Untitled Essay, Research Paper
Thesis Statement: The United States did not step up ag ainst the Ottoman Empire because the did not have anything to gain from the Armenians.
The term Genocide is very frequently used in recent times. It is a Latin compound made up of two words. Gens, meaning people or race, and the root meaning cid meaning “to destroy”. In 1915, the Turks of the Ottoman Empire massacred the Armenians. While these series of massacres that started in 1894 were taking place, where was the US? The US did not step up against the Ottoman Empire because they had no interest and nothing to gain from the Armenians. On the other hand, they imported agricultural products from Turkey. From 1990 to 1923, there was a complete transformation of the Ottoman State. The heterogeneous empire with a large Christian population, ruled by a Sultan, changed into a one party Turkish republic in which the Chrisitians were only a small minority. During this period, the Turks assassinated Abdul Hamid in 1909 and set up a dictatorship four years later, and brought Turkey into the First World War. When World War I broke out in the summer of 1914, Russia, Great Britain, and France were allied against Germany and Austria-Hungary. The Turks considered Russia the traditional enemy of the Ottoman Empire. On August 2, 1914, the Ottoman minister of war, Enver Pasha, and Ministry of Interior Tallat Pasha, concluded a secret treaty of alliance wit hGermany. The Ottoman Empire agreed to join Germany against Russia, Great Britain and France. The Turks hoped to defeat Russia with German help and thereby gain control of the Turkish populated regions of the Russian Empire. A victory over the Russians would enable the Turks to establish a Turkish state extending to Central Asia , and thus to achieve the unity of the Turkish speaking peoples. This creation of such a state would create “Pan- Turkism”. This alliance with Germany created big concerns. War against Russia by the Ottoman Empire meant that the Armenian plateau would become the battleground between the two powers. Since the homeland of the Armenians lay on both sides of the Russo-Ottoman frontier, the Armenians would suffer severely no matter who won the war. During the first six months of the war it was increasingly clear that the young Turks government was treating their Armenian citizens badly. In the winter of 1914 to 1915, the Ottoman army had launched a major attack against the Russians with the aim of opening the way of Central Asia. The operation was poorly planned and carried out, and so the Russian counter offenses made great victory against the Ottoman forces. During the winter months, the Ottoman army retreated from the Russian front. Armenian villages carried the burden of Turkish anger at defeat. Turkish army officials used the Armenians as their scapegoats for their humiliating losses and charged the Armenians as being untrustworthy to the Ottoman government. Massacres of Armenians in the villages along Russo-Ottoman frontier spread. On the night of April 23rd 1915, hundreds of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders were arrested and imprisoned, and shortly thereafter the prisoners were deported to the inner provinces where nearly all of them were murdered by authorities. Having lost their leaders, the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire were now totally vulnerable and defenseless. On May 30, 1915, the minister of internal affairs of the Ottoman Empire ordered the deportation of the Armenian population “from the war zones to the relocation centers”. From May 1915 until the spring of 1916, nearly all the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire disappeared from the Armenian plateau. The Turkish authorities said that the deportation of Armenians was only a war time measure. Families were allowed to take only a minimum amount of baggage and the government reassured that all their belongings and livestock would be safeguarded until their return. The deportations began, the Armenians were organized in convoys and were made to walk from the Syrian Desert to the south. The boys over fifteen and the men were separated from their families, and were either shot, hanged, beatento death, burned, or otherwise slaughtered. The women, children, and elderly were to die a much slower death. They were forcefully dragged from one province to another under the supervision of the police. They had to cross mountains passes on foot. Most of the deportees were killed during the attacks of bands of the Special Organization Units. The Special Organization Units conducted the massacares of entire Armenian villages and cities even before the deportation. They harassed the deportees with the cooperation of the Ottoman police. Women and children were kidnapped during these attacks and sold to Turkish families as slaves. Girls and women were ruthlessly raped and their bodies mutilated. During the marches, most women had to walk carrying a child in their arms while attending to their surviving sons and daughters as well as the elderly. Armenian mothers frequently had to shrug off their exhausted children and leave them behind. Sometimes whole families committed suicide together. Food was often refused to the convoys of deportees and water was also rationed. Many people died of thirst, hunger, dehydreation and exhaustrion. The deportations were organized so that approzimately ten percent of those who were made to leave their homes reached the deportation camps. By July 1915, the Armenians living in six easter nprovinces of the Ottoman Empire were all deported and most of them massacred. Fom July 1915 to the winter months of 1915 through 1916, the Armenians of Cilicia were deported from their cities and towns. They were piled in boxcars which were initially reserved for transportation of goods and livestock. They were asked to pay the fare and all travel expenses of which ended up to be their death journey. On August 10, 1916, the Ottoman government dismissed the Patriarch of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire and arrested the last holder of that position. In this manner the Armenian people were effectively eliminated from their homeland of three millenniums. During all these massacres a surge of Armenians came into America from 1894 to 1896. But then the Sultan