Here is a 106 tweet-long megathread to mark the 106 years of the #Armenian #Genocide of 1915-1923, which was committed by the #Ottoman Empire against its #Armenian constituents living all across #Anatolia. 1.5 million #Armenians were murdered. (Viewer Discretion is advised) #1915
1. Armenians had been living in the Ottoman Empire for 500+ years, as the Armenian Highlands is the ancient homeland and site of the ethnogensis of the Armenian people.
2.There were various periods of peace between Armenians and the Turks, all lived under one empire.However despite this there was always strict demarcations between the different ethnic groups living in the empire. Below pictures of Armenian families from 19th-early 20th centuries
3. The “Millet” system was the historical Ottoman social structure system, under which Muslims were considered the first class citizens.
4.While Muslims were considered the prime Millet, it must be considered that Kurds and Arabs were historically discriminated against, and seen as unclean/impure even when though they were Muslim.
5.Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Assyrians, and other non-Muslims occupied the other, lower ranked millets.
6. In 1830, Sultan Mahmud II implemented the Tanzimat Refoms which aimed to modernize the Empire and gave the Armenians and other millets more rights, which allowed them to prosper.
7. Eventually as the years passed, the Turks began to grow jealous of the Armenian’s economic prosperity, and viewed this as a threat to their empire’s sovereignty and control over the Armenians(and other groups)
8. In the years between 1850 and 1870 the Patriarch of Armenia submitted 537 letters to the Sublime Porte asking for help to protect the Armenians from the violent abuse and social and political injustice they were subjected to......
9. .......He requested the people be protected from "brigandage, murder, abduction and rape of women and children, confiscatory taxes, and fraud and extortion by local officials
10. In 1875, Sultan Abdulhamid II ordered a widespread anti-Armenian policy which he would continue for the next 30 years of his reign. 300,000 Armenians in Eastern Anatolia were massacred during this period
11. Under the “Hamidye” troops, which included the Turkish military as well as some Kurdish bandits/gangs in Eastern Anatolia, began attacking Armenian towns, and massacring them in an event known as the “Hamidian Massacres”.
12. Despite this, Armenians in eastern Anatolia gathered up and formed militia units to protect themselves, in what was officially called “the Fedayi”
13. Many famous Fedayi include: Zoravar Andranik Ozanian, Dro, Arabo, Aghpyuyr Serop, Kevork Chavush, Garegin Njdeh, etc who fought in several campaigns in Mush, Sasun, Zeitun, etc.
14. The “Armenian Question” had long been on the table. This question was regarding the Armenians long desire to gain their independence and form an Armenian state to self determine themselves. Many European countries discussed this throughout the 19th century with the Armenians.
15. This Armenian Question was brought up several times, including during the Congress of Berlin(1878), in which an Armenian delegation was present at. Despite their pleas, these diplomatic efforts came to no avail, as Ottoman Turkey used its influence to suppress it.
16. In 1895, after more Armenian defense campaigns by the Fedayi, the Europeans further forced Sultan Abdul Hamid to sign an agreement to respect the rights of his Armenian constituents.
17. In 1908, there was a major Genocidal massacre of the Armenian population living in the major city of Adana in south central Anatolia.
18. In 1908, Abdulhamid II was deposed and replaced by the Committee of Union and Progress Party(The CUP party, who also called themselves “The Young Turks”)
19. The CUP party initially had promised and negotiate more freedom to the Armenians and assured they would uphold the provisions mentioned in the Congress of Berlin from 1877 and other European demands for Armenian autonomy.
20. In 1913, another coup occurred, in which a subset faction of the CUP party took over, headed by the Three Pashas(Pasha is a Turkish/Ottoman title which is given to someone who is of high rank).
21.Sultan Mehmet V took the throne, but the position of Sultan was at this point a largely meaningless, puppet-role after the 1908 and 1913 coups. The real absolute power was in the hands of the Three Pashas.
http://22.It must be noted that the Ottoman leadership, in addition to ethnic Turks, was composed of Muslim Albanians, Bosnians, Crimean-Tatars, Circassians, and Georgians. These Muslim groups were considered Turks due to Turkification.
