In the German school in Mezire (Mamuretül-aziz), during a lesson (Source: Paul Rohrbach, Armenien, Stuttgart, 1919)

Harput (kaza) - Schools (Part II)

Author: Vahé Tachjian, 01/12/12 (Last modified 01/12/12)- Translator: Ara Melkonian

Mezire (Mamuretül-aziz, present-day Elazığ)

The history of the educational establishments in Mezire, compared to the educational life in Harput, is newer, bearing in mind that initially this village became the provincial centre only in the very last years of the 19th century. It is during these years that Mezire has lived a very swift economic and social development and it is at the same time that the first schools have been created. At the beginning they were of the primary (or first) parish school type. An educational establishment belonging to the Protestant community is recalled as being among the first, which has been closed and a government school named Rushdiye built on its site. It is after this that the Capuchins established their church and school.

Armenian parish schools open alongside St Sarkis and the Holy Mother of God churches in the 1870s and 1880s. A girls’ school has also been opened alongside the latter, with Blind Sarkis, the Lame Teacher and Pampish Elvis (from Istanbul) having taught in it.

The Armenians of Mezire remained free from harm during the 1895 anti-Armenian massacres. This is regarded as proof of their safety for the Armenians of the surrounding area and especially for those of Harput town, giving impetus to the new flow of Armenians to Mezire. These especially included Armenian merchants and craftsmen. [1]

Mezire, 1913. In the courtyard of the Capuchins’ college on the occasion of the celebration of the 1500th anniversary of the invention of the Armenian alphabet. Rev Karekin and Rev Ghevont, Père Raphael and Archpriest Bsag Khorenian can be seen, standing next to one another, deep in the picture. The remainder are the students and teachers of the French college and the Central School. The sign on the left of the picture is inscribed with the Armenian alphabet, and the one on the right says ‘Come, let us live for the children’ (Source: Private collection. Courtesy of Dzovig Torikian)

The Capuchins’ French College

A Spanish Capuchin monk by the name of Abuna Angelo da Villarubia arrives in Mezire at the end of the 1860s, where he founds a small monastery and, in 1868, a school without a primary department. It has been, after 1900, transformed into a college. In the 1890s the directorship of the Capuchins’ College was taken over by a French member of the order, Père (Father) Raphael, during whose tenure the establishment has developed very quickly. He taught French and philosophy. It is during these years that two teachers from Harput town, Hagop Simonian and Rupen Zartarian, are invited to teach in the French college, and who, in 1897, have joined the Central School founded in Mezire. After this, Melkon Ghevontian has been appointed as the teacher of Armenian in the French College. Père Marc has begun to teach algebra, geometry, chemistry and physics in the French College in Mezire in 1894. Père Ferdinand has been appointed director of this establishment in 1898. During his tenure of office an orchestra has been formed of between 25 and 30 people. This orchestra, especially after the proclamation of the constitution (1908), conducted by Père Ferdinand, is always present at public events in the town. The tunes of several Armenian patriotic songs have been have been set down on paper, and are played by the college orchestra. Among these are ‘Pamp voradan’, ‘Grvetsek dgherk’ and ‘Dalvorig’.

Mezire. The Capuchins’ college (Patronage Saint-Joseph) (Source: Michel Paboudjian collection)

Among the Armenian Capuchin fathers who are recalled as having taught here are Father Basil Chelebian, Father Bénoit of Ankara and Father Louis Minasian.

The first generation of graduates appears in 1900: Hovhannes (Jean) Shirvanian, Nshan (later Rev Vahram) Nahigian (from Hussenig), Melkon Samuelian (from Mezire) and Kasbar H. Garoyian (from Parchandj). All four have taught in the college. Other graduates from this college are: Davud Malke (from Mezire), Rupen Arslanian (from Mezire), Hrant Arslanian (from Mezire), Hovhannes Kantardjian (from Mezire), Mgerdich Djildjilian (from Malatya), Garabed Yazmadjian (frm Malatya), Mihran Keshishian (from Malatya), Mikayel Hekimian (from Diyarbekir), Lutfi Bezirgenian (from Diyarbekir), Aram Andon (from Diyarbekir), Louis Markiz (from Mardin), Joseph Beshara (from Mosul), Kurken N. Papazian (from Agn), Pierre Tasho (from Mezire), Krikor Mushian (from Agn), Naum Nemen (from Harput), Simon Melik (from Mezire), Simon Khohun (from Harput), Sayid Nemen (from Harput), Yegia Rsdigian (from Hussenig, killed in 1915), Khachadur Nadjarian (from Mezire), Stepan Asadurian (from Khuylou), Berdj Kazandjian (from Mezire), Mgerdich Vahanian (from Hussenig), Setrag Gavurian (from Kesrig), Vahan Vartanian (from Hussenig) and Garabed Ghazarosian (from Harput).

1) Mezire, 1914. The Capuchins’ college orchestra. Standing, left to right: Père Joachim (the person responsible for the mission and conductor of the orchestra), unknown, Antreas Khachadurian (violin), Haigaz Tashjian (violin), Mardiros Kardashian (violin), Kegham (clarinet). Seated, left to right: Dikran Mangasarian (violin), Jacques (violin), Harutiun Israyelian (violin), Frère Ferdinand (viola), Della Souda (organ, the Italian official at the Mezire branch of the Ottoman Bank) (Source: Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)
2) Mezire. Inside the Capuchins’ school (Patronage Saint-Joseph) (Source: Michel Paboudjian collection)

The French College is endowed, in 1903, with a new three-storey building. A boarders’ department is opened in this same year, to which students from Malatya, Arabkir, Chenkush, Diyarbekir, Urfa, Mardin and Mosul will come. The majority of the college students are Armenians, but there are also Assyrians and Chaldeans. After the proclamation of the Constitution in 1908, four Turkish students, the sons of local notables, are also accepted by the college.

The three languages taught in the French College are French, Turkish and Armenian. The Turkish teachers within the establishment are Mahmud Effendi (a local hodja, or Islamic cleric) who also teaches Arabic in the Mezire government Sultaniye School, and Kevork Effendi Aharonian (who also teaches French) who is from Mezire and had studied in the Sultaniye School. Later, in 1904, he has accepted the post of first translator in the newly-opened French consulate in Mezire and, at the same time, is also an official in the local Ottoman Bank.

A German member of the Capuchin order, Père Basil Berlings, arrives at the college, and begins teaching French.

In 1900 Père Basil d’Amid (an Armenian born in Diyarbekir) also joins the group of Capuchins in Mezire. He teaches contemporary general nations’ history. It is this member of the order who is the real founder of the Capuchin Girls’ School in this same town. Two of the teachers in this school are remembered: Miss Hripsime and Miss Mariam.

150 students of both sexes graduate from this college between 1900 until 1914. [2]

A copy of certificate belonging to a graduate of the Capuchins’ college in Mezre (Source: Hans-Lukas Kieser, Der verpasste Friede. Mission, Ethnie und Staat in den Ostprovinzen der Türkei 1839-1938, Chronos, Zurich, 2000)

1) Mezire 1907. The graduates of the Capuchins’ French College. Standing, left to right: Hovhannes Paragian, Garo Ghazarosian, Rupen Der-Stepanian, Sarkis Maldjanian, Antranig Bo (illegible). Seated, left to right: Khachig Nadjarian, Kurken Papazian (Source: Private collection. Courtesy of Dzovig Torikian)
2) Mezire. The students and Capuchin fathers of the Capuchin school of the 1911-1912 school year. The seated monks are, left to right: Frère Ferdinand, Père Joachim, Père Rafael, Père Anastas, Frère Conrad (Source: Private collection. Courtesy of Dzovig Torikian)

Mezire. The Capuchins’ girls’ college (on the right) and church (on the left) (Source: Manug K Djizmedjian, Harput and its sons [in Armenian], Fresno, 1955)

1) Mezire, 1900. The first graduates of the Capuchins’ college. Standing, left to right: Nshan Nahigian (later Rev Vahram), Hovhannes Shirvanian, Melkon Samuelian, Kasbar Garoyian. Seated: the college director Frère Ferdinand (Source: Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)
2) Père Basile Berling from the Capuchin order (Mezire) (Source: Vahé Haig,
Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)

Armenian Catholic girls’ and boys’ schools

This establishment has been founded by the Armenian Catholic community after 1895. It has a kindergarten and a primary department. 75 girls attend the girls’ school each year, while the number attending the boys’ school is about 125.

Teachers in the girls’ school that are recalled are: Sister Sena; Sister Yughida; Sister Isguhi; Sister Beatrice; Bishop Stepan Israyelian (Mush, 1866 – killed in 1915); Bishop Arpiarian.

The director is Sister Vasiluhi. The subjects taught within the establishment are grammar, geography, history of religion, Armenian, French, Turkish, sewing and embroidery and piano. The daughters of Mezire Turkish notable families also attend this school. [3]

The Central School

This school is the natural continuation of the boys’ and girls’ parish primary schools opened alongside the Holy Mother of God church in Mezire in the 1880s. Thus in 1898 the two schools are united and a high school is created.

A notable role is played in the foundation of the Central School by Avedis Deroyian (born in Havav village, Palu, then educated in Istanbul) and Sarkis Chadurdjian (also known as ‘the blind pastor’ (badveli) or ‘Blind Sarkis’, a former student in the Harput Smpadian School).

Mezire, Central School. Graduates and their teachers. Seated, left to right: Hagop Simonian, Rupen Zartarian, Rev Karekin Vartanian (Source: Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)

The Girls’ department alone has more than 240 students each year. The directorship of this newly established Central School is taken up by Hagop Effendi Simonian (from Palu’s Havav village and a graduate of the Berberian School in Istanbul); it has a very select set of teachers, among whom is Rupen Zartarian (Severeg, 1873 – killed in 1915). Simonian, alongside his directorship, also teaches French and science subjects, while Zartarian teaches Armenian and history. The first students graduate in 1901. Simonian has been the victim of a crime in 1902 and Zartarian has become the director of the school after his death. In his book, Djizmedjian notes that the criminal who killed Simonian was an Armenian or, more correctly, one of his students. Zartarian’s term in office is a short one. The “Hagop-Hapet problem” occurs in Harput in 1903 and the authorities arrest then execute these two Hnchag revolutionaries, they also arrest local teachers, among whom are Telgadintsi and Nikoghos Tenekejian, as well as the director of the Mezire Central School, Rupen Zartarian, and two of its teachers, Dikran Baghdigian and Hovhannes Vakasian. Zartarian is released from prison after a short time, but goes firstly to Smyrna (Izmir) then to Bulgaria, where he remains until the 1908 Constitution.

Mezire, Central School. Seated (teachers), left to right: Rupen Zartarian, Hagop Simonian, Rev Karekin Vartanian, Elmas Kabulian, Yevkine Mushian, Anna Demirdjian. Standing (graduates), left to right: Haiganush Noroyian, Elmas Stanbulian, Haig Marsubian, A. Demirdjian, Y. Sarian, Elmas Nalbandian (the name of one student in this row is missing) (Source: Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)

Aram Topkapulian assumes the directorship of the school after Zartarian, followed by Yeghishe Dursunian, who was born in Istanbul and held teaching positions in Erzurum, Trabzon and Sivas. The directors of the school have been, successively, Tavit Khochgonts, Bedros Srabian, Arshag Diloyian (Mahdesian – Palu, 1876 – Palu 1954), Sarkis Hekimian, Aram badveli (from Istanbul, Turkish) and Dikran Ashkharhuni. The directorship of the school is given to Yervant Srmakishkhanian from 1913 to 1915, who uses the literary nom-de-plume Yerukhan (Istanbul, 1870 – killed in 1915).

