Autumn 2018, Issue 2

Ts՚eghaspanagitakan handes (“Journal of Genocide Studies”)

Narine S. Hakobyan
Pages 9-23

This paper is devoted to the investigation of the anti-Armenian policy of 1895-1896 in Cilicia region of the Ottoman Empire. While current Armenian historiography credits the claim that Cilicia avoided the Hamidian massacres, a thorough investigation of this event reveals another thing yet to be learned. The paper leads the discussion on the topic based on two important and somehow neglected principles. First, the notion of “Historical Cilicia” is not only the Ottoman vilayet of Adana, but also some parts of Aleppo province. Second, the Ottoman anti-Armenian policy is being viewed in terms of both content and patterns of implementation. Based on the information provided by various primary sources, the paper discusses the main elements of the persecutions against the Cilician Armenians, particularly those related to the planning, organization, implementation, and involvement of the state. A detailed analysis of primary and secondary sources proves that from October 1895 to January 1896 the Turkish authorities carried out both killings of the Armenians and plunder of their properties in Adana province, particularly in the villages adjacent to Hadjin. Moreover, the same policy with more intensity was carried out in the towns of Ainteb, Marash and the surrounding villages of Aleppo province. The anti-Armenian policy included different forms of violence, such as killings, forced conversion into Islam, pillage and marked with an active participation of local Ottoman officials, regular army, gendarmerie, criminals released from the prisons, local Muslims irregulars and even tax collectors.
The character and scale of anti-Armenian actions raise concern about the traditional narrative on the events in Cilicia. This article argues that the atrocities against the Armenians in Cilicia, even with some “weak” manifestation in Adana, were identical to those carried out in the whole Ottoman Empire in terms of pursued goals and methods of implementation.

Key words: Western Armenia. Hamidian massacres, Cilicia, Adana province, Aleppo province, Islamization.

Received on July 22, 2018
Published on November 18, 2018

Suren A. Manukyan
Pages 24-52

The paper is an attempt to cover the issue of the creation of Hamidian cavalry and the forms, scale, and causes of Kurdish participation in the massacres of Armenians in 1894-96. Using cohesion theories known in criminology and social psychology, an attempt is made to utilize them to explain some new motivations for the involvement of the Kurds in the process of violent settling of the Armenian issue. The role of the Kurds is usually interpreted as being a blind instrument in the hands of the Empire against the Armenian population. This is a prevalent concept not only in Armenian historiography but also in genocide studies. Unquestionably, this has ground, but it probably cannot be an entire explanation for such large-scale Kurdish participation. The Armenian massacres brought tangible and significant benefits for the Kurds, who were personally engaged in the ongoing crime. Furthermore, by encouraging the Kurds in the murder campaign, the Ottoman Empire solved another, crucial purpose. Turning Kurds into a complicity of crime by affiliation with the Turks to a joint project of ethnic cleansing of Western Armenia, Sublime Porte strongly bonded the troublesome, usually disloyal Kurds with the policy and fate of the Empire.

Key words: Armenian massacres of 1894-96, Kurds, Hamidiye, complicity in crime, Armenian Genocide.

Received on July 17, 2018
Published on November 18, 2018

Robert A. Sukiasyan
Pages 53-68

The paper examines one of the transitional stations – Hasan Chelebi – used during the deportations of the Armenian population of Sebastia in the context of the Armenian Genocide. Using mainly Armenian archival, press sources, collections of memoirs as well as secondary sources, and by combining them with the information provided by foreign witnesses and the Ottoman documents the paper presents the outline of the main functions and the sequence of the transitional station, the behavior of the victim and perpetrator groups and the implemented actions. Based on the systematic nature of the actions the paper reveals the main mission of the station, which is the extermination of the male population of Sebastia vilayet and the surrounding areas. The Kurdish population of the surrounding areas of Hasan Chelebi took part in the extermination and looting. The presence of the foreign witness Mary Graffam in the deportation caravan had a somewhat restraining influence. The testimonies of the survivors demonstrate that the actions undertaken at the station were implemented under the instructions of the higher political and religious authorities.

Key words: Armenian Genocide, six vilayets, Sebastia, Kharberd, Hasan Celebi, deportation, massacre of men, robbery, foreign witnesses.

Received on July 23, 2018
Published on November 18, 2018

Inessa G. Stepanyan
Pages 69-87

The article presents and compares the means and methods used to carry out the Armenian Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust. All social groups, involved in the genocidal process, are presented separately. Among them the society, whose involvement has enabled the authorities to save their own forces and hide the genocidal act under the guise of national clashes. It is noteworthy that in the case of both genocides, regardless of the motives, there was a huge support coming from different nations to the Turkish and Nazi authorities. In the case of Jews there was also a support coming from the states.
The next group presented was the army, whose participation was crucial in the process of disarmament and recruitment of the Armenian able-bodied men, as well as in searching for Jews during the Holocaust. There was a one comprehensive system that included several military or semi-militarized structures connected to each other.
The role of police was presented as being a law defender himself, violated the laws and used that same law to justify its actions. It was evident that a complex and interconnected system was functioning during the both genocides. Also criminals released from the prisons, on the one hand, filled up the ranks of the paramilitary institutions, and on the other, carried out the killings more easily and with experience. Another important feature here was that the armed forces would be free from the problems of the Armenian and Jewish population and would concentrate all their forces on the war.
The focus of the article is on secret organizations (Teşkilat-i Mahsusa and Nazi SS) that became the main perpetrators of the two genocides and not only supported but also took the main responsibility of the implementation of the genocidal program.

