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Hamshen Armenians… Who are they? Where they come from?

The Hamshen civilization fought for centuries to preserve its presence and armenian christian identity. However the genocide continues… Most of the hamshinlis in Turkey have no information about their origins… Their language is no more written… Most of the armenians have no clue who the hamshinlis are or where Hamshen is… Should they be left to their unknown destiny?

WE HAVE NATIONAL OBLIGATIONS TOWARDS OUR LOST SISTERS AND BROTHERS!
Now, I will post photos , videos , articles or links about the Hamshen armenians. Maybe we’ll get to know them more, but first let me present their history…
(You can check the posts below)
The origin of Hamshen people goes back to Ardaz province in North Vasburagan region. Vasburagan spanned between Van Lake (Turkey) and Urmya Lake (Iran) and it was considered the heartland of the Armenian Kingdom for many centuries.
The Amadouni Family and Prince Hamam
The Amadouni family is one of the oldest Armenian Princedoms in the Ardaz region. They were very proud and courageous people specialized in agriculture and architecture.
In the 8th century, Prince Hamam and his father Prince Shabuh Amadouni were forced to leave their lands in Ardaz(Vasburagan) under the pressure of the Arab Invasion. The 2 Princes along with their priests, people and soldiers moved to the Black Sea Region where they settled in the destroyed City of Tambur and its surrounding villages (currently Hemshin and ChamliHemshin). Prince Hamam rebuilt the city of Tambur and called it
Hamamshen (which in Armenian means Hamam’s city) and over the years Hamamshen became Hamshen in Armenian and Hemshin in Turkish.
Here it should be noted that Shabuh Amaduni’s great grandfather was Vahan Amaduni whose grave still exists until today in the town of Oshagan in Armenia.
Hamam’s people were known as Hamshentsis (Hemshinli in Turkish). For many centuries, their region witnessed a lot of tragedies and bloodshed but due to the strong will of the people and the geography of the territory, they preserved their Armenian Identity, traditions, culture, Christian religion and language for many centuries. Until the 14th century, Hamshen was a kingdom and was ruled by its princes. Almost each village had its Church and its priest.
The Ottoman Era (14th Century)
With the establishment of the Ottoman Empire, the problems of Hamshen increased. The Ottomans tried with all their powers to convert the local population into Muslim Turks. They either lured the people to waive the taxes for each convert or they used military power to force the conversion. The Hamshentsis were very proud and religious people so the Ottomans had to revert to forceful conversion.
A lot of clashes happened in the Hamsheni villages between the 15th and 19th centuries. Many Hamsheni families left to Karadere where they stayed for another century then had to either migrate again or convert. In the 18th century, a large group of the Hamshentsis left Hamshen and settled in valleys of Hopa, Borcka and Artvin. These villages still exist until today where the villagers have kept their language.
During the Armenian genocide in 1915, the Hamshentsis paid the price too. Many of them were arrested and deported while others were killed in their cities and villages.
Current Situation:
Currently, there are 3 main groups of Hemshinlis spread over a large geographic area.
1. Eastern Hamshentsis
Eastern Hamshentsis – better known as Hopa Hamshentsis – are the people living in Artvin Province (Turkey); mainly between the cities of Hopa and Borcka. They are dispersed all over Turkey (Ankara, Istanbul, etc…) and Europe (Germany, France). Hopa Hamshentsis are Sunni Muslims. They refer themselves as Homshetsi and their language as Homshetsma (which is basically Armenian).
Hopa Hamshentsis came from Hemsin region during the 18th century. They survived the massacres by converting to Islam but were able to keep their language. In the 19th century, a large group of Hopa Hamshentsis migrated to the southern part of Adjaria (currently in Georgia) and settled in 6 villages close to the Turkish border. However, in 1944, upon the orders of Stalin they were all deported to Central Asia where they continue to live.
Another group of Hopa Hemshinlis were transferred to several villages of Sakarya province (Achmabashi and nearby villages) during the 1850s where they still live and keep their language.
2. Western Hamshentsis
Western Hamshentsis – better known as Bash Hamshentsis – are the people living in Rize Province (Turkey); mainly in Hemshin, Chamlihemshin and the surrounding villages. They are also dispersed in the main cities of Turkey (Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, etc…) along with Europe and US. Bash Hamshentsis speak Hemshinji (Hemsince: a Turkish dialect with many Armenian letters) and are Sunni Muslims.
3. Northern Hamshentsis
Northern Hamshentsis are the people currently living on the northern and eastern coasts of the Black Sea. Mainly in Abkhazya (Georgia) and Grasnodar (Russia). They migrated from Hemsin, Cemlihemsin, Rize, Trabzon, Samsun and Ordu during 18th and 19th centuries. They speak Homshetsma (similar to Hopa Hamshentsis). Northern Hamshentsis are Christians and unlike most of their brothers in Turkey they know their Armenian origins and some of them have moved to Armenia in the 20th century.
Hamshen history is mixed with blood and tragedy but it’s the history of a courageous and proud people who continue to remain loyal to its roots and ancestors.
