Portraits of Unbelonging: A Special Crossover Episode with Ottoman History Podcast

Simonian Family of Samsun, 1906. Source: Ottoman Archives, Istanbul.

In memory of Mary Lou Savage (née Khantamour).

The Ottoman archives contain just over a hundred photographs that look like old family portraits, but they were created for an entirely different purpose. They document the renunciation of Ottoman nationality, terk-i tabiiyet, by Armenian emigrants bound for the United States and elsewhere. As our guest Zeynep Devrim Gürsel explains, the photographs were “anticipatory arrest warrants for a crime yet to be committed”—the crime of returning to the Ottoman Empire. Gürsel’s research goes far beyond the story of the small number of photographs that remain, as she has documented over four thousand individuals who went through the process of terk-i tabiiyet. In this Ottoman History Podcast-AnthroPod collaboration, we talk to Gürsel about her research project on the production, circulation, and afterlives of these photographs titled “Portraits of Unbelonging.” It is a double-sided history that explores not only the context of Armenian migration and policing during the late Ottoman period but also the experiences of those pictured and their descendants following their departure from the Ottoman Empire. This episode was recorded in August 2019.

Agbabian Family of Sebastia/Sivas, 1908.

Contributor Bios

Beth Derderian (for AnthroPod) is currently an assistant professor of anthropology and museum studies at the College of Wooster. Her research examines the politics of art and museums on the Arabian Peninsula.

Zeynep Devrim Gürsel is a media anthropologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University. She is the author of Image Brokers: Visualizing World News in the Age of Digital Circulation (University of California Press, 2016) and the director of Coffee Futures (2009). She researches photography as a tool of governmentality in the late Ottoman period.

Chris Gratien (for Ottoman History Podcast) is Assistant Professor of History at University of Virginia, where he teaches classes on global environmental history and the Middle East. He is currently preparing a monograph about the environmental history of the Cilicia region of the former Ottoman Empire from the 1850s until the 1950s.

Shamshoian Family of Kharpert/Harput, 1908.

Additional Resources

A July 2020 talk for NAASR/Project SAVE/Eskijian Museum

Houshamadyan: an invaluable website on Ottoman Armenian life

Bulbulian, Berge. 2000. The Fresno Armenians: History of a Diaspora Community. Fresno: Press at California State University, Fresno.

Çelik, Zeynep, and Edhem Eldem, eds. 2015. Camera Ottomana: Photography and Modernity in the Ottoman Empire, 1840–1914. Istanbul: Koç University Press.

Çora, Yaşar Tolga, Dzovinar Derderian, and Ali Sipahi, eds. 2016. The Ottoman East in the Nineteenth Century: Societies, Identities and Politics. London: I. B. Tauris.

Deringil, Selim. 2012. Conversion and Apostasy in the Late Ottoman Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gutman, David E. 2019. The Politics of Armenian Migration to North America, 1885–1915: Sojourners, Smugglers and Dubious Citizens. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Hanley, Will. 2017. Identifying with Nationality: Europeans, Ottomans, and Egyptians in Alexandria. New York: Columbia University Press.

Hovannisian, Richard G., ed. 2002. Armenian Tsopk/Kharpert. Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda.

Karpat, Kemal H. 1985. “The Ottoman Emigration to America, 1860–1914.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 17, no. 2: 175–209.

Kieser, Hans Lukas. 2005. Iskalanmış Barış: Doğu Vilayetleri’nde Misyonerlik, Etnik Kimlik ve Devlet, 1839–1938. Translated by Atilla Dirim. Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları.

Marsoobian, Armen T. 2015. Fragments of a Lost Homeland: Remembering Armenia. London: Tauris.

Mirak, Robert. 1983. Torn between Two Lands: Armenians in America, 1890 to World War I. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Morris, Rosalind C., ed. 2009. Photographies East: The Camera and Its Histories in East and Southeast Asia. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Ong, Aihwa. 1999. Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Tagg, John. 1988. The Burden of Representation: Essays on Photographies and Histories. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Yılmaz, İlkay. 2004. Serseri, Anarşist ve Fesadın Peşinde: II. Abdülhamid Dönemi Güvenlik Politikaları Ekseninde Mürür Tezkereleri, Pasaportlar ve Otel Kayıtları. Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları.

Yılmaz, İlkay. 2019. “Governing the Armenian Question through Passports in the Late Ottoman Empire (1876–1908).” Journal of Historical Sociology 32: 388–403.


