Archive for June 1st, 2011

June 1, 2011

This pain is not ours

by Azad Alik

What we need is justice, not compassion

Serhat Uyurkulak

I’m thankful that I haven’t witnessed as many deaths close by. But in most visits of condolence, I came across a similar scene. As the suffering had soared up to an almost tangible degree, someone would suddenly burst into tears and moan that they so wanted to bring the deceased back from the tomb to the extent of declaring a willingness to go into the grave instead. Under the gaze of the surprised family members, people would secretly ask each other who that person might be. And, often, it would turn out that the ‘grief-thief’ was someone who had pangs of conscience for they would feel indebted to the deceased in one way or the other. The strangest thing would be the family’s almost forgetting their own grief to make grief-thief feel better. The real torment would begin when it befell on them to console that person with ill conscience. 

I do wish to be a person without a blemish on my conscience and life, and I try to do my best to live like one. Being persons with ‘clear consciences’ was an expression in the declaration of the ‘This Pain is Ours’ initiative that more frequently appeared on social and other media as April 24th drew near. The declaration claimed that what had been done to the Armenians who were

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June 1, 2011

Hovik’s Fate – Boy Serves Tea in Istanbul

by Azad Alik

Edik Baghdasaryan

HETQ – During a recent trip to Istanbul, I was constantly taking notes of the people I met along the way.These were Armenians, both locals and those from Armenia, Kurds, Turks… Here’s a sample few:

Hovik Shahinyan – 13 years-old
Eliza – Hovik’s aunt
Zhanna – Hovik’s sister; 15 years-old
Hakob – Hovik’s father, who is physically disabled and can hardly move around

Most Armenians from the RA are located in Istanbul. It’s easier to find work here than in other Turkish cities. Then again, you have the local “Bolsahay” community with its churches, schools and other institutions.

I assume it creates a security blanket of sorts.

While the exact number of Armenians from Armenia now residing in Turkey is unknown, rest assured that the Turkish security agencies know where each lives.

Arayik, whose been living in Istanbul for the past 13 years told me, “They can round us up at any time. Arayik has had his share of run-ins with the cops. Each month he returns to Moscow in order not to violate his visa requirements. The next day he returns to Turkey.

Many follow Arayik’s example. Others make the trip to Georgia. Most return the following day.

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