600) Free E-Book: Armenians In The Ottoman Society by Erciyes University

© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com © Erciyes University
1st International Social Studies Symposium
ISBN: 978-9944-0664-0-2
February 2008

Kindly provided by
Prof. Dr. M. Metin HÜLAGÜ
Vice Dean, Erciyes University

Volume I : Contents

Opening And Protocol Speeches
Opening Session
Turkish –Armenian Relationships At The End Of The 19th Century
Abdullah Poş
A Report Prepared In 1778 On The Catholic Conversion Works Of Armenians And Its Results
Abdurrahman Sağirli
Turk-Armenian Cooperation In Eregli Mining Sector Between (1878 And 1920)
Ahmet Öğreten
Turkish-Armenian Relations In The Ottoman Legal System Of Tokat (1770-1810)
Ali Açikel
The Contributions Of Armenians In The Creation Of A New Social Life And Literature In The 19th Century
Ali Budak
Social And Economic Life Of Cypriot Armenians In The 18th Century
Ali Efdal Özkul
Armenians In The Social And Economic Life Of Bursa Until The Tanzimat Period
Ali İhsan Karataş
Influence Of Turkish Minstrel Tradition On Armenian Culture And Yusuf Ohannes, A Living Armenian Minstrel
Ali Kafkasyali
Turkish-Armenian Relationships In Cinema
Alİ Özuyar
Diaspora Armenians Who Are Friends Of Turks
Ayten Sezer Ariğ
Harmonious Life In 17th Erzurum: Turkish-Armenian Harmony
Bilgehan Pamuk
The Conversion Movements And The Concept Of Tolerance In The Bilateral Relations Between The Turks And The Armenians
Cengiz Kartin
The Turkish-Armenian Relationship In “national Struggle” Novels
Esat Can
Young Turk-Armenian Relations During The Second Constitutional Period 1908-1914
Feroz Ahmad
The Religious Concessions Of The Ottoman Empire Towards Armenians Within The Framework Of Church Reconstructions
Gülbadi Alan
Some Reflections On The Cultural Relationships Between Turks And Armenians
Gürsoy Şahİn
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s Perception Of The Armenian Community In Constantinople In The ‘Turkish Embassy Letters’ (1765)
Hasan Baktir
A Survey Of The Life Of Armenians In The Ottoman City Of Kayseri
In The 17th Century (According To The Sharia Court Records Of Kayseri)
Hava Selçuk
Bursa Armenians In The Opus Entitled ‘Bursa Tour’ By The Bulgarian Researcher Nikola Natchov (1859-1940)
Hüseyin Mevsim
Social Lives Of Armenians Who Lived In Balikesir During The Ottoman Period
İsmail Hakkı Mercan
The Dimension Of Turkish-Armenian Economic Relationship In Kayseri Sanjak In The 19th Century
İsmigül Çetİn
The Armenian Catholic Church And Society In The Ottoman Empire
M.Bürkan Serbest
Ottoman-Armenian Relations In The Light Of Medieval Historical Sources
Mansura Haidar
Turkish Vocabulary

