“He remained loyal to two principles throughout his life; protecting the dignity of his ancestors, and never succumbing to injustice.” His family remembers Sarkis Seropyan, who passed away on Saturday.
A founder and pillar of Agos, editor of the Armenian section of the newspaper, his family has told the story of Sarkis Seropyan, and his life lived to the full:
“He was born in Istanbul, eighty years ago, as the first child of a family from Sıvas. He tasted the bitterness of becoming an orphan when he was only two years old. First at Arti Gırtaran in Dolapdere, then at the Esayan School, he became a student of the alphabet created by Mesrob Mashdots, the great Saint from Muş. As an orphan, he could not go onto study at high school or university, or study fine arts. He began work. He became a humble worker in the refrigeration industry.
He remained a disciple of Saint Mesrob till the end. He was an insatiable reader. Saint Movses, the father of Armenian historiography, and the immortal novelist Raffi became his most beloved friends. It was through their mediation that he remained attached throughout his entire life to the lands of his ancestors.
His ties to these lands were consolidated during his military service. By divine coincidence he was assigned to Sıvas, the birthplace of his ancestors.
He became the ‘head’ of his family at a very young age. He took care of both his grandmother and his mother.
He got married; he had two children, and two grandchildren.
The lands of his ancestors always called him. Berç Kamparosyan was his dearest companion in all the trips to Anatolia he organized with small groups of 4-5 people. The remains of a far away village church or monastery would be his sole destinations. On his pilgrimage to the Surp Garabed Monastery in Muş, he whispered words from Garaçyan’s immortal work: “Çangli, make my wish come true…”
The trips he went on and the books he read over the years eventually bore fruit. The pages of the Armenian press in Istanbul became his new field of work. From “Jamanak” to “Marmara”, and from “Kulis” to “Surp Pırgiç” he wrote travel notes, memoirs and research pieces for every newspaper and magazine. He translated fairy tales and books. He believed that Turks, Kurds, Alevis and all other communities living on these lands had to know Armenian literature. He dedicated his remaining years to this belief.
Years later, he declared himself retired. And then, divine coincidence intervened once again. His paths crossed with Hrant Dink. Following an exchange of ideas, and the support of other friends, they produced the first issue of the weekly Agos newspaper. Thus, Agos had two Barons; Baron Hrant and Baron Seropyan.
He became the editor of the Armenian pages of the newspaper. Visitors that constantly surrounded it always livened up his small desk at the office. These visitors would always come with questions about who knows which village, city, monastery of Anatolia, or about their family roots, or about Armenian traditions.
He received one of the heaviest blows of his life when he lost his beloved friend Hrant Dink. He remained the most senior member of the Agos family until his final days.
As the “unofficial president” of the HAYCAR Association of Armenian Architects and Engineers community, he led the annual trips to Anatolia. Despite his advancing age, each of these visits of pilgrimage became an invigorating source for him.
He remained loyal to two principles throughout his life;
protecting the dignity of his ancestors, and never succumbing to injustice.
And today, on 28 March 2015, Saturday, in the evening hours, my husband, our father, our grandfather, our kin
following a brief and relentless illness, surrendered his pure soul at his home, surrounded by his family and loved ones.
‘Baron Seropyan’s funeral ceremony will be held on 31 March 2015, Tuesday, at 1 PM at the Feriköy Surp Vartanants Church. Burial will follow at the family grave at the Şişli Armenian Cemetery where he will be laid to rest beside his beloved grandmother, father and mother.Announced with sorrow to all who loved and cherished him.”