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ERICH F. SCrlMlQT



ARMENIA

TRAVELS AND STUDIES



VOL. II



ARMENIA

Travels and Studies



BY

H. F. B. LYNCH



Nature's vast frame, the web of human things.

Shelley, Alastor.

Who can foretell our future? Spare me the attempt.
We are like a harvest reaped by bad husbandmen
amidst encircling gloom and cloud.

JOHX K.VTHOLIKOS

Ariiicniati historian of the Xtli centmy

Ch. CLXXXVU.



IN TWO VOLUMES

with 197 illustrations, reproduced from photographs and sketches
by the author, numerous maps and plans, a bibliography

And a Map of
Armenia and Adjacent Countries



VOL. II
THE TURKISH PROVINXES



LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.

LONDON : 39 P.VTERNOSTER ROW-
NEW YORK AND BOMBAY

I9OI



All rights rese>~'ed



THb. LlliKAKl

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
SANTA BARBARA



CONTENTS



CHAPTER I

PAGE

Descend into Turkish Territory . . . . i

CHAPTER n
To Lake Van . . . . . . .11

CHAPTER III

Across Lake Van . . . . • .35

CHAPTER IV

Van ........ 38

CHAPTER V
From Van to Bitlis . . ■ . . .116

CHAPTER VI
Bitlis . . . . . . . .145

CHAPTER VII

From Bitlis to Mush — Mush . . . . .160

CHAPTER VIII
From Mush to Erzerum . . . . .174

CHAPTER IX

Erzerum . . . . . . . .198

VOL. II a 2



vi Armenia

CHAPTER X
Return to the Border Ranges — GaAarra, 6a\aTTa\ . . 225



CHAPTER XVI
Akhi.at .....



PAGE



CHAPTER XI
Revisit Armenia ..... 237

CHAPTER Xn
Across the Central Tableland to Khinis . . . 245

CHAPTER Xni
From Khinis to Tutakh . . . • .254

CHAPTER XIV
Down the Murad to Melazkert . . • • 264

CHAPTER XV
From Melazkert to Akhlat . . . . ■ -76



;8o



CHAPTER XVn

Our Sojourn in the Crater of Nimrud . . . 298

CHAPTER XVni
Round Nimrud by Lake Nazik . . • .314

CHAPTER XIX
Ascent of Sipan . ...... 3-6

CHAPTER XX
Back to the Central Tableland .... 34°

CHAPTER XXI
Our Sojourn on Bingol . . . • -3 59



Contents vii

CHAPTER XXII

rA<;E

Home across the Border Ranges . . . -379

CHAPTER XXIII
Geographical ....... 383

CHAPTER XXIV
Statistical and Political ..... 408

APPENDIX I

National Constitution of the Armenians in the Turkish

Empire . . . . . . .445

APPENDIX II

CHEiNiiCAL Constitution of some Armenian Lakes . . 468

BIBLIOGRAPHY. . . . . . .471

INDEX ........ 497



LIST OF PLATES



Lake Van with Sipan from Artemid

Plain of Alashkert from the Slopes of Aghri Dagh

Croup of Kurd Hamidiyeh Cavalry

(Jroup of Karapapakh Hamidiyeh Cavalry

The Kuseh Dagii from the Plain of Alashkert

VusuF Bey of Koshk .....

Kurd of Koshk in Gala Dress ....

Sipan from the Plain of Patnotz

V.\N FROM the Slopes of Mount V.arag .

Van : In lERiOR of the Mosque of Ulu Jami

Van : Frieze in Ulu Jami .....

Van : Cuneiform Inscription of Meher or Choban Kapusi

Van : Mount Varag from the Heights of Toprak Kala

Akhtamar : Church from South-East .

Akhtamar : Church from North-West .

Church at Akhtamar : Sculptures on North Wall .

Crater of Nimrud as seen on the Road from Garzik to Bitlis

Bitlis from Avel Meidan .....

