Boyuk Tepekoy

Boyuk Tepekoy is a village in the Aghbaba area (nahiya) of the Kars uezd of the former Kars province, later in the former Amasiya (Aghbaba) district, and currently in the Shirak province. The provincial centre lies 37 km to the northwest of the town of Gumru, on the eastern side of Lake Arpa, at a height of 2027 m above sea level. It was marked on the five-verst map of the Caucasus.

The residents of the village were registered as the Garapapags. In the works of Armenian authors, the inhabitants of the village are described as Garapapags, one of the ethnic groups of Azerbaijanis. The village was solely inhabited by Azerbaijanis: 199 in 1886, 303 in 1897, 296 in 1908 and 357 Azerbaijanis in 1914. The village was part of the Provisional National Government of the Southwestern Caucasus, established in Kars in 1918–1919. In February 1920, as a result of the attack of Armenian armed groups, the village was destroyed, and the population fled to the villages of Kars province. After the Treaty of Kars in 1921, part of the village population returned to the village. Following the establishment of Soviet power in present-day Armenia, according to the Treaty of Kars (1921), the village was included in the Alexandropol uezd, as part of Aghbaba area. The Azerbaijani refugee families, who survived the massacres committed by Armenians near Iravan and Gumru, were also settled in the village. The village was inhabited by 71 Azerbaijanis in 1922, 138 in 1926, 174 in 1931, 772 in 1970 and 757 Azerbaijanis in 1987. In October 1988 the Azerbaijanis were again expelled from their historical-ethnic territories by the state of Armenia. At present, the village is inhabited mainly by the Armenians from Akhilkalak and Bogdanovka (Ninosminda) districts of Georgia.

The toponym was coined by combining the word “tepe” used to mean “a small mountain, hill, mountain” and the word “koy” used to mean “a village” in Contemporary Turkish. The word “boyuk” denotes a distinguishing feature (“big”). Later, the villages “Boyuk Tepekoy” and “Kichik Tepekoy” were merged into one village which was named “Tepekend”.

By the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR dated 3 April 1991, the village was renamed “Berdashen”. According to the law “On the administrative-territorial division of the Republic of Armenia” dated 7 November 1995, it was integrated into the administrative territory of the Shirak province.

Geographic coordinates: latitude 41°03’ N., longitude 43°40’ E.