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Woman in Turkey Reveals Armenian Identity after 82 Years

Just one day before she passed away, a woman in Turkey who had hidden her Armenian identity for 82 years revealed the secret to her youngest son.

Abakay and the cover of his book

Abakay and the cover of his book

Hoşana, who was brought up as an Alevi in a Kurdish village, told the secret to her youngest son, journalist Ahmet Abakay.

Abakay is the president of a journalists’ association,  and has now published a book titled Hoşana’nın Son Sözü (Hoşana’s Last Word), which details his mother’s story.

“How can a person hide her Armenian roots for 82 years from her family, children, grandchildren, and her environment?” asks Abakay, according to an article on the Turkish website T24.com.tr.

In recent years, countless stories of Turkish and Kurdish persons revealing their Armenian identity have appeared in the media.

78 Comments on Woman in Turkey Reveals Armenian Identity after 82 Years

  1. We are in a dilemma,there are going to be many of them with their claims.Are we mentally ready to accept them and yet who are we to decide, how can we prove they are what they claim.Are we joining them in the mix or they are joining us, our survival could be in jeopardy.First and utmost we should decide and identify who is Armenian.

    • Why is this a dilemma? Being an Armenian is not like being in a Social Club where there is an issue of accepting or not, or identifying who is an Armenian or who is not. What is important here is the social anthropological implications of being Armenian and having to hide your heritage because of your historical and geographical circumstance. While I do not have the specifics of the story, the universal one seems to be that as an Armenian living in Eastern Turkey where one’s Armenian heritage has to be masked over the years with the non-Armenian local population (e.g., for purposes of survival). I find this similar to European Americans finding out that they have Native American blood in their family.

    • avatar Tessa Hofmann // September 29, 2013 at 12:44 am //

      Identity is a profoundly personal matter – or at least should be. If societies and groups start to define the identities for people, it may end in genocide. For these reasons Armenian identity (as any other identity) belongs only to the person concerned. If he or she decides to be Armenian, he/she is Armenian. Problems start if identities are oppressed and/or subscribed to people who do not want them.

    • Dear Tessa,

      How can the people of a country be a nation if the people are not united ? How can they strive for the same goal if they are fundamentaly different ? Look at European countries today… socialists, communists, liberals, etc. each of them with their own goals, ready to do anything as long as their political agenda is put to work. Look at what happened to Belgium during the First and Second World War, the Flemish didn’t identify with the Belgian nation, which led a part of them to collaborate with the Germans.

      I’m not saying that the same scenario is possible in Armenia, I think it can happen more subtly, today there is a big division between Armenians who want better political ties with Europe and Armenians who want better political ties with Russia, some even want to give back Nagorno-Karabagh as long as the border between Turkey and Armenia is opened (economic reasons). What happens if tomorrow a new war starts ? Will there be Armenians who “pledge loyalty” to Turkey [it happened during the battle of Avarayr, Armenian "loyalists" fought alongside the Persians, did this cause our defeat, I think so.] ? God forbid.

    • Dear Noupar, a nation and national identity form through its language, culture and common national values and character. You can’t measure national identity by the percentage in the blood. There is no such thing as a pure “nation” — everything is changing and shifting all the time. An Armenian is someone who maybe does not speak the language, but identifies himself as an Armenian. Or someone like this old woman who wanted to go in her grave after she finally identifies herself and felt relieved.

  2. Noupar
    why would anyone declare that he or she is an Armenian after 82 years if they are not?we should welcome it regardless.

  3. We should be so lucky to embrace into the Armenian fold these lost Armenians. I don’t see the dilemma.

  4. This is a huge problem for us.There will be a conference next week in Istanbul, orginized by Hrant Dink Foundation and History department of Bogazici University.Academics and historians from around the world wiil be partcipate. I wish Armenian Weekly will be able to give us the details about this very important conference.

  5. This journalist insult his Turkishness, therefor he is eligible for persecution!!Good luck to him!!

  6. One dilemma will occur when staunch nationalist Armenians decide that these new found Armenians will need to convert to christianity to be accepted.

    • They will. Christianity is a very big part of our national identity, there is no social cohesion without it.

    • no they won’t.

      Christianity is just an adjunct to our Armenian identity.
      We were Armenians long before we became Christians.
      You know nothing about Armenians.

    • Maybe it is, but the most important thing that Armenia needs today is social cohesion. Our country can only be strong if every Armenian has the same ideology, religion, etc. Apparently I know more about our history than you do, if you study Armenian history you’ll see that the primary reason which lead to Armenian massacres, military defeats, etc. was because we were not united (ex. : traitors).

      Fedayapet Arabo, Serob, Murad, etc. all of them were handed over to the Turks by Armenians. Those things wouldn’t have happened if we were united. But I agree with you Christianity is not the only element in this process, every single ideology that goes against our traditional values must be suppressed.

    • We are Armenians first and foremost. Christianity is only a part of our identity even though it can be argued that it defines who we are as a people. It is also what sets us apart from our neighbors. Our faith should be a source of strength for us but not a unifying requirement since we have Armenians of various Christian denominations. Islam, God forbid, has absolutely no place in Armenian society and must be eradicated by all means. We should celebrate our Christian faith and be good and peaceful citizens of this world but when it comes to protecting our values and defending our homeland we must put down our Bibles and pick up our weapons as our forefathers did and have done throughout our history. We can always give praise to the Almighty after our victories by crushing our enemies into pieces.