Volume II: Content
© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com
A Comparison Of Economic Structures Of Turks And Armenians In The Second Half Of The 19th Century: The Case Of Tokat
Mehmet Beşİrlİ
Social Reflections Of Muslim And Non-Muslim Relations In Urfa During The Classical Ottoman Period
Mehmet Emin Üner
Armenian Musicians And Composers In Ottoman Music Tradition
Mehmet Kinik
Turkish-Armenian Relations In Develi According To The Sharia Court Records
Mehmet Süme
Economic States And Administrative Functions Of Non-Muslims In The District Of Maraş During The Late Ottoman Empire
Memet Yetişgin
The Marks Of Turkish Literature In An Armenian Myth
Mesiha Tosunoğlu
Deniz Melanlioğlu
Loyalty In Exile: The Ottoman Dynasty And The Armenian Migir Efendi
M. Metin Hülagü
Mahcubİ Baba, A Poet Of Armenian Extraction And His Islamic Views In His Poems
Muhittin Elİaçik
The Supervision Of The Ottoman State Of The Armenian Schools
Mustafa Murat Öntuğ
Turkish-Armenian Relationships In The Turkish Health System
Münir Atalar
Sibel Kavakli
Armenians In The “congregation” System
Nurdan İpek
The Socio-Economic Characteristics Of Armenians In Sivas During The Ottoman Period
Ömer Demirel
Armenians In Bursa And Its Vicinity Between 1860 And 1880
Özgür Yildiz
A Good Model Of Living Together: Turkish-Armenian Relations At Harput (Modern Elaziğ)
Rahmi Doğanay
Religious Differentiation Undergone By The Armenian Community In The 19th Century And Its Repercussions In Kayseri
Ramazan Adibellİ
Turks And Armenians In An Ottoman Town
Said Öztürk
Symbiosis Of The Turks And Non-Muslims In Anatolia: Turkish-Armenian Relations As A Case Study
Selahattin Döğüş
An Evaluation Of The Socio-Cultural Interaction Of Turks And Armenians In The Kayseri Region Using The Spoken History Method
Selma Yel
Armenians In The Architecture Of The Late Ottoman Period
Selman Can
A Life Dedicated To Ottoman Finance: Agop Kazazian Pasha
Serdar Sakİn
Interaction Between Cultures In The Ottoman Administration: Relations Of Abdulhamid Ii With Armenian Statesmen
Serkan Gül
Governmental Service And Social Life Of Armenians In Diyarbakir
Serkan Yazici
Evangelization Of Armenians In Erzurum And Everek By American Board Missionaries
Şakir Batmaz
Armenians And The Churches Of Kayseri In The 19th Century
Şeyda Güngör Açikgöz
The Contributions Of Armenian Personages Of Cultural Fields To The Turkish Revolution And
Şule Perinçek
An Example Of “the Art Of Living Together” In Ottoman Society: Socio-Cultural Interactions And Mutual Support Between Turkish And Armenian Societies In Yozgat
Taha Niyazi Karaca
Turkish-Armenian Social Life And Relations In Cyprus
Ulvi Keser
The Balyan Family And The Architecture Of Turkish Mosques
Yasin Çağatay Seçkin
Turkish Vocabulary

An Essay Of Discernment On “The Armenian Issue”

This paper is composed of communiqués with a theme of The Art of Living Together in the Ottoman Society: the Case of Turkish-Armenian Relations, which were carried out by Erciyes University’s 1st International Social Studies Symposium [EUSAS-I] at the Center Campus of Erciyes University between 20 and 22 April, 2006.

The Theme of Symposium

The symposium titled The Art of Living Together in the Ottoman Society: The Case of Turkish-Armenian Relations mostly presented the Ottoman view towards Turkish-Armenian relations, known to have nearly a history of ten centuries to be dealt with; in addition, togetherness and interaction of Turkish-Armenian societies were intended to be analyzed in the fields of literature, trade, law, administration, health, education, art, and music.

The Objective of Symposium

The aim of the symposium was to augment information exchange, cooperation, and solidarity among scholars by enabling them to come together regardless of their religious beliefs and ethnic identities, to put the findings regarding “the art of living together” in a multi-cultural Ottoman society into the service of scientific circles, to contribute to the continuation of intercultural tolerance without an exposure to any obstacle by paving the way again for the progression of good relations between Turkish-Armenian societies, and hence, to ensure a contribution to world peace.

Participation in the Symposium

In addition to the academicians who came from abroad, over a hundred academicians came from 45 institutions in Turkey and participated in the symposium. The participation of Mesrob II, the Patriarch of the Armenians in Turkey, was a great honour, and to a large extent it was thanks to him that the event gained considerable influence. Furthermore, this participation signified a supportive sign of the search for living together within an atmosphere of dialogue and peace, today as it was in the past, and it was also a first step on behalf of Turkish and Armenian societies in order that they could solve their problems by coming together.