Kerkur Da(;h from the South : Nimrud Crater in the

background ......

Young Kurd Woman at Gotni, Mush Plain

Well-to-do Inhabitant of Khaskeui, Mush Plain

Mon.astery of Surb K.\r.a.pet from the South .

Church of Surb Karapet from South-West

View South from the Terrace .at Surb Karapet

The Two Chapels at Surb Karapet ...

The Akh Dagh and the Plain of Khinis from the South .

The Central Tableland, Bingol in the distance, from near

Kui.Li ........

Kargabazar, across the Plain of Pasin, from the southern

-margin of the central tableland

ErZERUM from THE RoOF OF THE BRITISH CONSUL.ATE : THE

Citadel in the middle distance and Eyerli Dagh in

THE background ......



Frontispiece
To face page 2
Back to page 4

5

To face page 10

16

17

19

53

Back to page 106

,, 107

To face page 112

113
Back to page 130

131

To face page 132

142

145

161
163

,, 166

Back to page 1 76

177

To face page 178

180

186

191
193



208



Aruicnia



ErZERUM : ChIFTEH MlXARElI ....

Looking East-South-east from near iiie Kor Pass .
Castle of Kalajik, Upper KiiARSiiur
Monastery of Sumelas .....
Tekman and the Bingoi, D.\gh ifROM near Khedonun
Khamur from the Pass heiween Ali Mur and Khinis
Melazkert from the North : Sipan in the background
Akhlat : Iki Kube — (the Kala, ok Ottoman City, i\ the

p>ackground) ......

Akhi.at: Isolated Tomu .....

Akhlai : The KHARAii-SiiEHR, OR Site of ihe Ancient City
The Nimkud Crater from the Promontory of Kizvag
Sipan : View from the Western Summit over the Summfi

Region .......

Hamidiyeh Cavalry at Gumgum ....

Armenian Village of Gundemir : Bingol Cliffs in the

background ......

The Bingol Cliffs with the Head Waters of the Bingol

Su from the Village of Chaghelik
The so-called Crater of Bingol from about the centre of

the Moraine from Kara Kala
View from the \Ve.stern Summit of Bingol '^
Panorama from the Hill of Gugoghlan j



To fai



'.pa;.



211
230
236

247
252
269

285
290
292
298

334
357

359
360

369
373



ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE TEXT



Caravan on the Black Sea — Tabriz Trade Route

Karakilisa from South-West

Akantz ......

Ruins of Arjlsh fro.m the Noriii
Ruins of Arjish from the South
Our Boat on Lake Van ....

Scene on the Island of Ktutz

Doorway of the Church at Kiutz

Bronze Shield from Toprak Kala

Bronze Fragment from Topkak Kala (British Museum)^

Ornament from Toprak Kala {Bkitish Museum) j

House of an Armenian Merchant at Van

Interior of Haykavank from the East

The Rock and Walled City of \'an

.Street in the Walled City

The Crag of Ak Kopri ....

Monastery of Yedi Kilisa (Varag)



10
26
28
29



34
62

63

81
102
104
105
I II
114



Illustrations



XI



Interior of the Church at Vehi Killsa

Van on the Road to Bitlis

Mountain Range along South Coast of Lake Van

Island of Akhtamar ....

Promontory of Surb (on the left the back of the

Crater ; in the distance Nimrud)
BiTLis : Fortified Monastery
Tunnel of Semiramis ....

Looking down Valley of Bitlis Chai .
Nimrud Crater from the Volcanic Plateau .
Armenian Village of Khaskeui, Mush Plain .
Terrace of Lava resembling Human Fortifications
Looking down the Valley of the Upper Araxes

Mejitli .....
Erzerum and its Plain from the South
Armenian Youths ....
Armenian Maidens ....
Five Generations of an Armenian Family
Range North of Ashkala .
On the Banks of the Chorokh above Baiburt
Armenian Cemetery at Varzahan
Kurdish Dancing Boy at Gopal .
Piece of Seljuk Pottery from Akhlat .
Tombstone at Akhlat
The Lake in the Crater of Nimkud
Village of Uran Gazi with Sipan
Grave on the Summit of Khamur



Sheikh Ora



l'.\GE

"5
ii6
119
130

140

155
156

157
161

165
189

192
207

215
216
221
229
232
234
254
285
291
302
332
340



LIST OF MAPS AND PLANS



I 'LAN oi' Van .

