Page 47

CONNECTIONS "Bagban." The Judge reviewed the meaning of the word Bahaban as a noun in Armenian that means "guardian, overseer, superintendent, attendant, preserver, keeper." But, the word as opposed to the Turkish

presence is to be consigned, as far as possible,

to oblivion. The imposition of Turkish family names on Armenian families was part of a consistent policy of Turkicizing the Armenian population of that land. In his "Foreword to Faik Okte's book, The Tragedy of the Turkish Capital Tax (London: Croom Helm, 1988), David Brown observes that Following the

"Bagban" coresponds to a Turkish noun meaning "vineyard worker" or "gardener." According to the Judge, "by imposing the Turkish Bagban to Armenians denies them not only the right to bear the Armenian surname Bahaban, their ancestral designation but also diminishes their status." The judg-

obligatory adoption

Turkish citizen

Lagac6 con-

lization which conffibuted major innovations to westem architecture, among other achieve-

ments, are according

to Foss, presented

ambiguously, without clear identification of their builders, or as examples of the influence of the superiority of Turkish architecture. In all this, a clear line is evident: the Armenian

"yev ay1 e ntt let c.l a h'ilarious and engagi ng monologue written and performed in armenian by vahe be rbe r i an

l une 27 to august 15, at tickets:

every tuesday night



by every

1935, pressure was

Turkish sounding surnames. Thus Istanbul

denied this ethnic group its identity."

In the judgement, Judge


brought to bear upon the minorities to adopt

ment elaborates "This change of a family name was part of an assimilation process that

firmed and cited hofessor Chalk's report stating: "The Turkish govemment has been systematically changing names of villages to make them more Turkish. Any name which does not have a meaning in Turkish, or does not sound Turkish, whatever its origin, is replaced by a banal name assigned by a bureau in Ankara, with no respect to local conditions or traditions." According to Professor Chalk, as cited in the judgment: "The treatment of Armenian monuments, the relics of a once great civi-




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Jews, Greeks and Armenians were forced to give up their traditional sumames and adopt new ones. The judgment went on to cite Professor Chaulk who added: "in orderto appropriately gauge the feeling engendered among the Armenian population by that development, one must bear in mind that this policy originated and was consistently applied by governments of Turkey that has refused to acknowledge the genocide of l9l5 directed against the Armenian people." Within the backdrop of a seemingly innocuous name change, this judgment of the

Quebec Superior Court

is the first ever

Profile for Armenian International Magazine

The Big Escape - June 2000  

Armenian International Magazine | The Big Escape - June 2000

The Big Escape - June 2000  

Armenian International Magazine | The Big Escape - June 2000