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Living with a Turkish Family, Part 2

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Living with a Turkish Family, Part 2


Armenian massacres, 1915-1923.


Oral history video clip featuring Nazar Melkonian, survivor of the Armenian genocide. This video was originally produced by Media Entertainment, Inc., for the 2000 documentary The Genocide Factor.


Media Entertainment, Inc.


Genocide Factor Collection, Oral History Program, Tampa Library, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.


Tampa, Fla. : University of South Florida Tampa Library.




Melkonian, Nazar
McFarlane, Joan


Tape number: 4125C


video / mp4




Oral History


Armenian massacres, 1915-1923.
Harput (Turkey)

Oral History Item Type Metadata


McFarlane, Joan


Melkonian, Nazar


Anyway, to make it short, you know, so day after day he says, "I can see you come out here, you haven't got nothing to eat, you don't have nothing with you. I'm going to make you -- I'm going to take you from here, give you somebody so you can have piece of bread." Well, that's what he did, anyway. Really, I left one day -- I don't know, that's a long story but I'm only telling only short way, you know.

So finally, I follow this man. He took me someplace, give me somebody else that I don't even know who they are, the name. He says, "You stay with these people." So these people, what do they do? They have oxes, you know. First thing in the morning, he says, "Take these and have them grassed -- you know, have them feed, so later on we going to plow." Well, this going to happen long time, so one -- he got donkeys, you know, he put loads on it; we take it to the -- we are far from the city.

We take it out to the city to sell it, whatever: hay or whatever he's got, anyway, got fruit, whatever. We take it to the city, he sells it, and then he says, "I got some work to do. You take the donkeys, go back home." And that day he had two, three loaves of bread like this, you know, and that was kind of tempting to me, so I told him, "Go ahead." I took the bread, went out and filled them, ate that couple bread, and then laid down in it just like at night. I'm only kid, you know. I lie down in there. So the next morning I get up; it's the summertime you know?

So the next morning I walk to the village; Yeregi, they called it. This is Harput, Turkish country, you know. So there was an Armenian lady there see me, say, "Oh, this is Armenian kid," so they took me in again. Then, they haven't got no fire; they got little fire; they built fire in a little bit of a -- I would say -- how you make a shish kabob, you know. And they have some quilt, they put their legs in there and they covered them, keep themselves warm. Anyway, they have some flour they can already fry, they give it to me.

Anyway, to make it short, so they said they want to give me some Turkish people and they did. They took me some Turkish people, they keep me over there. So this goes on, you know, for a long time. So one day I let the cows out from the stable, you know. It was an icy day; that was wintertime. One of the cows fell down, and I think he broke a leg.

They called me and said, "This is the last day. You're not going to be here anymore." They took my shoes off -- I had shoes on. The lady next to him says, "Don't. He's only kid. He didn't know." They told me always put some ashes on ice in the wintertime. So it was icy, not to slide, that the -- so they won't slide, you know. Anyway, they kept me. But I made up my mind: they're not going to be any good to me, so I moved some other place out there. (laughs)

Original Format

Beta tape




Media Entertainment, Inc., “Living with a Turkish Family, Part 2,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed July 13, 2020,