Before the deportation, in 1914, they took my eldest brother to the army; he became a corporal. Once he came to see us. My father said: “Khosrov, lao, don’t go.”
My brother said: “How can I? I’m a corporal, if I don’t go, the Turks will burn you.”
He went and never came back. A few Armenian soldiers had decided to run away; the Turks opened fire on them, but they threw themselves into the Arax River and were saved. They joined the Russian army.
My father had run from the Turkish army and had hidden in the straw heap. The Ottoman Turks came, drew him out and killed him. We remained orphans.
Our neighbor, Turk Yousouf efendi had pity on us and took us to his house. The Kurd Hamidié soldiers came and asked my mother: “Where are your gold coins?”
Terror-stricken, my mother said: “There, they are in the jar.”
The Turks took the gold coins and went away.
Our Turk neighbor, who had taken care of us, got angry with mother and asked why she hadn’t given the gold to him and put us out of his house. We came out; the corpses of the killed Armenians were everywhere; they had massacred all the Armenians. Those who were still alive, were driven we did not know where. On the road there was confusion and uproar. The Turkish gendarmes drew us forward with bayonets. At night they came and took away the young women and girls. One day they took away my mother, too, and then they brought her back. It was good that my father was not alive and did not see himself dishonored.
I remember, on the road of exile our cart turned over into the water. Many people were drowned in the Euphrates River and many were killed and thrown into the river. That was why the Euphrates River was completely colored bloody red.