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The Armenian Genocide

I've been reading a few entries by members that are interested on learning about the Armenian Genocide. I thought maybe opening a blog on it might be helpful and lead to discussion.

Starting with the basics: Armenian Genocide Fact Sheet

This is an interactive site that details the genocide:

The Forgotten.org

For those of you having problems with the links:


The Armenian Genocide was carried out by the "Young Turk" government of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1916 (with subsidiaries to 1922-23). One and a half million Armenians were killed, out of a total of two and a half million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.
Most Armenians in America are children or grandchildren of the survivors, although there are still many survivors amongst us.

Armenians all over the world commemorate this great tragedy on April 24, because it was on that day in 1915 when 300 Armenian leaders, writers, thinkers and professionals in Constantinople (present day Istanbul) were rounded up, deported and killed. Also on that day in Constantinople, 5,000 of the poorest Armenians were butchered in the streets and in their homes.

The Armenian Genocide was masterminded by the Central Committee of the Young Turk Party (Committee for Union and Progress [Ittihad ve Terakki Cemiyet, in Turkish]) which was dominated by Mehmed Talât [Pasha], Ismail Enver [Pasha], and Ahmed Djemal [Pasha]. They were a racist group whose ideology was articulated by Zia Gökalp, Dr. Mehmed Nazim, and Dr. Behaeddin Shakir.

The Armenian Genocide was directed by a Special Organization (Teshkilati Mahsusa) set up by the Committee of Union and Progress, which created special "butcher battalions," made up of violent criminals released from prison.

Some righteous Ottoman officials such as Celal, governor of Aleppo; Mazhar, governor of Ankara; and Reshid, governor of Kastamonu, were dismissed for not complying with the extermination campaign. Any common Turks who protected Armenians were killed.

The Armenian Genocide occurred in a systematic fashion, which proves that it was directed by the Young Turk government.

First the Armenians in the army were disarmed, placed into labor battalions, and then killed.

Then the Armenian political and intellectual leaders were rounded up on April 24, 1915, and then killed.

Finally, the remaining Armenians were called from their homes, told they would be relocated, and then marched off to concentration camps in the desert between Jerablus and Deir ez-Zor where they would starve and thirst to death in the burning sun.

On the march, often they would be denied food and water, and many were brutalized and killed by their "guards" or by "marauders." The authorities in Trebizond, on the Black Sea coast, did vary this routine: they loaded Armenians on barges and sank them out at sea.

The Turkish government today denies that there was an Armenian genocide and claims that Armenians were only removed from the eastern "war zone." The Armenian Genocide, however, occurred all over Anatolia [present-day Turkey], and not just in the so-called "war zone." Deportations and killings occurred in the west, in and around Ismid (Izmit) and Broussa (Bursa); in the center, in and around Angora (Ankara); in the south-west, in and around Konia (Konya) and Adana (which is near the Mediterranean Sea); in the central portion of Anatolia, in and around Diyarbekir (Diyarbakir), Harpout (Harput), Marash, Sivas (Sepastia), Shabin Kara-Hissar (þebin Karahisar), and Ourfa (Urfa); and on the Black Sea coast, in and around Trebizond (Trabzon), all of which are not part of a war zone. Only Erzeroum, Bitlis, and Van in the east were in the war zone.

The Armenian Genocide was condemned at the time by representatives of the British, French, Russian, German, and Austrian governments—namely all the major Powers. The first three were foes of the Ottoman Empire, the latter two, allies of the Ottoman Empire. The United States, neutral towards the Ottoman Empire, also condemned the Armenian Genocide and was the chief spokesman in behalf of the Armenians.

The American people, via local Protestant missionaries, did the most to save the wretched remnants of the death marches, the orphaned children.

Despite Turkish denial, there is no doubt about the Armenian Genocide. For example, German ambassador Count von Wolff-Metternich, Turkey's ally in World War I, wrote his government in 1916 saying: "The Committee [of Union and Progress] demands the annihilation of the last remnants of the Armenians and the [Ottoman] government must bow to its demands."