    • The moment we start saying that Christianity is not part of us is the moment we create multiple Armenian identities, such things shouldn’t exist. Even if you don’t believe in God, even if you’re an atheist, an agnostic, protestant, catholic, or even if you believe in the old Gods, in the presence of other Armenians you should say that you’re a member of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

      My uncle who was a fedayi during the Nagorno-Karabakh war told me that he believes in the old Gods, but he’d never say it in public, he’d never try to change our Christian culture, he wouldn’t dare “introduce” a new religion in the Armenian social sphere because that’s something that breaks unity.

    • HB, Christianity is not the glue that brings us together, it is a shared history. Sorry about your uncle but hiding your ideas and views out of fear of breaking unity is suppressing the individual.

      YOu know what will bring us together? Acceptance of diversity. Acceptance of Armenians that do not look Armenian or do not speak the language, or have a different skin color, a different sex or orientation, the acceptance of progress. that is what will bring Armenians together, not Christianity, that has proven to not work.
      -Karina

  7. avatar MaryAnn Germano // September 28, 2013 at 2:45 pm // Reply

    This is so sad that a woman, 82 years old feels the need to hide her identity her entire life. It also says that the Turkish government has down such a disservice in lying about the crimes done to Armenians by “sending them away” and not admitting to the hate crimes they commited.

  8. This is not a dilemma for me, nor should we be surprised that a woman in Turkey would hide her identity for the safety of her family. I open my arms to anyone who wants to join our team and take on the burdens and joys of being Armenian.

  9. avatar Taniel Tanielian // September 28, 2013 at 5:59 pm // Reply

    I can not read Turkish, but I sincerely like this book to be translated
    to English

  10. {”One dilemma will occur when staunch nationalist Armenians decide that these new found Armenians will need to convert to christianity to be accepted.”}

    Not really.

    Obviously you do not know many “staunch nationalist Armenians”.
    I think Mr. Hamparian and ANCA can be safely classified as “staunch nationalist Armenians”:

    [Hamparian: We’re All Armenians]
    http://www.armenianweekly.com/2012/01/22/hamparian-were-all-armenians/
    {Of all faiths, or no faith. Christian (like so many of us) or Muslim (like our Hamshen brothers and sisters).}

    Our brothers and sisters.

    btw: I consider myself one of those “staunch nationalist Armenians”: I could not care less which Armenian is Armenian Apostolic Christian, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Agnostic, Atheist, whatever – as long as everyone is working for the safety, security, wellbeing, and prosperity of RoA, NKR, and the unity of the Armenian Nation.

    Many adult un-hidden Armenians in Turkey are publicly baptizing themselves and changing their Turkish names back to Armenian names.
    Obviously, no Muslim Armenian should be pressured to convert, or made uncomfortable in any way.
    But I believe in time most will voluntarily choose to convert back to the faith of their ancestors.
    Those that do not, will be welcome into our Armenian Family just the same: Armenians were Armenians for about 3,000 years before adopting Christianity some 2,000 years ago.

    Our Armenian genes and genetic memory transcend religion.

    • Who cares about genes if there is no social cohesion, if a Turkish person discovers suddenly that he’s Armenian, it should be natural for him to convert to Christianity, I don’t care if it’s Catholicism, Protestantism, etc. after all, the Qur’an and the New Testament don’t teach the same things.

    • Again: we were Armenians a lot longer than any religion.

      Our Armenian genetic memory is 5,000+ years old.
      Who cares that you don’t care.
      Armenians modified Christianity to suite our Armenian character and genetic history: That is why we are unique, ‘different’ Christians.

      We are Armenians first, then we are Christians, or anything else.

    • You’re an idealist, I’m a realist, let’s just keep it at that.

    • Bravo Avery! You are wise!If a person wants identify him/her as an Armenian it is only welcomed!

  11. avatar Sylva-MD-Poetry // September 28, 2013 at 8:55 pm // Reply

    I would like to ask all the writers on this site…
    “which is more important the genes of Armenian or the religion…”
    This is my concept… “I can change my religion but never my genes”
    Lady Hosanna and her clever brave son…have the same genes…
    Hosana was afraid but her son Abakay never ..to publish her mother’s story…
    congrats afters congrats for having such a brave clever son…
    I can’t understand… why the religion should enter to define our identity…!
    Do we still believe religion is so sacred in our lives after so called god ignored us
    and genocided our clever-honest-nation…
    Please stop entering religion…in our identity…
    We lost our faith…
    Hosana felt always that she was Armenian and never mentioned that she was Christian…
    Can’t you read her heart what she wanted to announce before she died…!!!
    This means that her identity was important and not her religion…
    Sylva-MD

    • Go study our history before making such claims, it was our own fault if we were massacred, we should’ve been prepared like the Sasunians were. Armenians weren’t allowed to carry weapons, Sasunians made their own so they could defend themselves. If we hadn’t turned our backs to our heroes nobody could’ve massacred us. Sasun, Zeitun, Van, Sabinkarahisar, these few examples show that when united we are indestructible.

      You don’t believe in God still you say it’s his fault that we were genocided. No it was our fault, and it will happen again if we’re not united. They massacred us in 1895 and still we turned our backs to our hayduks, we were blind, we thought that laws would protect us.

