Hamshen in Armenian Manuscripts and Ottoman Registers
The Current Historical-Political Manipulation of the Subject
Lusine SAHAKYAN - Associate Professor of Turkic Studies & PhD in Philology
LUSINE SAHAKYAN is an Associate Professor (Ph.D in Philology) in the Department of Turkic Studies at Yerevan State University. She was born in Yerevan, Armenia. Since 2008, she has been the head of the Department of Armenian-Ottoman Relations in the Institute for Armenian Studies at YSU. She teaches “Modern Turkish”, “Turkish literature” as well as has special disciplines titled, “The problems of Turkish Source studies and historiography,” “The Etnopolicy of the Ottoman Empire,” and “Turkification policy of the Place names in the Ottoman Empire and in the Republic of Turkey.” She has participated in international conferences and has given lectures in the USA (Los Angeles), France (Paris), Greece (Athens, Komotini), Iran (Tehran), Canada (Toronto, Montreal), Lebanon (Beyrut), and Russia (Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Sochi, Doni-Rostov).
She is the author of 5 books including: Toponyms and Demography of Bardzer Hayk Provinces of Baberd, Sper and Derjan in the 16th century Ottoman Register Books, Turkification of the Toponyms in the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey, and Hamshen in Armenian Manuscripts. Her research results have been published in Armenian, English, Russian, and Turkish and her numerous publications related to Ottoman and Armenian history, demography and toponymics. In the result of field work implemented in the territory of Rise and Artvin Dr. Sahakyan prepared a documentary film about the Hamshentsi (the ethnographically distinctive people who live in modern Turkey and whose forefathers were ethnically Armenian), exploring their culture, language, folklore, toponyms and lifestyle.
The documentary HAMSHEN AT THE CROSSROADS OF PAST AND PRESENT introduces the current state of the descendants of the Armenians of Hamshen (Hamshentsis) – the people who were forcibly Islamized (“Turkified”) by the Ottoman Empire in the XVIII century. The film explores the history and culture of the once powerful Armenian Principality of Hamshen, chronicles today’s culture of the Hamshentsis՛, their customs and the linguistic situation, their everyday life and occupations, conceptions of their own identity and the demographic picture. In 2016 Dr. Sahakyan was awarded “Aivazovski” medal by the Armenian Community of Crymea as well as diplomas by the Armenian Community of Sochi.
HAMSHEN IN ARMENIAN MANUSCRIPTS provides an in-depth historical-linguistic analysis of the colophons, produced by the Hamsheni copyists in the Province of Hamshen and other spiritual centers during the period between the XIII and XVII centuries. The exclusive facts and evidences, contained in these sources, give an idea of the political, spiritual and cultural life of the Province, the language situation, the activities of the Armenian princes, the occupations of the populace and folk beliefs. For the first time, demographic and language facts in the Province of Hamshen within the mentioned period are analyzed, based on the census data drawn from the Ottoman registers. In the annexes of the book, the reader will see photocopies of the colophons, created by the Hamsheni copyists (130 pages), as well as the newly-created map of the Province of Hamshen of the XV-XVII centuries.