The Armenian Genocide – 1915 Massacre

The Armenian genocide was an organized ethnic cleansing and mass murder of native Armenians. The Ottoman army killed the local Armenians during the Persian and Russian invasions (Akçam 72). The war turned into genocide because the Ottoman state was defeated by the Srikamish. The Ottoman Empire blamed Armenians for the loss because they never supported them. More than one hundred thousand Assyrians and Armenians were deported from their homes by the Young Turk government of the Ottoman state in 1915. These people were taken to the distant parts of the empire and forced to live in the Syrian deserts.

Armenian soldiers who operated under the Ottoman Army were demobilized and killed, and children and women were beaten, starved, forced to march, and murdered (Akçam 72). There is overwhelming evidence showing that the Ottoman government anticipated the elimination of Assyrians and Armenians to render them powerless in the race for resources such as lands in eastern Anatolia. The Armenian genocide was a result of greed for political power and ethnic discrimination.

These occurrences have been termed the first genocide to occur in the 20th century, but Turkey and many of its supporters state there was no massacre. They claim that the Ottoman government acted to overpower an Armenian revolution, and folks were killed in the process of neutralizing the Armenian rebellion (Kaiser 19). What ought to have been depicted as a military requirement allowed the Ottoman government to attack their Armenian counterparts massively.

It turned out to be an organized program of plunder and murder. Distress and vengeance transformed shockingly into a chance to raid Armenians because they were the only community standing in the way of the Ottoman government’s strategy of becoming the only state in the region. This was intended to lead to the creation of a purely Muslim empire that ethnic Turks would control. Ottoman leaders secluded an entire community based on ethnicity and religion and deemed them potentially dangerous to the government.

The Armenian massacre was greatly influenced by greed for political power and racial discrimination. When the Ottoman state was preparing for war with Russia and its allies, they perceived the Armenians as an internal threat to the state’s security that needed to be eliminated immediately. Defending Turkey was the main reason used by the Ottoman leaders to eliminate the Armenians. The Armenians were never submissive or passive victims, but the influence to choose their destiny was significantly out of their hands (Galip 106).

The bloodbath intended to eradicate the alleged threat from the Armenians inside the Ottoman Empire by lessening their numbers and scattering them in secluded and distant places (Bertelsen 38). The Ottoman Empire also had the intention of replacing the Armenians with Muslim refugees from the Balkans. All this shows a specific goal of securing the Empire by eliminating an existential danger to the Islamic people.

Instead of the massacre resulting from Russia and Ottoman Empire, who had conflicting sovereignty over land, the carnage resulted from an increasing difference in ethnoreligious populations within the intricate context of the Ottoman state. The Ottoman Empire was characterized by inequalities, hierarchies, institutional alterations, and repressions, but people lived together in harmony. Also, the categorized imperial rule had allowed people with different cultures, religions, and languages to live in coordination for centuries in the Ottoman state (Johanson 102). Armenians and others consented to their imperial hierarchy position and established some affection for the state where they lived. The Armenians gained cultural hybridity and material prosperity, making the Ottoman state perceive them as a threat.

The weakness that stands up from the Armenians’ atrocities is that the Turkey government has never agreed that a massacre ever took place. Turkey should accept that thousands of people were killed due to baseless accusations. Another weakness depicted is that the Ottoman Empire had poor leadership because the ultimate decision to start the killings was made at a particular point when the risk appeared to be most intense (Johanson 102).

The government should also find a way to honor the massacre victims and compensate their families. The strength that is brought up by the genocide is that the Islamic people in the Ottoman state hated and despised the other communities in the Empire, especially the Armenians. The massacre also shows that it was a product of the unreasonable reaction from desperate leaders who pursued their safety instead of protecting the people they had sworn to protect. The Armenians also deserved the protection of the Ottoman state because they had lived there for centuries.

The Ottoman Empire was wrong to massacre more than a hundred thousand people based on fear. The massacre was not inevitable, and the leaders should have come up with ways to mitigate the killings. The predicaments on ever extreme and long-standing attitudes and dispositions that led to the demonization of the Armenian community should have been dealt with and hence avoiding the massacre. The Ottoman state should have tried to avoid the mass killings of the people it was supposed to protect at all costs.

Works Cited

Akçam, Taner. Killing Orders: Talat Pasha’S Telegrams and the Armenian Genocide Palgrave Studies in the History of Genocide. Springer, 2018, p. 72.

Bertelsen, Olga. “Starvation and Violence Amid the Soviet Politics of Silence, 1928–1929”. Genocide Studies International, vol 11, no. 1, 2017, p. 38. The University of Toronto. Web.

Galip, Özlem Belçim. “The Armenian Genocide and Armenian Identity in Modern Turkish Novels”. Turkish Studies, vol 20, no. 1, 2018, p. 106.

Johanson, Paula. The Armenian Genocide Viewpoints on Modern World History. Greenhaven Publishing LLC, 2017, p. 102.

Kaiser, Hilmar. “Financing the Ruling Party and its Militants in Wartime: The Armenian Genocide and the Kemah Massacres of 1915”. Études Arméniennes Contemporaines, no. 12, 2019, p. 19.

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