Turkey's Landscape of Armenianness

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For his PhD thesis at Oxford, Hrag Papazian looked into the understanding of Armenian identity and Armenianness in Turkey, namely the Christian Armenians, the migrant community from the Republic of Armenia and the Muslim and Alevi Armenians. Papazian says the constructs of identity between these three Armenian communities do not coincide and can often be contradictory.

What we talked about:


- There are several categories of Turkish Armenians: Istanbul Armenians, Muslim Armenians, and Armenian migrants.

- Armenians were allowed to practice only their religion in Turkey: “You can become an Armenian as long as you are the Christian version of the Turks.” Books about history were burned, but Bibles were not. The only place people could keep their culture alive was the Church. 

- Armenianness and Christianity are always tied. Armenianness is ethno-religious identity and the boundary of it is clearly religious. 

- Muslim Armenians - this concept causes cognitive dissonance for Christian Armenians. Are they Muslims or Armenians? In their understanding (Christian Armenians), they cannot be both. 

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