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Thursday, 29 December 2011

Steve Jobs and the Armenian Genocide...

Steve Jobs the founder of Apple Inc.
When Steve Jobs passed away on October 5 of this year, there was a lot of discussion within the Armenian community, questioning why there was hardly any mention that Jobs’ adoptive mother was an Armenian and that he was raised by an Armenian woman. 

I was personally quite surprised a few years ago as I was reading his bio on Wikipedia and learned it. I asked my son who was and is a staunch follower of Jobs and even he didn’t know about the fact. 

In the last few days, among Armenian online sources, news surfaced about Steve Jobs’ attitude toward Turks and the Armenian Genocide.

The following is an account told by a Turkish tour guide, when five years ago Jobs visited Turkey on a luxury Boat from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea to Istanbul where the journey was going to end. 

The following article is taken from
"What Turkish tour guide Asil Tuncer said, with respect to Apple Inc.’s founder, the late Steve Jobs’ visit to Turkey, caused great uproar in the country. The guide claimed that Jobs considered the Turks as enemies, and he did not even shake hands when bidding farewell to the tour guide.    
Tuncer noted that when they had approached the Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul, and he had told that it was a church at first but then it was turned into a mosque with minarets, Steve Jobs had asked: “You, Muslims, what did you do to so many Christians? You subjected 1.5 million Armenians to genocide. Tell us, how did it happen?”  And the Turkish tour guide’s denials further infuriated Steve Jobs, who left Turkey one day early.

Hagia Sofia mosque in Istanbul
Note: In Steve Jobs’ biographical book written by Walter Isaacson, there is only a short paragraph saying that after the Armenian Genocide, his stepmother, Clara Hagopian, had emigrated from Malatya, Turkey.

I am intrigued that no media reported on the fact that Steve Jobs' had roots in Armenian culture.  During a recent travel to San Francisco where we had gathered to be part of a conference on the issues of Armenian women, I met an administrator from Yerevan Magazine, (an Armenian magazine) she told me that they had scheduled an interview with Steve Jobs, the very day he passed away.  Maybe this reflects a characteristic of Armenians: “Known to be late…” LOL... The legendary founder of Apple Inc. lost his battle to cancer on October 5, at age of 56.

The following link is about a story told by a Turkish tour guide in broken English (Turk-glish):

Here is a paragraph taken from the story told by the tour guide in Turk-glish:

“Jobs Hagia Sophia was the place where most want to see and wonder. We started the tour. Saw that we had yet to happen and eagerly asked the minarets of the Hagia Sophia. In return, I, while the former church converted to a mosque after the conquest, in the south-east corner of a brick minaret was added to the transaction told. Then the questions started to come straight to me: “This is what happened to the Christians?”, “You millions of Muslims in non Muslim, what have you done?” etc.. You open my mouth, “the genocide of Armenians seized 1.5 million. You tell us. How did it happen?” were asked the question, and this was the last straw.”

You can read more about Steve Jobs in my earlier posts. HERE is the link to a previous musing on Steve Jobs,


  1. Thank you for bringing this story. I can easily imagine Steve Jobs being angry when confronted with the Turkish official attitude.

    There is again a vigorous debate whether the French law forbidding the denial of genocides (including the Turkish or should I say Armenian) and it is obvious that this is an educational matter.

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