History of Khoshmat - Dr. Mardiros H. Chakoian

Editorial note


Vartan Vartanian


Chapter 1: Palu and the fort

Chapter 2: Monasteries and Sanctuaries


Chapter 1: Education in Palou

Chapter 2: United Association of Armenians in Palou

• Havav

• Nerkhi

Chapter 3

• Villages of Palou

• Statistics of Palou Armenian-inhabited villages

• The Great Earthquake of Palou


Chapter 1

• Khoshmat

• The Holy Mother of God Church

• The Church of Khoshmat

• Priests

Chapter 2 : Sanctuaries

• Abdul-Mseh (Donag)

• Holy Cross

• Holy Cathedral

• St. Giragos

• St. Mangig

Chapter 3

• Springs

• Field Springs

• Humanlike Stones

Chapter 4

• Tbrotsasirats Association and the School of Khoshmat

• Teachers (1880-96)

• The First Graduates of the School of Khoshmat

• The Last Graduates of Khoshmat’s High School (1913-1914)

• Khoshmat Through My Eyes

Chapter 5: The Intellectuals of Khoshmat

• Arakel Babajanian

• Bedros effendi Fermanian

• Hampartsoum Oulousian

• Vahan Oulousian

• Vartan Dirad

• Garabed Klanian

• Sarkis B. Klanian

• Toros Klanian

• Bedros Papazian

• Boghos H. Chakoian

• Haroutiun Vartanian

• Manoug Dzaghigian

• Kapriel Frangian

• Dikran Ghazaros Bedigian

• Hagop Ghazaros Bedigian

• Mikayel Khodjoian

• Boghos Deradourian

• Hampartsoum Harutounian (Bournousouzian)

• Bethlehem Markarian (Shaghougian)

• Mgrdich Malian

• Boghos Papazian

• Karekin Garabedian

• Father Manoug Khodjoian

• Hovhannes Klanian

Chapter 6 : The Important Initiatives of the Tbrotsasirats Association of Khoshmat

Chapter 7 : Ladies Auxiliary Society of Khoshmat

Chapter 8 : Architects

• Aznavour Efendi Khodjoian

• Toros Khalifa Malian (Ghazarian) Kara Toros

• Mardiros Ghazarian

• Simon Khalifa Bedigian or Melkonian

• Arakel Milidosian

• Garabed Milidosian

• Sahag Oulousian

• Haji Krikor Milidosian

• Donabed Khabloian (Arghntsonts)

• Markar Shaghougian

• Kokona Vartan

Chapter 9 : Various types of crafts

• Joinery

• Masonry

• Carpeting

• Pottery

Chapter 10 : Manufacturing

• Oil presses of Khoshmat

• Hand Millstone

• Fruits

• Vegetables


Chapter 1 : Traditions and Customs

• New Year

• Christmas

• Paregentan

• Easter

• Wedding

• Life of the Bride

• Songs

• Popular Medicine

• Wishes and blessings

• Curses

• Things portending misfortune

• Dream interpretation

• Riddles

• Sayings (Fables)

• Provincial Proverbs (Talks)

• Commonly used phrases

• Games (for boys)

• Words of wisdom from the elderly people

Chapter 2 : Historic Characters and Famous Events

• Father Khachadour Shiroian

• Father Reteos Simonian

• Mardiros Shahen Chakoian

• Sarkis effendi Dzaghigian’s royal medal

• Boghos Harutounian

• Nazar Nazarian

• The Power of the Pitchfork and Khachig Chakoian

• How Sarkis Vartanian Drowned

• Fragment of Soukias Depoian’s Life

• How We Left Khoshmat and The Intercession of St. Mangig in 1896

• Farewell of Seven Young Men

• Fragments of Simon Simonian’s Life

• Abduction of Paro (A Group of Pilgrims)

• Tax Collectors

• Incident with Bedros Simonian

• Interesting Memoirs of Krikor Der Khachadourian (Koko)

• Mardiros Shaghougian (Kaloian) - One of His Episodes

• Fragment of Sarkis Shahin Chakoian’s Life

• Hagop Tatigian (Ali Baba)

• Haroutiun Deradourian and the Incident with the Box of Eggs

• The herdsman of Khoshmat, by Sarkis Shahrigian

• An Interesting Incident in the Life of the Herdsman


Chapter 1 : Notorious Beys of Palou

• Keor Abdullah bey

• Khoshmatlian Dynasty and Beys

Chapter 2

• Khoshmat Resistance – 1897

• The Bloody Fight

• Trial of the Beys

• The End of the Beys

• The Meliks of Khoshmat

Chapter 3 : The Order to Begin the Massacre

• The Role of Garabed Klanian and Misak Shaghougian (Kaloian)

• Khachadour Shiroian’s memoirs (From Canada)

• Mgrdich Taraian (from Marseille): Taken from his Bloody Memoirs

• Apkar Simonian

• Baghdasar Deradourian (from Marseille): Memoirs

Chapter 4

• Soldiers of Khoshmat

• Khoshmat Volunteers

• A Fragment of Volunteer’s Life

• A Fragment of Benjamin Shaghougian’s Life (A Volunteer)

