From 1908 to 1915 and The Roots of Genocide Reaching Today


The ancient peoples of this geography have looked to 1908 with hope and supported it.  However this hope was an illusion. The bureaucratic bourgeoisie who composes the backbone of the Young Turks movement and who took the power easily by saying Freedom, Equality, Fraternity does not hesitate to show its true colors by throwing off its mask in a short span of time. We must not forget right here that The Committee of Union and Progress the political organization of the Young Turks who were one of the perpetrators of the Genocide was organized on Turkism basis. One of the most important articles of their agenda was to ensure ethnical homogeneity. Also the intersection extent of the motives of the other perpetrators of the Genocide (Germans, Turkish and Kurdish Muslim notables, poor people of these components, the Hamidian regiments,…) with the agenda of these Young Turks will determine the degree of the partnership to the genocide and benefiting ratio from the genocide. This is also a hostage taking situation. This partnership and benefiting situation is one of the most important obstacles to the freedom of our geography today. The history of this geography has frozen in 1915.

From Ahmet Rıza to Mizancı Murat and also to Dr. Nazım the clear equivalent of the composition of the Ottoman Nation is Turk. Mizancı Murat expresses that he thinks Turkism, Ottomanism and Muslimismas one in his following words; “We do not fail to pray for the sake of Turkism, Ottomanism and Muslimism which were mistakenly supposed as different by our friend”. The Ottomanism and Muslimism is an Ottomanism and Muslimism which prides itself for being Turk. Turks consider themselves as the dominant element of the Ottoman Empire and defend obedience of other elements to themselves and they express this explicitly even during periods in which Turkism was not completely developed politically. This mentality does not change from Abdülhamid to New Ottomans and Young Turks.

The meaning of Ottomanism and Muslimism is Turkism. The slogan of Freedom, Equality, and Fraternity transforms into Freedom and Equality for Turks and Discipline for the other elements within a very short period of time. In this respect as said above 1908 was a deception. The constitutional reform discourses convey the problem to a future and direct it to decomposition and thus expose the most important articles of the agendas. Also the acts of the Young Turks before 1908 in the Balkans and especially in Macedonia region in respect to the ethnical cleansing have clear clues in relation to this subject. The memories of Bekir Fikri from Grenebe and Halil (Kut) Pasha the uncle of Enver are didactic in this respect. Talat and others are wide open on this respect;

Dr. Nazım who is one of the most important directors of The Young Turks and who is one of the ideologists, organizers and activists of the Young Turks provides[1] the chronology of the things which will happen by clarifying his agenda fearlessly in Izmir on the August of 1908 to a Greek journalist in relation to extermination of the ancient peoples of the geography. Thus the events would realize within the frame drawn by Dr. Nazım and by exterminating the ancient peoples of the Ottoman geography from their historical lands the Ottoman geography would turn into bloodshed for elements other than Muslim Turks. 

The introduction section of the memorandum presented to the government in 1910 by the Greek parliamentarians in the Ottoman parliament reflects a disappointment and also it voices unmasking of the Young Turk’s government:   

Unfortunately, shortly after the proclamation of the Constitution, countless events resulted from lack of deepest and most fraternal feelings devoted to other nations in the Ottoman Empire helped and still helping disappointment of Greeks…

In the conclusion section of this memorandum of Greek parliamentarians which was a timely narrative of the acts of the Young Turks which are explicitly for the disadvantage of the Greek element summarizes applied treatments to Greek elements:

…All these acts confirm an opinion within the Greek national consciousness; The Greek people are seen as an enslaved people, deciding the inferiority of the peoples is one of the purposes of the internal policy of the government; this policy maintains lack of confidence of the Greek people and tendency to obstruction of the development of this feeling  just like being under a despotic regime.  There is a tendency now more than ever for using the “Ottoman Nation” term that takes place in the constitution in order to expose the Greeks to the “national” policy of Turkification.   

