About this blog

I plan to collect historical documents and articles by various authors in this blog, usually without comments. Opinions expressed within the articles belong to the authors and do not always coincide with those of mine.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Professor Justin McCarthy on the Deportation of Armenians

Justin McCarthy (Professor of History, University of Louisville):

“…In 1800, a vast Muslim land existed in Anatolia, the Balkans, and southern Russia. It was not only a land in which Muslims ruled, but a land in which Muslims were the majority or, in much of the Balkans and part of the Caucasus, a sizeable minority…By 1923, only Anatolia, eastern Thrace, and a section of the southeastern Caucasus remained to the Muslim land. The Balkan Muslims were largely gone, dead or forced to migrate, the remainder living in pockets of settlement in Greece, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia. The same fate had overcome the Muslims of the Crimea, the northern Caucasus, and Russian Armenia-they were simply gone. Millions of Muslims, most of them Turks, had died; millions more had fled to what is today Turkey. Between 1821 and 1922, more than five million Muslims were driven from their lands. Five and onehalf million Muslims died, some of them killed in wars, others perishing as refugees from starvation and disease. (p.1)

“…Despite the historical importance of Muslim losses, it is not to be found in textbooks. Textbooks and histories that describe massacres of Bulgarians, Armenians, and Greeks have not mentioned corresponding massacres of Turks. The exile and mortality of the Muslims is not known…(p.2)

“…The history that results from the process of revision is an unsettling one, for it tells the story of Turks as victims, and this is not the role in which they are usually cast. It does not present the traditional image of the Turk as victimizer, never victim, that has continued in histories of America and Europe long after it should have been discarded with other artifacts of nineteenth-century racism…(p.3)

“…Devoid of its historical context, the Ottoman decision to deport the Armenians appears to have been irrational, motivated primarily by hatred of a minority. In fact, from the history of events in the Balkans and the Caucasus, the Ottomans knew what to expect from nationalist revolution and Russian invasion of eastern Anatolia. In Bulgaria, Greece, and Macedonia, the same processes had led to the slaughter of Turks. Could the Ottomans expect any difference in Anatolia? For 100 years, the Russians had expanded by pushing out Muslims. They had forced out the Crimean Tatars and the Circassians. In the southern Caucasus, they had replaced Turks with Armenians. In 1915, the Russians were poised to advance once again. Armenian revolutionary groups had already begun their rebellion all over eastern Anatolia, killing Muslim villagers and even seizing the city of Van. What fate could the Muslims of the east expect when the Russians invaded? The same fate that befell the Turks of Bulgaria or Macedonia. (p.335)

Source: McCarthy, Justin, “Death And Exile”, The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims 1821-1922, The Darwin Pres, Inc., Princeton, New Jersey, Third Printing, 1999.

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