23.The Three Pashas were radical nationalists, and specifically fanatical pan-Turkish radicals.
24.They hoped to create a pan-Turkic, state, and rid the empire of all non-Turkish elements including Arabs, Kurds, Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians.
25.The Three Pashas consisted of Talat, Enver, and Djemal Pashas. The core leaders of the CUP and effectively holders of the highest power and authority in Ottoman Empire. They planned the Armenian Genocide.
26.Talat Pasha, the oldest of the 3 Pashas, was the Ottoman Grand Vizier, and also served as Minister of both Interior and Finance. He was born in in 1874 in Bulgaria to Turkish parents.
27.Enver Pasha was Ottoman Minister of War. He was also a key member of the CUP party from its early days, and studied war tactics in Germany for many years. He was born in 1881 in Constantinople to ethnic Albanian parents.
28.Cemal Pasha(Pronounced “Jemal”) was the Ottoman Minister of the Navy. He is said to be of ethnic Circassian& Georgian roots. He was born in 1872 in Greece.
29.Just like Enver Pasha, Cemal Pasha also served in the 1912-13 Balkan Wars and Libya, but during WW1 served mainly in the Middle Eastern front, fighting against the Arab Revolt.
30.The Young Turks long wanted to destroy the Armenians, seeing them as a sort of tumor that destabilized the Ottoman Yolk, claiming they were part of some kind of conspiracy with the Europeans and the Russians to end the Ottoman Empire
31.on November 14, 1914, the Ottoman Empire declared war on Britain, France, and Russia and effectively joined World War
32.Ottoman joining the war was a result of them long wanting to restore the empires’ territorial losses in the Balkan War 1912-13) and strengthen their hold onto the Middle Eastern territorial possessions.They joined the Central Powers of Austria-Hungary,Germany, and Bulgaria
http://33.In 1914-15, the Young Turks decided to seize the opportunity during World War I. Using World War I as a cover to eliminate the Armenian race permanently.
34.They decided to create “The Special Organization (تشکیلات مخصوصه, Teşkilât-ı Mahsusa)” a sub-committee which was ultimately behind the planning of the Genocide and the destruction of the Armenians.
35.The Special Organization consisted of the highest ranking CUP members, who came together to plan the deportation and genocide of the Armenians. Members in addition to the Three Pashas, included Said Halim Pasha, Halil Menteshe, Nazim Bey, Bahaeddin Shekir, among others
36.On April 24, 1915, 250 Armenian intellectuals, prominent leaders, and members of high society of the Armenian community were arrested in Constantinople. Many of these intellectuals and leaders were writers, professors,composers, scholars, scientists, doctors, engineers, etc
37.These Armenian leaders and intellectuals were all tried in Ottoman court, and with zero evidence, were accused of treason, and many were hanged publicly in Constantinople. Below is Talat Pasha’s letter from April 24, 1915 ordering the arrests(Ottoman Archives)
38.These Armenian community leaders and intellectuals were all tried in Ottoman court, and with zero evidence, were accused of treason, and many were hanged publicly in Constantinople. Others sent to death and labour camps in central Anatolia(Ankara).
39. These people were accused of leading an “Armenian Conspiracy” that attempted to dismantle the Ottoman State with no proof to back these claims whatsoever.
40.The Tehcir Law(pronounced “Teh-jir” law) signed into effect by various members of the Special Organization in May 1915. This law called for the deportation of the Armenians and confiscation of all Armenian property by the government.
41. Above is the officially signed Tehcir Law document, signed by Talat Pasha and all members of the Special Organization.
42.There are various other CUP members and pan-Turkish nationalist figures who were key to the executing of the Armenian Genocide, a few notables ones of whom I will list.
