Page:Ravished Armenia.djvu/229

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
217
REUNION—AND THEN, THE SHEIKH ZILAN

last she reached Ourfa. By this time only eighteen were left of the original four thousand exiles from Tchemesh-Gedzak.

At Ourfa there lived my uncle, mother’s cousin, Ipranos Mardiganian, who had moved from Tchemesh-Gedzak to Ourfa many years ago—before I was born. Uncle Ipranos had become very wealthy, and had established a great trading business, which had branches even in Persia and in Constantinople.

In the Abdul-Hamid massacres of 1895 Uncle Ipranos was persuaded by his powerful Turkish friends at Constantinople and in Ourfa to become Moslem and thus save his life. He pretended to do so, and was rewarded with a government position of high trust, and rose to high estate among the Moslems. He adopted a Turkish name, and was known as Ibrahim Agha. Secretly, though, he still prayed to God and was Christian.

Mother remembered him when she reached Ourfa with the refugees. She knew he was in the favor of the Turks, who no longer looked upon him as Armenian. She asked one of the soldiers with her party if he would take a letter into the city for her, promising that if he would deliver the letter secretly he would receive pay. The soldier took the letter to Ibrahim Agha’s house. In it mother appealed to her cousin for his assistance in the name of their family, and asked him to give some money to the soldier.