The Armenian Question And The Situation Of Armenians History Essay

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This thesis analyses the Armenian Question and the situation of Armenians. Ä°n 1914-1918 These years when the dislocation of Armenians occured had been the turning point in the Armenian Question. Because the events occuring during the dislocation have been represented as genocide and today, this claim is one of the important question for Turkey. This thesis not only represents the news on laws, provisional laws and regulations about the dislocation but also gives information about the social, political, economic, legal and religious situations of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire .

There are today just like in the past, several countries striving to secure themselves political and economic benefits at the expense of Armenian community. Monuments accusing Turks and Turkey of having committed genocide are being erected in some countries; decisions intending to recognise the so called genocide are brought into the parliamentary agenda in several countries and even voted for in some others. Issues that need to be left to historians are turned into means of self interest by the politicians. For many centuries historical science has been abused for political ends. Especially This situation come to the forefront Controversial issues, such as the Armenian question. About of the this issue has to much different point of view. Some of those have looked after their benefits. whereas therefore this approaches are not realistically subject of datefield. So when I want to explain the Armenian question (so called Armenian genocide) I have remained loyal to historical background. And my search mission tried as much as possible in an impartial manner. Today, Evaluation of the so-called Armenian genocide of issues need to take up comprehensively. On account of the fact that this problem is not a problem which suddenly sprung out it has a historical background. When Investigating the background of the first issue to be addressed that must be the issue of relocation. The term of the French revolution is the most important thing about the minority interest. Second cause is that the interests of Britain and Russia make capital out of peace of land.

The term "Armenian Question" as used in European history, became common place among diplomatic circles and in the popular press after the Congress of Berlin; that in like Eastern Question, refers to powers of Europe's involvement to the Armenian subjects of the Ottoman Empire beginning with the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. However in terms, the Armenian question refers to the protection and the freedoms of Armenians from their neighboring communities.[2] The "Armenian question" explains the forty years of Armenian-Ottoman history in the context of English, German, Russian politics between 1877-1914.

I have studied about the so called Armenian genocide on account of the fact that perspective of this situation in Armenian writers that, ''The Turkey government has always denied what happened, while everyone else in the world says that this historical event occurred. There is a lot of evidence that supports the fact that the Armenian Genocide had taken place. Survivors, historical documents, and remains of bodies prove this event had occurred in history. On the other hand, the world only has the word of the Turkish government that the Armenian Genocide did not happen.'' So, who's right? In my opinion the first subject of research about the Armenian genocide that I have to looking for conditions of the period in 1915.

The first question is '' How did the Ottoman Turks respond to the Armenians' demand for equal rights?'' and was there equality in this period ? was there any foreign intervention in that time ? had caused this problem only happened between the two states ?

As a result we have to be aware of historical backround importance. Conflict between the Turks and the Armenians was not inevitable. The two peoples should have been friends. When World War I began, the Armenians and Turks had been living together for 800 years. The Armenians of Anatolia and Europe had been Ottoman subjects for nearly 400 years. There were problems during those centuries--problems caused especially by those who attacked and ultimately destroyed the Ottoman Empire. Everyone in the Empire suffered, but it was the Turks and other Muslims who suffered most. Judged by all economic and social standards, the Armenians did well under Ottoman rule. By the late nineteenth century, in every Ottoman province the Armenians were better educated and richer than the Muslims. Armenians worked hard, it is true, but their comparative riches were largely due to European and American influence and Ottoman tolerance. European merchants made Ottoman Christians their agents. European merchants gave them their business. European consuls intervened in their behalf. The Armenians benefited from the education given to them, and not to the Turks, by American missionaries. While the lives of the Armenians as a group were improving, Muslims were living through some of the worst suffering experienced in modern history: In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Bosnians were massacred by Serbs, Russians killed and exiled the Circassians, Abkhazians, and Laz, and Turks were killed and expelled from their homelands by Russians, Bulgarians, Greeks, and Serbs. Yet, in the midst of all this Muslim suffering, the political situation of the Ottoman Armenians constantly improved. First, equal rights for Christians and Jews were guaranteed in law. Equal rights increasingly became a reality, as well. Christians took high places in the government. They became ambassadors, treasury officials, even foreign ministers. In many ways, in fact, the rights of Christians became greater than those of the Muslims, because powerful European states intervened in their behalf. The Europeans demanded and received special treatment for Christians. Muslims had no such advantages. That was the environment in which Armenians revolted against the Ottoman Empire--hundreds of years of peace, economic superiority, constantly improving political conditions. This would not seem to be a cause for revolution. Yet the nineteenth century saw the beginning of an Armenian revolution that was to culminate in disaster for both.

