UCLA—Armenian Communities of Asia Minor has been released by Mazda Publishers as the 13th volume in the UCLA series, “Historic Armenian Cities and Provinces,” edited by Professor Richard G. Hovannisian. The Asia Minor volume focuses on several of the more than 100 Armenian communities within easy reach of Constantinople, the Ottoman capital.
Although these communities are less well known to the general public than the traditional Armenian provinces to the east, they nonetheless had a vibrant existence, playing an important role in the production and exportation of silk, textiles, timber, tobacco, and agricultural products. Among them were the cities and towns of Izmid, Adabazar, Bardizag, Armash (the site of a noted seminary), Bursa, Banderma, Eski-Shehir, Kutahia, Sivri-Hisar, and Afion-Karahisar, each with its own Armenian quarters, merchants and craftsmen, schools and churches, cultural and athletic organizations, fanfare bands and choruses.
Contributing to the volume are Armen Manoug-Khaloyan and Richard Hovannisian, who provide an overview of the many Armenian communities stretching from the Gulf of Izmid to Konia; Ara Melkonian on the all-Armenian town of Bardizag; Barbara Merguerian on American missionary schools in Bardizag and Adabazar; Peter Cowe on Konia in the Seljuk period; Arpi Vardumyan on Komitas vardapet, the renowned son of Kutahia; Dickran Kouymjian on the exquisite tile works of Kutahia; Hasmik Khalapyan on the Armenian theater in Asia Minor and Rodosto on the European shore; Osman Köker on contemporary postcards depicting these communities; and Simon Payaslian on the decimation of the Armenians of Asia Minor, who were not spared in 1915 despite the fact that they constituted a small percentage of the total population. Roupen Berberian has prepared the maps that accompany the volume.
Copies of Armenian Communities of Asia Minor may be obtained from Mazda Publishers, local Armenian bookstores, or (in the U.S. only) directly from the series editor at [email protected].