Bashord is located about 5 km westwards Karadash. It was originally the main grazing area of the shepherds in the region of Kessab.
Sometime in the middle of the 19th century, a member of the Movsesian family named Krikor son of Movses permanently settled in the region and became the forefather of the Movsesian lineage in Bashord. Later on, some members of the Cherchikian family originally from Karadouran moved to settle in Bashord before the tragedy of the genocide took place. Some time in 1920, a Kazazian family had separated from the Kazazian's quarter in Karadouran and settled in Bashord next to the other two families.
During the calamity in 1909, a group of Kessabtsi refugees took refuge in Bashord, but soon afterwards they were forced to abandon the village which was completely gutted by the Turks.
In 1915,the dwellers of Bashord were driven along with the Karadourantsies towards Hama, and then to the south towards Jordan. Those who survived the genocide returned to their village all the way back from Por Saiid; the harbor of Saiid in Egypt.
Bashord was excluded from the census carried out in 1920, despite the fact that Bashord included 85 individuals according to the census in 1911, and 40 individuals in 1915.
The main occupation of Bashord dwellers had always been grazing.
The new Syrian boarders set by the French authorities deprived the dwellers of Bashord of their properties and allocated them to the Outman authorities. The spring called 'Mousellek' also fell in the Turkish land which made it impossible to preserve the flocks grazing in the area.
In 1947, the villagers welcomed the decision of moving back to Armenia and the whole village was repatriated consisting of 65 individuals. The Hovsepian family, at that time, purchased all the lands in Bashord.
Bashord was attached to the Apostolic saint Mary's church in Kessab. The children used to attend the Mesrobian and Noubarian schools in Karadouran and the Sahagian School in Kessab for education.
In 1935, the AGBU organization, taking the short transformational means into consideration, established a primary school in Bashord which was a division of the Mesrobian School in Karadouran. The school remained active until the repatriation period.
Today, the residues of the abandoned village can still be seen in the region.
This village is famous for its springs and its gigantic plane trees (sosi). The original dwellers of this village were the Terterian family. After the Terterian lineage enlarged in Chakaljek, they struggled for living and sufficing their needs in that particular area. Few families therefore moved to settle in some of the other neighboring villages such as Duzaghaj where they established the Terterian quarter.
Westwards of Chakaljek existed another quarter called the quarter of Mateslek named after the Matosian family who occupied the yard.
In the morning of the 23rd of April in 1909, when the people dwelling in Chakaljek and the quarter of Mateslek heard the news of the Turkish invasion into Chinarjek, they flee to Bassit via Baghjaghaz after hiding their bronze equipments and their humble farming machines inside their farms. Chakaljek was put to fire and plundered by the Turks.
In 1915,the people in Chakaljek were deported along with the dwellers of Korkouna in two groups.
The census carried out in 1920 mentioned Chakaljek as an independent village attached to Kessab.
In 1947, 29 individuals repatriated to Armenia.
Within the last few decades, Chakaljek has been transformed into a nice summer resort. A beautiful district of individual villas has been constructed situating at the back side of the village.
The original Chinar village was spread over the south eastern foot of the mount 'Korom'.
There were 2 main quarters in Chinar before the genocide; the quarter of the spring, and the quarter of Katabians (Katabints). The quarter of the spring was mainly dwelt by the houses of Topalian, Jourian, Arabian and Ohanian. Half a km away form this quarter situated the quarter of the Katabians. A slant land was situated in front of each of these two quarters. The meeting of these two slopes formed a deep valley. After the return of the genocide survivors, a new quarter was formed on the right side of the valley named "the side Chinar (ante Chinar)" where settled mainly the families of the Chilingirian and Kortmosian lineage. The village is famous for its abundant spring. A water mill was located in Chinar which served the whole region of Kessab up until the repatriation period.
Originally, the landlords in Chinar were Kessabtsi residents. In 1965, Chinar contained 40 houses, but it never had its own church.
In 1909, the Turks destroyed the village.