In the unity congress of the Young Turks in 1907, Prince Sabahattin connects existence of Christians in this geography until that day to the fear of Europe, when this fear is removed in the war environment The Young Turks’ mentality would be untether and the ancient peoples of this geography would be exterminated.

The Young Turks do not hesitate to threat deathfully the elements which can threat their power in the early days of their government by performing the first rehearsal in Cilicia indeed; if we provide a short summary of the Cilicia Massacre, it is easily understood that this massacre is a Genocide rehearsal; The massacres occurred in Cilicia in April of 1909 are the messengers in one sense of the events which would happen in the future. After the first massacres realized under the administration of the local officials of the Party of Union and Progress, during the second massacres realized with the collaboration of the local officials of the Party of Union and Progress with the Dedeağaç battalion sent by the administration of the Party of Union and Progress in order to quell the events 25-30 thousands of Armenians from Cilicia were killed and their properties were plundered. In this sense Cilicia 1909 is in one sense a rehearsal of the Genocide that would happen in the future. In this massacre Armenian male population were massacred by targeting as in the massacres of 1894-96 and this is one of the important factors for leaving the Armenian people unprotected in the Genocide of 1915.  

The Parliamentarian Emmanuel Emmanueilidis from Aydın emphasizes the Party of Union and Progress factor while explaining the Cilicia events:

The subject which we have to mention hereby: Even if the Young Turks from the center did not give order for the massacre, the local Young Turks took place widely in the events and they have constituted a party with old Turks [with the old administration residuals] jointly against Armenians.

They pretended as sorrowful, they promised corrections but in sense they did not stand regretful and while Armenian continued to live as a stranger in the Armenian Countries  he would see his land of birth which got wet with his sweat because of working, his wealth, his soils and fruits in the hands of the first plunderer.  

The words of Emmanueilidis indicate a reality. The events which would happen in the future were distinguished very early and the attention was drawn accordingly. Emmanuilidis also highlights the dishonest face of 1908 and decomposing of the problems by extending them over a period of time and also the treat actions. As of 1909 the jihad starts against the ancient peoples of this geography. 

The Cilicia events were realized shortly before the date on which the Young Turks came into power. In the beginning the Macedonia based Young Turks did not have power and organizations in Anatolia. The young Turks who gained strength in Anatolia within a short period of time by the help of the Christian elements would not hesitate to exterminate these elements when they do not need these elements.

Especially in Thessaloniki, in October of 1911 after the decisions taken by the Party the suppression policy against elements which are not Turk and Muslim becomes systematical and this policy would be officially programmed. The decisions taken are exemplary. These decisions are the beginning of the end for the ancient peoples of the Ottoman geography:

The existence of the Empire is tied to the Party of the Young Turks and extermination of the entire opposition…   

The young Turks made decision to exterminate the opposition together with the elements that could be opposing parties in the future and the elements which could not be assimilated by them and they have carried this decision into execution immediately. Mahmut Celal (Bayar) who would be the president of the republic in the future was charged as the responsible secretary of the Party of Union and Progress in Izmir by ensuring his resignation from the bank he worked in Bursa and thus the war against Hellenic elements was organized. In this squad persons such as Kuşçubaşı Eşref, District Governor Mr. Pertev [General Demirhan], Governor Mahzar Müfit [Kansu], Governor Dr. Reşit, Governor İbrahim Bedreddin … who will be the actors in the genocides of the future would take place. After Cilicia also a rehearsal of the genocide before the war was realized in Aegean Region. Both Kuşçubası Eşref and Celal Bayar mentioned the success of the executed policies of boycott, suppression, sabotage and murdering and they confessed that as a result of this policy 1 millions Helens were rooted out from their historical lands.    