  12. It is not important to convert to Christianity. Knowing the extreme barbarism of the Muslims who cut the heads of the converters, it is so stupid to suggest that she should have converted to Christianity. If the Armenians were united and used a little bit of wisdom, those who lived in those specific areas could have converted to Muslim Religion and if we did not lose one and half million of us, we could have kept our land and eventually built up our might and gradually practiced our Christian Religion again. Because those who (like this woman) converted to Islam, in their hearts they always remained Christians.

  13. Today’s Turkish population more or less have some Armenian blood, and we “pure Armenians” have no rights to judge, that why our forcefully turkfied Armenian women gave birth to a nation, where few politically motivated individuals propagating heir superiority over Armenians and denying a genocide, that ever took place in Ottoman’s Turkey!!

  14. Here is a fact… the ‘Turks’ closest genetic relative are the Armenians. What does that say? 500 years of Ottoman assimilation!!!! Turks are not Turks. This a nationalist fantasy. They are related to Gok Turk as much as you and I. Turks are predominently Anatolias lost Armenians, also Greek, Assyrian, Jew etc… lost their identity, speak an Oghuz language, worship an Arab god. Erdogan claims to be a Muslim Turk, what a joke… 2 generations ago his family were Christian Georgian. Check it out. Imagine if 50 percent of Turkeys population were to stand up and say “I am not a Turk, I am Armenian”… just imagine what would happen!!!

    • I am not an expert but I think on top of the gene we can also check our bacterias that we receive and passed on from our parents and the only bacterias we receive apart from combination of our parents’ is and very unique is from our mother that can not duplicate with any other,here is another Pandora box.We are now dissecting bisecting and splitting the hair.

  15. In a recent search for my maternal grandmother’s family tree, I discovered someone I was told perished in the Genocide may have survived. My grandmother’s eldest sibling was named Ecksah and she was supposed to have been lost in the desert with her two children with her husband sent off to the Turkish army where he probably died. Now I’m told that Ecksah’s daughter may have survived and married a non-Armenian(Odar). I would like to find out if this is true.

  16. H.B, the reason that Armenians could not defend or help their hayduks, because most ordinary Armenian population were empty handed and had no proper weaponry to fight against coward criminal Turks!

    http://www.mercyseat.net/gun_genocide.html

    • That’s what I said, unlike the Sasunians (who made their own weapons) and didn’t trust the Ottomans, most Armenians didn’t have weapons (because again, they trusted the Ottomans, they didn’t think that a genocide would happen, just like the Jews in France didn’t think they would be handed over to the Nazis).

      If we hadn’t been so naïve nobody could’ve massacred us.

  17. Religion has been a disaster to the Armenians throughout history. Armenian is an Armenian no matter to what religion they belong, if any at all. The most important thing is UNITY as Armenians. It is sad that history has not taught us the importance of UNITY to this date!

  18. Armenian is an Armenian no matter to what is their religion, if any at all. Religion, especially Christianity, has been a disaster to our nation throughout history. We had just to look around us our neighbors, but no, we wanted to be different, and as a result we lost the lands of our ancestors. To this day we are having problems fighting each other, UNITY as Armenians is our ONLY salvation.

    • “Religion, especially Christianity, has been a disaster to our nation throughout history. We had just to look around us our neighbors, but no, we wanted to be different, and as a result we lost the lands of our ancestors.”

      First, religion and faith need to be differentiated.

      Second, how was Christianity a disaster if both Golden Ages of Armenia happened to take place when we were a Christian nation? With the same token, Greeks and Assyrians can consider Christianity a disaster, but if hordes of Seljuk Turks invade and bring awe and devastation to all native inhabitants of the region, why is their religion to blame?

      Third, let’s take take a close look around us as of 301 AD. Any Muslims in sight? No. Rome has become (unofficially) Christian at the time. Persians were still Zoroastrians soon (in the 7th century) to become Muslims. Frankly, and because my opinion doesn’t matter, not in million years would I want to become Muslim. If there was no Avarair, we would have almost certainly become Muslims together with the Persians. God forbid!

      Follower of Jesus Christ and proud. Both for myself and for my nation.

  19. This book is another proof that Turks committed genocide in any way they could. If She was a Lost Armenian she would not have revealed her that she was born Armenian. I hope I live long enough to see the day we all unite and use opportunities like this to our advantage. She was born Armenian and I guess she wanted to die Armenian. Anyhow may she rest in peace since she had seen the darkest days of Armenian history and she felt the pain of losing her family and self? Bravo to her and her son to let the rest of the world know her story.

