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ARTS > Exhibition reflects dark period of Anatolian history

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

Istanbul’s Tütün Deposu presents a new exhibition featuring life in Anatolian society in the 19th century, as seen by the cameras of the Dildilian brothers

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The Dildilian brothers made many contributions to various outstanding archives of the world. Their archive of 19th century
Anatolia can be seen at Istanbul’s Tütün
Deposu until June 8.

The Dildilian brothers made many contributions to various outstanding archives of the world. Their archive of 19th century Anatolia can be seen at Istanbul’s Tütün Deposu until June 8.

Vercihan Ziflioğlu Vercihan Ziflioğlu vercihan.ziflioglu@hurriyet.com.tr

The photograph archive of the Dildilian brothers, who documented the social life of Anatolia during the 19th century with their cameras, was brought from the US to Turkey thanks to the efforts of their grandchildren Armen Tsolag Marsoobian and Tsolag Dildilian.

In their archive, the grandchildren have preserved over 800 pieces by the Dildilian brothers, who made many contributions to various outstanding archives of the world. Armen Marsoobian is planning to open a museum with the archive photos in the Black Sea province of Amasya’s Merzifon district. The exhibition, entitled “Bearing Witness to the Lost History of an Armenian Family: Through the Lens of the Dildilian Brothers,” will be displayed at the Tütün Deposu (Tobacco Depot) in Istanbul’s Tophane district until June 8.

Moving to Merzifon

The exhibition will also be presented in Merzifon. Armen Marsoobian, a professor of philosophy at Columbia University and Southern Connecticut State University, said the photos reflected Anatolian history, adding that their family came originally from the central Anatolian province of Sivas.
“Our great grandfather used to have a shoe factory in Sivas. Our uncles encouraged our grandfather when they discovered his ability in photography. The Dildilian brothers opened photo studios in Samsun, Konya, Merzifon and Adana along with Sivas. They photographed the social life of that period in addition to studio photography,” Marsoobian said.

Marsoobian said the life of his family in Anatolia was interrupted in 1922, adding that he first came to Turkey a few years ago and visited the home belonging to his family in Merzifon. “On my first visit, I felt rather uneasy. I also headed to Merzifon and visited a house where my family once lived. I stayed there for an hour,” he said.
Stating that he felt at home in Anatolia, Marsoobian said he was planning to open a museum in Merzifon with the photos in his archive. “There is a historic house [in Merzifon]. I want to restore it and want to bring the photos back to the county where they were originated. I actually wanted to do such a project in Sivas; but it seems not to be possible for now,” Marsoobian said.

Forgotten History of Anatolia

When asked the reason why they wanted to display their archives in Turkey, Marsoobian said, “A century ago, there was a rich cultural past in these territories. We wanted to shed light on the forgotten history of the 19th century with these photos. If we had not been forced to leave this territory, Anatolia would be much richer today,” Marsoobian said.

Marsoobian said various Armenian and Greek photographers of that period, such as the Dildilian brothers and Abdullah brothers, captured the 19th century Ottoman lifestyle with their cameras. Marsoobian said his archive in the US covers more than 800 photos shot in different Anatolian cities, adding that he spent a major part of his time on sorting out the pieces in the archive over the last five years.

April/29/2013

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david coors

5/1/2013 1:21:23 AM

Armenians do not say they got everything by arm-twisting and political bribes in those "respected countries." Turks were an Ottoman subjugated nation just like the others, and Ottoman was not democratically elected representative of Turks. Ottomans kept them the poorest, most ignorant and least influential, while a large Armenian presence in Ottoman ranks as pashas, governors, minister, mayors etc existed. As indicated earlier those Armenian contributed Ottoman decisions now they hate.

Raymond Zak

4/30/2013 6:36:52 PM

More than 20 respected countries in the world , including more than 40 states in the USA recognized the fact of the Armenian Genocide by Ottoman Turks,.Is there a doubt for it true or not ? IT IS. Why re-studying the case which is already has been proven ...? Thousands of documents, thousands of books, researches has been done already, why waisting time for something has proven already,,,is that hard to understand ?or trying to gain time ? Armenians want Justice. Period !

david coors

4/30/2013 5:57:43 AM

No excuse is good enough, not even desire for independence, to massacre innocent Ottoman Moslem subjects that is exactly what Armenian terrorists did and rest of Armenians harbor them. Ottoman goverment protected its Moslem subjects against Aremenian terrorists. If Armenians has evidence to prove their claims against Turks and Turkiye, they should start a legal case in an international and unbiased court of law, or attend Turkish PM's invitation to investigate their claims, or just shut up.

Falk Bernard

4/30/2013 1:09:48 AM

"Marsoobian said the life of his family in Anatolia was interrupted in 1922". We are told that the Turks had exterminated them in 1915. Someone is lying. @Coors, ou're right. What happened in Greece or other parts in former Ottoman territories with the Turks, could have happened in Anatolia. But Armenians and Greeks failed that time. If Turks had same resources they would have told same stories of their former homeland in the Balkan.

Peter Kypros

4/29/2013 9:28:35 PM

@david coors There is no excuse to wipe people out of their homeland simply because they or some among them wanted to be independent. Based on your logic the Serbs made a mistake for not eliminating all the Albanians in Kosovo and the 82% of Greek Cypriots in Cyprus made a mistake for not eliminating the 18% Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus etc. These are naive excuses to cover a major crime. What is the fault of the civilians and poor people who did not participate in any fight?

Peter Lambson

4/29/2013 9:05:10 PM

David,even if your argument was valid--which it isn't--why then were the native Assyrian and Greek populations also driven out of Anatolia? Neither of these "joined with the Russians..."

Raymond Zak

4/29/2013 6:53:18 PM

david coors-oglu : Do not be unjust, instead of admitting your guilt you are denying the Armenian Genocide !! How far you can go in your comments I really do not care, one thing is unexpected is to lie publicly, you a liar, denying is the worst thing you can do. Final note : I do not blame you 100% but I do blame your history teacher(s). Ty

vural korkmaz

4/29/2013 6:15:07 PM

I agree with the statement that Armenians were a large part of Ottoman government and economy. Therefore, the Armenians who were members of Ottoman Administration as pashas, ministers, governors, mayors and other high ranking employees (I have a large list of them), I am sure, contributed Ottoman decision to move Armenians from the Ottoman Eastern front where Armenian terrorists either hitting the rears of Ottoman 10th Army which fighting Russian forces or harboring them.

david coors

4/29/2013 4:15:39 PM

Marsoobian: "If we had not been forced to leave this territory, Anatolia would be much richer today,” Of course that is very true. Also very true that if Armenian terrorists (may be not Marsoobians) did not join forces with Russians and the victors of WWI and massacre Ottoman Moslem subjects (Turks, Kurds, Arabs, and others) to carve up an "Armenian homeland" which never existed, nobody would force them out of Anatolia. Remember Armenians were a large part of Ottoman government and economy.
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