Van. An unidentified Armenian family (Source: Armen Shahinian Collection, United States).This photograph was digitally colorised using Myheritage.com

City of Van – Schools (Part One)

Author: Robert Tatoyan, 24/05/22 (Last modified 24/05/22) - Translator: Simon Beugekian

Prior to the Armenian Genocide, Van was one of the most developed and thriving educational centers of Western (Ottoman) Armenia. The population of Van was described as “fond of education,” characterized by an enthusiastic and stubborn inclination towards schooling and edification. [1] “The people of Van made great efforts to be perceived as learned, erudite, and literary. Parents considered it an honor if their children were literate, could read the newspapers, and had a love for reading interesting novels and stories. The locals were involved in, talked about, argued over, and openly expressed their views on matters related to education,” according to one account. [2]

Prior to the early 19th century, like in other parts of Western Armenia, education in Van was restricted to the monasteries. Its only purpose was the training of priests and monks. In their own turn, clergymen who received a monastic education only taught simple reading to their own children and a few other pupils, mostly with the aim of ensuring that their own children would inherit their positions and of securing an ample supply of acolytes for services. [3]

The first (boys’) school in Van was founded in 1820. It was affiliated with the Saint Vartan Church in the Kaghakamech [Downtown] district, and was an initiative by Hagop agha Karaseferian, a wealthy merchant. An acolyte named Garabed Mogatsi was invited to Van from Constantinople to serve as the school’s teacher, as he was “knowledgeable in religious matters and liturgical music.” [4] After working at the school for two years, Garabed Mogatsi, unhappy with his wages, retired to the Gdouts Monastery, where he spent the rest of his life as an ascetic monk. He was ordained first as a priest and later as a bishop. [5]

Hagop agha Karaseferian’s son, Kevork agha, continued his father’s work. He invited Bedros Ardamerdtsi, another acolyte from Constantinople, to teach at the same school. Ardamerdtsi was described by a contemporary as a “gifted musician and an established children’s teacher.” [6] Ardamerdtsi, too, left the position after only two years, at which point he was ordained as the priest of the Arark (Ararouts) Holy Virgin Church in the Aykesdan neighborhood of Van. He also founded and directed a private school/academy adjacent to the church. [7]

Ardamerdtsi’s school gradually expanded, and later served as the foundation for the Ararouts S. Madteosian parochial school. To meet the rising demand for instruction, assistant teachers were invited from Constantinople and Jerusalem. Among the students who studied at this school was Mgrdich Khrimian, who would later become known as Khrimian Hayrig. [8]

In the early 1830s, on the initiative of another prominent local, Sarkis agha Adjemkhachoyan, a school was opened in the church of the Norashen neighborhood of Aykesdan. The head teacher was Hovhannes Kolozian, a native of Van who had graduated from the Jarankavorats School of Jerusalem. [9] This school, too, grew gradually, and in the 1830s-1840s, it had a stable enrollment of more than 100 pupils. [10]

According to the figures of the 1834 survey conducted by the Constantinople Armenian Patriarchate, Van was home to three Armenian schools, at a time when the total number of Armenian schools across the Ottoman Empire, excluding the capital, was 114. [11] Although this survey did not list the schools by name, the three schools in Van that it counted were presumably the school of the Saint Vartan Church of the downtown district, the Ararouts School of Aykesdan, and the school of the Norashen neighborhood church.

In the 1830s-1840s, the Ottoman central authorities began paying more attention to the eastern provinces, strengthening their control of them. As a result, contact between Van and Constantinople gradually increased. Alongside this, the number of Van Armenians migrating to the Ottoman capital also grew. Many youths from Van also traveled to the capital to continue their studies.

In 1846, the Prelate of the Van Diocese, Father Kapriel Shiroyan, dispatched Father Hagop Topouzian, a monk from the Lim Monastery, to Constantinople. There, Father Topouzian relayed critical information regarding the prevailing situation in Van, including the state of its educational system, to Patriarch Madteos Chouhadjian (Patriarch from 1844 to 1848) and others. Topouzian’s visit spurred intellectuals who were natives of Van and who had moved to the capital (Akribas Dbaghian, Mgrdich Khrimian, Sharan Sharanian, and others) to plan the establishment of an educational system in their native province modeled after the system that operated in the capital. They organized regular meetings to discuss the issue, and also requested the support of the Patriarchate. [12]