In 1911, Chinar had 176 dwellers, while in 1915, 210 dwellers. Almost the two third of the population in Chinar were killed during the genocide. In 1920, around 77 individuals returned to Chinar after surviving the genocide.
The villagers welcomed the decision of repatriation and almost the whole village repatriated to Armenia in 1947.
Chinar unfortunately started to be effaced during the last two decades. Today, Chinar is considered a nice summer resort.
Two schools were active in the region:
a- the national school; established in 1910. This school was active until 1915, and then again between 1923 and 1943. The school was a division of the Sahagian School of Kessab and consisted of two parts: a nursery and a primary school. After the third grade, the student attended the primary school situated in Kessab. In 1935, this school was converted to become an AGBU related school.
b- The Latin's school which was active from 1904 to 1915 and again from 1921 to 1946. In 1960, a small school was established to educate the resident catholic students in Chinar.
The altitudes of Kessab comprise the western and the northern parts of Duzaghaj, whereas on the eastern part are located the mountains which form the natural boarders of the region. Duzaghaj was completely surrounded by evergreen forests at the middle of the 19th century. The road linking Lattakia to Antioch passed through these forests. In the 40-ies of the same century, foreigners bought from the government the right to invest the forests in Duzaghaj. For this reason, many workforces from Kessab and other neighboring villages came to labor in Duzaghaj.
Because of this forest eradication project, the whole esplanade was afflicted with baldness within few years. Utilizing the situation, the dwellers of the neighboring villages ploughed the land, sow the area and built up permanent dwelling cottages. The families that settled this way in Duzaghaj mainly came form Sev aghpouyr, Korkouna, Chakaljek, Chinarjek and Kessab.
This village never had its own church or official representative.
On the 23rd of April 1909, the Turks, coming form Ordou, invaded the village and gutted the whole region. The villagers ran away to Iki-zoloukh and joined the other refugees there. After one week they returned to their village.
In 1915, the villagers were deported in two groups together with the dwellers of Korkouna. A small part of the deported people returned between 1919 and 1920. In 1939, after the new definition of the Syrian boarders, the eastern part of Duzaghaj fell in Turkey.
In 1947, the majority of the villagers repatriate to Armenia.
Between 1950 and 1960, as a result to the difficult financial situations, the youth left the village to Lebanon and other counties seeking job opportunities. Consequently, the village was mostly emptied. Those working in Lebanon returned to their village after the initiation of the domestic war there.
The original Duzaghaj village is abandoned today. The new generation has moved to live along the main road building their houses closer to the highway.
Several schools were active in Duzaghaj.
a-The Armenian evangelical school; was established sometime in the middle of the 18th century and was considered a division of the Armenian evangelical school of Kessab. It remained active up until 1910.
b-The national school. It was active between 1910 and 1915, and then between 1924 and 1942. It was considered a division of the Mesrobian national school of Karadouran.
c-The AGBU related national school.
Due to its position on an average altitude, the western part overlooks staring at the horizon the majority of Kessab, Douzaghaj and Korkouna villages. The village is completely closed from the other three sides. The ascending back road passing through Ajam leads to Baghjaghaz and Bassit.
Previously, Iki-zoloukh was considered a crowded small village, consisting mainly of one district. Hence this district was spread along a descending road; it was separated into an upper quarter and a lower quarter. This village was built at the beginning of the 19th century.
It is thought that the main families residing in this village; namely the Toutikian, Ashekian, Segian, Sahagian, Taslakian and Talmazian families, descend from the Mardigian lineage.
The main occupation of the villagers was grazing and agriculture. Potatoes in Kessab were first cultivated in Iki-zoloukh.
During the calamity in 1909, the villagers abandoned their village and took refuge in the Latin monastery in Baghjaghaz together with the refugees coming from Chakaljek and Korkouna. From there, the escapee moved towards the port of Bassit. The Turks meanwhile put the village to fire and destruction.