BiTLis AND Environs .

Plan of thk Ancient Fortificaiions of Melazkert

Plan of Akhlat ...

Interior of the Nimrud Crater .

NiMRUD and Surroundings

Plan of the Summit Region of Sipan

The Bingol Dagh on the North

The Bingol Dagh on the South .



To face page 8i

147
271
296

305
312

336
366

378



CHAPTER I

DESCEND INTO TURKISH TERRITORY

October 24. — The track which we were following winds for
some distance along the spine of the range. You cross and
cross again from the one to the other watershed, overlooking now
the open spaces of the southern landscape, now the narrow and
encumbered canon of the Araxes below the adjacent cliffs of
the tableland. The rocky parapets and gloomy valleys appear to
extend from basin to basin, at right angles to the axis of the
chain. West of the crags about us, and isolated from them,
rose a shapely mass with black but snow-streaked sides. Dark-
ness was falling when we descended from this lofty position into
one of the valleys of the southern slopes. In its recesses we
came upon a" little Kurdish settlement, which seemed to promise
shelter during the night.

Kurtler — Kurds ! No sooner have we crossed the frontier
than we find ourselves in their midst. The mountains of
Kurdistan are more than 100 miles distant; yet these parasites
fasten upon the countryside. Still their presence is appro-
priate and is not unwelcome, so long as they are confined to
alpine solitudes like those which surround the village of Chat.
Tufts of grass, interspersed with an endless crop of stones, were
the only pasture which we had seen for some time. Yet the
shepherds were in possession of a considerable stock of hay,
against the approach of a winter season which can scarcely lack
rigour at an elevation of 6700 feet above the sea. Their
habitations just protrude above the level of the ground ; and,
once within the doorway, you proceed through narrow passages
into the very bowels of the earth. In the darkness you stumble
upon the forms of cattle or wake a ragged child. We took up
VOL. II B



2 Armenia

our quarters in one of the largest of the subterranean chambers,
lit our candles, and spread our carpet on the bare soil. We
were surprised to discover that the roof of the apartment was
artificial — layers of mud and straw, held together by laths of
wood, and supported by huge beams. The walls, too, were
built up of rough stones, plastered together ; it was evident that
the room was only three-parts buried, and that it communicated
directly with the outer air. In fact we could see an aperture, the
rude counterpart of a window, above the opening to the winding
passage through which we had come. On the side opposite this
only entrance a square hole in the face of the wall nourished a
smouldering fire. The smoke wreathed upwards to a vent in the
roof, or was sucked inwards towards the tunnelled approach.

When morning broke we were glad to issue from the fetid
atmosphere of this human burrow into the pure mountain air.
A {^\N gaunt figures were standing upon the higher stages of the
eminence which had provided a suitable site for these under-
ground operations, and which rose like a large ant-hill from the
waste of stone. Women squatted before the doors of the
straggling tenements, weaving the bright rugs for which their
race is famed. We proceeded down the glen, along the banks
of a little stream. It finds an easy exit from the heart of the
mountains, threading the trough of one of the meridional valleys.
After riding for an hour and a half, we opened out the southern
landscape from some high ground above the village of A mat
(Fig. 108).

