Friday, December 5, 2008

Armenian Genocide Timeline

1875 December 1
By order of the Turkish government, the Armenian market district at Van is destroyed by fire with great loss to Armenian property, goods, and businesses.

Russia victorious in Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. Russo-Turkish Treaty of San Stefano (February 19, 1878) provides for protection and reforms for Armenians. Great Britain negotiates a secret Cyprus Convention with Turkey (June 1978) to allow British to establish bases on Cyprus and to administer Cyprus. In return, Britain insists Russo-Turkish issues be decided, instead, by an international conference. The resulting Congress of Berlin (June 1978) replaces the protective measures of San Stefano under Article 16 with unsatisfactory and ineffective provisions for Armenian people under Article 61, and returns Garin (Erzerum) to Turkey. Russia retains Kars and Ardahan.

Armenian performances are forbidden in Constantinople. The urban Armenian population of Garin and Arabkir come out against the government.

1880 August
By special order of the Turkish government, the word "Armenia" is forbidden for use in official documents.

1884 June
Armenians "rebel" in Zeitun against oppressive Turkish taxes.

The Turkish government divides Western Armenia administratively into separate vilayets of Erzerum, Garin, Kharput, Diarbekir, Dersim, Bitlis (Baghesh), Van, Hekyari and Sivas (Sebastia).

The Turkish government orders that all Armenian periodicals and magazines in Constantinople and Western Armenia be discontinued.

1890 June 15
An Armenian demonstration in the district of Gum-Gapu in Constantinople is drowned in Armenian blood.

1890 June 18-20
Alleging provocative actions by Armenians, Turkish armed forces and Turkish mobs attack Armenians in Garin (Erzerum). Hundreds of Armenians are killed.

1891 January
The Armenians of Vardenis in Taron are robbed by Turks and their village is destroyed.

Sultan Abdul Hamid II, known as the Bloody Sultan, suspends the Armenian National Constitution, and also discontinues the national parliament in Constantinople, which includes some Armenian representatives.

1894 August 20-27
Sassun’s Gelie-guzan village massacre, known as the "Gelie-guzan Hole Carnage" takes place. Here, Turks inaugurate the system of slaughtering unarmed people, which later was the prototype for Hitler’s concentration camps.

1894 August 25-30
Sassun’s Gebin Mount carnage is inflicted when the Turkish army manages to force Armenian women, children and old men to leave Andok for the forest on the bottom of mountain. The army ignites the forest and burns the Armenians alive. Note: This is a harbinger of the extermination of future victims by burning them alive in stables and other large storage facilities.

1894 August
10,000 Armenians are killed and 74 Armenian villages are destroyed in Sassun.

1894 August-October
Armenians refuse to pay illegal taxes to Kurdish irregular forces in Sassun. Unrest in the vilayet of Bitlis, near Mush. Revolt in Sassun. Attempted uprising against Kurdish oppression is followed by massacres in Sassun. A joint report published on July 28, 1895 by the Commission of Inquiry created by the initiative of the Great Powers, estimates the number of victims at 5,000.

1895 May 11
Governments of six countries present the Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid II a special note describing the disastrous conditions of Armenia and demand the Turkish government to carry out improvements.

1895 August
Joint memorandum presented by Britain, France and Russia to the Sultan, pointing out the disastrous situation in the Armenian provinces and urging him to proceed with the reforms. The Imperial Turkish Government replies in August 1895 and promises to carry out the reforms specified in Article 61 of the Treaty of Berlin (1978).

1895 September 30
Carnage of Armenians in Baberd at the hands of the Turks.

1895 September 30, October
In the Bab Ali section of Constantinople, Armenians carry out a peaceful demonstration. The Turks set upon killing Armenians. 2000 Armenians die. Protests by the Great Powers by joint note from three ambassadors (French, British and Russian) on October 13-15 demand reforms. On October 31 a decree is issued, providing for reforms.

1895 October 5
Mass obliteration of Armenians takes place in Trebizond and its villages. Armenians of Sassun share the same fate.

1895 October 7
Armenians of Derjan province are slaughtered by the Turks.

1895 October 8
Massacres of Armenians by Turks begin in the vilayet of Trebizond as confirmed by the report of Gillieres, the French Consul in Trebizond.

1895 October 9
The carnage of Armenians at Erzingan and Kamakh by the Turks.

1895 October 10
In Kghi province more than 1000 Armenians are killed, and dozens of villages destroyed. In Bitlis, 102 villages are destroyed. On the same day the carnage of Armenians at Charsanjak and in its villages begins, taking almost 700 lives. In Balu, the body count of Armenian victims reaches 1200, Arabkir – 2800, Torgom – 500

1895 October 13
Most of the Armenians in Baghesh are killed by the Turks.

1895 October 16
Urfa in Yedesia is attacked and in spite of persistent defense, the Turkish army and the Turkish mob succeed in slaying around 10,000 Armenians. On the same day, the Turks inflict similiar carnage in Shapin-Garahisar. 2000 Armenians are slain in the town and 3000 in 30 villages.

1895 October 21
The Armenian population in Erzingan, a town of Erzerum vilayet, is slaughtered by the Turks. 1000 Armenians are killed.

1895 October 23
3000 Armenians of Malatia are killed. 1000 houses are burned.

1895 October 25
Massacres follow in Bitlis, in the vilayet of Bitlis.

1895 October 26
Almost the entire Armenian population of Kharput is slaughtered by the Turks. The body count exceeds 4000. Mass massacres take place in Bayburd, vilayet of Erzerum. 165 villages are destroyed.

1895 October 27-28
Massacres in Urfa, vilayet of Aleppo, the first by the Hamidie Kurdish regiments organized by the Turks for this purpose, confirmed by the report of the British consul, Fitzmaurice, dated March 16, 1896.

1895 October 30
Massacres in Erzerum, vilayet of Erzerum. 400 killed by the Turkish mob and soldiers.

1895 October 31
Massacres occur in Garin and in the vilayet of Erzerum. Around 2000 Armenians are killed; 43 villages are destroyed.

1895 October
Organized massacres of Armenians by Turks in Constantinople and Trebizond.

1895 November 1
Diarbekir carnage begins. 1000 Armenians are killed in the town and 30,000 more in the villages. 119 villages are destroyed. Massacres in Arabkir, vilayet of Kharput. 2,800 dead. Massacres in Diarbekir, vilayet of Diarbekir. Confirmed by a telegram of Meyrier, the French consul in Diarbekir, sent on November 3 to P. Cambon, the French ambassador in Constantinople. He estimates incorrectly: 5000 dead. 119 villages are pillaged and set on fire.

1895 November 3
Almost the whole Armenian population in Marzvan, around 700 people, are killed by the Turks.

1895 November 4
3,800 killed in the vilayet of Kharput by the Turks.

1895 November 10
Systematic Turkish army attacks on Van take place. The city of Van, in the vilayet of Van, is attacked by the Turkish Hamidie forces. Forced conversions to Islam in Kharput, vilayet of Kharput.

