818) Armenian-Turkish Marriages & their results

Caroline was born in 1982 in Istanbul. She received her primary education in the Central Armenian National college of Istanbul, and then entered the faculty of Art History at Istanbul University named by Mimar Sinan.

Now she is a third-year student and at the same time works as an interpeter/guide in Turkish historical sights and museums.

The wish of having conversation with Caroline was big because her mother is Turkish and father is Armenian, and I think her essence has been penetrated with the two nations ways of life and well-known contradictions. So, carrying positive and negative peculiarities of two nations she can judge about situation in Turkey in a healthier way.

She asked not to mention her surname, in order to express her thoughts easier.

A.O. - What nation you think you belong to?

C. - I am Armenian in fact, because my father is Armenian. Concerning to my proper feelings, I am Armenian, but may be it is because of my living in Turkey... that is something keeps telling me – I am a stranger. If I lived in Armenia, may be I’d feel as a Turk...

A.O. – What reminds you your being Armenian.

C. – Not so much my being an Armenian, but not being a Turk. First of all - my name: every time it sounds I face the same questions - where I am from, how I studied Turkish so well.

A.O. – You mean that they don’t know about Armenians in Turkey?

C. – Of course, they don’t. They don’t know not only about Armenians, but all other minorities as well.

Imagine, even my mother’s relatives think that my father is from Armenia. They consider Armenia to be our native land. It is another question which my native land is. Only I can decide it. But it would be better to count us within those whose native land is Turkey, because we are the citizens of this country and we have a history of hundred years in this land.

A.O. – Would you tell us about your impressions being an offspring of two different nations?

C. – I can say that the first years in the school were the most difficult. I attended Armenian College and I remember that I had difficulties with Armenian language because my mother didn’t know Armenian and there was nobody to help me.

Now I think it wasn’t so hard comparatively with others. We had both Armenian and Turkish relatives, who always blamed my parents…For example my mother was blamed for marriage with Armenian by her relatives, and my father was blamed, too. And finally they decide that the most painful result of the marriage is me, a person, who doesn’t know her national belonging.

A.O. – Who are your friends? Are they mainly Armenians or Turks?

C. – Now my friends are mostly Turks, because I study and work. It isn’t due to one of my parents’ national belonging. It’s the same for all of my Armenian coevals.

How do your Turkish friends treat you? Do the political events influence your relations?

C. – Generally their attitude is normal, as everybody chooses persons like himself. For example, most of my friends are aware of Armenian Genocide and they wish Armenian-Turkish relations and conditions of Armenians in Turkey to become better.

Of course, there are a lot of unconcerned people, who ask me: “Are you from Armenia?” I always get angry, but I realize that it isn’t their fault, either they aren’t informed, or it is the influence of state policy on their psychology and mentality. We can only blame the national, state policy.

A.O. – Let’s speak a little bit about your personal life. Do you pay attention to the national belonging when choosing boyfriends? And what about the marriage?

C. – To tell the truth, the nationality is not so important for me. I have had both Armenian and Turkish boyfriends and I loved them. As I mentioned everybody chooses people thinking like him, and it doesn’t matter what nation they belong to.

As you know there are a great number of Armenians in our community who don’t worry about questions concerning Armenians or Armenia. They don’t speak Armenian, they are against attending Armenian College. They have traveled all over Europe but don’t want to listen about Armenia.

So I make a conclusion: It’s better to get married with a person of another nation, who respects my culture and way of life than with such an Armenian, who doesn’t care about his nation.

By Alin Ozinian



Chicago, Illinois, United States said...

Because of the bizarre claims against Turks, Armenian descendant citizens feel anxious in Turkiye.

I do not think people and also this lady believe in that slander, it is very easy to play with people's words on internet.

I do not believe one nation is superior than the other one.But please keep in mind:

While the old Christian Holy office "the Inquisition" was destroying 5,000 people for pointless reasons, your "barbar" "muslim" Turks accepted and lived with people from all different religions...

If Turks would had wanted to erase Armenian race from the world they could be able to do it in Ottoman imperial times which lasted 800 years...

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Gülnur said...

I am a Turkish girl brought up in a very nationalistic turkish household and i am happily married to an armenian guy. when i look at my husbands face i only think of his qualities not of his nationality. and when he looks directly at my face he sees me as the way i am not a label... i think it is easy to get over labels and it is the only way to communicate with each other and then to face with the past.

Sukru Server Aya said...

Re: Gülnur

Excellent; deeds of intelligent persons!... Religion and Nationality are like "armor dress" too heavy to carry all the time for unknown enemy.

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