The great plain of Alashkert was outspread before us,
bounded on the further side by the snow-capped mountains of
the Ala Dagh, which stretched across the horizon from the east.
Just before us, this lofty range was seen to recede into the misty
background, the outlines bending away towards south-west. But
the barrier was resumed at no considerable interval by a chain of
hills, less distant, although of humbler proportions, called Kilich
Gedik, or the sharp sword. We could just descry the site of
Karakilisa, backed by the recess of the Ala Dagh. We knew
that the Murad must be flowing through that nebulous passage in
the opposite bulwark of the plain. The surface of the ground
below us was level as water ; the expanse was greatest in the
west. In that direction the spurs of the range upon which we
stood plunged by a succession of promontories into the floor of
the plain. We were reminded of the valley of the Araxcs in the



Descend into Turkish Territory 3

neighbourhood of Erivan. Both depressions have the appear-
ance of inland seas at the foot of the mountains, the one on the
northern, the other on the southern side. But that of Alashkert
is much more elevated (5500 feet), and less sheltered ; you miss
the presence of those extensive stretches of orchard and verdure
which soften the landscape through which the Araxes flows. The
eye wanders out over dim, ochreous tracts, broken by patches of
fallow, and seamed by white rivulets. Just below the Armenian
settlement we reached the margin of the level ground, and
cantered along, almost on a compass course. We saw several
insignificant villages ; but the district was wild, the soil for the
most part unreclaimed. Flocks of duck and geese took wing at
our approach ; cranes, with their long necks, sailed across the
sky. In the course of an hour and a half we reached the street
of Karakilisa, a distance from Amat, measured direct, of 9 miles.
A motley crowd collected round us as we enquired for the
government quarters ; a hundred curious faces were upturned
towards us, and our ears were greeted with the cry of Ferengi !
Ferengi ! passed like a shuttlecock from mouth to mouth. The
little town was full of stir ; new shops and houses were in course
of erection ; it was evident that trade and traffic were on the
increase. We had almost crossed it from end to end, when we
were ushered into a modest building, of which the hall or outer
chamber was thronged with people, for the most part peasants ;
while an old servitor or usher, with white beard and a flowing
robe, was marshalling the rows of slippers by the threshold of an
inner door. At our approach he drew aside the quilted curtain
which screened this sanctuary, and turned the handle and bade
us pass within. The low divan, which on three sides followed
the walls of the apartment, was already occupied by a full
complement of seated figures ; they appeared to be engaged in
deliberation when we broke in upon their seance. A little man
with vivacious eyes was directing the conversation ; he sat on the
only chair behind a table covered with faded baize. Although
we could scarcely doubt that our arrival had been announced
beforehand, we seemed to take these notables by surprise. The
little man rose from his chair ; the assembly huddled together in
order to give us place on the divan. Compliments were ex-
changed ; coffee and cigarettes were provided ; the discussion was
adjourned by tacit consent. One by one, after satisfying with-
out displaying their curiosity, the councillors stole from the room.



4 Armenia

Meanwhile the figure at the table — it was the Kaimakaui,
or district governor — had examined our numerous and weighty-
credentials, and had directed a billet to be provided and prepared.
Our effects, which arrived later, were not subjected to examination;
no excisemen or policemen dogged our steps. Such officials are
almost unknown in this happy country ! so we reflected with a
sense of immense relief. The way they worry the people in the
neighbouring empire passes the capacity of the uninitiated to
realise. The Greek poet was certainly wrong when he gave
expression to the sentiment that anarchy is the greatest of human
ills. Here we were, enlightened observers, exchanging order for
disorder with rapturous delight ! We were free to wander as we
willed, to enjoy a British liberty without so much as the restraint
of roads and walls. Coming from Russia, the contrast was
indeed startling ; independence is far preferable to feeling
reasonably certain that you will not be knocked on the head by
a Kurd.