1895 November 11
Turkish army attacks the town of Balu, in the vilayet of Kharput. It results in 1680 Armenian deaths. Turkey proclaims a holy war (Djihad).

1895 November 12
Turks kill 1,500 Armenians in the vilayet of Sivas, and an equal number in Gurun.

1895 November 15-17
Armies of Sultan destroy Aintab in the vilayet of Aleppo and kill 1500 Armenians.

1895 November 18
Massacres in Marash, vilayet of Aleppo. 1,000 Armenians are killed.

1895 November 18-20
160 villages around the city of Van are robbed and pillaged.

1895 November 28
In Zklus, 200 Armenians are killed; in Amasia, 100; and in Aleppo, 1000.

1895 December
Armenians of the villages of Norduz, Hayots Dzor, Gavash and Karchevan in the vilayet of Bitlis are set upon by fire and sword. 100 villages are destroyed. On December 28 in the town of Ourfa (Yedesia), 8000 Armenians are slaughtered. 100 villages around Mush, vilayet of Bitlis, are destroyed.

1895 December 28
A battalion of Turkish-led Hamidie forces, proceeding from Aleppo, encircles the town of Urfa. Massacres on the following day kill 8,000 Armenians. This is confirmed by the above-mentioned report of the British consul, Fitzmaurice, dated March 16, 1896, as well as by the French consul.

Global Estimates
Most of the figures mentioned through 1895 come to a total of 150,000 to 300,000 dead, to which must be added some 150,000 forced conversions and some 100,000 emigrants forced to flee. The report written by the agents of the European Powers estimate 28,000 killed just in the localities where representatives of foreign nations were present.

1896 June 8-15
The population of Van and nearby villages is destroyed. The major Armenian population of Sgherdi is decimated and survivors are forcibly converted to Islam. In 40 villages of Khizan, 400 people, and in 20 villages of Mamrzank 160 people are slain, and the others are converted to Islam forcibly. All Armenian villages of Shatakh are devastated and turned to ruins. 11 villages of Gyumushkhane are destroyed and most of their population slain.

1896 Middle of June
Turks break their vow and near St. Bartholemew Church, attack Armenians in Van seeking to defend themselves, murdering 1500 people. The survivors flee to Persia.

1896 August 26
A group of Armenian militants of the Dashnak Party occupies the Ottoman Bank in Constantinople in order to gain the attention of foreign powers to the oppression of the Armenians. Achieving their purpose, they leave the bank in the evening and are picked up by boat and taken to France. Much attention is aroused in the Western capitals. However, this action results in a massacre in Constantinople, on August 27, killing approximately 7,000 Armenian victims.

1896 August 28
Representatives of the Great Powers send a telegram of protest to the Ottoman authorities.

1896 September 2
Armenian population of Agn is destroyed. Half the houses in the city are burned. Joint verbal note of protest issued by the Great Powers, accusing the Sublime Porte directly.

1896 September 3
In the city of Mush and its villages, 250 Armenians are killed by the Turks.

1896 November 10
In Agn’s Binkaya village, 250 Armenians are killed. Of the 250 houses there, only 12 houses remain standing.

300,000 Armenians become the victims of the carnages inflicted by the Turks. In addition, almost as many flee the country.

1900 August
Mothers and children are cut down by sword in Sassun’s Spaghanak villages by sudden attacks late at night.

1904 May
7500 Armenians are slain in Sassun by the Turks.

1908 April 14
Violent outbreaks in Adana (in Cilicia) and in near-by towns, in an attempted counter-revolution by Turks supporting the Sultan. They are soon squelched.

1908 July
Military coup in Salonica by the Young Turk movement (the Union and Progress Party). There begins a brief period of collaboration among Turks, Armenians and other minorities. The subsequent massacres in Adana do not shake this new-found cooperation.

1908 July 24
The Ottoman Constitution is proclaimed.

1909 April 15-25
30,000 Armenians are slaughtered in Adana, Tarsus and other towns of Cilicia. The Turkish army bears direct responsibility, but the Armenian community is willing to consider it as an isolated incident, and to continue to trust the Young Turks until further events prove otherwise.

1913 January 29
In Turkey, the triumvirate of Enver, Talaat and Jemal Pasha heads the government.

1914 February 8
Under the combined influence of Russia and Great Britain, the Turkish authorities sign the Armenian Reform Project and agree to take certain measures in favor of the Armenian population.The Dutch, Westemeck, and the Norwegian, Hoft, are appointed as General Inspectors of the Armenian provinces, but they are rendered ineffective. The promised measures are not implemented.

1914- beginning of 1915
The Armenian Patriarchate in Constantinople estimates the Armenian population in Turkey at 2,100,000. World War I begins July 1914. Loyally, the Armenians participate in the war effort. Mobilization of the entire population, including Armenians, is decreed and the Armenians of Turkey take part in the war on the Caucasian and Western fronts. Immediately preceding the war, the Armenian population is neutral because a number of Armenians in Russia is mobilized on the Russian side, and a natural desire to avoid a fratricidal war. Some Armenian presence in the Russian Army will become an argument used by the Turkish authorities in their attempt to justify the measures they took later to destroy the Armenian people.

1915 January
Enver is disastrously defeated in Sarikamish at the hands of Russian troops, marking a failure of his Pan-Turanian plans. The Turkish authorities decree the demobilization and disarmament of the Armenians. The Armenians are grouped into small work battalions used for garbage details and similar tasks. The Armenian soldiers in the Turkish army, under the pretext of work details, are marched and killed in cold blood or used for target practice.

1915 January 13
A.F. Kerensky, a member of the National Council of Russia and later briefly to be the leader of Russia, in a report, describes the astounding plight of Armenian refugees. He declares that when the Turkish attacks on Russian territory began, rivers of Armenian refugees stretched to the North… "That was not an escape, it was the great demise of a whole nation".

1915 February 13
Two Armenian deputies of the Ottoman Assembly submit a note concerning the massacres and executions of several such battalions.

1915 February 26
War Minister Enver convenes 75 top ranking Ittihadists. This secret meeting finalizes the details of the plan to carry out a genocide of the Armenians. Evidence indicates that the decision to carry out the Genocide was made some years earlier.

1915 April 8
The process of removing the Armenian population of Zeitun commences. Taking advantage of the defense staged by a group of young Armenians, the Turkish army invades Zeitun, with the assistance of local Turks, to re-establish control. The mass deportation and massacres of Armenian inhabitants of the entire region is immediately organized. This mountainous region had always preserved a quasi-autonomy.

1915 April 15
Talaat, Enver and Nazem send a secret order to the local governments for the removal and extermination of Armenians in Turkey.

1915 April 15-18
While the Armenian population of Van is fleeing to Russia because of the evacuation of the Russian army, the Turkish forces attack villages of the vilayet. They destroy 80 villages and slay 24,000 Armenians in the vilayet and city of Van. The Turks accuse the Armenians of collaboration with the Russian troops.

