Saturday, January 08, 2005

On December 20, 2004 while in Yahoo games backgammon, I met a Turkish neighbor with the nick “Ercan”. We played and talked. Our conversation ended in the game room and continued on Instant Messenger. In the game room, he had told me of his grandfather who was killed in 1915 on the Iraqi boarder by Armenian gangs. I told him that it was possible that my grandfather had killed him. He was also under the impression that Armenian was a religion to which I told him it is a nationality.

Ara says: So tell me about your grandfather and the story that you heard of his death?
Ara says: It is very interesting to me.
Ercan says: he is my grandfather brother
Ara says: So not your grandfather, but his brother?
Ercan says: yes
Ara says: He was 18
Ara says: it happened on the boarder of Iraq
Ercan says: i think 16 years like that
Ercan says: do u know armeian gang
Ercan says: they are killed him
Ara says: When you say gang, what do you mean?
Ercan says: evrybody they are warring with 1. world war
Ara says: If it was in 1915, then it was during the genocide
Ara says: do you know what month it was?
Ercan says: my grand father said
Ara says: was it in winter?
Ercan says: when he is pray they are take him and they are killed him land
Ercan says: when warr finish
Ara says: 1918
Ercan says: turkish army drive away Armenia
Ercan says: i know its sad story
Ercan says: sriye
Ara says: Well my family was from Van
Ara says: on my father's side
Ercan says: not wan
Ercan says: van
Ercan says: siirt
Ara says: That is the town your family was from?
Ercan says: did you hear siirt?
Ara says: No
Ercan says: yes
Ercan says: its close diyarbakir
Ercan says: and beetwen mardin
Ara says: I have not heard of Siirt
Ercan says: check map
Ercan says: you can see
Ara says: I will later
Ara says: Tell me about what you know of Tallat Pasha?
Ercan says: just i can tell you i have so close friends
Ercan says: and they are armenia peoples
Ara says: I am sure
Ara says: Are there many Armenians in Turkey today?
Ercan says: they are my best friend
Ercan says: yes
Ara says: Do they talk about the past and 1915?
Ercan says: we are respect eachother
Ercan says: fuck off talatpasa
Ercan says: we have to look ahead
Ara says: Well yes we do, but like I said before, we have to remember the past so it does not happen again.
Ercan says: we will not grow with with enemy
Ercan says: we will open border
Ercan says: we will hold eachother
Ercan says: pass its pass
Ara says: What do you know of Nagorno-Karabagh?
Ercan says: what we can do
Ercan says: yes i know
Ercan says: its my famly place
Ara says: You have family from Karabagh?
Ercan says: pardon
Ercan says: near ajerbaycan?
Ara says: what town?
Ercan says: nevermind
Ercan says: Karabagh?
Ercan says: near ajerbaycan?
Ara says: Yes
Ercan says: i know
Ercan says: i understen wrong
Ara says: Nagorno-Karabagh, near Azerbaijan
Ercan says: yes
Ercan says: and so_?
Ara says: What do you think of the situation there?
Ara says: What must we do?
Ercan says: just i wish peace
Ara says: Peace is a good thing to dream about, but politics and economy do not always allow for peace.
Ercan says: so lisen to me
Ercan says: world its so big we can share why we are warring?
Ercan says: belive me its enough for evrybody
Ercan says: we can live with peace
Ara says: What you have to understand is that everyone that has a television sees nice thing they want.
Ercan says: i dont want babies die
Ercan says: i dont want peoples die
Ara says: If everyone wants those nice things, then the world and its resources are too small.
Ercan says: i dont want kids be without dad
Ara says: There are too many people that want to be rich, but too many rich people means that there have to be millions of poor people.

Ercan is inviting you to start viewing webcam. Do you want to Accept (Alt+C) or Decline (Alt+D) the invitation?

You have accepted the invitation to start viewing webcam.

