An Armenian from Aintap Followed  the Footsteps of His Ancestors

  • by Western Armenia, February 23, 2024 in Society

Hovik Keshishyan, who was born in the Syrian city of Aleppo in 1989, describes himself as a native of Aintap. "I was born in Aleppo, but I consider myself a local. When we were asked where part in Aleppo we were from, we answered from Anytap.

They were from Aintap on both sides, their mother's and father's. My mother is Swabian."

Hovik's grandfather, whose name he bears, was born in Aintap in 1913. It is written in the diary left by the Pope: "I was born in Eblahan, Aintap, near the Eyuboglu Mosque."

Despite the family's warnings that "Don't go to Aintap, something will happen to you", Hovik Keshishyan came to the birthplace of his ancestors every year.

At home, Hovik Keshishyan and his family members still speak Turkish. I came to Ayntap for the first time in 2015. I am from here. I think my roots and connection are here."

"My grandfather and father said that the people of Aintap, the population is a people with roots, with a very rich history," Keshishyan tells his memories and adds, "Books and materials about the Armenians of Aintap can be found in Aleppo.

There, too, we keep alive our unshakable ness. When a person in Aleppo is alert, professional and intelligent, they ask: "Are you from Aintap?" This is my sixth visit to Aintap. I got to know the historian, writer Murad Uchaner and due to him I learned the history of the city.

When I saw the Kurtulush Mosque during my first visit, i.e. the Church of Our Lady, I felt that it attracted me and I psychologically belonged to it. Later I learned that my grandfather died in 1914. was baptized in the Church of Saint Astvatsatsin.

Keshishyan is the only one from his family who goes back and forth to Aintap. In fact, his mother worries every time, thinking that something will happen to him. "Don't go, son, what's your business?" It can be dangerous. It's a test for you. Go to Europe, why are you going to Aintap? It is a finished thing. It looks like as to open  closed books," says his mother.