The Birthing News ©
SOFIA KONTOGEORGE KOSTOS
Until 1922, for as long as five hundred years-the Ottoman Turks abducted the children of their Christian subjects.
Again and again, midwives whispered,
"You've birthed a beautiful baby." But, the joyful news
pierced parents' hearts like scimitars, terrified
the news would reach the Sultans' henchmen,
who like rabid rats with eyes of crescent red, converged
throughout the joyless lands: Greece, Armenia, Assyria,
Asia Minor, Serbia, Bosnia, Hungary, Bulgaria.
Relentlessly searching from house to-house to-house:
Abducting daughters for Sultans' harems
and sons for Sultans' Janizaries.
With crazed defiance, mothers scarred their children's faces,
rendering them unfit, undesirable.
So it was, for four plus centuries-
children uprooted without "goodbyes,"
--again and again.
Harems: In desperate attempts to prevent the abduction of Christian girls for the Turkish Sultans' harems: (1) beautiful girls were dressed like boys until they reached puberty (2) their beautiful faces were slashed with knives, to render them undesirable.
Janizary Corps: The ablest and handsomest Christian boys from ages ten to twelve were abducted and converted to Islam and made subjects for the Turkish Sultans' lusts and personal armies. They were taught to be fierce fighters and to "Beat the cross and elevate the crescent."
Forgotten Genocides of the 20th Century: A Compilation of Poetry.
Read more poems by Sofia Kontogeorge Kostos in the following publication
FORGOTTEN GENOCIDES OF THE 20TH CENTURY
Gregory Djanikian, George Hobson, Dean Kostos, Sofia Kontogeorge-Kostos, David Kherdian, Gregory Topalian, Nora Armani. Edited by Ara Sarafian.
Dedicated to the memory of the destruction of Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks in Ottoman Turkey. The destruction of native Americans. The annihilation of Gypsies during WWII. Rwanda, Darfur and other victimised groups whose memory has been forgotten.