Zeynep Gürsel [0:00] One . . . more

Chris Gratien [0:05] This is a really cool -

ZG [0:08] Yes.

CG [0:09] I like your system -

CG Narration: Zeynep Gürsel is a visual anthropologist at Rutgers University. In August 2019, we met in Istanbul to discuss her ongoing research project. She arrived with a small Tupperware container. In it are dozens of photographs with descriptions on the back.

ZG [0:40] I'm very much a tactile thinker. I cannot just think conceptually, I always print out the images that I'm working on. I often carry them on my person for years. I look at them constantly. I touch them constantly, I think about every, you know, hole and crease and you know, where the glue was put on, and how, and all of these things really about their production. I mean, I take the materiality of the image extremely seriously.

Beth Derderian [1:17] The images at first glance are simple family portraits. The people in them are Armenians from the Ottoman Empire. The originals are held at the Ottoman archives in Istanbul. Gürsel has made prints of the collection from digitized copies. Her aim is to learn everything she can about the photographs and what happened to the people in them.

ZG [1:36] The photograph we're looking at is of a family of four, Boghos Shamshoian Şamşooğlu, and his wife Margırıd, and their two sons, Zakar and Harut.

CG [1:50] While some of the stories remain elusive, Gürsel has been able to learn something about many of the people in the photographs. Their histories are invariably global, involving immigrant journeys to the United States and other countries. That's because these photographs were taken on the eve of emigration from the Ottoman Empire. And they're not ordinary family portraits. They're what Gürsel dubs "portraits of unbelonging." Her work centers on these turn of the twentieth century photographs from the Ottoman Empire and reconstructs the stories of what happened to the people in them after the shutter closed.

BD [2:33] In this special Anthropod and Ottoman History Podcast collaboration, we'll learn more about Gürsel's unique approach to visual anthropology, and through these "Portraits of Unbelonging," understand the lives of Ottoman Armenian migrants during the Empire's last decades.

CG [2:47] I'm Chris Gratien.

BD [2:48] I'm Beth Derderian.

CG [2:49] Stay tuned.

ZG [2:58] Whether I'm looking at a medical portrait, or images of criminals, or pictures of students, or as I'll talk to you about now, pictures of soon-to-be Armenian emigrants, what's critical to me is asking under what conditions are individuals brought into photographic visibility? Both to what ends are they brought into photographic visibility and in what contexts?

BD [3:23] On our website, you can find samples of the images we'll be talking about. The portraits themselves are pretty ordinary: you might find ones just like them in your own family photo album. But if you turn them over, you'll get an entirely different story. These pictures were not made for the family photo album, they were created for the state archive.

ZG [3:41] They look like family portraits, they look like standard late nineteenth century, early twentieth century family portraits or family photos. And yet they were taken for purposes of the state, we believe paid for by the state: Ottoman documents saying that these individuals were to be photographed, so that they could be recognized in the event that they returned. So in that sense, we can think of them as anticipatory arrest warrants. They are like criminal mug shots for a crime that has yet to be committed, which is returning.

BD [4:19] During the late nineteenth century, states began keeping photographs of their subjects for all sorts of purposes. The Ottoman Empire wasn't that special. But as historical artifacts these particular photographs are utterly unique.

ZG [4:32] This is probably one of the very first examples—if not the first example—of a state using photography to police borders. But specifically what's interesting in this case, is that it's not a state photographing incoming strangers. So it's not photographs of immigrants. The Ottoman state photographed Ottoman Armenians who declared that they wanted to emigrate, and the photograph was actually the first step in the process. So what's interesting is a state photographing its own subjects at the very moment that they are becoming non-subjects. That's why the project is called "Portraits of Unbelonging." It’s because I'm interested in these photographs as documents of exclusion.

CG [5:39] The unbelonging of Ottoman Armenians, was tied to the political transformation of the Ottoman Empire under Abdulhamid II during the late nineteenth century. After the Rum or Greek Orthodox community, Armenians comprised the largest non-Muslim group in the empire at the time. In many cases, their communities had been established in Anatolia well before the rise of the Ottomans. Armenian traders and tradesmen could be found in most Ottoman cities, and villages and towns with predominantly Armenian populations existed all across the eastern provinces of the Empire.

