Welcome to Beyond the Blue Domes, my personal blog. In earlier posts, I shared memories about growing up in Iran during the Shah's rule, fleeing the country at age thirty, raising a family in the United States, and facing the newness and challenges of American life. Lately I'm posting my thoughts on stories or news that have touched me. My theme is exploring social realities and the intersections within cultures, and preserving history. Thanks for stopping by.
Friday, 2 January 2015
I'll Squeeze Those Armenians Like Lemons - A Slice of History
The following is an account by Garen Kazanc, published in Armenian Weekly. It is about a slice of history that not many people would know about it – How Turkish government Levied taxes on non muslims and squeezed them like Lemons.
Special for the Armenian Weekly
It was one of those receptions that had taken months to organize. The tables were fitted with fancy decor topped with bouquets of tulips picked from all parts of the country. The hall was unlike most other halls in the city; elaborately embellished with handmade ornaments, it had the capacity to dazzle one’s eye. Throughout the night, couples mingled, announcers made long speeches, and others danced. It was the place to be.
The reception took place in Istanbul and was hosted and organized by a local Armenian church. The leading figures of Istanbul’s Armenian community were present. Among those invited were various government dignitaries, including Ismet Inonu, then president of the Republic of Turkey. Inonu was accompanied by his wife, who was impressed by the decorations and the preparation that went into the event.
“My goodness, such beautiful decorations!” she said gleefully. “Where do they come up with the money to finance all this wonderful decor?”
“Don’t ponder about that too much,” Inonu replied sternly. “Pretty soon, I’m going to squeeze them like lemons so hard that they’ll run dry.”