Father Hagop Topouzian returned to Van in early 1847. Armed with the Patriarch’s decree encouraging education, he set to work creating a new educational system. A board of trustees was formed, consisting of the city’s dignitaries. The board decided to open five neighborhood (parochial) schools across the city, named after Christ and the four evangelists. Specifically, these were the Hisousian School [Jesus School], located in downtown Van; the S. Madteosian [Saint Matthew] School (later S. Tarkmanchats [Holy Translators]), located in the Ararouts neighborhood of Aykesdan; the S. Hovhannessian [Saint John] School, located in the Norashen neighborhood of Aykesdan; the S. Margosian [Saint Mark] School, located in the Hangouysner neighborhood of Aykesdan; and the S. Ghougasian [Saint Luke] School, located in the Saint Hagop neighborhood of Aykesdan. [13] At the time of their founding and reorganization (1846-1847), these five schools had a total enrollment of approximately 880-900 pupils, under the care of 12-15 teachers.

Father Hagop Topouzian was appointed the general superintendent of neighborhood (parochial) schools in Van.

These schools (to the five listed above was added the Haygian School of the Haygavanouts neighborhood of Van, which opened in 1860 [14]) were the foundation of the Armenian educational system in Van. They continued operating, with some interruptions, changes of names, and structural reorganizations, until the Armenian Genocide. [15]

These neighborhood/parochial schools were administered by the boards of trustees or custodians formed in each neighborhood. Upon the enactment of the 1863 Armenian National Constitution, these schools began operating under the aegis of neighborhood councils, which were also responsible for securing the schools’ budgets.

The Patriarchate and the Van Prelacy also decided that on a temporary basis, income from the Mogats Poutkou Saint Kevork Monastery would be used to bolster the budgets of the parochial schools in the city of Van. [16]

To house these new schools, new one- or two-story buildings were built in the courtyards of the local churches. These buildings accommodated the kindergartens, the elementary classes, as well as the preparatory or secondary classes. [17] These buildings were regularly repaired, and often also refurbished and expanded.

Between the 1830s and 1860s, the education provided by these schools consisted predominantly of classical instruction and tutelage. “Families sent their boys to school so that they could learn the Saghmos [Psalms], Outganon, Nareg, Jamerkoutyun [liturgical singing/the breviary], oration, and grammar; all crammed into their minds by the teacher’s bastinado stick and whip.” [18] The celebrated educator and pedagogue Hampartsoum Yeramian, a native of Van, wrote in his memoirs, “The schools had no curriculum, pedagogical program, classroom divisions, or schedules … The pupils would stand in rows or kneel on the wooden floor and make a semi-circle around their teacher. The teacher would sit on a throne or a cushion, and would sometimes be lying down. He would lecture, listen to the students’ recitations, or instruct the pupils to read a specific portion of the textbook for the next lesson.” [19]

In the second half of the 1860s, Dikran Amirdjanian, the head teacher of the Ghougasian School, began teaching national and general history, catechism, geography, mathematics (hitherto, students were only taught the four basic arithmetic operations), modern Armenian grammar, French, and Turkish. Soon, the same curriculum was being taught in the other parochial schools in Van. [20] In the late 1860s, with funding provided by the Ottoman authorities, a designated teacher was dispatched to teach Turkish at the Hisousian School. [21]

The appointment in 1857 of Mgrdich Khrimian as abbot of the Varakavank Monastery, and the founding of the Jarankavorats School at the monastery, were important factors in the further development of Van’s parochial educational system. In the 1860s, the Jarankavorats School was considered a model for the rest of the city’s parochial schools. “The school building was entirely new and of a different style from the others. The teachers were capable, educated, and even experts. The method of instruction was based on modern European pedagogical principles. The students’ comportment, daily life, nourishment, and clothing were regulated and exemplary. All of this was a novelty for the people of Van,” one observer noted [22] (for more on the Jarankavorats School, see www.houshamadyan.org/en/mapottomanempire/vilayet-of-van/kaza-of-van/religion/churches-and-monasteries-3.html).

