The Armenian Artin and his wife Siron did not expect the tragedies of their parents to chase them. Their parents ran away from the Ottoman armies that were killing all Armenians 100 years ago. They were born in Jarabulus, which became their new home, and grew up there. They are known for their kindness and generosity in this town.
With the penetration of the Turkish army in the city and the control of pro-Ankara factions, their tragedy was repeated. We couldn’t communicate with them, but through one of the neighbours we were able to obtain important information.
M/A said: About 30 armed men surrounded the neighbourhood in which we live, Jarablus, and they were armed with machineguns and armoured vehicles; enough to eliminate an army … We expected it to be a military operation for arresting cells linked to the Kurds, but they broke into the house of the elderly Artin and Siron. Around 10 gunmen took the very poor couple which live on aids amid the shouts of takbir. Some days later, the two elderly people returned home, and since then they have not spoken to anyone.
He added, “They imposed on them the proclamation of Islam, going to the mosque, memorizing verses from the Qur’an, and attending Sharia courses … And they imposed on the old woman Siron to wear the hijab.”
The story of the elderly remained hidden until the Violations Documentation Centre in northern Syria was able to access its details.
The Anatolian Agency of the Turkish President’s Party Recep Erdogan sent its correspondent with three gunmen to force Artin and his wife to make a statement that our statements were false, and they were not exposed to it. This time they were between two options, either to give a false media statement or to get arrested. However, the photo published by the agency attached to the news confirms the validity of our story compared to a photo we published for them a while ago; they imposed the hijab on Siron, even Artin wore the hijab and apparently by this way he wanted to send a message that his tongue couldn’t tell.
It was supposed of the Turkish government to open an investigation about the incident and arrest the faction and the militants who had offended the two elderly people instead of forcing them to thank Erdogan six times, as was stated in their false report.
The Violations Documentation Centre in Northern Syria had published a story that included details of forcing the last Armenian family that remained in the city of Jarablus to convert to Islam by the Turkish-backed factions that controlled the city in Aleppo countryside on the Turkish border.
According to the centre, the Armenian elderly, “Artin Aduryan” born in 1935 and his wife “Seron Jalangrian, born in 1939” had to change their religion from “Christianity” to “Islam” under the “threat” of arrest, expulsion, murder, slaughter …… by Syrian opposition armed factions supported by Turkey.
The factions forced Artin to change his name into “Ma’rof” while his wife’s name became “Fatima”. They also obliged “Artin” to go to the mosque 5 times a day, and told him that if he were absent from the mosque, his punishment would be “40 lashes”, as Siron was forced to join Islamic courses for women, and they demanded them to obtain the Qur’an and dispose of any other books.
Artin and Siron are among the Armenian families who fled their cities in Turkey, fleeing the massacres committed by the Turkish “Ottomans” against the Armenians 100 years ago. Anatolia Agency loyal to Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s party published a report and presented photos of the couple, showing them in a different look where they both wore the hijab while in previous photos, before the pro-Turkey factions took over, they appeared without it. The agency responded to our report as rumours and inaccurate news. It seems that the agency’s report came in response to the article we published, entitled “Forcing the last Armenian family which stayed in the city of Jarablus to convert to Islam”. In order to make sure that the Turkish army corrected “the violation”, as it effectively governs the city of Jarablus through 3 military bases deployed in and on The outskirts of the city and 5 intelligence points, we recommunicated with the two sources which confirmed that nothing has changed in relation to Artin and his wife. Besides, they are still being harassed even after they announced Islam, and that the Anatolia report came to cover up the violation rather than correcting it.
Anatolia Agency repeated thanking the Turkish President “Erdogan” six times by Artin and his wife, and quoted saying that “they live in the city with complete freedom and happiness”, and that they “enjoy very good treatment by the national army that provides religious freedom.” Anatolia also claimed that Artin said, “I felt overwhelmed when the Free Syrian and Turkish armies entered the city. It was the moment of meeting freedom. And that all of this is “thanks to Erdogan,” as the agency said, that “Artin” described, “Erdogan” as a real person and brother … .and he said that everyone here lives with complete freedom in the city.
We at the Violations Documentation Centre in northern Syria, call on the Turkish state, as an occupied country to intervene and impose the protection of civilians. Moreover, it bears the legal consequences of all the crimes and violations that are taking place. It must start by holding the parties, individuals and institutions involved in the violations to account and punish them instead of covering them up.