This cabinet portrait shows an unidentified Amenian boy and his mother. It is undated, but to have been taken in the 1890s. Note the Western dress. Many Armenians and otheres in the Ottoman wore traditional dress at the time. This would suggest thatthey were a prosperous family. Trabazon is a Black Sea port and Silk road trading center with a long history of Armenian popultion. Most of the city's Armenians were murdered by the Turks during the Armenian Genocide (1915).
This cabinet portrait shows an unidentified Amenian boy and his mother. It is undated, but to have been taken in the 1890s. Note the Western dress. Many Armenians and otheres in the Ottoman wore traditional dress at the time. This would suggest thatthey were a prosperous family.
We do know that it was taken in Trabzon (Trabizon) a town in the Ottoman Empire--modern Turkey. The town is located on the Black Sea coast of north-eastern Turkey. It is the capital of Trabzon Province. Trabzon was a town on the famed Silk Road that led east through Central Asia to China. Like other stations and market towns in the Silk Road was a mixing bowl religions, languages. commerce, and culture. As a port, Trabzon was a gateway to Persia (Iran) for Europe.
For Persia is was a gateway to Russia accross the Black Sea. The Byzantines and Italians (Venetian and Genoese) merchants participated in the city markets. The British (Stothert and Pitt of Bath) helped to modernize the port (1901).
The port was ijportant strategically in World War I. When the Ottoman Empire entered the War, it opened a new front with heavy combat between the Russiansand Ottomans--the Caucasus Campaign which proved disatrous for the Ottomans. The Armenian Genocide began with the failure of the Ottoman Caucasus offensive.
Turks killed the Armenians in large numbers in and around Trabzon. Some sources lbel it an extermination center.
Trabzon. The Russians commanded by Grand Duke Nicholas and Nikolai Yudenich captured Trebizond (April 1916). After the Russian Revolition (1917) and collapse of the Russian Army, the Russians withdrew from the port and other areas they occupied in Anatolia. The Turkish War of Independence led to the annulment of the Treaty of Sèvres (1920). The new Treaty of Lausanne was negotited (1923). Trebizond was recognized as a part of the new Turlish Republic.
An Armenian community existed in Trebizond during the early medieval era (7th century). Many Armenians fled to Trebizond from Ani and other areas attacked during the Mongol invasions (13th and 14th centuries). Armenia and Georgia was absorbed intothe Mongol Empire. Armenians came to constitute about 13 percent of the city's population (early-16th century). The Armenian population was about equal to thsat of Muslims. [Jennings] The Ottomans persecuted the Armenians in the 19th century as the Empire became increasingly less tolerant as a result of Christian revolts in the Balkans and Russian attacks in the north. The most serious incident was the Hamidian massacres (late-19th century). Just before the outbreak of World War I, Trabzon had an Armenian population of about 30,000. The Turks during the Genocide killed many in the city. Others were deported, most of whom persished during the deportation. When the Russians took the city (April 1916), they found only 500 Armenian survivors. Monks of the local Armenian monastery returned.
The first photograph studio in Trabzon is believed to have opened in Semercibaşı street by a foreigner named Armakof, who allegedly had a Russian origin. This was a common pattern in Turkey and the wider Middleast. Most of the photographic studios in the 19th century were opened and operated by foreigners and is symptomatic without backward Muslim countries were at the time. The studio was in use in 1868. Later, of the Christian community living in Trabzon, the Cacouli Brothers and Hatchik Tcholakian opened their studios. Exactly when both studios were opened isn't known. However, it's clear from the dates on the back of the photographs that they were in use between the 1880s and 1920s. Cacoli Brothers, were officially commisioned in 1890 to prepare "the Album of Abdulhamit" consisting the photographs of then most important cities. The file Cacouli Brothers had prepared, included 57 photographs of most important buildings, streets and squares in the city. In Trabzon there were no photographer left after the declaration of Republic. This resulted from the World war I with Russia and the Western Allies (all Christian nations), the Armeniam Genocide, and the war with Greece following World war I. Turks who worked with photography during the war began opening studios in the 1920s. [SÜMERKAN]
The portrait was taken at the "K. E. Cacoulis" studio. The name of the studio was "Phoographie MER-NOIRE" (Black Sea). He was probnly Greek and was one of the first professional photographic studio in Trabzon.
Jennings, Ronald C.
SÜMERKAN, M. Reşat. “Anılarda TRABZON” (Atilla BÖLÜKBAŞI Serander Yayınları-1. Basım- Mayıs 2006).
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