Unknown Hero Returns to Motherland

By Hamo Moskofian, Yerevan-Beirut-Canada by phone, 11 June 2010

Recently, during an official presentation and concert in Yerevan, Michael Aslan, the author-collector of the songs and music of the Armenian Dersim, mentioned Samuel Felekian who had helped him through his contacts with musical circles to realize a difficult task. That is, to save the 2,500-year-old cultural treasures of a region which was victim to another genocide (1937-38) by Ismet Inonu’s government in Turkey.

By Hamo Moskofian, Yerevan-Beirut-Canada by phone, 11 June 2010

Recently, during an official presentation and concert in Yerevan, Michael Aslan, the author-collector of the songs and music of the Armenian Dersim, mentioned Samuel Felekian who had helped him through his contacts with musical circles to realize a difficult task. That is, to save the 2,500-year-old cultural treasures of a region which was victim to another genocide (1937-38) by Ismet Inonu’s government in Turkey.

Inhabited for centuries by Armenians, Kurds, Alevis, Zazas, Assyrians, Chaldeans and renamed Tunceli, the Dersim mountainous region had a rich heritage of pagan, Christian, Tondrakian, Alevi, Assyrian-Nestorian and Chaldean cultures; all were meant to be destroyed by Ataturk’s “Republican” criminals in an attempt to physically end the life of the inhabitants of the last fortress of independence and freedom in the 20th century Turkey. But once more Turkey failed and today Derism’s songs and culture are resurrected by people like Michael Aslan and Samuel Felekian.
 
In 2006 we were introduced to Samuel Felekian in Yerevan. He was better known as Ali Ihsan by Kurdish and Turkish revolutionary-oppositional circles in Turkey and Kurdistan, and by Armenian patriots from Mush.
 

Kurd-Armenians
 

Felekian was accompanying the famous Turkish playwright and intellectual Echber Yaghmourdereli, and Kurdish lawyer Fikret Babaoghlu. They were trying to stage Yaghmourdereli’s political novel “Scorpion” on the Suntukian Theater in Yerevan.
 
Felekian and Yaghmourdereli spent long years in Turkey’s horrendous prisons as human rights activists and freedom fighters against dictator Kenaan Evren and his bloody junta which had organized a violent military coup d’etat in September 1980. They had arrested, tortured and killed thousands of Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian, Arab, Assyrian citizens. Even Erdogan and Gul “tasted” the horrors of Evren’s ‘inferno’, described in detail on the pages of “Scorpion”.
 
“In the prison, I sensed that comrade Ali was a Gyavour, Armenian; I was surprised to find that he was also greatly respected by the Kurds as a freedom fighter”, remembered the sightless Turkish playwright. Echber Yaghmourdereli was imprisoned 19 years by Turkish authorities for defending the rights of minorities and human rights in the artificial republic.
 
Through the aid of Ruben Mirzakhanian, the director of Tekeyan Cultural Union in Yerevan, “Scorpion” project reached the desk of Andranik Markarian, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, himself a “Sasountsi”. The sudden death of this patriotic Armenian delayed this important event. Samuel Felekian’s struggle continued. Only recently he was granted asylum in his Armenian motherland, after living for years in poverty in Germany with the help of other Islamized Armenians in Germany and Turkey.
 
“I was born in Adeyaman originating from the heroic Dersim. Most of my life  I lived as Gyavor Ali. Now I am happy to return to my roots. Despite many difficulties I have at last the right to live in the Republic of Armenia …part of our historical motherland, which we will surely liberate from occupation one day!” stated Samuel Felekian, one of the ‘unknown’ heroes of our nation.


 

3 comments
  1. Great story!

    We are so grateful for these stories that are being told and happy with their fair endings.
    1. Thanks Sossi

      Thanks Sossi.  Hopefully sentiments will transform into action in helping reintegrate all those who desire into mainstream Armenian life.

  2. Great story!

    Great story.  This is yet another reason why the RA needs to put more effort in bringing Armenians from the Diaspora back to the Homeland, and also working to bring Islamized Armenians back to the fold.

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