  20. Armenian is an Armenian and has his Armenian religion – regardless of Christianity of any denomination or any other “world” religion. Would you like to ask me of my own religion – an Armenian one. Yes, I am happen to be born on Christian part of the Nation, but do I have a right to judge the one who was trying to save his family by converting to Islam? Or “alevi”? I don’t think so, my friends…
    I also believe, that we are utmost idealists not only in our genetic code, but also in our Christianity. The same “christians” were committing the crimes, we could never even think of and they call themselves more Christians than we are. Do we want to look like those, other Christians? And how about Christian “solidarity”, which in reality means more of self interests, than any of our idealistic views? Did we ever know about our self(National) interests at all? Have we ever learned of/from any lesson, which we have learned the hard way in this world?
    If we could not taylor and adjust religion to our National needs and interests, then we should not ever complain. If we adjust ourselves to the Book, and not the Book to our very own selves – then this Book is no good for us. Again, I am not trying to propagate the conversion from one to another or into something that we did not fully understand, but, seems to me we, did not learn anything after the year 451 (Battle of Avarayr or the first division of the Church into two branches – coincidentally, but we had two major battles in the same year!), since we preserved our National Identity. All the rest of the story is already a technicality of how to divide us, assimilate, convert, brainwash, massacre and do the same repetitive tasks as the programmer does with programming loop.
    I do question our understanding of the faith at all – not the Faith itself, but in what we really believe: in God or in our destiny to become a victims in the name of God. I am sorry, but for my children I will fight to my end and their well being to my end and their bright “earthly” future. And then and only then I will go to God “directly” or indirectly – through the Church/priest “channels” and ask for forgiveness, if I did anything wrong…

  21. avatar Katie Vanadzin // September 30, 2013 at 3:07 pm // Reply

    H.B.– “every single ideology that goes against our traditional values must be suppressed”

    Are you mad? Such a sad irony that in promoting the survival and endurance of the Armenian culture and people, you have advocated something that sounds utterly fascist. I think the Turks in 1915 were thinking along the same lines you are now about your own people.

  22. Yes Katie, unfortunately there are fascist, extreme nationalistic and mad people among us.I hope wise people can solve our problems.We will and must embrace all kind of people if they want to join us, no matter what.After all no one knows how many percent of Armenians are Christian.I know many with other believe system.This issue needs a broad spectrum. Open your eyes, minds, and hearts!

  23. hb
    chill out regarding religion and Armenian identity
    we were Armenians long before these problematic abrahiamic relgions (jewdeic, Christian, islam) and will continue to be long after their sooner than later demise… god willing
    every arman can contribute something, neither you or any other institution should in a fascist manner dictate what constitutes an identity,
    yes I am aware of traitors, they are a fact of life, there is no nation on earth who doesn’t have them… and we are not exceptions,
    you be Armenian your way I be mine as long as we are all first and fore most are SPEAKING READING WRITING THINKING CREATING INVENTING BUILDING IN ARMENIAN… AND READY TO BARE ARMS TO DEFEND OUR NATIONAL BOARDERS

    • “problematic abrahiamic relgions (jewdeic, Christian, islam) and will continue to be long after their sooner than later demise… god willing”. You sound like a teenager who just discovered Christopher Hitchens.

  24. My grandfather lost his sisters, or so he thought…I would love to find out that they had survived and we had family. Although the families living without this knowledge may not be accepting…they would be accepted.
    These survivors have been scared since 1915 to reveal their identities. She obviously knew she was dying and did not want to die in a lie.

  25. avatar vart.adjemian // October 1, 2013 at 5:59 pm // Reply

    This should not come as a surprise to anyone.
    In 1984,I was on a business trip to Turkey, to negotiate with a Turkish company, who was in the business of producing pulses and exporting them. My principal counterpart in the negotiations, was the President of the company. A distinguished gentleman, business savvy, articulate and fluent in English. His family name was
    Koletavitoglu. I shall not reveal his first name nor the name of the company.
    After completing a due diligence for three days in Istanbul we went to Mersin to see their actual operations and facilities.
    Needless to say, K and all his colleagues on the negotiating team, without doubt knew that I was Armenian. However, none of them, brought up my being Armenian.
    After we returned to Istanbul, on the day of my departure, K asked if he could drive me alone to the airport. In the car, just before we got the airport, speaking in Armenian, he told me that he was Armenian that his family were Armenians, and that no one in his company or circle of friends knew that he was of Armenian descent.
    Then he only added that he had “to survive”.
    I was so taken aback and flabbergasted that I could not utter a word. I only looked at his eyes, which were teary and showed deep sadness. At the airport, we were both speechless, and the only thing we did, was we hugged for a very long time, as newly found brothers.
    After so many years, I still remember vividly his face and the moments we spent together hugging each other.
    I am sure there are many K’s in Turkey. I am sure that all of them and their families did at the time what they thought they had to do, and continue to do, to survive in a horrible , inhumane and cruel conditions, which sadly continue to the present day.
    We certainly should not judge them. Who are we to do that ? In the Diaspora, in general, we have been fortunate to maintain our Armenian identity, our culture, our language, our churches and our
    community centers and organizations.
    At least, in 1984, K had the courage to reveal to a visiting Armenian, that in his soul he was still an Armenian.
    I now hope and pray that Hosana has found eternal peace.
    This is a very sad story, but inspirational at the same time.
    Vart Adjemian

  26. I consider myself an Armenian. I have nothing in common with your church nor your faith. I speak and write in modern Armenian. I also have a high degree of literacy in Classical Armenian. Where I live there are neither Armenian organisations nor any activities that I am aware of. I have never encountered anyone who would dispute with me my background. And if I do, their opinions mean nothing to me.

    • Well start an Armenian organisation then… your intellect doesn’t matter if it doesn’t have an effect on this world. And you don’t matter as an Armenian until you start to struggle for the Armenian cause.

