MISSION HILLS — Dr. Mehmet Polatel, currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the USC Shoah Foundation, will give a lecture on Sunday, February 23, 2020, at 4:00 p.m., entitled “The Hamidian Massacres and the Armenian Land Question in the Late Ottoman Empire,” at the Ararat-Eskijian Museum, Sheen Chapel, 15105 Mission Hills Road, Mission Hills, CA 91345.  This program is co-sponsored by the Ararat-Eskijian Museum and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR).

In the 1910s, the Armenian land question, which referred to the question of what would happen to the seized properties of Armenians, was one of the most debated topics in the Ottoman Empire. This talk explores the emergence and transformation of this social problem based on the Armenian, British and Ottoman sources. Scrutinizing the changes in the characteristics of actors involved in the seizure of Armenian properties, and the scale and geographical distribution of these seizures in the period between the mid-19th century and 1908, Mehmet Polatel argues that the demographic policies of the Hamidian era and the massacres of the 1890s radically transformed the nature of land conflicts concerning Armenians.

Dr. Mehmet Polatel is a postdoctoral research fellow at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research. He received his PhD degree from Bogazici University in Istanbul with his dissertation focusing on the emergence and transformation of the Armenian land question in the late Ottoman Empire. His main research interests are state-society relations, socioeconomic history, Armenian Genocide, and dispossession of Armenians. He has co-authored a book with Uğur Ü. Üngör entitled Confiscation and Destruction: Young Turk Seizure of Armenian Properties (Bloomsbury, 2011) and published several articles and book chapters on the Hamidian massacres, land question, and the Armenian genocide.

This event is open to the public and will be followed by a reception.  For more information please contact the Ararat-Eskijian Museum at 747-500-7584 or [email protected], or NAASR at [email protected].

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