In 1915, more than a million Armenians were deported and executed in a few months on the orders of the government of the Young Turks. A century later, the genocide is still denied by the Republic of Turkey … but in the eastern regions of Anatolia, on the main sites of the massacres, the memory remains vivid.
Leaning against a pillar of basalt, Muhammed Enes calls his thin voice anyone approaching the altar. “I make you see? Surp Giragos Church in Diyarbakir, eastern Turkey, built in 1376, is the oldest Armenian church in the entire Middle East, it has hosted up to 3,000 worshipers and a cannon destroyed its steeple 1915, “the boy recited in the same breath, widening her big green eyes at the mention of the barrel.
Muhammed is too young to have played in the ruins of Surp Giragos, restored and reopened for worship in autumn 2011. It is still too young to understand the massacres and deportations which these walls, this city, this part of Anatolia have witnessed nearly a century before his birth. But the child of Diyarbakir, the schoolboy who hears the bells at recess time, already knows much more than what deign history textbooks teach him.
Too often, too fast when it comes to Turkey and the Armenian Genocide denial of state is likened to the denial of a whole society. They forget that the memory of the Armenians is registered in jurisdictions where they have lived so long, and in the spirit of the people they have so long rubbed shoulders, the first Kurds.
Jean Eckian © armenews.com