There is limited information about the lives of Armenians in Constantinople before the conquest. Records from the eighteenth century Armenian historian İnciciyan provide some of the greatest insight and show that, although there was no patriarchy, Armenians had a religious representative in the city. According to this source, despite a lack of official political representation until 1118,1 Armenians managed to preserve their distinct national traditions, although they were widely referred to as Hay-Horom (Armenian-Greek). Perhaps as a natural consequence, Armenians continued, even today, to be grouped together with Rums (Orthodox Christians). Just prior to the founding of the Ottoman State, following the marriage of the Michael IX Palaiologos to the sister of Hetum of the Cilicia Armenians in 1296, Armenian community in Constantinople, was strengthened with the resettle of the Armenians who had been forced to migrate to other cities. It is recorded that a church man called Husik represented the Armenians of the city at the Council of Sis in 1307; prior to the conquest there were two bishops, Hovhannes and Esayi2. Another spiritual leader, Hovakim, who was the archbishop of Constantinople, is mentioned in an manuscript written in Armenian dated 1438.3 This spiritual leader was probably the official patriarch of Istanbul who was given this post by Sultan Mehmed II after the conquest.4
Armenian churches started sprouting up centuries ago. It might be said that the presence of Armenian religion in Istanbul predates the community’s political footprint. It is for this reason that Armenian religious history and political history are often studied concurrently. It is impossible to understand the evolution of Armenian identity without first studying the history of the Gregorian Armenian Church. The relationship between the Armenian community and the Armenian society that developed in the process is the clearest example of this. Indeed, the concept of community is at the forefront of both Armenian social and political history.5 The church is not only a house of worship, but also a place for social gatherings.6 The Armenians, who are not considered as being Christian, and as a result are not included among the classical Christian church categories of Catholic or Orthodox. The Gregorian identity of the Armenians is related to the formation of the national identity that we have mentioned.7
After the Armenians established their churches, many were forced to flee as a result of their religious difference and religious oppression from other people.8 Nevertheless, preferring Christianity, the Armenians established their own church in the early fourth century. The Armenian Church was influenced by the apostles Tateos and Partoğimeos and thus is included among the apostolic churches. The commonalities between the Assyrian and Nestorian churches are also derived from these apostles.9
Armenians collectively embraced Christianity in the year 30110 and since then the Christianity was their official religion. About 150 years after embracing the faith, Armenians did not participate in the council in Kadıköy and did not accept that Jesus was the sole son of God or that he has two natures coexisting in one entity.11 In addition to their absence from the council in 451 and their rejection of the decisions made therein, they also rejected the decisions of the bishops’ council in 506, and as a result, the Armenian Church split from other Christian groups. Thus, Armenians separated from the Iranians by embracing Christianity but also separated from the Roman Church due to their doctrine of monophysitism. Despite continuous religious oppression since this time, the Armenians have managed to preserve their national and religious traditions through their churches and various other institutions.12
The institution of Catholicos was founded around the city of Yeravan about this time as this city remained an important Armenian religious center until the early tenth century. The Catholicos of Etchmiadzin was established by Gregoir (Gregor/Kirkor)13. This Catholicos, which is also referred to as the “three churches”, in theory occupies a central place among Armenian churches; in addition, there is the idea that the Catholicos is the servant of God and he is the Catholicos of all Armenians.14 The Aghtamar Catholicos, established on an island in Lake Van, did not play a significant role in the religious lives of Armenians. The Sis-Catholicos, established in the Cilicia region, became more prominent than Aghtamar in divine terms. Although the Catholicos was forced to move from Sis to Yerevan in 1441, Sis preserved the title of Catholicos. The center was active until World War I in Sis, but it was moved to Antelias in Beirut and has remained there ever since. Joining with Antelias, Sis is also referred to as the Cilicia Catholicos. Some opinions deemed diametrically opposed to the established doctrines of Christianity, such as marriage for clergy, were endorsed at the council of 1307 in Sis; in response, some monks established a new Church (center) in Jerusalem. Known as Mar Yakub, this church gained the status of patriarchy after some time. Thus, the Armenians gained a new center, on the level of the Patriarchate, in Jerusalem (Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem); this followed after Yerevan, Aghtamar and Sis. Although some researchers allege that this center was established by the Caliph Omar in 637,15 no such name appears in the historical sources.
Istanbul’s Armenian Patriarchate and the Armenian Churches of Istanbul
The Armenian Church developed over a period of time and became centered in Istanbul during the reign of Sultan Mehmed II. It is not known what kind of religious authority Hovakim had in Bursa prior to 1461. At this time Mardiros was the Armenian archbishop in Istanbul. After Hovakim, the fate of Mardiros is also unknown; Hovakim was appointed to the patriarch by Sultan Mehmed II in place of Mardiros.16 Sultan Mehmed II protected the authority of the Greek churches, and with the representation, in the personage of Hovakim, on an equivalent patriarchate level, the Armenians in Istanbul were identified as an independent community.17 Hovakim’s civil and religious authority can be seen as a manifestation of the Church’s influence on the Armenian community. The patriarch is responsible for arranging and monitoring social functions such as marriages, divorces, education and charity work for the Armenians in Istanbul.18
Serving in St. Kevork (Sulumanastır) in Samatya in Istanbul until 1641, the Patriarchate was moved to Kumkapı and called the Surp Asvadzadzin. The southern part of the church is composed of three parts and there is an additional section for women, known as Surp Hagop. The section referred to as the “external church” is on the north side of the structure, and is referred to as Surp Sakis. The church sustained damage from fires in 1645 and 1718, but in both cases repairs were made. Some parts of the church were demolished in 1767 during the reign of Sultan Mustafa III. In 1769 a pool was built in the courtyard of the church to protect it against future fire damage. According to information provided by İnciciyan, Sulumanastır Church had belonged to the Greeks before the conquest. The Armenians, who immigrated to Istanbul from Karaman, were settled around Samatya and they were given the Greek Church to meet the needs of the growing population. From İnciciyan’s records, we can understand that this was a temporary period. According to the records, upon the request of the Armenians, Sultan Suleyman I donated and offered Armenians full use of the church. Indeed, the expansion of the church by the Armenian patriarch of Jerusalem, Grigor, and the Istanbul patriarch, Hovhannes Golod, by annexing more buildings was only possible after this time.19
After the conquest, Armenians settled in six districts of Istanbul, referred to as the six parishes. The six districts included Samatya, Langa, Yenikapı, Kumkapı, Balat and Hasköy. The six parish priests, which can be found in some archival documents, refer to Armenian priests.20
The Istanbul patriarch attained the status of spiritual leader of all Armenians in the Ottoman State due to the efforts of Sultan Mehmed II. In this regard, the Patriarchate was linked to the Ottoman administration, and the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul was the official addressee of the government. The Patriarchate was granted judicial power over some other non-Muslim subjects,21 including taxation.22
Istanbul’s Armenian Patriarchate, established with the help of Sultan Mehmed II, was able to carry out most of its duties, including regulating both the religious and the social lives of Istanbul’s Armenians until the Tanzimat and Islahat edict. However, after some changes in world politics, particularly after the French Revolution, some regulations were added to the administrative structure of the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul and thus a nizamname (code of regulations) for Armenians was introduced in 1863. Before this nizamname, another had been prepared in 1860, but it failed to quell the unrest among the Armenian community.23
Consisting of 99 articles, this nizamname was promulgated and enforced with the participation of leading representatives of Istanbul’s Armenian community, including the Istanbul Armenian Patriarchate.24
The nizamname started with a description of Istanbul’s Armenian Patriarchate and the first seven articles detailed how the patriarch was to be elected. The patriarch also represented the executive powers of the state. For this reason, the candidate should be respected and trusted by everyone. The patriarch had to have the merit, qualifications and honor expected of the position and he had to be an Ottoman citizen, with a native patriarchal line, being at least 35 years of age.
After describing the patrirachy the nizamname laid out the duties of the patriarch in five articles. The patriarch of Istanbul had to abide by all relevant regulations. One of the duties of the patriarch was to ensure that the council, which was to solve the problems that were transmitted to the patriarchate, functioned properly. The office of patriarch was to be effective in solving problems that could be encountered in social institutions. He also had the authority to remove officials serving in the church, monastery, school and hospitals from their posts.
The next four articles of the nizamname included provisions relating to the structure of the patriarchate; articles 17 to 23 were devoted to the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Articles 24 to 35 outlined the responsibilities of the synod, whose opinions were to be sought in dealing with any possible problems that might arise. Articles 36 to 43 discussed the duties of the secular council. Articles 44 to 51 detailed that the commissions to be created by the secular council. In this context, the commissions were founded for the following areas: education, institutions, judiciary, monasteries, accounting, administration, probate administration and hospital administration.
Articles 52 to 56 highlighted the regulation of parishes. Articles 57 to 84 set out the provisions for the planned 140-member General Assembly. The final articles presented general principles related to the council and commissions. Article 99 included the epilogue of the regulation.
The intellectual change in the Ottoman state structure was first manifested with the Tanzimat and the Islahat and then, from the second half of the 19th century, the Patriarchate’s influence on non-Muslim subjects led to developments that helped the Istanbul Armenian Patriarchate become a more effective institution. The 1863 nizamname, mentioned earlier was at the forefront of these developments. It can be understood from the nizamname that the Armenian community had direct interest in the process of modernization, and not only that of the internal structure of the church.
A total of 64 patriarchs served between 1461, when the Patriarchate was founded, and 1839, when the Tanzimat was promulgated. Today, the total number is 84. Some patriarchs were reappointed several times.
