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Bekir Coşkun: My Armenian Matter

Bekir Coşkun: My Armenian Matter

Bekir Coşkun, a well-known Turkish journalist, writer and the columnist of the leading Turkish magazine Cumhuriyet, raised hell and anger in the Turkish society when he made an unexpected statement and wrote an article about his Armenian grandmother.

He was inspired by the speech of Hrant Dink, founder and the editor-in-chief of the Armenian-Turkish newspaper "Agos", during the conference in 2005, where Dink delivered the following speech:

"At the time the then president of Turkey, Suleyman Demirel, used to say: 'We will not give even three pebblestones to Armenians.' We Armenians do desire this territory because our root is here. But don't worry. We desire not to take this territory away, but to come and be buried under it."

Later Dink mentioned how much he paid tribute to the efforts of the journalist: "He found the courage to tell us about it. This is an important moment for me."

Here is the article written by Bekir Coşkun:

"I have no personal information on the history of one million Armenians in question. I have just one Armenian.

After my mother died, my father, who was a government clerk, brought my sister and me to live with our grandmother. Our grandmother, who lived outside of Urfa in Tulmen, loved us. Even if many of my childhood memories have been erased, I know that she took great care of us.

My grandmother wasn't like the other aunts and women in that house. She had a long neck, a thin body, and striking eyes. And her name was Ummuhan. All the family showed her respect, and everyone loved her. Her views and advice were sought on everything. I placed close attention to the fact that my father, who was a strict authoritarian, trusted and respected her.

Then we grew up. When wer grew up, we found out that she wasn't our real grandmother, but that she had come to that house after the death of our real grandmother.

And that she was an Armenian girl when she came.

Following the death of our grandmother, my grandfather had married her, plucking her from one of the masses of Armenian families who were forcibly moved to Syria. My grandfather, my aunts, everyone loved her.

And after we grew up and learned the truth, we began to understand the sadness that would be reflected in her eyes when she would hug us.

So, that's my personal Armenian matter. Never mind what may have been done to the Armenians, or why people are fighting about now. But I would like to know what power separated my grandmother when she was just a young girl from her nest, her home and hearth. I would like to know who was responsible for the pain she tried to hide from us, and for the life long exile she had to lead. I don't know about the one million Armenians. Just this one. The sad woman I loved so much.

My Armenian."

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