Armenians in Turkey

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Armenians in Turkey
Türkiye Ermenileri
Kigork Berç Keresteciyan (Türker).jpg
Hrant Dink.jpg
Ara Guler.JPG
Arto Tuncboyaciyan.jpg
HaykoCepkin1.jpg
Alen Markaryan.JPG
Total population
50,000—70,000[1]
(excluding Crypto-Armenians and the Hamshin)
Regions with significant populations
İstanbul, Hatay
Languages
Turkish (majority), Armenian (minority)[2][3]
Religion
Predominantely Armenian Apostolic with Armenian Catholic and Armenian Evangelical minorities.
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Armenians in Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye Ermenileri; Armenian: Թուրքահայեր, also Թրքահայեր, "Turkish Armenians"), one of the indigenous peoples of Turkey, have an estimated population of 40,000 to 70,000.[4][5] Today, the overwhelming majority of Turkish Armenians are concentrated in Istanbul. They support their own newspapers and schools. The majority belong to the Armenian Apostolic faith.

Until the Armenian Genocide of 1915, most of the Armenian population of Turkey (then the Ottoman Empire) lived in the eastern parts of the country that Armenians call Western Armenia (roughly corresponding to the modern Eastern Anatolia Region).[citation needed]

History[edit]

Armenians presently living in Turkey are a remnant of what once was a much larger community that existed for hundreds of years, long before the establishment of the Sultanate of Rum. Estimates for the number of Armenian citizens of the Ottoman Empire in the decade before World War I range between 1.3 to 2 million.

When Constantinople finally became a part of Ottoman Empire, financial support was given to Orthodox Armenians by the Sultan, so they could build their churches on the land of the Empire. Many of the Armenian churches in Anatolia and Istanbul were built in 1453 or after, reflecting tolerance of the Ottoman Empire to other ethnic groups and various religions living under their control during that time.

Starting in the late 19th century, political instability, dire economic conditions, and continuing ethnic tensions prompted the emigration of as many as 100,000 Armenians to Europe, the Americas and the Middle East. This massive exodus created the modern Armenian diaspora worldwide based on mainly Ottoman Armenian populations emigrating in large numbers. Some additional emigration from the Caucasus was more toward Russia.

There was conflict between Armenians and Turks between 1892 and 1915. The Armenian Genocide[6] followed in 1915–1916 until 1918, during which the Ottoman government of the time ordered the deportation and killing of 0.9 to 1.2 million Armenians because of alleged political and security considerations. These measures affected a huge majority of Armenians, an estimated 75%-80% of all the Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Many died directly through Ottoman massacres, while others died as a result of mass deportations and forced population movements, and more through Kurdish militia attacks.

As for the remaining Armenians in the Eastern parts of the country, they found refuge by 1917–1918 in the Caucasus and eventually within the areas controlled by the newly established Democratic Republic of Armenia. They never returned to their original homes in Eastern Turkey (composed of the six vilayets, namely (Erzurum, Van, Bitlis, Diyarbekir, Mamuretülaziz, and Sivas).

An estimated 300,000 Armenians were adopted by Turks and Kurds or married into Muslim populations in a process of Turkification and Kurdification to avoid facing a similar fate.[7][8]

Most of the Armenian survivors ended up in northern Syria and the Middle East in general. Some temporarily returned to their homes in Turkey at the end of World War I, particularly during the French Mandate, as a result of France being allocated the control of southeastern Turkey and all of Cilicia according to the Sykes–Picot Agreement. The Armenian population suffered a final blow with ongoing massacres and atrocities throughout the period 1920–1923, during the Turkish War of Independence. Those suffering the most were the remnants of the Armenians remaining in the East and the South of the country, in addition to the Greeks in the Black Sea Region.[citation needed]

By the end of the 1920s, only a handful of Armenians were left in Turkey scattered sparsely throughout the country, with the only viable Armenian population remaining in Istanbul and its environs.[citation needed]

Demographics[edit]

The present Armenian population is estimated between 40,000 and 70,000 mostly living in Istanbul and the environs. Even the small number of actual Turkish Armenians living in Turkey is diminishing further due to emigration to Europe, Americas and Australia.

The community is recognized as a separate "millet" in the Turkish system and has its own religious, cultural, social and educational institutions and its distinct media. The Turkish Armenian community struggles to keep its own institutions and schools open and media running, against diminishing demand due to emigration and quite considerable economic sacrifices.

The Turkish Armenian community is divided into a majority Apostolic Orthodox Armenians belonging to the Armenian Apostolic Church, with a small minority belonging to the Armenian Catholic Church and the Armenian Evangelical Church.

