Anny Bakalian gave us this collection; it contains photographs depicting members of the Bakalian and Ashekian families and their relatives and friends. Anny is the granddaughter of Sarkis Bakalian (1878-1937) who was born in Kayseri/Gesaria, but at an early age moved to Adana, and became a renowned businessman in that city. His business partners were brothers Parsegh and Dikran Ashekian also originally from Gesaria. Dikran was his sister Marie’s husband, and later Sarkis married Parsegh’s eldest daughter Haigouhi. The Ashekian-Bakalian firm had factories of flour, cotton and ice and wholesale grocery stores. In 1909, during the anti-Armenian pogroms in Adana, their properties were plundered and burned. Interestingly, the partners had ordered machines from Davero, Henrici, & Co. millbuilders in Zurich in 1908. Therefore, the modern/electric flourmill was installed after the massacres; it was one of four modern factories in Adana, and the only Armenian-owned. This mill proved crucial for the survival of the Ashekian and Bakalian families from Genocide.
During World War I, the Ottoman authorities designated the flourmill an institution of military and strategic importance; therefore, the operators (members of the Bakalian and Ashekian families) were exempt from the deportation orders. Nonetheless, Dikran Ashekian’s family was deported until Aleppo. Thanks to relations with Djemal pasha, they managed to stay in Aleppo until the Armistice (1918) and were spared from being extradited to the desert. When Cilicia became under the jurisdiction of the French Forces, Dikran Ashekian and his family returned to Adana.
Alerted from a Turkish officer to leave Cilicia, Sarkis Bakalian with his wife and children immigrated first to Cyprus in 1919, and then settled permanently in Lebanon in the mid-1920s. Again Sarkis Bakalian established a flourmill in Qarantina (north of Beirut port) in late 1936. Today, fourth generation Bakalian sisters run this flourmill.
In 1911, Sarkis Bakalian married Haigouhi Ashekian (Adana, 1892 – Beirut, 1966). They had five sons: Torkom (born in 1912, died at the age of three); Pakrat (born in 1913, in Mersin, died in Beirut 1976); Mihran (who died in his infancy); Ara (also died in his infancy); and Vazken (born in 1921, in Larnaca, died Beirut 2007). They also had a daughter, Mampil (born in 1919, in Mersin and died in 2000 in New York).
This collection of photographs is currently in the possession of Anny Bakalian in New York. She is the daughter of Pakrat Bakalian and Sona Bakalian (née Alahverdi). Here, we present a selection of photographs from the collection. Additional photographs will be posted on this page on a regular basis.
This is the photo of Dikran Ashekian and his wife Marie Bakalian/Ashekian and family. It was taken in Aleppo circa 1916-1917.
The man in the center with a fez is Dikran Ashekian, to his right is his wife Marie Bakalian/Ashekian, on his left is their grandson (with fez) Haroutyun Kazandjian. Behind them, from right to left: Diran Kazandjian and on his lap Anahid Kazandjian, Adel Ashekian/Kazandjian, Arpine Kazandjian, Mourat Ashekian, Zarouhi Ashekian, Lousadzin Ashekian, Tsoline Ashekian.
1) Mersin, 1911. Garabed Ashekian (1889, Adana – 1983, Montreal), brother of Hayguhi Bakalian (née Ashekian, wife of Sarkis Bakalian).
2) Mersin, 1911. Garabed Ashekian in the center. Sitting to his right is his cousin Mourad Ashekian (son of Dikran Ashekian). The boy on the left is Garabed’s brother Hagop Ashekian (born Adana 1901, died Los Angeles in 1991).
3) On the left is Dirouhi Ashekian (née Iynedjian; 1868, Kayseri/Gesaria – July 15, 1968, Beirut); her husband is Parsegh Ashekian (1848 Gesaria-1901 Adana). Their daughter, Haigouhi, later married Sarkis Bakalian. On the right is Nevrig Ashekian the only sister of the seven Ashekian brothers including Parsegh and Dikran. She was born in Gesaria in 1870, married Djivan Telalian of Gesaria. She died in Beirut in 1937. She did not have children. She was known as “Eme” (sister-in-law).
There are many photographs in Anny Bakalian’s collection that lack captions or explanatory notes; this is one of them. Most probably, they are members or friends of the Bakalian and Ashekian families. It has been determined that the photograph was taken in the late 19th century.
1) Sarkis Bakalian. Photograph was probably taken in Larnaca or Beirut, in the mid-1920s.
2) Sarkis Bakalian with his family. On his left is his wife, Haigouhi, on his lap is Vazken (born in Larnaca in 1921), to his right is his son Pakrat. The girl sitting is Mampil.
