A Seattle-based young Turkish lady who, as I have reported, courageously writes about the Armenian Genocide has been compelled to tell her family story after a fellow Turk indirectly but publicly questioned her “Turkishness.” The blogger’s response, as summarized in a comment, was direct:

My education, upbringing and cultural exposure has always been in Turkey and amongst Turks. My name is Turkish. My religion is Islam. My mother tongue was and still is Turkish. My beginning years and life began in Turkey. I have had little elementary exposure to much else, regarding my own ethnicity, save for my experience in the university. My parents always saw the Turkish girl in me and it was always very clear I was Turkish, it is what I feel and where I feel most comfortable defining myself. There has been no argument in regards to this. There is still none, so I am not entirely sure how else I should answer your question.

And in the actual post talking about her roots – that date back to 1345 – the Turkish blogger gives details of her ancestors. One of them, she says, was the first milk mother of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

My great great grandmother, Aziz Haydar Hanim, was a ferocious figure to be reckoned with! In Pars Tuglaci’s book, Tarih Boyunca Istanbul Adalari (found in Robinson Crusoe bookstores in Istanbul), he writes of her fiery speeches alongside Ataturk. She championed the causes of women’s rights and immigration rights for those coming into the new Republic from the Balkans and even her hometown of Selanik, that of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

On the night of Ataturk’s birth, a ragged and tired Zubeyde Hanim, came to my great great grandmother. She came because she had no way to nourish her new born. Because Aziz Haydar Hanim was not only a school teacher/professor but a nurse by trade, she was the first milk mother of Ataturk. Ataturk always treated her like a second mother and until her final days, the albums my family has preserved show a smiley faced Ataturk hugging and embracing her, like one does a dear old aunt. Those old, dusty, torn photographs always brought a smile to my face.

Wow, a descendant of Ataturk’s ‘second mother’ challenging the ‘sacred’ establishment defended in the very name of Ataturk.

The story of the Turkish lady from Seattle is almost surreal. And her story is just another example of hope for lasting Armenian-Turkish friendship. Hrant Dink didn’t die for no reason; I can feel him smiling.