"The Eyewitness": 102-year-old Armenian Genocide survivor doesn’t want to leave homeland
VANADZOR, 27 MAY, ARMENPRESS. In 1922, the family of eyewitness-survivor of the Armenian Genocide Margarita Chilingaryan had lived in the Kenek or current Konak village of Izmir province, who like many of others was forced to take the path of migration. Margarita Chlingaryan was born in 1913.
"When the deportation started, the villagers under the protection of the Armenian volunteer troops migrated to İzmir and from there they were taken by boat to Thessaloniki, Greece. They didn’t pass the long migration path on foot, because Izmir is a seaport city. They had gone poignantly, but had no losses and reached Greece by boat," representing the narrative of his family, the son of Margarita Chlingaryan Karapet remembers.
As Thessaloniki was overwhelmed by refugees, some of them moved to the island of Crete.
"Her father, mother and grandmother of maternal side had migrated, and her grandfather Grigor remained in the village Konak, because the Turks had persuaded him and said that they will come back, just as they go," Karapet continues. But the families, which have left the village, have never returned. Margarita went to Greek school and even now she understands and responds in Greek.
Her family lived in foreign countiress for 25 years and engaged in craft. In Greece, the heroine of the story married Andranik, who was also by roots from Izmir, and had children. "My mother's firstborn son died of illness. We, me and my younger sister, were born in Crete," the interlocutor noted.
“We moved to Kirovakan and lived there. Before that, we were in Batum, where our little brother was born. My father and my mother began work in a Russian factory as workers. By specialty they were craftsmen, shoemakers," Margarita's son said.
Margarita has two sons and a daughter, ten grandchildren, seventeen great grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild and eight sons in law.
Before the deterioration of the health conditions, the heroine of our story often remembered her birthplace, sometimes told about the village, parents, grandparents and sufferings caused by the Turks.
The eyewitness- survivor of the Armenian Genocide is surrounded by family warmth and love. There are some spiritual pictures in her room. It is not a coincident that sometimes she hears distant sounds of the Liturgy.
Article by Tatevik Grigoryan and Ani Nazaryan
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