Hamshen and Hamshen Armenians

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The history of Hamshen and Hamshen Armenians

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  • Hello Mehmet

    I am Zohrab born in Abkhazia Georgia

    Unlike you we never feel sleep and forgot who we are, we never forgot the 2000 of our people in 3 villages killed like sheep by the turks, we never forgot who chased us out from our lands and stole our Churches and killed and raped our women and children.

    Turkish lies, propaganda and forced Islamisation of our people over the centuries has poisoned the memories of the Hemsin, they have destroyed the identity of the Hemsin with lies and brute force.

    My language tells me who I am, I am Zohrab a Hamshentsi Armenian, and I will never forget who I am and who tried to destroy my people and my identity.
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  • Hello Vashdonoglu,

    This is another Mehmet, (Mehmet Şerif Albayrak) from 'Kale-i Bala' Willage at the top of Kaçkar Mountain in Çamlıhemşin-Rize. Half of my generation comes from Hemşin generation and half of it comes from Kale-i Bala. As we know, Kale-i Bala (mean 'Paramount Tower') was formed by Ottoman. In our willage all of the place names are in pure Turkish not like other Hemshin willages.

    If you ask me who I am;
    I say I am a 'Kaleli' in Fırtına Valley, I am 'Hemşinli' in Rize, I am 'Rizeli' in Turkey, I say I am 'Turk' in the world.

    Assume that I wake up tomorrow morning and realised that I am 100 percent coming from an armenian blood orginally, nothing will change in my side.

    As like my other Turkish brothers, I will continue to love my homeland Hemşin, Kale Willage, Rize, Turkey and my brothers 'Turks'. I will continue to feel the patriot of Turkey as I feel now. And I will continue to love the people in the world. ( all nations, armenians too)

    Hemshin people are very cultivated, tied to each other, love their homeland and all of are patriot of Turkey. I will not say that what you have written is correct or not, but the reality is that Hemshin people feel not good about your Genocide provocation.

    Armenian politics should widen their narrow vision. Turks are peace loving people. Instead to be opposite to us, you should start to be friend of us. Wear out this complex. And please do not try to provoce more about Hemşin, otherwise you will lose your possibility of seeing Hemshin even, since Hamshin patriots may prevent your coming if you continue like this.

    Lets start accepting the realities of today then we can anlyse together (as friends) the realities of history.

    Thank you.
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  • Hello Mehmet,
    Since you are from Rize, you should know that Lazs and Hemshins lived next to each other for many centuries. There are many common family names that's something normal. As you also know, Laz people have no relation to Armenians but Hamshen people are originally Armenians. If you have old people in your family they will tell you the same.
    Since you are Laz then you're family name cannot come from Veziryan But there are several families from Cemlihemsin villages who are Veziroglu and are Hamshen. We are talking about them.

    We will be interested to know whats the origin of the Laz people.
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  • Hi! I'm from Rize too. I'm from Pazar, 30km from Hemsin away. Our surename in the times of Ottoman Empire was Veziroglu. But we are Lazs and our old Laz surename is Kusta. How do you know, that for example Veziroglu is originally Veziriyan.
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Hamshen and Hamshen Armenians

