Did You Know?  (29 & 30)

Did You Know? (29)

By Jirair Tutunjian, 23 December 2022

According to Patriarch Maghakia Ormanian (1841-1918), the “Man in the Iron Mask” was Bishop Avedik Yevtogiatsi of Constantinople. Ormanian wrote that Bishop Yevtogiatsi, who lived in the 18th century, was hated by the French because he fought missionary Jesuits. French envoy Charles Ferriol, Marquise d’Argental, asked the sultan to exile Yevtogiatsi to an island off Syria. Instead, the sultan sent the bishop to Jerusalem. But the French bribed the Turkish captain to head his ship west. In Sicily, the bishop was handed to the French who put him in an Inquisition prison. He was later moved to the island of Mount Michel in France and later to Bastille. Yevtogiatsi died in 1711 and was buried in the Church of St. Sulpice in Paris.

It’s well known that Sabiha Geokje (Turkey’s first woman fighter pilot) was orphan Khatoun Sebiljian who had lost her parents during the Armenian Genocide. According to unconfirmed reports, a number of other prominent ‘Turk’ politicians have Armenian blood. They are Abdullah Gul, Hafize Eozal (foster son of Kenan Everen), Turgut Ozal, Mesut Yelmaz, Murad Kara-yalchin, Devlet Bahceli, and Rejai Kutan.

Philipp Bedrosovich Kirkorov (born in 1967) is a Bulgarian-born ‘Russian’ music super star who has sold more than 60 million records. His Armenian father was also a singer. In addition to singing, Kirkorov also writes songs. He wrote the Belarusian entry to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007 and the following year that of Ukraine’s entry. The 6’. 4” singer is tempestuous and often rude to journalists. He is the five-time winner of the ‘Best Selling Russian Artist’ at the World Music Awards competitions.

Jack Charles Stanmore Agazarian (1916-1945) was a British espionage agent during WWII. He worked for Special Operations Executive (SOE). Betrayed, he was captured by the Germans. After six months of interrogation, he was executed.

Lt. Col Nelson Gevorkovich Stepanyan was a dive bomber in the Soviet Air Force. During WWII, he fought on the Baltic Front. Nicknamed “Storm Petral of the Baltic Sea”, he flew 229 missions and destroyed 78 trucks, 67 tanks, 19 mortar positions, 63 AAA, 36 railroad cars, 20 destroyers,  merchant ships, 13 fuel tankers, 12 armored cars, seven long-range field guns, five ammunition dumps, and five bridges.

During WWII, Armenians in the U.S. raised $115,000 for the war effort. Lebanese-Armenians raised 185,000 Lebanese pounds while Syrian-Armenians raised 276,000 Syrian pounds. 14,000 pounds were raised in Egypt while Iranian Armenians raised 2.5 million liras. The Sasuntsi Tavit tank corps, which advanced 200 kilometer in two months, was funded by Diaspora donations.

The Armenian letter “Z” is represented by several graphic forms. They vary by their configuration, but are similar in construction. Few Armenian words begin with this letter. They are often loan words or words with unknown origin. Although in most European alphabets “Z” is the last letter, in Armenian it occupies an initiatory (sixth) position.

The origin of the Mamigonian clan has intrigued Armenian historians. According to historian Movses Khorenatsi, in the third or fourth century two Chinese noblemen—Mamik and Konak, rose against their half-brother, Chenbakur, the Emperor of China. Defeated, they fled west to Parthia who sent them to Armenia despite the emperor’s demand that the two be returned. Mamik became the progenitor of the Mamigonians. Another historian (Pavstos Puzant) said the brothers descended from the Han dynasty. The Chinese origins are not unusual…The Pakradounis claimed Jewish descent and the Ardzruni’s Assyrian origins. British historian Edward Gibbon believed the Mamigonians had Scythian origins. Some historians believe the Mamigonians were descended from Tzans chieftains (Chanik or Tzannoi in Greek) a people who lived south of Trabizond. They postulate that the tradition of Chinese origin arose out of the similarity of the name Chanik to the Armenian word for China (Chen-k).

Arthur Adamov was a leading light of the Theatre of the Absurd. Adamov (originally Adamian) was born (1908) in Kislovodsk (Russia) to a wealthy family. The family lost its wealth in 1917. In 1924 he moved to Paris. He began to write plays after WWII, with La Parodie (1947) being his first. He died in 1970.

In March 1997, Dr. Jack Kevorkian opened his second show of his paintings at the Ariana Gallery in Royal Oak, Michigan. The exhibition featured “From Deir ez Zor to Auschwitz (Genocide)”. The painting depicts the hands of a Turkish soldier and an SS guard holding a head representative of the Armenian and Jewish holocausts. Dr. Kevorkian, the son of Armenian Genocide survivors, painted the frame with his blood.

