Blog Archives

A Turk, a Kurd, and an Armenian Walk into a Church

A Turk, a Kurd, and an Armenian Walk into a Church

We park the car near Lake Van and start our long hike towards the side of a hill where the ruins of a medieval Armenian monastery await us. It is a long hike over uneven surfaces thoroughly sprinkled with dry manure. We had met the culprits earlier, near the lake—a large herd of sheep that […]

Looters or Landlords?

Since Fatih Sultan Mohammed occupied Constantinople in 1453, the Ottoman rulers have been destroying and desecrating churches, castles, architectural monuments of Hittites, Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks and other nationalities who had been the indigenous people of Asia Minor, occupied and ruled through blood and sword. Now, all of a sudden, the destroyers of all these cultures […]

A Flower or an Oak Tree? A Response to Nanore Barsoumian

A Flower or an Oak Tree? A Response to Nanore Barsoumian

For the past few weeks, we have been reading the unbelievably emotional and informative revelations of Nanore Barsoumian, Weekly assistant editor, and Khatchig Mouradian, Weekly editor, in their travels in eastern Turkey, where they searched for traces of a three-thousand-year-old Armenian presence in the region that suddenly disappeared in 1915. In one of the articles, […]

Where Do We Go from Here? Notes from a ‘Tourist’ in Diyarbakir

The Turkish version of the following article appeared in the July 20, 2012 issue of Ozgur Haber, a daily newspaper published in Diyarbakir/Dikranagerd. I sit in my room, in Diyarbakir’s old Deliller Kervansaray. I draw the curtains shut, and lay down on my belly. I am content in my temporary seclusion, hidden from the bustling […]

Home at Last: An AYFer Visits Historic Armenia

Home at Last: An AYFer Visits Historic Armenia

When I was asked to accompany my father on a trip to Turkey, I was struck with conflicting feelings: Should I visit a place that was responsible for the massacres of my family, as well as many other Armenian families? Should I spend money in a place that took money and valuables from the people […]

Keghi Interrupted: Treasuring Moments in Manure

Keghi Interrupted: Treasuring Moments in Manure

  I took each step with caution, placing one foot in front of the other with the precision of a tightrope dancer. I carefully traced the edge of the crumbling wall, where the earth was dry. Just a few inches to my right was the stew of mud, manure, and urine that carpeted the interior […]

Scribbles in a Hand

Scribbles in a Hand

“From the day we opened our eyes, a church stood here. They kept tearing down its walls and taking away the stones until almost nothing remained,” an old woman tells me, as she walks past the ruins of the Armenian church in Keserig (Kesrik). We are in historic Armenia visiting the ruins of churches and […]

Ghosts and a Sole Survivor: A visit to a former Armenian district in Turkey

Reminding of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, abundant vegetation hangs like emerald bracelets in the stretching districts of Kayseri (Caesarea) in central Anatolia (modern Turkey). In such a district, Talas, lives the sole Armenian resident of Kayseri, 55-year-old Sargis Tekian. “Three generations of our family have lived in this house. I have never concealed my […]

Malatya: Post-Armenian life in modern Turkey’s once Armenian city

Armenian brothers Arman and Murad, who live in Turkey’s southeastern city of Malatya, open the doors of the 250-year-old Armenian Holy Trinity (Tashhoron) Church in the city’s Cavusoglu district and invite in the group of visiting Armenian and Turkish journalists. The church that once saw liturgies and was filled with the fragrance of incense now […]

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