Cover: The Armenians of Aintab: The Economics of Genocide in an Ottoman Province, from Harvard University PressCover: The Armenians of Aintab in HARDCOVER

The Armenians of Aintab

The Economics of Genocide in an Ottoman Province

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$46.00 • £40.95 • €41.95

ISBN 9780674247949

Publication Date: 04/13/2021


400 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

15 photos, 2 maps, 10 tables


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Using Armenian, Turkish and Western sources, [Kurt] analyzes and documents with specificity the liquidation of Armenian movable and immovable properties in Aintab.Armenian Weekly

Kurt deserves praise for distilling a wide range of hitherto untapped historical sources into a coherent and compelling narrative of the local dynamics in Aintab. I wholeheartedly recommend this book not only to scholars of the Armenian genocide but also to anyone interested in regional perspectives on state-sponsored mass violence episodes in history.—Cemal Eren Arbath, Business History Review

An important book on the economics of genocide. The Armenians of Aintab seeks to explain the Armenian genocide as a process of economically motivated destruction… Significantly, this approach demonstrates how genocide works as a top-down and bottom-up process.—Michelle Tusan, Canadian Journal of History

An important step forward in the historiography of the Armenian genocide.—Matthew Gosse, Contemporary Armenian Studies

Kurt’s focus in this important study is not on the national elite, who made the decision to destroy the Armenians. His interest is in the local level. He wants to identify the people who participated in the destruction and to know why they did so… Plunder was legitimized by the state in Istanbul, but the desire for plunder was manifest at the local level many years beforehand. As Kurt effectively demonstrates, plunder enriched Aintab’s Muslim elites at the same time as it confirmed—in their own eyes—their higher status over their Armenian victims.—Robert Melson, Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Deeply researched and a pathbreaking analysis… Impressively expand[s] the source base that scholars have thus far utilized in telling the history of the Armenian Genocide… It is difficult to overstate the importance of this impressive book. Kurt’s painstaking research reveals that those who would claim that Aintab’s Armenians simply ‘left,’ are, in fact, silencing a terrifying history of dispossession of neighbors by their neighbors.—Max Bergholz, Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association

This beautifully crafted, richly researched book tells a powerful story that is sure to interest a wide audience of specialists and nonspecialists alike.—Janet Klein, New Perspectives on Turkey

Stunning… Offers a powerful lens into the intricacies on the local level of how genocides are carried out… [An] extraordinarily revealing and courageous book.—Ronald Grigor Suny, Turkish Studies

Kurt’s superb reconstruction of how Ottoman Armenians were plundered of their homes and businesses shows that everyone was in on it: from greedy locals to opportunistic regional officials to ruthless central leaders. Sealed in stone as well as blood, their criminal bargain forms the shaky foundations of Turkish society—as such bargains do in many countries.—A. Dirk Moses, author of The Problems of Genocide: Permanent Security and the Language of Transgression

A unique contribution and a brilliant crystallization of insights from recent scholarship on the Armenian genocide. Kurt methodically excavates and reconstructs the case of the Armenians of Aintab as a microcosm for the empire before, during, and after the catastrophic events of 1915. The result is a clear, straightforward, and powerful narrative history as illuminating as it is disturbing. Parts of this tale take one’s breath away.—Christine M. Philliou, author of Turkey: A Past Against History

A major contribution to our understanding of the Armenian Genocide that will be of great interest to those studying not only the genocide itself but also the role of property expropriation in genocide generally. As Kurt convincingly shows, the Armenian Genocide and its redistribution of wealth to local Turkish and other Muslim groups helped ‘nationalize’ the economy and create new, local elites. I highly recommend this book.—Stefan Ihrig, author of Justifying Genocide: Germany and the Armenians from Bismarck to Hitler

In a perfect illustration of a local story yielding broad historical insights, Kurt illuminates the Armenian Question in all its dimensions. In examining the elimination of the Armenians of Aintab by local Muslim elites, he follows the birth of family fortunes built on the looting of Armenian property, and often the murder of neighbors. His book is a prime example of the work of a new generation of Ottoman Empire historians who fearlessly tackle taboo subjects and utilize sources well beyond official archives.—Raymond H. Kévorkian, author of The Armenian Genocide: A Complete History

This important, well-written book sheds much-needed light on the late Ottoman state and the Armenian genocide. Kurt shows that genocide is for the perpetrators a creative as much as a destructive endeavor. As well as eradicating the Armenian community, deportation was also a means of reorienting the Muslim population to a new ideological identity. Plunder was a way of creating a Turkic-Muslim bourgeoisie as a driver of national modernization in a Darwinian world of struggle.—Donald Bloxham, author of The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians

A beautifully written, richly sourced exploration of the expulsion and destruction of the Armenian community of Aintab. Enduring family fortunes were built on state-sanctioned expulsions and theft of assets, a story that could, and should, be told about other post-Ottoman peoples and lands. This is an exemplary late Ottoman social history of a prosperous, but also deeply traumatized, provincial town, and probably the best book ever published about Antep.—Michael Provence, author of The Last Ottoman Generation and the Making of the Modern Middle East

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