No announcement yet.

The Armenocide

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Armenocide

    Armen Manvelyan

    24.04.2006 11:35

    Armenocide - this was how the known Arab historian Musa Pren
    characterized the tragedy that occurred 90 years ago in the Osman
    Empire. By creating the word "genocide" through uniting the Latin-Greek
    "race" and "murder" words, Famous Polish attorney Rafael Lemken wanted
    to show the whole horror that threatens peoples subject to mass
    assassinations, while Pren's "Armenocide" concretizes and gives an
    ethnic characteristic of the matter. At the start of the 20th century
    the tragedy that happened in Western Armenia, on the territory of Osman
    Empire, changed the fate of a whole nation, and penetrating into the
    memory of peoples, it turned into a desire to live and to strive.

    The tragedy left a fatal spot, making a whole people suffer a
    complex. Such complexes, however, are not cured through short memory
    or through the loss of the latter. These are cured to spite the
    organizers of the Genocide, due to life, development and victory. To
    exclude repetition of similar tragedies it is important to understand
    the historic and political motivations of it.

    Historic and Political Reasons of the Armenocide

    If we speak about the history of the Armenian nation, we can divide
    it into two parts - before and after the Genocide. This watershed,
    which we call genocide, assassination, Armenian massacres and at
    last Armenocide, needs serious study and analysis, particularly from
    the point of view of developing security of the second independent
    Republic of Armenia.

    Turning to the Armenian Genocide - the Armenocide - we should note
    that it became possible because of a number of historic events:
    it occurred under the conditions of collapse of the Osman Empire,
    the World War Two and the strengthening of the idea of creating the
    state of Turan. We can state that these events, however, came to
    complete the policy the Osman Empire was executing against Armenians
    since the day of its creation. Generally, turning to the history of
    creation and existence of the Osman Empire, we should mention that it
    was some kind of totalitarian Empire. Preceding that or in that period
    similar empires were being created not only owing to military power,
    but also due to economic and cultural expansion.

    Before, the metropolises forming the Empire were superior over the
    peoples under their domination in regard to the level of economic,
    military and cultural development, which allowed them to actively
    influence these people and keep them under their domination. Different
    from this, from the above-mentioned economic, military and cultural
    factors only the military one was vital in Turkey. That is to say that
    being on a lower level of development, the people forming the Empire -
    the Turks - could control other peoples of the Empire only with the
    military force. Thus, there was no ideological, political, ethnic or
    cultural unity within the Empire. It was solely the power of arms that
    provided the opportunity to retain the Empire for centuries. Being
    on a lower level of economic, cultural and political development than
    other peoples of the Empire, Turks could only grab.

    This found its expression also in the fact that the nomadic tribe that
    penetrated into Small Asia from Central Asia aimed at evading also
    these territories to make these a permanent place of their inhabitance.

    There were only two ways to do this, either by assimilating the local
    nations or by annihilating them. The first one seemed to be a rather
    complex problem, since, as it was mentioned, the nations living here -
    the Armenians, Greeks, Arabs and Syrians were ahead of dominant Turks
    in regard to the level of their development. While the second way was
    rather simple and dear to them, considering also that the latter had
    great experience of it, since they were keeping the Empire only with
    the military force and cruelty. However, if in the period of power
    and flourishing of the Osman Empire the idea of having a homeland
    was not primary, then in the 19th century it turned essential for
    the founders of the collapsing Empire - the Turks. We can say that
    this was also one of the peculiarities of this Empire. Other Empires -
    the Roman, the Russian or the British - had their original motherland,
    a historic land, where they could continue to live after the collapse
    of the Empire. The homeland of Turks was Central Asia and Siberia,
    where they were not going to return.

    Therefore, an own motherland - the metropolis - had to be
    created. Small Asia could become such motherland for Turks, since it
    had strategic importance both due to its geographical position and
    in respect to the possibility of establishing a new Empire in the
    future. However, the Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians had been living
    here for centuries. And because Armenians occupied the heart of this
    territory, they became the primary targets of attack.

    We should note that to prevent the collapse of the Osman Empire, in
    the 19th century Turks tried to suggest different ideologies, which,
    according to them, could unite the peoples of the Empire. The idea of
    New Osmanism that emerged in the second half of the 19th century aimed
    at uniting the nations of the Empire notwithstanding their religious
    or ethnic belongingness. According to ideologists of New Osmanism,
    this national ideology could be attractive for other nations of the
    Empire and would create the opportunity to prevent the separatist
    dispositions of the peoples under Turkish domination. However, from
    the very beginning the artificialness and bareness of this ideology
    was apparent. Therefore, it could not become the force that would
    unite the peoples of the Osman Empire. The idea of Islamism or Pan
    Islamism suggested by Abdul Hamid Second did not justify itself,
    either. The aim of this ideology was to unite Turks with the Muslim
    peoples comprising majority in the Empire, particularly Arabs - the
    founders of Islam. However, for Arabs Turkish Sultans could not become
    founders of a new Caliphate, therefore the unification on the ground
    of Islam did not succeed, either. Different from their predecessors,
    these aimed at creating a new Empire, the heart of which had to be the
    Small Asia. Different from the collapsing Empire, it had to stretch
    to Caucasus, to Central Asia and Siberia, i.e. those territories
    where Turkic nations lived. In fact, being deeply nationalistic, this
    ideology targeted at returning to own roots and uniting all Turkic
    nations. Armenians were standing across this route; they stood between
    the Turkic tribes of Small Asia and Caucasus. The latter intended
    to lead an active policy of "Turkisation," and it is not in vain
    that after gaining power, the Young Turks, preaching the ideology of
    Pan Turkism, prohibited all national unions - the Armenian, Greek,
    Arabic ones, etc.