The Importance of this Symposium

Turkish-Armenian disagreement takes part among the matters of first priority in Turkish Republic today as it was of the Ottoman Empire in the past. Not only has the matter been handled in many scientific meetings, but it has also been exposed to an investigation mostly concerning military and political aspects. However, Turkish-Armenian relations have never been handled systematically within a framework of “The Art of Living Together”.

The previous symposiums held so far about the matter have mostly dealt with and analyzed the last quarter of the last century beyond concentrating on the military and political aspects of Turkish-Armenian relations. Such an approach has not been able to save the treatment of “The Genocide Issue” from turning into a vicious circle. Instead of enabling a productive outcome, symposiums such as these have largely brought about a circumstance which is tense, tiresome, and causes disagreement to increase between the Turkish and Armenian sides.

Depending on an approach termed “the differences are not separation, but a sign of influence”, the main characteristic of the symposium with a theme titled The Art of Living Together in the Ottoman Society: The Case of Turkish-Armenian Relations has been to conceive and evaluate Turkish-Armenian relations in its long history as a whole and to draw attention to the shared inheritance. In this respect, it won’t be wrong to describe this symposium as the first most comprehensive activity treating Turkish-Armenian relations with this point of view in our country. Friendship and togetherness of Turkish-Armenian societies in the past, disregarded up to now, have been intended to be handled and analyzed by means of an academic approach in the papers prepared and presented in the symposium based upon scientific data, documents in the archives and academic sources.

Differences are not a Separation, but a Sign of Influence

It is because of this belief that focusing on “tolerance and dialogue,” the existence of which is extremely needed, has been a significant matter to be stressed in order to build improved relationships with Turkish-Armenian governments and ensure a solution for the matters of present disagreement the deficiency of which has been obviously realized recently.

It is likely to say that there has been some progress to a certain extent regarding this desire. On the other hand, thanks to the participation of Mesrob II, the Patriarch of the Armenians in Turkey, beyond its gaining a different characteristic when compared with other symposiums, it may be remarked that this symposium is almost a milestone for the assessment of “tolerance and dialogue”, the existence of which is believed to be tremendously necessary and for the implementation of which the wish and the endeavour are directed.

Moreover, it might be said that this symposium has been the first and concrete step of close relationships and cooperation between two sides. Mesrob II, the Patriarch of the Armenians in Turkey expressed that as a Patriarchate, they were ready to sign cooperative projects, and they even put forward some concrete proposals. Furthermore, during the negotiations whether after or before the symposium he stated that it would be possible for them to implement cooperative studies. After the implementation of this symposium, another symposium titled Caucasus without Conflicts and Terrorism: Dialogue of Civilizations on the Caucasian Crossroads was organized by The Platform of Civilizations’ Dialogue in Yerevan from May 17-18 2006. As the organizing committee of the present symposium, we were welcomed in Yerevan with great hospitality and treated as VIPs. This reciprocation with great sincerity for our suggestions through the negotiations we implemented with the universities and academicians and the indication of sincerity in the willingness to sign cooperative projects were absolute proof for us that “tolerance and dialogue” were the magic keys, the validity of which we believe in for the solution of the present controversies.

“The Armenian Issue” and Foreign Governments

A lot of reasons can be provided regarding the matter why Turkish and Armenian societies, whose togetherness can be said to have continued for nearly 10 centuries, have come to such a situation where they can’t reach agreement and can’t talk to each other face to face in the same atmosphere, when they were two sincere friends during the second half of the 19th century.