Istanbul[edit]

Main article: Armenians in Istanbul

Vakıflı Köyü, Samandağ, an Armenian village in Turkey[edit]

Main article: Vakıflı, Samandağ

Vakıflı Köyü (Armenian: ՎաքիֆVakif) is the only remaining ethnic Armenian village in Turkey.[9][10] Located on the slopes of Musa Dagh in the Samandağ district of Hatay Province, the village overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and is within eyesight of the Syrian border. It is home to a community of about 130 Turkish-Armenians.[10]

Hemshins of Armenian origin[edit]

Main article: Hemshin peoples

The Hemshin Peoples are a number of diverse groups of people who in the past or present have been affiliated with the Hemşin area,[11][12][13] which is in Turkey's eastern Black Sea region.

They are called Hemshinli (Turkish: Hemşinli), Hamshenis, Homshentsi (Armenian: Համշենի) meaning resident of Hemshin (historically Hamshen) in the relevant language.[14] The term "The Hemshin" is used also in some publications to refer to Hemshinli.[15][16]

The area was annexed by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century and during the Ottoman period, there was a process of migrations and Islamization.[17] The details and the accompanying circumstances for the migrations and the Islamization process during the Ottoman era are not clearly known and documented.[18]

Most sources agree however that prior to Ottoman era, the great majority of the residents of Hemshin were mainly ethnic Armenians and members of the Armenian Apostolic Church and practiced Christianity. They also kept a lot of the elements of Armenian ethnicity in their traditions and local language to this day.

As a result of those developments, distinctive communities with the same generic name have also appeared in the vicinity of Hopa, Turkey as well as in the Caucasus. Those three communities are almost oblivious to one another's existence.[19]

Within Turkey, are found the Hemshinli of Hemshin proper (also designated occasionally as western Hemshinli in publications) are Turkish-speaking Sunni Muslims who mostly live in the counties (ilçe) of Çamlihemşin and Hemşin in Turkey's Rize Province.

Also in Turkey are the Hopa Hemshinli (also designated occasionally as eastern Hemshinli in publications) are Sunni Muslims and mostly live in the Hopa and Borçka counties of Turkey's Artvin Province. In addition to Turkish, they speak a dialect of western Armenian they call "Homshetsma" or "Hemşince" in Turkish.[20]

Dersim Armenians[edit]

The Armenians of Dersim Armenian: Դերսիմահայերի - Dersimahayeri - Turkish: Dersim Ermenileri ) have been Islamified Armenians who continue to live in the Tunceli Province of Turkey.[21][22] Many of the Armenians in Dersim were saved by their Kurdish neighbors during the Armenian Genocide.[23] According to Mihran Prgiç Gültekin, founder of the "Union of Dersim Armenians", 75% of the population of rural Dersim are ethnic Armenians.[22][24] He reported that over 200 families have announced their Armenian descent in Dersim, but many more are afraid to do so.[22][25] According to Gultekin, "80 people joined the Union of Dersim Armenians over the past 3 months".[26]

Crypto Armenians[edit]

Main article: Crypto-Armenians

Illegal immigration from Armenia[edit]

Armenian presence in Turkey is reinforced by a constant flow of illegal immigrants from Armenia who settle in Turkey in search of better job opportunities. Despite a negative public opinion in Armenia of "an Armenian who works for a Turk" as a result of the century-long uneasy relationship between the two countries, by 2010, there were between 22,000 and 25,000 Armenian citizens living illegally in Istanbul alone, according to Turkish officials.[27] Many of them are employed in Turkish households to provide domestic services, such as cooking and cleaning.[28] According to a 2009 interview poll of 150 Armenian work migrants, the majority are women.[27] In 2010, amid Armenia's push for the recognition of the 1915 events as genocide, Prime Minister Erdoğan threatened to deport the illegal immigrants back to Armenia,[29] however the situation gradually thawed. Some Armenian immigrants do not discuss ever returning to their homeland having adapted to life in Turkey.[27] Beginning in 2011, children of the Armenian citizens living illegally in Istanbul have been allowed to attend local Armenian minority schools, but as they are not Turkish citizens, they do not receive diplomas at the end of the school term.[30][31]

Politics[edit]

The traditional Armenian political parties were known to be very active in Armenian-Turkish political life from the 1890s to 1915 at least) and this included the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF - Dashnagtsutiun), the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party (Hunchak) and the Armenakan Party, the predecessor of the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party (Ramgavar Party). But the activities of all these Armenian parties were curtailed after 1915.[citation needed] and these parties remain de facto prohibited parties in Turkey.[citation needed]

Some point to the fact that in the early 1920s, there were a number of Armenians in Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's movement, even actively aiding him in his Turkish National Movement and supporting his Kemalist ideology and secular movement. The Armenians perceived in the secular state established by Atatürk a way of survival for the remnants of Armenians still in Turkey.[citation needed]

The wealth tax known as Varlık Vergisi, a Turkish tax levied on the wealthy citizens of Turkey by a law enacted on November 11, 1942, with the stated aim of raising funds for the country's defense in case of an eventual entry into World War II had devastating effect on the ethnic minorities of Turkey, and most importantly the Armenian community.[32][33] The draconian law came under harsh criticism, as property holders had to sell a lot of their assets at greatly deflated prices or such assets were confiscated by the authorities. The unpopular law was abolished on March 15, 1944.

