A Disputed Genocide: The Young Turks Take Power

A Disputed Genocide: The Young Turks Take Power


Guenter Lewy, 2005. Publisher The University of Utah Press

The literature is voluminous on what Armenians call the first genocide of the twentieth century and what most Turks refer to as an instance of intercommunal warfare and a wartime relocation. Yet despite the great outpouring of writing, an acrimonious debate over what actually happened almost one hundred years ago continues unabated. The highly charged historical dispute burdens relations between Turkey and Armenia and increases tensions in a volatile region. It also crops up periodically in other parts of the world, where members of the Armenian diaspora push for recognition of the Armenian genocide by their respective parliaments and the Turkish government threatens retaliation. 

Vestnik Kavkaza publishes chapters from the book by Guenter Lewy "The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: a Disputed Genocide," revealing the essence of the issue.

After the massacres of 1895-96 Abdul Hamid's rule lasted another twelve years. Until the Young Turks' successful seizure of power in 1908, Armenian revolutionaries kept up their attacks and even came close to assassinating the hated autocrat. They also tried again to achieve the intervention of the European powers. None of this brought the Armenians closer to their goal of liberation from Turkish rule. Indeed, there are indications that these activities stiffened the back of the Turks and eventually led to a new rupture between Armenians and Turks with even more disastrous consequences than during the reign of Abdul Hamid.  

ARMENIAN GUERRILLA WARFARE  

In late July of 1897, one year after the ill-fated raid upon the Ottoman Bank in Constantinople, a force of 250 Dashnaks left their base on the Persian border and attacked the encampment of the Mazrik Kurdish tribe in the plain of Khanasor near the city of Van. The attack is said to have been a revenge for the tribe having wiped out an Armenian village.1 

Benefiting from the element of surprise, the Armenians scored a major victory described by Armenian writers in various ways: "a major part of the tribe was killed," "part of the menfolk were massacred outright," or "the entire tribe was annihilated."2 According to Langer, the Armenians "killed or barbarously mutilated men, women and children."3 The Khanasor raid was widely reported by the European press, but its major effect was on the Armenians. They experienced a sense of encouragement, and hope grew that they would able to attain their political freedom by themselves rather than having to rely on impotent European promises.4 

Clashes between Armenian revolutionaries and Turks and Kurds continued in various parts of eastern Anatolia. A survivor recalls that hundreds of young men brought in arms and ammunition from Persia and Rissia to be sold to Armenian peasants and city folks alike.5 Innumerable epic encounters ensued, writes a historian of the Dashnaks: "It was an era of both glory and of heroic selfsacrifice."6 

Twenty years after the first bloody fighting in the region of Sas-sun a new battle broke out there in the spring of 1904. The Dashnaks had'been distributing weapons and organizing fighting units for some ime- according to a chronicler of the struggle, this was done "with a view'to a general uprising in the future."7 Led by some of their best-known commanders, such as Andranik (Ozanian) and Murad of Sebas-tia, the Armenians managed to fight off an attacking force of fifteen thousand Turkish troops for three weeks but finally had to withdraw into the mountains. 

Several attempts by Armenian fighters in the Russian Caucasus to provide relief failed when they were intercepted and killed by Russian border troops. During the summer of 1905, according to two English missionaries, some three hundred Dashnak fighters conducted guerrilla operations on a fairly large scale in the district of Mush and to the west of Lake Van that cost five thousand lives.8 

The larger purpose of these and similar engagements fought by Armenian revolutionaries during these years was not always clear. Some-Armenian writers, admirers of the Dashnaks, speak of "immortals" who fought "the Armenian battle of liberation."9 They describe legendary heroes larger than life who managed to survive against heavy odds, sometimes through all kinds of miraculous escapes.

The Young Turks Take Power  

The revolutionaries are referred to as avengers, who do not hesitate to risk their own lives or to kill those regarded as oppressors. 

