UCLA event highlights Armenian heritage in Turkey

UCLA event highlights Armenian heritage in Turkey

Los Angeles – A one-day conference on the Armenian Communities of Asia Minor was held on Saturday, the 20th of March, 2010 at UCLA.

Organised by the Armenian Educational Foundation Chair in Modern Armenian History, led by the indefatigable Richard Hovannisian, with the support of other departments at UCLA and the Southern California-based Organisation of Istanbul Armenians, the conference included ten papers and presentations on the Armenian presence in areas of Anatolia outside of Constantinople (Istanbul), and the more traditional and more often-cited Western Armenia and Cilicia homelands.

Over a hundred participants, mostly older Armenians from the Los Angeles area, and also students and other younger attendees, heard academic and personal accounts of the life and times of Armenians in Adabazar, Izmid, Bardizag, Konya, Bolu, Kutahia and other places. The presentation by Osman Köker, with highlights from a postcard collection showcasing Armenian life in the Ottoman Empire, was unfortunately cancelled due to visa difficulties. This exhibition has already been featured in Istanbul, Paris and a few cities in Germany, as well as in Yerevan last year, with plans for a London showing soon.

The conference was the culmination of the Historic Armenian Cities and Provinces Series, which has been ongoing for more than a decade, having published numerous volumes of research focussing on various regions of what is Turkey today. In his closing remarks, Professor Hovhannisian hoped to see further endeavours of a similar vein when he retires from UCLA next year.