Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Unpunished Crimes

The Armenian genocide in 1915 was implemented as a result of Turkey’s genocidal policy of Turkey towards the Armenians

The party of Young Turks Ittihad ve Terakki (Unity and Progress), organised the state takeover in 1908 and seized power, replaced the pan-Islamism of the sultans by pan-Turanism. In October 1914, during the sitting of the Cabinet of the Minister of the Interior, Talaat decided to establish the Teshkilati-i makhsuse (Special organisation).

The slaughter in the territories began as early as the spring of 1915. Tens of thousands Armenians were killed in the vilayets of Erzerum and Van. The mass terror prevailed in Bitlis, Sasun, Musha, Diarbekir. Simultaneously, the soldiers and officers of Armenian nationality who were serving in the Turkish army, were disarmed and shifted to the labour battalions, which were later destroyed.

On 27 May, Turkey adopted a law on deportation; during the summer, they expelled to the Arabian deserts all Armenian inhabitants who had survived from West Armenia, Kilikia, and also from the central territories of Turkey. The deportation was deliberately carried out in conditions under which only 10 to 25 percent of the deported would reach their “new settlements”. Most would be killed in the deserts before arrival.

As a result of the genocide, of about 2,100,000 Armenians who had been living in the Ottoman Turkey until the outbreak of the First World War, only about 500,000 managed to escape by fleeing to other countries. Over one million were killed, the rest, mostly children and young women, were forced to embrace Islam and Turkism. The main lands of the Armenians, where the Armenian civilization had been evolving for thousands of years, were not only deserted by the Armenians, but they were razed; their churches and monasteries destroyed, and other buildings levelled to the ground by bulldozers.

In order to conceal the intentional and organized character of the crime, the archives of the central committees of the parties Unity and Progress, Special organisation and those documents of the Ministry of the Interior and War Department which directly or implicitly pointed to the criminal activities of the leaders of the Ittihad and the government were liquidated after the autumn of 1918.

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