• Short Summary


    Only one in a hundred of the five million or so people of Armenian descent in the world lives in Turkey.

  • Description

    1. GV Istanbul street PAN TO Armenian-owned fish shop 0.07
    2. SV Counter in delicatessen shop (2 shots) 0.13
    3. SV PAN DOWN Shop front TO jewellery on sale, GV & SV PAN jewellery shop (3 shots) 0.34
    4. SV & CU Journalists at work on Armenian newspaper (2 shots) 0.44
    5. SV Printing press, paper off press (2 shots) 0.58
    6. GV Man distributing newspapers in street (2 shots) 1.09
    7. GV Children play basket ball at Armenian primary school, GV children play round game (2 shots) 1.23
    8. CU Teacher with reading book, PULL BACK TO class, CU small girl listening (2 shots) 1.51
    9. GV Small boy writes on blackboard, teacher corrects him, CUs boys and girls watching (3 shots) 2.17
    10. CU Picture of Christ, TILT DOWN TO family eating, SVs family at table (3 shots) 2.50
    11. CU People buy candles outside church, SV people enter church 3.06
    12. GV INTERIOR Church, priests with candles and mourners round coffin singing, priest walks round with censer 3.33

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: ISTANBUL, TURKEY

    Only one in a hundred of the five million or so people of Armenian descent in the world lives in Turkey. This is in spite of the fact that nine-tenths of what they regard as their ancestral homeland lies inside the Turkish border. (The other one-tenth is in the Soviet Union, and forms one of the Union Republics). During the past century, the number of Turkish Armenians was drastically reduced by massacres and deportations: the worst in 1894-96, and again during the First World War.

    SYNOPSIS: Most of the survivors of this tragic history -- or rather, their descendants -- now live in Istanbul rather than the eastern provinces, their traditional homeland. Many of them are prosperous; Armenians are known as successful traders. Their business interests range from small local food shops to luxurious jewellery establishments. Officially they are full Turkish citizens, with the same rights as all other Turks, guaranteed by law.

    They publish books, magazines and newspapers in their own language. Two daily newspapers in Armenian circulate in Istanbul. One of them, "Jamanak", is one of the city's oldest newspapers. It was established in 1908. The other, called "Marmara", was founded in 1942. Armenians in Istanbul also have their own social and cultural institutions, sports clubs and hospitals.

    Children of Armenian families can go to the community's own schools. They are taught both in the Armenian and Turkish languages. The schools are officially recognised, but some Armenians say they are subject to subtle pressures. They complain of delays in getting permission for new building; and of regulations that make it difficult for them to get their share of qualified teachers, and prevent Armenian children from changing schools on the same terms as Turkish-speaking children.

    An Armenian family can live comfortably and peacefully in Istanbul, so long as its members stay clear of politics. But despite the official guarantees, it is an uneasy peace. Many of the older generation never quite forget what happened to their fathers and grandfathers. And some of the younger ones have turned in recent years to militant protest, both inside Turkey and abroad.

    The Church is an important unifying factor among the Armenian community. Armenians are a Christian minority in an Islamic country. The Patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic, or Gregorian Church, is the head and official spokesman of the community, as he has been since the time of the Ottoman Empire. In times of persecution, it was the Church that kept the Armenian national spirit alive.


  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Time in/Out:

Comments (0)

We always welcome comments and more information about our films.
All posts are reactively checked. Libellous and abusive comments are forbidden.

Add your comment