The Central School consists of 12 classes. Four languages are taught: Armenian, Turkish, French and English. The graduate classes have their own collotype journal, called Nor Karun (New Spring). After the 1908 Constitution is proclaimed, it is renamed Dzopats Ardziv (The Eagle of Dzopk). The establishment is made up of three buildings and a large playground all enclosed by a wall. The number of students of both sexes totals 1,000, who come from the town of Mezire and the surrounding villages. During its 15 year history it has produced 300 graduates.

The Central School receives financial assistance from the Mezire Educational Union established in the United States of America.

1) Central School, Mezire. Left to right: Dikran Ashkharhuni (formerly Rev Merujan) who, for a short time, became this school’s director, Archpriest Bsag Khorenian (prelate of the Harput diocese) and a school teacher (name unknown) (Source: Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)
2) Central School, Mezire, 1901. The first graduates. Seated, teachers, from the left: Mr Giragos, Mardiros Goshgarian, Mr Harutiun, Hagop Simonian, Rupen Zartarian, Stepan Aghamalian, Nshan Tashjian (Source: Vahé Haig,
Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)

The Central School has begun to be officially named The Armenian Gymnasium (Haigagan Djemaran) in 1913. Upon the initiative of the new director Yerukhan and the new Harput diocese prelate Archpriest Bsag Der-Khorenian, the school is reorganised and completes a new period of progress. The boys’ department has been transferred to a silk factory in Mezire that previously belonged to the well-known productive Fabrikatorian brothers and located opposite the town post office. The first floor of this building has been turned into a large hall. It is in this same hall that in these years the Central School students watched a cine film, something that was completely new in the Harput region. The whole building has been furnished free of charge by the town’s tradesmen. All the old Central School buildings have been turned over to the girls’ department.

Central School, Mezire. The students at exercise (Source: Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)

It is in this same year (1913) that the 1,500th anniversary of the invention of the Armenian alphabet has been celebrated in Harput with great pomp. The schoolchildren and college students of Harput and Mezire have taken an active part in the cultural activities that have taken place for a whole week. Thus the French College orchestra and students, forming a procession, have joined the Central School students in front of the barracks, and the whole procession has marched to the German school. Speeches are made in front of each school. The concluding events have taken place in Euphrates College’s Wheeler Hall and in the courtyard of Mezire Central School. The governor of Khozat, Sabit Bey, is present at this final event in Mezire.

Mezire, Central School (Source: Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)

Among the teachers who have taught in the Central School, the following are recalled: Khachig Keoseyian, Harutiun Sukiasian (from Divrig); Kevork Atamian; Nshan Tashjian; Mgerdich Barsamian; Hampartum Yeramian; Armenag Ohanian (mathematics, killed in 1915); Nshan Tamamian (Armenian, French, bookkeeping, killed in 1915); Arshag Der-Mahdesian; Mardiros Goshgarian; Stepan Aghamalian; Berdj Tashjian (Turkish); Mgerdich Der-Bedrosia;, Nshan Destegiul; Varastad Arakelian (church music, mathematics, killed in 1915); Nazaret Biulbiulian; Mr Giragos; Hovhannes Ananian (drawing, calligraphy, killed in 1915); Aram Srabian (history of nations, killed in 1915); Aram Gevurian; Nshan Yaghdjian; Kemal Bey (from Istanbul, taught Turkish); Hagop Kafesian; Archpriest Bsag Der-Khorenian (prelate of the Harput diocese from 1911-1915, killed in 1915); Dr K Bonapartian; Kevork Keshishian (English, Turkish, killed in 1915); Hagop Kenderian (physics, zoology, botany, killed in 1915); Rev Aristages Kaprielian (religion and classical Armenian); Harutiun Dikidjian (Turkish); Garabed Der-Vartanian (Armenian, history, killed in 1915); Pastor Simon and Rev Samuel Manugian (English, mathematics, ethics, killed in 1915).

Mezire (Mamuretül-aziz), 1913. A military parade through the town’s main street. The mansion belonging to the Asim Bey, a deputy of the Ottoman parliament can be seen on the right (Source: Sonnen-Aufgang, Heft 8., 15. Jahrgang, Mai 1913)

Teachers who taught in the girls’ school: Haiganush Marsubian; Haiganush Sareyian; Anna Demirdjian; Yeghsa Asdigian; Elmas Atamian; Zabel Zadurian; Yeprakse Kafesian; Baidzar Tamamian; Shushan Malkhasian; Paylun Yaghubian; Nazeni Djaferian; Yeghisapet Sareyian and Keghetsig Norosian.

We should also note that Vahan Totovents (Mezire, 1889 – 1937) and Hamasdegh (Hampartsum Gelenian, Parchandj, 1895 – 1966) were students in the Central School. [4]

The German College

The German mission (Deutscher Hülfsbund für christliches Liebeswerk im Orient) has entered the Harput region in 1895 after the end of the anti-Armenian massacres that have taken place throughout the Ottoman Empire. The Armenian-populated towns and villages of the Harput region have suffered very heavy human and material losses during this period of incidents and mass terror. One of the results is the great number of Armenian orphans and widows created. The German Hülfsbund organisation’s representative, Johannes Ehmann (1870-1926), has arrived in Harput to render assistance to the victims of the disaster and has worked very closely with the American mission (ABCFM) in the is regard.

Ehmann is the founder of the German missionary work in Harput. Immediately after settling in Mezire, he has taken private lessons in Armenian in Euphrates College from the lecturer M. A. Melcon and has been able to master the language within a short space of time. Throughout all the years of his activity in Mezire (until 1918) Rev Ehmann has been named ‘little father’ (hairig) by the Armenians, which in itself is proof of the popularity he has enjoyed. His initiatives have been the Mezire German mission’s two educational jewels – the Pedagogical School (teaching training school, known in Armenian as the usutschanots) and the Tateosian Theological School. [5]

Mezire. German establishments. 'Rama' (left, German school), in the centre, 'Ebenezer' boys' orphanage. The building on the right is a bakery, smithy and a the dormitory for boys learning a trade (Source: Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)

The first German orphanage for boys, a two storey building, has been set up in Mezire opposite the post office, a little to the east of Asem Beg’s building (konak). This first orphanage is also known as the ‘Red Building’. The Germans, a few years later, have purchased a large piece of land situated to the north of the town on the way to Upper Mezire and owned by the Kharputlian family, surrounded it with a wall and have built three large buildings and several houses on it too. It should be noted that the German mission has no government permit to own fixed assets in its own name; therefore these first buildings are registered in the name of Harutiun Effendi Kharputlian, a Protestant living in Mezire and was a member of the Meclis-i-idare (local government council). This missionary complex has also acquired a large playground, a garden, many fruit trees and and fields for wheat and other cereals. The western part of the garden is turned into a vineyard and a small part is reserved as the missionaries’ cemetery. [6] The mission has also bought an area near the centre of the town, where a beautiful building is constructed as the girls’ orphanage. This last is registered in the name of Bedros Garabedian. Apart from this, a girls’ school is also built in the Idjadiye quarter, as well as a workshop in the building belonging to Marangoz Atanas Agha. [7]

Mezire, 1903. Emaus orphanage girl orphans. The woman seated in the centre is probably the establishment’s first director, Jensine Ørtz (later Peters) (Source: Maria Jacobsen collection)

Orphan relief has formed the pivotal work of the mission. This is what makes them different from the American mission located in the town of Harput. The latter is more centred on the development of the network of Protestant schools in the Harput region, and it is only in 1895 that, after the massacres, it carries out relief work among the orphans for a short time. So the German mission mainly carries out the task of caring for the orphans and educating them throughout the whole region. In 1902 the seven German orphanages in Mezire care for 700 orphans of both sexes. The same number is being looked after in 1914. [8]

All the buildings belonging to the German mission in Mezire carry biblical names. A fervent Christian, Charlottine von Baranoff (1897-1971), who lives in Switzerland, has played an important financial role in their foundation, wanting to spend her wealth on a philanthropic project for the aid of the Armenians.

Ebenezer No 1 Boys’ Orphanage. The name means ‘tree of aid’. The director is Verena Schmidli (1855-1954), a Swiss missionary, who has arrived in Mezire in 1899. She has, as her assistants, Mina Entzlen and Lisa Reyer. Later Helene Laska and Alma Johansson (from Sweden, 1880-1974) arrive to provide further help. The Armenian ‘mothers’ in the Ebenezer orphanage are Sultana, Hnazant, Vartuhi, Khatun and Mariam. [9]

EbenezerNo 2Boys’ Orphanage. The director is Helen Laska. There are 208 orphans in these two orphanages in 1913. [10]

Boys’ Orphanage No 3. Director Gustav Palentine and Mrs Emma. The Armenian ‘mother’ is Anna, and her assistant, Harutiun.

Rama. This is where the Pedagogical School is located, also known as ‘Seminar’ and Usutschanots. The director is Ernst Sommer. [11]

Mezire. The students of the teacher training school. Around the table on the left, at the extreme left of the picture: G. Garabedian (seated), Aram Baidarian (standing), Manuel Takadjian (seated), Boghos D. Boghosian (seated), name unknown (standing), Johannes Ehmann (seated, the director of the German mission and teacher), Peniamin Jamgochian (seated), Hovhannes Fraunian (standing), Shahe (seated), Haig Vartanian (seated. On the right, around the small table, at the extreme right of the picture, Bedros Gharibian (seated), Aram Kalaydjian (standing), name unknown (seated), Sarkis (seated), Mardiros (standing), Hagop Krikorian (seated), Krikor Saghatelian (seated), Nshan Simonian (seated). Seated right at the front: Nshan (on the left), Ghazaros (on the right) (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian, History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)

Mezire. Orphans, teachers and officials of the German orphanage (Source: Ferdinand Brockes, Quer durch Klein-Asien, Gütersloh, 1900)

Pniel. Girls’ Orphanage. The name means ‘God’s face’. This four storey building is located in a separate quarter of Mezire town, on the edge of a wide road. The director is Tante (Aunt) Katherine Madder (1869-?) who has arrived in Mezire in 1899. She has been assisted by Pauline Saide and Tante Röder. The Armenian ‘mothers’ have been Zaruhi Hovhannesian, Yeghsa Aghayegian, Almasd Hagopian, Sister Mariam (from Diyarbekir), Markarid Asadurian (from Parchandj) and Nazli Misakian (from Chemishgadzak). The food has been cooked, in various years, by Tevriz Madteosian (nee Arakelian, from the town of Harput), Vartuhi Mesrobian and Serma Minasian. The needlework teacher is Marta. The manager is Hadji Madteos Madteosian (from Sheikh Hadji Village). The Pniel building also has a bath house, kitchen, a large courtyard and walled garden. The walls of the building after made from earthen blocks, and the roof of tiles. The basement is used as a storage larder, the second and third storeys being the girls’ dormitories. There are between 15 and 20 beds in each room. The director, Tante Katherine, lives on the fourth floor. The orphan’s school was located in this building in the first years, but when the number of boy and girl orphans increased, new separate buildings have been constructed as schools, and the girl orphans thus have begun to attend their own school. [12]

A picnic somewhere in the Harput plain. Those present are probably teachers and officials from the Harput and Mezire American and German missionary schools and orphanages (Source: Maria Jacobsen collection)

Elim. Girls’ Orphanage. The name means ‘Trees’. It is located about 200m (220 yards) from Pniel Orphanage. The director is Tante Jenny, and her assistant is Klara Pfeiffer.