  27. How foolish can we be to seek to divide ourselves even further by talking about genes and genetic markers and bacterial byproducts. Being Armenian is a question of heredity for some and choice for others. I know many adopted children of Armenians who, despite lacking the genetic material, are nonetheless completely Armenian in identity and habits. Anyone willing to share in the joys and burdens of being Armenian is welcome in my opinion. May Hosana rest in peace and may her family embrace their Armenianism and be embraced by fellow Armenians.

  28. H.B. I certainly would not start an Armenian organisation, lest I cross paths with a narrow-minded mentality like yourself. Your statement “you don’t matter as an Armenian until you start to struggle for the Armenian cause” tells me in no uncertain terms that you should be avoided like the plague. Your definition of an Armenian and mine have no overlap at all. I wonder how many people have been turned off Armenians, as a result of coming across blinkered mentalities like yours. Just a word of advice to you: no one likes to be told/dictated “you should do this”, “you should be like that”.

    • All I’m saying is that if your heart doesn’t ache for your country, your people, then you have no right to call yourself an Armenian. We talk too much but act too little. If you want to tell me your definition of an Armenian then go ahead, I’m all ears.

    • We all have the right to call ourselves Armenians because it is our god-given right to say and think what we want, as recognized by the constitutions of the democratic states that we live in or yearn to live in. If you think that any Armenian has no right to call himself an Armenian, then you do not have the first concept about what “right” means, which means you are useless to the Armenian nation, as we are freedom-loving people. If you think *we* (as in the Armenian people in general) “talk too much and act too little,” then you are a prejudiced self-hater who has such a low opinion of his own people. Armenians do much more than than they have to, in fact, we do not have to do anything. The Armenian nation is a voluntary organization, and anything that we do for the “cause” is a favor, not an obligation. And finally, talking is acting, as free-exchange of ideas generates good ideas, and we need new, fresh ideas. We certainly do not need self-proclaimed patriots smothering potential ideas by alienating their sources.

    • And by the way, my heart does not need to ache for me to be an Armenian. I exercise every morning and eat right to make sure that my heart does not ache.

    • There is no such a thing as god-given right to say and think “what we want”. The Bible is unmistakably clear about what God wants or does not want us to say and think. For instance, “you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain”, “thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”, “judge not lest you be judged”, “let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, that it may give grace to those who hear or I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak”, etc. Most constitutions of the democratic states, therefore, do not recognize certain limitations of what we can or cannot say or think found in the Bible. Besides, offensive speeches in democratic states are punishable. For instance, many constitutions punish speeches directed at violent overthrow of the government.

      The Armenian nation is not a “voluntary” organization. It is a community of people who share a common descent, history, ethnicity, culture, language, or a particular territory. Share per se, not in voluntary or involuntary fashion. Just share.

      The word “cause” must be capitalized and taken out of the quotes. Recognition of and retributions for the Armenian Genocide is our Cause. I personally am not doing anything for the Cause out of favor. I have an OBLIGATION to advance justice for my maternal relatives burnt alive by Turkish savages in Urfa. And I believe most Armenians consider it an obligation. Only people without kith or kin or covert mind-tilters can consider it “a favor”.

    • We free-minded Armenians believe that we have the god-given right to say what we want. We can exercise that right just by speaking up, and there is nothing you can do to stop us. That alone means that we have that right. When we can do something, and you cannot enforce your idea, your idea is useless, which automatically makes my idea right and yours wrong.

      God never told me the things that you are saying about the “Bible,” and no one has to take your version of the “Bible” as true. Without proof, what you say about the “Bible” is your opinion, which most likely is wrong.

      The U.S. constitution, which I believe is the best constitution and should be adopted by Armenia (as it has made the U.S. the longest lasting and most powerful republic in the world) places very minimal restrictions on speech. You can advocate violent overthrow of government in general (which is why the Communist Party of USA is legal) unless your speech is specifically directed to incite violence *and* is likely to result in an overthrow. The constitution of the U.S. (where thousands of Armenians yearn to live in) certainly does not limit my right to call myself whatever the hell I want to.

      Most Armenians may share common descent, but it’s not necessary to be an Armenian. Bagratunis, Arshakunis, and Hrant the African-Armenian singer did not descend from Armenians, and yet they were and are true Armenians. Any Armenian can consider himself part of the “shared community” of the “Armenian nation,” and any Armenian can stop considering himself as such. Again, you can disagree with them, but there is nothing you can do to change what they call themselves. That by definition makes our nation a voluntary organization.

      You can consider your actions as “obligation,” it is your choice, which by definition means that it is a favor. You are powerless to make other Armenians do what you believe they should do, which by definition makes their actions a favor. Mature, sophisticated Armenians understand this, only narrow-minded simpletons do not.

    • I have already proven—by bringing a few verses from indivisible and one-version Holy Bible that the right to say what we want is not “God”-given. There are certain limitations in one and only Bible for all of the Christianity regarding what God wants the believers to say. I am not saying anything about the Bible (no quotes), neither do I want to stop anyone from speaking up. I just brought a few verses that I believe should be self-explanatory in that there are certain limitations for the freedom of speech in God’s word. Therefore, to state that the right to say whatever we want is “god-given” is incorrect.