• Other Soldiers Native of Khoshmat

Chapter 5 : Photos of Khoshmat Armenians

Chapter 6 : People of Khoshmat in Constantinople (Taken from the notes of the late Toros Klanian)

Chapter 7 : People of Khoshmat in Diaspora

• People of Khoshmat in France

• People of Khoshmat in Soviet Armenia

• People of Khoshmat in Syria

• People of Khoshmat in Canada

• People of Khoshmat in America

Khachadur Shiroian's memoirs (From Canada)

Khachig’s memories from his youth are very interesting and play an important role in this book. He says:

Before the siege of Khoshmat the Turkish Government ordered to disarm the villagers; the same day the police officers came and gathered the cattle of the village, taking them to the town of Palu. All the families had to give their oxen and cows, sheep and goats, kids and lambs, donkeys and calves to the police officers. When it was the turn of the Nazarian family (Khentents), Nazar Nazarian took out his mules and giving a pretty bad blow to the head of the police officer (with a stick) he said: "Take them all! Will you feel satisfied then? Oh, we are strong and brave but what’s the point if we are not able to use that power?"

Lying on the ground the police officer begged Nazar not to kill him, shouting:
"This is the order of our Government. What can I do, sir?"

Many villagers accompanied their animals in hopes that they would be able to bring them back one day. They asked for support from Fermanian, but their hopes were dashed.

When Khachig was returning to the village with his friends, he noticed the dead bodies of Armenians lying on the roadside in Nerkhi. Approaching Khoshmat, they saw that the village was seized by the Turkish and Kurdish soldiers. They chose another path and appeared in the village Maman, where they found a lot of people from Khoshmat who had sought shelter in this village before the massacre took place.

However, Turkish soldiers reached this Kurdish village as well, searched all the houses to find men age fifteen and above and, tying these men up, they took them to Palu. Later these men were axed and thrown into the river.

Shiroian writes that when the men were taken to Palu, the girls and women of the village were made to marry the Kurdish men; some of them became servants.

“Sahag and Sdepan Ulusian, Vartan S. Shahrigian and I worked for the Kurdish people without any remuneration. One night we encountered a Kurdish man (we knew him before) who led us to a place where the women of Khoshmat were staying; there we met our mothers.”
Hasan from Dersim, the executioner of the people of Khoshmat, somehow heard that Khachig was alive. In Khoshmat, Hasan found Khachig and, taking him to the house of the Shiroian family, tried to force him to show the place where his father’s treasure was hidden. Despite the efforts of Hasan, Khachig stayed adamant, swearing that he "had no idea where it could be."
That same night Hasan and his servant brought Khachig to the cemetery located at the foot of Jghlisar. He made Khachig dig a ditch equal to his height and lie there afterwards. Hasan started cursing and swearing on the Quran that if Khachig kept acting stubborn he would order his man to kill him right there. Upon hearing these terrible threats, Khachig told Hasan that the treasure was buried next to the pillar built in their shed. Returning to the stud of the Shiroian family, Hasan’s servants started digging under the pillar by candlelight. However, they didn’t find anything there. Agitated and frustrated, Hasan threw Khachig into the ditch and said: "I am done with your lies. If you keep lying to me, I swear in the name of Allah and Muhammad I will bury you right in that ditch."
In desperation Khachig said: "Agha, I have been away from my house for a long time. I don’t remember quite well under which pillar the treasure was hidden. Please give me some time till the morning so that I can think properly and show you the place of the treasure with fresh eyes. If you wish you can imprison me in this shed which has only one door and not even a single window."

Hasan was pleased with this answer and found it quite logical. The door of the shed was locked from the outside; the guard was standing by watching the prisoner. But Khachig knew exactly where the ‘’communication hole’’ was located. When the guard fell asleep, Khachig slipped out through the hole and, taking some small stones and bricks with him, he snuck into to the shed of the Ulusian family. Then he crept into the streets and reached the town.

At the end of the war Khachig managed to leave Palu; visiting Khoshmat, he found out that his mother had been killed by the tyrant Hasan.

Out of 120 houses, only 25 had not been destroyed; the rest were either burnt into ashes or totally demolished. Even the huge school building was destroyed. The only comforting thing was that despite being looted, the church was still standing. There a few old ladies of the village sat side by side, comforting each other.

Khachig left for Kharpert with some of his friends. In 1922, joining a group of 2000 Armenians, they arrived in Jarablus.

Khachig says: "Though we had already faced a lot of sufferings, the Turkish Government not only robbed us but also created obstacles to make it impossible for us to get to Syria, which was under the flag of France in those days. Due to the intervention of the American and British Embassies, we finally left the Turkish land. However, when crossing the Tigris, we had the misfortune to lose one of our villagers, Khachig Klanian."
In Aleppo they met people from Khoshmat who had survived the massacres. The ones who had relatives in America or any other country went to join them. Due to the efforts of Mr. Sarkis Klanian, a few months later Khachig managed to leave for Canada and settle there. This was a plaintive, heartbreaking, but at the same time amazing liberation story of a man who managed to escape from the claws of death through his own cleverness. Currently he lives in Montreal with his family and has a very prosperous trading business.