
The republic created a favorable climate for the Hemshins, not only in Turkey, but also for the ones in soviet caucase who found asylum there and settled in the regions gregorian armenians had been forced to flee (deportation by the ottoman army and massacres of 1915)
Nowadays, the Hemshins are first and foremost turks and claim their belonging to the nation. Trust between christian and muslim Armenians is however limited even though there is no real animosity between them.
This community is not considered as a minority, for the notion of minority is neither ethnic nor linguistic in eastern Europe but solely religious.


These people do not belong to our Nation, they belong to the turkish flock.

edited: I wrongly translated gregoriens as georgian instead of gregorian, sorry

ps: this text appears to be turkish propaganda, should I leave it here?

Edited by axel, 26 October 2003 - 11:58 AM.





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