Armenian and Kurdish Village Names Restored in Van

A road sign in Van

VAN, Turkey (Armenian Weekly)—The Van Metropolitan Municipal Council restored the old names of 704 neighborhoods, Turkish newspapers reported.

The municipality has said that it will use these old names in its official documents. In each local municipality research was conducted to identify the old names of the neighborhoods.

In Başkale 81 villages and neighborhoods received their old names back; in Çaldıran 86; in Çatak 34; in Edremit 18; in Erciş 105; in Gevaş 37; in Gürpınar 174; in İpekyolu 50; in Muradiye 41; in Özalp 53; and inside the city proper 25.

The decision was approved by members of the council who were from the pro-Kurdish party as well as the ruling party. Reportedly, village signs will also be changed and include the Kurdish and Armenian names.

Before the Genocide, there were around 90,000 Armenians living in 350 villages in what is today the province of Van, according to Les Arméniens dans l’Empire Ottoman à la veille du génocide by historians Raymond Kevorkian and Paul Paboudjian. There were 382 churches and 65 monasteries in the area.


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  1. Hratch said:

    It’s interesting if the Western Armenian dialect will find a home there. It sure will be a contrast from the current struggle within the homeland.

  2. Hratch said:

    It’s also interesting how conquering forces like to rename places, such as Leninakan, It’s astonishing that people still sometimes refer themselves to be from Leninakan. Perhaps Armenia will also take steps beyond Gumri to rename towns and villages that are relics of the USSR. There is no need for Noyemberyan or Oktemberyan to remind us of the dark chapter of communist rule.

    • Janapar said:

      Agreed. All places affected should be encouraged to address the question of renaming.
      Poke that bear, then the childishness of some Putin retaliation can be exposed, but it is for history first of all.

  3. Sarkis said:

    To me it looks like a step forward . The next logical point should be to open up the border points with Armenia so people can cross over and read the signs in Armenian.

  4. Janapar said:

    You know I was surprised by the peaceful collapse of white South Africa and the USSR.
    Perhaps Turkey will amaze the world as well.

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