Armenian Culture, Science and Education Development Foundation

The Islamized and abducted Armenian women. Orient im Bilt 1927


The policy of  genocide realised by Ottoman Turkey against the Armenians started from massacre of men and went on with escort of still alive people to Syrian deserts.
The movement called “Migration” later turned into death caravans. These caravans were full of old people, women and children.

Countless Armenian women were abducted by Turkish soldiers and Kurdish gangs on their way, but those who were trying to resist, were just killed. Thousands of women were killed, but those who were unable to bear those tortures just committed suicide.
Thousands of women were deprived of their families. The first “phase” of their policy to destroy was men massacre, after which it was the women’s turn. Those who survived – children, women, elders just migrated. In the course of time the islamized and abducted women forgetting their identity lost the ability of speaking in mother language. In order to save their own lives and lives of their relatives, they had no other way than converting to islam.
Later these islamized women married the muslims and according to the local traditions covered themselves with henna. In the Middle Asia and other islamic countries henna symbolizes success. It was often put in the form of dot or letter “X” which considered to symbolize prosperity (barakyat) and belonging to someone. These signs highlighted the changes that Armenian women had passed through: that is, they had changed their identity.

After First World War years many foreign companies as well as missioners made every effort to save Armenian women from the places they had got stuck after being abducted. These efforts were dangerous. Especially Danish missioner K.Eppe coming to an agreement with the heads of Arabic tribes could save about two thousand Armenian women and children, until 1928. Due to him many lodgings were made for women in those places, which helped those tortured women to find a shelter.  At the expense of  their  lives and those of survived, the missioners made these efforts and had to pay with their own lives. The islamization and abduction of Armenian women is ,no doubt, one of the dramatic and  the bitterest periods of the 20th century genocide policy against Armenians that was realized by Ottoman Turkey.

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