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Hamshen Armenians English Version – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Av86NirLkZI Turkish Version – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UknmxRuSqVg
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There are between 25,000 and 30,000 Armenian-Speaking Muslim Hamshen Armenians in the Khopa Region of Turkey
http://hemshin.org/articles/SergeyVardanyan-Hetq30Abril2007.pdf
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HAMSHEN PROVERBS / ՀԱՄՇԵՆԱԿԱՆ ԱՍԱՑՈՒԱԾՔՆԵՐ
Հայվընին էրեսին թկնեցին նա, աստավ` վրայեգ կուկա: Hayvnin eresin tknecin, astav- vrayeg kuka.
Դոնը չունի թոն ճուր, յոռը գապա կու սոն չուլ: Don@ chuni ton tchur, yor@ gapa ku son chul:
Ուրիշի ծիյու նստողը թեզ ցած գիշնու: Urishi tsiyun nstogh@ tez cats gishnu:
Քուն ըղած օծին` քալիլ մի բեճին: Qun eghats otsin qalil mi betchin:
Մուտը դեղը քար նեդիլ չեն: Mut@ degh@ qar nedil chen:
Ժողվըված ճրով ճղածք չի տառնալ: Zhoghvvats tchrov tchghatsq chi tarnal:
Մեգ ծեռքը դակնալ չի: Meg tserq@ daknal chi:
Հայվընին հեդ մի էշտալ ջոմպա, կլուխդ կուկա քառսուն բելա: Hayvnin hed mi eshtal jompa, klukhd kuka qarsun belaL
Ուրիշին մալուն աճկը տընիլ մի` քուկինադ ալ կ’ըլլիս: Urishi malun atchq@ tnil mi, qukinda k@llas.
Չուդողի հածը ուդողին հալալ ա: Chudoghi hats@ udoghin halal a.
Հած դվին` գերավ, պոն աստին` փախավ: Hats dvin-gerav, pon astin- pakhav.
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Արդուին (Արդվին), եգիպտացորենի դաշտ Artvin, cornfield
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A movie about Hamshen Culture
Part 1: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8807638149177114325 Part 2: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1768673131580684790
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Vahan Amaduni, The great Armenian Prince
In the town of Ashtarak in north Yerevan (Armenia), lies the body of the famous Armenian Prince Vahan Amaduni. The following Armenian words are engraved on the stone: “Vahan Amaduni, The great Armenian Prince”.
It’s worth noting that Vahan Amaduni is the great grandfather of Shabuh and Hamam Amadunis who are considered the ancestors of the Hamshen people. Hamam Amaduni in 790 along with his father Shabuh escaped the Arab invasion of Anatolia to the Khackar Mountains on the Black Sea coast where they settled in the ruined city of Tambur. The city was renovated and called Hamamshen (Hamam’s city) which over the years became Hamshen.
The importance of this graveyard is that reverses the Turkish theory about the origins of Hamshen people. The falsified Turkish version says that they came from Oghuz tribe in Anatolia and Prince Hamam was a Oghuz prince with arab name but our proof is that prince Hamams great grandfather was Vahan Amaduni and a great Armenian prince as these graveyards and history books show us the truth.
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The Hemshin: History, Society and Identity in the Highlands of Northeast Turkey (By Hovann H. Simonian)
Book review: http://www.reporter.am/pdfs/C111508.pdf ( Pages 6, 7, 8 )
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Վովա «Նեննի Նեննի» Vova «Nenni Nenni»
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zq_LICwFKBk
In Hamshen dialect the group’s name Vova means “who is it?” (“Ov eh?” in Western Armenian). Their language is one of the oldest Armenian dialects. It’s preserved in Armenian history. Most of the Hameshens in the Eastern Hopa region can speak only Hamshen Armenian (Homshen), while in Rize and in the Western regions, unfortunately they speak mostly Turkish. Thus they are losing their identity. Due to the 400 years of Turkification, many have forgotten their mother tongue. The group’s aim was to preserve their nation, the Hamshen community and identity, through their language. The easiest way was by music and by singing their centuries-old, marvelous songs about motherland, their mountains, nature, love and marriage, and everyday life: age-old traditions in pure Hamshen Armenian. The group is composed of male and female musicians and singers. They play modern string instruments and drums. Some are Hamshen Armenians, others have Laz parentage on mother’s or father’s side. All of them excel in hamshen dialect.
http://sanahine.wordpress.com/hamshen-armenians/
June 4, 2014
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Aleppo in Crisis: Call on President Obama to
Stop anti-Armenian Attacks in Syria
Send a Free ANCA WebMail TODAY!
 Attacks on the Armenian-populated quarters of Aleppo, Syria, have escalated in recent days, leading local authorities to designate the area a disaster zone.
Take two minutes to contact President Obama and urge him to take immediate action to:
1) Stop the rebel bombing of innocent Christians and all civilians in Aleppo
2) Press Turkey to allow the free flow of Euphrates waters to Syria
3) Answer the ANCA’s concerns regarding Turkey’s role in the forced depopulation of the historically Armenian populated city of Kessab.
For more information regarding the Aleppo crisis, read the latest Asbarez news coverage (available in English and Armenian) and news directly from Aleppo (available in Armenian).
For more information regarding the impending Aleppo water crisis, read Daniel Pipes “Syria’s Looming Water Calamity.”
Donations to assist the Syrian Armenian Community may be made to the Syrian Armenian Relief Fund (SARF)
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Published by the Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202) 775-1918, Fax: (202) 775-5648, E-mail: anca@anca.org, Web: www.anca.org
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