Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Father's Name : Ziver
Mother's name : Söhret
Place of Birth: Van Gülsünler
Date of Birth: 1901

I am from the village of Gulsunler, which used to be called Sihkara. We left the village when the Armenians raided the villages and started massacring the Muslim population. We were going toward Van, but the Armenians stopped us before we arrived. We had no choice but to return. About 300 people from the village gathered in Zeve, while an equal number returned to the village. We fled toward Hosap as a group. Turkish soldiers were in Hosap, and they told us to leave as soon as possible and get out of the line of fire.

In spite of the difficulties we faced, we went as far as Siirt. Many of the refugees suffered and died due to widespread hunger and disease. From there, we arrived in Diyarbakir, Mardin, and finally in Adana. We then went to Konya, because the French had occupied Adana. The government then sent us to Mersin, but when the Turkish military took back Van, we returned. But Van and its villages were completely ruined, burned, and destroyed. There, hundred people were martyred in our village. They gathered the people in houses and burned them alive. The inhabitants of Van fled, and those that remained were cut up by the Armenians. When we returned, not all of the Armenians had left. Some of the villages, such as Alaköy remained as they were, and the Muslims did not hurt anyone there. The government later sent the Armenians to Russia.

Many members of my family were martyred in this village including my mother, father, brother Mustafa and other relatives. Around 30-40 families fled with us, but only ten families returned. Those that stayed and those that went to Zeve were all massacred. I found the skeletons of nearly 200 Muslims killed by Armenians. I buried them here, but could not afford to provide headstones to be put in the graveyard. This includes the graves of my mother and father, as the Armenians had burned them alive.

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