Key words: Armenian Genocide, Jewish Holocaust, perpetrators, society, army, police, criminals, secret organizations, Teşkilati Mahsusa, Nazi SS.

Received on July 16, 2018
Published on November 18, 2018

Narek M. Poghosyan
Pages 88-102

The article discusses the features and the relationship between genocide and crime against humanity.The term crime against humanity was officially used for the first time in 1915 regarding the Armenian Genocide and was internationally defined in the Nuremberg Charter.
During the Nuremberg trials a Polish lawyer of a Jewish origin Raphael Lemkin proposed to include the term genocide in the court proceedings. It should be mentioned that by creating the term genocide Raphael Lemkin has also referred to the Armenian Genocide. Within the Nuremberg trials Lemkin did not succeed in promoting its new concept, and only on December 9, 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
The well-established facts show that the Ottoman Empire committed crimes against humanity and genocide against the Armenians. Therefore, the article analyzes the manifestation of these two crimes on the example of the Armenian Genocide.The significance of the Armenian Genocide is revealed in the development of the concepts of crimes against humanity and genocide.

Key words: crime against humanity, genocide, Raphael Lemkin, Hersch Lauterpacht, Nuremberg trials, intention to destroy the group, Armenian genocide.

Received on July 14, 2018
Published on November 18, 2018

Harutyun T. Marutyan
Pages 103-142

On April 24, 1965, Armenians both in the Soviet Armenia and Diaspora commemorated the 50th anniversary of Mets Yeghern. In the Soviet Armenia this became possible not only due to the changes within the wide circles of the society after the Khrushchev Thaw but also because of the political will of the Armenian authorities, namely, Yakov Zarobyan, the First Secretary of the Armenian Communist Party. The decision of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was preceded by a long sequence of preparatory work, among which was a letter addressed to the authorities of Moscow in December 1964. Thanks to some ideological statements there, the Armenian Genocide has been moved from the level of a solely Armenian tragedy to the level of the world history.
The commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Mets Yeghern took place on two levels: people and state/party. The mass demonstration, peoples’ march, the distribution of leaflets and intrusion to the Opera building were the sure indicators of a national outbreak. Thanks to a position of the Armenian authorities no mass persecution against the participants was followed. The commemoration of April 24, 1965 in Yerevan broke the wall of official silence and revealed the truth about one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century to the wide public. It gave rise to scholarly researches, publication of books and archival records relating to the events of 1915 and resulted in the inclusion of the 1915 Genocide into the textbooks. Finally, it was a unique case when the authorities and people were fighting for the same cause even though from the opposite ends. They fought and reached their goal. One of the evidences of this fight was the construction of the Memorial during 2,5 years, which immediately took its place among the symbols of the Armenian identity. It has been 50 years since that people are organizing annual April 24th marches to the Memorial.
On April 24-25, 1965 in different parts of Diaspora Remembrance Day of the Victims of Mets Yeghern was solemnly commemorated. It can be stated, that the solemn commemoration of April 24, 1965 in different communities of the Armenian Diaspora displayed the qualitative transition from the culture of mourning to another level of commemoration ceremonies. Particularly, the idea that the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide are finally getting/should get their worthy punishment/ assessment was present.
On the eve of April 24, many memorials are being built in different corners of the world. On April 24, 1975, for the first time the authorities of the Soviet Armenia officially paid tribute to the memory of Mets Yeghern victims by visiting the Genocide Memorial. At 7pm a Moment of Silence in the memory of the Genocide victims was announced on the television and radio. On November 22, 1988, the Supreme Council of the Armenian SSR adopted the law on the “Condemnation of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 in the Ottoman Turkey” and recognized April 24 the “Remembrance Day of the Victims of the Armenian Genocide.”
During the Karabakh Movement or the Armenian Revolution (February 20, 1988 – August 23, 1990) the change in the essence of the Remembrance Day has occurred: it became the day of presenting political demands on different issues of social life. The article details the commemoration of the Remembrance Day of the Genocide victims in the context of the commemorative rituals of the Armenian people.
In 1965, during the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Mets Yeghern, the memory of Genocide attained a new status. It can be stated that it became a pan-national “property,” a feature for the whole Armenians. The Genocide memory became a constituent part of the Armenian identity and through the efforts of Hay Dat and other similar organizations became known to the world. On the centennial of the Armenian Genocide not the memory of Mets Yeghern but the memory of Armenian Genocide still remains as one of the most important manifestations of the Armenian identity. This memory is one of the unique elements which unite different political forces and started influencing not only the preservation but also the formation of a nation. Executive and legislative bodies of more than twenty-five countries as well as various international organizations have now recognized the Armenian Genocide. The vast majority of recognitions as a rule happen on or around April 24. More than hundred years have passed since the Armenian Genocide. It is high time to reconsider the concealed meaning of the Remembrance Day, transform it, and at least change its emphasis by putting another wording for April 24 into circulation: “Remembrance Day of the Victims of the Armenian Genocide and the Heroes of the Selfdefense Battles.”

Key words: Armenian Genocide, Armenian Genocide Victims Remembrance Day, Armenian Genocide Victims Memorial, April 24.

Received on July 25, 2018
Published on November 18, 2018

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