The Armenians of Turkey were also highly critical of the activist role that the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA), the Justice Commandos Against Armenian Genocide (JCAG), Armenian Revolutionary Army (ARA) and other Armenian guerrilla organizations played in targeting Turkish diplomats and interests worldwide at the height of their anti-Turkish campaign in the 1970s and 1980s. The fears of the Turkish Armenians were justified with the fact that at many times, Turkish-Armenian institutions and even religious centers were targeted by threats and actual bombings in retaliation of the acts of ASALA, JCAG, ARA and others.

The Turkish-Armenian Artin Penik committed suicide in 1982 by self-immolation in protest of the terrorist attack on 7 August 1982 in Ankara's Esenboğa International Airport[34] by the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia. Penik died five days after he set himself on fire in Taksim plaza, the main square of Istanbul, Turkey, and his stance was reflected by the Turkish mass media as a protest of most Turkish-Armenians against such attacks. Nine people had been killed and more than 70 wounded in the attack on the Turkish airport.

Another turbulent point for the Armenian community of Turkey was the highly publicized public trial of the Armenian gunman and one of the perpetrators of the attack, the 25-years old Levon Ekmekjian, who was found guilty and eventually hanged at Ankara's civilian prison on January 30, 1983. He had been sentenced to death in September 1982 after having confessed that he had carried out the airport attack with another gunman on behalf of ASALA, and despite the fact that he publicly condemned violent acts during his own trial and appealed to the Armenian militants to stop the violence.

The Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC)[35] was set up in July 2001 a joint project of a number of Turkish and Armenian intellectuals and political experts to discuss various aspects of the Turkish-Armenian relations and approving a set of recommendations to the governments of Turkey and Armenia on how to improve the strained relations between the two countries.

Thousands of Turks joined Turkish intellectuals in publicly apologizing for the World War I era mass killings and deportations of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. The unprecedented apology was initiated by a group of 200 Turkish academics, journalists, writers and artists disagreeing with the official Turkish version of what many historians consider the first genocide of the 20th century. Their petition, entitled “I apologize”, was posted on a special website http://www.ozurdiliyoruz.com/.

On the occasion of a World Cup qualifying match between the two national football teams of Turkey and Armenia in the Armenian capital Yerevan, and following the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan's invitation to attend the match, on 6 September 2008, the Turkish President Abdullah Gül paid a breakthrough landmark visit to Armenia that he said "promises hope for the future" for the two countries.[36] The Armenian president Sargsyan will reciprocate the visit to Turkey during 2009.[37]

Local politics[edit]

The Armenians in Turkey used to be active in Turkish politics. The Turkish-Armenian Sarkis ”Aghparik” Cherkezian and Aram Pehlivanyan (Nickname: Ahmet Saydan) played a pivotal role in the founding of the Turkish Communist Party. There used to be Armenian activists in many other Turkish political parties as well. However no Armenian has been elected as Member of Parliament to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey since 1960.

Hrant Dink, the Turkish-Armenian journalist, writer and political activist, and the chief editor and publisher of Agos had carved himself a position of that of a very prominent figure for conveying the ideas and aspirations of the Armenian community in Turkey not only for Turkish-Armenians but for many Armenians worldwide. His newspaper Agos had played an important role in presenting Armenian historical grievances through publishing of articles and opinions in the Turkish language addressed to the Turkish public opinion. His assassination[38] in front of his newspaper offices on January 19, 2007 turned into an occasion for expression of national grief throughout Turkey and the rallying of great support for the concerns of the Armenian community in Turkey by the general Turkish public.

Protests in Istanbul during the funeral of murdered journalist Hrant Dink where more than 100,000 people marched.[39] Protesters hold banners saying "We are all Hrant, we are all Armenians". (panorama from Halaskargazi Boulevard in Şişli district)

Dink was best known for advocating Turkish-Armenian reconciliation and human and minority rights in Turkey; he was often critical of both Turkey's denial of the Armenian Genocide, and of the Armenian diaspora's campaign for its international recognition. Dink was prosecuted three times for denigrating Turkishness, while receiving numerous death threats from Turkish nationalists. At his funeral, one hundred thousand mourners marched in protest of the assassination, chanting "We are all Armenians" and "We are all Hrant Dink". Criticism of Article 301 became increasingly vocal after his death, leading to parliamentary proposals for repeal of the law.