One such fedayee, Kevork Chavoush, is called "the man with the dagger who was always ready to punish those who molested the defenseless people." After the defeat of the rebellion of Sassun in 1904 four of his men went after a particularly cruel Kurdish chief, "raided the Agha's mansion, dispatched the whole family of four," and got away.10 

Another author calls such acts "terroristic retaliation" carried out as "selfdefense."11 The arming of the population is sometimes described as preparation for an uprising; at other times it is called self-defense against marauding Kurds and other aggressors. During the period in question the propaganda of the revolutionaries accented the goal of national liberation, to be achieved through armed struggle, while information meant for foreign consumption stressed the defensive aims of the violence. It is tempt-S to conclude that the obfuscation was deliberate, and the Turkish authorities facing the attacks of the Armenian revolutionaries may be forgiven if they were not always able to determine exactly what they were dealing with. 

Whatever ambiguity may have been attached to the fighting in Anatolia, the attempt of the Dashnaks to assassinate the sultan was a manifestly offensive act. On Friday, July 21, 1905, as Abdul Hamid was saying his prayers in a Constantinople mosque, the revolutionaries managed to plant dynamite in his carriage. Only the fact that the sultan had delayed his departure from the mosque by a few minutes saved his life. The carriage exploded before he had reached it, killing twenty-six members of his retinue and wounding fifty-eight.12 Had the assassination succeeded, the repercussions for the Armenians might have been another large-scale massacre.  

AN UNEASY ALLIANCE  

The first congress of the Ottoman opposition convened in Paris in February 1902. Among the chief players were the Ottoman liberals, the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) or Ittihad ve Terakki, known as the Young Turks, and an Armenian delegation in which the Dashnaks played an important role. All agreed that the present sultan had to be replaced, but the CUP was split over the issues of Armenian autonomy and foreign intervention. The largest faction, led by Prince Mehmed Sabaheddin, was willing to grant the national minorities of the empire a great measure of autonomy and to accept the help of the European powers in implementing the necessary reforms. A group around Ahmed Riza, however, denounced such intervention as an act of imperialism and opposed any form of regional selfrule. The final pronouncement of the congress demanded the reestablishment of the constitution that had been suspended in 1878 and called upon the European powers to carry out the treaty obligations that they had assumed. This pleased the Armenians, who had insisted upon the "immediate execution of article 61 of the treaty of Berlin" and other reform provisions. But the resolution also deepened the rift between the two CUP factions.13 

During the following years the nationalist wing of the CUP with its antiimperialist agenda grew in influence, and tension increased between the Young Turks and the Armenians. After the victory over Abdul Hamid in 1908, however, the old disagreements were relegated to the background. In the face of reports that England and Russia planned to partition Turkey, a group of officers in Macedonia joined the CUP. Other garrisons followed suit, and the Young Turks took power in a bloodless coup. 

On July 24, 1908, Abdul Hamid was forced to restore the constitution that he had suspended in 1878, and Turks and Armenians together celebrated the principles of liberty and equality that they had achieved in their joint struggle. There were scenes n public reconciliation; Young Turk leaders such as Mehmed Talaat, Ismail Enver, and Ahmed Djemal visited churches, and prayers were said for the future of the new order of national harmony. The Dashnaks announced that while they would maintain their revolutionary organization they would abandon the armed struggle and would operate in the open as a political body.14

The new friendly relations between the Dashnaks and the CUP survived even a new massacre of Armenians in Adana and other parts of Cilicia that took place in the wake of a conservative countercoup in April 1909. 

For some time, it appears, the leader of the Armenian community of Adana, Archbishop Musheg, had urged his people to acquire arms, had voiced chauvinistic ideas, and had engaged in what was perceived as contemptuous behavior toward the Muslims. The Armenians of Cilicia, Pears was told by several observers on the scene, "had asserted their liberty and equality with Moslems in terms which were unnecessarily offensive."15 Muslim religious figures, in turn, had come out against the newly proclaimed idea of equality for all religions and had incited the mobs against the Armenians. 