1) Mezire, 1902. The Scandinavian Emaus orphanage (Source: Maria Jacobsen collection)
2) Mezire, 1902. The Scandinavian Emaus girls’ orphanage (Source: Maria Jacobsen collection)
3) Mezire, 1910. Group photograph of the Emaus orphanage girl orphans (Source: Maria Jacobsen collection)
4) A German orphanage in Mezire (Source: Ferdinand Brockes,
Quer durch Klein-Asien, Gütersloh, 1900)
Armenian orphans in Mezire (or Harput town) (Source: Ferdinand Brockes, Quer durch Klein-Asien, Gütersloh, 1900)
6) Mezire, 1910. Emaus orphanage girl orphans (Source: Maria Jacobsen collection)

Missionaries in Mezire, 1905. Jensine Ørtz (sitting in the centre), Bodil Biørn (standing, left), Hansine Marcher (second row, seated, left), Alma Johansson (first row, left). The others are Jenny Jensen and Wilhemine (Mina) Grynhagen (Source: Maria Jacobsen, Diaries of a Danish Missionary, Harpoot, 1907-1919, translated by Kristen Vind, edited by Ara Sarafian, London, 2001)

Emaus. Girls’ Orphanage. The name means ‘Despised people’. It has been founded in 1901 by the Kvindelige Missions Arbejdere (KMA) or ‘Women Missionary Activists’, a Scandinavian mission that has branches in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. 12 orphan girls were looked after in the first year, although in later years this figure has risen to 73. The first missionary who served here has been Jensine Ørtz (later Peters). She has been succeeded by Wilhemine (Mina) Grynhagen from 1906. The following have held positions here: Christa Hammer, Christiane Black, Maria Jacobsen (1882-1960), Jenny Jensen, Bodil Biørn (1871-1960). The director, Wilhemine Grynhagen returned to Denmark before the beginning of the First World War, being succeeded by Karen-Marie Petersen. We should also note that the orphans living in the Emaus orphanage attend the school under the directorship of Hansine Marcher. The orphanage manager has been, successively, Khachadur Boyadjian and Krikor Maghakian. [13]

Mezire, 1903. General view of the Scandinavian Emaus girls’ orphanage (Source: Maria Jacobsen collection)

Maranatha. Girls’ Orphanage. The name means ‘When God comes’. The director is Anna Jensen (a German). It is a comparatively small building, where about 150 orphan girls are looked after. It is located near the boys’ orphanage at the edge of Mezire. It has a large garden in which there are many mulberry trees. [14]

The hospital. The person in overall responsibility is Laura Möhring (a German). The hospital is named ‘Euphrates Hospital’. The doctor there is Mikayel Hagopian. [15]

Summer house and convalescent home. It is built at the highest point in Upper Mezire.

Thye building assigned to the blind and widows. The person responsible is Pauline Wieland.

The workshops: shoemaking, carpentry, smithy, bakery and spinning mill. The master carpentry teacher is Mardiros Madteosian. The shoemaking shop is under the supervision of Gustav Palentine. The master shoemakers are Hermann Schipke and Garabed. The master smith is Karl Jung. Agricultural work is under Schipke. The master miller is Hagop (from Arabkir). All these workshops are established in the missionary building know as Maranatha, located at the edge of the Idjade quarter, next to the vineyards. [16]

1) Mezire. Hair combing ‘ceremony’ in the German Pniel girls’ orphanage (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian, History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)
2) Mezire. The Scandinavian Emaus girls’ orphanage (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian,
History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)
3) Mezire. Emaus orphanage orphans and teachers. Standing, from left to right: Veron, Sister Diruhi, Annagiul, Varter, Vergine, Markarid, Maritsa, Nevart, Markarid. Seated, left to right: Teacher Mariam, Karen-Marie Petersen and, on her lap, Tudi, Takuhi (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian,
History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)
4) Mezire. Orphans of the Ebenezer orphanage on the first floor balcony (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian,
History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)
5) Mezire. The Madteosian family. Seated, left, Tevriz Madteosian (nee Arakelian), the Pniel orphanage’s cook. Right, her husband Madteos Madteosian, the same orphanage’s supervisor and 'hayrig' (little father). Around them are their children: Samuel, Aghavni, Yester, Azniv, Noyemi, Levon (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian,
History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)
6) Mezire. Boys learning a trade in the German orphanage. Centre, seated, their supervisor Ropovam Djanigian (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian,
History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)

The women who were given the name ‘mother’ were those who were responsible for one large room in the orphanage each, in which several tens of girls or boys lived. It is the ‘mother’ who looks after their clothes, general cleanliness, food distribution, discipline, washing dishes and bathing. [17] But the term ‘mother’ is also given to the orphans’ much loved missionary directors, such as, for example, Anna Jensen and Mina Grynhagen. These missionaries are also given the title tante as a term of affection, meaning aunt or auntie. Each orphanage also has its own supervisor, part of whose responsibility is to sound the wooden clappers, used in place of a bell, in the morning. The time for getting up is 5am, no matter what the season. Then the supervisor watches over the orphans’ washing and bed-making. Then, at 6am, the supervisor has to ring the bell for morning prayers, then again for breakfast. During lessons the supervisor is free, but is busy in the evening: he or she must watch over the distribution of food, their doing their homework and then sound the bell for going to bed at 9pm. It is the supervisor who accompanies the orphans on their Sunday gatherings and their trips out of the orphanage. [18] Each orphanage has its manager or buyer (kenort in Armenian, the German equivalent being Einkäufer). The manager or buyer is always a man who generally lives, with his family, in the establishment’s building. It is his responsibility to purchase the necessary foodstuffs and other necessities for the orphanage, look after the maintenance of the building and ensure that firewood is provided etc.

A view of the town of Mezire. The town of Harput can be seen in the background on the top of the mountain (Source: Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)

Every orphan, irrespective of sex, has their own number, generally used in the daily life of the establishment. This number is sewn on all the orphan’s clothes and marked on all their personal possessions. Some of the female orphans have an extra character added to their number: this denotes the fact that they are Charlottine von Baranoff’s alumni. The orphanage and the school are in different locations. Every morning the boys and girls line up in pairs, emerge from their orphanages and make their way to school. It is said that during these journeys the local Turks attack the Armenian orphans and, both sides being armed with sticks, fights take place. [19]

The German orphanages’ orchestra and choir are quite well known in Mezire. The orchestra uses violins, organ, piano, trumpets and drums. The choir is a four part one and is conducted by Mardiros Bujicanian (Chenkush, 1880 – 1935). He has Armenianised certain well-known German hymns. In 1908, after the declaration of the constitution, he choir begins to sing Armenian patriotic songs as well. [20]

1) German orphanage, Mezire. Three orphans, Mgerdich, Minas and Piuzant. The child on the left is holding a doll, a gift from German philanthropists to the orphanage (Source: Sonnen-Aufgang, Heft 11., 14. Jahrgang, August 1912)
2); 3) Two pictures of Peniamin Jamgochian, one of the German orphanage’s inmates (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian,
History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)

Exercise has an important place in the lives of the German orphanage inmates. One of the widely used games played is football, and it is said that it was first introduced into the Harput region by Ernst Sommer. He has lived in England for over ten years and it here that he learnt to love the game and to play it. Each year there is a much-awaited football confrontation between the boys of the German establishment and those of the Euphrates College. Other days eagerly awaited by the orphanage inmates are certain festive days when, with their supervisors, they walk to picnics at certain well-known monasteries in the Harput plain. Such places visited are Khulavank and Sursur, some distance away. [21]

The Mezire German mission has approached the education of the orphans with greatest seriousness. This is demonstrated by the schools being noted for their high quality. The German missionary Ernst Sommer (1881-1952) is at the head of this work, and has become the director of all the German educational establishments in Mezire in 1906. He has also taken over the directorship of the town’s teacher training school (usutschanots). In Ernst Sommer’s own words, one of the main aims of the German mission is the preparing of Armenian teachers. Thus importance has been given, even from the first moments, to the work of the teacher training school (usutschanots). The orphans receive free education within the orphanages, but are later required to teach for a period of four years in a school chosen by German mission (in Mezire or elsewhere). [22]

Armenian orphans in the Mezire German orphanage dressed like soldiers of the Ottoman army (Source: Sonnen-Aufgang, Heft 11., 14. Jahrgang, August 1912)

It is interesting that in German establishments the German language is not the ruling presence. Armenian is the ruling language, having been learnt by many missionaries who serve in these establishments. The best examples of this are Sommer and the head of the mission Ehmann. We have the impression that among the German missionaries (especially Sommer), there is the conviction that the German pedagogical method is superb, a model, which must be utilised by Armenian society too. In other words, the young person who graduates from Mezire’s teacher training school (usutschanots) will later spread his or her knowledge in other Armenian establishments and, in this way, will have participated in the general work of enlightenment. For this reason they find Armenian to be overwhelmingly important, finding it to be the best available tool for spreading enlightenment. It is Sommer too who thinks that many of the graduates of the Mezire and Harput French and American educational establishments who later emigrate to France and the United States of America must have mastered French and English very well indeed. But, in Sommer’s opinion, the German mission doesn’t encourage emigration, but try to retain the teachers they have prepared and place them in Armenian educational establishments. In German schools, the teaching of English, alongside German, is of equal or greater importance. This must be explained by the fact that the German mission does not have an educational establishment in Mezire that is of college standard. All the students who graduate from secondary school are not accepted in the teacher training school, some of them entering the American college to obtain their higher education. Here it is important to master English and this is a practical reason for it being given special attention in the Mezire German educational establishments. [23]

The Minasian family. Standing, first from the right: Nshan Minasian, one of Mezire’s German school’s teachers (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian, History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)

The educational system used in the Mezire German schools is quite like that of the Euphrates College. So primary school lasts for three years, then middle school for four years, followed by high school, where courses last for three years. The main subjects taught are: Armenian, Turkish, English, the Holy Bible, mathematics, knowledge of objects, geography, drawing, calligraphy and music. It is in the middle school that German, general history and algebra begin to be taught. [24] The German schools in Mezire are not reserved for just orphans. Girls and boys living in the town also attend, the majority being Armenians (both Protestant and Apostolic) as well as Assyrians. For example, the statistics for 1913 show us that the three departments of the boys’ school – primary, middle and high – have a total of 332 students, of which 193 are orphans who are inmates of the orphanages, the other 139 being the sons of Mezire families. The primary school has 194 students (112 orphans); the middle school 108 (64 orphans); and the high school 30 (17 orphans). [25]

