2022/ 2023

Sedat Ulugana

Between Sheikhs and Missionaries: Kurdish-Armenian Relations during the Ottoman Centralization

Previous Fellowships: 2021/ 2022

received his PhD in History and Civilization from EHESS (L'École des hautes études en sciences Sociales / Paris) with a thesis titled “Bitlis: Socio-political Evolution of an Ottoman Province (1908-1914).” He holds an MA in History and Kurdish Culture from Mardin Artuklu University. There are hardly any memories of the Hamidiye Regiments (especially written by Kurds). Ulugana obtained the diary, written in Kurdish in 1918, by a Kurdish officer named Mullah Muhemmed, a member of the Hamidiye tribal regiment, and transcribed and published it as a book entitled “Exile of a Hamidian Cavalry and the Diary of Mullah Muhemmed Zilani: From Erciş to Antep 1915-1918.” This pioneering work will give fresh impetus to the research on the Hamidiye troops in Armenian and Kurdish Studies. Ulugana is currently preparing a book that focuses on the political transformation of the Kurdish-Armenian geography in the Young Turk period. From 2021 to 2023, he is a EUME Fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien.

Between Sheikhs and Missionaries: Kurdish-Armenian Relations during the Ottoman Centralization

This project aims at analyzing the history of Kurdish-Armenian relations (the development of their national movements, cooperation and conflicts between their political organizations and religious actors) between 1800 and 1900, focusing on the Ottoman centralization policy during the Tanzimat period that led to the sharpening of conflicts among the population. This project compares Khalidism with missions to show how these two institutions position Kurds and Armenians in opposite places. Contrary to previous scholarship in the field, Ulugana argues that Khalidism was an effective institution that sometimes restricted missionary activities and sometimes paved the way for it. While Khalidism marked the limits of missionary work, it also determined the fate of the Armenians. The missionaries were striving towards introducing Sunni Kurds to the idea of the possibility of a modern world. After examining and evaluating archival materials, this study will offer new frames of references and critical perspectives.