|Pirkinik, Perkinik, Perkenik, Perknig, Perknik, Prknik|
|HOME - The Azarians - - Sivas - Arevian/Hagopian|
|Pirkinik, Perkinik, Perkenik, Perknig, Perknik, Prknik, etc.,
An Armenian Catholic Village Near Sivas, In Central Anatolia, Turkey
My husband's grandmother, Lucy Arevian/Hagopian Azarian, and her siblings, Batiste, Hovsep, Nazareth, and Avidis Arevian/Hogopian were born in the village of Pirkinik, state of Sivas, Turkey. Lucy was born there circa 1875. The family moved to Constantinople, Istanbul, Turkey before 1895. In the early 1920s Lucy moved with her husband and children to New Jersey, United States.
One of the major problems of transliterating a name into another alphabet and languages is the varieties of spelling that can ensue. The village in question is now called Çayboyu (Pirkinik). I have found a variety of spellings including: Perknig, Perknik, Pirkinik, Pirkinek, Pirkenik, Perkenek, Perkenik, Perkinik, Prknik, Prknig, Brgnik, Berkinik. On postcards written by the Tchiboukkearians (the family name of the Armenian poet, Daniel Varoujan) and included in The Tchiboukkearians of Perknig, the spelling was "Perknig". The spelling given to me by members of the Azarian/Hagopian family when I first started the research around 2000 was Prkng.
From the early 1700s until 1915 Pirkinik was an Armenian Catholic village. Most Armenians were Armenian Apostolic (sometimes referred to as the Georgian Church). However the village of Perkinik prided itself in being 100% Roman Catholic. This means that they accepted the full authority of the Pope in Rome. The Armenian Catholic Church was officially recognized by Pope Benedict XIV in 1742. However, I do not know how long the village was Roman Catholic. In 1821 Voyages en Orient refers to the village as "Catholic". Voyages en Orient of 1929 stated that Catholics lived in the Village of Perkinik, a "league" away and there was a monastery that serves as a residences for monks sent by the Patriarch of Lebanon.
The people were involved with agriculture and in general were pretty miserable.
Storia universale della Chiesa cattolica dal principio del ..., Volumes 27-28 By René François Rohrbacher 1855 indicates that the village was converted in the early 1700s.
It is also possible that my husband's grandfather, Abram Azarian, was born in Pirknik. There were Azarians in Perkinik. Abram Azarian claimed to have been born in Sivas. It may have been the town of Sivas or another local village in the region of Sivas. Whereas Lucy specifically listed her birthplace as "Pirkenik" at her immigration into the US, Abram listed his birthplace only as Sivas.
The family of Hovhannes Azarian and his wife Anna Kovhovmjian were from Pirkinik. Their sons became wealthy merchants in Constantinople and Boston. See Azarians
In May 2008 my husband, Tom, and I visited Turkey for a week. We spent two days in the Sivas area. One morning our guides and translator, Kagan, Yervant and Metin, drove us to the village of Pirkinik.
Robert Hewson in Armenia, A Historical Atlas and others say that Pirkinik is an hour outside of Sivas. That may have been true in the days before automobiles when one had to travel by foot, donkey or ox cart. By car, the trip from the center of Sivas to Pirkinik took less than ten minutes.
We drove the length of the village on its south side. On the north side of the street were older buildings and on the south were several modern high rise apartments and a modern school. At the end of the village we got out and explored a bit on foot.
We did not venture too far from the main road. Many of the buildings were in very poor shape patched and jerry rigged with wood, cinder blocks and corrugated tin and leaning at all sorts of precarious angles. We could see three types of basic construction in the older buildings: cut stone, uncut stone, and timber framing (with rubble filling & stucco finish). Most of the buildings originally probably had mud or tile roofs although many now had corrugated tin roofs. Many of the buildings had balconies (or the remains of balconies). We could not see any modern buildings in the cluster of older buildings. The only newer buildings were on the periphery of the village.
The men of the village where known to have been muleteers who traveled all over Asia Minor. They have also been referred to as farmers. The women of the village may have made rugs. John Minassian in Many Hills Yet To Climb states that Oriental carpets were woven by young Armenian girls in the hundreds of Armenian villages that surounded Sivas.
|Pirkinik, May 2008|
Photo Maggie Land Blanck|
This is the largest and most imposing building we saw being one of two buildings of cut stone. Its shape and the domed roofs suggests that it was once the public bath.* The ground level must have been lower at one time as the doorways are impossibly low for an adult to enter. The interior appears to be completely filled with rubble and dirt. We could not find any inscription. The light green object in front of the building is a fountain.
* See the bath in Sivas at Sivas
See also History of Pirkinik Chapter 4
Photo Maggie Land Blanck|
Another view of the same building.
Photo Maggie Land Blanck|
This building was one of the two buildings of cut stone that we saw (the other being the bath). It is clearly an old Armenian building as evidenced by the inscription in Armenian on the key stone. See image below.
The height of the arch suggests that the building was once much taller. See also History of Pirkinik Chapter 4
Photo Maggie Land Blanck|
Another view of the same building.
I believe that this is just a fragment of the original building. The stone work around the arch ends rather abruptly at the top. It is highly likely that the original building was much taller.
Since most of the buildings in the village were of uncut stone or timber framing it is highly likely that this was a building of some importance. With the wide arched doorway it is tempting to think it was part of one of the two known churches. This type of doorway was common on Armenian churches.
Photo Maggie Land Blanck|
The inscription on the key stone is in Armenian. We could not make out what is written, except the year 1909 which is barley visible on the lower right.
See also History of Pirkinik Chapter 4
Photo Maggie Land Blanck|
This is typical of the state of the village today. The uncut stone walls are most likely old; as are the red tile roofs. The cinder blocks and corrugated tin can be presumed to post date 1915. The house on the extreme right is whitewashed. It is likely that at least some of the Armenian houses in Pirkinik were stone covered with stucco that was whitewashed or painted in some way.
