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© Douglas Hykle
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Turkish Pasha Monument (ca. 1673)

One of the more obscure monuments in Tovste commemorates the death of a Turkish Pasha, who is thought to have died in battle around 1673.

The small stone monument is said to refer to a chieftain killed during an uprising that started near Jagielnica (about 10 km away) and moved to Tluste. It is thought that he died and was buried near a narrow road that once passed through the area, presently occupied by houses.
  Monument to 17th century Turkish pasha (chieftan)

By way of historical background the Turks and their allies, the Cossacks and Tartars, had invaded the Polish territory of Podolia in 1671, and had achieved widespread military success. Poland was compelled to sign the so-called Treaty of Buczacz in October 1672, under the terms of which Podolia and the southern part of Ukraine became part of the Turkish Empire. Over the next eleven years of Turkish control, new administrative divisions were introduced and saw Tluste fall under the supervision of Chortkiv.

The monument to the Pasha is located next to a shed belonging to a private dwelling on Shkilna Str. Partially buried and hidden under a woodpile, it is only about 20-25 cm wide and about 50-70 cm high. In the 1970s or 1980s, an archaeologist from Ternopil confirmed that the inscription – which, today, one can barely discern – was consistent with ‘Arabic’ (sic) script. No one is sure whether or not the grave may have been looted over the centuries.

Interestingly, the townspeople of Tovste have always known about the monument, considering it to be a ‘magic stone’ that will bring harm if it is touched. Care was taken to avoid it when ploughing the fields. The current occupants of the house were the last to move onto Shkilna Str. in the early 1960s, taking possession of the one remaining vacant lot on the street. While their house and shed were being constructed, the builder wanted to move the stone, but the owner objected and it was left in place. A proposal to relocate the stone to the museum around the 1980s was similarly rejected by the neighbours, saying that to move it would bring bad consequences.

Dmytrenko, H. pers. comm., 2005.

Kowalski, S. “Jazlowiec: The Town Lost in History”. Chapter VI.

Pawlyk, J.  History of Tovste. Chortkiv, 2000. p. 33, and pers. comm.