The first wave of massacres took place on April 14, a few hours after the reactionary group had taken power in Constantinople. Troops sent to restore order participated in the plundering and killing. After European warships had entered the port of Mersina and on the day the Young Turks retook Constantinople a second wave of massacres followed. Altogether the violent explosion resulted in an estimated death toll of close to twenty thousand, most of them Armenians.16 

Some Armenian writers have blamed the massacres on agents sent from Constantinople by Abdul Hamid and the rebelling reactionaries.17 Others have accused the Young Turks.18 Adana, writes Dadrian, "served as a test case from which the party was able to profit by improving its organizational network and putting that network into operation during the subsequent Armenian genocide."19 

There is little evidence to support any of these interpretations, and the true causes of the disturbances may never be known. The massacres were limited to Cilicia, which would tend to suggest that local factors loomed large. A well-informed contemporary British author, H. Charles Woods, stressed the "smoldering embers of Mohammedan jealousy against the Armenians of this district," who, largely untouched by the massacres of the 1890s, had increased both in numbers and in wealth. The events of 1909, he writes, "were probably remotely caused by the talk of equality which roused the Moslems to a state of fury, by the extreme orators of both religions, by the somewhat foolish actions of a very small section of the Armenian community, and by the feebleness and negligence of the governmental officials in the localities in which massacres actually occurred." 20 Another foreign observer on the scene attributes most of the killings in the villages around Adana to Kurds, who resented the role of the Armenians as moneylenders and usurers.21 

The CUP, reinstalled in power, moved quickly to repair the damage. Money was appropriated for the relief of the victims; on May 1 the chamber of deputies voted almost unanimously to set up a court-martial to try those guilty of the massacres. Eventually fifty Turks were condemned to death for murder and incitement to riot; twenty of these were actually executed—the first time that Muslims had been hanged for murdering Christians. Five Armenians were also among those condemned to death. At least three of them were probably innocent. The hotheaded Archbishop Musheg escaped.22 

After the defeat of the reactionary countercoup, Abdul Ham id, suspected of complicity in the plot, was forced to abdicate in favor of his brother, Mohammed V. The Armenians now became the most ardent defenders of the new regime. At their fifth congress (held in the fall of 1909) the Dashnaks affirmed their policy of cooperation with the Young Turks, and they decided to discontinue their underground activities.23 Still, the collection of arms continued, ostensibly for selfdefense. The ox has its horns, the cat has its claws, and the dog has his fangs, the veteran guerrilla leader Murad is supposed to have told a group of villagers in the Sivas area. "Can it be that you do not have as much understanding about your needs as they have?"24 

Some contemporary authors have blamed the Dashnaks for inadequately preparing the Armenian population for the treachery of the CUP and the disastrous events of 1915.25 During the years prior to World War I the Young Turks supposedly gave ample indication of their increasingly chauvinistic outlook, and their embrace of pan-Turkish ideas should have warned the Armenian minority of the dangers that lay ahead. Other writers have pointed out that "the leaders or the CUP were not ideologues but men of action. They were ideologi- ,1 eciectic and their common denominator was a shared set of attitudes rather than a common ideological programme."26 As their liberal strategies failed to prevent the continuing decline of the empire, Suny bserves "the Young Turk leaders gradually shifted away from their original Ottomanist views of a multinational empire based on guarantees of civil and minority rights to a more Turkish nationalist ideology that emphasized the dominant role of Turks."27 Still, Suny adds, the leadership of the CUP never agreed on a clear ideological orientation, and their political thinking represented an uneasy mixture of Ottomanism and Pan-Islamism. The notion of Turanism—the idealization of the imaginary homeland of all Turks in central Asia and potentially an expansionist ideology—was espoused by the sociologist and prominent educator Ziya Gökalp, but he and his followers constituted a fringe movement in Young Turk politics. Moreover, even for Gökalp Turanism never represented a program of action. Still less did it envision the genocide of the Armenian minority, as has been charged by some writers.28 

