Doğu Anadolu'da Ermeniler: Siyaset, Sosyo-Ekonomik Yaşam ve Kültürel Etkileşim (XI-XV. Yüzyıllar)
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The arrival of the Turks in Eastern Anatolia was one of the significant turning points that changed the course of Armenian history. Although Armenians had previously lived under the rule of various foreign states, Turkish dominion represented a distinct period for them. Unlike the previous ruling powers in the region, the Turks did not settle for mere suzerainty but adopted a direct governance approach. With the intense Turkish migrations, Armenians found themselves living alongside a new ethnic community that was foreign to them, under a Turkish-Islamic state. The coexistence of Armenians with Turks in Eastern Anatolia lasted for centuries, leading to cultural interactions and the development of a shared experience of living together. The erosion of the Armenian political structure, which emerged as a result of the Byzantine Empire's resettlement policies in Eastern Anatolia, culminated with Turkish dominance. The Turks diminished the power of Armenian noble families referred to as "naharar" in the region by implementing a centralized governance approach. Most of these noble families had to either accept Turkish rule or choose to flee to neighboring regions such as Georgia. During this period, the idea emerged among Armenian intellectuals that the Armenian Church should assume the role of leadership due to the lack of a leader representing the people. Turkish rule did not pursue a policy that would restrict or hinder the socio-economic lives of Armenians. On the contrary, they preferred to maintain and develop the existing structure to enrich their state economically. Historical sources from the period indicate that Armenians existed in almost every aspect of socio-economic life, including ix craftsmanship, trade, agriculture, and animal husbandry. The products of Armenian craftsmen were in demand not only in Anatolia but also in neighboring regions. Armenian merchants were active in trade to the extent of establishing colonies in the northern regions of the Black Sea. Through trade, a wealthy class known as the "metzatun" emerged within the Armenian society. The agricultural activities of Armenian peasants were important for sustaining the newly established dominion and its population. Historical sources also reveal cases where Turkish rulers protected the peasants. Instead of adopting an exclusionary attitude towards their Armenian subjects, Turkish administrations preferred to benefit from their wealth, skills, and knowledge and supported their development of a shared experience of coexistence with the Turkish/Muslim subjects, or at least did not pursue a policy contrary to this. Over time, the neighborliness and trade relations between Turks and Armenians, and even intermarriages, can be seen as clear indicators of this approach. It is evident that the shared experience of coexistence led to intense cultural interactions between the two peoples. We observe these interactions most prominently in architecture, religion, language, and literature. It becomes apparent that Armenian culture had a significant influence on Turks in some areas, while in other aspects, Turks influenced Armenians.