This chapter argues that a surprisingly large number of Armenian migrants returned to the Ottoman Empire between 1890 and 1908 in the face of many obstacles. It demonstrates how in this period, the Ottoman state increasingly viewed Armenian return migration as a major threat to the empire’s political stability. As a result, Armenians were forced to find creative ways to bypass Istanbul’s efforts to keep them out. By the first decade of the twentieth century, the Ottoman state was engaged in an ambitious effort to militarize points of entry, both on land and sea, in an effort to stop Armenian migrants from reentering the empire, employing a decidedly “modern” discourse of border security to justify these efforts.
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