It is noteworthy that the status of having an Armenian grandmother is more often disclosed by the daughter through her grandchildren, that is, it is the grandmother rather than the grandmother who is disclosed, and this can perhaps be explained by some patriarchal perceptions and the distinctive position of men in society. In many sources and studies, we find memories of Islamized Armenian women’s grandmothers that are exclusively positive, beautiful, chaste, mature and unconditionally accepted by society. As we mentioned in previous articles, since the beginning of the 2000s, a large number of books have been published in Turkish literature, one of the main heroines of which is the Armenian woman forcibly converted to Islam during the genocide against Armenians . Still in the documentary novel “My Heart Rejoices with You”, published in Germany in 2001 by Turkish writer Kemal Yalçın, we find stories about Armenian women who were forcibly Islamized, let us quote one of them: Sultan Bakırcıgil, a secret Armenian woman, relates the story of her aunt as follows: “During the genocide against armenians , a Kurd killed my aunt’s husband in front of her and kidnapped her and married her. My aunt gave birth to two sons with the Kurdish man who killed her husband, but the horror she experienced accompanied her throughout her life. My aunt used to say “I will never forget this incident. I know this man killed my husband. I saw it with my own eyes, he was going to kill me too. I became the wife of my husband’s murderer out of fear. I will never forgive this man, the father of my two sons, God will punish him.”
This detail best represents the traumatic life of an Armenian woman who was forcibly Islamized and the mental torture she experienced under the same roof with the murderer of her family.
In another book by Kemal Yalçın, “The Yellow Bride”, published in Germany, we come across the story of Siranuyş, a beautiful woman from the famous Bersum (Parsam) tribe of Samosat-Adıyaman: Nuri, one of the famous Kurdish aghas of the region, rescued her and married her. Siranuyş was to become the Kurd’s wife on one condition: Nuri had to save ten children from Siranuyş’s clan, and for this very reason the Bersum clan continues.
In Yalçın’s book, Mehmet Nuri, the younger son of Nuri Aga and Siranuyş, tells details of his mother’s life, shedding light on the traumatic life and memories of an Islamized Armenian woman: “My mother’s real name was Siranuyş, after she married my father they called her Hanım. When I was little, my mother would say to me and my brothers, “Call me Siranuyş”. When I called her Siranuysh, she would hug me, kiss me and cry. Because I was a child, I would also cry when I saw my mother’s tears, but I didn’t understand why she was crying. My mother used to talk to the mountains, birds, stones, soil, flowers. When I asked her, she would pat my head and say, “This is the language of my mother, my father, my uncles, the language of Armenians”.
The language of Armenians was the language of my mother’s tears.”
The story of Silva from Pazarcıklı, another heroine of the book, contains shocking details: “When the exile began, I had been married for a year, I was eighteen years old, my husband was killed. As the caravan traveled to the Syrian desert, my current husband Hasan kidnapped me and took me to his village. First he changed my name, it was Silva. He told me, “From now on your name will be Hajar.”
I was three months pregnant when Hassan kidnapped me from the caravan. When the time came, I gave birth and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Hazan said, “If this girl grows up, she will be a trouble for us. Either you kill this child or I will kill you.”
I begged her, but she was determined. In those days I was afraid of death. Where I was going to run away, I had no one. I poisoned my beloved child to death with my own hands. For days the image of my child haunted me. I regretted it very much, thinking, “I wish I had killed myself”.
Later I gave birth to a son with Hasan, but I could not embrace that child as my own and I never accepted Hasan as my husband. After I killed my child, I suffered for the rest of my life.”