Provisionally titled ‘Re-Mix? Debates over Armenian Autonomy at the Lausanne Conference and the Limits of Post-Genocide “Co-existence”,’ Lerna Ekmekçioğlu’s contribution to the Lausanne Project’s edited volume (forthcoming in 2023 with Gingko Library) looks into the Armenian mission at Lausanne in 1922-23.
The Armenian Unified Delegation (Miatsyal Badviragutyun) was co-chaired by Gabriel Noradungian on behalf of the Armenians of Turkey and Avedis Aharonian on behalf of the Russian Armenians. They suggested the establishment within Asia Minor of ‘an autonomous and demilitarized zone,’ i.e. an Armenian National Home, ‘either in Southern or Eastern Turkey where the survivors of the Armenian Genocide could return in order to congregate, sustain their culture, and feel safe and secure.’ Noradungian and Aharonian vowed that ‘autonomy within Turkey would turn resentful and vengeful Armenian refugees into grateful and loyal Turkish citizens.’ However, despite the partial (and arguably performative) support of the Great Powers, their plan met with categorical rejection by the Turkish delegation, who feared that the plan would be used as a means of interference in Turkey’s domestic affairs.
In this TLP podcast, recorded on 20 May 2022, Ozan Ozavci and Lerna discuss her book chapter, the Armenian plan, its implications and why it failed. Lerna argues that the Armenian mission was a science-fiction-like endeavour; theirs was ‘a stillborn project’. Lerna proposes an intervention in the historiography of the population exchange and a radical reimagining of ‘unmixing’.
Episode 16 – The Epitome of Loss
Podcasts are published by TLP for the purpose of encouraging informed debate on the legacies of the events surrounding the Lausanne Conference. The views expressed by participants do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of TLP, its partners, convenors or members.
MAIN IMAGE: LEVON PASHALIAN AND HIS CHRONICLES, Լոզանի Խորհրդաժողովին Մասին Կարեւոր եւ Անտպի Վաւերագիր Մը, (AN IMPORTANT AND UNPUBLISHED DOCUMENT ABOUT THE LAUSANNE CONFERENCE), COURTESY OF LERNA EKMEKÇİOĞLU