In the late 1860s, the six neighborhood schools in the city of Van had a total enrollment of approximately 1,000 pupils. Each school had one head teacher, one or two assistant teachers, and one or two caretakers. A teacher’s monthly salary was 120-150 kurus (100 kurus was the equivalent of one Ottoman pound). The well-known and well-respected teachers active during this period included Hovhannes Kolozian (Norashen School), Hayrabed Djanigian and Hovhannes Paraghamian (Ararouts School), Manouel Ardamerdtsi (Saint Dionysius School), Sarkis Knouni (downtown Van school), and Dikran Amirdjanian (Saint Hagop neighborhood school). [23] The faculty of these schools was not stable. Teachers often moved from one school to another, in pursuit of higher wages or promotions to the post of principal. Some teachers worked at more than one school, often with a permanent status at one and a “visiting” status at another. [24]

In 1870, Mgrdich Khrimian, already the Patriarch of Constantinople, initiated efforts to establish a girls’ school in Van. With his encouragement, several wealthy merchants, natives of Van and living in Constantinople, came together to create an educational/cultural organization named in honor of Saint Santoukhd. In the summer of 1870, this organization founded the Santkhdian Girls’ School in Van. In 1871, the Russian-Armenian philanthropist, Mgrdich Sanasarian, also responding to Khrimian Hayrig’s call, donated 2,000 rubles for the construction of the Santkhdian School’s building. He also endowed another 10,000 rubles to the school, with the interest to be used to cover the institution’s operational costs. [25]

The educational system of Ottoman Armenia entered a new period of development after the 1877-1878 Russo-Turkish War. This period was characterized by the prominence of the Armenian Question on the international diplomatic agenda, which had a stimulating effect on community and political life across Western Armenia. Education was chosen by the Western Armenian intelligentsia as the primary vehicle to spur the reawakening of Armenian national consciousness. As one contemporary noted, “The Armenian nation … aimed for a vision of intellectual liberation, in preparation for favorable political conditions.” [26] Numerous projects were proposed to expand the Armenian educational network, as well as to modernize the schools that already operated. Various cultural/educational organizations were created in Constantinople with the aim of “enlightening the provinces.” Among these, the most prominent were the Araradian, Arevelyan, Cilician, Khizanou, and Tbrotsatser Dignants organizations. [27] On July 1, 1880, the Araradian, Arevelyan, and Cilician organizations merged to create the United Societies of Armenians (commonly known as United Society).

Van, as one of the major Armenian population centers of Western Armenia, could not remain unaffected by this intellectual renaissance. Efforts were launched to improve the quality of the local schools and to inject new ideas into the educational system.

In the late 1870s and early 1880s, organizations of various sizes were created in each neighborhood of Van with the aim of implementing cultural or educational programs (Father Yeprem Boghosian, a member of the Mekhitarist Order and author of History of Armenian Cultural Organizations, listed 50 cultural/educational organizations named by the contemporary Armenian press in Van between the 1840s and 1914) [28]. In 1879, the Hayrenasirats organization opened the first lecture hall and Sunday school for adults in Van. [29] Following this example, lectures and forums were organized almost every Sunday in the halls of local schools by groups such as the Azkanver in the Arark neighborhood, Ousoumnasirats in the Norashen neighborhood, etc. [30]

An important watershed in the development of the educational system in Van was the establishment of two educational institutions in the city that offered secondary education, namely the Orphanage School (later the Yeramian School) and the Van Varjabedanots[Normal School] (called the Central School beginning in 1881).

The Central School, under the directorship of Mgrdich Portoukalian, was one of the “cauldrons” of the vibrant community-political life that dominated Van in the early 1880s. “In the early eighties, passionate youths rallied around Khrimian and Portoukalian, which was a result of the Armenian Question gaining greater prominence … Clubs, weekly Sunday lectures, exchanges of ideas on an individual and social level, public demonstrations on various occasions; and alongside this, the new literature coming from Tbilisi, dedicated to the reawakening of our national consciousness … [These] roused the anesthetized populace,” wrote a contemporary. [31]

The presence of the Portoukalian (Central) and Yeramian private schools also promoted the further development of Van’s parochial schools. The neighborhood educational councils increased the schools’ budgets, which allowed for the recruitment of new teachers, an increase in the number of pupils, and an improvement in the quality of the education. [32]

This period also saw the founding of the Paghramian, Honanian, and S. Mgrdchian private schools, the first of which continued to operate, with some interruptions, until the Hamidian massacres. [33]

The local girls’ educational system also saw improvements. The 1880s saw the establishment of the Shoushanian parochial girls’ school in downtown Van; as well as the Kayinian School, inside the Khrimian family home, in the Hangouysner neighborhood of Aykesdan. [34]

