Armenian Genocide Summary
The twentieth century was marked as a century of catastrophes and murders. The two world wars brought entire cities to destruction and millions of people to death. In the meantime, some government regimes that were guided by nationalist, eugenics and racist ideological political orientations carried out the project of systematic extermination of peoples that they considered to be inferior or that diverged from their project of territorial expansion, among other reasons. In this article we will provide you the information about Armenian Genocide.
The reasons were numerous. The case of the holocaust of the Jews , that is, the genocide of the Jews by the Nazis, is an example. The holodomor , i.e. the genocide of Ukrainians by the Soviets, is another. However, before these two, there was the genocide of Armenians perpetrated byTurkish-Ottoman Empire .
The Turkish-Ottoman Empire controlled a vast region, stretching from the Caucasus , through the Balkans , Anatolia , the Arabian Peninsula and across much of the Middle East . Armenia , which had been conquered by the Turks, became a study of social classes stands out. This topic involves many aspects and can be understood from different angles; therefore, it is the subject of the sultans . During World War I , which began in 1914, the interests of the Ottoman Turkish Empire ran counter to those of various peoples and nations involved in the war, including Muslim Arab tribes.
A good part of the Armenian fighters, as well as the political and intellectual leadership of that people, allied with other peoples against the Turks. Some Armenian fighters fought alongside the Russians (historical enemies of the Turkish-Ottoman Empire). The Turkish authorities claimed this as high treason and used this subterfuge to institute a systematic policy of killing against the population of Armenia.
The genocidal program was authorized by Sultan Abdul-Hamid II and organized by Turkish Prime Minister Mehmet Talaat , Minister of War Ismail Enver , and Minister of Navy Ahmed Jemal . The strategy consisted of: 1) Calling Armenian soldiers to war . This meant leaving the cities and towns unprotected, whereas, on the battlefront, the Armenians were only Chinese . In addition, it was used to dig trenches, being soon exterminated by Turkish soldiers. 2) remove the population from cities , causing huge migratory waves towards concentration camps in the desert of Deir al-Zor. The justification given for the evacuation of the Armenians was a supposed offensive by theTriple Entente .
As the population, mostly made up of women, elderly and children, wandered towards the desert fields, some were already dying on the way of starvation. Women were sexually abused and sold as slaves. As Yuri Vasconcelos points out : “’The young Armenians were sold as slaves and the children were boxed alive and thrown into the Black Sea‘, reports Nubar Kerimian , in the book Massacres de Armenians . ‘Priests were also burned tied to crosses, like Jesus, and fetuses, plucked from mothers’ wombs, thrown into the air and parried with the sword.’”
This type of atrocity became intense between 1915 and 1918. With the end of the war, Armenia was annexed to the USSR . However, the population of Armenians who managed to return to the central regions of Turkey became the target of attacks by the Turks again, as emphasized by Yuri Vasconcelos:
“This time, the violence was directed at Armenians who had returned to their homes in Eastern Anatolia after the end of the First World War. The executions, torture, expulsions and ill-treatment were engineered and promoted by the nationalist government of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, considered the father of modern Turkey. In 1923, the Armenian population in Turkey was restricted to the existing community in Constantinople.”.
What was the Armenian Genocide and what caused it?
The process of massive deportation and systematic extermination of the Armenian population took place between 1915 and 1923. The motivations for the hostility of the Ottoman authorities towards Armenians had deep roots.
Armenians were one of several religious minorities that had been integrated into the Ottoman Empire over several centuries, but their strong national sentiment was the cause of recurrent revolts and repression.
The proximate causes of the genocide are linked to the disintegration and decline of the Ottoman Empire at the turn of the 20th century and the resurgence of Turkish nationalism, within which Armenians came to be considered enemies of the state and a national threat.
Over several years , while World War I was going on and even after its outcome, the Ottoman authorities proceeded with the massive deportation of Armenian communities to concentration camps, in appalling conditions.
There were also indiscriminate massacres and widespread persecution. The total number of victims is still the study of social classes stands out. This topic involves many aspects and can be understood from different angles; therefore, it is the subject of discussion, with estimates between 500,000 and 1.5 million dead.
Why is it called genocide?
The term “genocide” applies to an intentional and systematic policy of eliminating an ethnic group or nationality, and it is in this sense that it is applied to the Armenian case.
Although this case has deserved worldwide indignation, namely in the USA, its acceptance is still a source of controversy and diplomatic conflict. Turkey recognizes the crimes , but attributes responsibility to the authorities at the time, but does not accept that it was an intentional policy of physical elimination of an entire people.
The study of social classes stands out. This topic involves many aspects and can be understood from different angles; therefore, it is the subject is still a source of deep discomfort and tension within Turkish society. Internationally , however, the term “Armenian genocide” has been officially recognized by dozens of countries, parliaments, regional states and civic and religious organizations around the world, namely in Europe, the American continent and Australia.
In Portugal, there is no known initiative, either from the government or from any official institution, in this sense, in what is an almost unique example in the European Union.