PSIA Seminar: The ‘Other’ Citizens – Armenians in Turkey between Isolation and (dis)Integration

YEREVAN, Armenia – On November 15, the Political Science and International Affairs program (PSIA) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) organized a seminar dedicated to exploring discrimination that Armenians face in Turkey today. The speaker of the event, Dr. Hratch Tchilingirian, presented the historical background that led to the current reality.  According to the lecturer, in the post-Genocide period, state discrimination against the Armenian community—and the non-Muslim minorities—has been institutionalized and systematically used towards the detriment of the given community.

Dr. Tchilingirian presented the typical contemporary examples of anti-Armenian public rhetoric, misrepresentations, and false rumors present in print and broadcast media, among government officials, public figures, and society. On the micro-social level, the lecturer spoke about the “religious-cultural differences” between Armenians and Turks, which have, in fact, not been the defining markers of minority-majority interaction in Turkey. Dr. Tchilingirian spoke about these issues as well as the processes of state and societal ‘othering’ of the Armenians in Turkey, with a particular focus on the impact of state policies and public discourses on the current situation of the community.

Dr. Hratch Tchilingirian is a sociologist and associate faculty member of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. Following his doctoral studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science (Ph.D. in Sociology), he taught and held various academic positions (2002-2012) at the University of Cambridge. He has also held leadership positions in educational and nonprofit institutions in Britain and the United States. His primary research interests are in the field of sociology, religion, and political science, with a particular focus on inter‐ethnic conflicts, diasporas, the Middle East, and the Caucasus. He has published extensively and lectures widely in Europe, the US, and the Middle East (www.hratch.info).

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.

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