BD [6:12] From the 1890s onward, roughly 100,000 of these Ottoman Armenians left for the Americas. In the U.S., they settled in Massachusetts, New York, California, and many other places. They formed enclaves that would later welcome waves of Armenian immigrants, survivors of the 1915 Armenian Genocide and their descendants in the Arab world who lived in Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Aleppo, and Beirut.

CG [6:37] Later migrants came from the once-Soviet Republic of Armenia, and Iran.

BD [6:42] They are all part of a broader Armenian diaspora that is many centuries old.

CG [6:51] Mercantile connections and work opportunities had long fueled migration within the Armenian diaspora. But during the 1890s, the numbers began to soar for political reasons. Under the reign of Sultan Abdulhamid II, numerous violent incidents targeted Armenians and other Christians. They're often referred to collectively as the Hamidian massacres, the dynamics of the massacres in provinces like Diyarbakir, Van, Erzurum, and Mamuret-ul-Aziz, varied from place to place.

BD [7:20] In some instances, irregular cavalry belonging to the Kurdish leaders of these regions armed by the state to secure the eastern borderlands played a role. In other cases, the violence seemed to take the shape of a pogrom with Muslims from nearby towns and villages attacking neighboring Christian populations. Such events were unprecedented in these regions of the Ottoman Empire.

The wave of violence largely passed by the end of the 1890s. But many Armenians remember these massacres as a prelude to the genocide that would come two decades later, because it was the first time that Ottoman Armenians endured violence on a mass scale based solely on the fact that they were Armenian.

ZG [8:07] Certainly, the 1890s violence against Armenians caused an increase in the number migrating.

CG [8:18] The Hamidian massacres were the principal reason for the rise in Ottoman Armenian emigration. Many people left because they feared for their lives. But the Ottoman government also grew fearful of its large Armenian population. Armenian revolutionary parties with transnational networks had established a presence in Anatolia and sought to draw support in areas where Armenians predominated. Many of the uprisings that occurred resembled a much older pattern of peasant rebellions centered on a single village or town, and often under the threat of massacre. But the violence also reached the capital of Istanbul, where the Armenian Revolutionary Federation occupied the Ottoman bank in 1896.

BD [9:05] For most Armenians of the provinces, the specter of violence only added to the incentive to emigrate. But at first, immigration itself presented a major risk.

ZG [9:16] In 1888, there's an explicit ban of migration on the part of Armenians. Even before then if you want to get a passport, you have to get permission from the Sultan. But in 1888, there's an explicit ban saying, other than for those traveling for commercial purposes or you know, business purposes, there will be a ban, they will not be given passports. What's interesting and where I've really started my research is 1896. There is an amendment to the law that's published in the official newspaper that says Armenians who want to leave may do so on the condition that they never return to the Empire and they renounce their nationality. And the first step in the process is having your photograph taken.

CG [10:16] And can you say in Ottoman Turkish, the name of that unique process of renouncing the nationality.

ZG [10:25] So this process is called "terk-i tabiiyet," and tabiiyet is the word often translated as nationality, but it implies within it—tebaa—is subject so tabiiyet is really “to be under the sovereignty of.” So terk-i tabiiyet: abandonment or renunciation of nationality is the name of this process of renouncing Ottoman nationality.

BD [10:51] Armenians who chose to permanently emigrate were compelled to renounce their Ottoman nationality. The portraits Gürsel studies are the main document attesting to that event: the unbelonging.

ZG [11:01] So here is an example from Sivas' Çiçekli neighborhood and you can see the individuals are actually numbered on the photograph and on the back you see that the numbers identify each one of them. So we not only know who the family is, but we actually know each person and it'll say you know:

1) Armenian Ağbabaoğlu Bıçakçı Agapik, son of Nishan, born in 1856 from Sivas' Çiçekli neighborhood

2) His son Migirdich.

3) His son Armanak and then we get the birth years of all of them.

4) His daughter Artanoush. Right?

5) Above mentioned Migirdich's wife, Vartanoush. And the standard “photographs of the above mentioned Agapik taken with four members of his family in order to renounce Ottoman nationality and emigrate to America, never to return to the Ottoman Empire.”

