Armenian World - Luys Foundation. Education
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Armenian World

Oriental Studies


Ari Sekeryan

I was born in 1989 in Turkey’s capital Istanbul, a city that was once the center of the Armenian cultural and intellectual life. As a Bolsohay (Istanbul Armenian), I am always proud of continuing the Western Armenian heritage that our ancestors have gifted us.

After graduating from an Armenian-language primary school (Dadyan Varjaran), I attended an Armenian-language high school (Azkayin Getronagan Varjaran) in Istanbul and graduated in 2006. During these years, I found the opportunity to specialize in my native language, Armenian and to deepen my knowledge of Ottoman-Armenian history. In 2006, I took 1746th place out of one million students who took the National Higher Education Entrance Examination that year, and I got accepted into the department of Turcology at the University of Istanbul. I believe that my four years of studies in Turcology not only provided me with a strong grounding in modern Turkish language and literature, but also greatly deepened my knowledge about the historical sources of Turkish nationalism. Besides modern Turkish, I also learned advanced Ottoman Turkish and basic Arabic and Persian during my studies in this department.

After graduating from the University of Istanbul in 2010, I joined the Master’s program in the Department of History at Bogazici University. I passed the English language exam and began to take graduate courses during 2011-2012. During the fall semester of 2012, I took part in an exchange program that allowed me to study at the University of Oklahoma Department of History. This program gave me the opportunity to meet outstanding professors of the history department and to use the collections of the Bizzell Memorial Library. I finished the exchange program with a 4.0 GPA and returned to Bogazici University, where I proceeded to take eight graduate courses focusing on Ottoman history. After these graduate courses, I started to write my Master’s thesis, entitled “The Aftermath of the Armenian deportation: The Armenian Population after the Great War and the Jamanak Daily”. My primary source was the Jamanak daily which was published in Constantinople continuously during the years 1918-1919 in the Armenian language. During the research for this Master’s thesis, I found many opportunities to use my language skills in Armenian, Turkish and classical Ottoman.

Apart from my academic studies, my experience in publishing has taught me how to be self-disciplined and organized. I have worked in the Aras publishing house for four years, as an editor. Aras publishes works on Armenian culture, literature and history, both in Armenian and Turkish. Besides editing manuscripts, I translated two historical works from Ottoman Turkish into modern Turkish: Ermeni Edebiyati Numuneleri (An Anthology of Armenian Literature), published in 1913 in Constantinople in the Ottoman language and translated into modern Turkish after a hundred years; and 1909 Adana Katliami- Uc Rapor (1909 Adana Massacre-Three reports). After I translated the latter work into modern Turkish, it has been presented to the Turkish community.

At the age of 25, I am admitted to the PhD program at the University of Oxford, Faculty of Oriental Studies. I will be a second year student in 2016. My thesis focuses on the Ottoman Armenians and the Armenian and Ottoman press during the Armistice years (1918-1923).

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