Today, although Mesrob Mutafyan retired from all of his duties due to illness, he still holds the position of Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul. Affiliated with the Istanbul Armenian Patriarchate, in addition to the Patriarchate center, other active churches in Istanbul include: Surp Hovhannes Avedaraniç Church in Narlıkapı, Surp Pırgiç Church in Yedikule, Surp Hreşdagabed Church in Balat, Tarlabaşı, Surp Asvadzadzin Churches in Beşiktaş, Yeniköy, Sakızağacı and Eyüp, Surp Kirkor Lusavoriç Church in Karaköy, Surp Yerortutyun Church in Beyoğlu, Surp Haç Church in Kuruçeşme, Surp Garabed and Kirkor Lusavoriç churches in Kadıköy, Surp Bogos Church in Büyükdere, Surp Kirkor Church in Ortaköy and Surp Nişan Church in Kartal. Apart from these churches, there is one Catholic church in Kadıköy and one Protestant Armenian church in Aynalıçeşme.25
Churches and Communities
Following the proclamation of the Tanzimat and the Islahat, and after the Armenian National Constitution went into effect, the Armenian community began to demand increased rights based on ideas that the community, in particular, the Church, put forward. In addition to the confusion that was brought about by sectarian clashes that occurred within the community, the display of clear negative attitudes against the government, organized by the Church, led Ottoman statesmen to take precautions in this matter. There were even new societies, like the Armenian Zadegan Community,26 which were established to fight against negative propaganda, that sent letters to religious leaders, requesting that they adopt an attitude of distancing from the separatist movements in Armenian society.
In addition to communities such as Fukaraperver Nisvan Cemiyeti,27 established to help orphaned and needy Armenian children, many Armenian communities, in particular, those established in European centers, focused their activities on Armenian nationality in Istanbul and has sat the basis for the nationalism. For example, the Kırmızı Komite/Haç Cemiyeti (Red Committee/Cross Community),28 which was established around Beyoğlu and Samatya, demanded an independent status for the Armenians within the state and the churches in Anatolia carried out effective efforts in organizing the members of the congregation. Even Priest Harehoryun advocated independence for the Armenians in a speech he made in Muş; in response to this he was warned by the state and the activities of the community were prohibited.29
Though the Armenian Homeland Society was based in Paris, it sent its publications to Istanbul and encouraged Istanbul Armenians to engage in activities against the state through community organizing. After the government caught on to this Parisian influence, publications from the Paris community were banned.30 Despite this prohibition, the influence could not be prevented.31 Through the local publications of Hayk and Hayasdan in Istanbul, Armenians influenced the international press with their opinions; with the organization of Vatanperveran Community,32 they were able to have articles published in the international media. Over time, the Armenian quest for independence from the Ottoman State started to shift from intellectual debate to actual political conflict.33
As is known, the missionaries who infiltrated the Armenian community in the last century not only dragged the Armenians into a sectarian conflict, but also helped Armenians to establish a nationalist organization. Indeed, the Armenian Evangelical Association, which was supported by the United States and encouraged the politicization of Armenians, aimed for the Armenians to have an autonomous structure within the state.34 After the Ottoman State took measures against the association, it continued its activities in other countries, like the USA and Germany, targeting the youth and continuing to incite them against the state. With the increased involvement of outside actors, new branches were opened in Merzifon35 and Antep.36 The fact that the community established by the Armenian Protestants was motivated by the sermons of their priests37 clearly demonstrates the role that the Church played in the nationalist movement.
Of course, the establishment of these communities did not happen all at once. The intellectual basis on which Armenian nationalism was built was shaped by the priest Mekhitar’s doctrines, which date back to the early eighteenth century. The Armenian priest, Mekhitar, organized his students around Christian humanism and an ecumenism that transcended time from a religious-theological aspect. As early as the eighteenth century, this priest started to represent change in Armenian culture within the organization he founded in Venice. Although the leading Armenians seemed suspicious about the establishment of this organization and occasionally discredited it, it also evoked secret admiration.38 The society that was established in Venice organized its activities in the Surp Gazar Monastery.39
It is stated that the belief in ecumenism, which was effective in securing unity, originated from the speeces of another Armenian man of God, St. Nerses Şınorhali. In fact, Şınorhali was an important figure for Priest Mekhitar in that he acted from an understanding of ecumenism that was not only important for the contemporary era, but which had lasted throughout the centuries of Christianity but had never found an opportunity to be implemented. According to Mekhitar, the Bible, as the most transcendent and inspirational text of all time, should be considered as being independent from time.40
Mekhitar closely analyzed Western culture before he systematized his teachings and began supporting the idea that there should be continuous contact with the West for the reshaping of Armenian culture. In addition, he accessed the first mythological works of his own nation, and became an authority in the synthesis of European literature and mythology with Armenian mythology. Separating the West’s humanist beliefs from the idea of national unity, Mekhitar supported national unity on the basis of humanism.41 He made use of the data he obtained for raising young Armenian children and disregarded class divisions. Thus, Mekhitar became a popular and respected figure among all Armenian youth.42 Years later, Mekhitar’s studies were still considered to be beneficial to the Armenian nation and nationalism.43
The work published under the title, Haygazyan Parkirk (Armenian Dictionary) is only one of the influential works of this author. More than just a dictionary, this study is an analysis of Armenian humanism.44 It was obvious that these studies, which revived the Armenian language and national identity, would to lead to a reawakening of national consciousness among Armenians.45 Indeed, a Mekhitarist priest, İsaverdent, published a work in 1874 entitled: “Armenia and Armenians”, which underlines this fact.46 Venice was only a temporary location for Mekhitar; his ultimate aim was to establish a center at Mount Ararat;47 this makes it immediately evident why he was striving to organize the Armenians under one roof.
The pupils who were trained in the school established by the Mekhitarists in 1834 in Padova came to Istanbul and were involved in Armenian reform movements;48 they were also assigned duties in Armenian schools. Undoubtedly, this was about the awakening of a national Armenian consciousness. That the book “Armenian History”, a three-volume work prepared and published between 1784 and 1786 by the society,49 sheds light on how a doctrine of Armenian nationalism was instilled into the Armenian society via the Church. Nevertheless, Kevork Pamukciyan describes the works of the Mekhitarist priests as a service to science. In Pamukciyan’s opinion, the greatest service of the Church to the Armenian society was publishing and translating scientific works, teaching Armenian literature and national history of the Armenians to the Armenian youth through these kinds of activities.50
Hasunists are another Church-based group which arose in the 19th century from Istanbul’s separatist Armenian communities. Awakening Armenian national consciousness was the fundamental aim of this society,51 which was connected to the Cilicia Catholic Armenian Patriarch and the Istanbul archbishop, Andon Bedros Hasun.52
Activities to catholicize Armenians, led by France, soon became effective.53 The Ottoman State granted the privileges which had been enjoyed by the Istanbul Armenian patriarch to Catholic Hasun in order to extricate itself from the predicament it found itself in as a result of the separation of the catholicized Armenians from Orthodox Armenians, and thus, from the Istanbul Patriarchate. This appointment was not approved by many Catholics, who thought that the spiritual leader of the Armenian Catholics should have been in Antelias. Although the appointment of Hasun as catholicos by the Catholics, did something to ease this disapproval, the tension between the Catholics and Orthodox did not cease.54
The Mechitarists objected to the Hasunists efforts to Latinize the Armenian Church. Although both societies emerged with the same aim, this separation quickly led to the formation of Hasunist and anti-Hasunist groups among the Armenians.55
Istanbul’s Armenian Patriarchate pleaded with the Ottoman State to publish a statement and discharge Hasun of his duty, warning that otherwise there would be discord among the Armenians.56 As a result of the investigations that were carried out, while the Armenian Catholics were protected, Hasun was removed from his post. Subsequent to this, the pope reappointed Hasun; this was immediately criticized by the authorized bodies, including the Ottoman government.57
It was understood that tensions between the Catholics and Istanbul Armenian Patriarchate could not be defused despite the intervention of the state; by the mid-19th century, the Armenians were dragged into sectarian strife.
In accordance with an agreement signed in 1503 between Bayezid II and the Doge of Venice, a consulate for Venice was opened in Istanbul; after this date many privileges were granted to other European countries. With the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca, signed in 1774, the Catholics in Istanbul fell under the dominion of the French ambassador. European Latin missionaries who had privileges provided in the treaties spread Catholic propaganda in the Ottoman territories and focused their activities particularly on the Christian subjects of the Ottoman State.58 Moreover, these activities were not only driven by religious concerns, but it was also thought that they could result in some economic benefits.59
It was expected that separatist ideas among both missionaries and Armenians would soon influence the Orthodox Armenian community.60 In fact, the Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, organised by Pope Gregorius XV in 1622 with the aim of spreading Catholic belief, led to the establishment of the College for Propaganda in 1627; this was intended to influence the Armenian population.61
Keeping itself aloof from the Latin Church for monophism and national reasons, the Orthodox Armenians started to unite through organizations, such as, the Crusades, although such efforts could not be long term. In the 19th century, changing world politics and the successful campaigns of Christian missionaries helped Catholicism spread among the Armenians. Considered a possible supporter of French activities in the east, Catholic missionaries had great hopes in the Armenian nation.62
Simultaneously, four Catholic churches were established in Ankara in 1735 and in 1758 the first Armenian papal representative was appointed to Istanbul. With the approval of the Latin papal representative in Istanbul, this representative was given the authority to consecrate priests.63
Following these activities, there seems to have been an efficient organization among Catholic Armenians in Istanbul in the middle of the 18th century, with even a priest was appointed. Indeed, it can also be observed from the documents64 that the Sublime Porte adopted a rigid attitude towards separatist sects breaking from the Armenians.65
As a result of the effective activities of the Latin Church and Hasunists, Armenians started adopting Catholic practices; as with the Latin clergy, they began abstaining from marriage, though such a practice was in conflict with their own tradition. It has also been stated that the clothes of the clergy were the same as that of the Latin clergy, though their caps differed. Indeed, Latin gown and cassocks started spreading in the cities and bishops began carrying crosses and rings, looking similar to the Latin priests.66
As the Latin movement started to spread among the Armenians, some preferred to attend Latin churches rather than their own. This led to an exacerbation of the problems between the Armenian sects, which ultimately led the Armenian Church to increasingly oppress Catholic Armenians.67
Pressure was insignificant early on. At first, people tried to convince the Armenians who had chosen to convert to Catholicism to return to their own sects. There were even publications that were printed for this purpose. The fact that the government in Istanbul asked the Church for the names of Armenians who had converted to Catholicism reveals how the government felt about the situation. Based on this, it seems that the government wanted to avert an internal Armenian conflict which could have arisen due to the Armenians wanting to keep Catholic Armenians under control.68 In the event of the continuation of tensions caused by the prevalence of Catholicism, the possibility of expelling Catholic Armenians was even considered.69
Despite all these efforts, in addition to the activities that were carried out in 1735 and 1758, the Cilicia Armenian Baronage, which had been destroyed in 1375 was re-established in Aleppo in 1740; this started to help spread Catholicism among the Armenians. This leads us to the conclusion that neither the efforts by the Armenians or that of the government in Istanbul were very effective against the Catholicization of the Armenians. After the baronage had been reestablished, the appointment of Abraham Ardzivyan70 to this post, a man who was a catholicos approved by Rome, demonstrates the obvious influence of the Latin Church on Catholic Armenians.