More serious in their eventual impact on Turkish-Armenian relations than ideological developments within the CUP was the series of devastating foreign policy defeats experienced by the Ottoman government during the years 1908-13. These defeats, it must be remembered, came on top of a steady loss of Ottoman territory ever since the failed siege of Vienna in 1683. From this point on the Ottoman Empire entered its period of decline, losing parts of Persia in 1736, the Crimea in 1784, Greece in 1832, and Egypt in 1840. In the early twentieth century the dissolution of the empire gathered momentum. On October 5, 1908, Bulgaria declared its independence, and within hours Austria-Hungary announced the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. At the same time, Greek leaders on the island of Crete proclaimed their merger with Greece. On September 29, 1911, Italy invaded the Ottoman province of Tripoli (today's Libya). The Balkan wars of 1912-13 added to these setbacks. After the Ottoman government had been forced to sign the 

Treaty of Bucharest on August 10, 1913, the empire iad lost 32.7 percent of its territory and 20 percent of its population.

Put differently, by 1913 the Ottomans had forfeited 83 percent of their European territories. Not surprisingly, all this had a profoundly demoralizing effect on the Young Turk leadership and increased nationalis-sentiments. They developed a siege mentality and strong resentment of the Christian states that had brought about these humiliating defeats.29 

Tension between Turks and Armenians increased, especially in the wake of the Balkan wars. Turkish Armenians were said to have served loyally in the ranks of the Ottoman military, but the Turkish government did not fail to take note of the fact that one of the most famous Armenian commanders, Andranik, had relocated to Bulgaria, where he organized a group of volunteers to fight alongside the Bulgarians against Turkey. The Armenians of the Caucasus also agitated for Russian intervention against the Ottomans.30 Still more baneful was the influx of almost half a million Muslim refugees who had been forced to flee from their homes in the lost European provinces of the empire. Once again, as after the exodus following the Russian-Turkish war of 1877—78, there were tales of massacres; many of the refugees had died during their flight. The survivors were filled with hatred for all Christians, whom they blamed for their misfortune.31 

During the parliamentary election of 1912 the Dashnaks and the CUP still agreed on a common platform, but by early 1913 relations had become strained.32 In the eastern provinces of Anatolia Kurdish depredations were on the rise. Formally the Dashnaks were still committed to a program of reform and autonomy within the empire, but increasingly many Armenians tended to look to Russia as their only effective protector.33 A Hunchak congress held in Constanza (Rumania) in September 1913 decided to move from legal to illegal activity, which included a plot to assassinate Talaat, the minister of the interior. In January 1913 he had been one of a group of nationalistic CUP leaders who had overthrown the cabinet and effectively enthroned themselves as dictators. 

The attempt to assassinate Talaat was not carried out,34 but it reflected the new more radical mood among many Armenian revolutionaries. Meanwhile Dashnak leaders, the heads of the Armenian church, and Armenians in the diaspora, seeking to take advantage of the militarily defeated Turkey, renewed their efforts to bring about a solution of the "Armenian question" through the intervention of the European powers. For the CUP leadership this appeal for outside help was proof of the unpatriotic and provocative attitude of the Armenians. "Nowhere in the world," Talaat is supposed to have told the Armenian patriarch, Archbishop Mikayel Zaven, some two years later, "can you find a people which seeks the intervention of foreigners in the affairs or government by running from one capital to another." 35  