1) Mezire. The Pniel German girls’ orphanage (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian, History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)
2) Mezire. On the left, the Protestant church; on the right the Emmaus girls’ orphanage (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian,
History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)
Mezire. German establishments. Rama (left, school), in the centre, Ebenezer boys' orphanage. The building on the right is a bakery, smithy and a workshop. It is to be noted that the description written on the picture is different. Our caption is taken from Peniamin Jamgochian's book which, for the same picture, gives the caption above (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian, History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)
4) Mezire. The Pniel girls’ orphanage (Source: Sonnen-Aufgang, Heft 8., 16. Jahrgang, Mai 1914)

The director of the entire educational network is Ernst Sommer, whose principal assistants are Garabed Musheghian and Arshag Rumian. Among the teachers who have taught here are:

  1. Kevork Zulumian – Armenian and literature
  2. Haig Aramian (from Zeytun) – supervisor, teacher and librarian
  3. Nazaret Zughalian (from Palu) – primary school teacher
  4. Khachig Keoseyian
  5. Mihran Kaprielian (from Mush)
  6. Hagop Movsesian (from Chenkush) – who has been the director of the school for a time, then the general supervisor of the orphanages
  7. Krikor Jamgochian (from Malatya)
  8. Krikor Manugian (Chenkush, 1881 – 1972)
  9. Hagop Depoyian
  10. Kasbar Boyadjian (from Pertag) – teacher of Turkish
  11. Mardiros Kevorkian (from Chenkush) supervisor and mathematics teacher
  12. Arshag Rumian (from Ayntab)
  13. Krikor Daghlian (from Ayntab)
  14. Harutiun Dikidjian (from Severeg) – teacher of Turkish and the establishment’s translator
  15. Mardiros Boujicanian (from Chenkush) – German, psychology and music
  16. Garabed Museghian (from Harput) – natural sciences. He completed his education in Germany
  17. Giragos Khachadurian
  18. Asadour Yeghoyian
  19. Tavit Pakhchoyian
  20. Hovnan Minasian
  21. Bedros Garabedian (from Perchandj) – religious studies
  22. Baghdasar Ghazarosian (Garmir, 1875 – 1957) director of the girls' school
  23. Mikayel Hagopian
  24. Krikor Khayigian (Khuylu, 1884 – 1967) Sent to Germany in1913, where he specialised in pedagogy, psychology and sociology
  25. Aharon Garabedian (from Khokh) killed in 1915
  26. Nshan Minasian
  27. Nazaret Mkelian (from Sivas)
  28. Aram Giuzelian (from Sivas) killed in 1915. [26]

The German orphanage, Mezire. Orphans learning how to sew in the workshop (Source: Sonnen-Aufgang, Heft 2., 15. Jahrgang, November 1912)

The director of the girls’ school is Hansine Marcher (from Denmark). Some fo the teachers who are recalled are: Klara Pfeiffer; Monika Knack.

Graduates from the Euphrates College who also taught in the German school are: Yeva; Haiganush Khayadjanian; Khumar; Nartuhi Minasian; Elmas Apkarian; Yeva Avedisian; Anahid Boghosian; Yeghsa Aghadjanian; Sara Azanvorian; Sara Piranian; Elmas Kabulian; Mariam Dzaghig (Terzian). 

Graduates from the Mezire German seminary who also taught are: Annagiul; Yeghsa Shushanian; Isguhi; Marta Minasian; Khanum Kasabian; Aghavni Asadurian; Altun Arakelian; Anna Boghosian; Vartanush Harutiunian; Marinos Hovhannesian; Yester Hovsepian; Lusia Hovhanessian; Khachkhatun; Repeka Parechanian; Sara Mgerdichian; Vartuhi Hagopian; Varvar Leylegian; Yester Demirdjian; Menduhi Boghosian; Payladzu Aznavorian; Azniv Baghdasarian;

Mariam Manugian; Satenig Manugian; Marta Sahagian; Arshaluis Hovhannesian;

Maritsa Hovhannesian; Genevieve; Aghavni Antaramian. [27]

Embroidery made by the Armenian orphan girls, which were sold in Germany. The money made is used for orphanage necessities (Source: Sonnen-Aufgang, Heft 12., 15. Jahrgang, September 1913)

According to the statistics for 1911, this girls’ secondary school has 372 attendees. [28]

Among the first graduates of the German school are the following: Makruhi Hovhannesian (from Palu); Markarid Nalbandian (from Ichme); Sara Aznavorian (from Arpavud); Annagiul Parechanian (from Hussenig); Prapion Margosian (from Ichme).

The second generation of graduates is: Sara Manugian (from Geoldjiuk); Sara Boghosian (from Parchandj); Anna Boghosian (from Palu); Maritsa Arisdagesian; Badaskhan Hovhannesian (from Pertag); Isguhi Manugian (from Parchandj); Santughd (from Palu), Mariam Dzaghig Hovhannesian (from Palu).

The third generation of graduates is: Armenuhi Cherekian (from Zeytun); Azniv Baghdasarian (from Yegheki); Yevnige Mncherian (from Marash); Marta Sahagian (from Parchandj); Marinos Hovhannesian (from Khokh); Markarid Yeremian (from Khokh); Satenig Manugian (from Harput town); Mariam Samuelian (from Marash); Mariam Garabedian; Baidzar Shahinian; Khanum Kasabian (from Palu); Vartanush Harutiunian (from Palu); Aghavni Demirdjian (from Mezire); Nevart Djandjigian (from Mezire).

The fourth generation of graduates is: Markarid Mergerian (from Marash); Yester Hovsepain; Markarid Sarkisian; Mariam Manugian; Turvanda Tateosian; Antaram (from Van), Ashkhen. [29]

There is always a religious atmosphere in the orphanages and schools. Thus every morning, the person responsible for each orphanage assembles the orphans in their care, then they all sing hymns together, then the same responsible person reads from the Bible, and follows this with a moral lecture. The orphans then go to their schools, where the directors conduct the same kind of service, lasting a quarter of an hour. This is repeated in the evening, when the orphans return to their orphanages. On a Sunday the religious-spiritual programme is much richer. In the morning, either at 8 or 9 o’clock, the orphans must listen to a religious sermon lasting one hour. At either 10 or 11 o’clock they return to their rooms, where they learn hymns. All the orphans assemble in Mezire’s Protestant meeting house after lunch, where a sermon is given and they sing hymns. In the evening, like every day, evening prayers are said. [30]

The school is equipped with a modern chemistry laboratory which is used for science lessons. [31]

The students of the German mission have produced the journal Dzirani (Purple), of which 10 editions are published. The editor is Toros Boghosian, whose nom-de-plume is ‘Kasharig Keatiba’. This is followed by the journal Amenun hamar (For everybody), printed on the Euphrates College press. Another that is recalled is Haireni aruag (Home brooklet), that appeared in manuscript and whose editor is Nshan Pashgants. It appears in one copy that passes from hand to hand. [32]

1) The brothers Hovhannes (on the left) and Peniamin (on the right) Jamgochian. These two orphans (from Haini village) entered the Mezire German orphanage when they were small boys, graduated from the German school, then graduated from the same town’s German teacher training school(Source: Peniamin Jamgochian, History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)
2) Setrag Zaven (Chakmishian, Kasbarian, from the village of Shepig, now Yaylacık) (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian,
History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)

According to the statistics for 1912, there are 750 orphans of both sexes in this German mission complex (including the Danish one and the teacher training school). The schools attached to this complex are attended by 950 students of both sexes. [33] We find the number of students, according to the 1914 report, has increased. Thus, in the year quoted, the total number of students is 1055, of which 415 attend the girls’ school, 355 that of the boys, 21 the teachers training school, with 160 attending the two kindergartens and 104 the Pniel School. [34]

The German seminar (teachers training school) (Deutsches Lehrerseminar)

The director of this establishment is Ernst Sommer, and his assistant is Garabed Musheghian. The boys’ department courses last for four years, and two years for the girls. All the students have to be boarders. Most of them are chosen from the German schools’ graduates, but there are others who come here from other German establishments in Marash, Van and Mush. The students have also to be active members of the (Protestant?) church. The tuition in the ‘teacher training school’ is free, on the condition that the graduates teach for four years after graduation in an Armenian educational establishment chosen by the German mission. Those who refuse this prerequisite have to pay a yearly fee of 14 Ottoman gold liras. [35]

The teaching language is Armenian. From about 1910 onwards opportunities have been created for certain students to be sent to Germany for specialist training. It is therefore deemed necessary to give more attention to the teaching of German in this establishment. Languages (Armenian, Turkish, German, English and French), scientific subjects, mathematics (arithmetic, algebra, geometry, geometric drawing), voice training, drawing, violin and organ playing are taught in the teacher training school. The object is for the graduating student to be able to teach any of these subjects with ease in the future. Alongside these there are, of course, lessons in pedagogy and psychology. So, during a week, four periods are devoted to the history of pedagogy and four more for teaching methods. Psychology is taught for two periods a week. In the last two years of their training, the students in the boys’ department have to teach in a primary school for between two to four periods a week. The director, Ernst Sommer, is periodically present during these lessons. [36]

1) One of Mezire’s German teacher training school graduates of 1914: Peniamin Jamgochian’s certificate (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian, History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)
2) Mezire, 1907. The first generation of graduates and teachers of Mezire’s German teacher training school. Seated, (teachers), from left to right: Mardiros Budjicanian, Garabed Museghian (or Musheghian), Karl Jung, Johannes Ehmann, Ernst Sommer, Bedros Garabedian. Standing, left to right: Markar Ghugasian, Aharon Garabedian, Nshan Minasian, Krikor Khayigian, Nshan Shmavonian (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian,
History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)

It is interesting to note that, just like in the Euphrates College, the teacher training school has secret Hnchag and Dashnak groups that organise, secretly from the director and teachers, discussions about questions concerning social and political issues within the Ottoman Empire. [37]

It is noted in primary Armenian sources that a student must not have any physical or health problem to be accepted into this establishment. Thus it is recalled that a student is refused, simply because he or she had a finger missing, and another because he or she had a skin problem. [38]

The boys’ department of the German teacher training school produced its first graduates in 1907: Aharon Garabedian (killed in 1915), Markar Ghugasian (killed in 1915), Krikor Khayigian, Nshan Minasian and Nshan Shmavonian. [39]

The next graduates qualified in 1909, among whom the names Hovhannes Ghazarosian and Hovhannes Yaghdjian are recalled. [40]

The third group graduated in 1911. The names Tavit Garabedian and Hovhannes Melkonian are recalled among these. [41]

The 1913 graduates are: Krikor Chtedjian (from Komk, killed in 1915), Setrag Chakshimian (Kasbarian, known as Setrag Zaven, from the village of Shepig, now Yaylacık), Stepan Aghdjavanesian (from Marash, killed in 1915), Misak Sahagian, Krikor Baidarian (from Kghi, killed in 1915), Hovhannes Jamgochian (from Haini), Mihran Melkonian, Misak Sahagian (from Mush, killed in 1915) and Dikran Zeytuntsian (from Marash). [42] Concerning this same year, the head of the German mission in Mezire, presents the following picture in his written report: 17 graduates, of which 9 were from Mezire, 4 from Van, 2 from Kghi, 1 from Mush and 1 from Sivas. [43]

The 1914 graduates are: Emmanuel Takadjian (from Fernouz, killed in 1915), Garabed Garabedian (from Perchandj, killed in 1915), Hagop Krikorian (from Chorkegh, killed in 1915) and Peniamin Jamgochian (from Haini). [44] 

The following female graduates are recalled: Mariam Takhakhdjian (later Der-Hagopian); from the 1912 group: Baidzar Shahinian (Palu, 1895 – 1969) and Mariam Matigian. From those of 1914: Mariam Bchakdjian. [45]

The Tateosian Biblical School

Mezire’s Tateosian Biblical School. Students, standing, left to right: unknown, unknown, Garabed Altundjian, unknown, Luder Kalusdian, Hagop Garabedian. Seated, left to right: Asadur Yeghoyian and Johannes Ehmann (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian, History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)

This school was founded in 1913. It has a three-year syllabus. It was created on Ehmann’s and Rev (Verabadveli) Asadur Yeghoyian’s initiative. Students learn to preach the Gospel and to gain experience in spiritual work.