Photo Maggie Land Blanck|
This building looks to be of timber framing. Notice the remnant of a balcony.
The gate is a ghost of the typical entryway into pre 1915 properties. See the houses in Sivas at Sivas
Photo Maggie Land Blanck|
The house on the left shows the uncut stone construction and the one on the right shows a balcony.
Photo Maggie Land Blanck|
Our guides told us that this old mill wheel was turned by oxen.
Photo Maggie Land Blanck|
This image gives some idea of the terrain around Pirkinik. The house in the distance is of modern construction.
Photo Maggie Land Blanck|
Based on window size, the balcony and the type of construction, I believe that this building dates from the days when Pirkinik was an Armenian village. The cemetery in the background on the left is Moslem. This building is one of the first of the old buildings as one approaches Pirkinik from Sivas.
|Sivas 1877 SIVAS 1877 edited by Arsen Yarmen contains two images of Pirkinik.|
|Pirkinik Ermeni Katolik Surp Sarkis Kilisesi. Natanyan kitabinda bu kilisenin adini zikretmemistir. Arsen Yarman arsivi.
[St Sarkis Armenian Catholic church. Natanyan named this church in his book (or something along those lines). Arsen Yarmen archives.]
|Pirkinik köyü ahalisi. Arsen Yarman archives|
[Pirkinik villagers. Arsen Yarman archives]
|Families From Pirkinik|
|The following list of families from Perkinik is complied from a variety of sources.
1930: Worchester, Mass Hawley street, Nishan "Balgaian" 50, Shuttle boy Filer Loom Wks., imm 1916, Catinig Balgaian 40, imm 1916, Vahe Balgaian 10 Navatt Balgaian 8, girls born Rhode Island
1940: Chandler street, Worchester, Mass., Nishan Balgian 58, fireman, Satinig Balgian 50 Vahe Balgian 20, born Rhode Island, Rose Balgian 18, born Rhode Island Hred Shanazarian 45, lodger
1942 Nishan Balgian 210 Chandler st Worcester, Mass. born Mar 28, 1880 Sivas Turkey wife, Satinig
1953: from New York t bremerhaven, N. Rose Baljian Birth Place: Rhode Island Departure Date: 7 Aug 1953 Departure Place: New York, New York, USA, address 210 Chandler st Worchester, Mass. Ship: USNS GEN MAURICE ROSE (T AP 126), intending to stay abroad 2 years
1962: Age 82, Nishan, Balgian, Birth Date 28 Mar 1880, State Massachusetts, Event Date Aug 1962
1974: Satenig Karaghuesian Baljian, Death Date: 1974, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, Volume Number: 111, Page Number: 297, Index Volume Number: 124/125, Reference Number: F63.M363 v.124/12
1999: Mass. Death cert., Vahe V Baljian Certificate: 020111 Death Place: Auburn Death Date: 13 Feb 1999 Birth Place: Rhode Island Birth Date: 1 Nov 1919
2004: Nvart Rose Baljian [N Rose Gara] [Rose Metz] SSN: 016141709 Gender: Female Race: White Birth Date: 18 Jul 1921 Birth Place: Providence, Rhode Island Death Date: 23 Dec 2004 Father: Nishan Baljian Mother: Sara S Karaghuesian Type of Claim: Original SSN.
Nishan Baljian Gender: Male Spouse: Sara S Karaghuesian Child: Nvart Rose Baljian
1923: Regina Eminian 64 Lewis Street, Everett, intention of marriage to Harry Domejian 142 Claredon street 6 July 1923
1926-27: Two listings for Eminian in Everett - both at 142 Main, John Shomeaker, and M Chas (Annie) shoemaker
Jelebian Mardiros age 21 born Pirkinik, Sebastia, Armenia, Turkey, ? 2, 1896, alien, single, machine tender, Iver Johnson Arms co., 21 Huron street, Fitchburg, Mass., tall medium build, brown eyes brown hair
1918: Death - Mardiros H Jelebian Event Type Burial Event Date 1918 Event Place Fitchburg, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States of America Photograph Included N Birth Date 02 Apr 1897 Death Date 11 Jun 1918 Affiliate Record Identifier 134039285 Cemetery Saint Joseph Cemetery
Maderice "Jelebean" son of Hampasziam and Veronika Jelebean died of lymphangitis
Kaghanjian, Marta listed by the Armenian Immigration Project.
Marta Kaghanjian or Kazjian/Kazanjain was the mother of Miriam who married Hagop Papoojian. Martha was born in Pirkinik circa 1835.
"Margaret said that her grandmother's maiden name was Kazanjian. Her grandmother left the village prior to 1915. There she worked in a rug factory. Her father upon receiving a tip from a Turk that a future genocide may occur left the village with his family in 1912. Margaret lives in Toronto." Robert Haroutunian, March 2007.