1915 April 20
At the news of the massacres, the mostly Armenian population of Van takes to the barricades. The Turkish authorities will also use this incident on the Caucasian front and the resistance of the Armenians as a pretext to justify the measures of deportation (and massacre) they are about to inflict.

1915 April 20- May 19
The remaining Armenians of Van try to defend themselves from the overwhelming Turkish forces.

1915 April 24
800 Armenian leaders, writers and intellectuals are arrested in Constantinople and murdered. The barbaric Armenian genocide begins. This is a most important date for all Armenians today. It represents the date for commemorating the Armenian Genocide each year throughout the world.

1915 April 27-30
The forced removal and deportation of Dyurt Yol’s Armenian population begins.

1915 May 15
Turkish forces begin the process of removal and deportation of the Armenian population from villages in the vilayet of Erzerum.

1915 May 16
Law of May 16, 1915 is enacted with "instructions pertaining to property and real estate abandoned by the deported Armenians, consequences of the war and unusual political circumstances". This law provides for the installation of Turkish refugees in the homes and on the lands belonging to the Armenians.

1915 May 24
The governments of England, France and Russia jointly warn the Turkish government publicly that "They will hold personally responsible... all members of the Ottoman government and those of their agents who are implicated in such massacres". This is the first time in the international arena three large countries publicly characterize the Turkish actions against Armenians as crimes against "humanity and civilization" for which "personal responsibility is laid on every member of the Turkish government who participated in the carnages". The communique of the Allied Powers of the Entente, published by the Havas news agency, accuses the Ottoman Turkish government directly for the massacres against the Armenian population.

1915 May 27
The law of May 27, 1915 is enacted concerning the "displacement of suspected persons." This law empowers army officers to relocate populations upon the simple suspicion of treason or for military reasons.

1915 June 1
12,000 Armenian soldiers in the Turkish army are massacred in Balu, vilayet of Diarbekir.

1915 June 10
A supplementary law is enacted regarding reporting property of deportees. See entry under September 26 as to supplementary law adopted September 26, 1915.

1915 June 12 – July 3
Turkish armies slay or remove Armenians of Shapin Garahisar, who tried to defend themselves.

1915 June 15
21 leaders of the Hnchukyan Party are hanged publicly in Constantinople.

1915 June 24
Massacres and deportations of the inhabitants of Shabin Karahissar begin.

1915 June 25
The removal and deportation of the Armenians of the city of Sivas begin.

1915 June 26
The removal of the Armenian population of Kharput and Trebizond vilayets are commenced by the Turkish army. Photocopy of the original deportation order (written in old Turkish with Arabic characters) is to be found in the Archives of the United States State Department in Washington, DC.

1915 June 27
Mass removals and deportations of Armenians begin in Samsun.

1915 July 1
Assyrians and Armenians are deported from Medzpin (Nisibe), Tel-Ermen (Hill of the Armenians), Bitlis, vilayet of Bitlis, Mardin and surrounding regions.

1915 July 3
The massacre begins of the Armenian population of Mush, Sassun and Bitlis vilayets begins.

1915 July 10
The Armenian population of Malatia is deported.

1915 July 13
Self-defense of Musa mountain begins. The heroic band of Armenians is later vividly depicted in the best-selling novel "Forty Days of Musa Dagh" by Franz Werfel.

1915 July 27
The Armenian population of Cilicia and Antioch is deported.

1915 July 28
The removal of the Armenian population of the Cilician cities, Aintab and Qilise, is carried out. In Great Britain's House of Lords, in answer to Viscount James Bryce’s question concerning the slaughter of Christians in Armenia, the president of the Military Council, Lord Grew declares that the information received by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shows that the Turkish crimes are increasing both in numbers and in violence. Lord Grew declares that "all those mass carnages and violent removals are engaged under the pretext of forced transmigration".

1915 July 29
Deportations begin from Aintab and Kilisse, in Cilicia.

1915 July 30
Deportations begin from Suedia, in Cilicia.

1915 August 16
Deportations begin from Marash in Cilicia and Konia in western Asia Minor.

1915 August 10- 19
Removal and deportations begin of Armenians from Smyrna (Nikodemia), Brusa, Bartizak, Adabazar and surrounding areas.

1915 August 19
Removal and deportation begin of Armenian population of Urfa in Yedesia.

1915 September 15
Turkey’s Minister of Interior, Talaat Pasha, cables to the Aleppo Prefecture the confirmation of the previously transmitted order for removal of Armenians and their final elimination. The original of this cable is reproduced in the book of A. Andonian "The Memoirs of Naim Bey (The Genocide of the Armenians by the Turks). With a New Preface by the Armenian Historical Association", Documentary Series, Vol. I, Great Britain, Reprint 1964, 83 pp. Exhibit No. 3 at the trial of Soghomon Tehlirian, authenticated by the German Court. (At a trial before a Berlin court in 1921, following the assassination of Talaat by Tehlirian, Tehlirian was acquitted by the Court because of the circumstances.)

1915 September 15
Rashid, Governor of Diarbekir, sends cable to Talaat, the Minister of the Interior, announcing that the number of Armenians "expelled" from Diarbekir has reached 120,000.

1915 September 26
"Provisional law concerning the property, debts and receivables of persons relocated elsewhere" is adopted. This law provides for the liquidation of debts and receivables of displaced persons (Armenians). A special commission is "charged" with holding the proceeds of sales in escrow. The German Foreign Office summarized this law as compressed to provide "1. All goods of the Armenians are confiscated. 2. The governments will cash in the credits of the deportees and will repay (will not repay) their debts".

1915 September 30 and October 7
In Bern, Switzerland, at its Central Hall, public meetings are held deploring the ongoing Armenian tragedy.

1915 October
110 famous German and Italian civilians in Switzerland, including scientists, journalists and public figures publish "The Call" both in French and German, in defense of the Armenian people.

As in Switzerland, in many other places all over the world, there were many, many public meetings of protest and countless public statements by various heads of state and other officials condemning the Turkish massacres and deportations of the Armenians, threatening the Turks responsible with appropriate punishment and promising justice and territorial and/or monetary restitution for the Armenians. The statements and meetings referred to in this chronology are but a tiny sample.

1915 October 6
In Great Britain’s House of Lords, Lord James Bryce denounces the Turkish murderous campaign against the Armenians. He declares the time has passed when any harm could be caused by public statements and the more complete the statements, the more good it may bring, because it remains the only chance of preventing these carnages from continuing, if they are not over yet. It is a pity, he says, that his information from several sources indicates that the number of victims is very large. It is considered to be 800,000 as of then. He states that there is no commandment in Islam that can justify such slaughters. He urges every effort be made to send help for the poor, wretched survivors, hundreds of which are dying of starvation and disease. "That is all that we can do now in England and let us do it and do it swiftly".

