Hagop Mintzuri and the Cosmopolitan Memory of Istanbul
Title: Hagop Mintzuri and the Cosmopolitan Memory of Istanbul
Author: RIEDLER, Florian
Series/Report no.: EUI RSCAS; 2009/13; Mediterranean Programme Series
This article explores notions of cosmopolitanism in the work of the Armenian-Turkish author Hagop Mintzuri (1886-1978). First of all, this theme is present in the author's autobiography describing his youth in late Ottoman Istanbul in the milieu of migrant workers. The autobiography shows the diversity in this milieu as well as the solidarity among the workers and craftsmen, which overarches religious and ethnic boundaries. The kind of cosmopolitanism Mintzuri is describing is itself a reproduction of the situation in the author's home region, Eastern Anatolia, the setting of most of the other stories that make up his work. In both contexts the description of cosmopolitan lifestyles and attitudes in late Ottoman times stand in stark contrast to the situation that the author lived through in republican Turkey. Only in recent times his work and vision has been re-discovered, a condition being its translation from the Armenian to modern Turkish. The article discusses the reasons for and the problems going along with this rediscovery.
Subject: Ottoman Empire; Istanbul; Eastern Anatolia; cosmopolitanism; migration
This paper was originally presented at the Ninth Mediterranean Research Meeting, Florence – Montecatini Terme, 12-15 March 2008, in workshop 14: ‘Everyday Cosmopolitanism: Living Together through Communal Divide’.
Type of Access: openAccess