Projects in form: Cultural Heritage
The city of Diyarbakir was one of the most culturally diverse in the Middle East before World War I. People from different ethnic and religious backgrounds–Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Jews, Chaldeans, Arabs and Turks–lived side-by-side until the last century. The centuries-old “millet system” in the Ottoman Empire, which defined a hierarchical, contractual relationship between the state and non-Muslim communities, collapsed during [...]
The population of Armenians, one of the largest Christian communities in the Ottoman Empire, was approximately 1.5 million before the genocide in 1915. After the massacres and deportations of the genocide, it fell to less than 100,000. The Turkish Republic, established in 1923, never acknowledged that Armenians were decimated in 1915. More importantly, the Turkish nation-state instituted exclusionist policies towards [...]
Before the Armenian genocide took place in 1915, Armenians had inhabited Anatolia since ancient times. The Turkish Republic, established after the Armenian genocide in 1923, has never acknowledged the 1915 massacres of Armenians. In official state discourse, the period in which the genocide occurred was an exceptional time, during which Armenians allied with enemy forces and constituted a security threat [...]
The Turkish state has not recognized the Alevi identity as a distinct ethno-religious identity since the establishment of the republic in 1923, and this policy continues to this day. Although the Turkish Republic claims to be secular on a constitutional basis, the Directorate of Religious Affairs, an institution subordinate to the Prime Minister’s office, has regulated all religious activity since [...]
The Holy Cross (Akhtamar) Cathedral in Van was built in 915-921 by the order of King I. Gagik, to shelter a piece of the True Cross that is told to be brought to whereabouts of Van in the 7th century after being smuggled from Jerusalem to Iran. The cathedral  is considered to be one of the most valuable examples of [...]