The Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA and the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA Law present "The Armenians of Aintab: The Economics of Genocide in an Ottoman Province" by Dr. Ümit Kurt. This lecture is co-sponsored by the UCLA Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History, UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), and the Ararat-Eskijian Museum. Following the lecture Mr. Robert Kurkjian, a descendent of Genocide survivors from Aintab, will provide additional commentary about his family's experience with property loss and confiscation during the Armenian Genocide.
One cornerstone of the wartime campaign against Armenians in the Ottoman Empire was the confiscation of their properties and wealth, which were subsequently transferred to Muslim elites and used in reshaping the domestic economy as well as covering wartime expenses. This talk will explore how the process of economic destruction directed at the Armenians of Aintab (present-day Gaziantep) was implemented. Shifting focus from state to society, thereby prioritizing the local roots of a mass violence in the making, this work will highlight the crucial role played by local elites and provincial notables, actors who prospered in the new social stratum through the acquisition of Armenian property and wealth.