Rus Articles Journal

April 24, 1915.

GENOCIDE of ARMENIANS

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Mass destruction and deportation of the Armenian population of the Western Armenia, Cilicia and other provinces of the Ottoman Empire were carried out by ruling circles of Turkey and in 1915 - 1923. The genocide concerning Armenians was caused by a number of factors. Among them the ideology of Pan-Islamism and Pantyurkizm which was professed by ruling circles of the Ottoman Empire had the leading value. The militant ideology of Pan-Islamism differed in intolerance concerning not Muslims, preached frank chauvinism, called for an oturechivaniye of all non Turkish people. Entering war, the mladoturetsky government of the Ottoman Empire made far-reaching plans of creation of “Big Turan“. Meant to attach to the empire Transcaucasia, North Caucasus, Crimea, Volga region, Central Asia. On the way to this purpose aggressors should have been through, first of all, with the Armenian people resisting to aggressive plans of pantyurkist.

Plans of destruction of the Armenian population of a mladoturka began to develop even prior to world war. Solutions of the congress “Unification and progress“ (Ittikhad ve Terakki) which took place in October, 1911 in Thessaloniki contained the requirement concerning an oturechivaniye of the non Turkish people of the empire. After this political and military circles of Turkey came to the decision to carry out genocide of Armenians in all Ottoman Empire. At the beginning of 1914 local authorities the special instruction concerning measures which had to be undertaken concerning Armenians was directed. The fact that the instruction was distributed prior to war incontestably demonstrates that extermination of Armenians was the planned action not caused by a concrete military situation at all.

The Unification and Progress party leadership repeatedly discussed a question of mass deportation and slaughter of the Armenian population. In September, 1914 at meeting under the chairmanship of the Minister of Internal Affairs Talaat the special body - Executive committee of three, it was entrusted to them to organize beating of the Armenian population was formed; leaders a mladoturok Nazim, Bekhaetdin Shakir and Shyukri were his part. Planning a terrible crime, leaders a mladoturok considered that war provides an opportunity for its implementation. Nazy directly declared that so the opportunity can not be any more, “intervention of great powers and a protest of newspapers will not have any consequences since they will become before the come true fact and by that the issue will be resolved... Our actions have to be directed to extermination of Armenians so that any of them did not survive“.

Undertaking destruction of the Armenian population, ruling circles of Turkey intended to achieve several objectives: elimination of the Armenian question that would put an end to intervention of the European powers; Turks got rid of the economic competition, would pass all property of Armenians into their hands; elimination of the Armenian people will help to lay a way to capture of the Caucasus, to achievement of “a great ideal of a turanizm“. The executive committee of three received large powers, the weapon, money. The authorities organized special groups as “Teshkilat and a makhsus“, consisting mainly of the unbound criminals and an other criminal element who had to take part in mass extermination of Armenians.

From the very first days wars in Turkey extreme anti-Armenian propaganda was developed. In the Turkish people it was inspired that Armenians do not want to serve in the Turkish army that they are ready to cooperate with the enemy. Fabrications expatiated on mass desertion of Armenians from the Turkish army, on revolts of the Armenians threatening to the back of the Turkish troops, etc.

the Unbridled chauvinistic propaganda against Armenians especially amplified after the first serious defeats of the Turkish troops on the Caucasian front. In February, 1915 the Minister of War Enver gave the order on extermination of the Armenians serving in the Turkish army. At the beginning of war about 60 thousand Armenians at the age of 18 - 45 years, i.e. the most efficient part of the man`s population were called up for the Turkish military service. This order was executed with unprecedented cruelty.

The blow to the Armenian intellectuals was soon struck on April 24, 1915.

Since May - June, 1915 mass deportation and slaughter of the Armenian population of the Western Armenia (vilayets Wang, Erzrum, Bitlis, Harberd, Sebastiya, Diarbekir), Cilicia, Western Anatoly and other districts began. The carried-out deportation of the Armenian population in practice pursued the aim of its destruction. True purposes of deportation were known also to Germany, the ally of Turkey. The German consul in Trebizond in July, 1915 reported about deportation of Armenians in this vilayet and noted that mladoturka intend to put an end to the Armenian question thus.

The Armenians brought from places of the full-time residence were brought together in caravans which went to depth of the empire, to Mesopotamia and Syria where were created special camp for them. Armenians were destroyed both in places of the accommodation, and on the way to the reference; their caravans were attacked by the Turkish crowd, the Kurdish predatory gangs eager for production. Thereof destinations were reached by small part of the deported Armenians. But also reached the deserts of Mesopotamia were not in safety; cases when the deported Armenians were brought from camps are known and were cut out by thousands in the desert.

