In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire went into the World War I on the side of the Central Powers. İsmail Enver, who was then the Minister of War, launched a disastrous military campaign against Russian forces in the Caucasus in hopes of capturing the city of Baku. His forces were routed at the Battle of Sarikamis, and many more of his men froze to death.
Returning to Istanbul, Enver largely blamed the Armenians living in the region for actively siding with the Russians. In 1914, the Ottoman Empire's War Office had already begun a propaganda drive to present Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire as a liability and threat to the country's security. An Ottoman naval officer in the War Office described the planning:
|“||In order to justify this enormous crime the requisite propaganda material was thoroughly prepared in Istanbul. [It included such statements as] "the Armenians are in league with the enemy. They will launch an uprising in Istanbul, kill off the Ittihadist leaders and will succeed in opening the straits [of the Dardanelles]."||”|
The Turkish massacres of Armenians in 1894, 1895, 1896, and 1909 were still fresh in their minds.
Foreign accounts [change]
|“||"I am confident that the whole history of the human race contains no such horrible episode as this. The great massacres and persecutions of the past seem almost insignificant when compared with the sufferings of the Armenian race in 1915." Henry Morgenthau, American ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, 1913-1916. -Henry Morgenthau||”|
Criticism on the true nature of killings [change]
Famous scholar Guenter Lewy claims in his book,The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide, that there is not enough evidence of the Young Turk regime organizing the killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. According to Lewy, even though their fate in World War I proved tragic, it was not a ‘‘real’’ genocide, because ‘‘there were no centrally organized and state-sponsored premeditation and genocidal intention‘‘.
In his book he states that the killings were not genocide, because they have not been proven to have been governmentally organized, and also because many characteristics of the relocations do not indicate a program of organizing mass killings. One example of this is that the Armenian communities of cities like Istanbul, Smyrna (Izmir) and Aleppo were not relocated. In fact, only the Armenians in eastern and central Anatolia had to use the trek on foot that took so many lives. These regions had no railroads. However, the deportees from the western provinces and Cilicia who had the money were allowed to purchase ticket by rail. There was a “great deal of variation of variation” exhibitted by the resettlement process, “that depended on factors such as geography and the attitude of local officials”. According to Guenter Lewy, “the Ottoman government wanted to arrange an orderly process, but did not have the means to do so.”
- "Cultural Cleansing: Who Remembers The Armenians," in Robert Bevan. The Destruction of Memory, Reaction Books, London. 2006, pages 25-60
- Balakian. The Burning Tigris, p. 200
- Dadrian., History of the Armenian Genocide, p. 220
- Balakian. The Burning Tigris, pp. 211-212
- "A Peace to End All Peace", by David Fromkin, p211.
- Lewy, Guenter (Fall 2005). "Revisiting the Armenian Genocide". Middle East Quarterly. http://www.meforum.org/article/748.
- See Taner Akçam, Guenter Lewy’s The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey." Genocide Studies and Prevention, 3:1 April 2008, pp. 111-143.
- Gultasli, Selcuk. "No Evidence of Ottoman Intent to Destroy Armenian Community". Today's Zaman. http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=32399.
- Guenter Lewy, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey, pp. 251-252.
- Guenter Lewy, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey, pp. 252-253.
Other websites [change]
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