Monday, January 13, 2014

The Moska and Grandma Yepros

Back to Marash . . . Marash Girl remembers her father Peter telling her of their Muslim neighbors in Marash, (the family lived in Kumbet) and of how the Muslim women would come to Grandma Yepros and beg her to ask her uncle (her uncle was a priest in the Armenian Apostolic Church in Marash) to prepare a moska for them so that they could bear a male child. . . a cloth amulet with (Armenian) Christian prayers written on slips of paper and sewn inside of the cloth, a cloth amulet attached to a cord that the Muslim women would wear around their necks. 

The Muslim women were ever grateful to Grandma Yepros (born Kurtgusian) as they would, without fail, after wearing the "moska", conceive and bear a male child.


  1. the Lord works in mysterious ways. nowhere in the scriptures is such a practice recommended. yet, it was from this experience of the turkish women with our grandmother that explains why she was warned every time when the turkish police were making a sweep of the area looking for armenians or armenian boys, during the years of the genocide. she and her four children and her kid sister, Mary, would hide until the danger had passed. thus, we are alive today.

  2. That's why dad had to go to two churches every Sunday on opposite sides of the city. When he complained, his mother said, "it won't do you any harm". My blog of
    Monday, January 16, 2012 explains it all - see below

    Two are better than one . . . Going to Church in Marash, 1918
    From an interview with Peter Bilezikian (1912-2010), circa 1977

    "There was a priest in Marash -- Der Ghevont -- who, if necessary, would take his gun and run after the Turks, then come back and finish his Badarak (mass). My mother told me about him -- a distant relation to my mother. We used to go there (to Sourp Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church) Sunday mornings around 6 and stay 'til about 10, then at 10 went from Sourp Sarkis Yeghegetsi and go to the first Protestant church on the other side of the city. Karaman Dingle (Dinle) (Birinji Kilise - First Evangelical Church, Marash -- Peter's grandfather was the first minister of that church). When I went to (the Protestant) church, I used to go to Sunday School . . . (Walking all the way, of course.)"

    "I wore a shabig and used to sing at Sourp Sarkis (St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church) when I was about 6 or 7 years old at the most. (When asked how he felt about that, he answered,) We had to do it. We accepted things as they were. It wasn't what you wanted, or what you didn't. (When asked why he went to both churches, he answered, ) My mother said it wouldn't do us any harm. We'd learn something. She was a Protestant at the time. She became a Protestant when she was in the German orphanage -- Bethel -- which you were named after."

  3. Replies
    1. Are there any Armenians left there, or half Armenians or 1/4 Armenians?

    2. Turks, Armenians were left in the remaining. my father's grandfather's last wife of the Armenian

    3. DO you know her name? Thank you to your great grandfather for saving an Armenian woman's life.

    4. she was a muslim. I do not know his real name. We used to call him Tekerek Nene

    5. She was a muslim Armenian? She was called Tekerek Nene? Did she have any children? Do you know her great grandchildren?

  4. yes Muslims have children and grandchildren. older relatives living in Syria