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The Confiscation of Armenian Properties in the Founding of the Turkish Republic

Ümit Kurt

Dr. Kurt examines how liquidation laws became a major component in the implementation of the Armenian Genocide.


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November 2022

The Confiscation of Armenian Properties in the Founding of the Turkish Republic

Dr. Umit Kurt highlights an important aspect of the Armenian Genocide in his examination of the laws and regulations that legalized the plunder and looting of the cultural and material wealth of the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian population. The CUP used liquidation laws to reward and motivate local actors in carrying out massacres and deportations of Armenians across the Empire’s provinces. Ultimately, the mass confiscation of Armenian properties served as an economic cornerstone in the foundation of the Turkish republic in the aftermath of the Genocide. 

Dr. Ümit Kurt is Assistant Professor in the School of Humanities, Creative Industry, and Social Sciences (History) and an affiliate of the Centre for the Study of Violence at the University of Newcastle, Australia. A former Polonsky Fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, he is the author of the award-winning book, The Armenians of Aintab: The Economics of Genocide in an Ottoman Province (Harvard University Press, 2021; received PROSE Award Finalist in the category of World History), Antep 1915: Genocide and Perpetrators(Ilesitim, 2018) and the co-author of The Spirit of the Laws: The Plunder of Wealth in the Armenian Genocide(Berghahn, 2015). He is the co-editor of the volumes of "Armenians and Kurds in the Late Ottoman Empire'' (The Press at California State University Fresno, 2020) and "The Committee of Union and Progress: Founders, Ideology, and Structure" (The Press at California State University Fresno, 2021). Kurt's articles have been published in the Journal of Genocide Research, Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Nations and Nationalism, Patterns of Prejudice, Genocide Studies International, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. He has taught at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Clark University, Fresno State, and Sabanci University. He serves on the Executive Board of the International Network of Genocide Scholars. 

Topics: Genocide History