My relationship with my Armenian identity comes from maternal grandmother. My grandmother married my grandfather when she was 14. My grandfather was 45 at the time; he had three wives and my grandmother became his fourth wife. My grandmother was my grandfather’s only official wife. My grandfather is a Sunni Turk, my grandmother is an Islamised Armenian. That is why they used to call us ‘the grandchildren of the giaour’ in the neighborhood. That phrase used to offend us three.
My grandmother’s name was Nazmiye, but her real name was Nazenik. I made a great effort to find out what her real name was. My grandmother spoke broken Turkish. At first, I couldn’t understand why, but over time, I realized that Armenian was her mother tongue; she had learned Turkish later.
— “I explain my ties with my Armenian identity through my love to my grandmother,” from Ankara’s Armenians Speak, an oral history prepared by Ferda Balancar and published by the Hrant Dink Foundation