The Armenian Genocide

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  • Topic: Ottoman Empire, Armenia, Armenian Genocide
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Armenian Genocide
Andy Leeds
Ms. Bullis
English 1
April 24
Armenians are a Christian nation, and when they were a country, they were the first to proclaim Christianity as the state religion. The Ottoman Empire took control of Armenia during the 15th century, and they were mistreated for quite a while due to religious differences (Christians vs. Muslims), and this mistreatment culminated and peaked during 1915-1918. During World War I, the Ottoman Empire took the opportunity among a world of chaos to exterminate its Christian population, after years of hate propaganda sponsored by the government, they struck, and the Ottoman Empire’s successor denies it to this day.

The Ottoman Empire divided its people decades before the genocide; the Ottomans classified its population into two groups, the Muslim Ottomans and the Christian Armenians. “And because the Russians did have Armenians serving as soldiers, the Ottoman Government was concerned that Ottoman Armenians might commit traitorous acts.” (Cohan). By giving a supposedly legitimate reason for the genocide that was to come, it gave the individual killers a reason to do it. By legitimizing the genocide, the killers could commit their crimes without feeling guilty. Each murderer was massacring not for the sake of it, but to defend their families, who they believed were in danger. By dividing the people through classification, they successfully sowed the seeds of hatred, preparing the people for genocide.

By making the Armenians seem less human to the general population, and by dehumanizing the Armenians, it made it seem as if they were nothing of consequence, or importance. “For instance, when it severely citied the Armenians in the caucus for attacking, looting, and destroying Muslim villages.”(Unal) This made the Armenians the enemy, and by making them the enemy, the Ottomans also stripped from them some of their humanity. When the Armenians lost the ability to be seen as humans, they lost their rights, and also the pity of the people. When the government dehumanized the Armenians, the government gained more power over them, making it more just to kill them en masse. The organization that committed the genocide was the current leading party of the Ottoman government, and took over the country during a coup d’état. “In 1914, when the war broke out, Talaat was Minister of the Interior and the most influential leader in the Committee of Union and Progress, the secret organization which controlled the Turkish Empire” (Morganthau) Mehmed Tallat effectively controlled the Ottomans, and organized the Armenians death. He was the man that ordered the arrest of the Armenians cultural leaders. He was the man that started the genocide. He was the man who killed 100,000 Armenians. “"To-day arbitrary government has disappeared. We are all brothers. There are no longer in Turkey Bulgarians, Greeks, Serbians, Rumanians, Mussulmans, and Jews. Under the same blue sky we are all proud to be Ottomans." That statement represented the Young Turk ideal for the new Turkish state.”(Morganthau) Young Turks is another name for the Committee of Union and Progress, and that statement is a paradox to what crimes they committed to the Armenians. While neither Armenian nor Christian is included, it is implied that they are all one people, but the actions of the Young Turks contradict their words. The CUP controlled the Ottoman government when the Armenians were being exterminated, and thus they are guilty of the crime.

The Ottoman Government, and thus CUP, spread propaganda against the Armenians, to polarize the population, causing the Ottomans to hate them, and even fear them. “For years it had been the Turkish policy to provoke to Christian population into committing overt acts, then seizing such misbehavior as an excuse for massacres.”(Morganthau) By having the Armenians commit crimes, they created a unique form of propaganda, showing actual damaging crimes. At first, this may not seem...
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