Ara says: War is not about religion, but about money, power and economy
Ercan says: yes its true
Ara says: I don't have a web cam.
Ercan says: life its not fair
Ercan says: no problem
Ara says: Has anyone ever told you that you look Armenian?
Ara says: I have a friend that looks like you.
Ercan says: yes i know economi there so bad
Ercan says: but why french armenia help
Ercan says: your country
Ercan says: do u remember? how many diplomat deat from armenia teror?
Ercan says: is it solution?
Ara says: Terror is never a solution
Ercan says: ok good
Ara says: but when you have no other power in your hands, then it sometimes is the only solution at that time
Ercan says: and your country is it help pkk teror? kurdish teror?
Ercan says: is it solution?
Ara says: What is happening in Iraq today is bad, but I agree that the terror attacks they have been having are the only option
Ara says: When they killed Tallat Pasha, what at the right thing to do?
Ara says: Was that Terror?
Ara says: At that time that was the only power the Armenians has to defend themselves from more genocide.
Ara says: If you know history, then you should know that what happened in Turkey in 1915 to 1918 was going to continue in 1920 from Azerbaijan
Ercan says: its was be tragedy for armenai and also turkish people
Ara says: And the group that was leading that was Tallat Pasha and the other generals and leaders.
Ercan says: not only armenia
Ara says: Well yes, as the economy suffered much at that time in Turkey
Ercan says: your grand dad killed also turkish people when turkish army they are warring with french with england, and gang armenia killed woman and kids
Ercan says: do u know this stror?
Ercan says: strory?
Ara says: of couse I know that story
Ara says: many bad things happened in those days
Ercan says: for that its was be tragedy for armenai and also turkish people
Ara says: I now that my grandfather killed many people that in today's world and in war you would not kill
Ercan says: now we have to forget
Ara says: But why do we have to forget?
Ara says: We have to record and accept history
Ara says: so if this is to happen again, people will learn that it was wrong.
Ercan says: if i think how my granddad brother killed from armenia how i can be best friend with elizabet
Ercan says: with corch
Ercan says: are you agree with me?
Ara says: There were many people in Karabagh that were friends with Azeri Turks
Ara says: they still call each other on the phone
Ara says: to talk
Ara says: they are still friends
Ercan says: i havent grudge
Ara says: but we have to do everything we can so these wars do not happen again.
Ara says: Why is the boarder with Armenia and Turkey closed?
Ercan says: we have to live with peace
Ercan says: we have to open doors
Ara says: Why does not the Turkish government want to talk about the genocide of 1915?
Ercan says: just stubid turkish politic
Ara says: I want nothing more than to live in peace with my neighbors
Ercan says: we have to make something
Ara says: but when my house in Istanbul was taken from my family who had for over 1,000 years lived there, I have to at least have an answer to that question.
Ara says: Politics are a bad thing, but since they are there, we have to learn to deal with them
Ercan says: did you been my country?
Ara says: Not yet
Ara says: My mother has been there and felt like she was home.
Ercan says: when you will come you will wellcome
Ara says: She said that she had no problem being there.
Ara says: She told me she felt very welcome there.
Ara says: I have no doubt at all that I will feel welcome.
Ercan says: allways friend
Ara says: What do you do in Turkey?
Ercan says: so what are you job?
Ercan says: im working french car compny
Ara says: I deal with human rights
Ercan says: so what are you job friend?
Ara says: I defend people who have problems with the Armenian and Karabagh government for the most part.
Ercan says: you have great english
Ara says: I was born in America
Ercan says: really
Ara says: Our family fled Turkey in 1915 and ended up in America
Ara says: Now I have returned.
Ercan says: are you stay in usa now?
Ara says: No, I live in Nagorno-Karabagh
Ercan says: and you are choice poor country
Ercan says: bravoo
Ara says: you can read about the work I do there at
Ercan says: i understend
Ercan says: how old are you?
Ara says: I was a witness to the war there
Ara says: 39
Ara says: I saw first had what the Azerbaijani army did
Ara says: and I'm not mad at the Azeri people
Ara says: since like you said and I agree, stupid politics
Ara says: it's not about what the people want, but about what a few people at the top want to gain.
Ara says: You have said it and I agree, we must move forward and find peace
Ara says: our big problem today is that the world is not that big and the resouces we have do not take care of or are enough for everyone to live "well".
Ercan says: you mean here?
Ercan says: are you married?
Ercan says: ok nice to meet you friend
Ara says: I am engaged to be marred in the summer
Ercan says: i have to go
Ara says: Okay
Ercan says: im so happy to meet you
Ara says: Be well and let's hope we can talk again some time.
Ara says: Nice to meet you
Ercan says: i wish you alot best
Ercan says: yes why not
Ara says: Say hello to your Armenian friends from me.
Ara says: The same to you my friend.

I have written to Ercan a couple of times to continue our conversation, but until now, there has been no response.

I did a search on Yahoo for “Siirt” (which is South-West of Van) and taking a random pick of the results ( came up with this little blurb that should give us an idea of what was going on there in 1915 when Ercan’s grandfather’s brother was killed by “Armenian gangs”.

“The Ottoman Interior Minister, Tallat, and War Minister, Evan Pasha urged "purification of Turkey, and in the process, the elimination of the "unaccommodating" Christians. Thus, Djevdad Bey (15) turned his defeated forces against local Assyrian Christians. Djevdad, nicknamed Kassab tabouri (battalion of butchers), massacred the entire Christian population of Siirt and its environs. Over 70 Christian villages were sacked and burned, and all the clergy including the famous scholar Bishop Addai Scheri, fell victim to Djevdad's sword. Wherever there was an Assyrian presence, the population was decimated. This happened from the mountains of Hakkari (which bordered the newly created Russian frontier) all the way west to Turadin and Mardin, including Dyarbekir (Amida), Bitlis, Urfa (Edessa), Adana, Siirt, and Jezirat Ibn Omar. The Assyrians throughout the region were deported forcibly or massacred, their houses destroyed, and their churches, monuments and cemeteries pillaged and desecrated with human excrement. A report in L'Asie Française of that time is quoted as saying: "The martyrdom of the Assyrians who have all been virtually massacred in the district of Dyarbekir and in the region of Siirt recalls in the most vivid way the Armenian slaughter. … Over 25,000 Assyrians were massacred by Turks and Kurds, or died of hunger or other causes inflicted on the deportation routes in 1915."(16)”

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