DID You Know? (30)

By Jirair Tutunjian, 23 December 2022

Armenian proverbs:

Pigs never see the stars.
Believe what you see; ignore what you hear.
One Armenian eats one chicken; two Armenians eat two chickens; three Armenians eat each other.
The toothless dog always barks from a distance.
Inedible fruits are not damaged by frostbite.

Artem Mikoyan was born (1905) in Sanahin. In 1923 he moved to Rostov-on-the-Don where he studied at the Military Aviation Academy. He invented his first plane, “Oktyabrenok,” with his colleagues. In 1940 with Mikhail Gurevich, he invented the MiG-3 fighter. During WWII, he designed fighters with high flight and technical data, including E-250. Afterwards, he worked on MiG-19, MiG-15, MiG-21, and MiG-17 (reaching the speed of sound. MiG-19 was the first native supersonic fighter. He died on Dec. 7, 1970.

Giorgio Armani’s accountant father (Ugo) was an Armenian who had fled from the genocide of his people in 1915. Giorgio’s mother (Maria Raimondi) was Italian. He was born in Piacenza in 1934. He wanted to become a doctor after reading A.J. Cronin’s “The Citadel” and enrolled at the University of Milan. After three years of study, he broke off his studies and joined the army (infantry) in Verona. He then decided to change careers and become fashion designer. Several years ago, his empire was worth $9.6 billion. In addition to Giorgio Armani, he owns half-a-dozen trade marks

Saladin’s staff included many Armenians, including Chief of Navy Lulu el Hajeb. He defeated Crusader Renald de Chatillon during a Red Sea engagement. Another Armenian staff member was architect Karakash who built the famous bridges of Gizeh in Egypt.

The letter “P” (‘ben ’or ‘pen’), the second letter of the Armenian alphabet, has roots in the Indo-European “bh” which corresponds to the Greek “ph”.  “P” symbolizes the duality of the creation. An Armenian medieval manuscript offers examples of the duality: humans in paradise—Adam and Eve, soul and body, two testaments—Old and New.

There are several hypotheses about the origins of the shape of the Armenian “K” (Kim). The most prevalent is that its prototype is the Greek “gamma”. The popular theory is that it was created by transforming the preceding letter “Pen”, by extending its top line into a circle and flipping it around. Being the third letter of the alphabet, it symbolizes the Trinity.

More Armenian proverbs
The most deafening sound in the world is the whisper of your conscience.
If going in is easy, make sure so is coming out.
Don’t expect a blind man to concern himself with the rising price of candle.
Four walls have four ears.
You can’t cook pilav with words.
A pessimist is depressed by his own predictions.

The Sarkies Brothers (Martin, Arshak, Aviet, and Tigran) founded the Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Penang (1885), the Strand Hotel in Yangon (1896), Raffles in Singapore (1899), and Majapahit in Surabaya (1910). They also owned Adelphi Hotel in Singapore. Another Armenian (Cathchik Moses) founded (1845) the ‘Strait Times’ of Singapore.

There are “Armenian Street” in Singapore, New Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai. There’s also Chater Road in Hong Kong named after Armenian Sir Paul Chater who was born in Calcutta to Armenian parents in 1846 but moved to Hong Kong to become a leading citizen of the British colony. Sir Chater co-founded Hong Kong’s first university and was a steward of the Jockey Club.

In her diary, American novelist Dawn Powell wrote: “Bobby Lewis said William Saroyan’s egotism came from his grandmother. An Armenian, she settled in Fresno and remained thoroughly Armenian all her days. Commenting on her next-door neighbor she said, “She is so stupid. Think of it. She has lived next door to me for 18 years and still can’t speak a word of Armenian.’”

  1. Some minor corrections to this part of the article:
    “It’s well known that Sabiha Geokje (Turkey’s first woman fighter pilot) was orphan Khatoun Sebiljian who had lost her parents during the Armenian Genocide. According to unconfirmed reports, a number of other prominent ‘Turk’ politicians have Armenian blood. They are Abdullah Gul, Hafize Eozal (foster son of Kenan Everen), Turgut Ozal, Mesut Yelmaz, Murad Kara-yalchin, Devlet Bahceli, and Rejai Kutan.”
    1) Khatoun’s Turkish last name is Göktchen.
    2) Hafize Özal is Turgut Özal’s mother not Kenan Evren’s foster son.

  2. Tavit,
    Thank you. Over the years, I have compiled between 70 to 80 “Did You Know?” columns…a minimum of 700 items. They would make an interesting book. The book wouldn’t be ephemeral like so much of electronic media’s content.

  3. Mr. Tutunjian,
    You should write a book.
    Then there would be a place where one could access all these interesting findings.

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