When the Outman Empire was ruling the region, Iki-zoloukh was considered the last village within the province of Aleppo located on a short distance from the superintendence of Lattakia. This was the last village to be gutted by the Turks. After their return from Lattakia, the villagers rebuilt their houses in a quick pace and reestablished their economy. In 1911, they started the process of constructing the church building which remained uncompleted because of the genocide.
In August 1915, the dwellers of Iki-zoloukh were deliberately deported and the village lost more than three thirds of its residents.
During 1920 and 1922 when there was no official authority ruling the region, Joe Toutigian organized a group of volunteered soldiers to provide security not only to the village, but also to the valley of honey 'meghratsor' and the villages located on the southern side of Iki-zoloukh. There was a strong connection established between Joe and the foundation centre in Kessab.
The people in Iki-zoloukh did not welcome the idea of repatriation. Only 20 individuals repatriated to Armenia.
Since the middle of the 20th century, Armenians from Aleppo started investing in Iki-zoloukh.
Iki-zoloukh was the first village to have the road linking it with Kessab paved, to have water network and electricity.
Next to Ajam locates a large camp belonging to the AGBU organization.
In 1855, all the people in Iki-zoloukh turned to evangelism. This change involved a spiritual and educational movement in the village. At the beginning they used one of the houses in the village as a school and a place for warship until they constructed the church building in the upper quarter. The church building was used as a school as well until the genocide period.
The reverent Hovhanes Eskijian (1908-1913) had a tree-floored parsonage house built opposite the church, whereas in 1911, he embarked the course of constructing a new church which remained roofless due to the beginning of the WWI. The construction was completed in 1956 and the church was named Emanuel.
Schools and organizations
The Armenian evangelical martyr school was established in 1855 which evolved later to become a primary school. In addition to the native teachers, others from Ayentab, Behes and Kilis also taught in the village. The school again was converted into nursery after 1960 since the road linking Iki-zoloukh to Kessab was paved and the transportation became easier for the students to attend the primary school in Kessab.
In 1940, the women in the village established the Woman's educational union which obtained a library and a reading room.
In 1966, the previous parsonage house was converted into a library-club.
During 1976 and 1978, the Verelk organization was very active and succeeded to draw together about 25-30 young people. Verelk was an educational organization aiming to educate the Armenian youth with the Armenian literature, history and culture.
Nerki kough (eskuran) and Khayet
Eskuran has two quarters. One just at the bottom of the mount's slope, the other few tens of� meters further down next to the spring. Khayet is considered a quarter of Eskuran. This village is considered the first Armenian village inhabited in Kessab and it is famous for being traditionally abundant.� The village was almost left empty after the dwellers moved to settle in Kessab. Eskuran was often prone to danger since it was very close to the Turkish village Ordou.
In 1909, the villagers along with the people in Khayet abandoned the village and escaped to Kessab. The first village to be destroyed and burnt by the Turks was Eskuran during the calamity.
In 1915, like all the people in the other villages, the dwellers of Eskuran and Khayet were deliberately deported towards the Syrian Desert. Only 50 people returned in 1920 which indicates that the three quarters of the villagers were killed. Some families never came back.
After the genocide survivors returned to Eskuran, the national union and the volunteered solders kept the village under severe surveillance to provide security.
In 1928, the first unpaved road linking Kessab to Ordou passed through Eskuran. But after 1939, this road was closed.
78 individuals repatriated to Armenia in 1947.
According to the census in 1955, Eskuran and Khayet consisted of 68 individuals.
The main families residing in this village are namely the families of the Atikian, Kilaghbian, Pentezian, Melkonian, Tanyelian, Nazarian, Soghmonian, Cholakian, Shekhougian and Antablian lineages.
Next to the public square of the village is situated the "geghetsig" sanctuary.
In 1939, after the Syrian new boarders were drawn, Kessab lost its traditional site of pilgrimage; Balloum which was allocated to the Turks. Therefore, Kessabtsies shifted the designated day of pilgrimage to meet the Monday of mother Mary's assumption day in August, and they replaced Balloum with Eskuran.