From the 19th century on, in order to ease tensions between Armenian sects, more effective activities started to be carried out, particularly in Istanbul. The first of these activities was carried out by the Armenian Patriarch XI Hovhannes Çamaşırcıyan from Bayburt in 1810. Summoning the Catholic religious and civil leaders to a meeting, Çamaşırcıyan unsuccessfully tried to reach out to all Catholic Armenians. This attempt failed due to the fact that the condition was put forward that in order to unite the sects the concepts held by the Catholics concerning Christology, purgatory, the Holy Spirit, the last blessing and the priority of Pope were to be studied together with the views held by the Armenian Church. However, the patriarchate administration considered such an analysis to be a complete submission of the Armenian Church to the Latin Church and therefore to the papacy. The second meeting, held in 1817, was more successful in creating unity. The merging efforts initiated by the Armenian Patriarch Boghos Kirkory I from Edirne were supported by prominent Catholic families; these families were reminded of the religious teachings of Krikor Lusavorich and Nerses Şınorhali, considered to be saints by both Orthodox and Catholic Armenians. Although this meeting seems to have been more successful than the previous one, the absence of the Catholic clergy and a renewed conflict over the papal representative thwarted unification.71
It should be noted that unification efforts were intended to establish peace in the community. The historian Cevdet Pasha describes the Orthodox-Catholic conflict which started to polarize the Armenian community in Istanbul as follows:
Latin Catholics have been trying to catholicize the Armenian society by proselytizing throughout Istanbul since 1195 H. The Armenian patriarch in Istanbul has issued decrees on this and has been severely punishing those Armenians who have been swayed by Catholicism. The struggle between the Catholic and Istanbul Armenian patriarch has become so violent that the Armenians stopped allowing Catholics – who do not even have their own churches – to be buried in their cemeteries. For this reason, Catholics were burying their dead in their gardens and have been ostracized by other members of their sect. However, by the understanding “a passion develops for that which is forbidden,” the Catholics’ passion has strengthened as they have been oppressed by the Orthodox Armenians. In the place of the Catholic bishop who had been dismissed on the request of the Istanbul Armenian Patriarch, the pope appointed a bishop; in a short time, Orthodox Armenians began to prefer Catholicism.
Two respectable individuals, Agop Tıngıroğlu and David oğlu Andon, converted to Catholicism. When the government was notified of their conversion, Agop and Andon were exiled to Rhodes. As complaints to the government grew more frequent, some statesmen said: “It is no concern of ours as to which sect they come from or which denomination they prefer!” Some of them said: “These Catholics are at the pope’s disposal. They think that the pope is the caliph of Jesus. We still remember how much we suffered because of the papacy at one time. They cannot refrain from mischief due to the provocations of the pope.” Though it was deemed wrong for a government to interfere in the denominational affairs, as most of the leading Armenian families were Orthodox, in this case, it was necessary for the government to intervene. Furthermore, the Armenians who became Catholics were not yet recognized by the state. Therefore, the appointment of a patriarch or an archbishop or their dismissal could only be carried out by the Orthodox Church. Although the spiritual leader of the Armenians was Etchmiadzin, the patriarch in Istanbul carried authority within the borders of the Ottoman Empire and had all the rights of the Greek patriarch. In contrast, it was striking that the Catholics did not recognize this patriarch and that they even made speeches in favor of the freedom of Armenian society. One of the Catholic Armenians uttered these words during a drinking bout: “Hey my Sultan, one day you will see that two soldiers will be waiting at your door when you wake up. But they will not do you any harm. We will be free from your pressure and we will be equal.” Despite all this, the decision of the government was that there was no need for a struggle with the Armenians who had become Catholic and there was no need for violence, that the sects should be given freedom.”72
The statement: “a passion develops for that which is forbidden” in Cevdet Pasha’s quote summarizes the sectarian strife that occurred among the Armenians. The depression felt by Orthodox Armenians who had remained aloof from the Latin Church until the 19th century, continuing to be supported by the government is described by another official historian of the period, Ahmed Lütfi Efendi:
People adopting a different concept of worship in the Armenian society have not been attending the Armenian Church, but rather attend the Latin Church. For now, although both sides are being protected by the government, the Armenians who attend the Latin Church have started to be Francophiles, perhaps for no good reason. The separatist thoughts that emerge in society as a consequence are influencing the Armenians who are living both inside and outside the cities. The state should immediately recognize the Catholics as a single sect and sever its connections with the Latin Church.
There were about 24,000 Armenians living in Istanbul and a total of about 150,000 in the Ottoman State.73 Ahmed Lütfi Efendi underlines the point that conversion to Catholicism could not be prevented, and summarizes the changing attitude of Istanbul’s government, quoting an imperial command:
Non-Muslim citizens of the Ottoman Empire will be protected by the state no matter what sect they belong to. If someone acts in violation of the rules established by the state, they will be punished regardless of denomination. Moreover, there can be no question of pressure on or advice to the Ottoman State from any European country in this matter.74
Both rising civil strife and the attention in other states on this issue led the Istanbul government to take the matter seriously. As can be understood from the documents, dignitaries tried to take precautions by making a number of statements.75
It appears that the Catholics were able to continue living among the Orthodox Armenians thanks to the precautions taken by the state. Indeed, the words of the Armenian Patriarch summarize the case: “Armenians have always demonstrated unswerving loyalty to the Ottoman Empire and they will eternally claim their allegiance. As your servant and as the spiritual leader of the Armenians, I promise to show unswerving loyalty.”76
After this statement which demonstrated their millet-i sadıka (loyalty to the community), the Armenian clergy that belongs to the Catholic community, continuously made statements that reiterated their loyalty to the sultan;77 this resulted in the sultan showing mercy to the Catholic Armenians, who had from time to time been the target of the sultan’s anger.78 It could be said that the Catholic Armenians were protected from the oppression that the non-Catholic Armenians placed on them by the Ottoman statesmen.
Principles of Worship
It is not possible to analyze the political and social history of the Armenians without examining the Church, it would not be appropriate to separate religion from tradition.
The Armenian Apostolic Church (Gregorian Armenian Church) uses some different symbols from other Christian churches. The fundamental symbols of the Armenian Church are as follows:
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of God the Father, the only begotten, that is, of the substance of the Father. God of God, light of light, very God of very God, begotten and not made; Himself of the nature of the Father, by whom all things came into being in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate, became man, was born immaculately of the holy Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit. By whom He took body, soul and mind and everything that is in man, truly and not in semblance. He suffered and was crucified and was buried, and rose again on the third day and ascended into heaven with the same body and sat at the right hand of the Father. He is to come with the same body and with the glory of the Father to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom has no end.79
The faith of the Gregorian Armenian Church revolves around Christ as one incarnate nature, where both divine and human natures are united (miaphysis). Because of this principle, the Gregorian Armenian Church is categorized as monophysite. The Armenian Church is closed to other doctrines except the unification of two souls in one nature and rejects the doctrines that are outside of this, leading to the creation of this symbolic liturgy.
One of the basic elements of Christian churches is the sacrament. In Christianity, every church has its own sacrament. The number varies depending on the denomination to which the Church belongs to.
The Armenian Church has six sacrements:
Baptism (mıgırdutyun); this means embracing the religion and symbolizes the spiritual salvation of humans. Baptism is a ceremony that represents opening the doors of heaven and the acquisition of the love of Jesus. Every new-born should be baptized; at this point the Church officially records the new-born as an individual. This practice has the same importance in every Christian denomination. This rite is required in order to perform any other sacrament.
Casting out demons, known as an exorcism, is practiced before this sacrament. While there is no dispute over the prayers involved in the exorcism or the baptism, there are considerable differences in opinion over the age at which one should be baptized. Armenians perform baptism immediately after a child’s birth. Before this, a godfather should be chosen for the newborn. The duty of baptism falls to the godfather, also known as the kavor (best man); the godfather arranges the festivities for the newborn, and this responsibility is handed down from father to son to grandson. It is for this reason that the concept of godfather is considered to establish strong bonds within the Armenian families.
Gınunk (chrismation) is another sacrament that aims to strengthen with the spirit of God. It is believed that anointment with the sacred oil Müron during this sacrament strengthens the soul of the individual with the spirit of God; after baptism, it is thought that the individual acts more like Jesus. In this way, each person understands the magnitude of the God who has created them and believes that God has power over all things. The individual also hopes that all their sins will be forgiven. In the Armenian Church, this confirmation is held immediately after baptism. In this way, the child is deemed to be a soldier of Christ immediately after the birth. Although practiced at the same time as baptism, gınunk does not have any religious connection with the baptism (mıgırdutyun). Indeed, in other Christian denominations confirmation is performed long after the baptism, generally between the ages of 13 and 16. If the person has converted to Christianity later on in life, confirmation is conducted immediately after baptism.80
Surp Badarak, or Holy Communion, is the third sacrament adopted by the Armenian Church. The basic principle of this sacrament is as follows, as explained in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John:
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”81
An Armenian intending to participate in this sacrament, known as the eucharist, should firstly prepare themselves for this ceremony in terms of faith. Reciting parts of the Bible, regulating social relations, purifying morality and conscience are parts of the preparation. Repentance, as taught by the Church, should be carried out before attending the ritual. Therefore, for the Armenian Church this sacrament holds a deeper meaning, which is, purifying oneself from sin, a catharsis and progression towards excellence and salvation. According to Armenians, this ritual is a commandment that came directly from Jesus. Therefore, participating in this ritual is synonymous with fulfilling the commandments of Jesus. In this regard, the ritual of the Eucharist means finding life in Jesus and remaining faithful to the covenant.82
The sacrament of penance, known as Abaşkharutyun, is a sacrament that is accepted by almost every Christian denomination. “In those days, John the Baptist said: Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”83 “Jesus, preach and repent, as the kingdom of heaven is near.”84 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe in the Bible!”85 are the evidences for this sacrament. However, penance should not be regarded as confession. Penance is simply asking forgiveness from God for sins that have been committed. There are no separate rooms for confession or penance in the Armenian Church. Repentance for one’s sins is an individual matter for the Armenians and repentance is possible at any time.