For me, these photographs are extremely, I mean, initially, when I saw them, I couldn't stop thinking about them. I was not looking for them. I was working on something else entirely. I saw them and I couldn't stop thinking about them. I literally in the summer of 2014, I would wake up at night thinking about these photographs. Not only was I captivated by the individuals in the photographs, but I also think as somebody who had been working on photography already for almost twenty years at that time, there's this statement that John Tagg makes that's always been very powerful for me. I'm going to paraphrase the phrase. So John Tagg's statement is: Photographs are not merely evidence of history, they are themselves historical. And nothing made me understand that statement as these portraits—in the sense that at the very moment that this portrait is taken, these individuals are beginning a process of renouncing their nationality. What's captured here is not just a portrait of an individual, but a very specific portrait of a relationship between a state and the subjects in the photographs. It is a portrait of unbelonging in the sense that it is a portrait of the moment of the changing of the relationship between the state and these subjects.

What I'm doing with these photographs is telling a double-sided history. So if one side of this story, let's say the backside of the photograph in Ottoman, faces the Ottoman past, the front of the photograph, the picture of somebody who has just renounced their Ottoman citizenship, Ottoman nationality, a picture of somebody who has renounced their Ottoman nationality and is about to go to the United States is really an American migration story. It's the history of U.S. immigration.

BD [14:20] The portraits were created for what the Ottoman government understood as security purposes. Yet in the present context, they take on another meaning.

ZG [14:28] So they're like mug shots, but they're not of criminals. These people have not committed a crime. They are like family portraits except they’re state documents taken by the state, paid for by the state. What all of them are is kinship documents. So I know exactly who is married to whom, whose child is whose, what the birth order is of the children. I sort of find it ironic, that here I am a cultural anthropologist and I'm having to go back to sort of classic anthropology texts on kinship because I really need to think about these as kinship documents.

CG [15:10] Gürsel is committed to sharing these photographs with relatives and descendants of those pictured. Her project involves combining visual ethnography with oral histories. And she begins her search for descendants using the information recorded by Ottoman police on the reverse of the images.

BD [15:25] This amalgam of methods is unique and it diverges from some standard ethnographic modalities. While anthropologists often anonymize their sources and subjects, it is the real people and their family histories that Gürsel is most concerned with here. She uses their real names and has developed close relationships with these families.

ZG [15:44] I didn't feel like I could ethically work on these photographs, without at least attempting to get these into the hands of somebody who knew the person in the photograph. Even the babies in the photographs have now passed away. It's almost 120 years later, but some of them have children in their seventies, eighties, and mostly nineties, who are still alive. And so I decided that I would sort of reverse the normal order of a research project. And the first thing I've been trying to do is, I spent the last two years looking for the descendants of the people in the photographs, reaching out to them asking if I could visit them and bring them a copy of this photograph that I found in the Ottoman state archive, asking if I could film the moment of encounter with this photograph and with what I know about the photographs that I'm able to share with them. It's been a thrilling experience. I started with 108 photographs. Thanks to the help of my wonderful students at Macalester College, we were able to find migration information for fifty-three of the families and locate living descendants for thirty-six families. I've met with eleven. And so I've had eleven different opportunities to take a copy of this Ottoman state document and get their reaction to the photograph.

BD [17:17] The task of getting the photos to the people who might value them most is as pressing as it is challenging, because even the children of the children in these photographs are now in their eighties or nineties. Between the time of Gürsel's interview and the release of this podcast, another descendant she worked with has passed away.

CG [17:37] One of the portraits that Gürsel was eager to show me belongs to the Shamshoian family.

ZG [17:42] We located the Shamshoian family—as I said they settled in Fresno—on a family tree posted by a family member online. They shared this photograph taken in Central Falls, Rhode Island, in front of the boarding house that they were all living in shortly after they arrived. They shared two photographs. In this photograph, you see Boghos Shamshoian with his wife Margarid, and the two boys Zakar and Harut. And you also see Margarid's father Boghos Sahagian and his other daughter Maryam. By following the family member who had posted it, I found out that that family member had gotten the photograph from a gentleman named Alan Ouzounian. I contacted Alan Ouzounian who has been working on Armenian genealogy for I think more than four decades now. And he is not only incredibly knowledgeable about all things Armenian-migration related, he also happens to be Maryam Sahagian's grandson. He told me that Boghos Sahagian left for the United States shortly after Maryam was born because his wife died in childbirth. Eighteen years later, he sent money for Margarid and Maryam, two sisters, to come to the United States in 1908. Here is a photograph of Boghos Sahagian with his two daughters, Margarid and Maryam. Looking at this photograph, I realized I had seen this young woman before. I knew Maryam's face, because in fact, we also have Maryam's terk-i tabiiyet photograph. We also have the photograph of Maryam taken before she left for the United States. The two photographs are taken on the same day. And because of the biographical information on the back, you can see that all of the details match.