1915 October 12
In Great Britain’s House of Commons, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edward Grey declares "All the information concerning the carnages of Armenians in Turkey became public. Only two feelings can describe it – horror and disturbance."

1915 November 16
As the government spokesman for questions from members of the House of Commons, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lord R. Cecil declares that Turkey intended not to punish the Armenian race, but to destroy it. That was the only goal.

1915 November 18
In Paris at the "American Club", a public meeting urges help to alleviate the Armenian suffering.

1915 December 12
Talaat, Minister of the Interior, sends a telegram to the Prefecture of Aleppo. He states that in view of the rather compassionate attitude of certain valis with respect to orphans, the order is given that the orphans be sent away with the caravans, with the exception of the very young ones unable to remember the atrocities. The original cable is reproduced in said Andonian's book "The Memoirs of Naim Bey (The Genocide of the Armenians by the Turks)".

1916 January 11
In Germany’s Reichstag, deputy Karl Libknecht, an international socialist figure, directs a question to the Vice Chancellor, as to whether he is aware that in Turkey, their ally, thousands of Armenian citizens have been removed from their homes and exterminated. He demands that the German government forbid the Turks from further terrifying actions against the remaining Armenian population.

1916 February 9
The United States Senate votes (with the concurrence of the House of Representatives) to ask the President of the United States of America to set a special day when citizens of this country can help Armenians with financial support, considering that many of them, being in the country that was at war, were forced to leave their houses and belongings without any opportunity to care even for their primal needs, are afflicted with hunger, disease and untold sufferings. President Wilson designates August 21 and August 22 for making contributions for the suffering Armenians.

1916 February 9
In the Russian Duma, Minister of Foreign Affairs S.D. Sazonov declares "I have mentioned before about the awful sufferings of that wretched race. Under the tacit assent of its ally, Germany, the Turks hoped to bring alive their desire to exterminate the entire Armenian race..."

1916 March 7
Talaat, Minister of the Interior, sends a cable to the Aleppo Prefecture, ordering the extermination of children at military installations.

1916 April 9
"Homage to Armenia" gathering takes place in Paris’ Sorbonne University, attracting thousands of people. Speaking at that gathering, France’s Minister of Education declares that "For more than a year carnages paint Armenia red in blood and have surpassed other crimes in scale and in violence. Germany can be proud of its horrid deeds". At the same program, the opening words of the president of the National Council of France, Paul Deshnanel, firmly condemns the slaughter of Armenians at the hands of the Turkish executioners.

1916 July 29
"France-Armenia" company is formed in Paris, members of which are ministers of the French government, senators, deputies, Georges Clemenceau, writer Anatole France and other dignitaries.

1916 August 19
Decree abolishes the national Armenian constitution of 1863, in violation of Article 61 of the Treaty of Berlin concerning religious freedom.

1916 November 16
In Berlin’s Missionary Union, Doctor Karl Accenfeld sends a statement to the German Chancellor Bettman-Holveg in which he asserts "In neutral countries large accusations are spreading against Germany about not only calmly watching, but also helping to realize the extinction of a whole Christian race". Note: In the bibliography in this web-site is listed a volume by Dadrian dealing with the German involvement.

1917 January 1
By a special decree/law the government of Turkey condemns the 1978 Treaty of Berlin and especially Article 61.

1917 March 29
In Stockholm, a large meeting takes place dedicated to repudiation of the mass murder of Armenians. The members of the meeting deplore the insensitivity of Sweden towards Armenians.

1917 November 6
In Great Britain’s House of Commons, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arthur Balfour declares "Do we need to ignore that Armenia should be given back, as respected gentlemen wish to give it back with their formula, under the reign of Turkey. I don’t want to ruin the Turkish community – consisting of Turks, in Turkish fitting style, commanding the Turks. No, our constant goal is the emancipation of non-Turks from Turkish governance. What is imperialistic in wishing to see Poland independent, Armenia liberated from Turks, Alsace Lorraine rejoined to France, to see Italy having its own population, language, area and civilization".

1917 December 4
Speaking in the Congress of the United States, President Wilson states "We hope to provide the right and opportunity for people living in the Turkish Empire to make their lives safe and their fate secure from aggression and injustice, orders of foreign courts and parties.

1918 January 6
In the name of the "Germano - Armenian community", Paul Rorbach, Edward Kir and Martin Rade urge the government of Germany to promote autonomy for Armenia.

1918 January 8
President Wilson’s Declaration of Fourteen Points is published. The 12th Point extends promise to the Armenians of security of life and an unmolested opportunity for autonomous development.

1918 March
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk is signed between Russia and Turkey after Russia's withdrawal brought about by the Russian Revolution. Turkish invasion of Russian Armenia causes more killings of Armenians including those fleeing from Turkish Armenia. Fighting continues on the Caucasian front involving Armenian units.

1918May 28
The Armenian National Council, of necessity to fill a vacuum, announces itself the supreme and only administrative body for the comparatively small remaining territory in what was Russian Armenia. Such words as "independence" or "republic" are intentionally avoided pending the outcome of a nearby battle with the invading Turkish forces (which the Armenians do win).

1918 June 4
In Batum, the Treaty of Peace and Friendship is signed between Ottoman Turkey and the Republic of Armenia, proclaiming, hollowly, peace and eternal friendship. It provided, among other terms, detailed provisions dealing with conduct at or near their common boundary.

1918 mid-October
United States Congressman Edward Little presents a resolution to the Congress advocating that the "Armenian people have the right to be free and independent, have an outlet to the sea and be the masters of the Christian culture for which their sons had been sacrificed".

1918 October 30
The armistice of Moudros ends the war between the Allies and Turkey. Global estimates of the campaign of extermination: close to 1,500,000 Armenians dead.

1918 November
Defeated Turkey recognizes the small Armenian Republic whose territory consists only of a small fraction of former Armenian lands. Turkey also cedes to it the vilayets of Kars and Ardahan the following year. This transfer proves to be only temporary.

1918 November 13
In Great Britain’s House of Lords, James Bryce, speaking about Armenia and Cilicia, severely criticizes the Turkish government. He states in part: "As Your Highness and Lords already know, the present Turkish government includes people that were involved in the astonishing carnages (that happened in 1915). Every respected Lord that wants to refresh his memory can read the Blue Book published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1916, in which you’ll find the description of the awful massacres that are written in history everywhere, in spite of all the attempts not to allow or justify them. Not only is Talaat Pasha in the group of criminals that created the Union and Progress Committee, but also others who still are active in the present Turkish government must take the responsibility for those carnages".

1918 December 10
United States Senator Henry Cabot Lodge presented a proposal for the Senate to express the view that Armenia, including the six vilayets in Turkey and Cilicia should be independent and the peace conference should help Armenia to create an independent republic. While Lodge was very sympathetic to the Armenian cause, he later opposed the United States accepting a mandate of Armenia to avoid possible military involvement.