Lack of elementary sanitary conditions, hunger, epidemics were a cause of death of hundreds of thousands of people. Actions of the Turkish thugs differed in unprecedented cruelty. It leaders demanded a mladoturok. So, the Minister of Internal Affairs Talaat in the confidential telegram sent to the governor of Aleppo demanded to put an end to existence of Armenians, not to pay any attention neither to age, nor to a floor, nor to a remorse. This requirement was strictly fulfilled. The eyewitnesses of events, Armenians who endured horrors of deportation and genocide left numerous descriptions of the incredible sufferings which fell to lot of the Armenian population. Also the most part of the Armenian population of Cilicia underwent barbarous destruction. Slaughter of Armenians continued also in the next years. Thousands of Armenians driven to the southern regions of the Ottoman Empire and who are contained in camps of Races - ul - the Ainu were destroyed, Deyr - ez - Szohr, etc. Mladoturki sought to carry out genocide of Armenians and in East Armenia where, besides local population, the big mass of refugees from the Western Armenia crowded. Having made aggression against Transcaucasia in 1918, the Turkish troops made riots and slaughter of Armenians in many districts of East Armenia and Azerbaijan. Having occupied Baku in September, 1918, the Turkish interventionists together with the Caucasian Tatars organized terrible slaughter of the local Armenian population, having killed 30 thousand people. As a result of the genocide of Armenians which is carried out by mladoturka only in 1915 - 16 1,5 million people died. About 600 thousand Armenians became refugees; they dissipated over many countries of the world, having filled up with themselves already available and having formed new Armenian communities. The Armenian Diaspora (Spyurk) was formed. As a result of genocide the Western Armenia lost the primordial population. Leaders a mladoturok did not hide the satisfaction concerning successful implementation of the conceived crime: the German diplomats in Turkey reported to the government that in August, 1915 the Minister of Internal Affairs Talaat cynically declared that “actions concerning Armenians are carried generally out and the Armenian question does not exist any more“.

Comparative ease with which the Turkish thugs managed to carry out genocide of Armenians of the Ottoman Empire, is explained partly by unpreparedness of the Armenian population, and also the Armenian political parties to the approaching destruction threat. In many respects mobilization in the Turkish army of the most efficient part of the Armenian population - men, and also elimination of the Armenian intellectuals of Constantinople facilitated actions of thugs. A certain role was played also by the fact that in some public and clerical circles of the western Armenians considered that non-obedience to the Turkish authorities giving orders on deportation can lead only to increase in number of the victims.

However in some districts the Armenian population showed to the Turkish vandals persistent resistance. Van`s Armenians, having resorted to self-defense, successfully reflected attacks of the enemy, held the city in the hands before arrival of the Russian troops and the Armenian volunteers. Armed resistance many times over to superior forces of the opponent was shown by Armenians Shapin Garakhisara, Mus, Sasun, Shatakh. Forty days the epic of defenders of the mountain Musa in Suyetiya proceeded. Self-defense of Armenians in 1915 - the heroic page national - liberating fight of the people.

During aggression against Armenia in 1918 Turks, having borrowed Karaklis, made slaughter Armenian the population, having killed several thousands of people. In September, 1918 the Turkish troops occupied Baku and together with the Azerbaijani nationalists organized slaughter of the local Armenian population.

During Turkish - the Armenian war 1920 Turkish armies borrowed Aleksandropol. Continuing policy of the predecessors - a mladoturok, kemalist sought to organize genocide in East Armenia where, besides local population, the mass of refugees from the Western Armenia crowded. In Alexandroupolis and villages of the county the Turkish invaders repaired atrocities, destroyed the peace Armenian population, plundered property. In Revky the Soviet Armenia data on excesses of kemalist arrived. In one of reports it was told: “In the Aleksandropolsky County and Akhalkalaksky district about 30 settlements are cut out, the part in time to escape is in the distress“. In other messages position of villages of the Aleksandropolsky County was described: “All villages are robbed, there is neither shelter, nor grain, nor clothes, nor fuel. Streets of villages are crowded with corpses. All this is supplemented still by the hunger and cold which are carrying away one victims behind others... In addition asker and hooligans sneer at the prisoners and try even more brutal means to punish the people, rejoicing and deriving from it pleasure. They subject to different tortures of parents, force them to give in a charge of executioners of the 8 - 9 - summer girls...“

In January, 1921 the government of the Soviet Armenia expressed to the commissioner of foreign affairs of Turkey a protest because the Turkish troops in the Aleksandropolsky County make “continuous violence, robberies and murders over the peace labor population...“. Tens of thousands of Armenians became the victims of excesses of the Turkish invaders. Invaders caused to the Aleksandropolsky County also enormous material damage.

In 1918 - 20 arena of riots and slaughter of the Armenian population there was a city of Shushi, the center of Karabakh. In September, 1918 the Turkish troops supported by the Azerbaijani musavatist moved to Shushi, ruining on the way the Armenian villages and destroying their population, September 25, 1918 the Turkish troops occupied Shushi. But soon, after defeat of Turkey in World War I, were forced to leave it. In Dec. 1918 Shushi was entered by British Soon the general - the musavatist Hosrov - Beck Sultanov was appointed the governor of Karabakh. By means of the Turkish military instructors it created shock Kurdish groups which together with parts of musavatistsky army were placed in the Armenian part of Shushi, Strengths of thugs constantly were replenished, in the city there were many Turkish officers. In June, 1919 there were first riots of Armenians of Shushi; on the night of June 5 in the city and neighboring villages not less than 500 Armenians were killed. On March 23, 1920 Turkish - musavatistsky gangs made terrible disorder of the Armenian population of Shushi, having killed over 30 thousand people and having set fire to the Armenian part of the city.