43.Bahaeddin Shekir:Ottoman Turkish official who was one of the cruelest of the CUP members. He had a very direct role in the planning of the genocide, and signed all the major documents too. He was one of Talat’s closest advisers.
44. Also here is Bahaeddin Shekir’s telegram to Military authorities which asked if the Armenians were deported properly.
44. Nazim Bey(Bey is another Turkish honorific title of high rank) was an Ottoman Turkish medical doctor by profession, was a voiced proponent of the killing and complete elimination of the Armenians. He played a central role in the Genocide and its planning.
45. Said Halim Pasha, of ethnic Albanian descent, was another one of the chief members of the CUP party and the Special Organization. Played a central role in the Ottoman Government in Constantinople and close associate of the Pashas.
46. Halil Kut Pasha: Was the cousin of Enver Pasha. He was a well known general known for his campaigns against the British and the Arabs in Iraq and the Levant. He also personally claimed to be responsible for killing 300,000 Armenian civilians.
47. Cevdet Bey: An ethnic Albanian who was brother in law of Enver. (Pronounced Jevdet Bey) was an Albanian Ottoman governor of Van Vilayet.
48. Cevdet Bey is considered responsible for the massacres of Armenians in and around Van Province. Clarence Ussher, a witness to these events, reported that 55,000 Armenians were subsequently killed.
49. Cemal Azmi (pronounced Jemal Azmi) was an Ottoman Turkish governor of Trebizond(Trabzon Province) who was known for his extreme cruelty. He drowned tens of thousands of Armenian women and children in the Black Sea, & confiscated their property.
50. Cemal Azmi even converted the local hospital into a brothel where he had sex orgies with young Armenian girls. His accounts are illustrated by various quotes by survivors and observers. He still has a gravestone in Turkey to this day. How shameful!
51. Below are more excerpts of Cemal Azmi’s crimes in Trebizond (Trabzon) and the Black Sea region, which were of an extremely sinister nature. He was known as the “Butcher of Trebizond”
52. Mehmed Reshid, Governor of Diyarbakir Province. Born of Circassian descent and like Nazim Bey, was also a medical doctor. He planned the deportations and death marches of Armenians in southeastern Anatolia. Known as the “Butcher of Diyarbakir”
53. Adbulhalik Renda: the ethnic Albanian Brother in law of Talat, who was the Ottoman Governor of Bitlis province, personally was responsible for burning thousands of Armenians alive in the provinces under in Mush and Bitlis provinces.
54. Abdulhalik Renda’s goal was to resettle Balkan and Albanian migrants to Eastern and central Anatolia, directly into the stolen homes which were formerly belonging to the Armenians.
55. Halil Menteşe Bey (pronounced “Menteshe”): a Turkish member of CUP party and trusted advisor to the Three Pashas. He also participated in the direct planning and signed the Tehcir Law document personally. He was basically Talat’s right hand man
56. Riza Nur Pasha was an Ottoman Turkish minister who was noted for his very radicalized and racist views.
57. Riza Nur Pasha was so radical that he even viewed the Balkan Muslim peoples such as Albanians with suspicion,despite the assurance that they were “Turkified” enough. He ordered for the complete destruction of the Armenian heritage sites in Ani.
58. Damat Ferid Pasha (who would later confess to his role in the Armenian Genocide during a 1919 Court Trial after the end of World War I. Though he was fully complicit in these crimes but literally got away with it.
59. Ottoman Deputy of Albanian descent who is complicit in the genocide of Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks. He also confessed to this at the court trial.
60. Dr Tevfik Rustu, another medical doctor, and brother in law of Nazim Bey, who was involved in the “cleanup work” and disposal of the dead bodies of Armenians after the Genocide. Chilling and sinister figure. Nazis definitely gained inspiration from people like this.
61. Ahmet Izzet Pasha, one of the highest ranked members of the CUP party. He escaped to Germany along with Talat Pasha in 1919 out of not wanting to face the criminal court at the Malta trials. Suspicious much?
62. First Phase in the Genocide was the elimination and killing off of all able-bodied Armenian men aged 18-60. This was the first step in the genocide.