    Thus, judging from the above we can conclude that all attempts to
    preserve the Osman Empire had failed, so had the policies of Osmanism
    and Islamism.

    There was no time for implementing the policy of
    "Turkisation." Therefore, Turks had put an aim to create a purely
    Turkic state, annihilating all non-Turkic peoples. The largest
    Christian nation of the Empire - the Armenians - was hindering the
    accomplishment of these programs. Thus, in this period it was already
    clear that the destiny of Armenians was predetermined.

    The Armenocide and the Islam

    We should mention that Armenian and foreign historians have written
    much about the Islamic factor in the Armenian Genocide. The opinions
    here are unequivocal - although the Turks tried to use the religious
    factor to organize the massacre of Armenians, it was not a success. The
    people comprising majority in the Osman Empire - the Arabs - did not
    back the idea, therefore, it became impossible to escalate large-scale
    interreligious clashes. Nevertheless, despite these facts, the idea
    dominates among the Armenian society that the Armenian Genocide
    occurred just on the religious ground, and that being surrounded with
    Muslims, Armenians are doomed. From time to time this idea, having
    nothing to do with reality, is being articulated by interior and
    exterior political circles to show the fact of lack of alternative
    in foreign policy. However, in reality the holy war - the Jihad -
    declared by the last Sultan Sehmed Fifth against Christians was
    targeted at justifying the brutalities and mass assassination of
    Armenians, as well as the involvement of all Muslims in this.

    However, the Arab theologians and religious leaders, who enjoyed
    great respect in the Muslim world, did not back the idea of Jihad. The
    Governor of Hijaz and the Sheriff of Mecca Hussein ibn Ali al-Hashemi,
    who was considered the greatest authority in the Muslim word, did
    not only refuse to support the Sultan's decision, but also urged all
    Orthodox Muslims to help Armenians and defend them. Many Arab leaders
    and the Arab people were assisting the Armenians in the desert of
    Der Zor. Arab divisions of the Turkish army were refusing to fight
    against Armenians.

    The attempts of Turks to use the Arabs to suppress the self-defense
    struggle of Armenians failed. Arab Governors of a number of Turkish
    provinces were just refusing to execute the orders from Constantinople
    to displace and massacre Armenians. However, Turks could not keep from
    noting all this, and many Arabs suffered for protecting Armenians. It
    is important to mention here that Sultan Mehmed Fifth declared the
    holy war against the Christian population of the Empire only after
    getting the "blessing" of allied Christian Germany.

    Generally, it should be said that at the time when Muslim Arabs
    were sacrificing their lives to help Armenians, the Christian Europe
    was either supporting Turkey or was pretending not to see the mass
    assassinations in Western Armenia.

    Generally, turning to the position of European powers, we should
    note that on one hand they were using the Armenian Issue to interfere
    with the interior affairs of the Empire, thus causing the discontent
    of Turkey, on the other hand many times the activeness of Europeans
    was preventing or suspending the massacre of Armenians in this or
    that Province. Nevertheless, to say that during the war the European
    countries were unable to influence the policy of Young Turks would be
    incorrect, either. Rather, the factor of political appropriateness
    played its decisive role here, i.e. the fact of the massacre of
    Armenians would later enable the European powers to present accusations
    on Turkey to seize additional concessions from the latter.

    Historic lessons of the Armenocide

    To exclude reoccurrence of the Armenian Genocide and provide for the
    security of the nation it is necessary to seriously investigate the
    historic and political reasons of the events.

    The study of the policy of the most dreadful crime against humanity
    - the genocide - is of great importance not only for contemporary
    generations but also for current politicians and for all those who
    determine or somehow influence the directions of Armenia's interior
    and foreign policies. It is essential to understand the most crucial
    - the fact that contemporary Turkey has been formed in the result of
    the Armenian Genocide, the Armenocide. If not the Armenian Genocide,
    there would be no Turkey, either. This is the truth, which the former
    and current authorities in Ankara understand pretty well, and it
    is this fact that explains the denunciation that they demonstrate
    towards the fact of Genocide recognition. It can be asserted even
    that contemporary Turkey avoids recognition of the Genocide not as
    much because of the fear of material or territorial demands, rather
    it is concerned with the moral side of the question. Kemal Turkey was
    built on the basis of a fault value system, where people carrying the
    burden of executing the Genocide were considered divine. In reality the
    heroes and famous political figures of this nation resembled a butcher,
    whose hands are foul with the blood of millions of innocent people.

    Such findings can become the moral blow and loss of faith for the
    contemporary Turkish generation, which is not even aware of the events
    in the Osman Empire at the start of the 20th century, which can in
    its turn lead to the collapse of the country. It is a historic truth
    that the flattening of own power and moral characteristics can be
    destructive for any state and nation.

    It needs to be mentioned that regardless of our will the fact is that
    the historic memory of the Armenocide will always endure in the fate of
    the Armenian nation, shaping and directing its policy not only toward
    neighboring Turkey, but also towards those countries which somehow
    contributed to the execution of the Armenian Genocide. At the same
    time this memory provides the opportunity to exclude reoccurrence
    of the Armenocide in the future and to build the national security
    system proceeding from the principle of excluding similar tragedies.