Name And Religion Changing In The Ottoman Empire

Saak Mutafyan whose family had witnessed the genocide told about her family history:

“Grandfather and grandmother, Movses and Arus Mutafyan from Van, had five children. Only Sanam and Vanush survived.

Sanam was married to Karapet Mugdimyan. After the death of her husband, Sanam together with her brother Vanush moved to Diyarbakir and from there to the city of Akşehir in Konya Province. Here, they were forced into Islam and had to change their names to Saniye and Durmush.

After Akşehir, they were settled in the Yalvaç district of the Isparta Province. Vanush was adopted, while Sanam got married and moved to Izmir. Re-marriage and adoption became the reason for the eternal separation of the survivors.

At that time, seven children and one woman kin of Sanam were also brought to Yalvaç. However, according to available sources, some of the children who were transferred from Batman changed their names. There is no information on the province register regarding them.”

According to Saak Mutafyan, this issue is important to consider, especially with the registers of 1924 and 1925. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians during these years lost contact with their loved ones mostly because they have changed their names and religion.

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