I am indebted to the support I have received from people all over the world since I started this site in June, 2001. This includes not only Armenians from Europe, the Americas, and Armenia, but also from Turkish citizens. To my fellow Armenians, shnorhagalem! To my new Turkish friends, who have offered assistance with this site, Tesekkur Ederim! Many people have sent in photographs, and information, and yet have wished to remain anonymous. I am grateful to you all. I am particularly indebted to Seyda Güngör Açikgöz for the architectural studies of Surp Stepanos church.
Any input is greatly appreciated. A few things would be particularly useful:
• Any photos, old or new, of Efkere. Also, any older photographs of the villagers taken in Efkere.
• Any historic documents relating to the village.
• A translation of the cornerstone of St. Stepanos, if possible. It is worn, and perhaps is now illegible, but maybe somebody can make sense out of it. Click here for some photographs of this cornerstone.
• Any knowledge of where particular families lived in town. At one point, the diaspora Efkeretzis are said to have created a map of the village. Does anybody have any knowledge of its whereabouts?
• Any first hand accounts of the village.
• Any scrap of information, no matter how trivial. I am also hoping to eventually list all known villagers, so please send along any information you might have.
• I am also looking for relatives from the Kojaian, Kotsaian, Gogaian, Devedjian, and Devejian families from Efkere.
Ideally, I would like for this website to be a repository of all known information on this village. But I can’t achieve that aim without your help. If you have anything to add to the body of knowledge presented thus far, please let me know.
Suggestions For Further reading.
It is difficult to find substantive writing on the village of Efkere. Researching the village often requires scouring documents for just the merest mention of Efkere. When the village is mentioned, it can be spelled in a number of different ways: Efkere. Hefkarah. Evkere. Evkereh. Hefgareh. It goes on and on.
There are, however, a handful of books that are particularly useful if one has an interest in this village. They include:
Arshak Alpoyachian. Patmut’iwn Hay Kesarioy: Teghagrakan, patmakan, ew azgagrakan usumnasirut’iwn. (Cairo, Egypt: Hagop Papazian Press, 1937)
Tracking down a copy of this two volume tome can be difficult, but it is well worth the undertaking. With 2479 pages, this work is perhaps the go-to text for information on Efkere, as well as Kayseri and its other surrounding villages. It includes a rather lengthy section on Efkere, and another on Surp Garabed Vank. It is in the Armenian language. The map glued to the inside of the back cover is without equal.
Huseyin Cömert. Gesi Vadisi: Gesi, Efkere, Darsiyak, Nize, Balagesi, Mancusun. (Ankara, Turkey: Gesi Kalkındırma ve Yardımlaşma Vakfi, 2010)
This Turkish-language book is invaluable for its inclusion of Ottoman Census Records for Efkere, as well as records from the 1872 Property Tax logs for the village of Efkere. As the title suggests, five other villages are also covered, which should prove interesting for anybody with anything more than a passing interest in the Armenian history of this area.
Haig Sarajian. The Silent Generation. (2009).
Written by the son of Avedis Sarajian, who was born in Efkere in 1890 and would eventually migrate to the United States, this book provides a fascinating description of the life in Efkere as lived by the Sarajian family. Well worth seeking out.
Jonathan Varjabedian and H. Sukru Ilicak (Istanbul, Turkey: Histor Press, 2018) My Dear Son Garabed—I Read Your Letter; I Cried, I Laughed. Kojaian Family Letters from Efkere/Kayseri to America (1912-1919). Sevgulu Oglum Garabed—Mekdubun Okudum. Agladim, Guldum. Kayseri Efkere’den Amerika’ya Kocayan Ailesi Mektuplari (1912-1919).
OK, I will admit that I am biased, as this is my book. However, this book is particularly important as it complies scores of letters written from villagers in Efkere to loved ones in the United States between the years 1912 and 1915, with two follow up letters from 1919 included which allow the reader to understand what transpired during the tragic events of 1915. There is simply nothing that I know of in Ottoman Armenian scholarship that compares to this. Furthermore, the book is unique in that the letters allow the reader to experience the now-extinct Efkere dialect. In English and Turkish, with each letter transliterated, and then translated into English and Turkish.
Harry Yessian. Out of Turkey. The Life Story of Donik “Haji Bey” Yessaian” (Dearborn, Michigan. The Armenian Research Center, 1994) Harry Yessaian’s retelling of the story of the Yessaian family from Efkere.