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How an Islamized Armenian from Turkey found his relatives in Armenia

I have taken this photo on September 19, 2010, on the opening day of the Holy Cross Church on Akdamar Island, Turkey. We were Invited by “Hrant Dink” Foundation, we attended the event with a group of journalists. Islamized Armenians also visited Akdamar to take part in the opening ceremony of the Church. They were talking in Turkish or Kurdish and our Istanbul- Armenians compatriots were translating. An old man by the name Farzanda from the village Shenik (Sasun), came close to me and said that he was looking for his relative in Yerevan, who, according to him, was born in Talin, his name is Vardan Vardanyan and is a lecturer at one of the universities in Yerevan. At that time, Farzanda was 70 years old. He was a one of the Hidden Armenians in Turkey who had converted to islam.

Farzanda told me that his father’s name was Ulikhan and last name – Gyulbadagh(yan). Farzanda’s Kurdish son in law Bashir gave me his phone number so that his relatives in Yerevan would contact him. Later, we learned from a Turkish Armenian residing in Armenia that on reading Bashir’s phone number in “Aravot” newspaper and seeing Farzanda Gyulbudagh’s photo, his relatives in Yerevan had called him, found him and met with him.

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