The sacrament Surp Bısag is also known as the Holy Crown. This refers to the social tradition of marriage. The common understanding of marriage among Armenians is that it is a relationship until death. Having been considered a sacrament by the Armenian Church, this relationship demonstrates the strong link between the institution of family and religious structure among the Armenians. The Church bases this sacrament on the epistle of Paul to the Ephesians:
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, purifying[a] her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.86
For the Armenians, every marriage is an agreement signed in the presence of God. The promises made between spouses in the presence of God are deemed as promises to God. The children born to this couple, locked in a covenant with God, are the divine gift of this holy agreement. In the Armenian community, the first condition for a marriage to be valid is that it is solemnized in a church and in front of a priest. The Holy Crown being accepted as a sacrament is related to the following. Firstly, for a marriage to be legitimate, four principles must be realized. These are:
-The couple should go to the local church and announce to the priest their plans to marry. The priest will announce the situation to the congregation for three weeks.
-Both individuals should have been baptized.
-Both individuals should be of the Christian faith.
-The marriage should not coincide with the time of the fast. Also the marriages which coincide with the first Sunday of the four weeks before Christmas or the Wednesday of Easter week should be postponed if possible.
After these four principles have been considered, the bride and groom take their places in the church ceremony. The bride will stand on the left of the groom; both will face the altar. The oldest of the relatives stands on the right of the bride, with rings in one hand and a cross in the other. When the priest enters the ceremonial hall, he turns to the crowd and the crowd rises. He puts the rings on the fingers of the couple, and asks for forgiveness for the bride and groom. After putting on the rings, the priest brings the right hands of the bride and groom together, and has the couple look at one another’s face. Meanwhile, the priest asks both the bride and groom three times whether they will remain faithful spouses until death. Receiving a positive response, the priest steps forward and has the bride and groom kiss the Bible. After he gives advice to the couple, he moves on to the holy orders and places the sanctified crowns on the heads of the bride and groom. The oldest of the relatives who is standing on the right of the bride, holding the cross, places the cross over the heads of the bride and groom. Following the coronation prayers, the crowns are taken by the priest and the bride and groom face the altar and a sanctified cup of wine is offered for them to drink. The ceremony ends with the last wishes.87
Tzernatroutiun (ordination) is the consecration of priesthood. This sacrament, also referred to as the “placing of the hand”, for all Christian sects means directing the worship, presenting the sacrament to the believers and bringing people to God. In general, this sacrament is performed by the priest laying his hands on the ordinate, the use of a chalice that is only for the clergy and the recitation of the sacrament prayer. This sacrament began after the formation of the Armenian alphabet. The rules were set at this time, in the early 5th century. However, the rules of the sacrament have been subject to change over time. With this rite, which does not carry a mystical meaning, the person consecrated is trans-material and becomes a member of the priesthood afterwards. There is debate about whether the sacrament bears a mystical meaning or if it can be traced back to the time of the apostles. Although not proven, it is widely believed that the sacrament can be dated back to the apostles.88
The person who becomes a member of the clergy after the sacrament may seclude himself completely from worldly affairs and start to live in a monastery.89 Among the Armenians, unlike other Christian denominations, the person who wants to be ordained in the priesthood must undergo special training, and only if successful can the candidate become a member of the priesthood. During this education, philosophy and theology, as well as foreign languages are required of the candidates.90 However, in some cases, such training was not demanded for people who wanted to join the clergy; in some cases, literacy was sufficient, and in some cases it appears that the candidate did not even have to be literate.91
Known as the last rites, Hivantats Aytselutyun Gam Verçin Odzum is also referred to as the ‘unction of the ill.’ It is controversial as a sacrament in the Armenian Church. The biblical evidence for it is the expression, “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.”92 The main reason for skepticism about the validity of this practice is because the sacrament cannot be performed by at any time by just any person. Indeed, the last rites is considered to be an extension of the gınunk, the chrismation, and it has been mentioned that the ceremonies followed during the chrismation also take place in the last rites.93
Also referred to as Extreme Unction, this sacrament is also associated with baptism, so it is not considered to be a separate sacrament. Therefore, it is quoted that this sacrament could also be performed on infants just after their baptism.94 Adopted by the Orthodox Armenian Church, but rejected by the Catholic Armenian church,95 this sacrament includes the following stages: First, the priest enters the room of the person who is ill. After entering, he prays for the house, if it belongs to the patient. He says, “Salvation be upon this house and everyone living here.” The priest then moves onto the anointment ceremony of the sick: “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, let there be extinguished in you all power of the devil by the imposition of our hands, and by the invocation of the glorious and holy Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, and of her illustrious Spouse, St. Joseph, and of all the holy Angels, Archangels, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, Virgins, and of all the saints together. Amen.”96 The priest wets his thumb with the holy oil and anoints the patient. While doing this, he recites several prayers, gives advice/reassurance to the patient and ends the sacrament.
As can be seen, almost all of the sacraments adopted by the Armenian Church were put into practice while taking society into account; some sacraments, such as the holy crown sacrament used in marriage, even gave direction to social norms. It was the Church’s strong influence on people’s lives, in particular that of the Armenians living in Istanbul, that pulled this society into sectarian strife in the nineteenth century.
The Church and thus, religious life, to which we attribute great importance for the national identity of the Armenians, seems to have contributed enormously to their traditional structures. Apart from the fact that tradition cannot be isolated from national existence, festivals and special occasions were always structured within the traditional structure and with a religious context, thus also revealing the contribution of religion to society.
In addition to thousands of examples that the Armenian subjects of the Ottoman State lived together in neighborhoods in Istanbul, living side by side with Muslims, the sensitivity of the Muslims and Armenians to the special occasions of the other is remarkable. The New Year wishes of Muslims to Armenians while they were in conflict with other Christian communities and the Easter bread offerings by the Armenians to Muslims on Easter indicate the extent to which the two communities interacted.97
While an Armenian family is hard to distinguish from a Muslim family at first glance, it is believed that the patriarchal structure of the Armenian family is the basic factor that holds the family together.
According to a census98 conducted in 1894, 158,131 Armenian citizens were living in neighborhoods such as Beşiktaş, Ortaköy, Kuruçeşme, Bebek, İstinye, Köybaşı, Yeniköy, Tarabya, Sarıyer, Üsküdar and Beykoz.99 Armenians who moved to other neighborhoods due to fires or other reasons went on living with Muslims there as well, displaying just how intertwined the two communities’ lives were. Traveling to Istanbul in 1874, and recording his observations, Edmondo de Amicis mentions that the traditions and the customs of the Armenians did not differ much from that of the Turks. The Turks describe the Armenians as camels pulling the burden of the Empire, thus acknowledging the contribution of these people. Talking about how difficult it was to distinguish an Armenian district from a Muslim district, Edmondo de Amicis describes the Armenians in the following sentence: “Christian in spirit and faith, but Asian Muslim physically and in origin.”100
As Armenian families are generally large, their houses were relatively larger; they have large reception rooms in all of their houses so that all the family members can sit and dine together. Always prepared for the visit of a Muslim neighbor, Armenian houses have a prayer rug as well. The oldest male in a particular family has authority over the beautifully decorated homes. Women are expected to obey their husbands at all times. For this reason, divorce rates have always been very low among Armenian families –their acceptance of marriage as a sacrament has contributed to this fact.
Armenians also place a high degree of importance on special days of the year. If one takes into consideration that all of the family members have to gather in the same district on festival days, and as the Armenians refrain from taking their special occasions or festivals lightly, it is easy to understand how Armenians have managed to maintain their national identity over the centuries.
Special occasions or holidays in Armenian society occur throughout the year. There is a special day each week in the Armenian calendar. Sometimes these days are celebrated as fasting days or sometimes as social holidays with their neighbors.
Gagant is the first festival in the Armenian calendar. It marks the start of the new year, and traditionally families gather for a dinner. The following day, January 1, the males of the household go to work carrying a pomegranate, which they break open; they then sprinkle the juice of the fruit around their workplace. It was believed that such a custom helps the business to flourish throughout the new year.
As with other Christian denominations, it is believed that on the evening of this festival, the house would be visited by an old man with a white beard, who would leave gifts for the children. This figure, who was believed to bring blessings into the home, is known as Father Gağant in Armenian society. He wore a red dress, similar to Santa Claus.
Dzununt is a festival celebrated during the first weekend of the new year by the Armenians. While most other Christian denominations celebrated Christmas from the evening of 24 December until the evening of the 25 December, Armenians celebrated it on 6 January, and refer to it as Surp Dızununt (the holy birth).101
On the feast of the birth all members of the family come together, yet different from other Christian families they do not eat turkey but fish. From the evening of 5 January, Armenian children go door-to-door collecting Christmas boxes, and the adults restrict what they eat, performing a limited fast. This fast continues from sunset until the following sunset; animal products are to be avoided. On Dızununt, all the family members come together and, unlike other Christian denominations which traditionally eat poultry, Armenians typically eat fish. Armenians who converted to Catholicism amid the sectarian strife in the nineteenth century would celebrate this day on 24 December, like other Catholics.
