Armenian Genocide Essay Research Paper Armenian genocide

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Armenian Genocide Essay, Research Paper Armenian genocide If you were to overhear the words “extermination of about 50% of a population” in a conversation you would probably think that they were talking about “the” holocaust in Nazi Germany. You probably would not suspect that they were talking about Turkey and the Armenians. During the First World War, the Turks set out to annihilate the entire population of Armenians living within their borders (they almost did). An area known as Historic Armenia lies right in the middle of what is now modern day Turkey. This is where the Armenian’s ancestors began one of the first civilizations thousands of years ago. Historic Armenia has proved to be an important strategical location for the many empires that have taken control

of it over the centuries since it is the bridge between three continents, Europe, Asia, and Africa. It has been conquered by King Darius I of Persia in 521 B.C., by Media in 612 B.C., by King Cyrus of Persia in 549 B.C., by Alexander the Great, by King Antiochos III of Syria in 212 B.C., By the Arabs in 642 A.D., by the Mongols in 1240, by the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century, and most recently by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) 1922. During most of the time in between the Armenians had their independence. Despite or perhaps because of the constant warfare and conquest of that region and the oppression that the Armenians have faced over time they have developed into a ” strong-willed people, self reliant and fiercely independent” The Armenians were the first

country in the world to make Christianity their country’s official religion (20 years before St. Constantine the Great in Rome). They also played an important role in the crusades. Ever since then, the Muslim Turks (the vast majority in Turkey) have not gotten along with the Armenian Turks. When the Ottoman Empire took control of Turkey, they tried to assimilate the Armenians by forbidding them to speak their native language in some places and imposing an extortionary tax on them. They were sometimes called gavurs, which means less than human. They were, however, allowed to attend their own churches (The Armenian Apostolic Church). In spite of the oppression that they faced they were able to adapt to Western capitalism faster than their Muslim neighbors. More and more the

Armenians became the manufacturers, doctors, and teachers in Turkey. They had more children in schools than before and their overall status in society was beginning to rise. By the late 19th century, they began to understand the concept of human rights. That is, people are people and one person should not be treated better or worse than another because of their race, color, or religion. It was about that time, in 1891, that Sultan Abul-Hamid created the Hamidiye. The Hamidiye were groups of Kurds armed by the government. Their official duty was to protect the Russian border, but they spent most of their time plundering and looting Armenian villages instead. The Armenians created revolutionary groups called fedayees in response to this abuse. In 1894, Armenians in Sassun refused

to continue paying the extortionary tax to the Kurdish. So Abdul-Hamid ordered Turkish along with Kurdish soldiers to go over to Sassun and to put an end to the insubordinate uprising. The death toll has been estimated at as low as 900 and as high as 60,000 Armenians. International missionaries stationed in Turkey at that time reported these atrocities to the European and American media. They (the media) in turn demanded that Abdul-Hamid stop abusing the Armenians. Abdul-Hamid agreed to stop, but instead he encouraged the Hamidayee to loot and kill Armenians. In one reported incident 3,000 men, women, and children came to a fiery death while huddled inside of a church for (ironically enough) protection. Between 1894 and 1896 about 200,000 Armenians were slaughtered. The primary