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Lazman is a Turkified Laz.

Reader comment on item: Turkey in Cyprus vs. Israel in Gaza
in response to reader comment: And you are dear Lazman what is really your "heritage"? Oh let me guess Greek or is it Armenian or is it Syrian?

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Aug 17, 2010 at 17:29

Hi, dhimmi no more !

> Oh let me guess: Our dear Lazman's ancestors were Greeks and Armenians and Syrians right our dear Lazman the victim of Turkish imperialism?<

If his name can sugegst anything about his origin, then he is a Laz. The Laz were ancient Christians from North-Eastern Anatolia and are closely related to Georgians. The Turks converted them forcibly to Sunnite Islam and Turkified them thoroughly. There are records which tell about Laz being ashamed of using their own language instead of not Turkish and of being called a Laz not a Turk. In population censuses they are counted as "Turks" not "Laz". Hence it's very hard to determine their real number.

In Lazistan there is also another interesting ethnic group called "Hemshinlis". These are Armenians who were forced to convert to Islam en masse during the 16th-18th centuries but retained their Armenian language and part of their old culture for a very long time afterwards. Nowadays they all speak Turkish and consider themselves to belong to the happy Turkish nation but they neighbours still call them "ermeniler" ,"Armenians", which they find very insulting. Truth hurts, doesn't it ?


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