‘TRAUMA AND RESILIENCE: ARMENIANS IN TURKEY – hidden, not hidden and no longer hidden’
Introduction by FETHIYE CETIN, lawyer and author of ‘My Grandmother’, Istanbul, Turkey
Introduction by Prof. TANER AKCAM, Department of History, Clark University, Massachusetts, USA
This book is a collection of articles about events in Turkey which have profoundly affected the lives of Armenians, hidden Armenians and no longer hidden Armenians who have recently returned to their roots. The genocide in 1915 not only caused the disappearance of 1.5 million Armenians from their historic homeland, but also resulted in the assimilation and Islamization of thousands of Armenian orphans, creating the ‘hidden Armenians’, the living victims of the genocide. Almost one hundred years later, certain events encouraged the grandchildren of the hidden Armenians to re-awaken and return to their Armenian roots, language and culture. Some of the articles explain these events and the author’s role in them. Some other articles reveal little known historic facts about Armenians and hidden Armenians, their contribution to culture and architecture in Turkey, still denied by the state or unknown by the peoples of Turkey. In all the articles, there is a common theme of ‘trauma’ – a mixture of negative emotions resulting from risk to one’s own life or livelihood, fear, danger, and discrimination, combined with anger, sadness and defiance in the face of continuing denial and injustice. But there is also the other common trait of ‘resilience’, the instinctive skills of flexibility, adaptation and intelligence, resulting in survival against all odds.
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Advance comments about the book:
This collection of articles belongs to the canon of must-read texts on Armenian identity… Whether you read it from cover to cover or pick and choose chapters, this book is a journey well worth taking.
–Khatchig Mouradian, Columbia University, New York, USA
(Rafﬁ Bedrosyan’s) insights into the state of modern Turkey, the story of its hidden Armenians and the clashing identities of Turkish citizens are deep, nuanced and illuminating. Anything Rafﬁ writes is worth reading and it is wonderful to have his writings collected in one volume.
–Thomas de Waal, Senior Fellow Carnegie Europe, London, United England
Rafﬁ Bedrosyan is an engine behind the reconstruction of the Diyarbekir Sourp Giragos Armenian Apostolic Church, ﬁnding the lost identity for hidden or Islamized Armenians in Turkey, their re-awakening and return to their original roots.
–Armen Yeganian, Director of Policy Planning, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Armenia, and former Ambassador to Canada
The stories of hidden Armenians in this volume offer compelling insights into one of the critical survival tactics on which Armenians were forced to rely during and after the Armenian Genocide. The impact of this phenomenon has been intergenerational, shown in the movement of Turks today, who, upon discovering they are in fact Armenian, embrace their Armenian heritage.
–Greg Sarkissian, President, Zoryan Institute, Canada
Rafﬁ’s work highlights the denialist policy of Turkey that not only sought to exterminate more than 1.5 million Armenians, but also tried to erase the Armenian identity by Turkifying and Islamizing the survivors.
–Federico Gaitan Hairabedian, President, Luisa Hairabedian Human Rights Foundation, Argentina