According to Karekin Srvantsdyants’ survey, in 1880-1881 the city of Van was home to nine “national” (Armenian Apostolic) coeducational schools, with a total enrollment of 1,370 boys and 220 girls. The number of cultural/educational (“reading and lecture”) organizations active in the city was eight, and the local community had one meeting/lecture hall (club hall). [35]

According to the figures that appear in French surveyor Vital Cuinet’s book Asian Turkey, in the mid-1880s the city of Van was home to ten Armenian Apostolic schools, of which seven were elementary and three were secondary schools. Total enrollment stood at 1,334 pupils, of whom 914 were boys and 420 were girls. [36]

In the 1880s, educators and intellectuals who served as teachers in the schools of Van included Mgrdich Portoukalian, Mesrob Papazian, Boghos Natanian, Dionysius (Manouel) Ardamerdtsian, Mesrob Janigian, Avedis Shaghoyan, Dikran Amirdjanian, Manouel Ananian, Khoren Khrimian (Khrimian Hayrig’s nephew), Manouel Mirakhorian, Kevork Sherents, Maghak Blouzian, Tavit Shakarian, Mgrdich Avedisian (Terlemezian), and Hampartsoum Yeramian. Aside from teaching, these men also published articles in the contemporary press on various aspects of community/political and cultural/educational life in Van-Vasbouragan and Western Armenia. [37]

After consolidating his rule in the mid-1880s, Sultan Abdul Hamid II began to take steps to rein in various aspects of Western Armenian community life, including its educational network. In early 1885, Hamit Pasha was appointed governor of Van, and instructed by the Sultan to quash the activities of individuals and institutions spreading national-liberal ideas in the province. In March of 1885, Mgrdich Portoukalian was ordered to resign from his position as superintendent of the Central School and of all parochial schools in Van, and to leave the city (he would later move to the French city of Marseille, where he began publishing the renowned periodical Armenia). [38] By order of the Sultan, Khrimian Hayrig was also exiled from Van on March 30, 1885. [39]

On June 3, 1885, the superintendent of the educational department of the provincial government of Van (Mearif Moufettish) and other officials burst into the Central School of Van, escorted by police officers. They first demanded to see the maps drawn by the students, and confiscated any that depicted Lake Van and the province. They then ordered classes to be dismissed and the pupils to be sent home. The Central School was forced to close, and its classroom doors and gates were sealed with wax. [40] Earlier on that same day, the authorities had also raided Varakavank, shutting down its printing press and sealing its doors with wax, as well. [41] Moreover, the years 1885 and 1886 saw the forced dissolution of many educational and cultural organizations that operated in Van, “all of which aimed to enlighten the people by being custodians of the church, monasteries, and schools.” [42]

Van. An unidentified Armenian family. Notably, many of the children and youths are photographed holding books. Presumably, this was done to demonstrate that the children went to school, of which their parents were undoubtedly very proud (Source: Armen Shahinian Collection, United States). This photograph was digitally colorised using Myheritage.com

    After ordering the closure of the Central School, the Ottoman authorities continued their efforts to strengthen their oversight of the instruction provided in the Armenian schools of Van. Local Ottoman officials were particularly concerned with the instruction of Armenian history. In 1891, the educational superintendent of the provincial government, on a visit to the Yeramian School, ordered that the subject of Armenian history be limited to “solely the most important events and dates.” [43] In 1893, another superintendent attempted to ban the teaching of Armenian history altogether in the higher grades of the Yeramian School and Van’s Armenian parochial schools. He relented only when Hampartsoum Yeramian demanded to see the official, written order to this effect, which the superintendent could not produce, as the order contravened the law. [44]

    One of the educational superintendents of the provincial government even had a habit of making unannounced visits to Armenian parochial schools, whereupon he would search the pupils’ desks, and if he saw the Armenian letter “H” in their exercise books, demand to know “Is that ‘Armenia’ you’ve written?” [45]

    The Armenian schools of Van sustained significant damage during the Hamidian massacres. Violence broke out in the province in early June 1896. The first buildings to be targeted, plundered, and set alight were Armenian churches and schools, particularly those located in mixed Armenian-Turkish neighborhoods (the S. Hovhannessian (Norashen neighborhood), S. Margosian (Hangouysner neighborhood), and S. Ghougasian (S. Hagop neighborhood)). [46] Only by chance, and thanks to a moment of hesitation by the mob, the pupils of the schools were evacuated to safe locations. [47]

