FRESNO — Doctoral candidate Ümit Kurt (Clark University, Worcester, MA) will give a talk on “A Kurdish Schindler: Story of a ‘Savior’ ” at 7:30PM on Friday, November 6, in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191, on the Fresno State campus. Kurt is a Kazan Research scholar at Fresno State for the Fall 2015 semester.

The lecture is part of the Armenian Studies Program Fall 2015 Lecture Series, with the support of the Leon S. Peters Foundation.

Cemil Kunneh
Cemil Kunneh

Cemil Kunneh was a lieutenant in the Ottoman Army and was assigned to be the director of the Birecik shipyard mill under the supervision of the Ottoman Fifth Army, commanded by Cemal Pasha, during the 1915 Armenian deportation and Genocide. In the shipyard mill, rafts and ferries were constructed for use by Ottoman soldiers to cross over the Euphrates River.

What historically makes Cemil Kunneh important is his relentless efforts to save Armenians, especially Protestants in Aintab, from being deported to Der Zor in 1915-1917. During the deportation, Cemil Kunneh married Dikranuhi (1893-1986), the daughter of Father Garabed Guleuzian, and saved her life by stopping her deportation to Der Zor. Kunneh met Dikranuhi during the deportation and married her. This lecture will talk about the efforts of this righteous person to save Armenians during the Genocide and also focus on his life-story with his wife Dikranuhi after the Genocide.

Dikranuhi Guleuzian
Dikranuhi Guleuzian

Ümit Kurt is a PhD. Candidate at Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program in the History Department of Clark University and completing his dissertation. He has written extensively on confiscation of Armenian properties, Armenian Genocide, early modern Turkish nationalism, and Aintab Armenians. He is the author of the Great, hopeless Turkish race: fundamentals of Turkish nationalism in the Turkish homeland 1911-1916 (Istanbul: Iletisim Publishing House, 2012) and editor of the Revolt and Destruction: Construction of the state from Ottoman Empire to Turkish Republic and collective violence (Istanbul: Tarih Vakfi Publishing House, 2015). He teaches history at Sabanci University in Istanbul and is the author, with Taner Akçam, of The spirit of the laws: the plunder of wealth in the Armenian Genocide (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2015).

The lecture is free and open to the public. Free parking is available, with no permit necessary in Fresno State Lots P5 and P6, near the University Business Center.

For more information contact the Armenian Studies Program visit our website at

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