The Armenian Genocide and Property Usurpation in Aintab

With Ümit Kurt

Hosted by Zeynep Ertuğrul and Andreas Guidi


A prominent Armenian family deported and perished in 1915. Source: Mihran Minassian Private Collection.


The Armenian community of Aintab, nowadays Gaziantep, was among the most flourishing of Ottoman Anatolia. The Armenian Genocide not only brought an end to the community’s coexistence with the Muslim population but also paved the way to the pillage and usurpation of Armenian houses and shops. In this episode, we discuss the characteristics of the community in Aintab and the upsurge of violence in 1915. While addressing the implications of researching this sensitive topic, we focus on the role of local perpetrators as well as the broader juridical configuration which prevented the return of Armenian survivors and legalized material usurpation by local Muslim families.

Ümit Kurt is a Research Fellow at Polonsky Academy in the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute teaching in the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Ümit is also Vice Executive Secretary of the International Network of Genocide Scholars (INoGS). He has published widely on the history of the late Ottoman Empire with a particular focus on the transformations of the imperial structures and their role in constituting the republican regime which he researches and teaches grounded on theories of state and class, social identity, and ethnicity. (Photo Credit: Hüseyin Ovayolu)

To cite this episode: Ümit Kurt, Zeynep Ertuğrul, Andreas Guidi (2021): The Armenian Genocide and Property Usurpation in Aintab. The Southeast Passage #039,



Hicham Chahidi: “Sweet Armenia

Zabel Panosian: “Groung” (Source: BNF Gallica)

Background: Duduk and Santur (by Peyman Heydarian) (Source:


Further reading:

Akçam, T., The Young Turks’ Crime against Humanity: the Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire, Princeton University Press, 2012.

Akçam, T.; Kurt, Ü., The Spirit of the Laws: The Plunder of Wealth in the Armenian Genocide, Berghahn Books, 2012.

Bloxham, D., The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians, Oxford University Press, 2005.

Dadrian, V. N., History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus, Berghahn Books, 2003.

Dündar, F, Crime of Numbers: The Role of Statistics in the Armenian Question (1878-1918), Transaction Publishers, 2010.

Ekmekçioğlu, L, Recovering Armenia: The Limits of Belonging in Post-Genocide Turkey, Stanford University Press, 2016.

Gaunt, D, Massacres, Resistance, Protectors: Muslim-Christian Relations in Eastern Anatolia during World War I, Gorgias Press, 2006.

Gross, J.T., Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland.

Harootunian, H., The Unspoken as Heritage:T he Armenian Genocide and Its Unaccounted Lives, Duke University Press, 2019.

Hovannisian, R. (ed.), The Armenian Genocide: Cultural and Ethical Legacies, Transaction Publishers, 2007.

Hovannisian, R., ed. Looking backward, moving forward : confronting the Armenian Genocide, Transaction Publishers, 2003.

Kaiser, H., The Extermination of Armenians in the Diarbekir Region, Istanbul Bilgi University Press, 2014.

Kévorkian, R., The Armenian Genocide: A Complete History, I.B. Tauris, 2011.

Kieser, H. et al. (eds.), World War I and the End of the Ottomans: From the Balkan Wars to the Armenian Genocide, I.B. Tauris, 2015.

Morris, B. ; Ze’evi D, The Thirty-Year Genocide: Turkey’s Destruction of its Christian Minorities, 1894-1924, Harvard University Press, 2019.

Mouradian, K., The Resistance Network. The Armenian Genocide and Humanitarianism in Ottoman Syria, 1915-1918, Michigan State University Press, 2021.

Suakjian, K. Y., Genocide in Trebizond: A Case Study of Armeno-Turkish Relations during the First World War, University of Nebraska Press, 1981.

Suny, R, They can live in the Desert but nowhere else: A History of the Armenian Genocide, Princeton University Press, 2015.

Suny, R. G., F. M. Goçek, and N. Naimark (eds.), A Question of Genocide: Armenians and Turks at the End of the Ottoman Empire, Oxford University Press, 2011.

Türkyılmaz, Y., “Rethinking Genocide: Violence and Victimhood in Eastern Anatolia, 1913-1915”, Ph.D. Dissertation, Duke University, 2011.

Üngör, U. U., The Making of Modern Turkey: Nation and State in Eastern Anatolia, 1913-1950, Oxford University Press, 2011.

Panoramic view of Aintab in the late 19t century. Source: Mihran Minassian Private Collection.

Kaza Nazar Ağa’s former House. Source: Gaziantep Kent Arşivi, Fotoğraf ve Kartpostal Koleksiyonu.

Aintab civil and military elites who actively participated in deportation, massacres and looting. Source: Gaziantep Kent Arşivi, Fotoğraf ve Kartpostal Koleksiyonu.

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The Armenian Genocide and Property Usurpation in Aintab