    The schools of Van needed several years to gradually recover from the destruction of the Hamidian massacres. According to figures from 1898, the city was home to seven parochial schools and three private schools, with a total enrollment of 1,510 pupils. The schools of the Norashen, Hangouysner, and S. Hagop neighborhoods were temporarily merged and operated as the United School. Schools that were either permanently or temporarily shut down after the massacres included the girls’ school of the Ararouts neighborhood, which had an enrollment of 400 pupils; the Hangouysner Girls’ School (Kayinian School), which had an enrollment of 300 pupils; the Haygavan School, which had an enrollment of 150 pupils; and the “academy” (fourth-sixth grades) of the Ararouts neighborhood school, which also had an enrollment of 150 pupils. [48] In other words, the number of pupils enrolled in the schools of Van had declined by 40 percent between 1896 and 1898. The decline was particularly drastic among female students, whose numbers had been reduced by two to two-and-a-half times.

    According to the figures of a 1901-1902 report issued by the Constantinople Armenian Patriarchate, Van was home to nine Armenian Apostolic parochial and private schools, of which six were boys’ schools, two were girls’ schools, and one was coeducational. Total enrollment stood at 1,627 pupils, of whom 1,120 were boys and 507 were girls. The total number of teachers was 56, of whom 46 were male and 10 were female. [49] The combined budget of these schools was 7,658 kurus per month, for an average expenditure of 4.7 kurus per pupil. The Yeramian School had the highest monthly budget (2,700 kurus total; average of 11.5 kurus per pupil). The school with the lowest budget was the Ghougasian School of the S. Hagop neighborhood (677 kurus total; average of 3 kurus per pupil). [50]

    In the early 1900s, one of the key innovations introduced to the system of neighborhood/parochial schools in Western Armenia was the establishment of centralized or “central” schools in areas with large Armenian populations. These central schools provided secondary education, while the other parochial schools focused on providing elementary education. [51] The aim of this reform was to improve the quality of secondary education in Armenian communities by consolidating budgets and employing the best available teachers.

    In view of these reforms, during the 1902-1903 school year, the neighborhood/parochial educational system in Van was entirely overhauled, thanks to the combined efforts of the Prelacy of Van, ecclesiastic and parochial bodies, and local educators. A six-year course of instruction was introduced for all parochial schools (as opposed to the ten-year system used previously). Graduates of these parochial schools could then continue their studies at the newly founded Van Central School, which offered a five-year course of secondary instruction. [52]

    Thanks to these reforms, neighborhood schools became “modest primary schools, with a simple, six-year course of instruction.” This contributed to the systematization of educational programs and the provision of higher-quality primary education. [53]

    The Young Turk Revolution (in July 1908), the reinstatement of the Ottoman Constitution, and the resulting liberalization of community and political life across the Empire were “a sudden jolt that accelerated the economic and intellectual development of the entire [Armenian] population of Turkey, and especially of Vasbouragan.” [54]

    Between 1908 and 1914, the educational and cultural life of Van-Vasbouragan was characterized by great vibrance: “There was a deluge of literary evenings, speeches, and public lectures, as if a dam had broken and the water it held back was now flowing with exponentially greater strength.” [55]

    The people of Van had sought after education “even when enchained by despotism.” “In the current Constitutional era,” they were even more adamant on “supporting their schools ever more enthusiastically, welcoming systematic education and modern pedagogical methods.” [56] The existing educational institutions of the city grew, new home-based private schools were opened, and new parochial schools were founded in many Armenian-populated villages of the province.

    Efforts were launched to organize the student body and the educators of Van-Vasbouragan. The Vasbouragan Teachers’ Union and Vasbouragan Student Union were founded in 1909-1910, bringing together the teachers and older pupils of the city and the province, and operating on a non-partisan basis. [57] In 1912, the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party established its own student union in Van, with the stated aim of spurring the intellectual development of its members, with a focus on scientific socialism. [58]

    One of the most important events in the educational life of Van during this period was the opening of the United Society Normal School, in October 1911. The institution’s goal was to train teachers for service in new or existing schools affiliated with the United Society across Western Armenia. The majority of the school’s budget was provided by the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU). [59] The Normal School became the third largest educational institution in the city after the Yeramian and Central schools, and it provided secondary education. [60]