Kricorian (Mathieu), mechanic, born July 21, 1874 in Pirkinik (Turkey), residing in Levallois-Perret (Seine), rue de Gravel, 30 [Journal officiel de la Republique francaise. Lois et decrets -Journaux officiels (Paris)-1915]
Immigration: 1903 per naturalization petition
10 Jun 1907 Milford, Massachusetts, USA, Sougras Margossian age 26 born Turkey, molder, Father: Bedras Margossian Mother: Versonig Diermengian Spouse: Krisdine Diermengian age 28 born Turkey, Spouse Father: Migndick Dennenjean Spouse Mother: Vardouki Hovakmian, first marriage for both1910: Milford, Worcester, Massachusetts Soukias P "Margorion" 29, foundry, Christin Margorion 19, wife, married 3 years no children, both born Turkey Armenians
1912: Massachusetts Petition of Naturalization record - Soukias Pedros Margosian Age: 30 Birth 3 Sep 1881 Pirkinik, Sivas Turkey Arrival from Naples Italy 4 Oct 1903 to New York on the Cecelia, Petition Date: 22 Apr 1912 Spouse: Christina Witness #1: John B Connolly Witness #2: James H Brunt, 49 Prospect Heights, Milford, Mass. brass molder
1818: Soukias Pedros Margossian Race: White Birth Date: 3 Sep 1881 Street address: 242 K St Residence Place: Fresno, Fresno, California, USA Physical Build: Slender Height: 5-9 Hair Color: Dark Brown Eye Color: Brown Relative: Harry Rusligan
1920: Fresno California, Sokrian age 39, farmer, Christine age 28
1940: Fresno, S P Margossian 56, widowed, laborer, Margaret Margossian 9, daughter, born California
1966: Soukias Margossian SSN: 552-54-3841 Last Residence: 93219 Earlimart, Tulare, California, USA BORN: 12 Sep 1880 Died: Jan 1966
Khacig Mouradjian listed by the Armenian Immigration Project.
Hagop and Miriam (Mary) Papoojian:
Children:1917: Hagop Papoojian Miles City, Custer, Mont, age 35, born Jun 25, 1883, labourer, S. M. and St. P. Ry. Miles City, Mont, wife, Miriam Papoojian Sivas, Perkenik, Turkey medium height, slender built brown hair and eyes.
1920: Fitchburg, Ward 2, Federal street, Mike Tohamozin 34, Krikor Gelbian 34, Hanparzi Gelbian 45, Harry Domigan 25, Hagob Papogian 35, imm 1913, single, boarder, naturalized 1919, laborer, cotton mill, Bogas Derm--ngian 31, Sahag Borchanian* 29, single, boarder, laborer, cotton mill, imm 1909 Masgos Derderian 25
* See above.
1930: Listed under on Ancestry as "Papragian" Pratt street, Fitchburg, Mass. Hageb Papoogian 42, laborer railroad, Mary Papoogian 42 Helen Papoogian 7 Ragnes Papoogian 4 Philip Papoogian 3 Martha Krzngein 95, mother in law, widow, all imm 1920 except children who were all born Mass.
1935: Hagop Papoojian, paper worker, Petition, age 52, Birth Date: 25 Jun 1883 Birth Place: "Parkenis" Armenia, Turkey Arrival Date: 12 Dec 1912 Arrival Place: New York, New York Petition Date: 13 Nov 1935 Spouse: Mary Kazjian Petition Number: 165136 Boston, Massachusetts, address 3 Pratt st, Fitchburg, Mass. married wife, Mary Kazjian, Sept 1910 at Parkenis, Armenia, born Parkinis 1882 immigrated Nov 1920 - children Helen Feb 12, 1924, Regina Sept 9, 1925 and Philip P Jan 4, 1927 all born fitchburg. last foreign residence, Suez, Armenia, imm from Harve, France under the name Hagop Pabourdjian on December 12, 1912 on the Chicago.
Immigration: Pabogkian [Paboujian], Marcos, 26 M 1913-05-16 (New York) / Ivernia, Sivas (Pirkinik), Sivas, Turkey 309 Columbus Ave. / New York, NY, USA (Armenian Immigration Project)
Pabogkian, ---icos, age smudge, line 16, Armenian from Pirkinik, Brother Loukas Pabogkian, -erkinik to Mass, born Perkinik Sivas
Canard index to passenger list, Mar May 1913 Pabogkian, Marcos age 36, to Amille Fork Mass
Immigration: Pilibos Paputian, Last Place of Residence Pirkinik, Turkey, Date of Arrival, 08 Jul 1913, Age 18y, Nationality Turkish, Armenian, Departure Port Trieste, Arrival Port New York, Gender Male, Marital Status S, Ship Name Alice, farm laborer, mother Vartonik Paputian Pirkinik Turkey
Immigration: Shikatian, Abraham 43 M 1913-05-16 (New York) / Ivernia Sivas (Pirkinik), Sivas, Turkey 309 Columbus Ave. / New York, NY, USA (Armenian Immigration Project)
Abraham Shikatian Arrival 17 May 1913 born Pirkinik, Age: 40 Gender: Male Armenian Port of Departure: Trieste Port of Arrival: New York, New York Ship Name: Ivernia, line 15, father Toros (?) Shikatian Pirkinik, to New York
In NY from 1906 to 1909 born Pirkinik Sivas
per Theresa Topalian, July 2008
Zakar Topalian, born November 1, 1890 in Perkinik, Sivas, Armenia, medium build, short, brown eyes and hair, Fitchburg, Worcester, Massachusetts, registered for the WWI Draft Registration in 1917. Additional information: alien, single, soldier Turkish. There are things I cannot make out as the image is fuzzy. It is interesting that he specifically listed Perkinik and Sivas. Most men only listed the county of birth.
Joe Topalian is the translator from Armenian to English of The History of the Village of Perkenik (Pakradunik) by Fr. Ephrem Boghossian C. M. Vd (Mechitharist of Vienna, Austria)
1917: Fitchburg Mass. White Horse for sale $20, Zakar Toplaina 185 River st.
1917: Fitchburg Mass. 10 Good Milk Cows, 1 horse, 75 hens, 100 chickens, cow manure, cabbage, tomatoes, potatoes, corn, Zakar Topalian, Shattuck Farm, Rindge rd.
1918: Zakar Topalian 24 Federal street, Fitchburg, Mass. soldier farmer, born 1 November 1889 Sivas Armenia, immig 28 May 1913 from Salonika, to New York, vessel unknown.