THE ARMENIAN REFORM AGREEMENT OF 1914  

Afraid that an uprising by the Turkish Armenians in eastern Anatolia might spread to their own territory, the Russians took the lead in promoting a far-reaching program of reform. "Transcaucasia, with its varied and not over-peaceful population," Russian foreign minister Serge Sazonov recalled in his memoirs, "was dangerous ground for any kind disturbance, and the local administration feared nothing more than to see the Turkish border provinces become the theatre for an armed rebellion."36 The Russian proposal was drafted by Andre N. Mandelstam the first dragoman of the Russian embassy and a noted international lawyer. It included the appointment of an Ottoman Christian or European governor for a new single Armenian province that was to be established in the six eastern villages; the creation of an administrative council, a provincial assembly, and gendarmerie units composed of both Muslims and Christians; the dissolution of the Kurdish Hamidiye regiments; and the institution of similar reforms in other provinces inhabited by Armenians, especially Cilicia. In accordance with the provisions of the Treaty of Berlin, the six European powers were to guarantee the implementation of all clauses of the agreement.37 

During the summer of 1913 the ambassadors of Russia, Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy in Constantinople and a commission appointed by them deliberated about the Russian plan. The Ottoman government, excluded from these negotiations and seriously concerned about the loss of the eastern provinces, sought to prevent the adoption of the European initiative by proposing its own reform for the entire empire, but this maneuver failed.38 The Russian draft was supported by France and England but was opposed by Germany and Austria-Hungary, which sought to curry favor with Turkey and enlarge their influence in the Near East. 

While these negotiations dragged on, the situation in eastern Anatolia became steadily worse. Rumors spread that the proposed reforms would curtail the movement of the nomadic Kurdish tribes and that the Muslim Kurds would fall under the control of a Christian state.39 "The Ambassadors of the Great Powers," Sazonov writes, received daily reports from their Consuls on the spot, informing them the ceaseless oppression and violence of Turks and Kurds."40 Finally promised agreement was worked out that involved several Condons to the Turkish point of view championed by Germany. The astern vilayets were to be grouped into two provinces, each under a European inspector. There was no mention of the words "Armenia" or "Armenians," and the program of reform did not include Armenian populations living outside the two inspectorates, as in Cilicia. The European powers, acting through their ambassadors, were given the right to supervise the execution of the reforms, but the obligation to guarantee their success was eliminated. On February 8, 1914, Russia (on behalf of the Europeans) and Turkey signed the revised accord.41

The Russian charge d'affaires in Constantinople, M. Goulkevich hailed the reform: "The Armenians must now feel that the first step has been taken towards releasing them from the Turkish yoke."42 Richard Hovannisian notes that the reform did not fulfill all Armenian expectations but adds that "it did represent the most viable reform proposed since the internationalization of the Armenian Question in 1878."43 Many Armenians at the time, however, took a more cautious view. The Geneva organ of the Dashnaks warned that "before placing our trust in diplomatic reforms, the Nation must subject itself to basic renovations; it must extirpate the curse of cowardly passiveness; it must be inspired by the healthy and redeeming principle of self-assistance; it must arm and be prepared!"44 

The skeptical attitude toward the reform agreement expressed by the Dashnaks in Geneva turned out to be the more realistic view. The Ottoman government had signed the accord under duress, threatened by Russian armed intervention, but it had no intention of implementing it. Not until April did the sultan approve the choice of the two inspectors, the Dutch civil servant L. C. Westenenk and the Norwegian officer Hoff, who arrived in Constantinople a few weeks later to receive their instructions. There were more delays as the parties haggled over the authority of the inspectors. By the early summer of 1914 Hoff had actually reached Van and Westenenk was about to leave for Erzurum, but on June 28 the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand at Sarajevo provided the spark that set off World War I. On July 29 Germany declared war on Russia, and on August 8 Turkey ordered general mobilization. Soon thereafter the two inspectors were dismissed. In December 1914, after Turkey had entered the war on the side of Germany, the reform agreement was annulled.45 