      Now, constitutions may guarantee freedom of speech, but, again, the question remains how they entertain the right in practice. And, no, no constitution of a third country can be automatically adopted by Armenia, even if it’s the best, because constitutions reflect on fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state is to be governed. Established precedents of the Armenian nation-state differ in many ways from those of the immigrant, 200+ years old, generally war- or genocide-unstricken, and ocean-washed United States of America.

      Since any nation is a shared community, this suggests that a nation is not a voluntary organization. Individuals, who may wish to stop considering themselves part of a nation, may of course do so, but this doesn’t make a nation on grander scale and in its entirety a “voluntary” organization. The prevailing majority of the Armenians do share common descent, history, ethnicity, culture, and language without giving it a second thought whether it’s voluntary or involuntary. They just share.

      No, obligation “by definition” does not mean that it is a favor. The definition of obligation reads as follows: “a course of action to which a person is morally bound; a duty or commitment.” I am in no position to impose, nor am I willing to do such foolish thing, on other Armenians to do what I believe they should do. I am just confronting the deficiencies of certain terms that were used in your post. Chill out.

    • Yes, a constitution can be automatically adopted. All you need is a word processor to copy it. And education of the local activists as to why the U.S. constitution is the best, a job that can be done perfectly well by Diasporans who are knowledgable in how a successful democratic state works. When the precedent principles of our statehood (i.e. feudal oligarchy) do not work, it’s time to adopt principles of other states that have produced successful states. Our precedent (i.e. feudal oligarchy that persists today) has driven our nation to near extinction. And thousands of Armenians are adopting the principles of U.S. statehood by moving there. if they can succeed under those principles, so can our folks in the homeland. In fact, they cannot wait for something new and successful, instead of the crap that has been offered to them so far. Plus, the Armenian state is a country of immigrants (from Western Armenia and other states), it is war-stricken, genocide stricken, and there is nothing in the U.S. constitution that says that it can only work in an “ocean-washed country.” Most importantly, our fundamental principles, that of love of freedom and intolerance of tyranny, match the principles underlying the U.S. constitution.

      I never said that an obligation per se is a favor. But when you choose an act as an obligation, it is still a favor because you chose it. Noone can make you do otherwise. Armenians may choose to struggle for the “cause,” but noone can force them to, and so by definition it becomes a favor to the nation, even if they themselves choose to call it an obligation.

      A shared community can be a voluntary organization if any member can choose to step in, step out, and do whatever he pleases with his membership. Since noone can force any individual Armenian to do or not do any of these things, then the Armenian nation by definition is a voluntary organization. True, most Armenians do not give a second thought about their membership in the nation, but they can, if they choose to, and that choice is what makes it voluntary. It’s a wonderful thing to be part of a voluntary organization, because the alternative, i.e. being forced to do certain things in the name of the nation, will only drive members away and weaken the nation, as many have correctly posted here.

    • “A constitution can be automatically adopted. All you need is a word processor to copy it.” What a simplistic, superficial and outrightly reckless statement! Copy-pasting a third country’s constitution without reflecting on fundamental principles, established precedents, and peculiarities of national character, traditions, and history according to which the recipient country is to be governed can hardly ever produce the desirable results.

      “The Armenian state is a country of immigrants (from Western Armenia and other states).” A dead wrong, ignorant, and unhistorical statement. The current Armenian state is, in the most part, the remnant of the Eastern part of historic Armenia, known in different historical periods as Persian Armenia, Russian Armenia, Democratic Republic of Armenia, or Soviet Armenia. Those who flooded Armenia during the Hamidian massacres and genocide from Western part of historic Armenia were not immigrants per se but coethnic, conational, congener Armenian refugees. Some have stayed in Armenia. Most dispersed to the four winds. How does this make Armenia an immigrant country, only you understand.

      Yes, there is nothing in the U.S. constitution that says that it can only work in an ocean-washed country. There shouldn’t be such a clause in the Constitution. But the Constitution REFLECTS on the geographical, geopolitical, historical, social, cultural, and behavioral realities, read: the established precedents, of a given nation. As such, they may vary from nation to nation, as they do.

      Obligation is not “still a favor” because one chooses it. It is a course of action to which a person is morally bound, his or her duty or commitment. Not choice. His or her moral duty or commitment. Should be self-explanatory.

      “A shared community can be a voluntary organization if any member can choose to step in, step out, and do whatever he pleases with his membership.” Individual members of any nation (i.e. shared community) can do whatever they please, but their individual actions do not change the millennia-long, established concept that a nation I its entirety is a shared community, not a voluntary organization.

  29. I understand your point, HB, regarding the struggle that it takes to be an Armenian in the world, but the struggle isn’t essential to being Armenian. The struggle may be a consequence of being Armenian, given today’s hostile environment and difficult economic conditions, but it isn’t what makes one Armenian. Being Armenian is being a descendant of the peoples of the Highlands who called themselves Hai.

    Too simplistic? Remember, when Turks sought to eliminate us they didn’t divide us into groups by virtue of who struggled more or less to maintain an Armenian identity or who was a stauncher nationalist. All it took to be sent off to the death marches was having Armenian parentage—even if you didn’t speak Armenian, which many didn’t after years of Turkish oppression. Should we now divide the descendants of the survivors and treat some among us as unwanted dead weight? I don’t think so. There are a myriad of reasons that Armenians differ in their Armenianism—dispersion around the world and falling victim to the pressures of assimilation, being one example. But all of them have a right to claim the heritage their ancestors had stolen from them.

