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Ayvazoğlu, Beşir

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Zaman - Turkey | 14/11/2013

Turkification cannot be entirely erased

The eastern Anatolian city of Aydınlar changed back to its original Aramaic name, Tillo, at the start of November. An estimated 13,000 place names in the country were changed with the process of Turkification after the founding of the Republic of Turkey in 1923. The conservative-Islamic daily Zaman welcomes Tillo's reversion to its original name, but says that enough is enough: "It's time to stop this changing of place names. Because without us being aware of it this promotes separatism, offends local populations and cuts links with the past. You can't erase history. Correcting old errors in the hope that this will form a new society can also be dangerous. This process must come to an end with the restitution of names as symbolic as Tillo and Dersim [which is currently officially called Tunceli]. We must finally start looking to the future."

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