Hidden Armenians in Turkey

Did you know about Hidden Armenians in Turkey before watching this videoclip?

Yes, I was aware about such hidden Armenians
9
60%
I have not heard but suspected they live there
2
13%
No, it is the first time I hear about them
3
20%
Not sure
1
7%
 
Total votes : 15

Re: Hidden Armenians in Turkey

Postby hagop » 07 Jun 2008, 13:28

If you know the answer to your question, then why do you also want pronouncements? You either know the answer without a doubt or not. Both cannot be true, right? But if you ask me, I would take your pronouncement that you just made and notarize it and hang it on the wall.

Of course there are no pronouncements to the origins of the Zulus, Eskimos or the Hemshinli by different countries. Most other governments simply don't care about those issues unlike a certain government and they know that it is not their business to make such pronouncements. But it is the business of historians, sociologists, anthropologists etc. to study these groups so that humanity can learn more. They study and analyze their findings and reach their conclusions.
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Re: Hidden Armenians in Turkey

Postby nanal » 07 Jun 2008, 18:19

thanks hagop.....
ı was sayıng ı need some dıctum...why ?
becouse we know we are armanıans..we are speakıng armanıan language whıch ıs the oldest one.there ıs some polıtıcal thıngs and governments keep back some folders. ı don't know why but they do...for example last days ı went to an armanıan church and ı asked ıf ı can talk wıth an armanıan parish. ı was thınkıng that maybe parısh can tell me some ımportant thıng but ı couldn't see him. when ı attempt to go outsıde of the church a man shouted to me couse of help and suddenly ı started to talk wıth 3 armanıan about hamshens. ı saıd ı need to talk wıth a prof about our origin and they suggested me to go to a bookstore whıch have so dıctums about armanıans and "a faomus armanıan prof" have thıs store.
ı went there and ı did a exploratory but ı dıd not found anythıng. ı went there for 7-8 times .fınally they saıd we found a dıctum about hamshens and we wıll gıve ıt you next week.
so..... ı was asking that questıons becouse we have to defend our culture and ı thıng we should explaın the all hamshens the truth.
there ıs a reallty that we are armanıans. but some hamshens are sayıng "nooooo"
at thıs tıme we need to say stg.how can we do that?wıth feelıngs,wıth conjectures or wıth dıctums...?
ı thıng we can do stg about our culture and the way ıs goıng to dıctums...
ı love my culture,origin but ı want to explaın ıt to all hamshens and maybe we can come together agaın lıke the hıstory.....
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Re: Hidden Armenians in Turkey

Postby hagop » 08 Jun 2008, 07:33

Thank you for your explanation, Nanal.

Here are a few general points.

1) There are relatively few existing documents about Hamshen's history. Maybe some more can be found in the future but at the end end there will not be many documents. One of the most important reasons for this is that it was a hard to reach area and a relatively unimportant place, so the Ottoman, Armenian and foreign documents aren't many. For example, there has been no document telling us exactly which year the conversions began or who were among the first converted in which village. There are some documents showing some Christian churches and Christians still existing in some Hamshen villages in the 18th century and there are plenty of circumstantial evidence like mosque building, appearance of Muslim tombs, exodus of those Hamshen people who did not want to convert to Islam etc. starting late 17th century. These all agree with each other well. If this data didn't fit with each other well, I could say there are doubts about the general period. But is is not the case. As I said, the general picture is certain but we don't know the details. For example, the same can be said about the conversion of the Laz -- the general period is known but no one knows exactly which year it began. Also, we don't know most details about the Greeks of Trabzon or the Georgians of Artvin converting. History cannot record everything.

2) The most informative and definitive book about Hamshen in English is "The Hemshin". You must have seen it mentioned in this Forum. Again, this book cannot give you all the answers you hope to see but it has much more information than found elsewhere. So it will not exactly give you something as definitive like a blood test answers to show it to those Hemshinli who don't want to admit Armenian origins. But it will give you much more information to anybody than ever before. That brings me to the next point.

3) You and some Hemshinli who want to preserve your culture are open to find out about your past. The Hemshinli who don't want to admit Armenian origins have political reasons rather than cultural ones, so that's why they also say they came from Central Asia. Whatever amount of documentation probably will not make any difference to them. For example, it is common knowledge that many old age people when they were children in Hamshen had heard from their grandparents that their ancestors were Armenians. The "no sayers" know this but they call the old people idiots or illiterate to suppress such oral traditions. The neighbors of the Hemshinli call them Armenian behind their backs. Are they idiots too? The Christians of Hamshen who left the area have oral traditions saying that they had left behind relatives in Hamshen. There are clan (sulale) names that are the same between the both sides. Of course, the average Hemshinli looks like an Armenian, not a Central Asian. So, any person without an agenda would come to only one conclusion. But everybody knows that those people and many others from other ethnic groups in Turkey want to believe that they came from Central Asia.

At the end, everybody is free to declare they believe in a certain thing even though they really don't believe in it. And nobody can force anyone to be rational. However, no one in the world takes seriously the fake histories that have been forced on millions of people for whatever political reason.

