Ceren Ozgul F'11

Ceren  Ozgul
Visiting Scholar
Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies
New York University

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2011
Doctoral Candidate
City University of New York, The Graduate Center
From Muslim Citizen to Christian Minority: Tolerance, Secularism, and “Double-Conversion” In Turkey

In the last decade, Muslim citizens, claiming Armenian descent, have sought the arbitration of secular legal authorities of the Turkish Republic to convert back to Christianity, the religion of their ancestors. This dissertation examines double conversion, that marks both conversion from Islam to Christianity and conversion from a majority status to that of a religious minority. Armenian converts’ efforts to convert back present a vital site for investigating the discourse and experience of religious freedom at the intersection of majority/minority status. This project studies the sociopolitical effects of religious conversion and explores the ways in which the process of conversion has organized around discourses of secularism, tolerance and religious freedom.