Among the lecturers who have taught here are Johannes Ehmann (general history), Rev Asadur Yeghoyian (Bible classes, proofs of Christian truths, spiritual work), Rev (Verabadveli) Bedros Garabedian (English), Rev (Verabadveli) Hovnan Minasian (Armenian history) and Mardiros Boujicanian (music).

Even before it has produced its first graduates, it has been forced to finally close its doors in June 1915. Some of the students that are recalled are: Mgerdich Melkonian, Garabed Altundjian (from Malatya), George (surname unknown, a Greek from Kilis), Zeki Kalpakdjian, Luder Kalusdian and Sarkis Derderian (from Agn, killed in 1915). [46]

1) Rev (Verabadveli) Asadur Yeghoyian, one of the founders of Mezire’s Tateosian Biblical School (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian, History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)
2) Vartan Amu, one of the German orphanage’s supervisor. Here he is carrying bread (Source:
Sonnen-Aufgang, Heft 2., 15. Jahrgang, November 1912)

Village schools

Parchandj/Perchendj (now Akçakiraz)

The first regular school opens in 1845, on the north side of the church. It is solely for boys. The teacher is Mr Boghos, who is known more in the village by the nickname of gozlugdji varjabed (spectacle-wearing teacher). He taught continuously for about 25 years. According to Manug Dzeron’s description a mother says, when she takes her son to school for the first time and hands him over to the teacher: ‘Teacher, my Koko is your anamat, you keep the meat, I’ll have the bones’. In these years the people of Parchandj found the first body to look after the school, members of which are the brothers Atam and Garabed Khugas, Diratsu Mgerdich of the Balig family, Berber Avak, Boyadji Krikor, Torig Kapo, Torig Ovagim amu, Hodo Garabed, Kamkhazar Mgerdich, Garo Sarkis, Usda Khachadur and Usda Boghos.

These pioneers of educational work knew the necessity of teaching using new methods and better prepared teachers. This in 1870 they lay the foundation of an Educational Union, whose members have to pay a weekly subscription. Sarkis Khultukhian (from Hoghe village) is subsequently appointed as the school director. The school is moved to the upper floor of the building bought from Mghdesi Kapo, which was much larger. This school has developed very rapidly and, in 1888, both floors of the building are turned over to this educational establishment, which has now become a school for both boys and girls, with separate lecture halls, desks and chairs. [47]

The participation of people from Parchandj who live in the United States of American has been important in defraying the cost of this school. They have formed the Parchandj Village Armenian Apostolic Educational Union in the town of Fels in Massachusetts in 1891. All the members are workers in the same factory (Boston Rubber). Branches of the union are quickly formed in other American towns and cities: in Worcester, Whitinsville, Naugatucket, Cambridge, Charlestown, Malden, Salem-Peabody, Stoneham, Lawrence-Lowell, New Britain, Madison, Maine, Waukegan-Chigago and in California. The membership of these braches reaches 100 in 1902. This union later changes its name and is then called the Armenian Educational Union of Parchandj Village of Harput. [48]

In the light of these changes, the former educational union, in 1891, begins to be called the School Union of Parchandj and becomes an official body with its own stamp. Financial help begins to arrive from compatriots in the United States. The members of the first executive are Armenag Varjabedian (son of the former teacher Guzlugdji), Gelen Arut, Godo Arut, Yavan Gurzo, Gugu Arut, Abuna Mgerdich, Khugas of the Der-Khugas family and Garo Boghos. Every member has to pay a subscription to the organisation’s coffers each month. Apart from this, each student is asked to pay a yearly fee of 5, 2 or 1 ghurush according to the parents’ financial ability. Tuition is declared free for those who are in severe financial difficulties. From these days on, the teachers are graduates of the Harput and Mezire high schools and colleges. Students begin to attend the Parchandj school from the surrounding villages. This educational establishment’s yearly events create a festive air in the village. Apart from the inhabitants of Parchandj, educational and religious figures from Harput and Mezire also attend, as do Turkish aghas. Theatrical performances take place, such as Vartanank, King Arshag, etc. The boys’ school has classes in six grades and numbers 82 students in 1912-1913. In this same period, the girls’ school has classes in four grades with 32 students. [49]

Among the teachers who served in this school, the following are recalled:

  1. Hovhannes Terzian (from Kesirig village)
  2. Kevork Atamian (from Harput town)
  3. Hagop Nalbandian
  4. Khazar from Habous
  5. Parechanian
  6. Kegham from Harput
  7. Donabed Kazandjian
  8. Harutiun Mergian (from Palu)
  9. Bedros Zarifian (from Shntil village)
  10. Aram Gevurian (from Kesrig village)
  11. Hovhannes Der-Ghugasian (from Parchandj village)
  12. Kevork from Agn
  13. Baghdasar from Palu
  14. Hagop Der-Nshanian (from Parchandj village)
  15. Kevork Cholakian (from Arpavud village)
  16. Asadur Misakian
  17. Karekin Boyadjian (from Parchandj village)
  18. Nshan Dakesian
  19. Hovhannes Der-Ghugasian (from Parchandj village)
  20. Teacher Maritsa (from Mezire). [50]

The missionaries also found their own school in Parchandj. It is built within the Protestant meeting hall belonging to Depo Garo family. The first teachers are local Protestant Armenians: Hovhannes Darakdjian; Nerses Sahag; Garo Atam; Goshgar Krikor; Medzoents Sahag; Kejoents Melkon Zakarian.

At the beginning this school is not so different from the parish schools of this period; the difference of course being the presence of Protestant teaching. From 1873 a co-ordinated educational programme has been established in it. Capable teachers are here, such as Musekh Esegian (from Khulakiugh) and Hovhannes Garoyian.

The missionary school is moved in the mid 1890s to a new building next to the meeting hall on its northern side. It becomes a mixed school. The teachers in the boys’ department are: Kalusd Nazarian (from Kghi); Bedros Bashoyian (from Chenkush); Garabed Mushekhian (from Mezire); Garabed Hodoyian (from Parchandj); Mardiros Kevorkian (from Chenkush); Movses (from Khuylu).

Teachers serving in the girls’ school are: Mariam (from Yegheki); Khatun Mikayelian; Djuhar Der-Margosian; Sofia Seferian; Elmas Tashjian.

The Parchandj Protestant School’s trusteeship belongs to the missionaries in Harput. It is they who can institute changes to the programme or organisation. Alongside this exists a body formed by the Armenian Protestants of Parchandj, which directs the school on a day-to-day basis. In these same years a Protestant Educational Union is founded in the United States of America. [51]

Habusi (now Ikizdemir)

Classes were held in the teachers’ houses during the 19th century. The students received primitive forms of education. Some of the teachers that are recalled are: Boghos Boyadjian; Blind Yeghig; Ghazar Der-Hovhannesian; Garabed Kel Agopian; Teacher Hovagim; Smpad Karamanugian; Yeghishe Derderian.

Later (the date is not known) a separate school is built in Habusi, located in the centre of the village. Here, on a high hill, the church of the Holy Mother of God has been constructed, with the school about 30m (100 feet) from it, known in the village as the djemaran (gymnasium). It is a two-storey structure, occupying as space 12 X 18 metres (40 X 60 feet) in size and its walls are about 60cm (2 feet) thick. The first floor is 8 m (26 feet) high. The large hall on the second floor forms the school. On the same floor there is a separate room which is the teacher’s bedroom.

The following people are the Habusi’s school trustees: Mushegh Khodjigian, Asadur Minasian, Nazaret Prudian, Soghomon Goshgarian, Marsub Boyadjian, Yeghia Khodjigian, Garabed Musoyian, Hagop Boyadjian and Giulkhas Buludian.

Even after this school has opened, Garabed Kel Agopian and Teacher Hovagim still teach in their respective houses.

There has been a Protestant mixed school in Habusi from very early on, with teachers being generally invited from outside (from Harput and Mezire). At the beginning, this school too was a primitive one. So one of Habusi’s Protestants, Usda Margos, turned the upper floor of his house (located opposite the Holy Mother of God church), into a Protestant meeting hall and school. Later the Protestants have built their own church, on the southern side of the village, 9m (30 feet) wide by 21m (70 feet) long. At the end of the 19th century the Protestant school is built, next to the church, with the following teachers:

  1. Teacher Mourad
  2. Teacher Sahag
  3. Rev (Verabadveli) Garabed Medzadurian
  4. Hagop Simonian
  5. Yeghia Donabedian (from Harput town)
  6. Hovsep Bardizbanian (from Urfa)
  7. Hovhannes Hagopian (from Malatya)
  8. Rev (Badveli) Armenag Simonian
  9. Kevork Simonian
  10. Bedros Gharibian (from Mezire)
  11. Kevork Minasian

Both the Protestant church and school have been demolished during the anti-Armenian violence of 1895 and permission has not been granted for their reconstruction subsequently. They have therefore been forced to move them to another location in Habusi. It is only in 1911 that this community has received government permission for their reconstruction and, six months later, the former school and church have begun to be used once more.

In 1911, probably with the aim of competing against the Protestant school, the people responsible for the three other schools in the village have taken the decision to centralise their efforts around the Djemaran. It is from this date too, that a girls’ school is opened in a room next to the church. D. Alexanian, who also teaches in this same establishment, is appointed its director. Other teachers remembered are: Teacher Garabed; Teacher Hovagim; Yughaper Barsamian.

The number of girls attending this school each year reaches 60, including those from the surrounding villages.

The following subjects are taught in the Habusi Djemaran: Armenian language, Armenian history, grammar, mathematics, Turkish and English. Spelling, singing sharagans (canticles) and national-patriotic songs and recitation competitions are held in the school every Saturday.

