Are Armenians the only victims of 1915?

The Armenian Youth Federation is using the hashtag #Turkeyfailed to create awareness as part of an informative action. The group has prepared posters about people who migrated to the United States from Turkey either after or just before 1915, and about their discoveries or inventions that have affected our daily lives.

Each massacre, Genocide or atrocity devastates the country it takes place on. From 1915 to the Roboski Massacre, Turkey has suffered immensely and what we have today is merely a shadow of the past. Armenians and Syriacs were not the only victims of 1915, the present and future of this country was a victim, too. 

In order to understand the significance of the Genocide, as much as we seek the path of truth in the tragic stories of victims, we also need to go after the inspiring stories of survivors, like Asatour Sarafian, who was born in a cave in Kayseri, but became a great inventor in the US.

Below are a few other names the Armenian Youth Federation has singled out for our attention:

Raymond Damadian: Born in New York in 1936, mathematician and doctor Raymond Vahan Damadian is the son of Vahan Damadian who fled Turkey in 1915 to the USA. In 1969, he invented the MRI machine.

Luther George Simjian: Born in Antep in 1905, Simjian lost his family during the atrocities of 1915; hem migrated first to Beirut, then to Marseille and finally to the USA to seek refuge with his relatives in Connecticut. He was the inventor of the ATM machine and the teleprompter.

Arthur Bulbulian: Born in Isparta in 1900, Bulbulian migrated to the USA in 1920, and invented the A-14 oxygen mask used in World War II by the US Army and Air Force.

Asatour Sarafian: Sarafyan was born in Kayseri in 1895 in a cave his parents took shelter to escape the massacres of the Hamidiye cavalry regiments, and migrated to the USA in 1914. He invented the automatic transmission for automobiles, a pneumatic inoculation gun, and a seawater purifier.

Alex Manoogian: Born in İzmir in 1901, Manoogian migrated to the USA in 1920. An industrial engineer, Manoogian’s most significant invention was the delta faucet, a faucet that allowed one-handed use.

And there are many more inspiring life stories. Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, had announced that in 2015, the victims of the 1915 Genocide would be proclaimed saints. I would suggest that as much as those who lost their lives, those who survived against all adversity could also be proclaimed saints. After all, if we exist today, and if we have managed to keep our culture and language alive, it is thanks to their great contribution.


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Nayat Karaköse