    Beginning in 1913, thanks to the efforts of the principal of Van Normal School, Mikayel Minasian, the Louys [Light] scientific-educational monthly periodical was published in Van. The periodical’s stated aim was to “provide the best contemporary scientific and educational advice to the readers.” [61] The periodical published material on a wide variety of subjects, ranging from the Armenian national consciousness [62], to hereditary theories (genetics) [63], and to American baseball. [64]

    In the summer of 1913, the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople instructed the Prelacy of Van to conduct a census of the Armenian population of the city and province. This census also included detailed information on the region’s educational institutions. According to the figures of this census, the city of Van was home to 23 operational schools (including all parochial and private Apostolic schools, Catholic schools, and Protestant schools), with a total enrollment of 4,064 pupils. The schools were distributed across the city as follows:

    1) Downtown Van (Armenian population of 499 households/2,564 individuals): five schools (the Hisousian boys’ and Shoushanian girls’ parochial schools; the American Protestant boys’ and girls’ schools; and the American Protestant kindergarten). Total enrollment was 399 pupils of both sexes.

    2) The Norashen neighborhood of Aykesdan (Armenian population of 1,008 households/5,705 individuals): six schools, including three boys’ and three girls’ schools (The S. Hovhannessian boys’ and Santkhdian girls’ parochial schools; the American Protestant girls’ and boys’ kindergartens; and the German Protestant boys’ and girls’ schools). Total enrollment was 1,690 pupils.

    3) The Hangouysner Church neighborhood of Aykesdan (Armenian population of 1,065 households/5,498 individuals): seven schools, of which four were boys’ schools and three were girls’ schools (the S. Margosian boys’ and girls’ schools, the Central School (boys’), the Varjabedanots (Normal School; boys’), the Yeramian School (boys’), the Kontagchian Girls’ School, and the Dominican Girls’ School with its kindergarten (previously the Puzantian School). Total enrollment was 1,322 pupils.

    4) The Arark Church neighborhood of Aykesdan (Armenian population of 1,216 households/6,393 individuals): five schools (the S. Tarkmanchats (S. Madteosian) boys’ and girls’ schools and three Armenian Catholic schools). Total enrollment was 653 pupils. [65]

    If we add to this list the parochial boys’ schools of the Haygavanounts and S. Hagop neighborhoods of Aykesdan, as well as the coeducational Paresirats kindergarten founded by the Paresirats Society, [66] the total number of schools operating in Van in 1913 stood at 26, with a total enrollment of approximately 4,150 pupils.

    Commenting on the favorable conditions for the further development of the educational system in Van, local intellectual and educational advocate Khachadour Levonian noted in 1913 that the period after the reinstatement of the Ottoman Constitution could be considered the golden age of education for Vasbouragan’s Armenians: “If only the current rate of progress could be sustained for the rest of the 20th century...” [67] The calamities that befell Ottoman Armenians two years later, in 1915, put paid to the expectations and dreams of a golden age not only for the Armenians of Van, but for all Ottoman Armenia.