The Habusi Djemaran is under the patronage of the Istanbul United Association, which gives the direction to the educational syllabus and occasionally sends trained teachers. The establishment’s teachers are:

  1. Khachadur Vartanian (from Garmir village)
  2. Hampartsum Saradjian (from Pertag)
  3. Bedros Bozoyian
  4. Garabed Lulejian (from Harput town)
  5. Sahag Hovsepian (from Chemeshgadzak now Çemişgezek)
  6. Avedis Garabedian
  7. Giragos Hagopian
  8. Kevork Minasian
  9. Djuhar Boghosian
  10. Vartuhi Simonian
  11. Mariam Boyadjian
  12. Boghos Boyadjian
  13. Hagop Kheremezian

In 1913 the school’s director is Ohan Khodjigian and his assistant is Krikor Antoyian.

It is also recalled that the school had its own theatre group. In May 1912 it gave a very great performance of Vartanank, to a huge audience, in the church. [52]


Harput and Hussenig. Some of the Hussenig village houses may be seen at the foot of the mountain. The ruins of Harput town’s castle are on the top of the hill and, on the slope, the Sinamud Armenian quarter of the same town (Source: Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)

This place is worthy of being a centre of education. In the days before the First World War it has seven separate working educational establishments:

  1. A boys’ school (Armenian Apostolic, with about 250 students)
  2. A girls’ school (Armenian Apostolic, with about 150 students)
  3. A kindergarten (with about 50 children, both boys and girls)
  4. A boys’ school (Protestant, with about 150 students)
  5. A girls’ school (Protestant, with about 125 students)
  6. A boys’ school (Catholic, with about 50 students)
  7. A girls’ school (Catholic, with about 50 students)

There have been primitive-style schools in Hussenig before the regular schools have been opened. At first lessons were taught by priests like Rev Anan, Rev Tavit and Rev Kapriel. Then there has been a period when khalfa teachers taught. Some that are recalled are: Topal Apo; Topal Tato; Topal Krikor Kayarian; Teacher Avedis; Tavit Hamamdjian; Antreas Aghpar; Teacher Sarkis (from Hoghe village, now called Yurtbaşı); Rev Vahan (from Yegheki village, now called Aksaray).

The town of Harput, which borders this small town, has had a direct influence on Hussenig’s educational life. The rapid development of educational centres in this neighbouring town from the middle of the 19th century naturally could not have left the Armenian population of Hussenig indifferent. The vigorous educational efforts of the American missionaries and Armenian Protestants have promoted a spirit of competition. Now many of the Apostolic Armenians also want their own educational centres, which at the same time must be distant from Protestant influence. This has happened in 1860, when Hussenig’s first regular school for boys, built thanks to the financial efforts of Aladjadji Hampartsum Baba, is opened next to the newly-built church of St Varvar. Guz Melkon has taught in it for many years. He was sent to live with his mother’s brother in Sis when he was still a youth. There he has mastered Turkish, taking lessons from a local kadi (judge). Teacher Melkon teaches Armenian, church music and Turkish in the Hussenig school. His colleagues are Hagop Zamanigian (later Rev Mampre, killed in 1915) and Hovagim Aghadjanian. After him, from 1880, the following teachers teach at the school: Mgerdich Kalaydjian; Setrag Kalaydjian (they are brothers); Hampartsum Zakarian; Khachadur Dzovigian; Giragos Gadarigian; Dikran Prigian.

A general view of the small town of Hussenig. The white building at the very top is the German orphanage (Source: Ferdinand Brockes, Quer durch Klein-Asien, Gütersloh, 1900)

Hampartsum Yeramian, born in Arabkir and a graduate of Istanbul’s Central School, is appointed director of the Hussenig school in 1892.

The school remains closed for about six months after the end of the Armenian massacres and destruction of 1895. Yeramian moves to Mezire and Teacher Aram is appointed the school’s director. The Hussenig school begins a brilliant period beginning in 1901, when Hagop Der-Hagopian (Shahan Natali) returns to the town after graduating from Istanbul’s Berberian School. His colleagues, graduates from Mezire’s Central School, are Kasbar Rsdigian (killed in 1915) and Bedros Adishian. The directorship of the school is taken over, in1906, by Tavit Khachgonts, who has taught in Mezire’s Central School. Teachers that are recalled are: Garabed Hovsepian; Hovhannes Zartarian; Garabed Aharonian; Hovhannes Nahigian; Sarkis Tanielian; Sarkis Velegian; Mihran Srabian; Hagop Nadjarian (killed in 1915); Hairabed Hovsepian (killed in 1915); Hagop Der-Ananian; Hagop Meserlian; Asadur Darakdjian; Sarkis Sarafian (killed in 1915); Aharon Aharonian; Harutiun Terzian (killed in 1915); Mgerdich Partoyian (killed in 1915).

Hussenig’s boys’ school is formed of classes in eight grades. Graduates usually continue their education in either Harput’s Central School (St Hagop) or Euphrates College. Between 225 and 250 students attend the school each year. The schools belonging to the Apostolic community are governed by Hussenig’s Parish Council.

The house belonging to the church next to the boys’ school becomes the kindergarten in 1902. The kindergarten teachers are: Miss Seregidjian (later Giuleserian, a pedagogy graduate of the Euphrates College); Azniv Chopurian; Maritsa Nahigian (later Gurghinian, a pedagogy graduate of the Euphrates College); Veronica Chopurian; Annagiul Demirdjian; Paris Khubetian.

Hussenig, ca 1902. The students of the St Varvar church first (primary) school. The teachers, seated, left to right: Khachadur Muradian, Dikran Prigian, Garabed Hovsepian, Hagop Der-Hagopian (Shahan Natali) (Source: Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)

The Armenian Protestants too have begun educational work very early. The first boys’ school owned by the community is opened in the 1860s, in the Nahigian house, then in beltmaker Arakel Aghpar’s house, on the slope of St Sarkis Mountain. Hussenig’s first Protestant church has been built in 1875 on land near St Varvar church owned by the Sursurian family, and its upper room has been assigned to the Protestant school. In a short space of time however, the number of students has grown and for that reason a new school has been constructed in 1888 on the slopes of St Sarkis Mountain, near Rev Anan’s family house.

The first teacher in this boys’ school is Khayadjian khalfa (later Rev Hovhannes Baba). Other teachers are: Hagop Boghigian (from Hussenig); Mushegh Musheghian (from Hoghe); Avedis Avedisian (from Hussenig); Nigoghos Tenekejian (from Harput town); Azaria Boghosian (from Khokh village, now known as Kavaktepe and Dedeyolu); Mgerdich Khaladjian (from Hussenig); Harutiun Arslanian (from Rdvan); Teacher Kasbar (from Harput town); Mardiros Boyadjian (from Hussenig); Harutiun Hamamdjian (from Hussenig); Mardiros Nahigian (from Hussenig); Apraham Boghigian (from Hussenig); Hovhannes Boujicanian (from Chenkush/Çunguş); Mardiros Boujicanian (from Chenkush/Çunguş); Bedros Manugian (from Hussenig); Hampartsum Nahigian (from Hussenig); Garabed Hovsepian (from Hussenig); Hovhannes Der-Boghosian (from Hussenig); Hampartsum Giuleserian (from Hussenig); Armenag Hovagimian (from Harput town); Garabed Hovagimian (from Harput town); Harutiun Vezneyian (from Hussenig, killed in 1915); Peniamin Basmadjian (from Haine); Movses Nahigian (from Hussenig); Levon Kayarian (from Hussenig); Peniamin Krikorian (from Hussenig); Isahag Nahigian (from Hussenig); Sarkis Adishian (from Hussenig, killed in 1915); Drtad Sursurian (from Hussenig, killed in 1915); Hairabed Adjemian (from Hussenig).

The Capuchin monks who have settled in Harput and Mezire have extended their educational work as far as Hussenig. They have bought, in the 1860s, a building (a former candle factory) in Hussenig located on the road to Mezire, part of which is made into a Catholic church, the other part being made into a school. Teachers there are: Teacher Avedis; Vahram Nahigian (killed in the 1895 massacres); Hagop Nahigian (killed in the 1895 massacres); Melkon Ghevontian (killed in 1915); Hagop Paragian (from Arabkir); Garabed Sarafian; Sarkis Maldjanian; Hadji Hagop Nadjarian.

There are also three girls’ schools in Hussenig. The pioneers of female education are Armenian Protestant women graduates from Harput. One of these is Teacher Kohar, who has held the position of teacher in the 1880s in both Harput town and Hussenig, going from house to house with the aim of teaching girls to read and write. At that same time the foundations are laid for girls’ education in Hussenig, when the Armenian Protestants open the first girls’ school in the room on the upper floor of Stepan Kalaydjian’s (Prod Depan) house. After a time it has been transferred to rooms in the house belonging to Hripsime Koro of the Perper family.

In the light of this Protestant initiative, Hussenig’s Apostolic Armenians want to have their own girls’ school. To this end Aladjadji Hampartsum Baba wills his house to the church parish council, with the condition that it is made into a girls’ school. Certain parish councillors object to the opening of a school for girls, but the Armenian Apostolic prelate of Harput, Rev Bedros Pakraduni, intervenes in this matter, even getting a permit for the foundation of a girls’ school from the governor Reuf Bey. The school is opened in 1885.

Teachers in this establishment are: Teacher Sarkis (from Hoghe); Sultan Der-Boghosian; Shushan Sadoyian; Turvanda Kharladjian; Markarid Nahigian; Aghavni Prigian (later Krikorian); Aghavni Demirdjian; Tevriz Tashjian; Mariam Donabedian; Hripsime Asadurian; Markarid Asadurian; Anna Hovsepain (later Bozoyian); Aghavni Yeshilian; Elmas Avakian; Tevriz Ichmelian; Haiguhi Ichmelian; Teacher Menduhi; Pailun Gosdanian; Markarid Asginian; Katine Asginian.

About 150 students attended this school each year in the years before 1915.

The Armenian Protestant girls’ school also develops quickly. When, in 1888 they have a new boys’ school, the previous one, in the church’s upper room, becomes the girls’ school. By 1900 the number of girl students has increased so much that the entire church building is allocated to the school.

The women teachers who have taught here are: Mariam Musheghian (from Hussenig); Sultan Der-Boghosian (from Hussenig); Khachkhatun Nahigian (from Hussenig); Repega Antreasian (from Hussenig, later Baghigian, killed in 1915); Yester Asdigian (from Hussenig); Maritsa Chopurian (from Hussenig); Azniv Antreasian (from Hussenig, later Mardigian); Lusentak Bozoyian (from Hussenig, later Maghigian); Maritsa Nahigian (from Hussenig, later Vartabedian); Azniv Nahigian (from Hussenig); Veronica Chopurian (from Hussenig, later Marutian); Sirvart Israyelian (from Hussenig); Armenush Nahigian (from Hussenig, later Vartabedian); Satenig Chopurian (killed in 1915); Anjel Vartabedian (from Hussenig); Paris Jamgochian (from Hussenig); Arshalius Sergidjian (from Hussenig); Anna Bozoyian (later Hovsepian, killed in 1915); Yeghisapet Antreasian (from Hussenig, later Kamburian); Tevriz Der Boghosian (from Hussenig); Turvanda Kalaydjian (from Khuylu/Telgadin village, now Kuyulu); Peruz Seyranian (from Afyonkarahisar); Yeghsa Terzian (from Mezire); Mariam Donabedian (from Harput town); Markarid Asadurian (from Harput town); Hripsime Asadurian (from Harput town); Hrasheg Antreasian (from Harput town); Azniv Baghdasarian (from Mezire); Yeranuhi Tashjian (from Arabkir); Nevart Sarkisian (from Arabkir).

