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Christian, Muslim, and Alevi Armenians in Turkey: Parallel Regimes of Exclusion and Multilateral Boundary Making

Christian, Muslim, and Alevi Armenians in Turkey: Parallel Regimes of Exclusion and Multilateral Boundary Making

Family tree of a Muslim Armenian.

CULTURE | POWER | SOCIAL CHANGE in the UCLA Department of Anthropology presents "Christian, Muslim, and Alevi Armenians in Turkey: Parallel Regimes of Exclusion and Multilateral Boundary Making" by Dr. Hrag Papazian. This event is co-sponsored by the UCLA Promise Armenian Institute, the Center for Near Eastern Studies, and the Center for European & Russian Studies.

Thursday, February 10, 2022
12:15 PM - 1:45 PM

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Whether in official censuses or media and literature, “Armenians of Turkey” was traditionally seen as equivalent to “Christian Armenians of Turkey”. Armenianness was classified as a non-Muslim minority identity since the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923, and thus confined within religious boundaries. However, descendants of Armenians Islamized or Alevized during or soon after the 1915 Armenian Genocide began to publicly emerge as “Muslim” and “Alevi Armenians” in the past few decades. Having been subjected to lineage-based racist treatment, these “unorthodox” Armenians usually hold a primordialist approach to Armenianness, defining it as a “race” (soy/─▒rk in Turkish) that is independent of religion. They are thus at odds with many Christian Armenians who perceive Armenian identity to be inseparable from Christianity. In this talk, I discuss the different ways in which Armenianness is understood and, importantly, experienced by Turkey’s Christian and non-Christian Armenians, reflecting on the parallel regimes of religious and racial discrimination in a post-genocidal environment. I also examine the emergence of symbolic and social boundaries between the two Armenian sides and put forth the analytical framework of multilateral boundary making.

 

Dr. Hrag Papazian is a Promise Armenian Institute Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at UCLA. He earned his doctoral degree in anthropology from the University of Oxford (2020) where his dissertation about Armenians in contemporary Turkey was awarded the Professor David Parkin Prize. He is also a Visiting Scholar at the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge.

 

 


Sponsor(s): The Promise Armenian Institute, Center for Near Eastern Studies, Center for European and Russian Studies, Anthropology