Religion[edit]

Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Kilisesi (St. Gregory The Enlightener Church) in Kuzguncuk, Üsküdar, Istanbul.
Assumption Armenian Catholic Church in Büyükada, Adalar, Istanbul.

Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople[edit]

The Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul (officially Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople) is, since 1461, the religious head of the Armenian community in Turkey. The Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople has exerted a very significant political role earlier and today still exercises a spiritual authority, which earns it considerable respect among Orthodox churches. The Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople recognizes the primacy of the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, in the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the Armenian Church, the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Vagharshapat, Republic of Armenia, in matters that pertain to the worldwide Armenian Church. In local matters, the Patriarchal See is autonomous.

Archbishop Patriarch Mesrob II Mutafyan of Constantinople is the 84th Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople under the authority of the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.

Armenian Catholic Archdiocese of Constantinople[edit]

The Armenian Catholic Archdiocese of Constantinople is based in Istanbul and in 2008 reported 3,650 followers.

Christmas date, etiquette and customs[edit]

Armenians celebrate Christmas at a date later than most of the Christians, on 6 January rather than 25 December. The reason for this is historical; according to Armenians, Christians once celebrated Christmas on 6 January, until the 4th century. 25 December was originally a pagan holiday that celebrated the birth of the sun. Many members of the church continued to celebrate both holidays, and the Roman church changed the date of Christmas to be 25 December and declared January 6 to be the date when the three wise men visited the baby Jesus. As the Armenian Apostolic Church had already separated from the Roman church at that time, the date of Christmas remained unchanged for Armenians.[40]

The Armenians in Turkey refer to Christmas as Surp Dzınunt (Holy Birth) and have fifty days of preparation called Hisnag before Christmas. The first, fourth and seventh weeks of Hisnag are periods of vegetarian fast for church members and every Saturday at sunset a new purple candle is lit with prayers and hymns. On the second day of Christmas, 7 January, families visit graves of relatives and say prayers.[41]

Armenian Churches in Turkey[edit]

Turkey has hundreds of Armenian churches, the majority of which are either in ruins or are being used for other purposes. Armenian churches still in active use belonging to various denominations, mainly Armenian Apostolic, but also Armenian Catholic and Armenian Evangelical Protestant.[42]

Education[edit]

Turkey’s Armenian community faces educational problems due to the steadily decreasing number of students every school year and lack of funding. The number of Armenian schools decreases year by year. This number has fallen from 47 to 17 today with currently 3,000 Armenian students, down from 6,000 Armenian students in 1981.[2] Schools are kindergarten through 12th grade (K–12), kindergarten through 8th grade (K-8) or 9th grade through 12th (9–12). Ermeni İlköğretim Okulu means "Armenian primary+secondary school". Ermeni Lisesi means "Armenian high school". The Armenian schools apply the full Turkish curriculum in addition to Armenian subjects, mainly Armenian language, literature and religion.

In September 2011, the Turkish government recognized the right of immigrant families from Armenia to send their children to schools of the Turkey's Armenian community. This move came as a result of lobbying of Deputy Patriarch Aram Ateşyan, according to whom there were some 1,000 children of Armenian immigrants in Turkey at that time.[43] However, as they are not Turkish citizens, at the end of the school term, they do not receive diplomas.[44]

K-8
9–12
K–12

Health[edit]

Turkish Armenians also have their own long-running hospitals:

Language[edit]

Only a small percentage of Turkish Armenians speak Armenian, and are bilingual and use either or both Armenian (The Western Armenian dialect) and Turkish languages as a mother language, and Turkish in their daily lives. The vast majority of Turkish Armenians speak only Turkish as a mother language.[2]

Western Armenian[edit]

Main article: Western Armenian

Western Armenian (Armenian: Արեւմտահայերէն pronounced Arevmedahayeren, Armenian: Արեւմտեան աշխարհաբար pronounced Arevmedyan Ashkharhapar, (and earlier known as Armenian: «Թրքահայերէն», namely "Trkahayeren" (Turkish-Armenian)) is one of the two modern dialects of the modern Armenian, an Indo-European language.

The Western Armenian dialect was developed in the early part of the 19th century, based on the Armenian dialect of the Armenians in Istanbul, to replace many of the Armenian dialects spoken throughout Turkey.

It was widely adopted in literary Armenian writing and in Armenian media published in the Ottoman Empire as well as large parts of the Armenian Diaspora and in modern Turkey.

Partly because of this, Istanbul veritably became the cultural and literary center of the Western Armenians in the 19th and early 20th century.

