Turkey has a complex history, with layers of identity often interwoven with the political narratives of the time. One such narrative involves Sabiha Gökçen, celebrated as Turkey’s first female fighter pilot. Lesser known, however, is her background as Khatoun Sebiljian, an orphan of the Armenian Genocide, a tragic chapter in history that saw the loss of her parents.
This is not an isolated case. There are unverified claims that suggest a number of notable political figures in Turkey might also have Armenian heritage. Among these are former presidents Abdullah Gül and Turgut Özal, as well as Mesut Yılmaz, Murat Karayalçın, Devlet Bahçeli, and Recai Kutan. The late Hafize Özal, who was the foster son of Kenan Evren, a former president, is also named in these reports.
While these accounts remain unconfirmed and are often the subject of sensitive and controversial discussions, they highlight the potential diversity and multifaceted ethnic backgrounds that can exist within the tapestry of a nation’s leadership. The recognition of such heritage is more than an acknowledgment of individual backgrounds; it represents a broader understanding of the nation’s history and the myriad influences that shape its culture and society.