1919 January 8
By the order of Sultan Mahmed VI it was ordered that the First, Second and Third Military Tribunals prosecute criminally the leaders of the "Young Turks" and other implicated members of the government.

1919 April 8
A Military Tribunal finds a number of Turkish leaders guilty of carnages in the Yozkhat area. The Court finds that Kemal Bey ordered the Moslems of the area to eliminate all the Armenian population, and sentences him to death.

1919 April 27
In Constantinople, the trial begins of members of the Union and Progress Party, and other leaders of the Turkish government. The trial continues until June 26, 1919.

1919 May 22
The special Military Court tries the organizers of deportations and slaughter in Trebizond and punishes eight as criminals.

1919 May 28
By secret order of the British Military Government, 77 Turkish criminals are transferred from a prison at Constantinople to Malta and their convictions are expunged.

1919 June 25
In the name of the the Supreme Allied Council, Georges Clemenceau declares at the Peace Conference that Turkey officially has accepted guilt for the Armenian massacres.

1919 July 5
Following the trial of the Unionists (these were the members of the Union and Progress Committee, in power since 1909), Talaat Pasha, Enver Pasha, Djemal Pasha and Dr. Nazim "are adjudged to be the principal criminals and their guilt has been decided by unanimous vote". All four are sentenced to death in absentia. It is to be noted that this trial took place during the period Constantinople was occupied by the Allied armies.

1919 October 17
The Supreme Council of the Allies, at the San Remo Conference, proposes that the United States accept a mandate over Armenia.

1920 January 13 and for months following
Various other trials take place in Constantinople and a number of Turkish officials and Young Turks are convicted and sentenced to death for their involvement in the crimes against the Armenian people.

1920 February
French forces in post-war occupation of Cilicia unexpectedly withdraw. Turks take advantage of the opportunity and kill 30,000 Armenians.

1920 May 24
The President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, asks the Congress to give him the right to accept a mandate over Armenia and send troops there. Ultimately, the United States decides not to accept a mandate because of the inherent risks, even though still widely sympathetic to the Armenian cause.

1920 August 10
The Treaty of Sevres, signed by Turkey, Britain, France, Italy, Japan, Armenia, Belgium, Greece, Lebanon, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbian-Croatian-Slovenic Republic and Czechoslovakia, recognizes the Armenian Republic and ordains that the borders between Turkey and Armenia in the vilayets of Erzerum, Trebizond, Van and Bitlis be determined by President Wilson. According to the peace agreement, Turkey accepts its responsibility for the crimes against the Armenians during the war and undertakes the obligation to compensate for the losses sustained by the Armenians. It also agrees to hand over to the Allies the persons responsible for the massacres. President Wilson appoints a commision which sets the boundaries of a much expanded Armenia, including significant seacoast, but all to naught. The Treaty of Sevres is never carried out. It was repudiated by Turkey and eventually replaced by the Treaty of Lausanne, which had no provisions dealing with Armenia.

1921 May 16
The independent Armenian Republic, in existence since May 28, 1918, is tranformed into the Soviet Socialist Republic of Armenia.

1922 September
Kemal Ataturk's forces seize and set fire to the city of Smyrna and engage in a rampage, killing Greeks and Armenians. 150,000 perish.

1923 April 25
Unrepentant Turkey enacts the law of "abandoned property" which provides for the confiscation of all property abandoned by Armenians absent from the country, regardless of the date, reason or conditions of their departure.

1923 July 24
The Treaty of Lausanne is signed by the new Republic of Turkey and the Great Powers. The Treaty recognizes full Turkish sovereignty over all its territory, and contains no provisions about Armenia. Winston Churchill has written: "In the Treaty of Lausanne, which re-establishes peace between Turkey and the Allies, history will search in vain for the word Armenia".

1923 September
Turkey adopts a law which prohibits the return of Armenians who left Cilicia or any of the eastern vilayets whether or not they had left voluntarily.

Historical Background

A short history of the Armenian Genocide of 1915

The Armenian genocide was meticulously planned by the Ottoman Turkish government—known as the Young Turks—and executed under its orders from 1915 to 1917. The aim was to clear the lands of historic Armenia from its native population in order to create a homogenous pan-turanian (pan-turkic) state extending into central Asia.

The mass deportation decree applied to Turkey’s entire Armenian population of more than 2 million people. The resulting massacres and atrocities of unprecedented cruelty claimed one and a half million lives. The survivors found refuge in countries willing to provide asylum. The genocide then led to the illegal seizure of the victims’ personal property.

An entire national group was decimated, their homeland misappropriated: more than three thousand years of uninterrupted Armenian presence in their historic homeland was brought to an abrupt end.

Judging from the news coverage of the day, the world at large had been kept informed on a daily basis of the hideous details of this crime against humanity. Eminent statesmen on both sides of the Atlantic made solemn commitments to obtain—as soon as the war would be over—justice and compensation for the Armenians. It was inconceivable that a crime of such magnitude should remain unpunished. Yet that is precisely what happened.

The victorious allies did indeed sign the 1920 Treaty of Sevres which recognized the emergence of an independent Armenian Republic on most of the Armenian historic lands affected by the 1915 genocide. Later on, in 1921 and once again in 1922, the General Assembly of the League of Nations passed resolutions calling for the creation of an “Armenian homeland” on these same territories. Both commitments were however betrayed in 1923 when these same allies signed—at the exclusion of the Armenians—the Treaty of Lausanne with the new Turkish regime. No reference was made to Armenia nor was the act of genocide ever remembered. It was as if a mere change of political colour was reason enough for the Allies to forget that a crime against humanity had just been committed … they seemed to be prepared to let the Armenian Cause to be buried under.

However, just causes cannot be disposed of that easily; if brute force can annihilate millions of lives or usurp their ancestral lands, it cannot stifle the innate quest for justice. The Cause itself will always rise from the ashes of the victims.

Following the genocide and the seizure of their lands, the Armenian survivors refused to accept the injustice imposed upon them as being the final solution. Being powerless, their voice remained unheard. However, they passed the torch to their off-springs who now continue to press for their legitimate claims on the basis of the international Charters and Conventions enacted since the end of the World War II.

In fact, the UN Convention of Genocide condemns this barbarous act, and qualifies it as being a crime against humanity, not subject to statutory limitations, especially in cases where the impact of the crime is still in effect.

Despite several appeals made in the late twenties by the Secretary General of the League of Nations, the authorities of modern Turkey have categorically refused to recognize the right of the Armenian survivors to return to their homes and properties. The current Turkish regime attempts to circumvent the issue altogether by pretending that the 1915 genocide never took place. Both actions make succeeding Turkish governments accomplices-after-the-fact of the 1915 genocide.

The present day Armenian Diaspora is the product, the living proof, and the undeniable extension of the 1915 genocide compounded by the racist attitude of Kemalist Turkey. The Turkish State cannot shirk its responsibility in this crime-laden legacy by hoping for the sands of time to cover their predecessors’ bloody footsteps.

