The Secret Slavery of Armenian Women by the Ottoman Turks
It is estimated by Armenians around the world today that over one and a half million people perished during the years in the Ottoman Empire that spanned 1915 to 1923. This figure is still not recognized though by the Republic of Turkey who continues to be at bureaucratic odds with any global stories linking the mention of genocide to Turkey. They also state a ‘more accurate’ death toll is closer to 300,000. In 1913 those known as the ‘Young Turks’ took over the region now known as Turkey via a government coup-de-tat, From 1919-1920 they were charged with crimes that linked them directly to propaganda, mass murder and atrocity.
As in so many historical accounts of war, terror and genocide, the stories of women and girls who lived through the Armenian genocide have remained largely untold. Thousands were abducted, raped and forced to become prostitutes and concubines.
Khardalian discovers that the blue tattoos were not, as she had thought as a girl, ‘devilish signs,’ but marks of Islamic tribal culture: dots, crescents, and small x’s. The tattoos were believed to provide protection, strength and fertility. But in the case of the marked Armenian women the tattoos were a mark of their subjugation.