Dr. Umit Kurt

NAASR to Host Webinar with Ümit Kurt on Talat Pasha


BELMONT, Mass. — The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), the Society for Armenian Studies (SAS), and the Ararat-Eskijian Museum will present a webinar with Dr. Ümit Kurt on Tuesday, December 13, 2022, at 7:30 p.m. (Eastern) / 4:30 pm (Pacific), titled “Talat Pasha’s Genocide Technocrat: A Biography of Mustafa Reşat Mimaroğlu.”

As a young technocrat working in the Political Unit (Kısmı Siyasi) of the Ministry of Interior under the jurisdiction of Talat Pasha, Mustafa Reşat Mimaroğlu played a pivotal role in planning, organizing and executing the political arrests of Armenian intellectuals and political elites in Istanbul on April 24, 1915. Mustafa Reşat made the execution of genocidal policies and violence easier, more effective, and smooth for Talat Pasha by clearing bureaucratic and administrative hurdles. As a genocide perpetrator, Mustafa Reşat Mimaroğlu then attained influential positions in post-genocide Turkey.

In this talk, Kurt will explore Mimaroğlu’s biography including his relationship with his former student, Armenian journalist and professor Diran Kelekian, whom he  arrested in April 1915 and killed; examine the continuation of a genocidal regime in the modern Turkish Republic and how genocidaires such as Mimaroğlu constituted core elements of the new state; and explore what kinds of administrative/bureaucratic mechanisms made the Armenian Genocide possible and how technocrats like Mustafa Reşat, taking charge of these mechanisms, facilitated the genocide for political decision-makers.

Kurt is Assistant Professor in the School of Humanities, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. He is a historian of the modern Middle East, with a research focus on the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. He specializes in the late Ottoman socio-economic history, the Armenian Genocide, mass/collective violence and interethnic conflicts. His broader training also includes the comparative empires, population movements, history of the Ottoman urban and local elites, wealth transfer, and nationalism. He is the author of The Armenians of Aintab: The Economics of Genocide in an Ottoman Province (Harvard University Press, 2021) and co-author with Taner Akçam of The Spirit of the Laws: The Plunder of Wealth in the Armenian Genocide (Berghahn Books, 2017).

The webinar will be accessible live on Zoom (registration required) and on NAASR’s YouTube Channel. To register go to https://bit.ly/NAASR-Kurt.

For more information contact NAASR at hq@naasr.org.

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