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Political Science 4426F/G Chapter Notes -Armenian Question, Humanitarian Intervention, Mass Murder

Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 4426F/G
James S Quinn

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TPC Ch2 - The Armenian Genocide, Rouben Paul
5:55 PM
o1915-1923 the Armenian population of Anatolia and historic West
Armenia was eliminated
Had lived there for 3,000 years
Since the 11th century had lived under the Turks
oOttomans imposed a strict hierarchical system to govern their empire
Regulated non-Muslims to second-class citizens
In its decline, decided that the only way to save the Turkish
state was to reduce the Christian populations
oBeginning in 1915, Anatolian Armenians were deported to Syria and
West Armenians to Mesopotamia
Described as a "resettlement policy"
Deportations actually resulted in genocide
After 8 years of warfare and turmoil, the Armenians
had disappeared from their homeland
Who Committed the Genocide?
o1915 Ottoman empire governed by a triumvirate
Enver, Minister of War
Talaat, Minister of Interior
Jemal, Minister of Navy & Military Governor of Syria
All members of the Young Turks/Unionists
Originally wanted to Westernize Ottoman Empire
Were surprised by the amount of resistance
Realized that the problems in the Empire were endemic
and systemic
Decisions made in conformity with overt and covert party
Looked to Germany as an ally
Suspicious of British, French, and Russian colonial designs
Militarily challenged by Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria (formerly
under Ottoman rule)
o1914: WW1
CUP had become dictatorial, xenophobic and intolerant
Pursued a militarism similar to Germany
oResponsibility lies with those who chose to considered and took the
decision to deport and massacre the Armenians
Also rests with those who implemented the policy of the
government and those who personally carried out the acts
Largest amount of responsibility falls on the CUP members
State's responsibility to protect its members was
disregarded by the CUP
Ministries of Interior & War were charged with the task of
expelling the Armenians from their homes and driving them into
the Syrian desert

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Withheld food, healthcare and protection from the
How was the Genocide Committed?
oThree Part Plan
Upon orders of the Ottoman government, villages and
towns were emptied of their Armenian inhabitants
By train, wagons, mules, but many walked
Long lines of deportees (mostly women and
children) formed along the roads
The most thoroughly implemented aspect
Exhaustion, exposure, fright took its toll (especially on old
and young)
No provisions made for feeding and housing
Local authorities ensured it would be a difficult
They were robbed, held for ransom, set up to
be invaded by marauding horsemen, women and
children were frequently seized
Not intended to be a peaceful relocation
Intended to drive the Armenians into the open and
to every conceivable abuse
Killing units slaughtered the deportees of both genders
and all ages with swords and bayonets
Executed the able-bodied men
Those who were conscripted to the Turkish army
were either worked to death or murdered
Older males who had stayed behind were
summoned by the government
Some were tortured, all were victims of mass
April 24, 1915: Official Start
Intelligentsia were summoned and most never
heard of again
3. Starvation/Exposure
Thousands died from exposure to summer sun and night
cold of the desert
Men and women dying of thirst were shot for approaching
the Euphrates river
Women were stripped, abused, and murdered
Some drowned themselves
Mothers gave their children to the Arab Bedouins to spare
oDeir el-Zor
Those who made it to this point were killed
Men, women, children
Why was the Genocide Committed?
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