And there is more to be said. Not only was the Armenian reform of 1914 never implemented, but there is reason to think that it contributed to the disastrous events of 1915. Like the autocrat Abdul Hamid earlier, the Young Turk leadership also deeply resented the intervention of the European powers on behalf of the Armenians. The Russian role, in particular, created strong fears. The rights granted the Armenians in the aborted reform agreement, writes Feroz Ahmad, "seemed like a prelude to a Russian protectorate over eastern Anatolia, with eventual Armenian independence."46 Hence when many Armenians manifested open sympathy in 1915 for the Russian invaders of the eastern provinces the Young Turks became convinced that only a radical measure,  as the wholesale displacement of the Armenian population would provide a permanent solution to the recurring treasonous conduct of the Armenian minority. The Armenians had regarded the reform agreement as a kind of down-payment on the eventual complete liberation from Turkish rule. They did not realize that the Turks would do anything in their power, no matter how ruthless, in order to prevent the loss of what they regarded as the heartland of Turkish Anatolia. The strong desire to be free from the shackles imposed by the Armenian reform agreement may have been one of the reasons that led the Young Turks to sign the secret military alliance with Germany on August 2, 1914, and eventually to enter the war on the side of Germany several months later.47

1.James H. Tashjian, "The Armenian 'Dashnag' Party: A Brief Statement," Armenian Review 21, no. 4 (Winter 1968): 53. 
2. Chalabian, Revolutionary Figures, p. 328; Vratzian, "The Armenian Revolution and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation," p. 27; Atamian, Armenian Community, p. 109. 
3. Langer, Diplomacy of Imperialism, vol. I, p. 350. 
4. Atamian, Armenian Community, p. 109. 
5. Aprahamian, From Wan to Detroit, p. 21. 
6. Tashjian, "The Armenian 'Dashnag' Party," p. 53. 
7. Chalabian, Revolutionary Figures, p. 215. 
8. W. A. Wigram and E. T. A. Wigram, The Cradle of Mankind: Life in Eastern Kurdistan, pp. 247-50. 
9. Chalabian, Revolutionary Figures, p. 265. 
10. Mandalian, Armenian Freedom Fighters, p. 142. 
11. Atamian, Armenian Community, p. 277. 
12. Edward Alexander, A Crime of Vengeance: An Armenian Struggle for Justice, p. 97; Richard G. Hovannisian, "The Armenian Question in the Ottoman Empire," East European Quarterly 6 (T972): T5; Salahı R. Sonyel, The Ottoman Armenians: Victims of Great Power Diplomacy, p. 261. 
13. Ernest E. Ramsaur, Jr., The Young Turks: Prelude to the Revolution of 1908, pp. 70—75 (quotation on p. 70); Şьkrь M. Hanioglu, The Young Turks in Opposition, pp. 195-97. 
14. Feroz Ahmad, "Unionist Relations with the Greek, Armenian, and Jewish Communities of the Ottoman Empire, 1908-1914," in Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire: The Functioning of a Plural Society, ed. Benjamin Braude and Bernard Lewis, p. 4T9. 
15. Pears, Forty Years in Constantinople, p. 298. 
16. Ahmad, "Unionist Relations," pp. 420-21; 
17. Avedis K. Sanjian, The Armenian Communities in Syria under Ottoman Dominion, pp. 279—80. 
18. Stephan II. Astourian, "Genocidal Process: Reflections on the Armeno- Turkish Polarization," in The Armenian Genocide: History, Politics, Ethics, ed. Richard G. Hovannisian, p. 67; Aykut Kansu, Politics in Post-Revolutionary Turkey, 1908-1913, PP- 124-25. 
19. Sarkisian and Sahakian, Vital Issues in Modern Armenian History, p. 20. 
20. Vahakn N. Dadrian, "The Convergent Roles of the State and Governmental Party in the Armenian Genocide," in Studies in Comparative Genocide, ed. Levon Chorbajian and George Shirinian, p. 102.
