One More Update about the Turkish Online Genealogy Database

I have written twice about the new online genealogy database created by the government of Turkey. (See http://bit.ly/2CbUjdT to find my earlier articles about this story.) When the Turkish genealogy web site first appeared, it was so popular that it soon became overloaded, then was shut down so that the system administrators could add more hardware to the cluster of servers in order to handle the load. The Turkish genealogy web site is now back online and apparently is running well, handling a huge number of visitors.

Fehim Tastekin has written an article explaining why the web site become so popular. It seems that many Turkish citizens have deep, dark secrets in their family trees: some of their ancestors were Armenians, Syriacs, Greeks or Jews. In Turkey, this apparently is the equivalent to Germans in the 1930s and early 1940s hiding the fact they had Jewish ancestors or Americans in the Deep South hiding the fact they had Black Americans in the family tree. While the facts in Turkey have been hushed up for years, the new web site reportedly shows the truth. The story involves the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of 1.5 million Armenians. (What was once called the Ottoman Empire was the forerunner of present-day Turkey.)

These facts have apparently been hidden from many of today’s younger Turks while they were growing up. Yes, apparently there are many skeletons in the Turkish family closets. The new web site reveals many family secrets and curious Turks want to know those secrets.

Tastekin’s article states, “Some people who had always boasted of their ‘pure’ Turkish ancestry were shocked to learn they actually had other ethnic and religious roots.”

The article also states, “During the 1915 genocide, along with mass conversions, there were also thousands of children in exile. Those who could reach foreign missionaries were spirited abroad. Some were grabbed by roaming gangs during their escape and made into sex slaves and laborers. The society is not yet ready to deal with this reality.”

You can read the full story at: http://bit.ly/2EJIhWJ.

You can read more about the Armenian genocide in the Wikipedia article at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Genocide. That article also has links to many other sources of information about the Armenian genocide.

Warning: the Wikipedia article contains several disturbing photographs taken during the Armenian genocide.

4 Comments

Dick, thank you for sharing information on the Armenian genocide. I just finished reading the historical novel “The Sandcastle Girls” by Chris Bohjalian which deals with the tragedy in the setting of family history. It is a very moving story.

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Thank you Dick. T
he article came as quite a surprise to me. My grandmother was a survivor of the Armenian genocide. I had not heard about these records and would have never believed the government would allow it. I have mixed feelings. Potentially great for genealogy but the fear is also of the darker side as mentioned in the linked article. I can’t help but wonder what will happen next.

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please, at what web adress can I find the database? my grandparents lived till 1930 at a small island near Konstantinopolis-Instabul. Thank you. My dad searches his cousins he last viewd when he was 8 years old.

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