The story of Aram and anonymous Turks who saved his life is taken from an article published in Missionary Herald on October 1916 by Reverend Arthur C. Ryan- a Protestant clergyman who was based in Istanbul.

Rev. Ryan starts his article by pointing out that “in these days when one hears little from Turkey but tales of cruelty and atrocity, it may be well to remember that there are good Turks as well as bad Turks.”

Following are excerpts from the article:

“In 1895 Aram was a small Armenian boy whose home was in the city of Aintab. When the Armenian massacres [of 1896] began he was living with his mother on one side of the city, while two married sisters were living on the opposite side. For a considerable time it meant death for an Armenian to show himself in the streets of the city. When the troubles in the streets had subsided slightly and after many Armenians had been killed, Aram and his mother, thanks to a friendly Turkish bey, were still alive and safe in their home. This bey was a prominent Turk who lived at the end of the street on which stood Aram's house. He had always been friendly with his Armenian neighbors. When the mob, composed largely of wild Kurds and Arabs from regions outside of Aintab, came to massacre the Armenians in that street, this Turk was prepared to show his mettle. He with servants and some friends, at the point of revolvers and guns and with no small danger to themselves, drove the mob away and guarded the entrance to the street throughout the whole time of the massacre. In this manner about one hundred Armenians were saved.”

“Now while Aram with his mother and friends were safe, they were very anxious to learn what had happened to the daughters and sisters on the other side of the city. It was finally decided that Aram and another boy should attempt to reach their homes and try to bring back a report. When evening came, Aram and his friend, by cutting across lots and by climbing over walls, succeeded in reaching the home of one of the sisters, and with great joy found that they also had-been saved.

Early next morning Aram began his dangerous return trip. All went well until he reached an open space near the street on which his house stood, As he looked over the last wall all seemed clear, and he jumped down to make a dash for the street. Just when he touched ground a group of Kurds came into view.

They saw him, and shouting, "An Armenian! An Armenian!” started after him. Aram ran frantically for the street. On the corner stood a Turkish butcher shop from which he was accustomed to buy meat. Into the shop he ran and begging for protection threw himself into the arms of the Turkish butcher. In a moment the Kurds were upon him, but the butcher ordered them to stop. At the same time he raised his hand as a protection for the boy who was clinging to him. The Kurds were furious and demanded to know why the butcher, a Turk and a Moslem, was protecting a "gahour" Armenian. The butcher simply told them to be quiet and to move on. At this the Kurds began to rage and to threaten the Turk if he should not deliver the Armenian boy, The Turk was calm and firm, and in Oriental fashion began arguing with the Kurds, and finally persuaded them to pass on and the boy was saved.”

“For days few Armenians dared to leave their houses. A week or more after Aram's experience with the Kurds and the Turkish butcher, his mother was going to the home of her daughters. The good Turkish bey had sent a trusted servant to conduct her across the city. When about halfway to her daughter's house some Arabs saw her. Although she was disguised as a Turkish woman she was suspected, and the Arabs came after her, crying: “An Armenian woman! Capture her!” The Moslem guard was faithful and told the Arabs to stand back.

They protested and threatened, as did the Kurds to the butcher, but the guard was determined to shield the woman. In the argument that followed, the guard won out by persuading the men that they could have the woman only by killing him. He said that she was "emminet" to him • that is, a sacred trust to him from his master and he was bound to deliver the woman to her daughter at the risk of more than life; for to be faithless in such a position was to lose not only the favor of his master, but was a great crime against Allah.”


*: Story of Aram and his Recuers are from the above mentioned article, which has been reproduced in full by Armenian Genocide Resource Center in 2001 and is available on various websites. PCH’s abridged version can be cited as: Aram and his Rescuers, PCH-2008-02; www.projectcommonhumanity.com

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