Researcher, Birmingham University, retired Lieutenant-Colonel, PhD in Ottoman Military History, The Leeds University. Erickson is the author of numerous books and articles on the Ottoman Army during the early twentieth century. - [info]
Source: Ordered To Die: A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War
"There is a huge body of historical literature concerning the "Armenian genocide" that maintains that the Young Turks, in particular Enver, Talat, and Cemal, intentionally sought to exterminate the Armenian citizens of the Ottoman Empire. This case against the Young Turks rests on the premise that they intended to racially purify the empire by purging or exterminating its minorities, particularly the troublesome Christian Armenians. Moreover, the literature maintains that under the pretext of wartime emergencies and threats to national security, the Young Turks took advantage of circumstances to conduct genocide against the Armenians. Using a combination of methods ranging from massacre to starvation, the Young Turks then deliberately and intentionally caused the deaths of several million Armenians. Much of this literature is emotionally charged and a large percentage of it is directly generated by the descendants of the survivors of the events. The genocide itself has, over the past eighty years, become a highly political issue in most western countries, as Armenian descendants seek legislative condemnation of the modern Turkish Republic. Because of this transgenerational campaign to establish that an Ottoman genocide (defined as an intentional and systematic attempt to exterminate a people or a race) against its Armenian subjects occurred, balanced and objective discourse on this subject becomes difficult." P. 95
"Compounding the implementation of these policies was the continuing Armenian Rebellion, which included bombings, assassinations, and the wholesale slaughter of Muslim Turkish villages. In some places the rebels even gained the upper hand. The rebels in the city of Van were ultimately relieved by advancing Russian forces. At Musa Dag in Cilicia, highly organized Armenians fought the Turks for forty days. These events were bound to inflame an already angry Turkish population and bureaucracy. In spite of this, the Ministry of the Interior continued to muddy the organizational waters by establishing further regulations that safeguarded the homes of the deportees. According to the ministry, the homes of the deportees were to be sealed and possessions left behind were to be cared for. If the Armenians' homes were used as temporary lodging for Balkan immigrants the new occupants would be liable for any accrued taxes and for damages. Certainly there were many mixed messages with all of their associated and unsaid complexities to be found in the rapidly evolving legal mechanisms which governed the deportation and relocation of the eastern Anatolian Armenians. The ponderous and complex wheels of the relocation process now began to grind the Armenians into dust." P. 103
"In the end, hundreds of thousands of Armenians died during the Armenian Rebellion and deportation of 1915-1916. A similar number of Muslim Turks also died during the Armenian revolts and during the Russian occupation of Erzurum, Van, Erzincan, Trabzon, and Malazgirt. To be sure, many Armenians, particularly leaders and men of military age were immediately killed or massacred early on before entering the deportation flow. Many more, especially the elderly and the infirm, died en route from apathy and neglect, or were murdered outright, as the deportees were passed from local official to local official in an ambulatory pipeline that resembled a decaying daisy chain. Finally, the geographic constraints imposed on where the Armenians could ultimately be allowed to settle imposed long term starvation as they were sent to arid locations outside the fertile and well-watered route of the Baghdad Railroad. It was a recipe for disaster with profound historical, moral, and practical consequences which persist into the present day." P. 103
Source: "Armenian Massacres, New Records Undercut Old Blame”, The Middle East Quarterly, Vol. XIII, Number 3, Summer 2006
"Clearly, many Armenians died during World War I. But accusations of genocide demand authentic proof of an official policy of ethnic extermination. Vahakn Dadrian has made high-profile claims that Major Stange and the Special Organization were the instruments of ethnic cleansing and genocide. Documents not utilized by Dadrian, though, discount such an allegation."