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I plan to collect historical documents and articles by various authors in this blog, usually without comments.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.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Armenian Problem: Events Before 1915

"Under the Seljuk Turks and later the Ottomans, the Armenians lived as a Christian religious group whose separate existence was guaranteed by the rules of Islam. Armenian dedication to their religion, their geographic situation in Eastern Anatolia, and Ottoman religious toleration guaranteed their continuation as a people." (p.7)

"The claim of Armenian nationalists to a homeland in Eastern Anatolia would be considerably bolstered if there had been an Armenian majority, or even an Armenian plurality, in the East. Such was not the case." (p. 9)

"By the 1700s, there was no large area in which Armenians made up enough of the population to be the majority in an Armenian state. No province of the Ottoman, Persian, or Russian Empires had enough Armenians to make up an Armenia. For example, even much later, in the late 1800s, after Armenians migrated and concentrated their population, in no province of the Ottoman Empire was more than one-third of the population Armenian. The majority were in fact Muslims -Turks, Kurds, and many other ethnic groups who identified themselves primarily by religion, as Muslims, just as Armenians identified themselves religiously as Armenians." (p. 11)

"The rebellions of 1894-6 have often been cited as "Armenian Massacres," or the slaughter of innocent Armenians by Turks. Leaving aside the fact that such judgements  ignore the murder of Turks and Kurds, there is a matter of common sense to consider. Because some wish to never admit that Armenians had a part in the creation of their own history of suffering, they are forced to ignore all Armenian actions against Turks. This leaves them with some difficult explanations. Why would the Turks, who had lived in relative peace with the Armenians for centuries, suddenly start to attack them? Is it just an incredible coincidence that the trouble in the East began as soon as Armenian revolutionaries began to organize there?  Apologists for the Armenian Cause have resorted to the Devil Theory of History to explain what they allege were Turkish actions - a dormant evil tendency in the Turks awakened, stimulated by evil politicians. Such explanations can only seem believable if at least half the facts are ignored and one is willing to accept the absurdities of the Devil Theory. The antidote to this type of history is common sense."

Source: Justin McCarthy and Carolyn McCarthy, Turks and Armenians, Washington DC, 1989.

"In life, questions outnumber answers. Case in point: If they (The Turks) are bloodthirsty savages, why did they wait for 600 years to slaughter us?" 

Ara Baliozian (Armenian author, translator, and critic).

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