In the light of the current separations and disagreements between the two sides, an analysis of which seems to be almost impossible today, it is undoubtedly necessary to admit the role of the flaws that the administration and nation both represented reciprocally in the past. However, considering the situation it is essential to remember that the attitudes of foreign governments, which are in a state of the third party or power, are the explicit characteristics rather than the flaws that these two sides, “the one administrating” and “the one being administered”, represented. The West, having firstly made mercantilism and later on capitalism a part of life philosophy and having maintained this philosophy together with the politics of colonialism and “dismemberment and division”, virtually caused Turkish-Armenian societies. The Armenians, to whom the doors of even the most private offices of the government were opened and the Ottoman administration, in which these Armenians served within an atmosphere of genuine loyalty and cordiality, to be enemies of each other owing to the West’s insidious politics, poisoning opinions, and methods causing rupture and separation between these two societies. The West became the base, supporter, and protector of the Armenian rebels in the past.

The Western governments urged Armenians, whom they took into consideration with schismatic feelings by pretending to be their protectors in a previous conflict, have also become the intellectual and actual pioneers in the existence of the “Armenian Issue”, which still constitutes the agenda today. These governments acting as the so-called protector, yet in reality the imperialist, regarded the matter involved as a political issue by having it kept away from its historical aspects and characteristics. The Armenians and Armenia do not depict this as an “Armenian Issue” and do not believe that there exists such an issue. Later on they believed in the existence of such an issue only after realizing that Western councils and parliaments had debates over this issue and attempted to make it an official issue. The Western governments haven’t lost any time in implementing their intellectual and actual leadership on this issue whereas the Armenians do not credit the parliament declarations taken into consideration for those who attempt to deny the so-called massacre and the existence of this matter.

“The Armenian Issue” and Diaspora Armenians

The West handled this issue that they claimed as the so-called “issue” with the unethical elements of its own civilizations. The Diaspora Armenians couldn’t help themselves from being intentionally or unintentionally involved in this approach.

In this respect, it is necessary to think of the reasons urging a person like Patrick Deveciyan, who was the grandchild of the manager of an Istanbul fish store (that is, a top level Ottoman bureaucrat), and Karekin Deveciyan (1876 [?] -1964), whose father was an Ottoman and to whom the doors of the highest and most courteous offices of the Ottoman government were opened, to ardently defend an act of the socalled “Armenian Massacre” in the French Parliament and the bill for “An Offence of Denial of the Armenian Massacre”. It is also essential to think of how Patrick Deveciyan, a son of a person bringing up his son as “a man of the east” in an eastern manner and an honourable tradition, refusing to convert into French citizenship by saying: “Turkey is my real homeland” and finally dying without a state by considering it shameful to convert to French citizenship stating: “Even if they do not let me in Istanbul, I am a Turkish citizen”, was able to act for “Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia”, shortly ASALA, and contribute to the passing of an act of the “Armenian Massacre” and ultimately contributing all his efforts so that the bill, considering it culpable not to admit the “Armenian Genocide”, could become legal.

This contrast between grandfather, father and son of the third generation may have resulted from the differences in terms of the content between the atmosphere and egoism in the Ottoman administrative geography in which the philosophy of humanity and tolerance were dominant, and also between the atmosphere and spirit in the European administrative geography in which the mentality of pragmatism and capitalism were valid.

“The Armenian Issue” - Negligence - Proposals It is a known fact that the first government in Europea is France, which we granted political and economical privileges in the time of Ottoman Empire, our first contact in Europe at the beginning of the 14th century. Yet, it is essential to remember that it was also the same European country, that is, France, “our ancient friend”, which considered it culpable not to admit the so-called “Armenian Genocide” after the decision of its parliament to cause a bill for the so-called “Armenian Genocide” to become legal. Moreover, it is France which was accused of ascribing “Le Sultan Rouge” (Red Sultan) to Sultan Abdulhamid II. In view of the accusations that the European governments, France initially, launched against the Ottoman Government with past accusations of “Red Sultan” and yet again today against the Republic of Turkey with the act of the “Armenian Genocide” and the bill for “An Offence of Denial of the Genocide”, we have unfortunately not been able to exonerate neither our past nor our current position from “the aspersions of accusations” that traduce our country.

