The Yerevan-based CivilNet is reporting that it has learned from several reliable sources that 23-year-old Kevork Jourian, son of Babken and Nvard Jourian, was killed by members of Syrian rebel groups, as they were searching for guns among the Armenians who remained behind after the March 21 attack on Kessab. Sources explained that this happened in Kessab as the group of mostly elderly were being evacuated to Vakifli, Turkey.
The attack on Kessab has resulted in the displacement of more than 600 families. All have been accounted for except 10 individuals who remain missing, one of whom was Jourian. His parents, uncles and grandmother are in the group of 21 taken to Vakifli.
The Vakifli community representatives have appealed to the Turkish authorities to undertake efforts to identify and liberate the remaining missing, believe to be in the custody of the same Syrian rebel groups.
Kessabtsis by Name: Taken to Vakif or Still Missing
On March 21, armed rebel groups attacked Kessab after crossing the border from Turkey. As a result, over 600 Armenian families had to leave their homes the same day and took refuge at the Armenian church in Latakia, which is 65 km (45 miles) to the south of Kessab. However, nearly 40, mostly elderly, were left behind in Kessab and there was no news from them during the first week. Soon after, the Titizian sisters from Kessab were brought to the Turkish border, after which they were cared for at the Armenian Church in Vakifli, the last remaining Armenian village in Turkey.
After the TItizian sisters, a new group of Armenians reached Vakifli last week, comprised of 19 people, mostly elderly. Saghatel Basil met them and talked to CivilNet about how they arrived from Kessab to Turkey. According to the testimony of the elderly, they were brought to the Armenian catholic monastery in the center of Kessab to say a last prayer, where they were also filmed and later sent with buses to the Turkish border. The rebel groups confiscated their identity cards and passports, and only some of them (the women) were able to get their documents back.
According to CivilNet sources, the names of the 21 elderly people taken to Vakifli are the following:
Hagop Sianos Djurian (70-72 years old)
Asbed Sianos Djurian (60-65 years old)
Papken Sianos Djurian (60-65 years old)
Nvart Guzelian (Papken’s wife, 40-45 years old)
Karun Titizian-Djurian (nearly 90 years old, their mother)
Yessayi Aintablian (75 years old)
Hasmik Darus (his wife, 57 years old)
Silva Aintablian (his sister, 57-58 years old)
Ani Aintablian (his daughter, 31 years old)
Hagop Giragosian (85 years old)
Vazken Giragosian (80 years old)
Zaven Hovsepian (over 80 years old)
Movses Yervant Arabian (nearly 75 years old)
Marta Yervant Arabian (nearly 85 years old)
Karun Der Sahagian-Keoshgerian (90 years old)
Srpuhi Yaralian-Titizian (86 years old)
Satenig Titizian (85 years old)
Nerses Tangugian (from Aleppo, over 80 years old)
Anais Aharonian-Ekmekdjian (from Aleppo, Nerses Tangugian’s caretaker)
There are also a number of people missing, from whom there has been no news since March 21. Istanbul Armenian journalist Aris Nalci reports the names of the ten Kessab Armenians that are still missing:
Musa Sahagian’s sister – name unknown