G. M. Badalyan
Key words – Tayk, Gurjistan vilayet, Sergi Jikia, Banak Nahiyah, Karshim Nahiyah, Liva of Panaskert, toponyms, personal names, indigenous Armenian characteristics, chalcedony, Islam.
A remarkable document from Ottoman period composed in the end of 16th century, which is known as “A Spacious List of Taxes of Gyurjistan Vilâyet”has a great importance for the study the historical demography of Tayk. This unique document was kept in the Eastern manuscripts department of the State Museum of Georgia. The context of the manuscript was published in 1947 by prominent Georgian turkologist Sergi Jikia (a propose, the same author has published the Georgian version of the same document in 1941). Needless to say, that the above mentioned manuscript contains many materials on the historical issues of Armenians and Georgians from this period. As we know, in the second half of 16th century the Ottoman Empire gradually subdued the north-western parts of Armenia and Samtskhe Princedome that contains the south-western parts of Georgia (in Georgian საათაბაგო- saatabago). In this region has been created the GyurdjistanVilâyet. The southern part of the last one contains many districts (with their main centers) of Great Armenia’s Tayk Province, such as Olti-Ughtiq, Mamrvan (Nariman), Kamkhis-Kaghamakhik, Panaskert, Banak (Panak, in Georgianბანა-Bana), which were located in Olti (historical Boghkha) brook’s whole pond of the river Tchorokh. Immediately after the Ottoman conquest, a detailed inventory was made here, such as the registration of the number of residents and the economic situation. “The spacious list of taxes of Gyurjistan Vilâyet” is particularly important because it contains almost all the important statistical information as on populated, as well on depopulated areas of the territory. In fact, in each area are noticed the detailed names of the male gender, which were paying the ispenj (25 akche). In the end of 16th century in the area that we are interested has been existed two liva ( districts) – Banak and Olti, which in turn were divided into nahiyah-cantons. The Banak Liva was consist of three small districts: the formal Banak (in Turkish Nısf-ı Penek), Kamkhis (in Turkish Kâmhis) and Panaskert, which had 109 settlements (14 of which were inhabited and the data are missing about 12 of them). The examination of names shows that in the above mentioned three districts have been registered 1974 people, which were representing the whole family, and 1850 (93.7 percent) of them were Armenians. In fact, the names often indicate a presence of Orthodox (Chalcedonian, in source “gürcü”, that is – Georgian) Armenians, which is quite a common phenomenon in Tayk and Upper Armenia. “A Spacious List of Taxes of Gyurjistan Vilâyet ” is also valuable in another point: it fully reveals the unitive policy of Ottoman Empire. If in the mentioned period the new created GyurjistanVilâyet’s population was almost consist of Christians (Armenians and Georgians) in 100 percent, and then only two centuries later, most of them were forcibly converted to Islam and lost their national identity.