  1. 1. Համշէնահայեր Hemshinlis Hamshentsis The Lost Black Sea Armenians….
  2. 2. Who are they? & Where they come from?
  3. 3. In the 8th Century and under the pressure of the Arab invasion, Armenian Princes Shabuh and his son Hamam Amadouni leave their lands in North Vasburagan and migrate to the Kachkar Mountains (overlooking the Black Sea). North Vasburagan was the homeland of the Armenian Amadouni Princedom.
  4. 4. Vasburagan Black Sea
  5. 5. The Princes and their men reach the destroyed city of Tambour in the Kachkar Mountains. Prince Hamam rebuilds the city and calls it Hamamshen (in Armenian means Hamam’s city) Later the name becomes Hamshen (Armenian) and Hemshin (Turkish)
  6. 6. Prince Hamam and his men settled in the area surrounding Hamshen which is now known as Firtina Valley Over the years, the Hemshinlis were spread in many regions of the Black Sea Area (Karadere, Hemsin dere, Hopa, Borcka, Rize, Trabzon, Ordu, Samson, Bolu and Sakarya)
  7. 7. Between the 8 th and the 14 th centuries, a prosperous Hamshen Princedom survived in the black sea area. The people of Hamshen became known as Hemshinli and their language Hemshintsi (Homshetsna) which is a dialect of the Armenian language
  8. 8. <ul><li>Famous Hemshinli Princes </li></ul><ul><li>Prince Hamam Amadouni (700) </li></ul><ul><li>(the founder of Hamshen) </li></ul><ul><li>Prince Arakel (1400) </li></ul><ul><li>- Prince Tavit I (1425) </li></ul><ul><li>Prince Vart (1440) </li></ul><ul><li>Prince Veke (1460) </li></ul><ul><li>Prince Tavit II (the last prince) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Hamshen city was destroyed in 1489 by the Ottoman Army and its last Prince Davit was exiled The exact location of the city is still not known The old history of Hamshen is still under extensive research by historians
  10. 10. From 1450 onwards, the Ottomans started forcing the Hemshinlis to convert to Islam Although according to the Holy Qoran, Islam cannot be forced.
  11. 11. [256] There is no compulsion in religion
  12. 12. The mass conversion was done by threats and by force Those who refused were killed and thrown in Firtina River The survivors had to leave the area
  13. 13. According to old stories Firtina river turned RED for many days because of the spilled blood……
  14. 14. Churches were converted to Mosques……
  15. 15. Family names were changed….. Apelyan became Apeloglu Hakopyan became Akopoglu Vezirian became Veziroglu
  16. 16. During the forced conversion, Most of the villages resisted One of the famous Hemshinli heroes was Ter Karapet Hamshentsi from Toroslu Village
  17. 17. In the 1800s, Many Hemshinlis fleed to Samson and Ordu and later on to Krasnodar (Russia) and Abkhazya (Georgia). They kept their language and remained Christian. These are known today as the North Hemshinlis
  18. 18. Northern
  19. 19. Other Hemshinlis fleed to Hopa-Borcka area (Artvin province in Turkey). They kept their language but they were forced to convert after several decades. They are known today as Hopa-Hemshinlis (Eastern)
  20. 20. Eastern
  21. 21. The Hemshinlis who stayed on their lands (Rize Province in Turkey) lost their religion and gradually lost their language. They speak Hemshinji which is a Turkish Dialect containing many Armenian words. Today they are known as Bash Hemshinli (Western)
  22. 22. Western
  23. 23. In 1895, the Hemshinlis of Trabzon were massacred
  24. 24. <ul><li>In 1915, The last Christian Hemshinlis in Ordu, Samson and Trabzon were deported to Anatolia and massacred </li></ul><ul><li>Those who survived left to Krasnodar (Russia) and Abkhazya (Georgia) and joined the Northern Hemshinlis </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Many Bash Hemshinli families were also killed </li></ul><ul><li>Several hopa Hemshinli families were exiled to Georgia (near Batumi) because of their language </li></ul><ul><li>In 1944, Stalin exiled the Hopa Hemshinlis from Georgia to Krgyzstan and Kazakhstan </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Small groups of Hemshinlis who survived decided to defend their families and villages </li></ul><ul><li>Resistance groups (Fedayiner) were formed in the mountains of Karadere, Ordu and Samson </li></ul>Hemshinli Fedayiner
  27. 27. <ul><li>Hemshinli Fedayis resisted for 8 years! </li></ul><ul><li>During this period, many survivors were smuggled to Russia by the Fedayis </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Some of their heroic actions were documented and recently published </li></ul>
  29. 29. It is a long history of wars and bloodshed…
  30. 30. …… A history of great People who constantly fought for its Armenian identity
  31. 31. Currently, there are 3 groups of Hemshinlis Northern Hemshinli Western (Bash Hemshinli) Eastern (Hopa Hemshinli)
  32. 32. Northern Eastern Western
  33. 33. No concrete statistics on the total numbers but they are roughly estimated between 500 to 750,000 and mainly living on the coast of the Black Sea (Turkey, Georgia and Russia)
  34. 34. <ul><li>During the last 50 years, many Hemshinlis (Turkey) left to Europe (Germany, France) </li></ul>
  35. 35. <ul><li>A group of Northern Hemshinlis migrated to Armenia in the 1980s and they have became full citizens </li></ul><ul><li>Until today they keep their Homshetsna accent and their traditions (Horon, Tulum, etc.) </li></ul>
  36. 36. Artists
  37. 37. Kazim Koyuncu
  38. 39. Altan Civelek
  39. 40. Harun Topaloglu
  40. 41. Main Publications <ul><li>Hemsin Gizemi – Levon Khacikyan </li></ul><ul><li>(Armenian/Turkish) </li></ul><ul><li>The Hemshin – Hovann Simonian (English) </li></ul><ul><li>Hemsin Ermenileri – </li></ul><ul><li>Aliye Alt (Alice Kostanyan) </li></ul><ul><li>(Turkish/ German) </li></ul><ul><li>Zur Herkunft und Identität der Hemsinli </li></ul><ul><li>Rüdiger Benninghaus (German) </li></ul><ul><li>Hemshinli: The forgotten Black Sea Armenians- Bert Vaux </li></ul><ul><li>(English - article) </li></ul><ul><li>Hemsinler ve Ermeniler Hemsinler (under publication) (Turkish/Armenian/Russian/English) </li></ul>
  41. 42. <ul><li>Picture Gallery </li></ul>
  42. 43. Firtina Valley
  43. 44. Firtina River
  44. 45. Old House
  45. 46. Another Old House in the mountains
  46. 47. Ayder Village (coming from the word Ard-er)
  47. 48. Converted Mosque in Hamshen Region….
  48. 49. “ Mosque” Entrance
  49. 50. Hopa Valley
  50. 51. Cheymakchur Village (Jermak chur)
  51. 52. Palakchur Village (Parag chur)
  52. 53. Kachkar Mountains
  53. 54. Zil kale (Fort)
  54. 55. Varosh Kale
  55. 56. Horon
  56. 57. Hemshinli Women
  57. 59. The Hamshen civilization fought for centuries to preserve its presence and Armenian Christian Identity
  58. 60. However the genocide continues….
  59. 61. Most of the Hemshinlis in Turkey have no information about their origins….
  60. 62. Their language is no more written….
  61. 63. Most of the Armenians have no clue who the Hemshinlis are Or where Hamshen is….
  62. 64. … Should they be left to their unknown destiny? or
  63. 65. The Armenians have Nat io nal obligations towards their lost sisters and brothers?
  64. 66. An old wise man once said :
  65. 67. If the Chinese (who are more then 1 billion) knew that there were almost half million lost Chinese somewhere in the world
  66. 68. <ul><li>They would have NEVER spared any effort to return them back to the Motherland……. </li></ul>
  67. 69. What about the Arm eni ans ???
  68. 70. Prepared by Vashdonoglu (www.hemshin.org)
  69. 71. KAChKAR Productions (2007)

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