A khachkar-monument commemorating Armenian orphans killed during the Armenian Genocide was inaugurated in the cemetery of Antur’s St. Djozeph college through support of Lebanese benefactress Gohar Khachaturian.
The khachkar bears an inscription in Armenian, Arabic, French and English languages, “To Armenian martyrs killed during the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Turkey”
During the unveiling ceremony, Misak Kelashyan, who discovered the tombs of about 300 orphans, expressed gratitude to Gohar Khachaturian
In 1915, the orphanage was headed by Jemal Pasha, one of the architects of the Armenian Genocide, and Turkey’s first feminist Halide Edip Adivar. They forced Armenian children to change their names, adopt the Mohammedan faith and severely punished those who spoke Armenian inside the orphanage.
By the UN Convention, this was one of the first signs of children’s ethnic cleansing.
One of the orders of Talat Pasha, a prominent leader of the Young Turk movement, demanded that all Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire be taken out of cities and slaughtered. Armenian children were burnt, poisoned and strangled.
Hundreds of thousands of children became orphans and were forced to change their belief.
A documentary entitled “Genocide Orphans” has been shot in the USA portraying the life of the Antura orphanage