1918: Zakar Topalian Single Birth Date: 1 Nov 1890 Birth Place: Pirkinik Sivas, Armenia address: Rindge Rd Fitchburg, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA Physical Build: Stout Height: Medium Hair Description: Not Bald Hair Color: Brown Eye Color: Brown - farmer, soldier in Turkey, 3 months,
1930: Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, 9 Bancroft, "Lakar" Topalian 35, head, imm 1913, molder, steel foundry, Bernardine Topalian 28,imm 1923 (?), Christine Topolian 7, daughter, Garabed Topalian 5, son, Joseph Topalian 4, son, children born in Mass. Frank Balain 30, brother in law, drawer, wire mill
1940: Zakar Topalain 50, molder loom shop, Bernadine Topalain 38, Christine Topalain 17, Garabed Topalain 15, Joseph Topalain 14, Paul Topalain 8/12
1942: Zakar Topalian Gender: Male Race: White Residence Age: 52 Birth Date: 1 Nov 1890 Birth Place: Sivas, Armenia Residence Date: 1942, 7 Bluff street, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
1954: Joseph Topalian 18 Aug 1954 Birth Massachusetts Worcester Port of Departure: Le Havre Port of Arrival: New York, New York Ship Name: Ryndam, tourist class
"Zakar" Topalian SSN: 027-09-3626 Residence: 01610 Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA BORN: 1 Apr 1887 Died: Dec 1970
Bernardine Topalian SSN: 010-50-3122 Residence: 01610 Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA BORN: 14 Mar 1900 Died: Oct 19
Garabed Topalian Residence: 01501 Auburn, Worcester, Massachusetts BORN: 25 Apr 1924 Died: 7 Jul 2007
Der Astrazadurian also spelt Asdvadzadurian
Michele Derastrazadurian, Cilicia delgi Armeni, Ciliciae Armenorum, Michaele Derastrazadurian, nato in Pirkinik, Archidiocesi de Sebaste, nel 1788, promosso da Cesarea in partibus 25 Gennaio 1844 col nome di Gregorio Pietro VIII"Note:
In Partibus Infidelium (often shortened to in partibus, or abbreviated as i.p.i.), is a Latin phrase meaning "in the lands of unbelievers"He died in 1866 according to various lists of the Armenian Catholic Patriarchs of Cilicia.
Leon Korkorouni — Mgr Korkorouni
[Bishop Korkouni was born in Pirkinik near Sivas, June 20, 1822; he studied .... Bzomar (Lebanon), where he was called to the priesthood. Since April 1861 he had been archbishop of .... Melitene. He died ... August 15.]
Died 18 June 1915 in Tokat (a.k.a. Eudocia) (Turkey)
ISEVUHI GHARIPEVAN, professed religious, Armenian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception born: 06 November 1879 in Brgnik, Sivas (Turkey)
Fr. Sahag Madoian (vdpt.) Sivas (Sebastia) Sivas (Sebastia), Brgink, Apostolic, Martyr, Born 1872 in Brgnik; studied in Zmmar; ordained as vardapet in 1896. Losses of the Armenian Church During the Genocide, Priests
Fr. Sahag Shahnamian (vdpt.) Sivas (Sebastia) Sivas (Sebastia), Brgink, Apostolic, Martyr, Born 1884 in Brgnik; studied in Zmmar; ordained 1907. Losses of the Armenian Church During the Genocide, Priests
Fr. Mikayel Der-Asdvadzadurian (vdpt.), Sivas (Sebastia), Sivas (Sebastia), Brgink, Apostolic, Martyr, Born 1873 in Brgnik; studied in Zmmar; ordained 1896. Losses of the Armenian Church During the Genocide, Priests
In chapter 20 Joe Tapolian talks of a photo taken in Constantinople circa 1919 that included the following people from Pirkinik:
|Images Of Village Life|
|These scenes of village life are carved out of wood. They were hanging on the walls of a kebob shop in Sivas. The manager gave me permission to photograph them.|
Photo Maggie Land Blanck|
Photo Maggie Land Blanck|
More Images Of
The backs of these two post cards say the same thing:
"VILLAGE LIFE IN ARMENIANotes:
Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck|
Planting was done after the snow had melted in the spring. Sowing was done in the traditional form of a cross: one handful to for God, one for the tax man, one for the birds and one for the villager himself. (Armenia Sebastia/Sivas and Lesser Armenia)
Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck|
Most likely the "corn" was wheat or barley.
The plowing of the fields was done by men. The reaping was done by women who also winnowed and cleaned the grain after the men threashed it .
|Armenian Massacres and Turkish
Tyranny, 1896, Collection of Maggie Land Blanck
ARMENIAN PEASANTS CARRYING AWAY STRAW FROM THE THRESHING FLOOR
|Pirkinik — Google Earth|
Pirkinik as seen on Google Earth
1. location of the bath pictured above.
2. location of the building, with the Armenian writing on it, pictured above.
Pirkinik in print
Over the years travelers to Turkey visited Sivas and the outlying village of Pirkinik.
comments were made about the village in travel books.
The village was also mentioned in some publications of the Roman Catholic
church as several
Roman Catholic Bishops and Archbishops were born in
Pirkinik and there was an obvious missionary interest by both Catholic and Protestants in the area.
These writings were in French, Italian, Latin, German and English. If you read French, Italian or German please excuse my translations. My knowledge of German is very poor. My French is very sketchy. My Italian is passable.
I used the assistance of Google translation (which, I have to say, is one of the most helpful things on the Internet.)
Another fabulous Google source is "Google Book" from which most of the excerpts on Pirkinik are taken.
Thank you Google!!