Louise Ashekian, photograph taken in Vienna or more likely a photographer (Bern H. Wachtlc) from Vienna. Presumably, the military uniform Louise is wearing is a costume or a studio prop. Louise (born 1909 in Adana) is the second daughter of Mihran Ashekian (born in Kayseri 1862-died of cancer in Adana 1906) and Gyulenia (the daughter of Garabed Palamutian of Kayseri). Mihran was the younger brother of Parsegh and Dikran Ashekian. Louise was not married, lived in Beirut with her sister Parouhi and her family.
Members of the Bakalian family, in Lebanon.
1) Haigouhi Bakalian (left seated) and friends in Lebanon. Behind her is Sirarpi her niece (daughter Marina and Bedross Ashekian) and her son Vasken. Her daughter Mampil center back.
2) Photograph taken in the 1920s. In the center, seated, with the white beard, is Archbishop Bedros Saradjian (1870-1940), who later became the Catholicos of Cilicia. In the 1920s, he served as the Prelate of Cyprus. On his right is Haigouhi Bakalian. Behind Haigouhi, standing, is Sarkis Bakalian. The girl seated at the cleric’s feet is Mampil. The photograph was most probably taken in Cyprus.
1) and 2) The Bakalian family and friends picnicking in the Lebanese village of Dhour El Choueir.
3) This photo is taken in the Kazandjian photo studio in Bandirma circa 1908. The man sitting in the middle is Hovannes Iynedjian, he is surrounded with the children of his sister Nevart Iynedjian (born Kayseri 1981, died Istanbul 1967) and huband Taniel Allahverdian. Haroutyun is the oldest (seated to his left) [he eventually immigrated to Yerevan and had two sons], Kevork is the boy standing, Hripsime (born Bandirma, June 26, 1891- died Knoxville (TN) January 12, 1984) in the middle, and Nevart behind Haroutyun. The boy sitting to Hovannes is Stepan Allahverdian and behind him is his sister Louise (born Bandirma in 1900, died 1965 in New York). Stepan and Louise are the grandchildren of Nevart’s eldest sister Gyuldoudou Iynedjian Bohdjelian. In addition Gyuldoudou’s daughter, Mannig (born Gesaria 1873, died New York 1971), married Hampartsum Allahverdian, brother of Taniel.
These three photographs lack captions or explanatory notes. The individuals in the photographs have not been identified.
Photo above is the Allahverdian family c 1901.The photo is taken in the Kazandjian photo studio, in Bandirma/Bandırma (same as the photo studio taken in 1908)
Seated are the parents, Taniel and Nvart (nee Iynedjian) Allahverdian. Haroutyun is the oldest (standing behind them), Kevork is the boy standing between the parents, Hripsime (eldest child) is standing behind the father, and Nvart is by the mother.
Kevork Allahverdi was born in Bandırma in 1891 (died Istanbul May 8, 1970). To learn a trade, he was dispatched to his maternal uncle, Hovhannes Iynedjian in Kastamonu. Before World War I, he moved his parents to Konstanza (Romania) where they had relatives. After the Armistice, Kevork returned to Istanbul, opened a grocery shop and married Kohar Kledjian in 1921 (born Kayseri 1894, died Istanbul July 8, 1997). In 1934, Kevork and his family had to drop the “ian” of their name because of the “Surname Law,” part of the Turkification policies imposed by Atatürk. They had one daughter, Sona, and two sons, Taniel and Sahag. Sona (born in Istanbul, May 25, 1922, died in New York, March 27, 2006) is Anny Bakalian’s mother.
Photo of Nevart Allahverdian Baltayan (born Bandırma in 1889, died Istanbul 1971) in Mersin in 1913.
In 1913, Nevart visited her maternal aunt, Diruhi Ashekian and her cousins in Mersin (see photo with Torkom—son of Sarkis and Hayguhi Bakalian 1912-1915).
It was in Mersin that she was engaged to Garabed M. Baltayan of Kayseri. He was a manager at the Ottoman Bank. The couple was planning to get married in the autumn; however, her family fled to Romania due to WWI. When the Allahverdian family returned during the Armistice, Nevart and Garabed got married and settled in Istanbul.
Their only son Ara M. Baltayan (born Istanbul September 6, 1920, died New Haven (CT) August 7, 2015) attended Robert College on the Bebek campus for degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering and after his military service he immigrated to the United States. He also earned a Master’s degree at Yale, also in engineering. He excelled in Research and Development for many years; one of his projects was to perfect traffic lights.
Ara married Marie Arakelian, a second generation Armenian American who spoke Turkish. Her father owned a rug shop in New Haven. They had two sons and a daughter. His mother’s chagrin was that she did not see her son again nor meet her grandchildren.