Armenian Typography in Turkey

Armenian Typography in Turkey

Armenians were among the first to use the invention of Johannes Gutenberg, a German inventor who introduced printing to Europe. Since 1512, in countries of the world where there were Armenian communities, Armenian printing houses have been established, and books have been printed in Armenian.

The Ottoman Empire was also involved in this process. In Constantinople, the first book in Armenian was printed in 1567. Over time, Constantinople became one of the main centers of Armenian printing and maintained this status until the beginning of the 20th century.

After the short-term printing activity of Abgar Tokatesi (1568-1569) and Yeremia Kyomurchyan (1677-1678) in Constantinople in the 17th century, the printing houses of Sargis of Eudokia, Grigor of Marzvan, and Astvatsatur of Constantinople were founded. These printing houses have been very successful up until the 20th century.

Among prominent Western Armenian printers also were Poghos Arapian, Sargis Dpir, and Chynchin Hovhannes. By 1800, about 350 Armenian books had been published in Constantinople alone.

Along with religious and moral publications, original and translated historical, artistic, educational, scientific, and other literature has also been published in both classical and modern Armenian.

Armenian printing houses were founded in Smyrna, Armash, Van, Mush, Bursa, Adana, Adrianopol, Adabazar, Konya, Nicomedia, Samsun, Karin, Yerznka, Eudokia, Kharberd, Amasia, Marzvan, Ayntap, and other areas.

During the years of the Armenian Genocide, printing houses operating in Western Armenia and other Armenian-populated cities were shut down. Hundreds of printing houses, libraries, and matenadarans (manuscript repositories) were destroyed, with tens of thousands of Armenian books burned.

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