Ovsanna Chitjian

My father had an acquaintance by the name of Mahmed Effendi: a well-off Turk who owned a textile family and was rumored to have kept a 100 Armenian family under his protection during the Genocide, working in his factory. He was a handsome man. Before the Genocide, my father had helped him avoid recruitment into the Ottoman military, so, Mahmed Effendi returned the kindness and saved us from deportation: he kept my brothers and sisters and me at his house and gave us work in his factory during those years. Ironically, I remember that time to be a rather a happy time for me.


Mahmed Effendi looked after us a long way. When we left Malatia intent on leaving Turkey after the war, we went on foot to Kilis. It took us a day or two. There we were warned about roving Turkish bandits to the south. My father sent a telegram to Mahmed Effendi and before we knew it we had a 100 men escorting us.