Friday, August 26, 2011

More pictures from Vakifli, Turkey's last ethnic Armenian village

These are some of my outtakes from the rest of my time in Vakifli. For the first set of pictures I posted, please see the previous blog entry.

The village headman Berc Kartun walks back to the tea house. He's seen through the fences of the church. The shiny circles below are the bottoms of the pots used for Kashkak/Harissa cookout. (The following four pictures cover the timespan of the cookout. They started fixing it Saturday afternoon. Kashkak/Harissa was ready to be served Sunday morning.)


The Turkish soldier seen through a window of the church is on duty to provide protection. Gendarmerie is responsible for security in the area. The following three pictures are from the morning service.


Aram Atesyan (center), the representative of the Armenian Patriarch in Istanbul, came down to Vakifli to take part in the festival.

A Turkish Armenian boy plays outside the church.

Atesyan blesses the grapes.

A member of the congregation holds some blessed grapes.

I took this Mediterranean landscape on the way back to my motel room. It's only a few kilometers away from Vakifli.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Vakifli, Turkey's last ethnic Armenian village

I'm currently visiting Vakifli, Turkey's last ethnic Armenian village. Geographically, it's not too far from Syrian refugee camps. I decided to take a photo trip and meet people. I'll photograph the Feast of the Assumption of St. Mary and the Blessing of the Grapes. Because of the upcoming festival, there are many visitors in the village. Most of them are originally from around here but now live in the bigger cities of Turkey or abroad. This time of the year, as you see in some of these pictures, visitors bring youth and movement. Vakifli's population, on the other hand, is getting older. According to what I was told, there hasn't been a wedding within the last five years. There are about 100 ethnic Armenians living in the village. Some of the people I talked to are worried about Vakifli's future with regard to sustaining their community.

Avedis Demirci, the oldest person in Vakifli, was born in 1914. He is very talkative and friendly. He spends his time resting in the balcony.

Friday night, a barbecue party was organized for the visitors from out of town. Arda from Sivas takes plates of Hummus to serve the tables.

Jak from Mersin spent most of the night grilling wild boar meat on skewers for the guests.