CG [20:00] What happened to these people after they came to the United States?

ZG [20:03] So they stayed in the East Coast for some time, but eventually moved to Fresno, settled in Fresno. They had a vineyard in Fresno, which was something that they knew from back in their time in Mamuret-ul-Aziz. What I wanted to tell you is when we looked at the passenger ship manifests, when we looked at the passenger ship manifest, we were also able, and through interviews with Alan Ouzounian, we were able to identify these two other cousins, another Maryam and Anna, who also traveled with their aunt Margarid, and her family. And so it was only because we found the living descendant today that we were able to realize all four of these photographs together, are a family, are one family. And of course, this opens up all kinds of questions. Why are the single unmarried women photographed individually? Whereas there are many examples where we have certainly married women photographed with their families, but also, older women, widowed women, photographed with their families. But unmarried, single women are photographed individually.

One of the things about this project that makes it intriguing for me is that if you look at migration history, a lot of it is male-dominated. Oftentimes, and this is also true in the case of Armenian migration from the Ottoman Empire to the United States, the large number of migrants were single men or young men going for work, usually labor migration, going for some time to come back or to send remittances. It's very hard to find women in migration history, because even looking for their descendants is difficult, because when they get married, their name changes, etc. What these photographs have enabled me to do is sort of render visible the women and children in this history of Ottoman Armenian migration.

BD [22:27] The photographs reveal much about how kinship and kinship relations were transformed by the legal and social context of immigration.

ZG [22:34] This is a photograph that had me thinking a lot about photographs, not just making and unmaking nationals, but also making and unmaking families. So here is the Asaroğlu or Asarian from Sivas. And so we have Dikran Asarian, his wife, and three, sorry, four of their children. But we also have number seven, the aforementioned Dikran's stepson Suren, son of deceased Avadis, born in 1901–1902. We translated this as stepson but actually it's manevi evlat. So we know that his father Avadis died, and it appears that Dikran Asarian has sort of taken this child under his wing. And the fact that he is included in the family's terk-i tabiiyet photograph would have meant that he can travel with this family. And so he has now been made into a part of the Asarian family even though we're not talking about adoption in a legal sense. The Asarian family is very interesting to me and has me thinking about how all of these photographs are about making and unmaking nationals, homelands, citizenship, but also photographs that make families.

BD [24:08] As a visual anthropologist Gürsel is also deeply concerned with the photographs themselves. A previous research project studied what turned out to be a doctored medical photograph from the late Ottoman Empire. The portraits—some taken in studios, but most carried out by police photographers—contain many mysteries.

ZG [24:34] Here is a photo of a terk-i tabiiyet photograph of Simon Simonian and his family. Simon Simonian—and the photograph gives you hints to this—Simon Simonian was a wealthy businessman living in Samsun. He was married to a Greek woman and had eight children. And the photograph includes his wife, his mother-in-law, and all eight of his children. One of the reasons this photograph is very interesting to me is because there's a mystery in it that I haven't been able to solve. And so I'm hoping that maybe somebody who's listening to this podcast will be able to come up with something I haven't thought of yet. Can you guess what I'm going to point out?

Exactly! What's going on with the white sheet in the background? It does appear like there is someone back there underneath that sheet. And if you look at the photograph enlarged, it looks like there is a knee just behind one of the daughter's shoulders. And in fact, if you look very closely, it appears that the same fabric was used to sew whatever they're wearing as the mother-in-law's skirt. It would appear that this is a child. Why would you include this person in the photograph in the first place?

CG [26:06] So you think this is a sheet in the original picture? Not like they did some cheap kind of, touch up somehow to--

ZG [26:13] Definitely not a touch up. Cause if you look down here, or if you look at the folds? Yeah, I mean, these are actual folds in a drape. There does appear to be something strange going on here.

CG [26:25] It's geometrical.

ZG [26:27] No, it's not photoshopped. But the foxing on the curtain or the drape, whatever has been placed over the person, or whatever it is being hidden, is similar to that on the wallpaper over here. So it's not something—it appears to be something that was there when the photograph was taken. This is a mystery I have not been able to solve. What I was able to do is meet with not one but two children of the children in this photograph.

