Category Archives: History

Saving an 18-year-old brother from dying too young

It seemed quite impossible to wander alone around Diyarbakir or any other town in Turkey and not meet interesting people eager for conversation with a foreigner.  I met Muhammed in front of the nearly one-thousand-year-old Ulu Camii, the “Great Mosque”. … Continue reading

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Assyrian Christians Return to their Roots

I was leafing through a book on the lectern in the Assyrian Christian church of Meryem Ana, in what I assumed to be Syriac script, written from right to left, when a man came up to me and asked me … Continue reading

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A Kurdish Teacher Mourns His Brother

I took a “dolmuş” mini-bus ride between two towns some hours apart in the south-eastern, Kurdish part of the country.  For part of the way, I sat next to a teacher, who said he taught English.  It was apparent that … Continue reading

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My Grandfathers Killed the Armenians

A Turkish teacher from Izmir who lived at the hotel where I was staying showed me pictures of old Armenian grave stones which he pulled up on his iPhone and which he said were from somewhere nearby, but he wasn’t … Continue reading

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Akdamar Island: An Armenian Church and History through Turkish Eyes

The five of us stood under an almond tree in an ancient cemetery on Akdamar Island, next to the most famous Armenian Christian church in Turkey, munching on the nuts. I was with a group of young Turkish teachers from … Continue reading

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A Museum and a Schizophrenic in Amasra

“Amasra: it hides the sea’s song, mind’s burly voice and mermaids screams inside.  Well. It is unknown how much the God worked to make up this city.”  This piece of tortured prose — from the brochure they hand me at … Continue reading

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Radio interview about Mustapha Kemal Ataturk

For Turks, Mustapha Kemal Ataturk is their version of a Napoleon, George Washington, Winston Churchill or Alexander the Great.  He was the father of the Turkish republic, created in 1923.  He was the military leader who drove out the invading … Continue reading

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