21. H. Charles Woods, The Danger Zone of Europe: Changes and Problems in the Near East, p. 76. 
22. William M. Ramsay, The Revolution in Constantinople and Turkey: A Diary, p. 207. 
23. Woods, Danger Zone of Europe, pp. T83—88; Kansu, Politics in PostRevolutionary Turkey, pp. 144—46. 
24. Hratch Dasnabedian, History of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsutiun 1890—1924, pp. 87—91. 
25. Quoted in Chalabian, Revolutionary Figures, p. 285. 
26. Dasnabedian, History of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, p. 103. 
27. Erik J. Zьrcher, Turkey: A Modern History, p. 137.
28. Suny, Looking toward Ararat, p. 108. 
29. Dadrian, in his essay "The Convergent Roles of the State and Governmental Party in the Armenian Genocide," p. 114, calls Gцkalp "one of the party chieftains in this exterminatory enterprise." On the ideology of the Young Turks prior to World War I, see the exchange involving Suny, Akarli, and Deringil in the Armenian Forum- 1, no. 2 (Summer 1998): Ronald Grigor Suny, "Empire and Nation: Armenians, Turks and the End of the Ottoman Empire," pp. 17-51; Engin Deniz Akarli, "Particularities of History: A Response to Ronald Grigor Suny," pp. 53—64; and Selim Deringil, "In Search of a Way Forward: A Response to Ronald Grigor Suny," pp. 65—71. The role of Gцkalp in the events of 1915 is discussed in more detail in chapter 5. 29. George W. Gawrych, "The Culture and Politics of Violence in Turkish Society, 1903—14," Middle Eastern Studies 22 (1986): 326—27. 
30. Hovannisian, Armenia on the Road to Independence, pp. 30—31. 
31. McCarthy, Death and Exile, p. 161; Dadrian, Warrant for Genocide, pp. 112— 13. 
32. See especially Gaidz F. Minassian, "Les relations entre le Comite Union et Progres et la Federation Revolutionnaire Armenienne в la veille de la Premiere Guerre Mondiale apres les sources armeniennes," Revue d'Histoire Armenienne Contemporaine 1 (1995): 81—99. 
33. Roderic H. Davison, "The Armenian Crisis, 1912—1914," American Historical Review 53 (1948): 499. 
34. For details on this conspiracy, see Vahakn N. Dadrian, "The Secret YoungTurk Ittihadist Conference and the Decision for the World War I Genocide of the Armenians," Holocaust and Genocide Studies 7 (1993): 190. 
35. Quoted from the memoirs of the patriarch by Dadrian, "The Armenian Genocide and the Pitfalls of a 'Balanced' Analysis," p. 78. 
36. Serge D. Sazonov, Fateful Years, 1909—1916: The Reminiscences of Serge Sazonov, p. 141. 
37. Richard G. Hovannisian, "The Armenian Question in the Ottoman Empire, 1876—1914," in The Armenian People from Ancient to Modern Times, ed. Richard G. Hovannisian, pp. 236—37; Sazonov, Fateful Years, p. 143. 
38. Kamal Madhar Ahmad, Kurdistan during the First World War, trans. Ali Maher Ibrahim, p. 423, suggests that the Turkish reform proposal had been pre pared several months earlier and reflected the desire of the CUP to solve the Armenian problem by way of reform. The question of the sincerity of the Ottoman offer of reform is probably more important than its timing. 
39. Ibid., pp. 161—62. 
40. Sazonov, Fateful Years, p. 144. 
41. Hovannisian, "The Armenian Question in the Ottoman Empire," p. 237; Sazonov, Fateful Years, pp. 1 44—45. 
42. Quoted in Ahmed Djemal Pasha, Memories of a Turkish Statesman, 1913— 1919, P- 274- This work also includes the full text of the reform agreement (pp. 272-74). 
43. Hovannisian, "The Armenian Question in the Ottoman Empire," p. 237. 
44. Quoted in Hovannisian, Armenia on the Road to Independence, p. 38. 
45. Ibid., pp. 38—39; Sonyel, The Ottoman Armenians, p. 284. 
46. Ahmad, "Unionist Relations," p. 424. 47. Cf. Kurt Ziemke, Die Neue Tiirkei: Politische Entivicklung 1914—1929, p. 27-r.

 

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