Dyarnuntarach, which falls on 14 February, celebrates the circumcision of Jesus and his being brought to the temple in Jerusalem. Candles are lit and blessed in a church at sunset of the previous evening; these candles are used to light candles that the congregation brings with them. The congregation holds the candles in their hands as everyone faces a different direction, so as to spread the blessings. This activity is associated with blessing the whole world. After this blessing, people return to their homes with their candles still lit, and by lighting the candles in their homes with the candle from the church, they enlighten their homes with the heavenly light of the church, and thus, with the light of Jesus. For this reason, 14 February is known as Fire Night.102
Not designated a particularly day or week in the year, Vartanantz Day derives from the tradition of naming every occasion in the Armenian society. On this day, one of the mythologized commanders, Vartan Mamigonian, is commemorated. While most holy days are named after saints, Vartan was not a saint; however, due to his great heroism in the Battle of Avarayr in 451, which was between the Armenians and Persians, he became legend and had a day in the calendar allocated to him.103
Poon Paregentan is a special day which means “good living” in Armenian. The holiday, which has no specified date, is celebrated one day before Lent. The holiday lasts for fifty days and is generally considered to be a preparation for Easter, which falls 7 weeks later.
Lent is a time of repentance and redemption in Armenian society. In this context, it is considered to be a form of the repentance sacrament. During Lent, people abstain from eating meat and meat products, rather only eating vegetables and fruit. Armenians eat just one meal a day at this time, make donations to the poor and suspend any weddings or festivals. The main aim of paregentan, held as a festival one day before Lent, is not only to consume any perishable meat and meat products, but also to end any tensions between people and derive greater spiritual benefit during Lent.
Apart from paregentan, which is traditionally held seven weeks before Easter, the week of Avak Shapat is a special week for the Armenian society. It is celebrated approximately a week before Easter. Meaning “great week”, Avak Shapat relates to an incident experienced by Christ. According to Christian belief, Jesus ate the Last Supper on a Thursday. On that day he washed the feet of his disciples as a display of humility and love. According to belief, Jesus was arrested by Roman soldiers and Jewish officials on that day. Therefore, people hold ritual commemorations that last until midnight. Eating green lentils on the evening has become a tradition as green lentils symbolize the tears of Virgin Mary. On Friday morning Jesus Christ was crucified. Jesus sacrificed himself for the forgiveness of the sins of all mankind. The memory of this event is kept alive in Avak Shapat.
On Easter the resurrection of Jesus is celebrated. Armenians celebrate the day by saying “Thank the Lord for the Day of Resurrection “ and exchange gifts of red-painted eggs during the Easter celebrations, which is held sometime between 22 March and 25 April every year. While the egg represents the world, the red of the dye symbolizes the blood of Christ. Indeed, this festival is known as the “red egg feast” among the Armenian people.104
Another indispensable symbol of Easter are the Easter buns. This bread, which is also known as Easter bread, is baked plain or with walnuts, dried raisins and an egg in the middle; the shape of a cross is made in the egg yolk. For the dinner on Saturday during Easter, fish is eaten, as on Dızununt. The following day the entire family attends the church and the day is spent in worship.
The prayer that is traditionally recited for Easter includes Christ’s last words: “Take and eat; this is my body”. After the priest recites these words, everybody takes a piece of the Easter bread and the priest recites prayers. He then holds up a glass and says: “Take and drink, this is My Blood”. Everybody takes a sip of the wine. A lamb is sacrificed and served for a meal in the evening.
The special occasion which is generally celebrated on 15 August, known as Asvadzadzin or Verapokhum, is related to the death of the Virgin Mary. The Day of Anahit, which commemorates one of the goddesses of the Armenians before they became Christians, falls on this day. The celebrations held at this time are referred to as Navasart Festivals.105 The classical celebrations are generally held as follows: The priest goes to the closest vineyard with scissors in his right hand and a cross in his left and prays. The grapes that were picked immediately following this ritual are consecrated on the following day; the first blessed bunch of grapes are thrown into springs and wine barrels. Likewise, the blessed grapes that are taken home are believed to bring blessings to the house.
During Vicag and Hampartsum, a celebration that resembles the Hıdırellez when spring is welcomed, the Armenians eat mostly green vegetables. The religious motive underlying Vicag, which is celebrated almost a month after Easter, is to mark the ascension of Jesus to heaven.
Vardavar, which has gained a special status among the Armenians as a day symbolizing the Biblical flood, is considered to be one of the oldest Armenian festivals. Vardavar Day was combined with the Diarn Feast, a feast that commemorates the transfiguration of Jesus, after the conversion of the Armenians to Christianity. On this day roses are used as decorations and celebrations are held.
Known as Holy Cross, Soorp Khatch is celebrated on the Sunday before 14 September. Another special occasion, known as Tarkmanchatz Don, celebrates the creation of the Armenian alphabet; there is no specific date for this celebration.
Armenian schools in Istanbul hold a special importance in the socio-cultural structure. As mentioned above, Armenians are very attached to their traditions. According to statistics released in 1910, there was a total of 44 Armenian schools in Istanbul. There was a total of 6,516 students studying in these schools, and 319 teachers, 153 of whom were women. The total monthly budget for all the schools was 96,878 kuruş. 83,332 kuruş of the budget was allocated to teachers, while the rest was meant to cover expenses. The schools were partly funded by the state and partly by the Church and charitable organizations.106
Although, according to figures from 1910, Armenians seem to have attached importance to education, in a traditional Armenian family, formal education for children was not the only sort of learning. More important for many families was the education that took place within the family. Therefore, from a young age, boys would be prepared for a vocation and girls for being a housewife. Particularly in rural areas, Armenian families often considered education to be a waste of time. For this reason, boys who grew up in the cities were often disciplined and skillful, while the ones who grew up in the provinces were seen to be hard working and possessing common sense.107
Armenians speak Armenian among themselves and thus passed it onto their children. Churches printed the Bible in Armenian and taught it in Armenian to the children.108 Which shows the great care of their language.
The Armenian education system, which was more institutionalized in Istanbul than elsewhere, was under the control of Istanbul’s Armenian Patriarchate. Founding an Armenian school without the knowledge of or permission from the Church or changing the curriculum independently was out of the question. It is believed that the Church’s influence in education is a result of the fact that the Armenian Bible was first taught in churches and church rooms were initially converted for educational purposes.109
The curriculum in Istanbul’s Armenian schools prior to 1839 included learning the Armenian alphabet, recitation, including the recitation of religious texts, learning Christian principles, prayers, hymns, the Turkish alphabet and writing and arithmetic. Arithmetic was taught in Turkish and included four sections; addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The students then learned about fractions. After 1839, the curriculum in Armenian schools was amended to include the following: Armenian grammar and writing, Armenian, French and Turkish calligraphy, scientific, political and natural geography, calculus, algebra, French grammar, writing and speech, art, Turkish grammar and writing, geometry, logic and commercial bookkeeping methods.110
Armenian children received their education from the church nearest to them. Therefore, the Armenian churches not only were responsible for training the clergy. Most of the Armenian schools that were opened in Istanbul had a very different education than the schools that had the sole purpose of raising religious leaders. However, Surp Haç School founded in the eighteenth century in Üsküdar with the aim of training clergy and continued to function until Republican era. After the Republic was established, the school continued its educational activities under a different name.111
Although not educating the clergy, the Bezazyan School, restored by Kazaz Harutyun (Artin) Amira Bezciyan in 1830 in Kumkapı, was another important school; French was also taught in this school, although Armenian started as the instructional language when it was first founded with 26 teachers. This school, which opened in Kumkapı, was the first Armenian school to open in Istanbul. Established by Armenians who settled in Kumkapı before and after the conquest, this school was damaged extensively in a fire in 1648 and restarted instruction in 1741. It closed after another fire in 1826 and was reopened by Kazaz Harutyun (Artin) Amira Bezciyan.112 The Kalfayan Armenian School, which was opened by a nun named Nişan Kalfayan in 1850, was a prominent boarding school, primarily for orphan girls, who it provided with occupations. The language of instruction was Armenian in this school, established in Üsküdar, and it focused on handicrafts.113
Education continued in Armenian schools such as Anarathigutyun in 1903, Aramyan Uncuyan in 1873, Gorenyan in 1816, Bogosyan Varvaryan in 1832, Dadyan in 1884, Eseyan 1895, Getronagan in 1825 and Lusavoriçyan in 1895. Apart from these, Surp Tatyos Portogomiyos Armenian School was opened in Karagümrük in 1846 and Suro Hıripsimyanz Girls School was opened in 1829 in the same district; Arakel Nubar Şahnazaryan Armenian School was built in Hasköy in 1866, Nekdarinyan Armenian School was founded in Galata in 1877 to educate poor Armenian girls, Naregyan Armenian School opened in 1846 in Galatasaray and Akabyan Girls Boarding School opened in 1872 in Samatya.114
Another element in the socio-cultural that should be studied in parallel with the education institutions of the Armenians is the literature.