    I look forward to a time when the joys of claiming Armenian heritage and participating in Armenian culture doesn’t evoke the anxiety about impending extinction that it does today. In the meantime, I am sure that helping deplete our numbers further by rejecting those who don’t measure up to some arbitrary standard of Armenianism will only turn us into museum relics that much quicker. And Talaat, Enver and Jemal will smile from their graves.

  30. avatar Sylva-MD-Poetry // October 4, 2013 at 12:08 pm // Reply

    I heard a recent story from a close Armenian friend in Gulf…two residents became friendly with each other both knowing the turkish language enjoyed each others’ conversation …the Turkish lady was a secretary in the Turkish embassy…married to an American guy…and had a baby girl named her Arsho (Arshalois)
    My friend kept telling that her daughter’s name is Armenian…she did not confirm…her mother came from Turkey and went to Macca for pilgrim…Haj…Later she decided to leave her job and join her American husband and settle there…before leaving her home to the airport…She told her Armenian friend that she was Armenian and her daughters name Arsho was her mother’s name before…So you can imagine how Armenians live in Turkey even living in the Gulf Arab states she was scared to say that she was Armenian she pronounced in the last minute before leaving to the airport …
    If there is god… He should help those unlucky Chained …freedom lost Armenians to have strong braveness to identify their ethnicity…Like the brave son of Hosana…who was proud to do and publish…her unlucky mother’s story…!!!

    Sylva

  31. avatar Mario Yazidjian // October 4, 2013 at 7:23 pm // Reply

    WHY?

  32. Vahagn,thank you for replying to the comments by Mr. Avedis (the devout Christian). I am sorry that there are many Armenians who still believe to “turn the other cheek ” when living among a savage and barbaric race. I am very angry that our ancestors (with priests as their leaders) used the cross for salvation instead of the gun to defend their family. Once upon a time we were a martial nation, what happened…Mr Avedis is following the teachings of the Bible… I recall a comment was made at a UN meeting by an Arab diplomat replying to a jewish claim that “God gave Palestinian lands to Israel”, his reply was ” since when God was in the real estate business”.

    • You don’t know anything about our history if you’re saying that “our ancestors (with priests as their leaders) used the cross for salvation instead of the gun to defend their family”. George V Soureniants (who was the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church) called all Armenians to fight on April 27th (3 days after the genocide started), he also issued an order to continuously ring all church bells as a way of calling all Armenians to fight during the Batlle of Sardarapad.

  33. Mario, there are too many “վայ” in Armenian which one you were pointing!!

  34. For some people I am a Turkish woman with ¨just an Armenian great-grandmother¨. Without ¨just¨ that Armenian great-grandma I´d not have existed. I honor her and her heritage. Who cares whether I am an atheist, christian, or just a big fan of Zeus while I´m ready to defend each innocent Armenian soul! I am ¨just¨ a woman who cannot tolerate injustice. Is this not enough to accept eachother and to unite based on our values?

    • Very touchy,my father and 4 other orphans were cared for by turkish mother very nice person she was god bless her soul,how can you dislike that,eventually her daughter married to an Armenian.

    • avatar Random Armenian // October 9, 2013 at 2:47 am //

      We are happy that you are identifying yourself as partly Armenian and believe in justice. It is hard to do that in Turkey. Thank you.

      Please do not listen to any closed-minded people. There are all kinds of Armenians, bad and good. So don’t let the bad ones discourage you. You know what you are no matter what anyone says.

      For me, you are Armenian.

  35. avatar Mario Yazidjian // October 5, 2013 at 10:13 am // Reply

    to gb ,please translate in english I do not how to read or write Armenian thanks

  36. Stepan, I still believe we are a martial nation (and a peaceful one at the same time). We achieved a spectacular victory during the NKR war, and in Sardarapat, and in 1720′s against the Ottomans under Davit Bek (not to mention reaching Berlin in 1945). The reason that we did not fight during and before the Genocide (as a nation as a whole) is not because we were Christians, but because our traditional leadership had been wiped out centuries before due to non-stopping invasions by Central-Asian nomads. As a result, the common folks were leaderless, and under the laws of sharia, they were not allowed to carry arms. That, and the stupidity of our newly formed leadership (not the entire nation), our political parties, who trusted the Young Turks, and relied on the hope for the Russian help.

    If Christianity has made other nations empires, it can work for us too. We do need to truly separate the church from the state to ensure that the church does not lose its credibility. But the salvation of the Armenian state is in democracy. Only the Armenian people can strengthen Armenia, and the Armenian people are not willing to live in an undemocratic state.