The Kaimakam escorted us to the adjacent barracks, in
which a whitewashed room had been made ready to receive us.
It belonged to the quarters of the superior officer — with the
rank of Miralai — a Turk of great stature and broad shoulders,
to whom we were introduced. He wore a dark blue military
tunic of European pattern and material ; but he had forgotten
to fasten the lower buttons of this imposing garment, as well as
the upper ones of the trousers beneath. His mouth and ears
and nostrils were of unusual proportions ; the expression of the
face was kind, and denoted a childlike, buoyant nature — dc bonne
bete humaiiie, as one might say. In him we found an agreeable
and a sensible companion. He bustled about the place, was
accustomed to shave each Friday ; he settled every difficulty
with eh, ivallah ! accompanied by a hearty laugh. From time
to time the troops were visited by the Liva, or commandant, an
aged figure with a beard of snow. He had been at Plevna, and
had made the campaign of Bulgaria ; but nothing remained of
him now but a worn-out body, made doubly infirm by an
inveterate habit of getting drunk.

The peculiar care and constant plague of these high officials
were the newly-enrolled regiments which, under the name of
Hmnidiyeh, flatter the vanity but sap the throne of the reigning
Sultan. Am I guilty of indiscretion when I say that the pre-
vailing opinion of them in official circles is one of contempt, not




Fig. 109. Group of Kurd Hamidiyeh Cavalry.




Fig. 110. Group of Karapapakh Hamidiyeh Cavalry.



Descend into Tnrkisk Territory 5

unmixed with alarm? Your high-placed Turk will quote at
their expense his favourite proverb, tJie fisJi begins to stink from
the head. The young men are the sons of their fathers, who are
Kurds and brigands ; the example of the fathers is transmitted
to the sons. Something might be done, if the process were
arrested — if the recruits were removed from their homes. When
I objected that the Tsar's Cossacks presented in some respects
a hopeful analogy, I would be met by the reply that the Russian
autocrat employed strong measures, the like of which the Turkish
Government was too mild to enforce.

Perhaps my reader is already aware that the Hamidiych are
irregular cavalry, who owe their origin to the endeavour of the
Sultan Abdul Hamid to emulate the example which gave to
Russia her Cossack troops. They are recruited for the most
part among the Kurdish tribes ; the name of yeomanry expresses
the nature of their military service, but cannot be applied to the
class to which they belong. The force is still undergoing the
initial process of organisation. At the time of our journey it
afforded the principal topic of conversation. Yiizbashis, or
sergeants, of the regular army were being poured into the
country, and distributed among the villages, to instil into the
shepherds the rudiments of drill. Depots of arms were being
established in convenient centres ; and it was the intention of
the authorities to keep the weapons under lock and key, except
when they should be required for the annual trainings in spring.
Hundreds and thousands of suits of uniform were arriving in the
principal towns, loaded on bullock carts. Each regiment had
been allowed to exercise its own fancy upon the choice of a
distinctive garb. The result was an incongruous mixture of the
braids and gold lace of Europe with the Georgian finery of a
serried row of silvered cartridge cases, banded across the breast
of a skirted coat. How proud they seemed, and how insensible
of their ridiculous appearance in our eyes — the long-beaked
Kurds, the swarthy Karapapakhs, masquerading down the street
of Karakilisa in these strange creations of the tailors of Pera or
Stambul ! They did not require pressing to consent to be
photographed — a group of Kurds (Fig. T09), a group of Kara-
papakhs (Fig. I 10). Some of the principal officers of either
regiment are represented in my illustrations ; and I would beg
my reader to observe the seated Kurd in the Georgian dress —
it is Eyub Pasha with his son and nephew. Behind him stands



6 Armenia

his principal henchman, who, although a Kurd, has seen service
with regular troops.