The Capuchin fathers, in their turn, open a girls’ school in Hussenig, where Vartanush Mantarian (from Hussenig) and Miss Mariam (from Harput town) teach.

The Hussenig Pro-education Union is founded in 1892 in Worcester in the United States of America. Branches are later founded in Providence, Wonsaucket, Hartford, Boston, Lawrence, New York, Cambridge, Chelsea, Lynne, New Bridgeport and Whitinsville. [53]

Tadem (now Tadım)

The Tadem school has been initially located on the upper floor of a two-storey building. There are no desks and chairs. 75 to 100 students sit on mats or couches.

This building and the church are destroyed during the Anti-Armenian massacres of 1895 and many of the teachers become victims of the violence. The school reopens in 1896 in a semi-ruined state. It is finally completely rebuilt in 1898 and the lower floor is also finished. The whole building, from this point on, is used both as a church and a school.

Serious school work begins only after 1898, when funds from the Tadem Educational Union, founded in the Unites States of America, begins to arrive. Bedros Vosganian (from Havav village, now Ekinözu in the kaza of Palu) begins teaching in 1898. Among other teachers recalled are: Donig Giulbengian; Garabed Varjabedian; Hagop Israyelian; Harutiun Mergian (from Palu); Khoren Der-Hagopian (from Tadem); Hampartsum Harutiunian (a graduate of Mezire Central School); Levon Nersesian; Kegham Ardzruni; Hovhannes Uluhadjian; Asadur Sarkisian; Haigaz Heroyian (from Tadem); Garabed Manguni; Levon Manugian; Sarkis Paitondjian; Rev Simon Minasian (killed in 1915); Ardashes Varjabedian; Tateos Mangasarian.

The end-of-year school examinations take on the character of a solemn event in the village. The village priest, trustees, teachers, notable educational people invited from Harput and Mezire and the village populace are all present.

The village girls’ school is opened in the 1904-1905 educational year. The teachers teaching in it are: Mariam Aghadian; Veronica Der-Ananian; Miss Tanielian; Vartanush Arslanian; Yeghisapet; Anahid Sarkisian; Aghavni Demurdjian.

There is also a Catholic school in Tadem, with a person named Sarkis from Malatya teaching there. [54]

Khuylu/Telgadin (now Kuyulu)

The pioneer of the educational movement here is considered to be Hovhannes Beshgeotiurian, who is a Protestant from Harput. He arrives in Khuylu at the end of the 1850s, gathers a few boys together and begins teaching them to read and write in his room. His work achieves success, new students join and and a larger room is assigned in the Depoyians’ former barn, which becomes Khuylu’s first school by default. The Protestant pastor Rev Giragos Paragian (from Diyarbekir) becomes the director of this school in the 1860s. The Protestants build a new, two-storey school, the upper floor of which is reserved for teaching the elder students, the lower one being for the teaching of the young ones. The school is equipped with desks and chairs. Hovhannes Santigian (later a Protestant pastor) is appointed as director. Krikor Krikorian also teaches in this new school.

The first girls’ school is also founded by Armenian Protestants. Courses begin in 1878. The girl students get their own separate school in 1882, when a two-storey school building is constructed in the courtyard of the Khuylu Protestant church.

In the case of the Apostolic community, the first person dedicated to education is considered to be Teacher Magar, through whose initiative the first lessons begin to be given in the 1870s in a large hall next to the church. In those times lessons were only taught during the winter, when both teacher and student aren’t involved in agricultural work. A new two-storey building is constructed in 1891, the upper floor of which begins to be used for teaching the young boys and the adolescents. It is called the ‘Nersesian School’, in the name of the Armenian Apostolic Patriarch of Istanbul of the time. From 1908, graduates of the Khuylu school are accepted by the Euphrates College without having to pass entry examinations. There is a girls’ school next to that of the boys.

Alongside Teacher Magar, Asadur Gosdanian and Topal Asdur also teach in the Nersesian School. Unlike the old school, this time lessons are given throughout the whole year. Other teachers who have taught in the Nersesian School are: Hagop Parichanian; Melkon Donabedian; Sahag Simonian; Khachadur Tashjian (from Chemeshgedzak); Donabed Kazandjian; Hampartsum Zakarian; Hovsep Atamian; Bedros Zarifian; Garabed Prudian; Nshan Destegiul; Nazaret Boyadjian; Movses Muradian.

The funds provided by the compatriotic union formed by the emigrants from Khuylu living in the United States of America have had a great role in the building and development of the Nersesian School. It was formed in 1891, and was first called the ‘Khuylu Armenian Apostolic Youth Educational Union’. It has branches in Providence, Lynne, Haverhill, Worcestor and Nashua.

There is an Armenian Catholic school operating in Khuylu, with boys’ and girls’ departments. The teachers here are: Stepanian; Asadur Khanoyian; Haiganush Tanielian (from Malatya).

Six educational establishments exist here; the Apostolic Nersesian School (boys and girls) with 40-50 students; the Protestant school (boys and girls) with 25-30 students; and the Catholic school (boys and girls) with 5-10 students. [55]

Pazmashen (now Bizmişin/Sarıçubuk)

The existence of primitive kinds of schools operating in this village in the 1850s is remembered; in other words a teacher would gather boys of various ages around him, both teacher and students sitting on the floor, with reading and writing, sharagans (canticles), readings from holy books and so forth being taught. Teacher Hovhannes’ (from Hussenig) school was one of these, which Abdal Boghosian, the author of the book about Pazmashen, attended. The founding of a regular school in Pazmashen took place in 1890. A new building has been constructed next to the Holy Mother of God church. The initiative for this was provided by the Education Union founded in the village, which receives financial help from Armenians from Pazmashen who have emigrated to the Unites States of America. The latter have founded the ‘Pazmashen Apostolic Educational Union’ in Chelsea in 1892, which has begun to provide funds for teachers and poor students. The Armenian houses in Pazmashen have been destroyed during the 1895 anti-Armenian violence. So was the school, but in 1898 the villagers succeeded in constructing a new and larger one.

Among teachers who have taught in this Pazmashen educational establishment are: Apraham Eoksiuzian; Ohan Der-Bedrosian; Garabed Prudian.

The school has a girls’ department. Both the boys’ and girls’ departments of the school have been moved to new buildings after 1908.

There is an Armenian Catholic school operating in the village, in which Harutiun Khugoyian teaches. [56]

1) Boghos Djigerdjian. One of the founders of ‘Pazmashen Apostolic Educational Union’ (Source: Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)
2) Murad Ghazarian. One of the founders of ‘Pazmashen Apostolic Educational Union’ (Source: Vahé Haig,
Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)

Keorpe (Körpe)

The village’s old school is located next to the church of the Holy Mother of God. In 1908, thanks to the financial assistance priovided by the Keorpe Educational Union, founded by emigrants from the village living in the United States of America, a new boys’ school is constructed, with the old one being assigned to girls’ education. [57]

Dzovk/Geoldjiuk (now Gölcük)

120 girls and boys are attending the schools in Dzovk in the days before the beginning of the First World War. [58]

Dzovk/Geoldjiuk (now Gölcük) village, 1913. The students of the St Nshan church first (primary) school. Seated, on the extreme left, is Rev Boghos Jamgochian. In the centre of the rear row, Sarkis Madteosian (teacher). Back row, on the extreme right, Mesrob Navarian (a teacher, wearing a fez). Seated, on the extreme right, Haigazun Aramian (a teacher, wearing a fez) (Source: Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)

Khulakiugh/Hulvenk (now Şahinkaya)

The school is located next to the St Kevork church, and has been completely refurbished in 1906. It is attended by about 100 boys and girls.

Educational work in the village has been greatly assisted by the ‘Khulakiugh Apostolic Educational Union’ founded in Waukegan in the United States of America in 1904.

The Armenian Protestants also have their own school here. [59]

Khulakiugh/Hulvenk (now Şahinkaya) village’s school (Source: Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)

Hoghe (now Yurtbashi, Yurtbaşı)

Hoghe (now Yurtbaşı) village’s two-storey school (built in 1911) (Source: Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)

There have only been primitive schools in the village until the 1880s. Armenian Protestants have subsequently established a regular school. The Armenian Apostolic community has done the same a short time later. A new Apostolic school has been built in 1911 with financial assistance provided by emigrants from the village living in the United States of America. It is these last who founded, in 1891, the ‘Hoghe Apostolic Educational Union’. Larger numbers of students of both sexes attend school in this new two-storey building. Teachers who have taught in this village are: Khachadur Minasian; Hovhannes Koltughian (later Rev Vahan); Teacher Vagharshag; Kapriel Garoyian. [60]


The village school is located next to the Holy Mother of God church. It has about 400 students of both sexes. The teachers who have taught here from 1890 until 1915 are: Melkon Ghevontian; Azadig Kololian; Hovhannes Kiurkdjian; Hovhannes Terzian; Hampartsum Yeramian; Teacher Hripsime.

It was possible to found the school thanks to the financial assistance provided by Hadji Ohan Effendi Yaghdjian. This merchant from Kesrig was provider of foodstuffs to the Ottoman army. The ‘Kesrig Educational Union’ founded in Worcestor in the United States of America in 1888 has played an important role in the development and improvement of the school. With the financial assistance sent by the Union, the Kesrig parish council has bought a bakery in Mezre, the profits of which are assigned to educational work. [61]

Ichme (Içme)

Both Apostolic and Protestant boys’ and girls’ schools exist. Among the teachers are remembered: Mesrob Stepanian; Arshag Margosian; Hovahnnes Osgianian; Teacher Blind Boghos; Teachjer Markarid. [62]

Morenig (now Chatalcheshme, Çatalçeşme)

Apostolic and Protestant boys’ and girls’ primary schools exist in this village. The first financial assistance is received from the Morenig Educational Union established in the United States of America in 1888. The Apostolic school has been completely rebuilt in 1912 and is equipped with new furniture. The teachers here are: Ardeshes Manugian; Levon Manugian; Peniamin Diradurian; S. Maldjanian.

The Protestant school begins work in the village in the 1890s. Teachers serving here are: S. Kalaydjian; Baghdasar Goshgarian; Y. Avakian; Ghazarosian.

