As I interview adult children of Armenian Genocide survivors, I am struck by how many of them tell me their parents spoke Turkish and listened to Turkish music at home. Some of the children (mostly American born) also know at least a few Turkish words and sayings. I am amused by the number of Armenians who admit that they secretly like to dine at Turkish restaurants “because it is our food, too”.
In some ways, Armenians coming from Turkey have more of a connection to Turkey than to present-day Armenia, because what is now Turkey was their ancestral homeland. Ninety-five years ago, Armenians lived side-by-side with Turks and still counted some of their Turkish neighbors as friends. Yet, they knew to always be on their guard, because ‘every 20 years’ there would be massacres—the Turkish authorities regarded Armenians as giavours (infidels or animals). Western minds, including many Turks today, can’t conceive of the indignities Armenians endured under the rule of the Ottoman Turks.
Another voice from inside Turkey:
No, dear prime minister, don’t touch the Armenians, protect them
Hurriyet Daily News | March 17, 2010