Adonis Diaries

How the Young Turks Triumvirate committed genocide on Armenians

Posted on: January 24, 2018

How the Young Turks committed genocide on Armenians

Turkification of the historic city names in Armenian Highland, Anatolia and Cilicia.

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Hratch Kozibeyokian added 2 new photos.

The Committee of Union and Progress took the reins of the Ottoman government through a coup d’état in 1913.

At the height of World War I and during the final years of the Ottoman Empire, when the ethnic cleansing policies of non-Muslim Greek, Armenian, and Assyrians were underway, Minister of War Enver Pasha issued an edict (ferman) on October 6, 1916, declaring: 

“It has been decided that provinces, districts, towns, villages, mountains, and rivers, which are named in languages belonging to non-Muslim nations such as Armenian, Greek or Bulgarian, will be renamed into Turkish. In order to benefit from this suitable moment, this aim should be achieved in due course.”

General Directorate of State Archives of the Republic of Turkey, İstanbul Vilayet Mektupçuluğu, no. 000955, 23 Kânunuevvel 1331 (October 6, 1916) Ordinance of Enver Paşa.

Enver Pasha did not change the geographical names belonging to Muslim minorities (i.e. Arabs and Kurds) due to the Ottoman government’s role as a Caliphate. His decree inspired many Turkish intellectuals to write in support of such measures.

One such intellectual, Hüseyin Avni Alparslan (1877–1921), a Turkish soldier and author of books about Turkish language and culture, was inspired by the efforts of Enver Pasha, writing in his book Trabzon İli Lâz mı? Türk mü? (Is the Trabzon province Laz or Turkish?): 

“If we want to be the owner of our country, then we should turn even the name of the smallest village into Turkish and not leave its Armenian, Greek or Arabic variants.
Only in this way can we paint our country with its colors.” Turkified”–Enver Pasha.

Map prepared by Historian Gevork Nazaryan

Armin Wegner was born in 1886 to an aristocratic Prussian family. He enlisted in the German Army during World War I and served as a medic. Stationed in Baghdad in 1915, Wegner witnessed the death marches of thousands of Armenians who were being deported and slaughtered by the Ottoman Army.

Disobeying direct orders to keep quiet about the massacres because Germany and the Ottoman Empire were allies, Wegner gathered evidence to show the world what was happening. He collected documents and took hundreds of photographs.

Wegner was arrested by the Germans and sent back to Germany. Many of his photographs were confiscated and destroyed, but he managed to save some by hiding the negatives in his belt. Wegner’s photographs remain the best documentation of the Armenian genocide.

After the war, Wegner became a successful journalist and prominent anti-war activist.

In the early 1930’s, Wegner was the only writer to speak out publicly against Hitler’s persecution of the Jews.

He penned an open letter to Adolf Hitler on behalf of the Jews of Germany.

No newspaper would publish it, so he sent the letter directly to Nazi Party headquarters. In the letter, Wegner said that Hitler’s actions against the Jews would destroy Germany.

Soon after sending the letter to Hitler, Wegner was arrested by the Gestapo, tortured, and imprisoned in several concentration camps.

He survived and fled to Rome, never returning to Germany.

In 1967 Wegner was honored as Righteous Among the Nations by Israel’s museum of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem. (Armenians need to find “Righteous Among the Syrians” who made it possible for Armenians to survive after welcoming them in Aleppo and Deir al Zour after their horror journey in 1917-18)

A year later, he was invited to Armenia to receive an award for his heroism.

Armin Wegner died in 1978, at the age of 91, and is buried in Rome. The inscription on his tombstone quotes the dying words of Pope Gregory VII in 1085:

“I loved justice and hated iniquity. Therefore I die in exile”

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Armenian Highlands Have Never Been Called “Eastern Anatolia”

The government of Sultan Abdul Hamid II replaced the name “Armenia” by terms like “Kurdistan” and “Anatolia”.

(The Kurds were employed to guard the Armenian  prisoners on their death journey to Syria. The Kurds were rewarded by looting and confiscating Armenian properties)

Since 1880, the use of the name of Armenia in official documents was forbidden. The Sublime Porte thus attempted to convince everyone that there is no such thing as the “Armenian Question” – no Armenia, no issues related to it.

The Kemalists, ideological successors of Young Turks, carried on with the process of the “nationalization”. It gained momentum especially in the republican years.

In 1923, the whole territory of Western Armenia was renamed Eastern Anatolia.

In his “Jihan Numa”, renowned 17th-century Ottoman scholar, historian, and geographer Kâtip Çelebi wrote a chapter named “About the Country Called Armenia”.

However, when the book was republished in 1957, its editor, one H. Selen, renamed the chapter “Eastern Anatolia”. This case is only one of the hundreds of others, clearly demonstrating the Turkish falsifications in regard to Armenians’ indigenous to Western Armenia, not to mention the rest of historical Armenia.

In the 17th century, when the “Armenian Question” hadn’t yet emerged, the term “Eastern Anatolia” did not exist. Additionally, the 16th-century “Islamic World Map”, as well as 18th- and 19th-century Ottoman maps featured Armenia as a distinct territory with its cities.

Article source:…/armenian-highlands-have-never-been-…/


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January 2018

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