63. Armenian men were gathered up under the false pretense of a military draft and then sent to labor camps in Anatolia where they were ultimately killed.
64. Then Armenian women, children and elderly all across Anatolia and Turkey were gathered and rounded up.
65. Then with no food, nor water, they were forced to their deaths(Marching 200-1000 miles, depending on the starting point) from their Anatolian homes to the Deir Es Zor desert of Syria. I’m very sorry I am posting these things but it must be done for the world to know.
67. On the marches in the desert, many gangs and bandits participated in the genocide and robbed Armenians while they were in the Syrian desert. I’m very sorry I am posting these things but it must be done for the world to know what happened and the truth.
68. Genocidal methods included: mutilation, stabbing, rape, beheading, burning, drowning, cruel and inhumane punishment and torture, forced starvation and dehydration, thievery, and etc.
69. Women were abducted and sold as sex slaves in markets across Anatolia and the Turkish settlements in the Middle East (Damascus, Aleppo, and Mosul)
70. Many women were forced to convert to Islam, renounce their Armenian heritage, and forced to marry Turkish men. Others enslaved as sex slaves and thus treated as the property of Turkish officials,and also were face tattooed as way to mark them in case they ever escaped.
71. Armenian children were kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam (& forcibly Turkified their ethnicity).Then they renounced their Armenian roots, and were forced to join Turkish families.
72. It is purported that more than 2 million Turkish people of today have an Armenian Grandmother in their ancestry as a result of the Genocide.
73. Many Armenian newborn Infants, mere babies, were taken from their mothers hands and were thrown to the ground to have their skulls smashed or were thrown into the air and then skewered on bayonets.
74. On the marches in the desert, many gangs and bandits participated in the Genocide and robbed the unsuspecting Armenian women, children, and elderly. Many of these were Kurdish gangs.
75. In recent decades, Kurdish authorities living in Eastern Turkey have officially apologized for their ancestor’s role in the Genocide. Kurdish-Armenian rapprochement is vital to these nation’s ties with each other and understanding the history.
76. Beheadings of Armenians: including of thousands of innocent men, women and children alike, was an extremely common, everyday occurrence.
77. Thousands of Armenian skeletons, to this day, can still be found and dug up in the Syrian desert. Further proof of the genocide. Mass graves were common too.
78. Assessment of Reparation costs owed by Turkey to the Armenian victims families as well as the total cost of the damage caused to the Armenian nation amounts to the trillions of American Dollars range.
79. Talat Pasha and the CUP party were very calculated in the way they phrased and designed the Tehcir Law, in that they allowed for it to be very full of legal loopholes and ambiguous legal interpretations. After the “deportations” Armenians also couldn’t reclaim their property
80. This ambiguity in the Tehcir Law was done in order to allow for the stealing and confiscation of Armenian property and material possessions.
81. The ambiguity in the phrasing and creating of the Tehcir law was carefully made this way to cover up their crimes and not to look suspicious in the event that the European powers/courts accuse them of any officially planned genocide.
82. Confiscation of all Armenian property including homes, lands, churches, farmlands,and schools. Not a single thing was left that was not taken or stolen by the authorities.
83. All Armenian material possessions(money, jewelry, precious metals,tools, carpets, etc). All farm animals and livestock were taken by the Turkish authorities.
84. Stolen Armenian money was funneled into many banks including Deutsche Bank and Dresden Bank. Armenians who had life insurance policies with New York Life Insurance Co. had those policies stolen by the Ottoman Government.
85. Here is a chart that shows how many Armenian schools, churches and cultural sites there were both before and after the Genocide.
86. There are thousands of eyewitnesses, first hand accounts and testimonies to the Armenian Genocide. These included many Turks, as well as European and American missionaries. In addition to this Arabs and many Bedouin Arab tribes were witnesses.
