Cummings Foundation Grant Recipient

Umit Kurt on The Economics of Genocide in an Ottoman Province, 1895-1930 ~ Wednesday, October 23, 2019

#Aintab #ColumbiaArmenianCenter #EconomicsOfGenocide #NAASRevents #UmitKurt

The Armenians of Aintab: The Economics of Genocide in an Ottoman Province, 1895-1930

Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 7 :00 - 8:30 pm
Columbia University, Knox Hall 208, 606 West 122nd Street, New York, NY 10027

This lecture explores the issues of deportation, genocide, and property seizure by concentrating particularly on the city of Aintab, focusing on the local historiography, and drawing upon Armenian and Ottoman-Turkish sources, as well as other archival materials. While Aintab’s Armenians were not unique and shared the same painful fate of other Armenian communities across Asia Minor, Aintab provides a microcosm that allows us to examine the local forces behind the genocide, to watch how it took place, and follow its after-effects in the creation and consolidation of a new Turkish-Muslim bourgeoisie. The case of Aintab presents the complex relations between the center and periphery, while revealing how properties relinquished by Armenians were distributed among local actors. This talk offers a description and analysis of the murder and plunder of the Armenians of Aintab and the socio-economic and political hinterlands regionally and nationally, which enabled such events to occur.

This careful journey on Aintab reveals to what extent massacres in the 1890s already bore elements of similarity with 1915, if only in terms of the local incentive to use violence as a means of plunder and appropriation. An even more disturbing revelation is that of the continuity that the perpetrators have been able to establish between the events of 1915–16 and the reshaping of the area in the early 1920s by confirming and strengthening the power base and legitimacy of the very elites that had been responsible for the cleansing and spoliation of the Armenian community. This continuity, once against based on the vilest of economic motives, thus links together almost three decades of violence, while at the same time projects into the future the weight of a tacit partnership in crime.

Question? Email Prof. Khatchig Mouradian at:

Co-Sponsors: Armenian Society of Columbia University, Columbia University Armenian Center, National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), and Research Institute on Turkey

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