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Women On A Mission! Scandinavian Welfare And The Armenians In The Ottoman Empire, 1905–1917

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Chapter Summary

In the Ottoman Empire, the Armenian population had a special place in various Western missionary enterprises. This chapter looks at the missionary's role in times of emergency and her contribution to Armenian society in the period from the late 1890s to the end of the First World War. It is based on a Norwegian nurse and deaconess, Bodil Biørn one of several Scandinavian missionaries from the Lutheran Female Mission Workers' organization based in Eastern Anatolia. The chapter explains that in order to have an impact, the missionary would have to restrain her cultural arrogance, and develop empathy with and understanding of the religious, social and political conditions that determined the local population's conditions of life. This necessitated a will to work with indigenous people, men and women,-who had their own agencies for choosing to cooperate with Western missionaries. During the war, missionaries put up resistance to the Turkish dictatorship's massacres.

Keywords:Armenian massacres; Bodil Biørn; First World War; Ottoman Empire; Scandinavian Welfare; Turkish women

10.1163/ej.9789004164369.i-244.21
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