German consuls stationed in Turkey, including Vice Consul Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richner of Erzerum [Erzurum] who was Adolf Hitler's chief political advisor in the 1920s, were eyewitnesses. Hitler said to his generals on the eve of sending his Death's Heads units into Poland, "Go, kill without mercy . . . who today remembers the annihilation of the Armenians."


The controversy lies in the people unwilling to admit the Genocide took place.


For nearly a century, the Western World has wholeheartedly accepted that there has been an attempt by the Ottoman Turks to systematically destroy the Armenian people, comparable to what the Nazis committed upon the Jews during World War II. Many Armenians who have settled in America, Europe and Australia (along with other parts of the world, known as "The Armenian Diaspora") have clung to the tragic events of so long ago as a form of ethnic identity, and have considered it their duty to perpetuate this myth, with little regard for facts... at the same time breeding hatred among their young. As descendants of the merchant class from the Ottoman Empire, Armenians have been successful in acquiring the wealth and power to make their voices heard... and they have made good use of the "Christian" connection to gain the sympathies of Westerners who share their religion and prejudices.

Turks characteristically shun propaganda, and have chosen not to dwell on the tragedies of the past, forging ahead to build upon brotherhood — not hate. This is why the horrifying massacres committed upon the Turks, Kurds and other Ottoman Muslims by Armenians have seldom been heard. When such reports are heard, Westerners can be callously dismissive... Turkish lives are apparently as meaningless to them as Indian lives were to most early Americans.

(The following is an excerpt from Dr. Leon Picon, reviewing the book, "THE ARMENIAN FILE"):


It's a bit long. Mr Naron, if you would like this shortened please let me know or feel free to edit it. Thank you and I hope this helps people learn.

10 Comments On This Entry

I love this quote from John Dewey on that anti-Armenian website:


"It is... time that Americans ceased to be deceived by (Armenian) propaganda in behalf of policies which are... nauseating..."

John Dewey, Columbia University professor, "The Turkish Tragedy," The New Republic, Nov. 1928

Either the site author got a little creative with the elipses or the father of American public schools was a racist scum bag. It could be both because I already know Dewey was a scum bag.
Living not too far from one of the largest populations of an Armenian community outside of Armenia, I've heard many stories as well as have met many who had relatives who died in the genocide. Having left the California public high schools no more than 6 yrs ago, I can attest NO ONE hears about the Armenians let alone the Armenian Genocide. During my studies in college for my German degree, I learned about Hitler's interest in the genocide with its death camps, which he used as blueprints for his own camps like Dachau and Auschwitz. People will not learn if they do not know history.

Though, I can attest there are Armenians who have tried to make the Turkish suffer for the misdeeds of the past. Hubby knew a man who was born in Armenia and hated the Turks so much, he learned Turkish and was trained to kill. However, after going to Turkey and realizing there were many Turkish people who were very nice and wonderful while there were many jerk Armenians back home who didn't give a care if he died in their name, he decided to give up that life and come to America to make the American dream to escape the cycle of hate.
I went to school with a guy originally from Armenia. He sent me a link to that website a few months ago.
How many young people today even know what happened ninety-one years ago? Heck, most of them barely know about 'Nam or the first Gulf War. With all due respect to Mr. Naron and the other teachers here, our educators have done a pi$$ poor job of teaching world history to our nation's youth. People need to learn from the mistakes of the past.

ETA: went to college with a bunch of Armenian-Americans. Love that Armenian cooking!
Maybe it isn't talked about in World history because it is still being denied by the people that actually were responsible for the genocide. :D

Annie, on Aug 6 2006, 09:40 AM, said:

Maybe it isn't talked about in World history because it is still being denied by the people that actually were responsible for the genocide. :D

It's in the World History book I've been using, and we go over it every year. In fact, I have a newspaper article about an annual commemorative march tacked on my bulletin board in my classroom.

I'm sure there are a few teachers out there who don't teach it because they think it's a myth, but mostly teachers leave stuff out because it's not on the test or because they have their pet areas they want to cover more in-depth.

Mr. Naron, on Aug 6 2006, 01:20 PM, said:

Annie, on Aug 6 2006, 09:40 AM, said:

Maybe it isn't talked about in World history because it is still being denied by the people that actually were responsible for the genocide. :cloud9:

It's in the World History book I've been using, and we go over it every year. In fact, I have a newspaper article about an annual commemorative march tacked on my bulletin board in my classroom.