The sanctuary of Sivdigii
Sivdigii is translated to a black woman or a holly woman. This place is located on a small hill just on the boarder with Turkey. The Turks lately have completely destroyed the sanctuary. The Greek orthodox have constructed a new chapel almost in the same place a little bit away form the Turkish boarder inside the Syrian lands. They have also constructed a monastery next to the chapel.
In 1910, the Sahagian national school of Kessab opened a division in Eskuran. This school consisted only of the first two elementary grades. During 1921 and 1924, the school became related to the united national school. During the 1930ies, the same school was converted to serve as an AGBU related school which remained active for several years.
The valley of Karadouran is located after Karadash starting from 900m altitude above sea level all the way down towards the Mediterranean Sea.
The village is an assembly of several small and large quarters spread allover the deep valley. Each quarter is named after the family which occupied the quarter. For instance, the Soulian (Soullek), the Zahterian (Zahterlek), the Manjikian (Manjeklek), the Yaralian (Yarallek), and the Saghdejian (Saghdejlek) quarters. The main occupation of the people in Karadouran was grazing and agriculture.
Karadouran was considered the most crowded village of Kessab. The census carried out after the calamity in 1909 indicates the presence of 1286 individuals in the village, whereas in 1915, the presence of 1290 individuals.
During 1918 and 1920, only 45 percent of the deported natives returned to Karadouran.
In 1939, after the new Syrian boarders were drown, some families in Karadouran completely lost all their properties, farms and lands which fell on the other side of the artificial boarders; in Turkey.
The villagers welcomed the idea of repatriation and 807 individuals repatriated in 1947.
The dwellers of Karadouran were considered the most culturally preservative people.
Up until the middle of the 19th century, three chapels served in the area, but later they were abandoned after the transportation of the people from this area.
-Saint Mary's church which was constructed between 1889 and 1890. This church was completely smashed by the sliding of the land that happened on the 23rd of January in 1942. In 1960 was established the St. Mary's church which stands up until today.
-St. Stephanos church which was constructed in 1908 in the quarter of the sea. It had recently been renovated by the French-Armenian "land and culture" organization.
-The evangelical church which was constructed in 1908 and renovated in 1986.
The school of St. Mary's church (1890-1905)
The national Mesrobian School (1905-1915, 1924-1932)
The national AGBU related school (1932-1962)
The AGBU related Vahan Bedrosian School (1962-1964)
The school of St. Stephanos.
The national Noubarian School (1909-1915, 1923-1934)
The national AGBU Noubarian School (1934-1948)
The united national school (1923-1924)
The nursery related to the� AGBU (1934-1947)
The united national� school (1934-1973)
The Armenian evangelical school (1873-1915)
The Armenian evangelical martyr school (1924-1981)
The Latin's school (1905-1915, 1921-1946)
The Armenian catholic school (1946-1948)
On about 900m above the sea level at the beginning of Karadouran valley is located Karadash. Previously, Karadash was not inhabited. Its vast landscapes were possessed by Kessabtsies or Korkounatsies except for the southern part which was possessed by the Kalemderian family. There is no evidence of the presence of any civilization in Karadash up until 1942, but it is know that the area became inhabited after the people of Karadouran moved in escaping the huge land drift that happened there. Karadash is mainly occupied by members of the Lentian, Kazazian and Ghazarian families. During the two last decades, more families from Kessab and Karadouran moved to live and reclaim the lands there. Lately, Armenians from Aleppo have built some villas there transferring the village into a summer resort.
Korkouna is located slightly above Chakaljek on a small esplanade obtaining a scope of horizontal views almost in all directions. The village of Iki-zoloukh is located about 2 km away.
The scattered historical remains in the village indicate that Korkouna had been inhabited since old times. Some ancient coins form the Middle Ages, fragments of potteries and argil jars had been found in the area. Unfortunately, most of these remains were ruined while farming and constructing the region. Some remains of firmly built walls are noticed on a hill on the western side of the village, which are thought to be the remains of a fortress. Some ancient Armenian currency, dated back to the times of the Armenian cilician kingdom which had ruled the region, had been found on the same hill alongside some other coins and potteries.
