HISTORICAL AND DEMOGRAPHIC OVERVIEW OF WESTERN ARMENIA ON THE EVE OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE – 2015-3

Part two: the southern and western districts of Van’s Vilayet and the town of Van

Summary

Gegham M. Badalyan

Key words – Vilayet of Van, the city of Van, Armenian semiindependent principalities, Akhtamar Catholicosate, Assyrian region, Gavash (Rshtunik), Kartchkan and Ketsan, Upper Karkar, Mox (district of Mox), Shatakh, Norduz, Aghbak, Monastery of the Holy Apostle Bartholomew, Gyavar and Dzhulamerik, Aram Manukyan.

We represent to the reader the second part of our research dedicated to the clarification of the demographic image of Western Armenia on the eve of the Armenian Genocide; the study includes rural and urban areas of south-western, southern and partly south-eastern provinces of Van’s vilayet.

In the series, representing rural and urban areas of south-western, southern and partly south-eastern districts of Van’s Vilayet populated by Armenians we can list the following districts and villages: in the district (sancak) Van – Gavash (Rshtunik), Kartchkan (with Ketsan), Mox, Upper Karkar, Shatakh, Norduz also from the province of Akkari – Aghbak, Gyavar and Dzhulamerik. The provinces of the first group (except Norduz) were mostly Armenian populated before the Genocide – 55-62%, and in the Upper Karkara more than 70% of the population were Armenians.

This phenomenon has 3 main reasons: 1) up to 60-ies of XIX century the abovementioned provinces were populated almost exclusively by Armenians, 2) Some semi-independent principalities called Melicatus still preserved in Mox and Shatakh, 3) separated provinces were part of the Diocese of the Catholicosate of Aghtamar Island and the church of the Holy Cross was mobilizing center for local Armenians.

As for the second group of regions (nahiye) of Van vilayet, on the eve of the Genocide Armenians were a minority there due to the fact that the massacres and forced migration of Armenians almost did not stop there from the middle of the XIX century.

The article also includes the regional center – the city of Van. As in the first part here, too, the reader is provided by historical, demographic, and other data about the largest administrative units and major population centers. Armenian historical monuments are also well presented. At the end of the article the reader will find general geographical and statistical information on the entire district of Van.

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