In a Dec. 9 session, the council decided to rename DirekÃ§i Street in the HasÄ±rlÄ± neighborhood and give it the name of Armenian author MÄ±gÄ±rdÄ±Ã§ Margosyan. They also decided to name PaÅŸucu 1st Street in the Ziya GÃ¶kalp neighborhood after Syriac author Naum Faik Palak and YaÄŸcÄ± Street in Fatih neighborhood after Ahmet Arif.
Sur Mayor Abdullah DemirbaÅŸ said the most fundamental reason for changing the streetsâ€™ names was to recognize the importance of artistic people from DiyarbakÄ±r.
The mayor said Arif was a well-known poet and that the council would pay homage to his memory by renaming the street on which he was born.
DemirbaÅŸ said the renaming project promoted the cityâ€™s values. “Margosyan contributed a lot to the promotion of DiyarbakÄ±r with his books. He was also a member of the Armenian community in DiyarbakÄ±r and represented a different cultural heritage.â€
He said giving the name to such a world-renowned author would be a fitting tribute to the writer. â€œIn a similar fashion, Palak is one of the important names in our literature. He was a Syriac who died in America. We again gave his name to the street where he was born.â€
DemirbaÅŸ said: â€œPromoting the values of DiyarbakÄ±r as such demonstrates the peaceful harmony of the different cultures, identities and religions existing here. Peace, democracy and fraternity are what we have needed most in recently. In a sense, we want to announce this to all of Turkey once again through the streets of DiyarbakÄ±r.â€
DemirbaÅŸ said they informed the local district governorate about the councilâ€™s decision. â€œThe Sur District Governorate [only] accepted two of the names we offered. They said they relayed Palakâ€™s name to the Foreign Affairs Ministry to determine whether he was a Turkish citizen or not,â€ DemirbaÅŸ said.
â€œWe do not approve of this because there are many streets, avenues and buildings in Turkey that are named after non-Turkish citizens,â€ the mayor said.