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Nomads Of Ararat - Return To The Mountain

In June this year I returned to Mount Ararat in East Turkey, where I spent three days revisiting the Jelali Nomads, who I’d written about during a previous visit.

I posted a few of the photographs here just after I came back.

Now the full report can be viewed at –


Hope you enjoy it.



by [a former member] at 2005-10-04 06:05:53 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Wraysbury , United Kingdom | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Hi Lee,

Thanks a lot for an interesting report. I wonder do you ever come across any traces of the Armenian culture? My grandma was from that area, which we, Armenians, of course, call Western Armenia. My grand parents fled from Igdir in 1917-18. I’d love to go and visit one day, my grandma left pretty detailed descriptions of their house and I wonder whether I’ll find it. But if you want to see Mount Ararat in all its majestic beauty, you have to cross into Armenia. We sometimes joke that the Turks may have our sacred mountain, but still have the better view of it.



by Levon Sevunts | 04 Oct 2005 06:10 | Montreal, Canada | | Report spam→
Hi Levon,

I’ve not yet come across any traces of Armenan culture, although I’m not entirely sure I’d know it if I saw it.

Funny thing though… you asking…. I play for a local football team here in the UK, and we played the Armenian Youth Association on Sunday.

We beat them 6-0


by [former member] | 04 Oct 2005 10:10 | Wraysbury, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Hey good for you, by the way Armenia’s national soccer team is called Ararat. It’s not a great team now but in early 1970s it was one of the strongest Soviet teams. In 1973, it won the USSR soccer cup, beating Dinamo Kiev if I’m not mistaken.
If you’re going back to eastern Turkey, I suggest you visit Ani, the Medieval capital of Armenia, just north of Mount Ararat, right on the border with Armenia (on the Turkish unfortunately for us). You can also visit this site http://www.virtualani.freeserve.co.uk/ it’s been done by a British scholar and it’s pretty good and impartial.
The reason that you don’t see any traces of Armenian culture is that for the last 90 years the Turkish government has been methodically erasing any mention that the so called eastern Anatolia is in fact the heartland of the Armenian nation, it’s the cultural cradle of Armenia, dating back to the times Hittites. Whatever they couldn’t erase, they’ve tried to appropriate. So if you’re ever in Van, which is the first capital of ancient Armenia, before VII century B.C. I suggest you take a small tour of the Akhtamar Island. There is a Medieval monastery there. If you’re with a tour guide, ask what is it. I bet the answer will be something along the lines that it was built by "Christian Turks," it’s very rare that they admit that this is actually an Armenian monastery. It’s one of the jewels of Armenian Medieval architecture. The same thing goes for Ani. The same way the Turkish government has been denying the very existence of Kurds in Turkey, calling them Mountain Turks, it has denied the Armenian character of eastern Turkey. Because it leads to automatic questions about what happened to Armenians, how come they’re not there anymore?

by Levon Sevunts | 04 Oct 2005 19:10 | Montreal, Canada | | Report spam→
Hi Lee,

Great work, I love the pictures. I have wanted to travel to that region for some time. I think I will go have a look!.

I hope you guys know that Rugby is a real mans game?


by Nicholas | 05 Oct 2005 02:10 | Auckland, New Zealand | | Report spam→

I went to Akhdamar when I first visited the region in October 2000.
My guide was very specific about the entire history of Armenia in these parts. But then he’s no fan of the Turks – he’s Kurdish.

There’s alot of history there without a doubt, but I’m no historian. I write about and photograph people and I’ve a huge task on my hands trying to document the lives of the Jelali Nomads. I think it’ll be a long time before I can turn my attention to Armenia.

How could I possibly disagree with you, seeing as England are the Rugby World Champions!


by [former member] | 05 Oct 2005 11:10 | Wraysbury, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Yeah, they are a great team.

Look @ the Lions tour of NZ. They could only beat small provincial teams. Wait till the AB’s put them to shame AGAIN when they tour your Isle later in the year.


by Nicholas | 05 Oct 2005 16:10 | Auckland, New Zealand | | Report spam→
No doubt they will. We’ve turned our attention to cricket now.



by [former member] | 05 Oct 2005 23:10 | Wraysbury, United Kingdom | | Report spam→

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Levon Sevunts, Writer/Journalist/Produce Levon Sevunts
Montreal , Canada
Nicholas, Nicholas
[undisclosed location].


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