Regards,
Hagop
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Re: Hidden Armenians in Turkey

Postby nanal » 10 Jun 2008, 18:10

At the end, everybody is free to declare they believe in a certain thing even though they really don't believe in it. And nobody can force anyone to be rational. However, no one in the world takes seriously the fake histories that have been forced on millions of people for whatever political reason



thanks for your explanation .. the specıal thanks for that paragraph....
ı wıll look that book "The Hemshin".
but maybe ı can add somethıng about us ın a few days. ı hope so..
thanks...
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Re: Hidden Armenians in Turkey

Postby LaLa » 14 Jun 2008, 11:47

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Last edited by LaLa on 28 Jun 2008, 18:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hidden Armenians in Turkey

Postby artem » 16 Jun 2008, 09:00

Very interesting information about crypto Armenians from noravank.am

Communities >>
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Re: Hidden Armenians in Turkey

Postby LaLa » 16 Jun 2008, 14:18

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Re: Hidden Armenians in Turkey

Postby hagop » 16 Jun 2008, 15:48

Hi Lala,

If I may say a couple of things. As you know, the term Arian was used in Europe in 19th and 20th centuries largely for political purposes and to classify people into Europeans and non-Europeans. That is, instead of trying to help trace the movement of humans from their origins, it became a pseudo-scientific tool in the hand of politicians. As to the "Ariannes" of the Armenians, Armenians are partly "European", so is their language. Modern genetic science points to (besides relations to Eurepeans), also genetic ties to the peoples of Anatolia and the Caucasus. The same is true for the language because although much of the Armenian vocabulary is indeed Indo-European, the other part isn't. It is woth to note that even the Europeans aren't genetically or linguistically "fully pure".

So who are the hidden Armenians? I don't know. Do we mean anyone in Turkey who has at least one Armenian ancestor within the past 940 years? There would be at least several million people and most probably most of them aren't aware of it. Do we mean people who had Armenian ancestors within 300 years? Do we mean people who had 50% or above Armenian ancestors within only 100 years? Or does it matter what they think about their genetic heritage? If a person who has Armenian origins but doesn't want to have anything to do with Armenians or even would want to harm Armenians, would he still be a "hidden" Armenian?
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Re: Hidden Armenians in Turkey

Postby LaLa » 16 Jun 2008, 16:23

......
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Re: Hidden Armenians in Turkey

Postby hagop » 21 Jun 2008, 07:18

Lala,

It seems to me that you are combining primary and non-primary ethnic identification. In your example, your relative's primary identification is Kurdish. So, "Armeniannes" may have a different meaning for him than for you. The same is true for the Hemsinli, Dersimli and other groups that have Armenian ancestry. Your viewpoint on "Armeniannes" is valid -- so are theirs', whatever that may be.

Another point that needs to be made is this. There are few people in Turkey who say openly or in private that they are Islamicised Armenians. Most say they are Kurds, Turks, Hemsinli or something else. In early 20th century and even earlier than that, converted Armenians would just say they belonged to the Muslim nation, just like other Muslim groups used to say. It was a simple point and no one had to mention ancestry (or lie about it). After the Turkish Republic adopted the theory that everyone living in Turkey had Central Asian origins, all the ethnic groups in Turkey started saying that they came from Central Asia.

It should be noted that, the Kurds are more open about admitting to Armenian ancestry when they meet Armenians than Turks with Armenian ancestry in a similar situation.

So, what are your boundaries for "hidden Armenians"? Do people who acquired Armenian blood 900 years ago but not recently count as "hidden Armenians"? How about people who have very little Armenian blood? If parameters like these are not defined, you may not even come close to a good estimate that you are looking for.

Regards,
Hagop
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Re: Hidden Armenians in Turkey

Postby LaLa » 23 Jun 2008, 18:56

....
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Re: Hidden Armenians in Turkey

Postby artem » 24 Jun 2008, 09:36

LaLa wrote:
artem wrote:Very interesting information about crypto Armenians from noravank.am

Hi Artem , what exactly do you find so interesting in the noravank-article ? Just asking out of curiousity .

Hi LaLa,

This Internet resource contains the real stories of Crypto-Armenain and people which discovered their Armenian roots.
I just wanted to say that this reference maybe interesting for those forum members, who interesting in theme "Crypto-Armenians".
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Re: Hidden Armenians in Turkey

Postby hagop » 24 Jun 2008, 10:27

Lala,

In my opinion, the starting point is the concept part. It is a more or less continued but fluctuating process of Armenian conversion for 900 years. For example, the grandchildren of those who converted 100 years ago, mostly know about their origins but the descendants of those who converted 300 years ago barely do. Those who converted earlier are probably clueless about their origins. There are no boundaries involved except maybe the inability to remember the distant past.

The Kurds are usually more open primarily because they are already second class citizens especially when they separate themselves from the Turks by emphasizing their Kurdishness. To illustrate the difference, I am going to call Armenians third class. So, the second class associating with the third class is much easier than that of the first class. A member of the first class individual has more to lose by associating himself with Armenians.

There is little known about the relations between the Christian and Muslim Armenians. The existing sources suggest that the relations were close when the close relatives from both sides were alive. As time passed, the significance of family relations got weaker.
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Re: Hidden Armenians in Turkey

Postby LaLa » 25 Jun 2008, 14:44

....
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Re: Hidden Armenians in Turkey

Postby avetik » 25 Jun 2008, 23:11

Lala, I don't pretend that I understand what's causing that sort of denial, but let me give you a thought. Let's imagine, for a moment, that we're talking not about Hemshinli in Turkey, but rather about Gypsy or Jew in Russia. Let's imagine a hypothetical man, Ivan Petrovich Sirorov, who had dark features and a sizeable nose, and was not able to pronounce sound "r" correctly all his life. Every time this Ivan heard ethnic music his heart pounded faster, and one day he went to an archive and realized -- he is a Gypsy (or a Jew). Despite his Russian name, his DNA clearly proves -- he has a certain ethnic, non Russian, background. What is he about to do with this newly found identity in a hostile environment like Russia?.. What?.. Will his former friends or colleges treat him exactly the same way as they did when they didn't know about this finding? Some maybe, but in general the tone of their talks with him will change. If he wants to survive in this environment, his only choice is denial.

astegh badmutine hin
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kidista miy baberun azbarininq himi menq,
azbarininq menq... (c) Hamsheni Azbar
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