We and our surnames

  • by Western Armenia, February 02, 2024 in Patrimony
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Most Armenian place  names have been changed  from  their original names as a  result of the penetration of the Turkish nomadic, tribes into Armenia.

From the beginning, tribes compelled  the local Armenians to various pressures and  forced them to leave their flat and fertile lands, well-maintained and well-built houses to places with little land and less suitable for cultivation, imposed heavy taxes on Armenians, and robbed them of their property.

 In 1915 According to the decree of Sultan Selim I, the irregular gathering of boys and girls, the so-called blood tax, became a great disaster for  people in possession.

And this has been carried out  for centuries. The pressures of the  turks on  Armenians were so strong that in many settlements of historical Armenia, such as in the Malatya province of historical Lesser Armenia, the houses of the Armenians did not have windows opening to the street.

However, turks consistently banned the Armenian speech and imposed terrible punishments and pressures on those who uttered the word Armenia and Armenian speakers. Since 1880, the name Armenia has been banned in official documents.

As Simeon the Pole describes: "There were bandits everywhere, looting, massacre and violence everywhere."

In 1915 According to the decree of Sultan Selim I, the irregular gathering of boys and girls, the so-called blood tax, Devshirme became a great disaster for people. And this has been done for centuries.

Pressures of the turks on the Armenians were so strong that in many settlements of historical Armenia, such as in the Malatya province of historical Lesser Armenia, the houses of the Armenians did not have windows opening to the street.

However, not satisfied with this, they consistently banned the Armenian speech and imposed terrible punishments and pressures on those who uttered the word Armenia and Armenian speakers. Since 1880, the name Armenia has been banned in official documents.

(After the Berlin Treaty).

This is what the famous Armenian linguist, Academician of the Armenian Academy of Sciences Hr. Acharyan said  about it. "The environment of Asia Minor and the eastern end of the Balkan Peninsula were the most affected, where the natural and official influence of the Ottoman rule, combined with the tyrannical pressure, completely disappeared the Armenian dialect..."

And then there is an annotation. "They will confirm that the governors of these places have threatened to punish Armenian-speaking people with death."

1877-1878 After the Russo-Turkish war, the pressures intensified and became widespread, especially after the 1890s, and in 1894-1896, mass massacres of Armenians were organized at the state level.

They were carried out in Kilikia,  in 1909, and reached the peak of their brutality in 1915. (April 24) in the terrible year of the Armenian Genocide and continued until 1923.

According to different calculations, from 1890 to 1923. During the period between 2000 and 2012, Armenians living in approximately 2,700 settlements with a purely Armenian population and a mixed population suffered from the Armenian massacres organized by the turks.

And the number of these settlements will definitely increase as a result of additional studies, many of them have already been renamed. High official of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs V. Reosler in 1914-1918. was a consul in Turkey and witnessed the Armenian pogroms.

Reosleri compiled a secret newsletter, which, together with the memorandum documents prepared by Aram Antonyan, played a major role in the acquittal and release of Soghomon Tehleryan, a valiant representative of the Armenian liberation movement, during the trial of Talaat's murderer.

Pursuing long-term goals and also to strengthen the turkish power, more than half a century before the genocide against the  Armenians, new administrative divisions were made in the Ottoman Empire, about which T. Hakobyan, doctor, professor in   history, science writes: "Changes took place in the administrative territorial division of Western Armenia in the second half of the 19th century, as a result of which the remnants of the Armenian authorities were completely eliminated."

To be continued...

Western Armenia TV journalist Ashkhen Virabyan