The persistent Turkish policy of falsifying History does nothing but reinforce Armenian determination. The unpunished genocide perpetrated by Ottoman Turkey must be condemned. The right to live and prosper in peace in one’s ancestral homeland, as well as the inalienable right to self determination recognized to all people by the UN Charter, apply equally to the Armenians.

The just resolution of the Armenian Cause, as that of all oppressed people, has a universal impact. Coexistence among nations and world peace can never be achieved as long as just and legitimate causes remain unresolved. To that end, the involvement and vigilance of all is called for, because these struggles concern us all.

It is in this spirit of humanity and equal justice that the Armenian National Committee of Canada calls on its friends in the print and broadcast media to respect their pledge to uphold the truth, and asks them to finally, unambiguously qualify that most heinous of crimes committed against the Armenians as “genocide.”

Countries and organizatios that have officially recognized the genocide

Officially recognized countries and organizations

Countries and organizatios that have officially recognized the genocide

Resolutions, Laws, and Declarations
- Canada, Government, Declaration, April 2006
- Lithuania, Parliament, Resolution, December 2005
- Germany, Bundestag Parliament, Resolution, June 2005
- Polish, Parliament, Resolution, April 2005
- Netherlands, House of Representatives, Resolution, December 2004
- Slovakia, National Assembly, Resolution, November 2004
- Canada, House of Commons, Resolution, April 2004
- European Parliament, Resolution, April 2004
- Argentina, Senate, Declaration, March 2004
- Uruguay, Law, March 2004
- Switzerland National Council, Resolution, December 2003
- Argentina, Senate, Resolution, August 2003
- Canada, Senate, Resolution, June 2002
- Common Declaration of His Holiness John Paul II and His Holiness Karekin II at Holy Etchmiadzin, Republic of Armenia, September 2001
- Prayer of John Paul II, Memorial of Tzitzernagaberd (Armenia) - September 2001
- Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Declaration, April 24, 2001
- France, Law, January 2001
- Italy, Chamber of Deputies, Resolution, November 2000
- European Parliament, Resolution, November 2000
- Lebanon, Parliament, Resolution, May 2000
- Sweden, Parliament, Report, March 2000
- Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Declaration, April 24, 1998
- Belgium, Senate, Resolution, March 1998
- Lebanon, Chamber of Deputies, Resolution, April 1997
- U.S., House of Representatives, Resolution 3540, June 1996
- Greece (Hellenic Republic), Parliament, Resolution, April 1996
- Russia, Duma, Resolution, April 1995
- Argentina, Senate, Resolution, May 1993
- European Parliament, Resolution, June 1987
- U.S., House of Representatives, Joint Resolution 247, September 1984
- Cyprus, House of Representatives, Resolution, April 1982
- U.S., House of Representatives, Joint Resolution 148, April 1975
- Uruguay, Senate and House of Representatives, Resolution, April 1965
- U.S., Senate, Resolution 359, May 1920
- U.S., Congress, An Act to Incorporate Near East Relief, August 1919
- U.S., Senate, Concurrent Resolution 12, February 1916
- France, Great Britain, and Russia, Joint Declaration, May 1915

International Organizations
- International Center for Transitional Justice Report Prepared for TARC, February 2003
- European Alliance of YMCAs, July 2002
- Le Ligue des Droits de l'Homme, May 1998
- The Association of Genocide Scholars, June 1997
- Parlamenta Kurdistane Li Derveyi Welat, April 1996
- Union of American Hebrew Congregations, November 1989
- Permanent Peoples' Tribunal, Verdict of the Tribunal, April 1984
- World Council of Churches, August 1983
Heads of State
- Jean Chrétien, Prime Minister of Canada, April 24, 2002
- Konstantinos Stefanopoulos, President of Greece, July 1996
- Jean Chrétien, Prime Minister of Canada, April 24, 1996
- François Mitterrand, President of France, January 1984
- Al-Husayn Ibn ‘Ali, Sharif of Mecca, 1917

United Nations Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities

July 2, 1985
"Toynbee stated that the distinguishing characteristics of the twentieth century in evolving the development of genocide 'are that it is committed in cold blood by the deliberate fiat of holders of despotic political power, and that the perpetrators of genocide employ all the resources of present-day technology and organization to make their planned massacres systematic and complete'."

United Nations Economic and Social CouncilCommission on Human RightsSub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of MinoritiesThirty-eighth sessionItem 4 of the provisional agendaE/CN.4/Sub.2/1985/6 — 2 July 1985REVIEW OF FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS IN FIELDS WITH WHICH THE SUB-COMMISSION HAS BEEN CONCERNEDRevised and updated report on the question of the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide Prepared by Mr. B. Whitaker[Paragraph 24]

24.Toynbee stated that the distinguishing characteristics of the twentieth century in evolving the development of genocide "are that it is committed in cold blood by the deliberate fiat of holders of despotic political power, and that the perpetrators of genocide employ all the resources of present-day technology and organization to make their planned massacres systematic and complete"11. The Nazi aberration has unfortunately not been the only case of genocide in the twentieth century. Among other examples which can be cited as qualifying are the German massacre of Hereros in 1904,12 the Ottoman massacre of Armenians in 1915-1916,13 the Ukrainian pogrom of Jews in 1919,14 the Tutsi massacre of Hutu in Burundi in 1965 and 1972,15 the Paraguayan massacre of Ache Indians prior to 1974,16 the Khmer Rouge massacre in Kampuchea between 1975 and 1978,17 and the contemporary Iranian killings of Baha'is.18 Apartheid is considered separately in paragraphs 43-46 below. A number of other cases may be suggested. It could seem pedantic to argue that some terrible mass-killings are legalistically not genocide, but on the other hand it could be counter-productive to devalue genocide through over-diluting its definition.


[Paragraph 73]

73."In place of the law of the jungle of “vae victis” (“woe to the conquered”) Hugo Grotius laid the foundation for international law during the terrible Thirty Years War in the Seventeenth Century with his work De Jure Belli ac Pacis (Concerning the Laws of War and Peace). Following the founding of the Red Cross two centuries later, a series of Geneva and Hague Conventions were ratified seeking to establish international norms of conduct even in warfare. There were however no agreed sanctions or procedure to deal with war criminals. After the First World War, the defeated Germans themselves held some war crime trials in Leipzig in 1922, but these were unsuccessfully organized and 888 people out of the 901 charged in them were acquitted. The Turks also in 1919-20 held trials: not of ‘war criminals’ but of some of the Ottomans guilty of the Armenian genocide. When in the Second World War awareness of the extraordinary scale of the Nazi crimes became widespread, a European advisory Commission on War Crimes was set up to consider, as it was told by the French “an enemy who has sought to annihilate whole nations, who has elevated murder to a political system, so that we no longer have the duty of punishing merely those who commit but also those who plan the crime”.56 As early as January 1942 the representatives of nine occupied countries conferred in London and issued the St. James’s Declaration that “international solidarity is necessary to avoid the repression of these acts of violence simply by acts of vengeance on the part of the general public and in order to satisfy the sense of justice of the civilized world”.57 The Declaration announced that punishment for war crimes, whoever committed them, was now a principal war aim of the governments at the conference. It also made clear the intention to bring to justice not only those who themselves physically perpetrated such crimes, but those leaders who ordered them. The St. James’s Declaration was approved by Britain, the United States and the USSR, and significantly, expressed disgust not only at atrocity but at the idea of more vengeance: it implied a desire for some form of judicial proceeding to determine guilt and satisfy a sense of justice. The St. James’s conference was followed by one practical step: the United Nations War Crimes Commission was set up in London in 1943 to collect and collate information on war crimes and criminals.”58