It is said that the earliest known Istanbul historian was an Armenian traveler; the works of this person provide information about Byzantine churches in the 15th century, before the conquest. Although his travel book no longer exists, the Fetihname, written in 98 quatrains by Priest Abraham from Ankara (Engürü) is a valuable work about Istanbul history which is still extant today. The Armenian writer, Priest Arakel from Bitlis, also provides information about the conquest of Constantinople. The text was published in Yerevan in 1957 by Hagop Anasyan as “Armenian Sources on the Fall of Istanbul”. The Vekayiname by Priest Krikor from Kemah, who is believed to have died in 1643, is also important in terms of transmitting the history of Istanbul. Eremya Çelebi Kömürciyan is the most prominent author among the Armenian writers. His works on history include Ruznâme, The History of the Fire of 1660 in Istanbul, History of Istanbul and Vekayiname. His work entitled Ruznâme was published in 1939 in the Armenian language, and it describes events between 1648 and 1662. Eremya Çelebi wrote his second work about the most destructive fire of Istanbul’s history in 1672. As his best-known work, it was published in a translated Turkish version as the History of Istanbul. This published work, which makes use of sources concerned with Istanbul in the explanations, describes seventeenth century Istanbul in detail and was presented to readers by Hrand D. Andreasyan. Eremya Çelebi’s Vekayiname has yet to be published. In addition to Eremya Çelebi, another author who wrote on the history of Istanbul, is Sarraf Harkis Hovhanneasyan. His work, Istanbul’s History, which he wrote in the early nineteenth century, was published by the Armenian Patriarchate in 1967. Kozmas Gomidas Kömürciyan produced a work named Istanbul’s Topographic Description; this was published in 1993 as Istanbul at the End of 18th Century. Authors like Avedis Berberyan, Hosep Vartan Paşa, Harutyun Mırmıryan, Simon Eremyan, Vahram Torgomyan, Yetvart Alyanakyan, Hovnan Palakaşyan, Bimen Zartaryan and Gevont Dayyan also produced works concerning the history of Istanbul, but only a few of these have been published.115
Apart from books, periodicals occupy an important place in the Armenian cultural life. In particular, some publications which were published under the influence of the Church are remarkable in their provocation of the Armenian public. As far as it is possible to identify, there are over 40 periodicals using the Armenian alphabet, in both Turkish and Armenian.
The first Armenian newspaper published in Istanbul was Tidak Püzantyan. The publication of the newspaper, which started in 1812, lasted for only three years. This biweekly newspaper was the media organ of the Mekhitarist Union, established in Venice and was the birth place of Armenian nationalism. It was for this reason that this publication emphasized the use of Armenian and it was seen as the pioneer of Armenian publications.116 The publication of Takvîm-i Vekâyî in Armenian can be considered to be a turning point in the Ottoman State. This first official newspaper to be published in the Ottoman state was published in Armenian in Istanbul; it was also translated into Greek. The Armenian version of the newspaper was published as Devlet-i Âlî Osmânî Gazetesi (Newspaper of the Sublime Ottoman State). Interestingly, in 1849 the Armenian Patriarchate requested that the original not be translated into Armenian, although it was already being translated. Upon this request, the state ended the Armenian publication of the newspaper and the Armenian translators at the printing house were dismissed.117 Why the Armenian Patriarchate made such a request is a mystery. It is thought that either the number of Armenian speakers was limited or that the other workers at the printing house had problems with the Armenian Patriarchate.
The first private newspaper, Cerîde-i Havâdis, which was founded by Alfred William Churchill in 1830, was also the first newspaper to have a section printed in Armenian.118 Haçadur Oskanyan was the editor of this section.119 When articles that were critical of the state were published, Mehmet Nuri Efendi took over the post of publisher of the newspaper, and Churchill started to publish another newspaper named La Turqia. This newspaper went on to publish articles that criticized the state and was closed in 1885, along with Ceride-i Havadis.120 Aztarar Püzantyan, founded by Haçadur Oskanyan, the editor of Ceride-i Havadis, was originally printed in Armenian and then in Turkish with Armenian letters.121 This newspaper, which ceased publication in 1841, is different from the first Armenian periodical, Aztarar, which started in 1794. Aztarar was published by the priest Harutyun Şımavonyan and ran for two years.122
Supported by the Istanbul Armenian Patriarchate, Hayastan was published from 1846 to 1852 and struggled against Protestantism that was spreading among the Armenians. The journal Hayrenik, published between 1891 and 1896, was described as the media organ of the Istanbul Armenian Patriarchate.123
Avedaper, printed between 1855 and 1915, was the longest running publication among the Armenian newspapers.124 It is believed that this daily newspaper was established and supported by missionaries. The newspaper was produced by the American missionary Joseph Greene with the intent of spreading Protestantism among Armenians.125 It has also been recorded that the newspaper was printed in Armenian in 1854 and in Turkish with Armenian letters in 1857. In 1872, the newspaper printed separate children’s publications.126
Mecmûa-i Havâdis, a journal which published a series about the conquest of Constantinople, came out in Turkish written in Armenian letters between 1852 and 1863. The journal was originally published once a month, then weekly, and eventually became a daily newspaper. The newspaper covered politics, science and agriculture. It was printed in the publishing houses of Hovhannes Mühendisyan, Bogos Kirişçiyan and Mecmûa-i Havadis. Supplements, called İlâve-i Mecmûa-i Havâdis and Rûznâme-i Mecmûa-i Havâdis were also published.127
Manzûme-i Efkâr, published by Garabed Panosyan, was printed in Turkish in the Armenian alphabet and it was remarkable in that it published articles that were favorable toward the Ottoman State. Subsidized at times by the government, the newspaper was ultimately shut down due to an article it published in 1890. The newspaper reopened under the condition that it would not only refrain from publishing articles critical of the government, but also that it would spy on Armenian political dissidents.128 During the same period, Panosyan published articles on the importance of Turkish. In 1900, however, due to financial troubles he handed the paper over to Hovhannes Ferid Efendi.129
Masis, printed between 1852 and 1907, is known to have been produced by Armenian youth. Its editor, Garabed Ütücüyan, was educated in Paris. After it stopped publishing as a newspaper, Masis started to appear as a journal. The editor Ütücüyan was supposedly granted funding by the state.130 Ararat was a daily newspaper printed between 1869 and 1872 by Matteos Ayvatyan. It was described as a political, commercial and literary newspaper; the newspaper was closed down, but started to reappear after approximately four years. Publications with the same title appeared in Yerevan and the United States in both Armenian and Turkish in the Armenian alphabet. Although there is disagreement about the date at which this publication ceased to appear, it is said that the after it reappeared, the newspaper went on being printed until 1919.131
Dikran Civelekyan, the owner of Cerîde-i Şarkıyye, which was published from 1885 to 1913, was oppressed and threatened by the Armenians. The state lent their support to Dikran Efendi and did not let the newspaper go out of business despite the threats. It was stated that those who threatened Dikran Efendi or those who were trying to stir up trouble would be caught and punished. Dikran Efendi started to re-publish his newspaper and after his death his heirs kept the paper running until 1913.132
Although Aravelk, which first appeared in 1884, was periodically closed due to political censorship, it remained in business for a considerable period; exactly when the newspaper was shut down for the last time is not known, but based on available documents the newspaper was still appearing as late as 1899.133 Because Stephan Damadyan adapted articles from European newspapers and had regular correspondence with American journalists, the newspaper was intermittently closed and some of the writers were arrested. The newspaper, which received frequent warnings from the state, was ultimately shut down permanently after an 1892 ruling. However, the newspaper was later allowed to begin printing again.134
In addition to these newspapers, other Armenian periodical publications appeared in Istanbul, including: Araşaluys Araratyan, Aravelyan Mamul, Purasdan, Noyyan Ağavni, Arevelyan Tar, Meğu, Ser, Münâdî-i Erciyas, Jamanak, Aravelyan Poğ, Cihan, Mecmûa-i Ahbâr, Mecmûa-i Ulûm, Badger, Luys, Püzantion, Punç, Hanrakidag, Pazmaveb, Tercümân-ı Efkâr, Nıvak Osmanyan, Ahbâr-ı Konstantıniyye, Zvarçakhos, Zohal, Cerîde-i Ticaret, Vard Kesaryo, Mecmûa-i Ekber, Ma‘mûl, Mecmûa-i Fünûn and Begasyan Trçnik.135
Armenians made important contribution to Istanbul’s literature. Similarly, they had a strong influence in shaping the architecture of the city in the 19th century as master builders and craftsmen. The young generation of the Armenian Balyan family was educated in Europe, but they brought their skills back to Ottoman state.136 The Balyan style of architecture is very striking, with the carving on the window frames and magnificent white marble gates, and high walls surrounding the building; such a style can be seen to be a synthesis of the East and West Renaissance styles.137
The son of Bali Kalfa, Kirkor Balyan, was the leading name among Armenian architects. With his brother Senekerim Balyan, they built a palace on the historical peninsula, in Beşiktaş, the Aynalıkavak Pavilion, the Selimiye and Beyoğlu barracks, the Nusretiye Mosque, and the Darphane-i Amire (imperial mint). Garabet and Nikogos Balyan, both from the same family, enlivened the city with Dolmabahçe Palace. Dolmabahçe Mosque is believed to be the work of Garabed138 Balyan.139
Upon completing his education in Paris, Nikogos Balyan established an art school in Istanbul where European architecture was taught by architects from Europe. In addition to being an architect, Nikogos Balyan also took part in drafting the 1863 Armenian National Constitution with Armenian friends who had also been educated in Paris; after being honored by Sultan Abdülmecid, he became one of the sultan’s advisors.140 Garabet Balyan’s other son, Nikogos’s brother, Sarkis Balyan was the architect for buildings such as Çırağan Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, the flats in Beşiktaş-Akaretler, Ortaköy Mosque, Zeytinburnu Gunpowder Factory, Adile Sultan Palace, the Baş Mabeyn (principal clerk) section of Yıldız Palace, Galatasaray High School, Malta Mansion, Balta Limanı Mansion, Çağlayan Pavilion, Ayazağa Mansion and Hamidiye Clock Tower.141
The Balyan family was viewed highly by the government, causing tensions with other prominent Armenian families. As a result, complaints were filed against Sarkis Balyan, accusing him of illegally earning money; the government temporarily confiscated his property. The investigations, however, concluded that there had been no wrongdoings and ultimately returned the property to Sarkis Balyan.142
The Manas family was another prominent Armenian family in Istanbul. From this family many palace artists, particularly Sebuh Manas who was educated in Europe and was honored by Sultan Abdülmecid, emerged. Fenn-i Mi‘mârî-i Osmânî, compiled by Sebuh Manas, who also painted portraits of Sultan Abdülmecid, has yet to be published.143Aleksandr Manas, known as Aleko, painted famous portraits of the sultans, much like the final palace artist, Zenop Manas; however, Edgar Manas was the best-known among the Manas family; he composed the music for the Turkish National Anthem. As well as being a musician himself, Edgar Manas also taught music in Armenian schools; he was a leading figure in Armenian music, second only to Hampartsum Limonciyan.144
Hampartsum Limonciyan, who was born in 1768 and died in 1839, was a student of the Armenian musician Zenne Bogos. Hampartsum developed a new notation system, as there was no e-sharp o b-sharp in Western notation. He was also accepted at the palace by Selim III. The new notation system he developed was improved upon by Andon Düzyan and his nephew Hagop Düzyan; the latter named this system after Hampartsum. The first work to be composed in the Hampartsum notation was Tanburi İzak’s Bayati Peshrev.145
In addition to Hampartsum, Tatyos Ekserciyan was a leading name in Armenian music. He was born in Istanbul in 1858 and died in 1913. Having worked with Tanburi Cemil Bey, Tatyos Efendi was famous as a violinist.146
The Aftermath of the Millet-i Sadıka
Nerses Varjabedyan II, the patriarch of Istanbul between 1874 and 1884, contacted the Russians via the Yerevan-based catholicos of Etchmiadzin. He requested that the Russians allocate land in Eastern Anatolia for the Armenians, land from which the Ottoman State had retreated. Meeting the Russian tsar, Nicholas, in San Stefano (Ayestefanos), the patriarch explained the necessity for reforms aimed at helping the Armenians. Namely, these reforms were that the occupation of Eastern Anatolia by Russians come to an end, and the Armenians be granted autonomy, similar to that given in Bulgaria.147
The trouble that broke out between Catholics and Protestants and the Gregorian Armenians undermined the authority of the patriarchate, a body that incorporated both secular and divine powers. As a result of foreign intervention, the Armenian community completely disintegrated in the mid-nineteenth century. Recognition of Catholics and the Protestants as a separate community by the state caused the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul to take an official stance in opposition to the state. Attempts to ease class divisions which had started with the Tanzimat influenced the Armenian aristocracy as well. The Istanbul Armenian Patriarchate was on the verge of breaking away from the state as laymen started to play a role in the administration of the Church, in place of the old aristocrats. As part of the provisions in the Armenian National Constitution, promulgated in 1863, commoners were to make up half the profane council; this meant that the absolute power which was shared between the patriarch and the leading families would come to an end.
