Aghtamar is named after a small island in Lake Van. In the 10th century they
build here a palace and an Armenian monastry.It was for a short period that the
chair of the head of the Armenian Church was here The Cathedral Church of the
Holy Cross was part of the monastry. The island is a touristic attraction and
can be reached by boat.
Legend of Aghtamar
Every night some stranger In the dark, without boat Makes his way to a small island In the middle of Lake Van
He makes his way boldly Through the heavy waves, Directed by the strong and bright Shine of remote light
Night by night the Tara way light Radiative promise and love, Night by night, hidden in the dark, Tamar is waiting for her beloved.
|The delight that awairs him Helps the lover fight the heavy waves Seeing his Tamar wrapped in passion Waiting for him in the dark.|
It is worth all the waiting When they throw themselves In each other's arms, Feeling like angels in heaven.
|Yet tomorrow will come, And again the light will signal promise, Everything will be the same: The love, the delight, and the dark.|
But the secret love was soon revealed By some jealous enemies, They put down the light, And the lover lost his way.
All trustated were his hopes, To see the familiar light in the dark, Pulling all his strength together, In vain he tried to find his way.
|As the sun broke through the dawn, The water brought a dead body ashore, On his face a frozen grimace, "Agh, Tamar" the dead lips said,|
|Many years passed since then, Still the island keeps its spell, Gloomily, it raises over the water And is called Aghtamar|
Statue of Aghtamar at Lake Sevan
The English Laura Lushington and Sonia Halliday discovered the Turkish Van Cat
in the middle of the 20th century. Archeological evidence hints that domestic
cats were known in Turkey as long as 7000 years ago. Excavations by the British
Archaeological Institute uncovered small Neolithic figures of women holding or
playing with cats. These terracotta statuettes are thought to be the oldest
representations of pet cats.But even so the Turkish Van probably existed long
before than and probably is one of the oldest races in the world. A white
longhaired cat with two spots on the head and a coloured tale was seen on a
roman shield. This shield dates from 75-387 BC when Armenia was occupied by the
Romans. This battle armor is in the Louvre in Paris.The first two cats in
Western Europe (in Normandy) probably arrived about 1930. They belonged to Mr
Karelu from Turkey. These cats mixed up with the local cats.
The Observer's Book of Cats (1959)
The Turkish Van was not yet recognized as a breed
Place of origin
Lake Van is a salt water lake in east Anatoli, at a hight of 1720 meter. The
size of this lake is 3740 km2 and the lake is surrounded by high vulcanos. It is
very cold and wet in winter and in summer very warm and dry. Even our
domesticated Turkish Van cat still adjusts to the seasonal climate change. The
Turkish Van can look like a shorthaired cat in summer; his tail though usually
remaines longhaired. Original Turkish Van cats can still be found in the area
that belonged Armenia in ancient times; this area reaches from Turkey to Iran,
Irak and the present Armenia.
The cats of Cattery Aghtamar descent from : Yeni Raki’s Arkadas Van (Anke Baks), Loussirane de Kapoutan lidj (Maryse Mayoux), Manoushak de Kapoutan Lidj (Maryse Mayoux), Byou van Thymar (Marc Thys), Liman Stabaruk van Joscat (Jos van der Werff). All these cats are auburn (red) and white with amber eyes. Besides these there is also the from Turkey imported torbie and white cat Istanbul’Dan Gülhane (Leen Kort) Meantime there are 5 generations of cats from cats which I bred myself. Fresh blood lines remain essential. In may 2004 arrived the foundation cat Ornahiye Tansu of Aghtamar. She was found in the Kitty Cat Shelter in Ornahiye near Marmaris. She got company in september 2004 of Vanouch Van Sov Hoki (Eddy Lebey), an auburn/white odd eyed male. I couldn't use him as stud, because he died at the age of 5 month (FIP). Urartu's Zaheb of Aghtamar ( Barbara Gnichtel-Schmidt) is his successor came april 2005. In the Summer of 2007 arrived the solid white female Haziran Fahriye Van Yakamoz (Jaqueline & Ibrahim Yildirim) en Özgür's Yarkin (Janneke Tanriöven).
|Benek in Gülhane Parc Istanbul|
She is registered as Istanbul'Dan Gülhane
Why a Turkish Van ?
I like Turkish Van Cats best because of their caracter. The characteristics of
these cats in general are very pronounced. They always make their presence felt
and show that they are strongwilled. The unsuspecting guest can often be
overburdened by affection and playfullness. Sometimes you get the idea that you
have a miauwing dog in the house. They definitely keep you from getting bored.
Once you have seen a little Van, you never want anything else.
|Loussirane & Tara||Arad Dirouhi & Hugo||Yeraz & Kira||Erazik & Kiara|
For the standard of the breed I would like to refer you to the different cat societies.
When you are talkimg to someone with his roots in Turkey, he means with the Van cat an other cat than the International Cat Fancy. The Vankedisi is a complete white cat with 2 different coloured eyes, one blue and one green eye. The length of the coat is not important. When you are searching on the web you can find "our" Turkish Van cat on Turkish websites.
|Aghtamar's Alkatin Igim - Van||Haziran Fahriye Van Yakamoz||Aghtamar's Alkatin Ilkay - Van|
Van Cat legend
Noah's Arc had an overpopulation of rats, because they multiplied profusely. Noah asked the lion, King of the animals, to do something about the plague. He didn't do anything but begain sneezing. Out of his mouth came a cat. The rat problem was solved. After the Arc had landed the cats ran off Mount Ararat to the bordres of a lake and they stayed there until this moment: The Turkish Van.
|Petit Boule with Ağrı Dağı (Mt Ararat)|