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The Armenian Genocide: The Silenced Genocide

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The Armenian Genocide: “The Silenced Genocide”

For many years the Armenian genocide was disregarded and denied by the Turkish people in the Ottoman empire. It took several years for it to receive the recognition it deserved by the courts. According to the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention, genocide is characterized by the killing of members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group the conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. And the Armenian people were victims of these five categories at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. The predators in this genocide were the Turkish people under the ruling of Talaat Pasha and their main goal was to exterminate all Armenian people from Turkey.

This genocide was fueled by the differences in religions between the Armenian people and Turkish people. At the time Turkey was composed of Muslims (turkish people) and Christians (armenians). Talaat Pasha was the man who ordered the death of the Armenian people. He had the power of inciting such a grotesque act, by first creating death lists. These death lists spelled out all of the people he targeted for dead and ironically enough, millions of these people were Armenian. Talaat Pasha proceeded by organizing death squads to get rid of the people on his list which would then lead to the extermination of the Armenian people and the culture they possessed. Sooner than later the presence of Armenian people in Turkey became a myth, the acts of genocide were denied and are still rejected by the Turkish people today.

Aside from religion, Talaat Pasha’s main spark for the extermination of the Christian Armenians was that he feared that they would assist the Russians in taking over the Ottoman Empire. When the Ottoman empire started to decline, the Armenian people felt compelled to act quickly and therefore seeked changed in their government. At this point in time the Armenian people that lived in Turkey were considered the second class minority and therefore did not have much of a say in political matters or things that could potentially impact the Turkish community. They had no sense of security or even belonging when it came to their properties or jobs because the Turkish people (who were deemed superior) were allowed to remove them from their property whenever they pleases because they were the higher, ruling class. But when the decline of the Ottoman Empire became very apparent it began to affect everyone more severely. The divides between the two people became more distinct and the Armenian people wanted to have more of a voice and wanted to be equally represented in their government. The fact that the Armenian people were in search for change, the Muslim Turks became suspicious of their actual intentions. The Muslim Turks believed that the Armenian people were trying to overthrow the Ottoman empire and rule over the Turkish people; the thought of this made them nervous. In reaction to the Armenians sudden urge for power and representation, the Turkish people began to perform several mass murders to instill fear in the Armenian people, to show them who was dominant in attempts to deter them from trying to “overrule” the Ottoman Empire.

The “Young Turks” political party was then shortly formed post Armenian massacres and took over the the government. They were led by the one and only Talaat Pasha and thus the Armenian genocide was born. The Young Turks took advantage of the fact that basically the entire world was entertained and distracted by the outbreak of World War l. They took this distraction to their benefit, and began the extermination of the Armenian people. They created a secret plan to begin to exterminate the Armenian community as a whole and make it look like they were just part of the mass casualties of the war. Their goal was to have a fully Muslim Turkish civilization, free of other cultures and religions, like Christian Armenians. Similar to the Holocaust in Germany, the Young Turks began their extermination by “relocating” the Armenians; sending them off to camps. The Armenians were to walk to their camp, under the impression that they were being relocated due to the war, which was obviously a lie. People began to realize what the actual relocation meant once it was already too late for them to turn around. They were being taken to the Syrian desert where they would be isolated from all of civilization and would sooner or later face their deaths. These walks then gained recognition for their true meanings earning them the title of “death marches”, since more than half of the individuals on them died on their way to their “destination”.

During the relocation of the Armenian society they initially began to target the intellectuals of the Armenian society. Intellectuals entailed anyone from a doctor or lawyer to anyone who was capable of reading and writing. The ideal behind eliminating all of the intellectuals first was the idea that if you take away all of the “smart” people, there will be no one intellectually capable to fight you. Basically, the injustices that would be done would not be objected as harshly because those capable of organizing rebellions on whatever you are trying to do would cease to exist. Non-intellectuals did not know any better so they believed and did whatever the Young Turks would ask of them and this made it easier for them to be eliminated or manipulated enough by the Young Turks into killing one another. Along with intellectuals, the male population were also targeted. The Young Turks believed that eliminating the male population would directly impact the Armenian race, making it even easier for it to be erased as a whole. Aside from being stronger and more independent than women, men carried semen. So logically speaking, if the men were eliminated from the Armenian society, women would have no one to help them reproduce more Armenian humans. So they did this with intent to prevent births within that group and succeeded. They were stunting the growth of the Armenian society, making it even easier to kill those that existed.

The Armenian genocide was unique in that it was one of the first to use rape as a weapon. After all the men and intellectuals were gone, the women, children and elderly were the next victims. They were all transported to death camps by means of walking or as they were called: death marches. During these death marches a lot of the elderly died because they were weakened by all of the walking they were subjected to. When they were given the order to leave their homes, they were only allowed to take a certain amount of things with them and none of them had thought to



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