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Armenian sport in Ottoman empireIn the summer of 1912 two Armenian sportsmen, Vahram Papazyan and Mkrtich Mkryan, took part in the 5th International Olympic Games in Stockholm, representing the empire to the Olympics for the first time. In 1915 to 1920 innumerable Armenian sportsmen became victim of the Genocide, most Armenian sports clubs closed.

This reveals new details of Armenian history and includes about 70 photos, documents, periodicals which tell the history of the Armenian sport clubs and football teams in the Ottoman Empire until 1915. It turned out that in times of Abdul Hamid it was forbidden to appear in the public half-naked; that is why the sportsmen could be arrested even during a contest. However, the women’s sport was also developed in that period.

The number of the Armenian sport clubs in the Ottoman Empire was about 100. In 1911 to 1914 the Armenian Olympic Games were held in Constantinople. From 1911 to 1914 the Marmnamarz, a sports newspaper editor Shavarsh Krisyan, was published which was the first sports periodical in the empire.

Today (02 September 2008) the exposition headlined “Armenian Sports in the Ottoman Empire” opens at the Museum Institute of the Armenian Genocide which will last till 15 September 2008.

“The Armenian sport clubs and sportsmen had a significant contribution to the history of sports in the Ottoman Empire,” the director of Museum Institute of the Armenian Genocide Hayk Demoyan said at the opening ceremony.

Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire, before total uprooting as a consequence of premeditated and state–orchestrated genocide plan of the elimination of the Armenian nation on the territory of the Ottoman Turkey circa 1915, was among well modernized elements of the empire, which despite the segregationist and discriminative nature of the ottomans, played significant role in the social, economical and cultural life of the empire.

Source: "Panorama", Yerevan, 02 September 2008

Posted on Friday, September 05, 2008 (6502 reads), comments: 0
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