1781 and 1801
"Nous trouvames le musselim et sa cour au hameau de Pirkinik , a une lieue de Syvas. Il dormait quand nous arrivames. Il fallut attendre dans la rue. La chaumiere, son asile, etait composee d'un grenier et d'une ecurie, remplie de ceux de son parti, qui y tenaient conseil. Un quart d'heure apres, on nous introduisit. Nous le trouvames fort abattu, et dans un etat a faire pitie. C'etait un bel homme de moyen age, et qui paraissait fort doux. Les ceremonies furent courtes. Il lut nos firmans, les lettres que nous avions pour le nouveau pacha, en cas qu'il fut deja arrive, et nous pormit une escorte. Il ajouta qu'il nous ferait avertir du lieu du rendez-vous. Ce village a un mauvais couvent de moines grecs.1821
Voyages en Orient, de l'annee 1821 a l'annee 1829 Constantinople, Grece By Victor Fontanier
"Sivas est peuple de quarante mille habitans, en comptant huit mille maisons portees sur les registes; sur ce nombre, il y a environ trois mille. Ameniens.1832
This book uses old German print so I can only get the phrase that comes with the Google Book preview. My ability to read German is very poor and my ability to read old German print is nonexistent.
Die Katholiken wohnen in einem etwa eine Stunde entfernten Dorf genannt Perkinik. Dort ist ein Kloster fur trei ...I think this is pretty much the same as in the French Voyages en Orioent of 1821
En quittant Siwas, le 6 juillet, je pris la direction du nord-est, pour gagner Erzeroum. Dès qu'on a dépassé le village de Perknik, distant d'une lieue, qui présente le phénomène remarquable d'une population exclusivement catholique au milieu d'une nation encore dissidente, on reconnait que là finissent les limites de la Cappadoce, et qu'une contrée nouvelle commence. C'est la petite Arménie qui, de ce coté, est comprise entre le Kizil-Irmak et l'Euphrate. Des villages entiers sont arméniens sans qu'il s'y trouve de Turcs. Les femmes et les enfants ne parlent ni n'entendent la langue de leurs dominateurs. Le sol, nu comme le désert, est coupé par des chaines de collines ou de hautes montagnes blanchies par les neiges, qui se croisent et courent dans toutes les directions, présentant sur leurs flancs d'épais herbages, où s'engraissent ces beaux troupeaux de moutons qui servent à l'approvisionnement de Constantinople, et qui font la richesse principale du pays. A leurs pieds s'étendent des vallées, qui sont plutot des plaines, et où le froment, l'orge et le seigle croissent avec une abondance égale, mais à des époques bien différentes, suivant que le terrain est plus ou moins élevé. De toutes parts s 'échappent du sein des rochers et des entrailles de la terre des sources, d'une eau si fraiche, si limpide et d'un gout si délicieux, que véritablement elle fait perdre le souvenir et le regret des boissons européennes. Un grand nombre d'eaux chaudes, de toutes les températures et de toutes les qualités, révegrave;lent un autre genre de richesses que la terre recèle et garde inutilement enfouies, à cause de l'ignorance ou de l'apathie de ceux qui la possèdent. L'année se divise en deux saisons : l'hiver, dont le règne est généralement de huit mois, et l'été, qui vient, avec ses chaleurs souvent extre mes, faire naitre, pousser et jaunir les moissons. L'aspect monotone du pays, où nul ombrage ne repose jamais la vue, inspire un sentiment de mélancolie indéfinissable; et l'on est peu tenté d'envier le sort de ses habitants, dont les villes et les bourgades, cachées sous terre, se confondent de loin avec l'apre nudité du sol.1842
Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica da S. Pietro sino ai nostri giorni, 1842
"In Pirkinik evvi usa chiesa pubblica cattolica, e compresa anche Sivas, vi sono circa settanta od ottanta famiglie assistite da tre, o quattro sacerdoti del patriarca di Cilicia."
The Missionary Herald, Volume 41, 1845, By American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions
"A few moments afterward an old man, with a bald head, a long white beard, and a severe countenance, entered. He trembled violently at the sight of the pacha, as if he though his hour had come.The monk replies:
"I have nothing in the world which thou canst take from me, but my life."At which point the pasha shoots him.
Graham's American monthly magazine of literature, art, and fashion, Volume 37, 1850
Note: Djezzar was the name of the pacha in this story.
"Non vi sono in Sebaste, oggidi Sewas, che alcune case cattoliche. Bisogna far una lega per trovar le altre. Il villaggio di Perknick, composto di centosessanta case, presenta il singolar fenomeno di non racchiudere che cattolici in mezzo ad un paese infedele o scismatico. L'epoca della sua conversione alla vera fede risale al principio dell' ultimo secolo, allora che si suscitavano a Tokat e ad Angora violenti persecuzioni contra gli ortodossi, e che il beato Gumida moriva martire a Costantinopoli. Un cattolico armeno, chiamato Michele, venne a stanziare in questo villaggio. La sua vita regolare e piena di buone opere gli guadagnò la stima e la confidenza degli abitanti. Siccome era istruito e dotto, egli profittò di questo vantaggio per dirigere l'educazione de' fanciulli, ai quali insinuò a poco a poco i principii dell' ortodossia. Sendo morto il coadjutore della chiesa, si gettarono incontanente gli occhi sopra di lui per surrogarlo. Michele, che credeva di dover adempiere la missione di cui il Signore lo incaricava visibilmente, accettò questa dignità, e in breve guadagnò alla Chiesa tutto il gregge. Perknick divenne apertamente cattolico.1865
"A une heure de Sebaste, se trouve le village de Pir- kinik, habitent exclusivement par des Arme niens catholiques, au nombre de 3000 environ. Ils ont une assez vaste eglise en pierre et une residence pour le cure et ses deux vicaires"1879
A une heure de Sébaste, se trouve le village de Pirkinik, habité exclusivement par des Arméniens catholiques, au nombre de 3,000 environ. Ils ont une assez vaste église en pierre et une résidence pour le curé et ses deux vicaires. Mgr Khadifian a été reçu avec allégresse par ses ouailles de Pirkinik, où il passe ordinairement l'été et l'automne. La population de ce village est trés-pieuse et trés-attachée au Saint-Siége. Elle assiste chaque matin à la messe et le soir aux vêpres. L'école, soutenue par une confrérie qui vient d'être fonde, est fréquentée par 200 éléves. Pirkinik a beaucoup souffert de la guerre. Les habitants sont cultivateurs ou muletiers. Ceux-ci, renommés pour leur fidélité, traversent toute l'Anatolie. On peut leur confier, en pleine sécurité, toutes sortes de valeurs; les voyageurs, et surtout les missionnaires catholiques, aiment à voyager avec eux. Pendant la derniére guerre, les commandants des armées turques d'Asie ont réquisitionné leurs mules, et Pirkinik a été ainsi grandement appauvri. Il est entouré d'un grand nombre de villages habités par des Arméniens non unis, mais fort doux de caractére. Quand Mgr Khadifian traversait ces villages, tous les habitants allaient à sa rencontre et lui oiTraient la table et le logement. Si l'école de Pirkinik pouvait prendre un plus grand développement, et si une école poulies jeunes filles y était établie, peu agrave; peu la foi catholique renaitrait dans ces villages, et Pirkinik deviendrait, je crois, chez les Arméniens grégoriens, le centre d'un grand mouvement d'union avec l'église romaine. Les prédicants prolestants, forts de leurs ressources pécuniaires, ont déjagrave; pris pied dans cette province, et ils cherchent à gagner é l'hérésie les Arméniens non unis.*I am not sure of the interpretation of the word "schismatiques". I could refer to Protestants and/or Apostolics.
