Teotig: Biography

Teotig: Biography

with translation of Teotig's "Monument to April 11" by Ara Stepan Melkonian
London: Gomidas Institute, 2012,
x + 244 pp., photos and map
ISBN 978-1-903656-93-8, paperback
UK£16.00 / US$22.00
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Teotig, a native of Constantinople, was the publisher of the vastly popular yearbooks entitled Amenoun Daretsouytsu (Everyman's Almanac), published from 1907-1929. On the eve of April 24, 1915, Teotig was already in prison, serving a one year sentence for one of his publications. At the time, Teotig did not know that his name was on a master list of Constantinople Armenians who were going to be arrested on that night. These arrests were part of a larger campaign to massacre Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire. Teotig, like many other Armenians, was eventually ordered to be exiled to Der Zor in the Syrian desert, a final destination that amounted to a death sentence.

The first part of this volume recounts Teotig's life and work, including his escape from exile by taking cover as an accounting clerk at the offices of the German Baghdad railroad constructioni company and his bittersweet return to Constantinople after the 1918 Armistice.

The second part of this volume is a translation of Teotig's "Monument to April 11 [24]". In this seminal publication, Teotig, the survivor, recorded the names and the circumstances of the murders of 763 Armenian intellectuals and clergy who fell vistim of the 1915-1918 destruction of Armenians by Ottoman authorities.

Teotig, like many other Armenian citizens of the Ottoman Empire, participated in spurring democracy in the Ottoman Empire and fuelling the civil rights movements of ethnic and religious minorities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, he strove to pay homage to his fallen compatriots. In turn, this volume pays tribute to Teotig's inspiring life and work.

This work is part of "Trilogy - April 24, 1915", Aram Andonian (Rita Soulahian Kuyumjian comp and ed), Exile, Trauma and Death: On the Road to Chankiri with Komitas Vartabed (vol. 1),
Rita Soulahian Kuyumjian, Teotig - Biography  (vol 2) and Rita Soulahian Kuyumjian, The Survivor: Biography of Aram Andonian (vol. 3). Also by the same author: Archeology of Madness: Komitas, Portrait of an Armenian Icon
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