prohibited any further Armenian immigration from Turkey and this continued until 1908. Emigration started again until the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Immigration records stated that between the two periods until 1914, a total of 70,982 Armenians had entered the United States. When the Armenians came into the US they were not treated very well in terms of jobs oppertunities, and they were struggling to live. During the 1930?s, under President Roosevelt? “New Deal Administration”, more jobs were available and the Armenian?s lives were getting better. During the genocide, news of the deportations and massacres came to the rest of the world late because the Turks had control over communication lines. When the US found out about these things, the US ambassador to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau, was already in Turkey trying to do something about it. He tried to stop Talaat Pasha who was the main leader of the deportations and massacres but he did not listen and continued the massacres. After this, America did not send military aid to the Armenians because they were preoccupied with World War I. Also because they were trying not to get involved in the war because of Woodrow Wilson believed in isolationism. The only other country that could have stopped the genocide was Germany, which was Turkey?s ally, so they didn?t get involved also. Throughout 1919 and 1920, the Western powers remained publicly committed to the establishment of a United Armenian State, combing the Russian Armenian and the Turkish Armenian provinces, with the outlet on the Black Sea. The Allied leaders hoped that the US would accept a League of Nations Mandate over the projected state. The US declined the Armenian Mandate and did not declare war with Turkey. Several conferences and Treaties were held and made to help out the Armenians such as the first meeting on January 30, 1919, which was the Paris Peace Conference. At the conference the Turkish representatives admitted that there had occured atrocities in Turkey during the genocide. Also, all the countries agreed that Armenia had to be separated from the Turkish Empire. Another conference was the Treaty of Secres, which was not a success because nobody wanted totake responsibility to protect the Armenians, so the hopes of a free Armenia were vanishing. During the Lausanne conferences in 1923, the British delegates urged the Turks to salvage something for the Armenians, by providing them with a national home. The Turkish representatives understood that no one was prepared to use anything more than words on behalf of the Armenians and therefore refused British demands. The Turkish triumph was reflected in the fact that in the final version of the Lausanne Treaties, neither the owrd Armenia nor the word Armenian was to be found. It was as though the Armenian people had never e xisted. The allies recognized the new frontier of Turkey, including the annexation in the east and a revised southern boundary. The Lausanne Treaty marked the abandonment of the Armenian question. When the US declared war with Germany on April 6, 1917, Turkey being German allies did not help the Germans in the war. Instead the US and Turkey were friendly with eachother and e verything was fine between them. The reason why, is because Turkey was an important country to the US and this was proven on October 30, 1922 when the Department of State, made a list of topics of why the US was interested in Turkey: (1) Maintenance of Capitulation; (2) Protection of American Philanthropic institutions; (3) Indemnity for damages suffered by Americans; (4) Freedom of the Straits; (5) Opportunities for archeological research; (6) Open Door; (7) Protection of Minorities. The Open Door was a trade agreement between the US and Turkey, and the Straights Policy was the right to use the Straits of Dardonelles. This proves that the US had interests with Turkey that they did not want to lose by declaring war on them. Since the genocide the Turks have been denying the fact that they tried to exterminate the Armenian race because of political and geographical reasons. Till today the yhave not admitted that they planend and e xecuted the Armenian genocide and no countries have had the interest to prove to Turkey that they can?t deny the facts any longer. There are thousands of documetns and recording of the Armenian Genocide, for example: as early ad July 16, 1915, US Ambassador Henry Morgethau acabled the Secretary of State that “it appears that a campaign of race extermination is in process under a pretext of reprisal against rebellion”. There are also many obserbers and authorities of that period that could be cited as documenting the planned and systematic nature of the massacres and their stated or obvious intent of eliminating the Armenians from the Ottoman Empire. There are also thousands of documents in US, British, French, German, Austrian and many other official archives describing the genocide process and its intent. On September 10, 1984, the US House of Representatives approved the House-Joint Resolution 247 which designated April 24 as a “National Day of Remembrance of Man?s Inhumanity to Man” in memory of “all victims of the genocide”. On June 18, 1987, the European parliament adopted an extremely detailed resolution calling on the Turkis hGovernment to acknowledge “the historically proven Armenian Genocide”. In conclusion, the Armenian Genocide di take place. The Ottoman Empire successfully managed to massacre most of the Armenians living there. They accomplished this without being threatened or stopped by military means from other countries because the Armenians were a minority, and the countries were already involved in World War I. The US practiced isolationism and didn?t want to get involved military wise. If the US had gotten involved with the genocide and declared war on Turkey , the genocide would have been stopped and acknowledged. This in turn could have prevented the Jewish Holocaust. This can be said b ecause of Hitler?s order stated on August 22, 1939:”I have given to my Death Units to exterminate without mercy or pity: men, women and children belonging to the Polish speaking race. It is only in this manner that we can acquire the vital territory which we need. After all, who remembers the Extermination of the Armenians?”