British record label Young Turks, which is home to artists such as The XX, FKA twigs and Sampha, has revealed that it will now simply be known as ‘Young’.
The label, which is part of Beggars Group, was founded in 2005 by Caius Pawson. He has since become aware of the name’s complete historical connections and discovered that Young Turks is the group who committed the 1915 Armenian Genocide, which devastated the country.
Pawson has maintained that his intentions behind the name were innocent, and it was the Rod Stewart hit from 1981 which influenced his thinking. However, after a “long period of reflection”, Pawson thinks that now is the right time to rename the label.
“From today, Young Turks will become Young,” Pawson wrote on Instagram. “The name change follows a long period of reflection, and I wanted to explain the origins of the Young Turks name and the reasons for the change.
“We originally named Young Turks after the Rod Stewart song of the same name. When I first heard the song, it took a week of 2005-era internet searches to find out what it was and even longer to understand its meaning. The name intrigued me, evoking the solidarity of youth. In 2005, it seemed to perfectly sum up what we were: teenagers, wanting and waiting to do something, anything.
“However, we were unaware of the deeper history of the term and, specifically, that the Young Turks were a group who carried out the Armenian Genocide from 1915 onwards. Through ongoing conversations and messages that have developed our own knowledge around the subject, it’s become apparent that the name is a source of hurt and confusion for people.
“We loved the name for what it meant to us, but in retrospect should have listened more carefully to other voices and acted more quickly. We have always tried to affect positive change and knowing what we do now, it’s only right that we change our name.”
Pawson then confirmed the donation, adding: “April 24 is the day of commemoration of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. In memory of those who were killed and those who survived, we have made a donation to the Armenian Institute, London, a cultural charity that explores contemporary Armenian diasporan life in all its global diversity through research and the arts.”