    • [1] Dzeroug, “The Province of Van Today, XXIV, the City of Van,” Mourdj [Hammer] Monthly, Tbilisi, 1904, number 10, p. 40; H. Pakrouni, “Armenian Schools in Van, 1820-1913, I,” Ashkhadank [Labor] Weekly, Van, 12 Oct. 1913, number 48, p. 14.
    • [2] Dzeroug, “The Province of Van Today, XXIV, the City of Van,” p. 41.
    • [3] Father Khachig Krouzian, “The Intellectual Renaissance of Vasbouragan,” Vasbouragan: Van-Vasbouragani Abrilian Herosamardi Dasnevhinkamyagin Artiv, 1915-1930 [Vasbouragan: On the Occasion of the 15-Year Anniversary of the April Battles of Van-Vasbouragan, 1915-1930], St. Lazarro (Venice), Printing House of the Mekhitarist Order, 1930, p. 195.
    • [4] Kh. Levonian, “Schooling and Printing in Van, I,” Van-Dosb Weekly, Van, 12 Oct. 1913, number 38, p. 449.
    • [5] Pakrouni, “Armenian Schools in Van, 1820-1913, I,” p. 14.
    • [6] H. M. Boghosian, Vasbouragani Badmoutyunits (1850-1900) [From the History of Vasbouragan (1850-1900)], Yerevan, Printing Press of the Academy of Science of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, 1988, p. 293.
    • [7] Ibid.; for more on the churches and monasteries of Van, see https://www.houshamadyan.org/en/mapottomanempire/vilayet-of-van/kaza-of-van/religion/churches-and-monasteries-2.html.
    • [8] Yervant Der Mgrdchian, Kantser Vasbouragani [Treasures of Vasbouragan], volume 1, Boston, 1966, p. 295.
    • [9] Pakrouni, “Armenian Schools in Van, 1820-1913, I,” p. 14.
    • [10] Levonian, “Schooling and Printing in Van, I,” p. 450.
    • [11] Arshag Alboyadjian, Badmoutyun Hay Gesario [History of Armenian Gesaria], volume 1, Cairo, 1937, p. 1096.
    • [12] For more on the appeal of Akribas Dbaghian and Mgrdich Khrimian to Patriarch Madteos, see D. Dionysius, “The Dawn of Education in Van,” Ashkhadank Weekly, 16 Nov. 1913, number 3-149, p. 4 (1700).
    • [13] Dzeroug, “The Province of Van Today, XXIV, the City of Van,” pp. 44-45.
    • [14] K. Sherents, Srpavayrer. Deghakroutyun Vasbouragani-Vana Nahanki Klkhavor Yegeghetsyats, Vanoreyits yev Ousoumnasirats [Holy Sites. Geography of the Main Churches, Monasteries, and Seminaries of the Vasbouragan-Van Province], Tbilisi, 1902, pp. 30-31.
    • [15] Ibid.
    • [16] Avedis Haroutyunian, “From the History of the Schools and Orphanages of Van-Vasbouragan (1908-1918),” Echmiadzin, 2012, 10, Echmiadzin, p. 28.
    • [17] Kevork Sherents, “On the Educational Situation in Ottoman Armenia,” Artsakank [Echo] Weekly, Tbilisi, 19 Sep. 1882, p. 486.
    • [18] Pakrouni, “Armenian Schools in Van, 1820-1913, I,” p. 14.
    • [19] Hampartsoum Yeramian, Houshartsan Van-Vasbouragani [Memorial for Van-Vasbouragan], volume 1, Alexandria, 1929, pp. 51-52.
    • [20] Ibid., p. 53; Yervant Der Mgrdchian, Kantser Vasbouragani, p. 278.
    • [21] Yeramian, Houshartsan…, volume 1, p. 53.
    • [22] Dzeroug, “The Province of Van Today, XXIV, the City of Van,” p. 46.
    • [23] Yeramian, Houshartsan…, volume 1, p. 55.
    • [24] For a list of the names of teachers working at some of the parochial schools in Van during the 1909-1910 school year, including duplicate names, see H. Der-Mgrdchian, “Educational Life in Van at the Present Time,” Nor Tbrots [New School] Monthly, Tbilisi, March 1910, number 3, pp. 60-61.
    • [25] Dzeroug, “The Province of Van Today, XXIV, the City of Van,” pp. 46-47.
    • [26] Krouzian, “The Intellectual Renaissance of Vasbouragan,” p. 199.
    • [27] Ibid.
    • [28] Father Yeprem Boghosian, Badmoutyun Hay Mshagoutayin Ungeroutyunnerou [History of Armenian Cultural Organizations], volume 2, Vienna, Printing House of the Mekhitarist Order, 1963, pp. 1-35.
    • [29] “Letter from Turkey,” Mshag, Tbilisi, 4 Apr. 1880, number 57, p. 3.
    • [30] Ibid.; Yeramian, Houshartsan Van-Vasbouragani, volume 1, p. 114.