The defensive approach we adopted in foreign politics from the Ottoman period to the Republic after the 2nd Siege of Vienna (1683) has not changed in spite of all the negative developments having been experienced up to now. This negative and historical resistance seemed to have led to an exhibition of a passive attitude in terms of administrative and social aspects in the matter of reacting and taking precautions against the European-guided “Armenian Issue” by uniting and integrating with political conceptions and a sense of the rejection of inheritance, as well. Considering Turkish foreign policy, in general, there had been not much interest in the “Armenian Issue” as in the matter of Cyprus, the Aegean, the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Caucasus; as a consequence, an unsuccessful outcome was naturally inevitable. The fact that the “Armenian Case”, which was first raised in Europe in 1948, could not be resolved with an approach of the rejection of inheritance and became comprehensible only after nearly a quarter of a century as a result of the assaults towards Turkish Agencies in the 1970s and of a series of our diplomats’ being martyred.

Considering the attempts so as to solve the “issue” from the date when the “Armenian Issue” emerged until today, it is obvious that this case cannot be rid of the consequences that similar problems are exposed to. Therefore, it cannot be remarked that the attention and the solution to deal with the “Armenian Issue” have been in a position of handling and finalizing the matter via the versatile and comprehensive projects and policies. For the permanent and radical enlightenment of the issue, the daily solutions that are followed rather than making a “Master Plan”, (as in the example of reaction against the decision France took in 2006 sudden and sentimental reactions flaring but extinguishing quickly like a straw flame, heroic viewpoints, material interests, and commercial concerns, insincere demonstrations or declarations have all channeled the issue to an even more inevitable situation.

“The Armenian Issue” - A Source of Income and Prestige While Diaspora Armenians accepted to be directed and influenced by foreign governments, it is essential to take heed of the fact that the “Armenian Issue” has been a source of income and prestige for some so-called academicians, researchers, and authors.

Rather than the historians, jurists, and experts of international relations, the matter unfortunately seems to be left to a monopoly of politicians trying to save the day and the authors and caricaturists from an insensible and opportunist group who regard this issue as “a source of income” and make use of its continuation.

The fact that such person would overcome this issue just by having qualifications of an academician and researcher-author is extremely doubtful. As long as the aggressiveness in their manners, the insincerity in their words, and the levity and indifference to the essence of the matter continue and the matter is not handled or does not force someone to deal within political and academic considerations by preventing the issue from becoming a matter of “a source of income and prestige”, it seems inevitable that the problem will continue snowballing.

“The Armenian Issue” - Universities and Research Centers

Our universities, unfortunately, have not ascribed the necessary importance to the issue in parallel with the viewpoint in foreign politics so far. The matter has not been handled and analyzed by the experts at the universities; in addition, neither general or specific nor private or public meetings intended for a solution have been organized. Today, in our universities, it is unknown to us or there seems to be almost no academicians mastering the Armenian language and analyzing Armenian documents and sources thoroughly. In this matter, too, as it is the same with all other problems of ours, it is difficult to conceive for what reason there has been no need to establish research centers and institutes that reject the accusations in a complete academic honesty by investigating and taking all the claims asserted into consideration and that conclude the issue. Up to now, even a comprehensive history of Turkish-Armenian relations has not been written.

It has been argued what the Armenian population still living in the Ottoman Government from past to today is, and thus, how many of them have died or survived. Moreover, we haven’t even been able to reach an agreement on this matter. Even a complete “Corpus on Armenian Rebellions”, being in the foreground in the last century and making progress serious enough to plot the assassination of a sultan, has not been arranged. What political and intellectual elements influencing the Ottoman Armenians are and what policies the British, French, Russian, and Austrian governments pursued against the Ottoman-Armenians are, these are have unfortunately not been consigned to writing. The foundations, objectives and actions of the “Armenian Organizations” existing in the past and today have not been published in books by getting them predicated on reliable documents. Up till now, even an equivalent to the movie “Ararat” has not been arranged and transformed into a cinefilm via the support of our art and artists in a period when the issue has become completely political and the dreams have been penetrated into the innocent minds through propaganda rather than the truths. Having faced the “Armenian Issue” for a period of nearly half a century from the past to today, it is necessary to determine properly what has been done in a real sense, and if it is so, why the problem has not yet been solved. Even if it can’t be said that nothing has been done for a solution to the issue, it can’t be claimed that many things have been done either.

