Louise Kiffer-Sarian, who has translated and still translates many poems and news articles into French, sent me a letter recommending the French readers of Blogian to read "Le Golgotha de l'Armenie mineure: le destin de mon pere" by Jean Varoujan Gureghian. Ed. L'Harmattan (The Golgotha of Minor Armenia: My father's destiny). She also promised to translate the moving chapter on the resistance of Urfa into English.

Urfa was home to tens of thousands of Armenians before the Genocide. During the attrocities, the Armenian population of Urfa organized self-defense in 1915. After the heroic defense was defeated by the Turkish troops and the Armenians were either deported, burnt or murdered, F (I don't recall his full name, but it started with an "F") pasha, the head of the Turkish attack against the Armenians of Urfa, said, "What would we do if we had other urfas."

Since we talked about Urfa, I want to mention that a friend of mine (who calls us pen friends), Dick Osseman from the Netherlands, took over 100 photos in Urfa (which is now called Şanlıurfa in Turkey) in September of 2005. Knowing that my ancestors were members of the huge Maghak oghlonts family (Maghakians, Malakians) of Urfa, Mr. Osseman took many photos of my ancestral district in Urfa, and photos of the former Armenian churches.

When I was going through the photos of Urfa taken by Mr. Osseman, I came across to a shot that reminded me of one of the photos in "Ambassador Morgenthau's Story," published in 1918. After I compared the photos, I realized that Mr. Osseman had shot the same site that was in Morgenthau's book: the interior of one of the main Armenian churches of Urfa (now known as Yeni Firfirli Cami/Mosque).

Below is the comparison of the two photos: one taken before 1918, one in 2005.

Attached Image

p.s. If this is indeed the cathedral where 3000 Armenians were burnt alive in 1915, then it was here where my ancestor Gevork Maghakian was shot to death. But there is another Armenian cathedral in Urfa (bigger than this one), so I am not sure whether the murder took place in what is now Yeni Firfirli (pictured above) or what is now Selahaddin-i Eyyubi, the largest Armenian cathedral in Urfa converted to a mosque.