Islamized Armenian of Urfa rediscovered his Armenian identity through court

There are millions of crypto Armenians in Western Armenia, but only few of them, rarely 100 of them are able to rediscover their identity. One of them is Hadi Gyumush, who lives in Urfa, Siverek (Sev Averak in Armenian-Black Ruin) with his wife, children and grandchildren. He rediscovered his Armenian identity through a Turkish court.

In an interview with, Hadi Gyumush said the following: “I knew I was Armenian when I was little. In 1980, the Fascist generals took over, and going against the authorities, I started to struggle to rediscover my Armenian identity. I asked myself why I had to live with another identity. It wasn’t easy for me to make this decision. I fought for two years, and finally, the highest Turkish court made the decision.” However, he was going to be pressured and persecuted after that.

Hadi Gyumush said they had even threatened to kill his family and dismiss him from work. “I was working as a teacher, but when I rediscovered my Armenian identity, I was dismissed from school. I appealed to the court again, and this time the court ruled that if I was of Armenian descent, I couldn’t teach Turkish and Kurdish children.”

Rediscovering the Armenian identity helped Hadi Gyumush in another case. he recalled that when he was participating in the Kurds’ liberation struggle, he was taken to be tortured, but when they found out that he was Armenian, they removed him and asked what he was doing there. In this case, they realized that they were dealing with an Armenian, not a Turk or a Kurd. Despite the persecutions, Hadi Gyumush’s children also rediscovered their Armenian identity.

It was because of those persecutions that our interlocutor told us that whenever he is asked about his nationality, before saying he’s Armenian, he lists adjectives such as “the child of a nation that has suffered the most, has been ignored the most, has been offended the most and has been humiliated the most.”

Tatev Harutyunyan

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