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There’s a Lack of Ottoman Experts and Kurdologists in Armenia: YSU Rector

Yerevan State University (YSU) Rector Aram Simonyan is getting ready to seriously think about preparing experts in the field of Caucasus Studies. And though while speaking to journalists in Yerevan today, Simonyan said the level of preparedness of Turkologists is quite high, the rate at which experts are produced and the number of experts are insufficient (for the field).

“With the president’s assistance, we are preparing experts in Ottoman Studies. Three people today are [studying] at St. Petersburg University, where they are becoming specialists in Ottoman Studies through a special program. Preparing Ottoman Studies specialists is quite difficult because they have to master three eastern languages: Persian, Arabic and Turkish.  Moreover,  Ottoman Turkish is important for us because the documents in Turkey’s archives until the mid-20s are mainly in Ottoman Turkish and those archives aren’t accessible to us to the extent that experts in that language are few or practically non-existent here [in Armenia],” he said, adding they have very important work to do also in the area of Armenian Studies.

“For us, we have to finally decide Armenian Studies’ priorities. For example, I think, in the issue of Armenian-Kurdish relations, we have also been left quite behind, we must be ready for possible developments and we have to have Kurdologists, we have to have experts in the area of Kurdish Studies,” said the YSU Rector, adding Armenia has good Kurdologists, which, however, are already quite old and there is no younger generation to take their place.