Friday, February 28

Armenian Genocide Survivor shares her story

The UCLA Armenian Students’ Association hosted Yevnige Salibian, a survivor of the 1915 Armenian Genocide, Thursday night so she could share her story and reflect on the 100 years since the genocide. Listen to Salibian and her granddaughter Talin Bahadarian share their thoughts on the journey and survival of the Armenian people. 



Ma: A hundred years ago this week, the Ottoman Empire, centered on present-day Turkey, began the mass killing of Armenians. Though known today by many historians as the first genocide of the 20th century, with an estimated 1.5 million deaths, Turkey firmly denies that genocide occurred. In memory of the victims, the Armenian Students Association here at UCLA hosted a conversation with Yevnige Salibian, one of the few remaining survivors of the Armenian genocide and her granddaughter Talin Bahadarian.

Bahadarian: There is no denying it, the denial is purely political.

Ma: That was Bahadarian. Bahadarian states that many countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, also currently do not recognize the killings as genocide. With many western forces stationed in Turkey, leaders tread carefully in referring to what happened, not wanting to anger their Turkish allies. Bahadarian explains further

Bahadarian: It was a systematic wiping out of a million and a half Armenians, purely because they were Armenian and they were Christian Armenian.

Ma: Because of this disconnect, many Armenians are still unable to come to terms with the Turks. Bahadarian draws upon the interaction between the Jewish community and Germany after the Holocaust, to relate to the situation Armenians are currently facing

Bahadarian: You don’t have the same level of animosity between the Jews and Germany, as you do between Armenia and Turkey and the Armenians and the Turks. The reason for that is because Germany admitted what they did. They asked for forgiveness in as sense by recognizing it. They made reparations so they made restitution. And that has opened the door for the healing to move on.

Salibian: He was seventeen years old, he was going to graduate from high school and be a doctor. I was crying and I was fighting with him. I loved him so much

Ma: Salibian, a first-hand witness of the brutality that occurred, recounts the tribulations that she faced during this time, including the death of her son. Despite the many sorrows she experienced, Salibian advocates for a Christian approach in dealing with the Turks

Salibian: I pray for the Turks to know Jesus. The one who accepts them. He gives peace, love, heavenly love.

Ma: Salibian has chosen to forgive the Turks as a whole despite there being no recognition. Whether to adopt a policy of forgiveness or to match grief with resolve is still up in the air. For many Armenians though, the massacres have left a scarring wound that has yet to be healed, let alone recognized by those who inflicted the mark. Until Turkish officials extend their hand for forgiveness though, the Armenian community continues to call on the nations of the world to bring justice for what was done. For Daily Bruin radio, This is Austin Ma.

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  • Marcus77

    Why don’t you ask the Turkish survivors??Bcz they are Muslims?

    I am sorry but there was no so called genocide,imagine Mexicans started to kill Americans and side with enemy of America to claim California, while all American soldiers are in front fighting the enemy, when they come home after winning a long battle finds their families massacred by Mexicans.. what do you think Americans will do to Mexicans? the number is inflated total arkmenians liven in Turkey was 1.2 million, 1 million was deported so you do the math, this allegation was never proven in any international court like Holocaust, it a false evidence will never stand any fair court proceedings, they know this that is why they never sue Turks

    Arkmenians trying to keep this unity by hating Turks,I read the Historical books, do you know why Arkmenians never take Turks to court, bcz their evidence is fake,no cross examination will rule in their favor, this was never proven in and court by the way, it is bcz Turks are Muslims west exploit this crap and even the whole World recognized it Turks do not care they say SO what

    • ASA

      You’re just slow. stop listening to what your parents and the Turkish government spoon fed you and crack open a history book. The Kurdish people have admitted the part they played for the Turks and asked for forgiveness which is why there is little to no animosity between them.

      Educate yourself fool!

  • roccolore

    The Muslim fascists protested this event just like they do pro-Israel ones.

  • corey_m

    Genocide verdict cannot be passed by activists, lobbyists, agents,
    fanatics, editorials, academics, politicians, clergy, or others. There is one
    and only one venue for that: a competent tribunal. That is what the 1948 U.N.
    Genocide Convention demands in articles 3 and 6. Why? Because this court (ICJ)
    is equipped weed fact from fiction and allow a fair chance for the accused to
    cross examine claims, evidence, witnesses and produce their own in their
    defense. (

    Jewish Holocaust is proven at Nuremberg , but Armenian claims were never tested
    at a court of law. Armenian claims are mostly based on hearsay and forgeries
    and, therefore, do not even have the slimmest chance of withstanding the
    scrutiny of a courtroom. Armenians know this well which is why they avoid
    courts on this issue like a plague (they will sue the insurance companies for
    money but not Turkey at ICJ for genocide claims. )

    Armenians find it easy to distort and misrepresent a true suffering of all
    peoples of Anatolia (not just Armenians) via media, academia, politics,
    religion, and other avenues where both information and opinions can be
    manipulated, molded, bought, or sold. Armenians deliberately exaggerate and
    falsify stories of human suffering and use it interchangeably with the term genocide,
    ignoring the fact that not all suffering is genocide. For a war crime to be
    genocide, the intent must be proven at a court of law. To date, not a single
    document has been unearthed in the Ottoman archives which substantiate Armenian
    claims. This led the Armenians to fabricate some, like the infamously fake
    telegrams of Talat forged by Andonian, the tall tales and bogus stories in
    Toynbee’s wartime propaganda book, the Blue Book, and more . All of this
    tainted propaganda material which the Armenians still use today were flatly and
    categorically rejected by the British crown prosecutors who refused to use them
    as evidence in the stillborn Malta Tribunal (1919-1921.)

  • corey_m


    ‘… The war with us was inevitable… We had not done all that was necessary for
    us to have done to evade war. We ought to have used peaceful language with the
    Turks…We had no information about the real strength of the Turks and relied
    on ours. This was the fundamental error. We were not afraid of war because we
    thought we could win… Our army was well fed and well armed and [clothed] but
    it did not fight. The troops were constantly retreating and deserting their
    positions ; they threw away their arms and dispersed in the villages. …In
    spite of the fact that the Armenians had better material and better support,
    their armies lost. ….. the advancing Turks fought only against the regular
    soldiers ; they did not carry the battle to the civilian sector. ….the
    Turkish soldiers were well-disciplined and that there had not been any

    Source: The 1923 Bucharest Manifesto of Hovhannes Katchaznouni, the first PM of
    the Independent Armenian Republic, published by the Armenian Information Service
    Suite 7D, 471 Park Ave., New York 22 – 1955.