I'm sure there are a few teachers out there who don't teach it because they think it's a myth, but mostly teachers leave stuff out because it's not on the test or because they have their pet areas they want to cover more in-depth.

Thank you for going over it each year. :giggle:
Thanks for posting this Annie. I can vouch for never learning anything remotely close to this in school. Though, it has been a very long while since I was in school and I dont really remember much of what they taught back then anyway. Most of my learing is from my parents and if they had been avid history buffs.. perhaps it would have been included.. my mother did always refer to the "Trail of Tears" and I know they never once mentioned that one either throughout my years in school, grade, high school or college.
I think it's really not because of pet ideas or anything like that, but here in Oregon, we study specific civilizations through Middle School, and by the time we reach high-school history we're just mandated American history, unless you want to take Eastern History or Western Civ.

Of course the pet-ideas remain. Sophomore year my history treacher spent excess time describing how the immense poverty of post-Civil War America was all the fault of rich capitalists while unions were the Saviors of the Common Man.

Turks charge UA professor over her novel By Stephanie Innes

An assistant professor in the University of Arizona's department of Near Eastern studies is facing criminal charges in Turkey for "insulting Turkishness" in a novel she wrote. The charges against Elif Shafak, filed under the Turkish Criminal Code, stem from her recently released book "The Bastard of Istanbul," in which a character refers to the killing of Armenians in World War I as genocide, according to The New Anatolian, an English-language newspaper in Turkey. Shafak, a well-known and celebrated author in Turkey, wrote "The Bastard of Istanbul" while she was in Tucson. She's taught at UA for two years but is living in Turkey on a one-year leave. "For any author to suffer through this is just terrible and she is pregnant right now, so I am very concerned about her well-being," said Anne H. Betteridge, director of the UA's Center for Middle Eastern Studies. "It seems there is just a serious program of intimidation under way by right-wing forces in Turkey." Shafak's UA colleagues are looking at how they can support her defense, Betteridge said. The New Anatolian says the challenged sentences in Shafak's book are: "I am the grandchild of a family whose children were slaughtered by the Turkish butchers," and "I was brought up having to deny my roots and say that genocide did not exist." The issue has been contentious in Turkey. Many people say up to 1.5 million Armenians living in Turkey perished between 1915 and 1923 in what they call a "forgotten genocide." Turkey has denied its former leaders tried to wipe out the Armenians. Leaders say only that many died of starvation, disease and exposure on forced marches to Syria in retaliation against the Christian minority for reportedly collaborating with Russia during World War I. Shafak, 35, is a Turkish citizen whose mother was a Turkish diplomat. Shafak grew up in France and Spain and now is a celebrated author and somewhat of a media star in her country — the press there even wrote about her marriage. Now, she faces up to three years in prison. Her colleagues say the prosecution is nerve-racking and expensive. Andrew Wedel, an assistant professor of linguistics at the UA who has been to Turkey, hopes the charges will be dropped, citing the recent dismissal of charges against Orhan Pamuk, another famous Turkish novelist. In 2005, lawyers for two Turkish professional associations brought criminal charges against Pamuk after he made a statement about Armenian genocide and the massacre of Kurds in Anatolia. Wedel noted that Shafak's prosecution also could be a blow to the country's bid for inclusion in the European Union, though he said that's precisely what nationalist forces in the country would like to see. "Of course it is ridiculous. Half of Turkey is deeply embarrassed," Wedel said. "Elif is trying very hard to open up Turkey to be more modern in its ability to think about itself and move forward culturally and historically. It's sort of a cultural watershed moment in Turkey right now."
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http://img.photobuck.../Dsc00535-1.jpgI know when the Spirit of God is there, animals are the first ones to mellow out."If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers, 1897-1935"The poor dog, in life the firmest friend,The first to welcome, foremost to defend,Whose honest heart is still the master's own,Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth,Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth,While man, vain insect hopes to be forgiven,And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven."Lord Byron Inscription on the monument of his Newfoundland dog, 1808" He is your friend, your partner,your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He willbe yours, faithful and true, to the last beatof his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy ofsuch devotion." Unknown

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