My first post on a Turkish celebration that features ‘Armenian bandits’ who kill Turkish children and are later ‘punished’ in the play was somewhat confusing given that actually the ‘Armenian bandits’ hang a Turkish priest (imam) and are later killed – as I clarified in my second post.

Nonetheless, an ultra-nationalist Turk has left a comment on my initial post saying that the “headline is just a lie.” Justifying the ceremony as “funny” and historically accurate in depicting “the crimes which armenians did,” the commentator demonstrates the mindset that allows such “celebrations” in Turkey (let alone the deliberate usage of lower-case “a” in the word “armenian”):

I know that celebrity.. :Dactually it is a funny ametour one.. maden by the civils at Erzurum who celebrities to save their lifes from armenian bandits.. :D
and It makes me suprise how your diaspora follow the things in Turkey and inform you with changing everything.. :D

“armenians hanged in turkish ceremony” haha.. :Dlook at the pictures.. there is an İmam hanging on the picture.. and they are showing the crimes which armenians did to Erzurum civilians.. and after that Turkish army comes and save the civilians..

white clothed mans and the people who wears “cross” symbolize the armenians at that show.. :Dthe man who wears imam cloths symbolize the Turkish imam ofcourse.. and at that ceremony only that imam was hanged.. :D

These headline is just a lie

In a sense, the demonstration isn’t just anti-Armenian but anti-Christian too. As the ultra-nationalist Turk writes, some of those who played Armenians had crosses on their acting shirts and hats.

It is important to note, however, that many Turks have harshly criticized the anti-Armenian ceremony – including some hard-liner nationalist newspapers. Sabah, a nationalist newspaper that has played down its anti-Armenian rhetoric after the January 2007 murder of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in Turkey, has published an article titled, “Ceremony of Hate.”

In the meantime, another article in The Turkish Daily News gives more details about the “celebration.” Interestingly, the actors who played Armenians were reportedly forced to do so:


Municipality workers who played the Armenians said the mayor issued orders and they obeyed.

One worker, Celal Akar, said his family, friends and neighbors criticized him for playing an Armenian. “Sometimes they even make fun of us. We don’t want to be part of the play, but when the mayor says it we can’t object. We have been doing this for at least 20 years,” he said.

The municipality is responsible for the organizing the event, but [town administrator – not the mayor] Şener was upset when he saw the play. “Next year’s celebrations will be without Armenians,” he said.


Some say that the celebration dates back to 1938 and is found in other places around Turkey. There is no doubt Turkey is changing and the omnipresent chauvinism is being challenged. But how long will it take for Turkey to honestly face its past is a question with many opposing answers.