Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Armenians were provocated by American missionaries

This is a common view in Turkey, and is fairly widely held across class and education levels.
Armenians were provocated by American missionaries
Giving a lecture entitled "Influence of American missionaries on Armenian nationalism" Assistant Professor Doctor Gökhan Dalyan said that American missionaries had an important role in the initiation nationalist movements in Armenian society from the begining of 19th century. "Armenians were very similar to Turkish community with their social and cultural approachs and with their traditions in the period of Ottomans," said he.
Stating that Armenians lived an ordinary life in the different regions of Anatolia till 19th century, Dalyan said that the idea of nationalism became stronger after 19th century as American missionaries intensified their efforts. Stating that missionaries attached importance to the Armenian language for spreading "Armenian nationalism", Dalyan said, "With the schools they opened for Armenians, they wanted to establish a unity of language. They educated children of different poor families in these schools and they spread Armenian nationalism. Those schools gave many "komitadji" graduates."
"Churches started to use the ordinary people's Armenian dialect in religious ceremonies, instead the Armenian language that nobles were using," said he.

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