On a knoll on the south-eastern side of the village is located the chapel of St. Stephanos which was intact up until the beginning of the 19th century. The villagers still berry the departed members of their families around the remains of this chapel.
The resisdents of this village before the genocide were the families of the Chelebian, Khederian, Kerian, Apelian and Kakousian lineages. The Chelebians though are considered the first to dwell in Korkouna. The Kerbabian and the Kerian lineages in the village descend from the Khederian lineage. The forefather of the Apelians, Apel moved form Kessab to settle in Korkouna producing the Apelian-Bederian lineage.
On the 23rd of April 1909, Korkouna was invaded by the Turks who put the village to fire and destruction.
In 1915, more than one third of the villagers were killed during the genocide.
In 1947, 63 individuals repatriated from the village, particularly of the Chelebian family. 114 individuals remained in the village. At this specific period, foreigners started to settle in Korkouna establishing intimate relationship with the natives.
Today, the number of people increases in Korkouna during summer time where native Korkounatsies who live in different cities of Syria or Lebanon, return to their houses and properties. Some Armenian families from Aleppo obtain private villas in Korkouna.
The only active church in the village belongs to the Armenian evangelical community.
a-The Armenian evangelical school (1898-1915, 1930-1981)
The first structure of the school was found in 1903 next to the church building. The school had a nursery and elementary school obligations. After the return in 1922, the school was reopened as a division of the united national school of Kessab which remained active up until 1930. After this date, it shifted again to be active under the supervision of the evangelical church.
b-The united national school (1934-1939). It was a division of the national school of Kessab. After the Syria help Red Cross established a branch in the village, the branch took charge of the school.
Sev aghpouyr (Kayajek) was originally the cultivating land possessed by the Kessabtsies. Kessabtsies were used to establish temporal residential resorts there during summer times while harvesting and sowing their lands, but they always returned to Kessab in winter. The hired labors in the area soon became owners of the lands they worked in and formed the majority of the population in Sev aghpouyr.
At the onset of the 20th century, the main quarters of the village were already formed. The forefather of the Boymishakian family was the first to establish a permanent residence in Sev aghpouyr. The Panosian family residing there is thought to descend from the Boymisahkian lineage. The Pasligian, Gharibian, Skambilian, Melkonian, Kasparian, Pertoudian, Kalakeosian, Selloumian and the Chatalian families were also considered the main residents in the village.
The villagers cultivated mainly tobacco, kept silkworms and domestic animals and planted several crops. In 1909 the Turks coming from the east destroyed a big part of the village by putting it on fire.
In 1915 the three quarters of the villagers were killed during the deportations that drove them to the deserts of Der el Zor and Damascus.
The Census carried out in 1911 indicates that the village consisted of 445 individuals, whereas in 1920 consisted of 94 individuals.
After the new Syrian boarders were drawn in 1939 some of the lands fell on the Turkish side thus denying the villagers a great deal of their lands.
In 1947 when the repatriation process started many of the villagers repatriated to Armenia.
After the repatriation many of the lands forsaken by the Armenian populace were taken over by the Alawite population thus becoming the major group residing in Sev aghpouyr.
The main occupation of the remaining Armenian population became the production of apple fruits.
1990 the Aleppo based Syriac community established a monastery in the village.
The Evangelical school was established in 1856 which functioned with many interruptions until 1905 and later functioned as a place of worship.
The national school was established in 1910 and functioned without interruptions until 1915. It was reopened in 1925 and in 1937 was converted into AGBU related school that was permanently closed in 1947.
Upper Baghjaghaz is located on the way to Bassit about 4kms after Ajam, on the northern slope of the mount Selderan. Its unique location overlooks the whole regain of Bassit. The village was found sometime in the middle of the 19th century. The first dwellers of the village were the families of the Sarmazian lineage. The other families dwelling in the village settled there at the beginning of the 20th century. These families were namely the Karaian, Chaparian, Halwajian and Karabedirian families.