The Parliamentarian Emmanuel Emmanueilidis from Aydın characterized this executed official policy as holy war against citizens:

The first blow against Greeks was inflicted before the war. In the first of half of the year 1914 250.000 Greeks were exiled and their assets were dispossessed and in this way the first step was taken for Turkification of the Thrace and Izmir Region. However this was not sufficient. This movement should have at least a period of 10 years. Within this period of time the ethnical cleansing program would be executed persistently and according to the circumstance suppression would accompany occasionally. In the end Hellenism would constitute an unimportant minority by means of collecting and restricting them in the large cities. For the remaining population administrative and economical measures taken by the government would be sufficient. The rich would be poor, the poor would be beggar and both of them as the rich and poor would be slaves and servants of the Turks as per the words assumed as Enver’s.

In the industrial census of 1913 and 1915 it was not difficult to see the strength of Christian bourgeoisie. This wealth dazzles the eyes of The Young Turk bureaucratic bourgeoisie. By using the Balkan War as an excuse, the operation of removing the Greeks in the Aegean region from their ancient soils by exerting pressure, threat and murder. To accomplish this the local Muslim public should be prepared. The Young Turks have come to Anatolia with their gangs. They have no difficulty in finding personnel for both provocating the local Muslim population and also for committing the murders.

Aydın Parliamentarian Emmanuil Emmanuilidis relays the atmosphere formed against Christians with these words: Someone visiting Istanbul during the last quarter of 1913 , would run into weird people wearing new clothes, velvet pants and with black calpacks on their heads on the roads. But later it was found out that these were the famous bouncers. In other words, they were the army established by the Young Turks in Istanbul and other cities for the implementation of the decisions taken against Christians. While the implementation force was being prepared on one side, the public was being prepared with a suitable propaganda for the revolution that was approaching. The press was provoking the thoughts of the public and various daily newspapers distributed, were aiming to provoke the inextinguishable Turkish hatred against the Greeks. The result of these publications was, as long as the Greeks existed in the country, the Turks would remain poor, the honor and lives of the Muslims will not be secure and the State will confront various dangers. The pictures displaying the Balkan rulers on horseback stepping on Turkish flag with the corps of women and children in their arms were being published. Heartbreaking maps, showing the lost cities in black were being printed and hung up on the walls of the schools with the word vengeance written at their bottom and even the region annexed to Bulgaria was covered with mourning color black and Hellenism was required to pay the account for this. Like angels of vengeance and hatred speakers and propagandists were sent to every part of the country. The most secular of these, Ömer Naci was sent to Izmir. Anti Christian hatred reached an unbelievable level within a short time. As Emmanuilidis shortly summarized, along with the anti Christian atmosphere, majority of the Greeks were removed from their historical soil and local consolidating tradesmen appropriated their estates. 

Ottoman Parliamentarian Emmanuilidis, states the Armenian genocide with the  following words: Armenian disaster covered the whole of Turkey. Every city, village, corner, was left without Armenian inhabitants. Only Istanbul, Izmir and Alleppo were left exempt. This did not mean that the Armenians remaining there were left harmless, because hundreds of Armenians were arrested in Istanbul to join the deportation convoy. There were few Armenians in Izmir. The real danger there was coming from the crowded Greeks and when the time came for the Greeks, the Armenians there would also be taken care of.

This bloody plan would be completed in great scale in 1922. Also consulate Horton summarizes the events of  1922 taking place in Izmir with the following words: There was a certain plan for demolish the Armenians and be interested with the Greeks in spare times. As the observation of Horton is in harmony with the words of Emmanuilis, it also overlaps the judgments of other observers. The golden shot is completed on the streets of Izmir in September of 1922. The single orderly study on this subject in Turkish is the 1922 Izmir The Ruining of a City of Majorie Housepian Dobkin published last year, Although the examination of Majorie Housepian Dobkin is focused on Izmir of 1922, it is summary of  the history of demolishing of the Christian elements located on the wide Ottoman geography in a systematic manner wave by wave and their scraping from their ancients soil. It does  not only display the Izmir of 1922, along with relaying those days, it also shares with the readers by transferring the latter events from several different sources. In this respect, the Turkish public is newly being informed of the Izmir massacre. Whereas, the Izmir massacre is a part of the 1915 genocide, it is also a part of the denial. It is one of the dark points of recent history meticulously covered for years.

