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Resisting GenocideThe Multiple Forms of Rescue$
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Jacques Semelin, Claire Andrieu, and Sarah Gensburger

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199333493

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199333493.001.0001

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Conversion And Rescue

Conversion And Rescue


(p.201) 12 Conversion And Rescue
Resisting Genocide

Ugur Ümit Üngör

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores notions of rescue and conversion during the 1915 Armenian genocide committed by Ottoman Turkey. It argues that many cases of rescue were contingent upon conversion to Islam as a precondition for acceptance into the community, more than the altruism of individuals. It shows that the genocide was as much an attack on the abstract category of Armenian identity as on the concrete physical existence of large numbers of Armenians. It also considers the issue of ‘behavioral escape’ in Armenian genocide and how Christian families that converted to Islam managed to live in Diyarbekir for several decades before migrating to other places. Finally, the chapter compares slavery during the Armenian genocide with ‘regular’ Ottoman slavery.

Keywords:   rescue, conversion, genocide, Turkey, Islam, identity, Armenians, behavioral escape, Diyarbekir, slavery

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