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Language minorities of Bithynia
The Wikipedia articles on Anatolian Bulgarians, English and Bulgarian, imply that Kızderbent was far away from the other settlements where Bulgarian was spoken. That’s why Bulgarians in Bulgaria became aware of the bulk of settlements in the 1860s, but Kızderbent was documented since the 1800s—and Shishmanov discusses Kızderbent in a separate chapter from the other settlements, as най-известното на европейците българско село в Мала Азия—”the most renowned European Bulgarian village in Asia Minor” (I think).
To test this out, I’m plotting the documented Bulgarian-speaking villages in Asia Minor on Google Maps. There are three listings:
- Kănchov’s list, from Wikipedia
- Dorosiev’s list, also from Wikipedia
- The list from Dimitri Shimshanov 2001. Необикновената история на малоазийските българи, Sofia: Пони—available online
I haven’t been able to identify all the villages with modern-day Turkey: some villages will have been renamed, or no longer exist. Moreover, the English Wikipedia makes a laudable effort to guess the Turkish spelling of the villages from the Cyrillic, but has made some mistakes.
So herewith the listing. Villages without an “Actual Turkish” entry, I have not been able to match with modern-day locations—although they are mentioned in Turkish in Pars Tuğlacı. 1984. Bulgaristan ve Türk-Bulgar ilişkileri. Cem. The identifications may not all be correct…
|Cyrillic||Wikipedia Romanisation||Actual Turkish|
|North-Western Anatolia [Bithynia]|
|Ново село (Йеникьой, Къзълджилар)||Yeniköy (Novo Selo)||Yeniköy|
|Киллик||Killik (also Ikinlik)||Killik|
|Çanakkale, Lapseki, Biga [Troad]|
|Урумче or Дермендере or Дерменалан||Urumçe||Değirmendere|
|Чатал тепе||Çataltaş (also Çataltepe)||Çataltepe|
|Ново село (Чифлик)||Yeniköy [Çiftlik]||Yeniçiftlik|
|Стенгелкьой||Stengelköy||“20 km from Kerem near Biga”—ancient Parium, Greek Kamares|
This is the Google map. Kızderbent is in red, the Bulgarian villages in blue. For jollies, I’ve added in the Tsakonian villages of Bithynia in green. I’ve plotted two Greek villages I know of in yellow (Demirtaş = Demirdessi, and Başköy (Μπάσκιοϊ), one of the Pistikohoria group), but there were a whole lot more.
View Anatolian Bulgarians in a larger map
Kızderbent does seem to be a way away from the other Bulgarian villages, which can explain its isolation. The only exception is Yeniköy/Novo Selo, 58 km away—if I’ve got the right Yeniköy. (The name, “Newville” in Bulgarian and Turkish, is fairly generic.) Then again, Söğüt and Mandıra (Greek Μάντρα, “paddock”) look just as isolated.
Provided I’ve got the right Söğüt and the right Mandıra, of course.