- Young Turk social engineering : mass violence and the nation state in eastern Turkey, 1913-1950
- Award date
- 11 June 2009
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR)
For ages, the eastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire had been a multi-ethnic region, where Armenians, Kurds, Syriacs, Turks and Arabs lived together in the same villages and cities. The disintegration of the Ottoman Empire and rise of the nation state would violently alter this situation, as nationalist elites intervened in heterogeneous populations they identified as objects of knowledge, management and change. These massively violent processes of state formation destroyed historical regions and emptied multicultural cities, clearing the way for modern nation states. This study highlights how the Young Turk regime, from 1913 to 1950, subjected Eastern Turkey to various forms of nationalist population policies aimed at ethnically homogenizing the region and including it in the Turkish nation state. It examines how the regime utilized technologies of social engineering such as physical destruction, deportation, spatial planning, forced assimilation, and memory politics, to increase ethnic and cultural homogeneity within the nation state. The province of Diyarbekir, the heartland of Armenian and Kurdish life, became an epicenter of Young Turk population policies and the theater of unprecedented levels of mass violence.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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