VAN, Turkey (A.W.)—The Van Metropolitan Municipal Council restored the old names of 704 neighborhoods, Turkish newspapers reported.
The municipality has said that it will use these old names in its official documents. In each local municipality research was conducted to identify the old names of the neighborhoods.
In Başkale 81 villages and neighborhoods received their old names back; in Çaldıran 86; in Çatak 34; in Edremit 18; in Erciş 105; in Gevaş 37; in Gürpınar 174; in İpekyolu 50; in Muradiye 41; in Özalp 53; and inside the city proper 25.
The decision was approved by members of the council who were from the pro-Kurdish party as well as the ruling party. Reportedly, village signs will also be changed and include the Kurdish and Armenian names.
Before the Genocide, there were around 90,000 Armenians living in 350 villages in what is today the province of Van, according to Les Arméniens dans l’Empire Ottoman à la veille du génocide by historians Raymond Kevorkian and Paul Paboudjian. There were 382 churches and 65 monasteries in the area.