Western Armenian is spoken by the Armenian diaspora, mainly in North America and South America, Europe and most of the Middle East except for Iran, where the Armenian population because of proximity to Armenia uses Eastern Armenian, while keeping the traditional Mashdotsian spelling. Adoption of Western Armenian is also mainly due to the fact that great majority of the Armenian diaspora in all these areas (Europe, Americas, Middle East) was formed in the 19th and early 20th century through Armenian populations emanating from the Ottoman Empire.

The Western Armenian language is markedly different in grammar, pronunciation and spelling from the Eastern Armenian language spoken in Armenia, Iran and Russia although they are both mutually intelligible. Western Armenian in marked difference also still keeps the classical Traditional Armenian orthography known as Mashdotsian Spelling, whereas Eastern Armenian language adopted reformed spelling in the 1920s.

The Western Armenian language is still spoken by a small minority of the present-day Armenian community in Turkey. Only 18 percent of the Armenian community speaks Western Armenian, while 82 percent of the Armenian community speaks Turkish. This percentage is even lower among younger people of whom only 8 percent speaks Western Armenian and 92 percent speaks Turkish.[2] Turkish is replacing Western Armenian as a mother language, and UNESCO has added Western Armenian in its annual "Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger" where the Western Armenian language in Turkey is defined as a definitely endangered language.[3][45]

Armeno-Turkish (Turkish in Armenian alphabet)[edit]

From the early 18th century until around 1950, and for almost 250 years, more than 2000 books were printed in the Turkish language using letters of the Armenian alphabet. This is popularly known as Armeno-Turkish.

Armeno-Turkish was not used just by Armenians, but also many non-Armenian elite (including the Ottoman Turkish intellectuals) could actually read the Armenian-alphabet Turkish language texts.

The Armenian alphabet was also used alongside the Arabic alphabet on official documents of the Ottoman Empire, written in Ottoman Turkish. For example, the Aleppo edition of the official gazette of the Ottoman Empire, called "Frat" (Turkish and Arabic for the Euphrates) contained a Turkish section of laws printed in Armenian alphabet.

Also very notably, the first novel to be written in the Ottoman Empire was 1851's Akabi Hikayesi, written by Armenian statesman, journalist and novelist Vartan Pasha (Hovsep Vartanian) in Ottoman Turkish, was published with Armenian script. "Akabi Hikayesi depicted an impossible love story between two young people coming from two different communities amidst hostility and adversity.

When the Armenian Düzoğlu family managed the Ottoman mint during the reign of Abdülmecid I, they kept their records in Ottoman Turkish written in Armenian script.[46]

Great collection of Armeno-Turkish could be found in Christian Armenian worship until the late 1950s. The Bible used by many Armenians in the Ottoman Empire was not only the Bible versions printed in Armenian, but also at times the translated Turkish language Bibles using the Armenian alphabet. Usage continued in Armenian church gatherings specially for those who were Turkophones rather than Armenophones. Many of the Christian spiritual songs used in certain Armenian churches were also in Armeno-Turkish.

Armenians and the Turkish language[edit]

The Armenian school in Kumkapi, Istanbul (next to the Surp Asdvadzadzin Patriarchal Church)

Armenians played a key role in the promotion of the Turkish language including the reforms of the Turkish language initiated by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Bedros Keresteciyan, the Ottoman linguist completed the first etymological dictionary of Turkish. Armenians contributed considerably to the development of printing in Turkey: Tokatlı Apkar Tıbir started a printing house in Istanbul in 1567, the historian Eremia Çelebi, Merzifonlu Krikor, Sivaslı Parseh, Hagop Brothers, Haçik Kevorkyan Abraham from Thrace, Eğinli Bogos Arabian, Hovannes Muhendisian, Rephael Kazancian were among many. Bogos Arabian issued the first Turkish daily newspaper, Takvim-i Vekayi and its translation in Armenian. Hovannes Muhendisian is known as the "Turkish Gutenberg". Haçik Kevorkyan updated the Ottoman Turkish alphabet. Yervant Mısırlıyan developed and implemented publishing books in installments for the first time in the Ottoman Empire. Kasap Efendi, published the first Comic magazine Diyojen in 1870.[citation needed]

Agop Martayan Dilaçar (1895–1979) was a Turkish Armenian linguist who had great contribution to the reform of Turkish language. He specialized in Turkic languages and was the first Secretary General and head specialist of the Turkish Language Association (TLA) from its establishment in 1932 until 1979. In addition to Armenian and Turkish, Martayan knew English, Greek, Spanish, Latin, German, Russian and Bulgarian. He was invited on September 22, 1932, as a linguistics specialist to the First Turkish Language Congress supervised by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Istepan Gurdikyan (1865–1948), linguist, Turcologist, educator and academic and Kevork Şimkeşyan both ethnic Armenians were also prominent speakers at the first Turkish Language Conference. Agop Martayan Dilaçar continued his work and research on the Turkish language as the head specialist and Secretary General of the newly founded Turkish Language Association in Ankara. Atatürk suggested him the surname Dilaçar (literally meaning language opener), which he accepted. He taught history and language at Ankara University between 1936 and 1951 and was the head advisor of the Türk Ansiklopedisi (Turkish Encyclopedia), between 1942 and 1960. He held his position and continued his research in linguistics at the Turkish Language Association until his death in 1979.