    • [31] Mik. Natanian, “M. Portoukalian’s Educational and Community Work in Van,” Vasbouragan. Van-Vasbouragani Abrilian Herosamardi…, St. Lazarro (Venice), Printing House of the Mekhitarist Order, 1930, p. 191.
    • [32] Yeramian, Houshartsan Van-Vasbouragani, volume 1, p. 114.
    • [33] Dzeroug, “The Province of Van Today, XXIV, the City of Van,” p. 47.
    • [34] Ibid., p. 48.
    • [35] Father Karekin Srvantsdyants, Hamov-Hodov, Constantinople, 1884, p. 79.
    • [36] Vital Cuinet, La Turquie D’Asie [Turkish Asia], volume 2, Paris, 1891, p. 695.
    • [37] Boghosian, Vasbouragani Badmoutyunits…, p. 306.
    • [38] Karasoun Darvan Ashkhadavoru, Mgrdich Portoukalian [Mgrdich Portoukalian, the Worker of Forty Years], Constantinople, 1914, p. 21; Miyatsial Ungeroutyun Hayots (1880-1908), Yeramsya Deghegakir. 21 Okosdos 1908-1911 Okosdos 31 [United Society of Armenians (1880-1908), Three-Year Report: August 21, 1908-August 31, 1911], Constantinople, 1912, p. 13.
    • [39] H. G. Djangulian, Hishadagner Haygagan Djknajamen [Memories from the Armenian Crisis], parts one and two, Constantinople, 1913, p. 103.
    • [40] “Ottoman Armenia: Letter from Van,” Artsakank, Tbilisi, 9 Jul. 1885, number 1, p. 7.
    • [41] Ibid.
    • [42] Sherents, Srpavayrer…, p. 26.
    • [43] Yeramian, Houshartsan Van-Vasbouragani, volume 1, p. 269.
    • [44] Ibid., pp. 275-276.
    • [45] Ibid., p. 277.
    • [46] “Report on the Massacres of Vasbouragan,” Ararad, Holy See of Echmiadzin, Nov. 1896, 11, p. 526.
    • [47] Ibid.
    • [48] “Educational Work in Van,” Mshag, 7 May 1898, number 76, p. 3.
    • [49] Vidjagatsouyts Kavaragan Azkayin Varjaranats Tourkyo. Badrasdyal Housoumnagan Khorhrto Azkayin Gentronagan Varchoutyan. Dedr B., Vidjag 1901-1902 Darvo [Report on the Provincial National Schools of Turkey. Prepared by the Educational Council of the Armenian National Committee. Second Book, Situation in the Year 1901-1902], Constantinople, H. Madteosian Press, 1903, p. 10.
    • [50] Ibid.
    • [51] Housag, “Concerning the Central Schools,” Arevelk Newspaper, Constantinople, 1 (14) Nov. 1902, number 5092, p. 1
    • [52] Dzeroug, “The Province of Van Today, XXIV, the City of Van,” p. 52.
    • [53] Ibid.
    • [54] Krouzian, “The Intellectual Renaissance of Vasbouragan,” p. 203.
    • [55] Ibid.
    • [56] Kh. Levonian, “Schooling and Printing in Van, II,” Van-Dosb Weekly, Van, 27 Oct. 1913, number 40, p. 487.
    • [57] Hour, “Where is the Teacher’s Union of Vasbouragan?” Ashkhadank Weekly, Van, 23 Jan. 1911, pp. 158-159; Housag, “The Inappropriate Invectives Against the Normal School,” Van-Dosb Weekly, Van, 26 Jan. 1913, number 1, p. 7.
    • [58] Haroutyunian, “From the History of the Schools and Orphanages of Van-Vasbouragan,” p. 32.
    • [59] Miyatsial Ungeroutyun Hayots (1880-1908). Deghegakir 1 Sebdemper 1911-1912 Okosdos 31 Miyamya Shrchani [United Society of Armenians (1880-1908). Yearly Report Covering 1 September 1911 to 31 August 1912], Constantinople, H. Madteosian Press, 1913, pp. 10-11.
    • [60] Ardashes Der Khachadourian, Hay Mamouli Madenakidagan Kordzer [The Bibliographical Works of the Armenian Press], Beirut, 2014, p. 555.
    • [61] Louys Monthly, Van, 1 May 1913, p. 1.
    • [62] H. Mgrdichian, “The Nation and the National Consciousness [a speech delivered during a weekly Friday lecture in the Normal School’s lecture hall],” Louys, November 1913, number 7, pp. 1-6.
    • [63] Armen, “The Application of Mendelian Laws,” Louys, 1 Jun. 1913, number 2, pp. 5-11.
    • [64] H. N., “The Game of Baseball and the American National Character,” Louys, 1 Jul. 1913, number 3, pp. 12-16.
    • [65] “Survey: Aykesdan and Downtown Van,” Ashkhadank Weekly, Van, 22 Jun. 1913, number 32-128, p. 4.
    • [66] Levonian, “Schooling and Printing in Van, II,” p. 488.
    • [67] Ibid., p. 487.
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