All of these developments were considered to be dangerous by the Armenian Church; the Church ordered that separatist committees be organized. The separatist committees, especially Hınçak and Taşnak, were organized in various parts of Anatolia to wage an armed struggle for a sovereign Armenia.
The Kumkapı March of 1890, which was arranged by the committee, and in particular, an assassination attempt on Abdulhamid II, accelerated social segregation.
As can be seen, the Church – or what we might simply refer to as the religion – has formed the basic pillar of Armenian society since the very beginning. As a society, Armenian community developed around the Church; depending on the activities of the clergy, they experienced periods of peace and periods of turmoil.
As a result, the living spaces that the Armenian society, which began to be published in harmony with the Muslims from the seventh century on and with Muslim Turks from the eleventh century on, formed in Istanbul from the fifteenth century on should be updated once again according to academic standards.
1 G. İnciciyan, XVIII. Asırda İstanbul, tr. H. D. Andreasyan, Istanbul: İstanbul Fetih Cemiyeti İstanbul Enstitüsü, 1976, p. 43.
2 M. Rahn, Die Entstehung des Armenisch the Patriarchats von Konstantinople, Hamburg: Lit, 2002, p. 35.
3 K. Pamukciyan, İstanbul Yazıları, Istanbul: Aras Yayıncılık, 2003, pp. 1-2.
4 There is varying information on the appointment of Hovakim, who had been living in Bursa, as patriarch after he was brought to Istanbul in 1461 by Sultan Mehmed II. As stated by Kevork B. Bardakjian, as quoted from the Armenian historian Çamcıyan, the Armenians had a religious center of a high level before the conquest, although it was not at the level of the patriarchate. However, Sultan Mehmed II brought Hovakim to Istanbul and granted him new powers. (K. B. Bardakjian, “The Rise of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople”, Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire, ed. B. Braude and B. Lewis, New York: Holmes-Meier Publishers, 1982, I, 89. Also see Canan Seyfeli: “Osmanlı Devleti’nde Gayr-ı Müslimlerin İdari Yapısı: Ermeniler Örneği”, Milel ve Nihal, İnanç, Kültür ve Mitoloji Araştırmaları Dergisi, 2005, vol. 2, no. 2, p. 138).
5 A. Yumul, “Günümüzde Gregoryan Ermeni Kilisesi”, 2000. Yılında Hıristiyanlık (Dünü-Bugünü-Geleceği), Ankara: Dinler Tarihi Derneği, 2002, p. 5.
6 Davut Kılıç, “Ermeni Kimliğinin Oluşumunda Kilisenin Rolü”, Fırat Üniversitesi İlâhiyat Fakültesi Dergisi, 2008, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 53, 54.
7 The fact that the Armenian patriarch was considered to be both the spiritual and civil authority reveals that the Church and the public were intertwined. See: Yumul, “Günümüzde Gregoryan Ermeni Kilisesi”, p. 7
8 R. M. Novak, Christianity and the Roman Empire, Harrisburg : Trinity Press International, 2001, pp.11-13
9 Canan Seyfeli, İstanbul Ermeni Patrikliği, Ankara: Andaç Yayınları,, 2005, p. 27.
10 Abdurrahman Küçük, Ermeni Kilisesi ve Türkler, Ankara: Andaç Yayınları, 2003, pp. 45, 46, 48; see pp. 46-47 for debate on this matter.
11 Küçük, Ermeni Kilisesi, p. 66.
12 H. A. Chakmakjian, Armenian Christology and Evangelization of Islam, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1965, p. 35.
13 V. Karentz, Mitchnapert the Citadel: A History of Armenians in Rhode Island, New York: IUniverse, 2004, p. 64.
14 Küçük, Ermeni Kilisesi, pp. 169, 170.
15 L. P. Dabağyan, Türkiye Ermenileri Tarihi, Istanbul: IQ Kültür Sanat Yayıncılık, 2005, p. 19.
16 N. Migliorino, (Re)constructing Armenia in Lebanon and Syria, New York: Berghahn Books, 2008, p. 15.
17 R. Panossian, The Armenians: From Kings and Priests to Merchants and Commissars, New York: Columbia University Press, 2006, pp. 70, 71.
18 A. Fortescue, The Eastern Churches Trilogy: The Lesser Eastern Churches, New Jersey: Gorgias Press, 2001, III, 418.
19 İnciciyan, XVIII. Asırda İstanbul, p. 40.
20 BOA, Hatt-ı Hümâyûn, File: 237/13182/B; File: 247/13938.
21 Oded Peri, Christianity under Islam in Jerusalem, Leiden: Brill, 2001, p. 103.
22 BOA, Sadâret Mektub-i Kalemi Meclis-i Vâlâ Evrâkı, File: 146/67.
23 For further information on the subject see: V. Artanian, Osmanlı Devleti’nde Ermeni Anayasasının Doğuşu (1839-1863), Istanbul: Aras Yayıncılık, 2004.
24 The full text of the nizamname: Düstûr, Birinci tertib, Istanbul: Başvekalet Neşriyat ve Müdevvenat Dairesi Müdürlüğü, 1289, vol. 2, p. 398.
25 For more information on the Armenian Church in Istanbul see: Pars Tuğlacı, Armenian Churches of Istanbul, Istanbul: Pars Yayın Ltd., 1991.
26 BOA, Yıldız Mütenevv’i Maruzat, File 141/23.
27 BOA, Yıldız Perakende Zaptiye, File 311/70.
28 BOA, Yıldız Perakende Zaptiye, File 16/95.
29 BOA, Sadaret Mektubi Kalemi Mühimme, File 626/52.
30 BOA, Dahiliye Mektubi Kalemi, File 1409/22.
31 BOA, Dahiliye Mektubi Kalemi, File 1426/52.
32 BOA, Yıldız Perakende Hususi Maruzat, File 235/19.
33 BOA, Yıldız Perakende Evrâk-ı Tahrirat-ı Ecnebiyye, File 11/10.
34 BOA, Hariciye Siyasi, File 2739/22.
35 BOA, Dahiliye Mektubi Kalemi, File 1658/14.
36 BOA, Sadaret Mektubi Kalemi, File 79/5.
37 BOA, Hariciye Siyasi, File 61/16.
38 B. L. Zekiyan, Ermeniler ve Modernite, Istanbul: Aras Yayıncılık, 2002, p. 69.
39 Artanian, Osmanlı Devleti’nde, p. 47.
40 Zekiyan, Ermeniler, p. 70.
41 Zekiyan, Ermeniler, p. 71.
42 H. Aukerian, A Brief Account of the Mechitaristican Society, Venice: Armenian Academy, 1835, p. 47.
43 Zekiyan, Ermeniler, p. 71.
44 Kevork Pamukciyan, Zamanlar, Mekanlar, İnsanlar, Istanbul: Aras Yayıncılık, 2003, p. 322.
45 S. Somalean, Quadro Della Storia Letteraria di Armenia, Venezia: Tip. armena di s. Lazzaro, 1829, pp. 179, 180.
46 Pamukciyan, Zamanlar, p. 323.
47 R. R. Madden, The Turkish Empire: In Its Relations with Christianity and Civilization, London: T. C. Newby, 1862, vol. 2, p. 140.
48 Artanian, Osmanlı Devleti’nde, p. 73.
49 Erdal İlter, Ermeni Kilisesi ve Terör, Ankara: Ankara Üniversitesi Osmanlı Tarihi Araştırma ve Uygulama Merkezi Yayınları, 1996, pp. 27-29.
50 K. Pamukciyan, “Mıkhitharistler Hakkında”, TT, 1986, no. 28, pp. 238-239.
51 K. Bardakjian, A Reference Guide to Modern Armenian, Michigan: Wayne State University Press, 2000, p. 125.
52 Zekiyan, Ermeniler, p. 98.
53 Kemal Beydilli, II. Mahmud Devrinde Katolik Ermeni Cemaati ve Kilisesi’nin Tanınması (1830), Harvard: Harvard University, 1995, p. 1.