Culture[edit]

Armenians try to keep a rich cultural life and do participate in the Turkish art scene.

Music[edit]

The pan-Turkish Kardeş Türküler cultural and musical formation, in addition to performing a rich selection of Turkish, Kurdish, Georgian, Arabic and gypsy musical numbers, also includes a number of beautiful interpretation of Armenian traditional music in its repertoire. It gave sold-out concerts in Armenia as part of the Turkish-Armenian Cultural Program, which was made possible with support from USAID.

The "Sayat-Nova” choir was founded in 1971 under the sponsorship of the St. Children’s Church of Istanbul performs traditional Armenian songs and studies and interprets Armenian folk music.

In classical opera music and theatre, Toto Karaca was a major figure on the stage. In the folk tradition, the effect of Udi Hrant Kenkulian as a legendary oud player is indisputable.

In contemporary music, Arto Tunçboyacıyan and his brother the late Onno Tunç are two veritable jazz musicians, composers and arrangers. The Turkish rock artist Yaşar Kurt declared he was of ethnic Armenian descent. Another famous Armenian rock musician is Hayko Cepkin. Hayko Tataryan is also well known for singing in Turkish and Armenian, so is his son Alex Tataryan. Very recently the Turkish-Armenian singer Sibil Pektorosoğlu (better known by her mononym Sibil) has become popular winning pan-Armenian music prizes for her recordings.

Cinema and Acting[edit]

In movie acting, special mention should be made of Vahi Öz who appeared in countless movies from the 1940s until the late 1960s, Sami Hazinses (real name Samuel Agop Uluçyan) who appeared in tens of Turkish movies from the 1950s until the 1990s and Nubar Terziyan who appeared in more than 400 movies.Movie actor and director Kenan Pars (real name Kirkor Cezveciyan) and theatre and film actress Irma Felekyan (aka Toto Karaca).

Photography[edit]

In photography Ara Güler is a famous photojournalist of Armenian descent, nicknamed "the Eye of Istanbul" or "the Photographer of Istanbul".

Literature[edit]

Turkish Armenian novelists, poets, essayists and literary critics continue to play a very important role particularly in the literary scene of the Armenian diaspora, with works of quality in Western Armenian.

Robert Haddedjian chief editor of Marmara newspaper published in Istanbul remains a pivotal figure in the literary criticism scene. Zareh Yaldizciyan (1923–2007), better known by his pen name Zahrad was a renowned Western Armenian poet.

Media[edit]

Istanbul was home to a number of long-running and influential Armenian publications. Very notable now-defunct daily newspapers included Arevelk (1884–1915), Puzantyon (1896–1908), Sourhantag (1899–1908), Manzoume Efkyar (1912–1917), Vertchin Lour (1914–1924). Outside Istanbul, the notable daily publications included Arshalouys (1909–1914), Tashink (1909–1914) and Van (1908–1909).

Presently, Istanbul has two Armenian language dailies. These two newspapers, Jamanag (established in 1908) and Marmara also have a long tradition of keeping alive the Turkish Armenian literature, which is an integral part of the Western Armenian language and Armenian literature.

  • Jamanag (Ժամանակ in Armenian meaning time) is a long-running Armenian language daily newspaper published in Istanbul, Turkey. The daily was established in 1908 by Misak Kochounian and has been somewhat a family establishment, given that it has been owned by the Kochounian family since its inception. After Misak Kochounian, it was passed down to Sarkis Kochounian, and since 1992 is edited by Ara Kochounian.
  • Marmara, [6] daily in Armenian (Armenian: Մարմարա) (sometimes "Nor Marmara" - New Marmara) is an Armenian-language daily newspaper published since 1940 in Istanbul, Turkey. It was established by Armenian journalist Souren Shamlian. Robert Haddeler took over the paper in 1967. Marmara is published six times a week (except on Sundays). The Friday edition contains a section in Turkish as well. Circulation is reported at 2000 per issue.
  • Agos, [7] (Armenian: Ակօս, "Furrow") is a bilingual Armenian weekly newspaper published in Istanbul in Turkish and Armenian. It was established on 5 April 1996. Today, it has a circulation of around 5,000. Besides Armenian and Turkish pages, the newspaper has an on-line English edition too. Hrant Dink was its chief editor from the newspaper's start until his assassination outside of the newspaper's offices in Istanbul in January 2007. Hrant Dink's son Arat Dink served as the executive editor of the weekly after his assassination.
  • Lraber, [8] (Լրաբեր in Armenian) is a trilingual periodical publication in Armenian, Turkish and English languages and is the official organ of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople

Other Armenian media titles include: Sourp Pergiç (St. Saviour) the magazine of the Armenian Sourp Pergiç (Pergitch) Hospital, also Kulis, Shoghagat, Norsan and the humorous Jbid (smile in Armenian)

In September 2011, the Turkish government granted some financing to Jamanak, Marmara and Agos as part of a wider campaign in support of existing minority newspapers in Turkey.[47] The Turkish Press Advertisement Agency also declared intention to publish official government advertisements in minority newspapers including Armenian ones.[48]

Famous Turkish-Armenians[edit]

Turkish Armenians in the Diaspora[edit]

Despite leaving their homes in Turkey, the Turkish Armenians traditionally establish their own unions within the Armenian Diaspora. Usually named "Bolsahay Miutyun"s (Istanbul-Armenian Associations), they can be found in their new adopted cities of important Turkish-Armenian populations. Among them are the "Organization of Istanbul Armenians of Los Angeles", the "Istanbul Armenian Association in Montreal", etc.

The Turkish Ambassador in Berlin, Hüseyin Avni Karslıoğlu, inaugurated in December 2012 at the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp a memorial stone with bronze letters (third of its kind after the Polish and Dutch similars) to the memory of eight Turkish citizens killed during the Holocaust, one of whom is a Turkish Armenian with the name Garabed Taşçıyan.[49]

Armenians from Republic of Armenia in Turkey[edit]

With the establishment of the Republic of Armenia, and because of economic hardship in the new republic, and the differential in remuneration of work, many Armenian nationals from the republic work in Turkey. The official numbers are not validated, as it is a highly seasonal process, but estimates vary between 40,000[50] and 70,000.[51]

Some of these people are in Turkey as temporary residents, but most as illegal immigrants[citation needed].