How do we know that this analysis is true? It is, after all, very different than what is usually called the history of the Armenians. You know it is true because it is the product of reasoned historical analysis, not ideology.

To understand this, we must consider the difference between history and ideology, the difference between scientific analysis and nationalist belief, the difference between the proper historian and the ideologue. To the historian what matters is the attempt to find the objective truth. To the nationalist ideologue what matters is the triumph of his cause. A proper historian first searches for evidence, then make up his mind. An ideologue first makes up his mind, then looks for evidence.

A historian looks for historical context. In particular, he judges the reliability of witnesses. He judges if those who gave reports had reason to lie. An ideologue takes evidence wherever he can find it, and may invent the evidence he cannot find. He does not look too closely at the evidence, perhaps because he is afraid of what he will find. As an example, the ideologues contend that the trials of Ottoman leaders after World War I prove that the Turks were guilty of genocide. They do not mention that the so-called trials reached their verdicts when the British controlled Istanbul. They do not mention that the courts were in the hands of the Quisling Damad Ferid Pasha government, which had a long record of lying about its enemies, the Committee of Union and Progress. They do not mention that Damad Ferid would do anything to please the British and keep his job. They do not mention that the British, more honest than their lackeys, admitted that they could not find evidence of any "genocide." They do not mention that the defendants were not represented by their own lawyers. They do not mention that crimes against Armenians were only a small part of a long list of so-called crimes, everything the judges could invent. The ideologues do not mention that the courts should best be compared to those convened by Josef Stalin. The ideologues do not mention this evidence.

A historian first discovers what actually happened, then tries to explain the reasons. An ideologue forgets the process of discovery. He assumes that what he believes is correct, then constructs a theory to explain it. The work of Dr. Taner Akçam is an example of this. He first accepts completely the beliefs of the Armenian nationalists. He then constructs an elaborate sociological theory, claiming that genocide was the result of Turkish history and the Turkish character. This sort of analysis is like a house built on a foundation of sand. The house looks good, but the first strong wind knocks it down. In this case, the strong wind that destroys the theory is the force of the truth.

A historian knows that one has to look back in history, sometimes far back in history, to find the causes of events. An ideologue does not bother. Again, he may be afraid of what he will find. Reading the Armenian Nationalists one would assume that the Armenian Question began in 1894. Very seldom does one find in their work mention of Armenian alliances with the Russians against the Turks stretching back to the eighteenth century. One never finds recognition that it was the Russians and the Armenians themselves who began to dissolve 700 years of peace between Turks and Armenians. These are important matters for the historian, but they hurt the cause of the ideologue.

The historian studies. The ideologue wages a political war. From the start the Armenian Question has been a political campaign. Materials that have been used to write the long-accepted and false history of the Armenian Question were written as political documents. They were written for political effect. Whether they were articles in the Dashnak newspaper or false documents produced by the British Propaganda Office, they were propaganda, not sources of accurate history. Historians have examined and rejected all these so-called "historical sources." Yet the same falsehoods continually appear as "proof" that there was an Armenian Genocide. The lies have existed for so long, the lies have been repeated so many times, that those who do not know the real history assume that the lies are true.