Sorry . . . One second, I want to pull up a card for you. I was just showing it yesterday. . . . So this is the downside of the method.

CG [27:13] Yes, the method needs its madness, obviously.

ZG [27:18] Here we go.

CG [27:19] To make sure you look at every single photograph every time -

ZG [27:22] No (laughing)

CG [27:23] That's part of the point of having the pile.

ZG [27:24] It's part of the point of having the pile but . . . so I had the great pleasure of meeting Epi's son, Walter Vosganian, he's in his eighties and lives near Fresno today. And I heard the history of the family from him. And I also traveled up to Bellingham, Washington, and met with Maria Simonian's daughter, Marion Savage, who is a very young ninety-something. Full of life. And both of them told me about this family that moved to Fresno, where Simon Simonian had a store in front of which you would often take naps or play tavlu and they told me lots of things about the family. But both of them emphasized that the family had never talked about why they decided to emigrate. Or neither one remembered a conversation about that. What was very exciting was the moment when I—when I go and meet with a family, I ask if they would be willing to share their family photo albums, so that I can look at these terk-i tabiiyet photographs against the background of the family's own family portraits proper. And so Marion Savage, a few years ago, meaning about twenty years ago, prepared these photo albums one for each of her three daughters, each titled "From Whence You Came." And the very first photograph in the album is the portrait—is a, is a photograph of the family in front of their mansion in Samsun. And every single individual we see in the renunciation of nationality photograph we see here in front of their home in Samsun. And from Marion's album, I was able to see that here, the Simonian family was obviously wealthy and liked being photographed. I mean, this was a photograph of themselves—a family very well versed in photography. They had their photographs taken often, I was able to encounter Simon Simonian, his wife, and their children at many different stages in their life. And then I saw this photograph. Here is a photograph that Marian Savage has in her possession. It's larger than the terk-i tabiiyet photograph that I found in the Ottoman State Archives.

But the photographs appear extremely similar. In fact, you might be fooled into thinking they're the same photograph—many of the individuals sitting in the photograph are wearing the same clothes. And yet, if you look very closely, some of the girls have their hair up in one but not in the other. And most importantly, Socrates Simonian, the little boy in the front, is wearing white shoes in one photograph; black shoes in another photograph; has a white ribbon in one and not a white ribbon in the other. And most tellingly, seems to have had a haircut sometime between the two photographs, or perhaps he had the haircut first, and then his hair grew. So these are definitely not two photographs taken on the same day. But they are taken in the same space. I would imagine by the same photographer. I would imagine, again, it's a Dildilian photograph. And clearly this is a photographer with whom they had a long relationship, because other family portraits are taken in front of the same background. And yet, the mystery remains—now for the family as well as for me—what is underneath that sheet?

CG [31:41] Each photograph in Gürsel's “Portraits of Unbelonging” tells the story of a family. But there are pieces of a much larger history.

ZG [31:51] Maybe this is a good time to say that this is not just a story of 108 photographs, or about four hundred people. I have documentation, and now names—lists of names of at least four thousand people who went through the terk-i tabiiyet process. Four thousand people whose photographs were taken. So it's still a smaller story within the large story of Ottoman Armenian migration to the United States. But why I think it's very important is it forces us to think about in 1896, when this avenue opens for some people to migrate legally, on the condition that they renounce their nationality and never return to the Ottoman Empire, it doesn't actually stem the flow of people who are leaving “illegally,” right, firari. These people emigrate—hicret. It makes you ask the question, “Who travels under what circumstances?” And it makes sense, perhaps, that a lot of women and children travel “legally” because then they're not navigating smuggler networks or, you know, clandestine modes of crossing borders. They have paperwork that allows them, grants them mobility, but under this very clear—on their passport, it's stamped, they will never return to the Ottoman Empire, never to return to the Ottoman Empire. And so their mobility comes with this anticipated future, not to be able to return.

BD [33:53] Our listeners can look forward to more from Zeynep Gürsel and the “Portraits of Unbelonging” project in the future. Visit our website to learn more.

CG [34:00] And additional thanks to OHP's Editor-in-Chief Sam Dolbee for helping with this script.

BD [34:05] And finally, thanks to you—the listeners of the Ottoman History Podcast and Anthropod for joining in this collaboration. I'm Beth Derderian.

CG [34:13] I'm Chris Gratien.

BD [34:14] That's all for this episode. Join us next time.