At the Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers in November 1943, Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union had issued a joint declaration condemning Nazi atrocities in occupied Europe. This stated that ‘at the time of the granting of any armistice to any government which may be set up in Germany, those German officers and men and members of the Nazi Party who have been responsible for or who have taken part in the above atrocities, massacres and executions, will be sent back to the countries in which their abominable deeds were done in order that they may be judged and punished according to the laws of those liberated countries and of the Free Governments which will be erected therein’.”
11 Arnold Toynbee,Experiences (London, Oxford University Press, 1969).12 General von Trogha issued an extermination order; water-holes were poisoned and the African peace emissaries were shot. In all, three quarters of the Herero Africans were killed by the Germans then colonizing present-day Namibia, and the Hereros were reduced from 80,000 to some 15,000 starving refugees. See P. Fraenk,The Namibians (London, Minority Rights Group, 1985).
13 At least 1 million, and possibly well over half of the Armenian population, are reliably estimated to have been killed or death marched by independent authorities and eye-witnesses. This is corroborated by reports in United States, German and British archives and of contemporary diplomats in the Ottoman Empire, including those of its ally Germany. The German Ambassador, Wangenheim, for example, on 7 July 1915 wrote "the government is indeed pursuing its goal of exterminating the Armenian race in the Ottoman Empire" (Wilhelmstrasse archives). Though the successor Turkish Government helped to institute trials of a few of those responsible for the massacres at which they were found guilty, the present official Turkish contention is that genocide did not take place although there were many casualties and dispersals in the fighting, and that all the evidence to the contrary is forged. See, inter alia, Viscount Bryce and A. Toynbee,The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 1915-16 (London, HMSO, 1916): G. Chaliand and Y. Ternon,Genocide des Armeniens (Brussels, Complexe, 1980); H. Morgenthau,Ambassador Morgenthau's Story (New York, Doubleday, 1918); J. Lepsius,Deutschland und Armenien (Potsdam, 1921: shortly to be published in French by Fayard, Paris); R.G. Hovanissian,Armenia on the Road to Independence (Berkeley, University of California, 1967); Permanent People's Tribunal, A Crime of Silence (London, Zed Press, 1985); K. Gurun,Le Dossier Armenien (Ankara, Turkish Historical society, 1983); B. Simsir and others,Armenians in the Ottoman Empire (Istanbul, Bogazici University Press, 1984); T. Ataov,A Brief Glance at the "Armenian Question" (Ankara, University Press, 1984); V. Goekjian, The Turks before the Court of History (New Jersey, Rosekeer Press, 1984); Commission of the Churches on International Affairs,Armenia, the Continuing Tragedy (Geneva, World Council of Churches, 1984); Foreign Policy Institute,The Armenian Issue (Ankara, F.P.I., 1982).14 Between 100,000 - 250,000 Jews were killed in 2,000 pogroms by Whites, Cossacks and Ukrainian nationalists. See Z. Katz ed.,Handbook of Major Soviet Nationalities (New York, Free Press, 1975), p.362; A. Sachar,A History of the Jews (New York, Knopf, 1967).
15 The Tutsi minority government first liquidated the Hutu leadership in 1965, and then slaughtered between 100,000 and 300,000 Hutu in 1972. See Rene Lemarchand,Selective Genocide in Burundi (London, Minority Rights Group, 1974) and Leo Kuper,The Pity of it All (London, Duckworth, 1977).16 In 1974 the International League for the Rights of Man together with the Inter-American Association for Democracy and Freedom, charging the Government of Paraguay with complicity in genocide against the Ache (Guayaki Indians), alleged that the latter had been enslaved, tortured and massacred; that food and medicine had been denied them; and their children removed and sold. See Norman Lewis and others in Richard Arens ed.,Genocide in Paraguay (Philadelphia, Temple University Press, 1976); and R. Arens "The Ache of Paraguay" in J. Porter,Genocide and Human Rights (op.cit.).17 It is estimated that at least 2 million people were killed by Pol Pot's Kher Rouge government of Democratic Kampuchea, out of a total population of 7 million. Even under the most restricted definition, this constituted genocide, since the victims included target groups such as the Chams (an Islamic minority) and the Buddhist monks. See Izvestia, 2 November 1978; F. Ponchaud,Cambodia Year Zero (London, Penguin Books, 1978); W. Shawcross,Sideshow; Kissinger, Nixon and the Destruction of Cambodia (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1979); V. Can and others,Kampuchea Dossier: The Dark Years (Hanoi,Viet Nam Courier, 1979); D. Hawk,The Cambodia Documentation Commission (New York, Columbia University, 1983); L. Kuper,International Action against Genocide (London, Minority Rights Group, 1984).18 See evidence presented to United Nations Human Rights Commission and Sub-Commission, 1981-1984, and R. Cooper,The Baha'is of Iran (London, Minority Rights Group, 1985).
56 United Kingdom Lord Chancellor’s Office, LCO 2.2978. See A. and J. Tusa, op.cit.
57 Telford Taylor, International Conciliation, No. 450 (April 1949).
58 It was made up of representatives of 17 nations – but had no Russian member. Stalin would only join if every Soviet Republic were given separate representation. This was refused.

E/CN.4/Sub.2/1985/6/Corr.1 29 August 1985
Original: ENGLISH
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities Thirty-eighth session Item 4 of the provisional agenda
Revised and updated report on the question of the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide Prepared by Mr. B. Whitaker

31. Paragraph 73, line 10: Between “acquitted” and “when”, insert the following: “The Turks also in 1919-20 held trials: not of ‘war criminals’ but of some of the Ottomans guilty of the Armenian genocide”.

United Nations War Crimes Commission Report

May 28, 1948
"...the warning given to the Turkish Government on this occasion by the Governments of the Triple Entente dealt precisely with one of the types of acts which the modern term 'crimes against humanity' is intended to cover, namely, inhumane acts committed by a government against its own subjects."