In this respect, it can’t be said that getting in touch with Armenia directly has been intended for the solution of the issue. Perhaps, in contrast to this, using a mediator for the solution of the issue and applying to third parties have to some extent been regarded as a way out. Third parties may be useful in the event that the bilateral negotiations get stuck and come to a deadlock. However, the interference of the third parties before bilateral and face-to-face negotiations has been a matter that both Armenian universities and academicians do not prefer, as they have expressed in their own words.

Instead of solving our problems with our neighbour on our border by negotiating, dialoguing, looking for or creating grounds for a debate, handling the matter via the method of chastening by forbidding flights apparently on the one hand and on the other hand by closing the land border or allowing thousands of Armenians to work as refugees in the country while the number of unemployed people in our country has reached to millions is perhaps not a very reasonable point of view.

“The Armenian Issue” - A Crucial Issue

It is necessary that administrators take the “Armenian Issue” seriously as it has become a crucial issue for Turkey, which has turned into political problem by causing the matter to be rid of its historic quality and turned into a means of obtaining privileges and ascendancies in national and international relations, so that the trouble can be recognized and settled. It seems indispensable that Turkey should make its own administrators, politicians, and prominent entrepreneurs and the foundations for a civil society believe in the sensitivity of the matter.

A Categorical Approach to “The Armenian Issue”

It is certain that the “Armenian Issue”, as it is expressed above, is in fact an invention of third parties and foreign governments rather than mutually being in the spotlight between Turkish and Armenian societies. For this reason, categorizing Armenians as “Armenians in Armenia”, “Armenians in Turkey”, and “Diaspora Armenians” is extremely unerring and beneficial.

It is essential not to forget that the “Armenian Issue” is related to the Diaspora Armenians rather than the Armenians in Armenia and Armenians in Turkey and that these are under the influence and guidance of foreign governments, causing the “Armenian Issue” to emerge and the need for it to be considered among themselves rather than in Armenia or by Armenians. Thus, it is important for us to act in accordance with this circumstance.

“The Armenian Issue” – Exchange of Lecturers and Students

We hope to organize a second symposium like this one in Yerevan by collaborating with the Departments of Turcology and International Relations at universities in Yerevan. Thus, we can increase the collaboration in academic fields between the Turkish and Armenian sides and set up a commencement for a political thaw and future negotiations. During the negotiations we implemented with the offices and people concerned in Yerevan in May 2006, it was taken into consideration with great pleasure that a reciprocal exchange of lecturers and students would be possible for themselves so as to pave the way and be the beginning for cooperative projects.

In Conclusion

It was our objective that this symposium, the honorary presidency of which was undertaken by Prof. Dr. Cengiz Utas, Rector of Erciyes University, with the concerns and considerations described above, was expected to bring in a new dimension for Turkish-Armenian relations through the studies manifested and to set up a bridge for reciprocally friendly relations that will be established between two societies. It is our wish that the second and third symposiums will be fulfilled provided that the matter is handled on more sophisticated grounds in the years ahead due to the qualifications and characteristics that the symposiums possess.

While these papers remind us that the responsibility arising from the viewpoints and information taking place in them naturally belongs to the authors, the Turkish version of which was published in books in the form of three volumes and in which Turkish-Armenian togetherness was handled and analyzed in various aspects, the papers of the symposium are expected to contribute to the history of Turkish-Armenian relations and to the settlement of the issues being in the spotlight today. Being hereby grateful to the administration of Erciyes University, taking the responsibility for printing, and to the staff working on the typesetting, it will be our debt the implementation of which is necessary to acknowledge.

Yours sincerely,

Organizing Committee of the Symposium :

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