**Literally "In this vast district, formerly illustrated by so many bishops, not one Catholic."
Bishop Gabriel Khadifian was the Armenian Roman Catholic bishop of Sivas and Tokat. He was consecrated in Pera, Constantinople in 1877 in the presence of delegates from the Holy See in Rome. He made his first official visit to his dioceses in 1879. The above description of Pikrinik was made at that time.
To see images of the Armenian muleteers go to Armenians in Turkey, Customs, Dress and Food
The inscription is dated in the year one hundred and three. On the analogy of the local eras used in various parts of Asia Minor in the Imperial period, there can be no doubt that this era is that either of the formation of the country into a Roman province or of the assumption by the town of the name HieroCaesareia This name for the city is common on the coins, which show that the era dates from A.D. 37, when Caligula gave to Polemon the kingdom of Pontus, which had belonged to his father Polemon. In the year 140 A.D., which corresponds to the year 103 of the inscription, the consuls were the emperor Atonius Pius and Verus Caesar, afterwards the emperor M. Aurelius. It is probable that this inscription is in honour of the two consuls, and it may be restored as follows, omitting the honorary pedigree and titles which were given with the emperors name.
The names Crispinus also occurs at Sebastian (No. 12). The general drift of the inscription is clear, but it is difficult to connect the separate fragments, some of which need considerable emendation; and the later part is very uncertain."
The Journal of philology, Volumes 11-12 By William George Clark, Ingram Bywater, John Eyton Bickersteth Mayor
Les Missions Catholiques, Volume 16 By Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Catholic Church. Pontificium Opus a S. Petro, 1884
"Je fus retenu a Sivas au-dela de mes previsions, parce qu'on avait prepare une grand'messe de Dumont et un examen public. Comment se refuse a preside une telle solennite? Je profitai de cette prolongation de sejour pour visiter le village de Perkenik. C'est une oasis exclusivement catholique, chose rare et Presque unique dans ces contrees schismatiques. La population est rude, mais ferme dans sa foi. Plusieurs pretres et eveques, le patriarche lui-meme sortent de Perkenik. Les homes sont muletiers et sillonnent l'Asie Mineure dans tous les sens. Leur eglise es grande et tien tenue. Un pretre y dirige l'ecole avec success. Il a bonte de m'accueillir de la maniere la plus cordiale. C'est ici que l'on peut juger du resultat que nois obtiendrions pour la glorie de Dieu, si nous parvenions a former des groupes catholiques puissant.1888 — The Conversion of Perkinik to Catholicism — Early 1700s
No exact date is given for the episode described. However, the precious paragraph refers to 1711 and 1713.
Coup d'oeil sur l'Armenie: a propos d'une mission de la Compagnie de Jesus By Damas (Andre, le r.p. de, 1888
"Un autre Jesuite, le P. Gregoire, polonais, expulse d'Erivan, s'etait au village de Perkenik, pres de Sivas. Les familles catholiques y etaient peu nombreuses. Le Pere s'ingenia de son mieux. Il associa a son apostolat un armenien catholique appartenant aux Freres-unis. Ce jeune homme ouvrit une ecole, espousa la fille du cure schismatique, convertit son beau-pere, et l'amena a faire son abjuration etre les mains du Jesuite polonais. La conversion du pasteur entraina celle du troupeau. Aujourd'hui, le village n'abrite pas un seul armenien schismatique. Il est ferme dans la loi catholique, c'est un de nos centres importants."Sivas in 1892 - La Turquie d'Asie: geographie administrative, statistique ..., Volume 1 By Vital Cuinet
A little closer to the city, we see the village of Pirkinik whose population is estimated at 1,300 inhabitants, all Armenian Catholics. It is said to have been founded by a family member of Pakradouni (Bagratids) who gave several kings to Armenia. Most men in this village were muleteers, but since the completion of roadways in the province, most transportation was done by arabas, this job is no longer as profitable as before. Also the population, already reduced by almost half, declines even more as a result of male emigration to Constantinople, where they will go into service. Already the number of deaths exceeds that of births which drop alarmingly. Pirkinik women are known for their athletic form. At some distance from this village there are iron springs well attended by families of Sivas, who move there to live in tents during June and July.