United Nations Economic and Social Council Commission on Human RightsReport Prepared by the United Nations War Crimes CommissionIn Accordance with the Request Received from the United NationsRestricted — E/CN.4/W.20 — 28 May 1948Information Concerning Human Rights Arising from Trials of War CriminalsII. Developments during the First World War1. The Massacres of the Armenians in TurkeyIn connection with the massacres of the Armenian population which occurred at the beginning of the First World War in Turkey, the Governments of France, Great Britain and Russia made a declaration, on 28 May 1915, denouncing them as "crimes against humanity and civilization" for which all the members of the Turkish Government would be held responsible, together with its agents implicated in the massacres. The relevant part of this declaration reads as follows:"En presénce de ces nouveaux crimes de la Turquie contre l'humanité et la civilisation, les Gouvernements alliés font savoir publiquement à la Sublime Porte qu'ils tiendront personnellement responsables des dits crimes tous les membres du Gouvernement ottoman ainsi que ceux de ces agents qui se trouveraient impliqués dans de pareils massacres."As will be shown later in more detail, the warning given to the Turkish Government on this occasion by the Governments of the Triple Entente dealt precisely with one of the types of acts which the modern term "crimes against humanity" is intended to cover, namely, inhumane acts committed by a government against its own subjects....The first peace treaty with Turkey, namely, the Treaty of Sèvres, signed on 10 August 1920, contained in addition to the provisions dealing with violations of the laws and customs of war [Articles 226-228 corresponding to Articles 228-230 of the Treaty of Versailles] a further provision, Article 230, by which the Turkish Government undertook to hand over to the Allied Powers the persons
responsible for the massacres committed during the war on Turkish territory. The relevant parts of this article read as follows:"The Turkish Government undertakes to hand over to the Allied Powers the persons whose surrender may be required by the latter as being responsible for the massacres committed during the continuance of the state of war on territory which formed part of the Turkish Empire on the 1st August, 1914.""The Allied Powers reserve to themselves the right to designate the Tribunal which shall try the persons so accused, and the Turkish Government undertakes to recognize such Tribunal.""In the event of the League of Nations having created in sufficient time a Tribunal competent to deal with the said massacres, the Allied Powers reserve to themselves the right to bring the accused persons mentioned above before such Tribunal, and the Turkish Government undertakes equally to recognize such Tribunal."The provisions of Article 230 of the Peace Treaty of Sèvres were obviously intended to cover, in conformity with the Allied note of 1915 referred to in the preceding section, offenses which had been committed on Turkish territory against persons of Turkish citizenship, though of Armenian or Greek race. This article constitutes therefore a precedent for Articles 6c and 5c of the Nuremberg and Tokyo Charters, and offers an example of one of the categories of "crimes against humanity" as understood by these enactments.The Treaty of Sèvres was, however, not ratified and did not come into force. It was replaced by the Treaty of Lausanne, signed on 24 July 1923, which did not contain provisions respecting the punishment of war crimes, but was accompanied by a "Declaration of Amnesty" for all offenses committed between 1 August 1914, and 20 November 1922.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Violent nationalism blights Turkey

Turkey is fiercely patriotic and proud of it. But the country's bid to join the European Union has sparked a nationalist backlash that has turned murderous, the BBC's Sarah Rainsford reports from Istanbul.

Writer Hrant Dink was the first victim, killed last year because some in Turkey could not tolerate what he stood for. To nationalists, he was a traitor.
In a country where every citizen is defined as a Turk, Hrant Dink defined himself as ethnic Armenian. That was already subversive to some. But Mr Dink went further.
He wrote about the expulsion and killing of hundreds of thousands of Ottoman Armenians from eastern Turkey in 1915. To Armenians, and others, that was genocide - a claim Ankara vigorously denies.

Hrant's cause
Hrant Dink was convicted of insulting the Turkish nation. That is a crime here. Nationalist protesters surrounded his office shouting "Love Turkey or leave it!" and he received hundreds of death threats.
Already low-profile, after Mr Dink's murder most Armenians retreated into scared silence. But almost two years on, his widow has decided to speak out.
"Hrant was really affected by those protests," Rakel says, fighting back tears. "After that, we said only a miracle could help us live here."
But the family stayed.
"Hrant could never abandon his cause," says Rakel, explaining that he wanted to convince Turkey that diversity and dissent were a strength, not a threat.
His killers disagreed.
"I don't know if I should say this, but the origins of this murder go back to 1915," Rakel says.
"An Armenian told the truth to the face of the Turkish state and the law. That's why Hrant was murdered. It offended them, it dishonoured them."

Critical flashpoints
To Turks, honour is everything. From childhood they learn of a glorious history: how a soldier - Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - forged a new nation from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire.
To most, the allegation their ancestors were guilty of genocide is an unacceptable slur.
Turkey's justice minister underlined that view himself this week, defending his decision to allow the trial of another writer to proceed for referring to "genocide".
"The man describes Turkey as a murderer state," Mehmet Ali Sahin is quoted as saying.
It seems freedom of expression is no defence.
"That is why they were against Hrant," Rakel says. "They could not digest what he was writing about, even though he used very soft language."
But Turkey's drive to enter the EU has made nationalists feel threatened, and that has made them aggressive.
The Armenian issue, and the treatment of millions of Kurds in Turkey, have become critical flashpoints.

'Once-and-for-all fight'
Almost 50 writers have been brought to trial since May for insulting the nation.
"Democracy means questioning, it means self-critique - and this is the thing they [nationalists] would not like," explains Umut Ozkirimli, from Istanbul's Bilgi University.
"For them, when you start questioning things you become a traitor."
That is why Hrant Dink was murdered.
It is also why at least 20 writers in Istanbul are now living with bodyguards.
Oral Calislar is one of them. A close friend of Hrant Dink, he is also a well-known critic of the Turkish military - particularly its policy towards ethnic Kurds.
He has had dozens of death threats. Now, wherever he goes his armed guard goes with him.
"We want to change this country into a democratic country and the EU accession process is important for that," the journalist says.
"I think because of that, some powers in the state want to shut our mouths."
Mr Calislar is sure Mr Dink's murder is part of a far broader resistance to reform. He sees that deep within institutions of the Turkish state; groups clinging to power - and to their own vision of the republic.
"This is a once-and-for-all fight. It's been going on in the closet for 80 years, between those who want change and those who don't," Mr Ozkirimli agrees.
"If the whole project of EU membership goes away, [then] the democratic forces will lose, and forever," he adds.

'Ergenekon' trial
In that battle for democracy, Hrant Dink was on the frontline. Now there is another sign the fight will be fierce.
Eighty ultra-nationalists are currently on trial just outside Istanbul, accused of plotting to overthrow the government and block democratic reforms.
The prosecutor claims the group - known as Ergenekon - planned a campaign of murder and violence. It was meant to create chaos - and force the military to step in and take control.
Hrant Dink believed Turkey could change. His vision was of a truly democratic republic and the EU accession process was a vital part of that.
To his widow, such change now looks a long way off.
"[Turkey] doesn't want people to express their ethnic identity, or live freely. That doesn't fit the founding ideas of this country,” Rakel says.
"Turkey needs time to adjust. The EU process may help, but my husband's death is their biggest loss."

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