Turkey restores original Syriac name of southeastern village

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A view from the Bethkustan village of Mardin. (Photo: Courtesy of Bianet)
In what was a first in the history of Turkey, the name of a Syriac village in the southeastern province of Mardin was restored to its original Syriacn name, the independent news website Bianet reported on Wednesday.

The name of Alagöz village in the Midyat district was restored to Bethkustan after a municipal council decision following the application from the Akad Association in the village.

Association’s chairman Adem Co?kun said nobody in the village used to use the name Alagöz and that he welcomes the restoration decision.
Names of places that were originally in Kurdish or other local languages have undergone changes over time as part of a process that started in the ’30s. Residents of many places with names that were forcibly changed have been demanding the restoration of the original names.
The original Kurdish names of various towns in the East and the Southeast, which had been Turkified in the past, were restored in the past few years but it was the first time the original Syriac name of a village was restored.