In the caza, or administrative subdivision, of Karakilisa three
regiments of Hamidiyeh have been enrolled. Two are recruited
from Kurds of the Zilanli tribe ; the third from Karapapakhs.
This people — who take their name from their caps of black
lambskin — are found on either side of the Russo-Turkish frontier,
and are no doubt related to the Tartars of Azerbaijan. The
Kaimakam informed me — but I question whether his statement,
even if true, can apply to more than a small number — that the
fathers of those among them who inhabit this district were
followers of the famous Shamyl. According to his account they
were at that time settled in Daghestan, whence they removed to
their present seats. He added that their villages were 8 in
number in this caza ; that their regiment had a strength of
800 men ; and that they had branded no less than 650 horses
with the military mark. Their chief, Ali Bey, is a man of
hideous features, whom we recognised as the same individual
who had been seated in the place of honour, when we broke
in upon the deliberations of the Kaimakam. I now learnt the
purport of their lively discussion ; it had been a question of
fixing a price for grain. Months ago Ali Bey had made a
contract with the Kaimakam to supply the cereal for Government
purposes at a stated price. The time had just arrived for
delivering it into the granaries ; but the price had risen, almost
to famine rates. In the drawer of the green baize table was
securely buried the precious document, behind a lock of which
alone the Kaimakam possessed the key. How great was the
dismay of the wretched official to find that it had been abstracted,
and to recognise that the robbery might cost him his place !
His dcspoiler felt quite safe behind his Hamidiyeh uniform and
his paper figures of Soo men-at-arms.

But the Kaimakam was not the man to go to sleep beneath
an injury ; he possessed both energy and brains. He and the
Miralai would each evening repair to our quarters, and discuss
the events of the day over coffee and pipes. On one occasion, in
company with the Miralai, we had awaited to a late hour the
arrival of the Kaimakam. When at last he made his appearance,
his clothes were covered with dust and he was wearing his long
top-boots. His eyes were bright with excitement as he narrated
in vivid language the story of his day's work. Kurds from Lake



Descend into Turkish Territory 7

Baliik had made a foray into his district, and had plundered the
village of Mangasar, inhabited in equal numbers b\' Armenians
and Mussulmans. He had proceeded in person to the scene of
their depredations, and at the head of his motley followers had
forced them to retire after a sanguinary fight. What was the
origin of this man whose animated face and supple character
contrasted strangely with the wooden figures of officers and
notables who attended his divan ? He told me he was an
Albanian ; he was, of course, a Mohammedan ; but his whole
appearance stamped him a Greek. Compared with Kurds like
Eyub Pasha, with their resemblance to big birds, he stood on the
opposite pole of human development. Although in point of years
the youngest of the group, he led them all by the nose. A
situation had scarcely been stated when he had already discovered
the solution ; he shared the feelings as well as the thoughts of the
individual to whom he was lending his ear. I have no doubt
that he was far the superior of AH Bey in the successful practice
of every kind of deceit. He professed himself my friend ; I am
sure he took a pleasure in abusing the confidence which I was
obliged to affect. We had almost exhausted our stock of money
when we arrived in Karakilisa ; between us and the town of Van,
where we might hope to replenish it, lay the wildest districts
of Asiatic Turke)^ Semi-civilised communications are entirely
wanting in those regions ; it was even impossible to hire a
caravan. It was necessary to purchase horses ; three days were
consumed in finding the animals ; having selected four, at an
average price of £6 apiece, we were without funds to defray our
expenses in the town, The Kaimakam might no doubt have
advanced the few pounds in perfect safety ; but he had cast
longing eyes upon my gun. Alleging that he had already spent
the last instalment of his allowance, he insisted that the usurers,
who would supply him with the money, required that I should
leave the weapon in his charge. It was arranged that, the
moment the debt had been recovered, he would despatch the
valuable pledge to Erzerum. No sooner had we reached Van
than I contrived to send him the amount by way of Ba}'azid.
Weeks later, upon my arrival in the capital of his provincial
government, the gun had not yet come to hand. The ]''ali, or
Governor- General, was recently dead ; no successor had been
appointed ; the fact that I was an Englishman was scarcely worth
recalling to the petty authorities, daily witnesses of the feeble-



8



Armenia



ness of the British Government, and full of contempt for the
British Power. When my property was at last restored to me
through the good offices of Mr. Graves, the whole winter and
part of the spring had gone by. The Kaimakam had wreaked
his revenge ; the weapon came in broken pieces, and the barrels



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