  37. avatar gaytzag palandjian // October 5, 2013 at 6:46 pm // Reply

    Let me put in my few lines too.Before narrating a real story about self and the org. I teamed up with in late 70¨s in Paris,named Groupement Profesionnel armenien(later Interprofesionel)on which i have been working to expand it further…anyhow.We were holding important meetigns as to organized the First of its kind Armenian World Congress,where some 380 people attended from near all of our community countries,eacdh delegate(we were called so as participants) holding 30 proxies from countries we hailed from.
    Regardless of what ensued and our subsequent TWO more Congresses, one in lausanne , in the same hall of the hotel Beau Rivage8where exactly 60 yrs ago-then-our delegates Aharonian and Boghos Noubar were not even admitted to the Conference..we negated said Conference in ´83 and declared it NIL,as we were in no condition to do that -rising from ashes… etc., then another at Sevres, upholding the Treaty of same as Legitimate…Anyhow.
    Here I shall not mention names but will try to show that Religion or ideology alike are below N A T I O N !!!
    The editor of an Armenian newspaper wrote.-and I quote who is this protestant Reverend(for we had elected him as our pres. then(other important personailites were there too, behind him9 for this Reverend could talk well and convincing and had some sort of ability to attract attn: Anyho, this editor mocked not only him but us all writing that ¨a Badveli (REv.) has come to save the Armenian nation….
    Whereas, this same editor If now I told that you err…becasue the main protagonist of the 40 Days of Moussa Dagh WAS ALSO A PROTESTANT REVEREND!!!!!!! this editor would probably get a stroke!!
    You see, Religion, or Religious denominations do not count when we stand a a NATION!!!! NOR DO POLITICAL PARTIES FOR THAT MATTER!!!
    aT THE BATTLE OF SARDARABAD/aBARAN…DID YOU KNOW THAT -THEN A YOUNG COMMUNIST-BAGRAMIAN, later Marshall Bagramian also fought????
    Thence, we must think as being part/member of a Nation,not being a Christian or like someone wrote hemshentsi Moslem armenian.Turkish agents amongst us(with perfect dominance of our language have swon the seeds of discord saying this is Tashnag the other A communist etc and that Armenians will never UNITE-.WE don´t need to unite we need to co operate Maipanil. We are all Armenians.Forget about distinctions such as above.First and Foremost think of having a NATION STATE NOW!!! ruled even if not to our lking but we must keep to it.Govt.s and leaders come a dn go the NATION AND STATE AND COUNTRY MUST BE GUARDED safeguarded.All other differences are of no significance compared as to above.First we ARe armenians , then pertainign to this that political current-party and or denominations and even yes a Mislamized aRmenian that is coming back to us!!! we must embrace them with open arms!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11
    We need

  38. H.B.: ” George V Soureniants (who was the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church) called all Armenians to fight on April 27th (3 days after the genocide started….”

    Don’t you think it is too late to call on Armenians to fight three days after the genocide started? It takes a lot of leadership and preparation to be prepared to fight and defend yourself, family and community. How do you want the people to fight without arms, some training and strategy? Let us admit it, the people were totally unprepared in spite of previous mass murders. The Ottoman government controlled the non-islam population of the empire by dividing them into “millets” and assigning the leadership of the millets to the clergy, knowing full well that the clergy will not pause any problems to them by keeping their flock as sheep.

  39. avatar gaytzag palandjian // October 7, 2013 at 10:40 pm // Reply

    H.B.
    Those days are bygones.Few can be considered as sheep, believe you me.Probably as yet not well organized but soon will be-Armenians of today,the TRUE Armenians not those disguized ones KNOW FULL WELL THAT .They are well armed in Artsakh and RA and in case of need the Whole of Diaspora(or those capable of fighting) will join up to defend their nation/state.No more Raya Ermenis.Oh those in istanbulla(the ones subordinate to fascist govt. there)Well, the world is also is there to witness if again Toikish wrath lets itself loose upon them.This time over ,the East and Wesst may come to theior senses and know with what Demon they have sided so far…
    Good neighbours do exist around Armenia too!!!

  40. this proves that no matter how long and what horrible methods the turks used to deny the Armenians in turkey their identity, human beings want to know who they are and where they came from, we are connected to those poor souls that were left behind and forced to convert, the truth can never be covered up, i am very proud of these brave people that are trying justly to reclaim their Armenian heritage, this is just the beginning, they will surely ask for justice and they will get it.these people are our brothers and sisters we will find a way to bring them to the fold.

  41. To Ararat,

    no, christianity does not identify me and I am armenian.

    Armenian and Christianity have a history together but does not identify the Armenian individual.

    Sincerely,

    Atheist Armenian

  42. avatar Sylva-MD-Poetry // November 16, 2013 at 12:26 am // Reply

    We repeat word god like parrots…
    I don’t know where was god when
    they slayed 1.5 million honest artful Armenians …
    still they do no escape…

    There was a secret in Hosan’s Heart
    A secret which burned her astrocytes…
    She could no longer tolerate to keep that secret
    till she told to her youngest son…
    I am Armenian…I am Armenian…
    She never said I am Muslim Armenian…
    She said I am Armenian…
    She kept a cross in her heart
    Taking with her to the grave…

  43. the whole scenario reminds me of Vartan Mamigonian’s return from Persia accepting their deal(of course if you trust the history written by priests)and become zradasht to spare their life not to be killed until they arrived homeland to fight back and of course loosing the battle of Avarayr but winning (paroyagan haghtanag)and keeping our Christianity in tact “first Christianity on earth as a nation”,that we are using this motto,do you see any similarity….

  44. avatar Sandra Vartanian // December 18, 2013 at 10:30 pm // Reply

    I have read several books about the Armenian Culture. The mistreatment of the Armenian People was terrible. Every time I read a new book, I learn something different. I can understand why this Women did not reveal her past to her Family.

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