A Shirt for the Brave
London: Gomidas Institute, 2017
98 pp, map, photos
ISBN 978-1-909382-36-7, pb.
Price: UK£12.00 / US$16.00
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This is a remarkable account of Hagop Beshlian’s life. It was written for his family members but constitutes an important document in its own right. Starting with the Hamidian massacres, when he lost his parents, Beshlian recounts how he became the first Armenian medical doctor in Ourfa. With the outbreak of WWI he was conscripted into the Ottoman army as an officer and served in Gallipoli, Poland, Iraq and Palestine. At the end of WWI he returned to Ourfa under British and later French occupation, and played a leading role in negotiating on behalf of Armenians with both French and Turkish forces. He remained in Ourfa after the Kemalist established control, and eventually left the region and settled in the United States, where he set up his medical practice.