Le célébre Méchitar, fondateur des moines arméniens, appelés du nom de leur fondateur Méchitaristes, était également originaire de Sébaste ; c'est grace agrave; lui que la littérature arménienne fut conservée et devint si florissante. Le martyr Michel, décapité pour la foi en 1707 dans la ville de Sébaste, était de Berkenik. Au xvni siecle, les persécutions des patriarches dissidents de Constantinople diminuerent le nombre des catholiques; quelques familles, pour éhapper à l'emprisonnement, cederent à l'erreur; plusieurs autres émigrèrent à Constantinopleet à Smyrne. Les fidèles qui restent encore sont à Berkenik, à Sébaste, à Tokat et à Guirine; leur nombre est de six mille, -andis que les Arméniens non unis sontau nombre de deux cent mille. Un tel désastre avait réduit Sébaste au rang d'évêché. Mais, le 30 mai 1892, S. S. Léon XIII, par une lettre apostolique, daigna l'ériger à nouveau en siège archiépiscopal, conférant à l'évè que le titre d'archevêque de Sébaste et d'évêque de Tokat. Actuellement, cette province de Sébaste a quatre églises, cinq chapelles et un monastère qui se trouve pregrave;s de Tokat, treize prêtres et cinq écoles. Le village de Berkenik, composé de cinq cents familles, toutes catholiques, n'a pas d'école. Près de cent soixante-dix garçons et plus de deux cents jeunes filles reçoivent l'instruction dans de pauvres maisons : bancs, livres, tout manque à ces classes.Mechitar (1676-1749) See Mechitar
About 1 hr. from the town is the Armenian Monastery of the Holy Cross, in which are kept Senekherim's throne, and other relics of the Armenian Viceroys. On the height to the E., separated from the town by Pirkinik Su, and commanding a fine view, is the Mosque of Abd elWahab, built on old foundations, and still called by Christians the Church of S. John."
Les Missions catholiques, Volume 30 By Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Catholic Church. Pontificium Opus a S. Petro Apostolo
A Pirkinik, l'eglise est in ruine; la terrasse menace de s'effondrer. L'interieur de l'edifice sacre est dans un etat amentable; l'humidite a deja deteriore tous les tableaux. Ce village, compose de 400 familles, toutes catholigues, n'a pas encore pour les garcons une ecole tant soit peu convenable. Les pauvres enfants sont obligue de se reunir dans une chamber etroite, obscure, sans pave, malsaine; c'est pourquoi la frequentation d'un tel local devient odieuse aux enfants, et il est tres difficile de trouver un professeur qui consent a y passer quelques heures."
Massacres of Armenians in Anatolia occurred between 1894-1896. The area around Sivas was hit between November 12-15, 1895.
Sebaste ou Sivas, l'antique Diospolis, clebre pas les 40 martyrs de Sebaste. Sebasten, Armenorum (Asie Mineure). Rite armenian. Erige en ev. par Pie IX en 1858, puis en archev. Par Leon Xiii. le 30 mai 1892, avec le diocese uni de Tokat (Tokaten). Hab. 1,050,000: cath. armen.*, 3,000; schism.**, 237,000: prot., 2,000; juifs***, 400; 12 pr. miss., 4 egl. on chap.1915
The The Bastard of Istanbul, A Novel by Elif Shafak
"Even in Sivas, in the small Catholic Armenian village of Pirkinik when they went to seek shelter with Grandpa and Grandma, only to be expelled one night by soldiers breaking into the house; even when he found himself walking amid thousands of drained, famished, beaten Armenians guarded by soldiers on horseback, even when he trudged through a long, thick carpet of mud, vomit, blood, and excrement.........."1915
Danish documents on the Armenian Genocide: The minister in Constantinople (Carl Ellis Wandel) to the foreign minister (Erik Scavenius) Source : Danish National Archives, Foreign Office, Group Cases 1909-1945. Dept. 139, Gr. D, No. 1, "Turkey - Inner Relations". Package 1, to Dec. 31, 1916 No. CXIII  Constantinople, September 4,
"In the parish of Sivas, the only village to have been spared is Pirkinik, where the archbishop, Monseigneur Ketchedjian, has escaped to. He, and one cleric that accompanied him, are the only survivors."1915
The Treatment of Armenians, Vicount Bryce, 96. ANGORA : EXTRACT FROM THE NARRATIVE (DOC. 88). OF MISS AA, A FOREIGN TRAVELLER IN ASIATIC TURKEY; COMMUNICATED BY THE AMERICAN COMMITTEE FOR ARMENIAN AND SYRIAN RELIEF.
"The favour that had been obtained through the Austrian and American Embassies in Constantinople for Catholics and Protestants to be exempted from deportation, is in some cases being faithfully observed, but in others not at all. I was in Sivas when the rich village of Perkenik was entirely and most ruthlessly deported. It was an entirely Catholic village of perhaps one thousand homes. They had beautiful horses and great flocks of sheep. The flocks and horses were sent into the city, and the people were literally driven out with whips. When a complaint was made to the officers that this should not be done, because they were Catholics and had been especially faithful to the Government at all times, the reply was given that politics had changed, and that Italy had entered the war since this order had come from Constantinople."1916
Papers by command, Volume 33 By Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons - ANGORA: STATEMENT BY A TRAVELLER, NOT OF ARMENIAN NATIONALITY, WHO PASSED THROUGH ANGORA IN AUGUST 1915
"The favour that had been obtained through the Austrian and American Embassies in Constantinople for Catholics and Protestants to be exempted from deportation, is in some cases being faithfully observed, but in others not at all. I was in Sivas when the rich village of Perkenik was entirely and most ruthlessly deported. It was an entirely Catholic village of perhaps one thousand homes. They had beautiful horses and great flocks of sheep. The flocks and horses were sent into the city, and the people were literally driven out with whips. When a complaint was made to the officers that this should not be done, because they were Catholics and had been especially faithful to the Government at all times, the reply was given that politics had changed, and that Italy had entered the war since this order had come from Constantinople."1935
"In Sebaste, come anche nelle sue adiacenze compreso Perknik, e Gurin si contano seicento anime cattoliche in circa. In Perknik vi sono due sacerdoti cattolici, ultimamente pero, il Padre Antonio monaco di Monte Libano, spedi dal detto...This information must be from before 1915, but I do not know the date.