Although the villagers had joined the fugitives from the other villages in 1909, they were spared from the Turkish tyranny, and they returned to the village after few days following the plunder.
In 1911, the village consisted of 22 houses.
In 1915, the villagers were deported with the villagers of Iki-Zoloukh. The census carried out in 1920 indicates that 14 families were present in the upper Baghjaghaz at that time.
During the region of the Hattai Turkish government, upper Baghjaghaz became a resort to those wanted by the Turkish authorities. Between 1919 and 1922, many leaders of the national union and prior volunteered soldiers with their families found refuge in both upper and lower Baghjaghazes.
In 1947, 81 individuals repatriated to Armenia.
In 1955, a survey in the village indicated the presence of 41 individuals.
Currently, 9 families dwell in the village. Part of them move to Kessab and Lebanon during winter.
The following schools were active in the village:
a- the Armenian evangelical primary school (1856-1967). It was a division of the school of Iki-Zoloukh. The graduated students used to attend the main school in Kessab. After returning from the genocide, the school was reopened and functioned as a division of the united national school until 1932 when the armenian evangelicals took charge of the school once again.
b- The Latin's school (1930-1947) which was also known as the school of the Armenian catholic community.
Lower Baghjaghaz is located between upper Baghjaghaz and Fakehasan. The original dwellers settled in the village at the beginning of the 20th century. By the end of the century the families had grown and were separated into several quarters named after each family. For example, the quarter of Petellek, Chapetlek, Haneshlek, and the quarter of Chatallek which was the biggest one. The Armenian dwellers of the village spoke in Turkish and very few of them understood the dialect of Kessab. They were registered without the suffix 'ian' attached to their surnames such as Sarmaz, Aramal, Kel Yaghoub and Hanash.
The Armenian quarters in lower Baghjaghaz were not attached to any religious communities and they were considered as a part of Fakehassan; one of Bassit's villages. The dwellers of Chattalek and Kabachinar decided to enroll under the Latin's supervision. The Latin Armenians of the Francescan order established a monastery in the Armenian quarters and they took the Armenian dwellers under their supervision. They bought a huge landscape in Kabachinar to serve this purpose.
During the same period, the Armenians in lower Baghjaghaz had their own religious representative and also gained self rule and religious freedom.
In 1909, the Armenian refugees from the south-eastern villages of Kessab found refuge in the monastery and then moved to Bassit aided by the monks of the monastery and then were transported to Lattakia via boats. The Turkish tyranny didn't arrive to Baghjaghaz and the villagers were able to return to their houses after few days of the plunder.
In August 1915, the villagers were deported towards Jeser al-shoughour, Aleppo and Hama. Three quarters of the villagers were killed during the genocide.
In 1922, the Turks returned to their villages after the French authorities entered Kessab and they lived in peace with the Armenians in Kessab and its regions.
When the Hattai authority was ruling the area in 1938-1939, the communication between Kessab and the dwellers of Baghjaghaz became impossible. People wanted by the Hattai authorities used to pass the boarders and stay as fugitives in Baghjaghaz.
In 1947, the majority of the villagers repatriated to Armenia.
In 1960, the expatriation phenomenon left the village completely abandoned.
The Franciscan mission found a school in the village in 1904. The curriculum was not thought in Armenian, but either in French or Turkish languages. In 1930, this school was transformed into a primary school and the Armenian language was adopted as the main teaching language.
The Armenian Latin community in lower Baghjaghaz was dissolved in 1946, but the school remained functioning as the school of the Armenian Catholic community. In 1948, this school was permanently closed.
In 1955, the Armenian Catholic community opened a new primary school with a nursery attached to it in response to the requests applied by the inhabitants of the region, but this school functioned only for one year.
From 1957 to 1960 this school functioned as a division of the united national educational school of Kessab.