The policies on rooting away the remaining people from their historical land after 1922 had  continued without slowing down: Extirpating the remaining people from their historical homeland by force under the name of population exchange, establishment of labor battalions during Second World War,  Continuation of economical and cultural genocide by legalizing unlawful wearing under the name of Capital Tax,  isolation of ancient peoples who had lost everything in the concentration camps, 5-7 September pogrom, 1964 exile… 

One of the most important results of the genocide is the Turkification of the economy together with the homogenization of the population and transferring the wealth to Muslim-Turk sector. There were almost nobody who did not captured the savings and assets of Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians and Pontus people. Conclusion of Halil Menteşe who was the president of the Young Turks’ assembly and foreign affairs minister and was the member of the parliament during the Kemalist period was very important which states that it was hard to find people not involved in the genocide. Minister of defense also blessed the genocide with almost same words. Present-day’s Turk and Muslim capital have arisen on these expropriations. It is not surprising when you uncover each wealth, you will encounter with the expropriation of Armenian, Greek, Assyrian and Pontus wealthiness. Propulsive force of the Turkish capital is the 1915 genocide. Shares after 1915 and subsequent allocations after 1922 are the unique sources. One can find a lot of examples on this issue in the national newspapers and government orders of 1920’s.

There is also another reality; beside the Armenian and Greek wealth, gene pool of these people was seized. After 1915 examination of the travel permits (a kind of internal passport) by the ministry of interior will give an idea with respect to the extent of seizure.  

And also the founder staff is completely the staff of the Young Turks. It is the B staff of the Party of Union and Progress. Also the greater part of these comprise of the perpetrators of the genocide. This staff rooted out and vaporized in some way the ancient peoples of this geography from their own geography and this staff transformed into bourgeoisie by means of advancing on the savings of the victims of the genocide. The savings seized during the genocide and kept under the mattress became the Islamic capital under the name of the Anatolian Tigers after the Özal period and this circumstance is an another reality of today. This reality also stands in front of us as the motive and most important part of the denial. This circumstance is also nothing short of maintenance of the genocide in another way by means of teasing the victim. This circumstance is not limited also with only the liberal and Islamic bourgeoisie: Hasan Cemal has clarified courageously in his last book entitled as 1915: Armenian Genocide where his grandfather Cemal Pasha stood in 1915. Ahmet Türk is also one of the courageous persons who clarified his grandfather’s acts during the 1915 Genocide. However persons who have to make statements are not limited with Hasan Cemal and Ahmet Türk: The cream of the society such as political party administrators, authors must also clarify where their biological grandfathers stood in 1915. On this subject Patrik Zaven’s list of actors (Exterminators) of the 1915 Genocide is a clue for themselves.

This crime committed against the ancient peoples of this geography and humanity must have a response that without paying this price peace is not possible. Conclusions such as “The price of the genocide is requested”, “The blood money is requested” must not be drawn from this point. Any price that can compensate the pains of the humanity has not discovered yet.

The first step which will be taken must be a sincere step that can ease the pains of the genocide victims but this liability is not the responsibility of the victims, this step is not a step which will be taken by the victims. This untaken step which must be taken by the perpetrators of the genocide still waits for them as a debt of the humanity. Our words and call are especially for politicians and authors from the west and east whose biological grandfathers benefited from the genocide and who talk about freedom today by occupying these savings and who pretend as defenders of equalitarianism.

It must not be forgotten that this is also the key to be saved from the frozenness of the history  in 1915 and from the mentioned hostage status and for a movement directed to the real freedom. The necessity is only a little bit of courage, that’s all…

[1] Mihail Rodas, How did Germany Destroy Greeks in Turkey?, Translation Evdoksiya Veriopulu, Belge International Y. 2011.