The Armenians of Cilicia who escaped after genocide 1915 - 16 and found a shelter in other countries after defeat of Turkey began to return home. It agrees to the section of zones of influence caused by allies, Cilicia was included in a sphere of influence of France. In 1919 120 - 130 thousand Armenians lived in Cilicia; return of Armenians continued, and to 1920 them number reached 160 thousand. Command of the French troops located in Cilicia did not take measures for safety of the Armenian population; on places the Turkish authorities remained, Muslims were not disarmed. The kemalist who began punishment over the Armenian population used it. In January, 1920 during 20 - day riots 11 thousand Armenians - Mavash`s inhabitants died, other Armenians went to Syria. Soon Turks besieged Adzhn where the Armenian population totaled hardly 6 thousand people by this time. Adzhn`s Armenians showed to the Turkish troops the persistent resistance lasting 7 months, but in October Turks managed to take the city. About 400 defenders of Adzhn managed to break through a ring of a siege and to leave.

At the beginning of 1920 the remains of the Armenian population of Urfa - about 6 thousand people moved to Aleppo.

On April 1, 1920 kemalistsky troops besieged Ayntap. Thanks to 15 - day heroic defense ayntapsky Armenians avoided slaughter. But after the French troops left Cilicia, Ayntap`s Armenians at the end of 1921 moved to Syria, B 1920 kemalist destroyed the remains of the Armenian population of Zeytun. I.e. kemalist finished the destruction of the Armenian population of Cilicia begun with mladoturka.

Slaughter of Armenians in the western regions of Turkey, during Greco - the Turkish war 1919 - 22 became the last episode of the tragedy of the Armenian people. In August - September, 1921 the Turkish troops achieved a change during military operations and led the general approach against the Greek troops. On September 9 Turks rushed into Izmir and made slaughter of the Greek and Armenian population, Turks sank the ships standing in harbor of Izmir by which there were Armenian and Greek refugees, mainly women, old men, children …

the Genocide of Armenians was carried out by the governments of Turkey. They are the main responsible for a terrible crime of the first genocide of the 20th century. The genocide of Armenians which is carried out in Turkey caused enormous damage to material and spiritual culture of the Armenian people.

In 1915 - 23 and the next years were destroyed thousands of Armenian manuscripts stored in the Armenian monasteries, hundreds of historical and architectural monuments, desecrated sanctuaries of the people are destroyed. Destruction of the historian - architectural monuments in the territory of Turkey, assignment of many values of culture of the Armenian people continues till present. The tragedy endured by the Armenian people was reflected in all aspects of life and public behavior of the Armenian people, strongly settled in his historical memory. Was affected by genocide as the generation which fell its direct victim and the subsequent generations.

The progressive public opinion of the world condemned a rascally crime of the Turkish thugs trying to destroy one of the most ancient civilized people of the world. Socially - politicians, scientists, cultural figures of many countries branded genocide, qualifying it as a very grave crime against humanity, took part in implementation of humanitarian aid to the Armenian people, in particular to the refugees who found a haven in many countries of the world. After defeat of Turkey in World War I party leaders a mladoturok were accused that they involved Turkey in war, harmful for it, and prosecuted. Among the charges brought to war criminals was, both charge of the organization and implementation of slaughter of Armenians of the Ottoman Empire. However the death sentence concerning a number of leaders a mladoturok was pronounced in absentia since after defeat of Turkey they managed to flee the country. The death sentence concerning some of them (Taliat, Bekhaetdin Shakir, Dzhemal is the pasha, Said Halim, etc.) was carried out subsequently by the Armenian national avengers.

After World War II the genocide was qualified as a very grave crime against humanity. The basis of legal documents on genocide was formed by the basic principles developed by the international military court in Nuremberg judging the main war criminals of Hitlerite Germany. Further the UN made a number of decisions concerning genocide, the main of kotorx are the Convention on the prevention of a crime of genocide and punishment for it (1948) and the Convention on inapplicability of a limitation period to war crimes and crimes against humanity adopted in 1968.

In 1989 the Supreme Council of Armenia the Soviet Socialist Republic adopted the law on genocide by which the genocide of Armenians in the Western Armenia and Turkey is condemned as the crime directed against mankind. The Supreme Council of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic appealed to the Supreme Council of the USSR about decision-making condemning genocide of Armenians in Turkey. In the Declaration on independence of Armenia adopted by the Supreme Council of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic on August 23, 1990 it is proclaimed that “The republic of Armenia supports matter of the international recognition of genocide of Armenians of 1915 in Ottoman Turkey and the Western Armenia“.

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