The Krmzians’ gift to Istanbul

On October 7, the opening ceremony of the mausoleum of Petros Duryan will be held at the Armenian cemetery in the Skyutar District of Istanbul. The works were launched and funded by France-based brothers Hrach-Anoushavan and Hagop Krmzians. The goal is to pay tribute once again to the poet and transmit to the generations the idea of keeping the memory of people like Duryan alive.

The idea was conceived a year ago when the cemetery memorial of the famous Palyan family of architects of Istanbul was renovated and opened at the initiative of Hrach-Anoushavan and Hagop Krmzian on October 1, 2016. The cemetery memorial was built in the shape of the altar of the St. Mary’s Church built by the Palyans in Beshiktash.

“We carried out the plan to eternalize the memory of the Palyans and built the cemetery memorial with the help of the “HaiTchar” Society of Armenian Architects and Engineers of Istanbul and Ashot Grigoryan who, by coincidence, was preparing a book devoted to the Palyans. The book is entitled “The Treasures in the Garden of the Armenian Nation: The Palyans” and was released last month.

The Palyans have left a rich legacy, including palaces, military structures, churches, mosques and schools, and all this can be the pride of any nation. As is the case for such people, the opening of the cemetery memorial was held in a very interesting atmosphere and was attended by Mayor of Istanbul Kadir Topbas, Turkish Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Omer Arisoy, as well as several members of the local Armenian community and journalists. It was very nice to see that people remember the Palyans in the country where they carried out their activities for nearly two centuries and aren’t trying to make others forget their origin and the fact that they are sons of the Armenian nation. What was extremely important for us was the fact that Turkish mass media outlets provided good coverage of the event and weren’t able to find anything that was negative,” Hrach-Anoushavan Krmzian stated in an interview with Hayern Aysor.

The sole purpose was to make sure the new generation of Armenians recognizes great Armenians, people who can be the pride of any nation. “When we assumed this task, we were often asked if we were relatives of the Palyans, to which we would say that even though we are not, every Armenian is a descendant of the Palyans to a certain extent since they don’t belong to one community, but rather the Armenian nation.

I am a retired electric engineer, and my brother is a businessman and runs a factory in Romania. We would always think about doing something to help our nation. Unfortunately, we are a little too old, and it will be a little hard to start a business in Armenia. We tried to help our nation with this. Every Armenian needs to do his best to try to help the homeland because you can also convey the idea to the next generations with your example,” the author of the initiative stated.

Hrach-Anoushavan also added that these efforts provided them with the opportunity to become familiar with interesting people, without whom they wouldn’t be able to succeed. The brothers have also sponsored the publication of the book “Treasures of the Garden to the Armenian Nation: The Palyans”, which will also be published in Western Armenian, Turkish and English. “I am happy that I was able to meet members of “HaiTchar” Society, including Nazar Binatli, Kevork Oskaragyoz and Davit Aynal. I also admire Ashot Grigoryan’s work. He has carried out a major task and has published a valuable book. It is a great honor and joy for us to meet such people. When you are on the road, you don’t know who you will encounter on the way. God helped us meet very important people on the road and helped us make a contribution to our nation. I often repeat the following: a written paper is more valuable than a blank paper, even if the written paper is wrong. I prefer to write something on paper. If it is wrong, I will polish it. I might also be able to taint others with what I have “written”.

The same goes for our country, Armenia. True, the people face many hardships, but it is temporary. A couple of days ago, I visited the international school in Dilijan and TUMO Center for Creative Technologies. When I saw all this, I believed that the future of our nation will be bright. I hope the new generation lives in a better country.”


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