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Khojoyan, Sara (16 October 2009). "Armenian in Istanbul: Diaspora in Turkey welcomes the setting of relations and waits more steps from both countries". ArmeniaNow.com. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d “Review of Istanbul’s Armenian community history”
  3. ^ a b UNESCO Culture Sector, UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger, 2009
  4. ^ Turay, Anna. "Tarihte Ermeniler". Bolsohays: Istanbul Armenians. Archived from the original on 6 December 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  5. ^ Hür, Ayşe (2008-08-31). "Türk Ermenisiz, Ermeni Türksüz olmaz!". Taraf (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 2 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-02. Sonunda nüfuslarını 70 bine indirmeyi başardık. 
  6. ^ /gen_bib1.html Extensive bibliography by University of Michigan on the Armenian Genocide
  7. ^ Kaplan, Sefa (2005-09-30). "Son yıllarda bu kadar müspet tepki almadım". Hürriyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-08-28. Anadolu’da anneanneniz gibi 300 bin kadın bulunduğu söyleniyor. 
  8. ^ (Başyurt 2005). Hrant Dink: "300 bin rakamının abartılı olduğunu düşünmüyorum. Bence daha da fazladır."
  9. ^ Kalkan, Ersin (2005-07-31). "Türkiye'nin tek Ermeni köyü Vakıflı". Hürriyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  10. ^ a b Campbell, Verity (2007). Turkey. Lonely Planet. ISBN 1-74104-556-8. 
  11. ^ Bert Vaux, Hemshinli: The Forgotten Black Sea Armenians, Harvard University, 2001 pp.1-2,4-5
  12. ^ Peter Alford Andrews, Ethnic Groups in the Republic of Turkey, Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, Wiesbaden, 1989. pp.476-477,483-485,491
  13. ^ Hovann H. Simonian (Ed.),"The Hemshin: History, society and identity in the Highlands of Northeast Turkey", Routledge, London and New York., pp. 80, 146-147
  14. ^ Bert Vaux, Hemshinli: The Forgotten Black Sea Armenians, Harvard University, 2001 p. 1
  15. ^ Hovann H. Simonian (Ed.),"The Hemshin: History, society and identity in the Highlands of Northeast Turkey", Routledge, London and New York.
  16. ^ M. Dubin and E. Lucas, "Trekking in Turkey", Lonely Planet, page 126
  17. ^ Hovann H. Simonian (Ed.),"The Hemshin: History, society and identity in the Highlands of Northeast Turkey", Routledge, London and New York., pp. 61,83,340
  18. ^ Hovann H. Simonian (Ed.),"The Hemshin: History, society and identity in the Highlands of Northeast Turkey", Routledge, London and New York., pp. 20,52, 58,61-66,80
  19. ^ Hovann Simonian (ed.) "The Hemshin", London, 2007. p. xxi.
  20. ^ Ibit, Uwe Blasing, "Armenian in the vocabulary and culture of the Turkish Hemshinli".
  21. ^ Bruinessen, Martin van (2000). Kurdish ethno-nationalism versus nation-building states : collected articles (1. print. ed.). Istanbul: The Isis Press. ISBN 9789754281774. 
  22. ^ a b c "Mihran Gultekin: Dersim Armenians Re-Discovering Their Ancestral Roots". Massis Post (Yerevan). February 7, 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  23. ^ A. Davis, Leslie; Blair, notes by Susan K. (1990). The slaughterhouse province : an American diplomat's report on the Armenian genocide, 1915-1917 (2. print. ed.). New Rochelle, N.Y.: A.D. Caratzas. ISBN 9780892414581. 
  24. ^ ADAMHASAN, Ali (December 5, 2011). "Dersimin Nobel adayları..." (in Turkish). Adana Medya. Retrieved July 21, 2012. 
  25. ^ Միհրան Գյուլթեքին. Դերսիմի մահմեդական հայերը վախ ունեն, որ քրիստոնյա հայերը կարող են լավ չընդունել իրենց (in Armenian). News.am. February 7, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Dersim Armenians back to their roots". PanArmenian. February 7, 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  27. ^ a b c Marianna Grigoryan and Anahit Hayrapetyan. Turkey: Armenian Illegal Migrants Put National Grievances Aside for Work. Eurasianet. 2 September 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  28. ^ Gevorg Ter-Gabrielyan. Armenia and the Caucasus: Crossroad or Dead-End?.
  29. ^ Suna Erdem. Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatens to expel 100,000 illegal Armenians. The Times. 18 March 2010. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  30. ^ Armenian Children to Be Educated. Hürriyet. 2 September 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  31. ^ http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/77077/
  32. ^ Güven, Dilek (2005-09-06). "6-7 Eylül Olayları (1)". Radikal (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 15 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-25. Nitekim 1942 yılında yürürlüğe giren Varlık Vergisi, Ermenilerin, Rumların ve Yahudilerin ekonomideki liderliğine son vermeyi hedeflemiştir...Seçim dönemleri CHP ve DP'nin Varlık Vergisi'nin geri ödeneceği yönündeki vaatleri ise seçim propagandasından ibarettir.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  33. ^ Smith, Thomas W. (August 29 - September 2, 2001.). "Constructing A Human Rights Regime in Turkey: Dilemmas of Civic Nationalism and Civil Society.". p. 4. One of the darkest events in Turkish history was the Wealth Tax, levied discriminatory against non-Muslims in 1942, hobbling Armenians with the most punitive rates.  Check date values in: |date= (help);
  34. ^ Time magazine article: A Cry for Bloody Vengeance
  35. ^ Armeniapedia article on TARC
  36. ^ BBC News: Gul in landmark visit to Armenia
  37. ^ Novosti: Armenian president to visit Turkey next year
  38. ^ BBC News on Dink, Turkish-Armenian writer shot dead
  39. ^ Mass protest at editor's funeral The Guardian, 24 January 2007, reached on 2 February 2013 [1]
  40. ^ "Why Do Armenians Celebrate Christmas on 6 January?". Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  41. ^ "Our New Year and Nativity/Theophany Traditions". Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  42. ^ Updated list by Istanbul Armenians site about the Armenian churches and cemeteries in Turkey belonging to various Armenian denominations
  43. ^ Armenian immigrant children to be allowed in minority schools Today's Zaman, 2 September 2011 [2]
  44. ^ (Turkish) Gayrimüslimler için hayat tozpembe değil. [3]
  45. ^ UNESCO: 15 Languages Endangered in Turkey, by T. Korkut, 2009
  46. ^ Mansel, Philip (2011). Constantinople. Hachette UK. ISBN 1848546475. 
  47. ^ Dardaki azınlık gazetelerine bayram gecesi yardımı... Sabah, 8 September 2011 [4]
  48. ^ Minority Newspaper Meets with The Turkish Press Advertising Agency Greek Europe Reporter, 28 July 2011 [5]
  49. ^ http://ha-ber.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20693&Itemid=0
  50. ^ "Armenians in Turkey". Economist. 2006-11-16. Retrieved 2008-08-24. Marina Martossian, who has been working illegally for five months as a cleaner, is typical of 40,000 compatriots there. 
  51. ^ Gül, Abdullah (2007-03-27). "Politicizing the Armenian tragedy". Washington Times. Retrieved 2008-08-29. Today, there are 70,000 Armenian citizens working in Turkey. 

Sources[edit]

This article contains some text originally adapted from the public domain Library of Congress Country Study for Turkey.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

General

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