87. This is one of Talat Pasha’s official statements in German Magazine Berliner Tageblatt in May 1915. “ It is no use for you to argue, we have already disposed of three quarters of the Armenians; there are none at all left in Bitlis, Van, and Erzeroum.....
88. ......The hatred between the Turks and the Armenians is now so intense that we have got to finish with them.If we don’t, they will plan their revenge."
89. One key eyewitness to the Armenian Genocide was Faiz El Ghussein, a Muslim Arab leader of the Bedouin revolt against the Ottomans, who personally witnessed the Genocide himself and wrote a book called “Martyred Armenia”.
90. Hi Many foreign diplomats and consul generals were witnesses to the Genocide, including Henry Morgenthau(American Embassador) as well as several German and other European&American diplomats, dignitaries, and missionaries.
91. Mehmed Celal Bey, a prominent Turkish official, risked his own life by saving 1000’s of Armenians personally. He is known as the “Turkish Oscar Schindler”.
92. Mehmed Celal Bey, likened and metaphorically described the Armenian Genocide to “a River of blood”. He described it as a River of blood which would never stop flowing and as much as tried to stop it, was powerless.
93. The Turkish Courts Martial of 1919-1920 was largely ineffective since many of the perpetrators were eventually released, including after the Malta Trial.
94. The Court Martial trials were unsuccessful because Ottoman Generals and leaders were able to use their connections to Germany as well as many legal loopholes, to escape their imprisonment and death sentences.
95. Full list of the main perpetrators and planners of the Armenian Genocide, and their roles/positions, is found on the Arm. Genocide Museums official site. Also is a chronology of the events of 1915-1923. https://www.armenian-genocide.org/chronology.html
96. Operation Nemesis, the covert operation in which Armenian intelligence later tracked down and assasinated most of the main perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide was carried out during the 1920’s.
97. It was a successful operation as Talat, Enver, Cemal, Bahaedin Shekir,Sayid Halim Pasha were among those assasinated.The heroic assassins included: Soghomon Tehlirian, Arshavir Shirakian, Aram Yerganian, and others. These are individuals who lost their entire families in 1915
98. Approximately 75 percent of the 2,000,000 Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed. Only about 500,000 survived and their descendants now live in various different countries and communities around the world.
99. Armenian communities in Lebanon, France, Syria, Russia,Iran, Greece, Brazil, Argentina, and Armenia itself all have descendants of the Genocide, its survivors great grandchildren, etc. there are currently 11 million Armenians in the world by many estimates.
100. The efforts at saving the Armenian race from extinction would not have been possible without the help of various humanitarian organizations around the world, including the Near East Relief Society which provided donations for the orphans and survivors of the Genocide.
101. Without the Near East Relief Society’s and other organization’s help the orphans would not have made it. They survived, but the vast majority of them were the only ones in their entire family to do so.
103. The recognition of the Armenian Genocide is difficult,in that Turkey which still denies it officially,has widespread multimillion dollar lobbying efforts to make sure it is not promoted or recognized. also diplomatically threatens any country who chooses to recognize it
104. Despite this, at least 30 countries in the world have officially recognized it as a genocide so far including the United States in 2019, after a very difficult campaign by both houses of Congress to pass the bill, which they finally did.
105. Despite the legislative branch formally recognizing it by law. To this day, no single US president, regardless of their party, has mentioned or uttered the legal term “Armenian Genocide”, careful to prevent threats or sanctions on US military bases in Turkey
106. I dedicate this entire thread to all the victims, families, and all Armenian people of the world.
Here is a very detailed map that includes all of the marching routes throughout Anatolia and Turkey which the Armenians took in 1915.
*Also please ignore the random typo on tweet #90, a random “Hi” there by mistake and didn’t notice
*Also please ignore the random typo on tweet #90, a random “Hi” there by mistake and didn’t notice
*Tweet #26. I made a small error. Talat Pasha not the oldest of the Three Pashas(Cemal was the oldest by 2 years, his birth in 1872 was accurate). Talat however had the most influential role, of the three, in the planning of the Genocide in particular.