This year, as Armenians world-wide are commemorating the 1600th anniversary of the creation of the Armenian alphabet by St. Mesrob Mashdots under the patronage of Catholicos Sahak the Great, St. Nersess poses this question:
What languages are written using the Armenian alphabet?
If you said "Armenian," you are right, of course.
But during certain times in history, Armenians adapted their versatile alphabet to write other languages including Turkish.
The Phenomenon of the Armeno-Turkish Literature in the 19th century Ottoman Empire will be the topic of a public lecture at St. Nersess Seminary on Tuesday, September 27 at 7:30 pm.
The speaker will be Bedross Der Matossian, a PhD candidate at Columbia University in the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures.
A significant body of literature has survived which was written in the Turkish language using Armenian characters (Hayadar Trkeren). These writings are considered to be an important source for the history of the Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire. With a vast history spanning the 14th to the 20th centuries, and with thousands of manuscripts, books and newspapers published within and outside the borders of the Ottoman Empire, Armeno-Turkish literature played an important role in the religious, political, intellectual, cultural, scientific, legal, literal and theatrical development of the Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire.
Mr. Der Matossian's lecture will focus on the 19th century, which represents a later phase in the development of Armeno-Turkish literature in the Ottoman Empire. The non-Muslim elements living in the Ottoman Empire experienced major transformations in the 19th century, resulting from expanding relations between the Ottoman Empire and the capitalist world economy; the rise of reform movement in the Empire; the ascendance of the non-Muslim elements in the fields of commerce and bureaucracy; the rise of print capitalism; the emergence of a new middle class; the occurrence of dramatic changes in the dynamics of power inside these communities and the rise of nationalism.
Armenians being one of the major non-Muslim elements living in the Ottoman Empire were influenced tremendously by these developments. Mr. Der Matossian will explain the development of Armeno-Turkish literature within the context of these factors and will define and explain the main internal and external factors that played an important role in the amalgamation of Armeno-Turkish literature in the 19th century.
Bedross Der Matossian, a native of Jerusalem, is a graduate of the Hebrew University and currently a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University in the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures. His concentration is on inter-ethnic relationships during the Second Constitutional Period of the Ottoman Empire.
The lecture will take place at the Seminary at 150 Stratton Road, New Rochelle, NY and is open to the public. A reception will be offered at the conclusion of the lecture. For further information contact the Seminary at email@example.com or by calling (914) 636-2003.