54 W. E. Addis and T. Arnold, “Armenian Christianity”, A Catholic Dictionary, London: Kessinger Publishing Co., 2004, vol. 1, p. 55.
55 Zekiyan, Ermeniler, p. 98.
56 BOA, Yıldız Esas Evrak, File 24/57.
57 BOA, İrade Meclis-i Mahsus, File 41/1665.
58 Artanian, Osmanlı Devleti’nde, p. 45.
59 A. T. Minassian, Ermeni Kültürü ve Modernleşme, tr. Sosi Dolanoğlu, Istanbul: Aras Yayıncılık, 2006, p. 168.
60 Beydilli, II. Mahmud Devrinde Katolik Ermeni Cemaati, p. 3.
61 Artanian, Osmanlı Devleti’nde, p. 46.
62 Minassian, Ermeni Kültürü, p. 164.
63 Artanian, Osmanlı Devleti’nde, p. 46.
64 Beydilli, II. Mahmud Devrinde Katolik Ermeni Cemaati, p. 5.
65 BOA, Cevdet Adliye, File 59/3572.
66 Küçük, Ermeni Kilisesi, p.195.
67 Pamukciyan, Zamanlar, p. 19.
68 BOA, Hatt-ı Hümâyûn, File 1235/48038-B.
69 Beydilli, II. Mahmud Devrinde Katolik Ermeni Cemaati, p. 9.
70 B. J. Bailey and J. M. Bailey, Who are the Christians in the Middle East?, Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2003, p. 81.
71 Artanian, Osmanlı Devleti’nde, p. 48.
72 Ahmed Cevdet Paşa, Târih, Istanbul: Matbaa-i Osmaniye, 1309, vol. 11, pp. 8-10.
73 Ahmed Lutfî, Târih, Istanbul: Matbaa-i Âmire, 1290,, vol. 2, pp. 185-190.
74 Lutfî, Târih, vol. 2, p. 189.
75 The expulsion of Catholics from Istanbul in 1828 should be considered to be part of these measures. For the professions of the deportees see: Beydilli, II. Mahmud Devrinde Katolik Ermeni Cemaati, pp. 14-17.
76 Lutfî, Târih, vol. 12, p. 63.
77 BOA, Yıldız Perâkende Evrâkı, Arzuhâl ve Jurnaller, File 55/50.
78 BOA, Hatt-ı Hümâyun, File 1333/52025.
79 Küçük, Ermeni Kilisesi, p. 203.
80 Ekrem Sarıkçıoğlu, Başlangıçtan Günümüze Dinler Tarihi, Isparta: Fakülte Kitabevi, 2004, p. 335.
81 Matthew 26: 26-29; Mark 14: 22-25; Luke 22: 15-20; John 6: 13-17.
82 Küçük, Ermeni Kilisesi, p. 253.
83 Matthew 3: 1,2.
84 Matthew 4:17.
85 Mark 1:15.
86 Ephesians 5: 22-28.
87 T. E. Dowling, The Armenian Church, London : S.P.C.K., 1910, p. 135.
88 T. B. Babaulay, Critical and Historical Essays, London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1854, vol. 2, p. 72.
89 K. Aslan, Armenia and the Armenians, New York: Adamant Media Corporation, 2005, p. 93.
90 E.Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society, London : Church Missionary Society, 1899, p. 516.
91 C. B. Elliot, Travels in the Three Great Empires of Austria, Russia and Turkey, Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard, 1839, vol. 1, p. 229.
92 James 5:13, 14.
93 E. Smith and H. G. Otis Dwight, Missionary Researches in Armenia, London: Georgr Wightmann, 1834, p. 127.
94 A. H. Layard, Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon, London: Harper & brothers, 1853, p. 265.
95 A. K. Sanjian, Medieval Armenian Manuscripts at the University of California, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999, pp. 11, 12.
96 Ali Erbaş, Hıristiyanlık’ta İbadet, Istanbul: Ayışığı Kitapları, 2003, pp. 184, 185.
97 BOA, Sadâret Mektubî Kalemi, Umûm Vilâyet, File 574/40.
98 Kemal Karpat, Osmanlı Nüfusu 1830-1914, Demografik ve Sosyal Özellikleri, Istanbul: Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları, 2003, p. 191.
99 İnciciyan, XVIII. Asırda İstanbul, pp. 106-178.
100 E. de Amicis, İstanbul 1874, tr. Beynun Akyavaş, Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Yayınları, 2006, pp. 146-148.
101 F. C. Conybeare, Rituale Armenorum, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1905, p. 512.
102 The Fire Night symbolizes the legendary goddess Mihr (Baron V. Haxthausen and A. Haxthausen, Transcaucasia, London 2005, p. 337.
103 P. Hubboff, Genealogical Catalogue of the Kings of the Armenia, London: Elibron Classics, 2005, p. 59.
104 A. Arslanyan, Adım Agop Memleketim Tokat, Istanbul: Aras Yayıncılık, 2012, p. 15.
105 Conybeare, Rituale Armenorum, p. 513.
106 Osman Nuri Ergin, Türk Maarif Tarihi, Istanbul: Eser Neşriyat, 1977, p. 761.
107 M. K. Matossian and S. H. Villa, Anlatılar ve Fotoğraflarla 1914 Öncesi Ermeni Köy Hayatı, tr. Altuğ Yılmaz, Istanbul: Aras Yayıncılık, 2006, p. 169.
108 H. G. Otis, Christianity in Turkey, London: J. Nisbet, 1854, p. 20.
109 Hidayet Vahapoğlu, Osmanlı’dan Günümüze Azınlık ve Yabancı Okullar, Istanbul: Boğaziçi Yayınları, 1992, pp. 69, 70.
110 Ergin, Maarif Tarihi, p. 756.
111 Günay Göksu Özdoğan et al., Türkiye’de Ermeniler: Cemaat-Birey-Yurttaş, Istanbul: İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi, 2009, p. 238.
112 Dabağyan, Türkiye Ermenileri Tarihi, p. 315.
113 Süleyman Büyükkarcı, İstanbul Ermeni Okulları, Konya: Yelken Yayınları, 2003, pp. 42, 43.
114 Dabağyan, Türkiye Ermenileri Tarihi, pp. 313-331.
115 Pamukciyan, İstanbul Yazıları, pp. 12-20; also see: Y. G. Çarkcıyan, Türk Devleti Hizmetinde Ermeniler, Istanbul: Kesit Yayınları, 2006.
116 A. J. Hacikyan, N. Ouzounian, G. Basmajiyan and E. S. Franchuk, The Heritage of Armenian Literature, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2002, vol. 2, 56.
117 BOA, Cevdet Maarif, File 5/215.
118 Dabağyan, Türkiye Ermenileri Tarihi, p. 366.
119 H. A. Stepanyan, Ermeni Harfli Türkçe Kitaplar Bibliyografyası (1727-1968), Istanbul: Turkuaz Yayınları, 2005, p. 555.
120 BOA, Yıldız Perakende, File 9/13.
121 Dabağyan, Türkiye Ermenileri Tarihi, p. 367.
122 K. Tololyan, “Textual Nation: Poetry and Nationalism in Armenian Politic Culture”, Intellectuals and the Articulation of the Nation, edited by Ronald Grigor Suny and Michael D. Kennedy, Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, 2001, p. 93.
123 Dabağyan, Türkiye Ermenileri Tarihi, p. 367; A. K. Sanjian, The Armenian Communities in Syria under Ottoman Dominion, Boston: Harvard University Press, 1965, p. 74.
124 P. Fesch, Constantinople aux derniers jours d’Abdulhamit, New York: Burt Franklin, 1971, p. 67.
125 J. Richter, A History of Protestant Missions in the Near East, Boston: Fleming H. Revell, 1910, p. 108.
126 T. Laurie, The Ely Volume: Or, The Contributions of Our Foreign Missions, Boston: American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 1882, p. 216.
127 Dabağyan, Türkiye Ermenileri Tarihi, p. 368
128 BOA, Yıldız Perakende Jurnal, File 27/87.
129 BOA, Dahiliye Mektubi Kalemi, File 2445/113.
130 BOA, Dahiliye Mektubi Kalemi, File 1835/41.
131 Pamukciyan, İstanbul Yazıları, p. 189.
132 BOA, Sadaret Mektubi Kalemi Mühimme, File 626/47.
133 BOA, İrade Dahiliye, File 1355/1316.
134 BOA, Dahiliye Mektubi Kalemi, File1835/41.
135 For further information, see: Cahit Külekçi, Sosyo-Kültürel Açıdan Ermeniler ve Türkler : İstanbul Ermenileri, Istanbul: Kayıhan Yayınları, 2010, pp. 365-389.
136 D. Behrens-Abouseif and S. Vernoit, Islamic Art in the 19th Century, Leiden: Brill 2006, p. 24.
137 E. Frossard, The French Pastor at the Seat of the War, London: James Nisbet and Co., 1856, p. 132.
138 BOA, Maliyeden Müdevver Defter, File 10536.
139 K. Pamukciyan, Biyografileriyle Ermeniler, Istanbul: Aras Yayıncılık, 2003, p. 99.
140 Pamukciyan, Biyografileriyle Ermeniler, p. 96.
141 BOA, Maliyeden Müdevver Defter, File 10722/10536, BOA, Yıldız Perakande Hazine-i Hassa, File 8/8.
142 BOA, Yıldız Mütenevvi, File 54/38.
143 BOA, Sadaret Mektubi Kalemi Mühimme, File 463/17.
144 Pamukciyan, Biyografileriyle Ermeniler, p. 297.
145 Pamukciyan, Biyografileriyle Ermeniler, pp. 290, 291.
146 Mesud Cemil, Tanburi Cemil’in Hayatı, Istanbul: Kubbealtı Neşriyat, 2002, p. 132.
147 Mim Kemal Öke, Ermeni Sorunu, Istanbul: İz Yayıncılık, 1996, p. 119.