Araksi Bedigian is remembered among the teachers in the girls’ department. [63]

Morenig village’s school. The photograph was taken after 1912, when the school had already been rebuilt. The person sitting in the centre (on the left) is the village priest, Rev Maghakia Atanas (Source: Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)

Komk (now Yenikapı)

The school is located next to the church of St Nshan. Bedros Vartanian (Havav, 1865 – killed in 1915) has served as a teacher for many years here. The number of students is about 75 in 1905. The need is felt for the construction of a larger school. The work has bben started, and a new floor is added to the old single-storey school building. There are about 100 students in 1909, 10 of whom are girls. A new teacher, Kevork Geoldjiukian, a graduate of Euphrates College, is appointed. It has been during his tenure that improvements have been made, classes organised and new textbooks obtained. The number of students rises to 150 by 1910, including 25 girls. Under these circumstances the girls’ department is moves to a room in Hovagim Kuyumdjian’s house and a woman teacher invited from Mezire. Students also attend both schools in Komk from the surrounding villages. Geoldjiukian is succeeded by Hovhannes Garabedian (from Harput town and a graduate of the Mezire Central School). [64]

Chor Kegh

A regular school has been built in the village in 1913. It has been assigned to boys education only. [65]


A regular school has been opened in Sursur in the 1890s with financial hep provided by the Educational Union founded in Worcester in the United States of America. Both the Protestants and Catholics have their own schools in this village. [66]

Yegheki (now Aksaray)

Primary schools for both boys and girls operate in this village, with a total of about 150 students. Levon and Nshan Dakesian and Dikran Sarkisian all teach in the boys’ school, with Sinanush Ghazarian and Ardemis Aharonian teaching in the girls’ school. Both schools receive financial assistance from the Educational Union formed in 1892 in the United States of America by emigrants from Yegheki. [67]

Sheikh Hadji

An Armenian school exists in the village. It is recorded that from 1913 several local Turkish families have registered their children in this Armenian establishment. [68]

Shentil (now Bahchekapi, Bahçekapı)

The village has both boy’s and girls’ schools next to the church. The teachers in the boys’ school have successively been: Teacher Baghdasar; Teacher Ghazar; Teacher Boghos; Asadur Kasbarian; Hovagim Aghadjanian; Bedros Zarifian. Negdar Yeretsian teaches in the girls’ school.

The total number of students is close to 80. The Educational Union set up in 1891 by emigrants from the village in Worcester in the United States of America has provided funds for the development of educational life in Shentil. [69]

Vartatil (now Yazikonak, Yazıkonak)

The village has both boy’s and girls’ schools next to the church of St Kevork. Emigrant people from the village have, in 1892, founded an Educational Union in the United States of America that provides financial assistance for the schools. Teachers in the boys’ school are: Hampartsum Gelenian (Hamasdegh); Minas Aharonian; Stepan Papazian.

Teachers in the girls’ school are: Varvar Markarian; Ardem Maghakian. [70]

Upper Khokh (now Dedeyolu), 1912. The village school students. Also appearing in the photograph are the teacher Barsam Chubigian (in the centre), Rev Kristapor Manugian (on the left) and Zakar Yeghigian, the trustee (on the right) (Source: Manug K. Djizmedjian, Harput and its sons [in Armenian], Fresno, 1955)

Other villages

Armenian schools are also recalled as existing in the villages of Arpavud, [71] Upper Mezire, [72] and Kailu, [73] and Upper Khokh (now Dedeyolu).

Photo gallery

1) Armenian orphans in the Mezire German orphanage (Source: Sonnen-Aufgang, Heft 3., 14. Jahrgang, Dezember 1911)
2) The Ebenezer boys’ orphanage, Mezire. The house supervisor (‘hairig’) sounding the wooden clappers (Source:
Sonnen-Aufgang, Heft 1., 15. Jahrgang, Oktober 1912)
3) A group picture of the teachers of the German schools. Seated, left to right: unknown, Yeghsa Sarafian, Hansine Marcher, unknown, Marta Minasian. Standing, central row, left to right: Mihran Kaprielian, Mardiros Budjicanian, Bedros Garabedian, Johannes Ehmann, Ernst Sommer, Garabed Musheghian. Last row, left to right: Nazareth Mughalian, Hagop Movsesian, Kevork Zulumian, Baghdasar Ghazarosian, Stepan Sarafian, Arshag Rumian, Haigazun Aramian (Source: Vahé Haig,
Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)
4) The German seminar (Deutches Lehrerseminar, usutschanots or teachers training school) (Source: Ernst Sommer,
Was ich im Morgenlande sah und sann, Bremen, 1926)
5) A 1908 graduate of Mezire’s German school: Hovhannes Garabedian’s certificate (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian,
History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)
6) Mezire. A group picture of boys in the German orphanage learning a trade. Seated in the centre is the master craftsman (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian,
History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)

1) The children of the Mezire German orphanage on a picnic (Source: Sonnen-Aufgang, Heft 4, 15. Jahrgang, Januar 1913)
2) A view from Hussenig (Source: G. H. Aharonian (Editor),
Hussenig [in Armenian], ‘Hairenik’ Press, Boston, 1965)
3) Mardiros Bujicanian (one of the notable teachers of the German school) and his family. Standing, left to right: Haig, Vergine, Arsen, Varsenig, Hagop. Seated, on the left: Mardiros Bujicanian. The small boy standing right in front of him is Taniel; the young girl standing to his right is Vartuhi and, seated to his right, is Shushanig (his wife and mother of 7 children) (Source: Peniamin Jamgochian,
History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973)
4) A view from Mezire (Source: Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)
5) Students of the Khuylu/Telgadin (now Kuyulu) village first (primary) school. Centre, seated, left to right: Hampartsum Zakarian (teacher), Rev Khoren Pashalian (Source: Vahé Haig,
Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959)

1) Mezire. The German girls’ (on the left) and boys’ (on the right) orphanages (Source: Ferdinand Brockes, Quer durch Klein-Asien, Gütersloh, 1900)
2) The German boys' orphanage, Mezire (Source: Ernst Lohmann,
Skizzen und Bilder aus dem Orient, Frankfurt, 1899)

  • [1] Manug K. Djizmedjian, Harput and its sons [in Armenian], Fresno, 1955, pp. 75-76.
  • [2] Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain [in Armenian], New York, 1959, pp. 409-426, 436-441.
  • [3] Djizmedjian, Harput and its sons…, p. 162.
  • [4] Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain …, pp. 441-452, 622-623, 723-725. Djizmedjian, Harput and its sons…, pp. 75-77, 149.
  • [5] Peniamin Jamgochian, History of the Mamuretül-aziz German orphanages [in Armenian], Beirut, 1973, pp. 211-216.
  • [6] Ibid., pp. 25, 29, 82.
  • [7] Ibid., p. 29.
  • [8] Ibid., p. 31; Johannes Ehmann, “Schularbeit in Mesereh“ in Sonnen-Aufgang, Heft 9., 16. Jahrgang, Juni 1914, p. 131.
  • [9] Jamgochian, History of the Mamuretül-aziz …, pp. 26, 41-42
  • [10] Ernst Sommer, “Knabenwaisenhaus Eben-Ezer“ in Sonnen-Aufgang, Heft 6., 15. Jahrgang, März 1913, p. 89.
  • [11] Jamgochian, History of the Mamuretül-aziz …, pp. 26, 175.
  • [12] Ibid., pp. 45-48, 50, 144-145, 147, 149-150.
  • [13] Ibid., pp. 161-163, 169.
  • [14] Ibid., pp. 26, 326.
  • [15] Ibid., p. 149.
  • [16] Ibid., pp. 39, 51, 55-56.
  • [17] Ibid., p. 120.
  • [18] Ibid., pp. 121-122.
  • [19] Ibid., pp. 129-130, 166, 326.
  • [20] Ibid., pp. 136-137.
  • [21] Ibid., pp. 32, 128, 138.
  • [22] Ibid., pp. 31, 32, 90.
  • [23] Ibid., pp. 36-37, 61.
  • [24] Ibid., p. 60.
  • [25] Ernst Sommer, “Die deutsche Knabenschule in Mesereh“ in Sonnen-Aufgang, Heft 6., 15. Jahrgang, März 1913, p. 89.
  • [26] Jamgochian, History of the Mamuretül-aziz…, pp. 64-87.
  • [27] Ibid., p. 149; Djizmedjian, Harput and its sons…, p. 370.
  • [28] Hansine Marcher, “Bericht über das Seminar und die Mädchenschule in Mesereh“ in Sonnen-Aufgang, Heft 3., 14. Jahrgang, Dezember 1911, p. 38.
  • [29] Jamgochian, History of the Mamuretül-aziz …, p. 150.
  • [30] Ibid., p. 65.
  • [31] Ibid.
  • [32] Ibid., pp. 58, 64-65.
  • [33] Ernst Sommer, “Unter den Knaben in Ebenezer“, in Sonnen-Aufgang, Heft 1., 15. Jahrgang, Oktober 1912, p. 6.
  • [34] Ehmann, “Schularbeit in Mesereh“…, p. 134.
  • [35] Jamgochian, History of the Mamuretül-aziz…, pp. 89-90.
  • [36] Ibid., pp. 89-91.
  • [37] Ibid., p. 92.
  • [38] Ibid., p. 89.
  • [39] Ibid., p. 93.
  • [40] Ibid., p. 94.
  • [41] Ibid., p. 94.
  • [42] Ibid., pp. 94-102.
  • [43] Ehmann, “Schularbeit in Mesereh“…, pp. 133-134.
  • [44] Jamgochian, History of the Mamuretül-aziz…, pp. 102-105.
  • [45] Ibid., pp. 158, 163, 167.
  • [46] Ibid., pp. 107-109.
  • [47] Manug B. Dzeron, Parchandj village: a complete history [in Armenian], Boston, 1938, pp. 177-178.
  • [48] Ibid., p. 181.
  • [49] Ibid., pp. 177-178.
  • [50] Ibid., p. 178.
  • [51] Ibid., pp. 178-179.
  • [52] History of Habusi village [in Armenian], ‘Baikar’ Press, Boston, 1963, pp. 21-38.
  • [53] G. H. Aharonian (Editor), Hussenig [in Armenian], ‘Hairenik’ Press, Boston, 1965, pp. 40-55, 58-64, 89-92, 203-221; Marderos Deranian, Hussenig. The origin, history, and destruction of an Armenian town, translated by Hagop Martin Deranian, Armenian Heritage Press, Belmont, 1994, էջ 63-81.
  • [54] Kurken Mkhitarian, Our village of Tadem (in old and modern times) [in Armenian], ‘Hairenik’ Press, Boston, 1958, pp. 48-61; Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain…, pp. 909-910.
  • [55] Ibid., pp. 801-806.
  • [56] Ibid., pp. 839-840; Abdal Koledj Boghosian, A comprensive history of Pazmashen [in Armenian], ‘Baikar’ Press, Boston, 1930, pp. 48, 56-60, 115, 172-173.
  • [57] Harutiun K. Shabuhian, The history of Korpe or Keorpe village, [copy of the manuscript version in Armenian], 1917 (reworked in 1958), United States, pp. 36-40; Vahé Haig, Harput and its golden plain…, pp. 943-944.
  • [58] Ibid., pp. 775-776.
  • [59] Ibid., pp. 858-860.
  • [60] Ibid., pp. 869-870, 876-877.
  • [61] Ibid., pp. 880-882.
  • [62] Ibid., p. 889.
  • [63] Ibid., pp. 904-905.
  • [64] Ibid., pp. 920-922.
  • [65] Ibid., p. 934.
  • [66] Ibid., p. 949.
  • [67] Ibid., p. 957.
  • [68] Ibid., p. 963.
  • [69] Ibid., p. 969.
  • [70] Ibid., pp. 974-975.
  • [71] Ibid., p. 954.
  • [72] Ibid., p. 968.
  • [73] Ibid., p. 973.