Hamshen Politician Says Wants to Form New Party in Turkey

Turkey's Hamshen community leader Ismet Sahin

ISTANBUL—Hamshen Armenians of northeastern Turkey are gearing up to create their own political party, reported Hurrieyet Daily news. The move came after all seven Turkish-Armenians who ran for seats in parliament were left behind on the ballots by the main political parties, including the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the Republican People’s Party (CHP), and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).

Ismet Şahin, a Hamshenite and a former deputy candidate from Istanbul’s second region who ran as a member of BDP was one of the seven left behind. Now he has voiced his intention to form a new party whose name will be announced after the general elections on June 12.

“We will become a party that produces global solutions for societal problems and protects the general interests of all oppressed people. Our party will remain completely outside the left-right paradigm,” Şahin told Hürriyet Daily News.

“It would have been naive to expect positive results. The AKP still uses the Armenian identity as a form of curse in tete a tete debates,” said Şahin. “The presence of even a single Armenian deputy in parliament would remind Turkey of its history; it would force Turkey to face up to its own history. Turkey does not have the courage to face up to its history.”

According to Hurriyet, Şahin also accused the AKP and CHP of nationalism, and noted that Armenians in Istanbul are marginalized.

“The BDP presents the Kurds and Turks as brothers in arms that fought against common enemies to protect the Republic, with the aim of gaining recognition from the state. The BDP is getting corrupt. Instead of aligning itself with other oppressed peoples, the BDP chose to go for an exclusively Kurdish constituency. In the past they had announced their support for me because I was from within the party and because I am a Hamshenite,” said Şahin.

“In recent years, more and more people have begun claiming they are discovering their Armenian identity, and I do not find this sincere. Hamshenites have always identified themselves as Hamshenites. If you ask whether they are Turks, you would elicit a negative response. If you ask whether they are Armenians, again you would elicit a negative response. They would only tell you they are Hamshenites,” said Şahin.


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  1. Arman said:

    Is there an Armenian inside him somewhere? All I see is a Turkish face and Turkish name….nothing else.

  2. Alexander said:

    He is not to man to represent Hamshen at all, he was in a kurdish party who only cares about themselfs and lets not forget the kurds Killed half of the Armenians on the road to Suriya and robbed them blind and stole young girls and married them, belive me guys if anyone should represent Hamshen must be a real Hamshen not a con artist.

  3. Avagyan said:

    Dear Arman it is easy to by far from Turkey and have a such suggestion. Personally I am only happy that somewhere in Turkey I have brothers and sisters that don’t forget their origin and try to restore it. Their names and religion must be secondary in this stage. In Armenia there are many people without Armenian names (to much with the first names of Turkish origin) of foreign culture and language in their homes. Hamchentsis are of Armenian origin and if they fill themselves Armenian It is truth and grate! Ара

    • Hayastansti said:

      @avagyan To be honest with you most of turkey Armenians are Turkish wash anyway not all but most.

  4. Stepan said:

    What should be important to Armenians, no matter what their name or religion, is to welcome our brothers and sisters and encourage them to be true to their Armenian genes. After all they were shrewed enough not to abondom their Armenian homeland.

  5. Jack Kalpakian said:

    I would wait to hear what he and his party use to define the community they want to represent. The Hamshen have often defined themselves as UN-Armenian or POST-Armenian but never as Armenian. There are some who are crypto-Armenian and some who are even crypto-Christian, but no one knows the numbers for sure. As for genes, forget it, Turkey is basically genetically Armenian, but that is irrelevant.

  6. Edward Demian said:

    You say: “As for genes, forget it, Turkey is basically genetically Armenian, but that is irrelevant.” I could not disagree more. Genetic makeup of the Turkish population is very important. It is the Ackile’s heel of Turkish racial doctrine. Enlighten the general population of that fact and you bring down the whole Corrupt Nationalistic farce that is in place today. Just like the information age brought down Communism. What is Pan Turanism next to Communism. It’s like comparing a pigeon dropping to a “cow pie”.

  7. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    Hamshinzhis are the most original Armenians more than anyone of Us …
    If they are turkified they can’t lose their gene…
    Who writes here is free…
    Who can live seeing scimitars every second…?
    Even God will not live…
    They can Turkify god as well…
    Arab calls Tattarruk=Turkification…
    They don’t know principles if Islamic-Law (Shareea)
    And call them selves Muslims…?

  8. ominac said:

    Every person decides if they are Armenian or not, and not some observer.