There are a number of books online in Turkish, which, unfortunately, I cannot read. There are also a number of books that require payment to read online or to buy.
Pirkinik - the Population and the School as Mentioned Over Time
In 1842 it was estimated that there were 70 or 80 families in the village. In 1845 it was estimated that there were 350 persons.
In 1855 it was stated that here were 160 homes.
In 1865 and 1879 the population was estimated at 3,000. If this was true the population increase by 2,650 people (more than 8.5 time) in 20 years. This is highly unlikely!!
The school was mentioned in 1865, 1879 and 1884.
In 1893 the school was in bad shape and the students were forced to learn in "poor homes".
By 1898 there were reportedly 400 families, the church was in ruins and the school was "unsuitable".
In 1915 there were an estimated 1,000 homes.
Today the village has 200 buildings at most. To see images of the boys school and the village go to The History of the Village of Perkinik
The Armenian review, Volume 3, page 77.
Perkenik was referred to as a "ruined Armenian village"
"With its roots in Istanbul, the Order soon spread its branches to the surrounding provinces. Subsequently, from 1847 to 1915, schools were opened in Garin, Bardizag, Bilejik, Marzevan, Trabizon, Malatia, Marash, Kharpert, Adana, Ardevin, Perknik, Hajin, Gurun and in Aleppo. By 1915, the number of schools reached thirty with some seventy-five Sisters teaching in these educational institutions."
| Famous People list from the History of Perkenik
by Father Ephrem Boghossian written in the 1950 or 60s and translated by Joe Topalian.|
Bishop Hajian's List
Mr. S. Balabanian's List
"MECHITHARISTS, a congregation of Armenian monks in communion with the Church of Rome. The founder, Mechithar, was born at Sebaste in Armenia, 1676. He entered a monastery, but under the influence of Western missionaries he became possessed with the idea of propagating Western ideas and culture in Armenia, and of converting the Armenian Church from its monophysitism and uniting it to the Latin Church. Mechithar set out for Rome in 1695 to make his ecclesiastical studies there, but he was compelled by illness to abandon the journey and return to Armenia. In 1696 he was ordained priest and for four years worked among his people. In 1700 he went to Constantinople and began to gather disciples around him. Mechithar formally joined the Latin Church, and in 1701, with sixteen companions, he formed a definitely religious institute of which he became the superior. Their Uniat propaganda encountered the opposition of the Armenians and they were compelled to move to the Morea, at that time Venetian territory, and there built a monastery, 1706. On the outbreak of hostilities between the Turks and Venetians they migrated to Venice, and the island of St Lazzaro was bestowed on them, 1717. This has since been the headquarters of the congregation, and here Mechithar died in 1749, leaving his institute firmly established. The rule followed at first was that attributed to St Anthony; but when they settled in the West modifications from the Benedictine rule were introduced, and the Mechitharists are numbered among the lesser orders affiliated to the Benedictines. They have ever been faithful to their founder's programme. Their work has been fourfold: (i) they have brought out editions of important patristic works, some Armenian, others translated into Armenian from Greek and Syriac originals no longer extant; (2) they print and circulate Armenian literature among the Armenians, and thereby exercise a powerful educational influence; (3) they carry on schools both in Europe and Asia, in which Uniat Armenian boys receive a good secondary education; (4) they work as Uniat missioners in Armenia. The congregation is divided into two branches, the head houses being at St Lazzaro and Vienna. They have fifteen establishments in various places in Asia Minor and Europe. There are some 150 monks, all Armenians; they use the Armenian language and rite in the liturgy."The same on several internet sites.
A Vartabed was a doctor of theology.
CHANGE AND CONTINUITY IN THE SIVAS PROVINCE, 1908-1918
A THESIS SUBMITTED TO
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
MIDDLE EAST TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY
"The confiscation process was not clear and we do not have concrete data about the issue in the Sivas case; however, a letter, sent to Ministry of Interior by four Catholic Armenians from Pirkinik, a village of Sivas, indicated the existence of some property problems. According to this letter, forty Armenians returned to Pirkinik; however, the local government in the Sivas Province did not restore their lands and houses. As a result, the Ministry of Interior sent a document to the Sivas Province on 19 January 1919 and demanded the investigation of this situation quickly. It stated that if there were occupied houses and lands by Muslims they should be restored to their original owners.161
Pirkinik Caravan Owners
Village World, a reminiscence of life in an Armenian Turkish village before 1915, was written by Vahan Hambartsumian. It was translated into English in 2001. Hambartsumian says:
"The entire export and import business of Sebastia was done by the Armenian caravan owners of Prknik and Ghavraz. For days and weeks these caravan owners would overnight in dirty inns during their travels between Sebastia and Samson"
Pirkinik - Çayboyu
Today Pirkinik is called Çayboyu.
To see more images of the village please go to Cayboyu (Pirkinik) village a flickr page compiled by Jelle Verheij.
One of Jelle Verheij's images contains a stone marker inscribed in Armenian and dated 1861. Can anyone translate it?
Sivas - Pirkinik koyundeki Ermeniler. Yil: 1903 - The Armenians in the village of Pirkinik. Year: 1903 (Courtesy of Armen Chakerian January 2017)
|The History of the Village of Perkenik (Pakradunik) Fr. Ephrem Boghossian C. M. Vd (Mechitharist of Vienna, Austria) Translation by Joe Topalian|
Chapter 18, Distinguished Personalities of Perkenik|
Note: In this translation of the History of Perkinik, Daniel Varoujan's family name is spelt Chebookkerian, not Tchiboukkearian.
|Other Arevian/Hagopians||Other Azarians|
|Armenian Ancestors||The Genocide|
|Images of Armenian Life in Turkey|
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