A Brutal Genocide in Colonial Africa Finally Gets its Deserved Recognition

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Most historians still think the Armenian Holocaust was hatched up best free dating apps nyc doe sesis the Ottoman Turks in Istanbul in But now, almost incredibly, we discover that the liquidation of Christian Armenian men, women and children was first instigated on 1 December in the far away city of Erzurum — not on 24 Aprilwhen Armenians commemorate the first killings of the genocide perpetrated against them.

We already know the terrifying statistics of the two genocides. The Jewish Shoah Holocaustwhich began less than a quarter of a century later, destroyed at least six million souls. The Germans — and, alas, many Slavic peoples of the Nazi-occupied states — committed these crimes against humanity of the Second World War. The Turks have never, to this day, accepted their responsibility.

The Germans have. We always — rightly — condemn the right-wing Europeans who deny the Nazi genocide of the Jews. But it is that fine Turkish historian Taner Akcam, in his self-imposed American exile, to whom we this month owe the historically seminal revelation that the Armenians were targeted for death exactly 31 days after the Ottoman Empire entered the First World War on 31 October The first Armenian victims were only men free online dating sites qatar the bloodlust to kill their families would come later — in the provinces of Van and Bitlis.

But they prove how deeply this war crime was embedded in the countryside of eastern Turkeyin i need to start dating memes 2019 instagram trends cities of the periphery rather than the capital. The Ottoman officials use the Turkish word for extermination: imha.

In some villages near the town of Baskale, the online dating mobile profile fortnite download pc male population above the age of 10 was killed.

Clearly, local Ottoman officials were instigating the genocide — and then asking their masters in Istanbul to approve their decisions.

One of them — only days before the date on which Armenians today recognise the start of their genocide — records an instruction from Erzurum to the governor of Bitlis to send Kurdish militias after the Armenians. On some occasions, it is apparent that regional governors would gather around a single telegraph machine in Erzurum and conspire together with Istanbul in an early 20th-century version of a social media conference call: meetings by telegram.

Armenians did indeed ally themselves with Russian troops — for the Tsar was an ally of the Anglo-French entente against the Ottomans — advancing into eastern Turkey. Armenian historians acknowledge this historical fact but point out, correctly, that when Armenians usually took up arms, it was to defend themselves against the Turkish genociders.

Around Van, however, there was also evidence, later in the war, that Armenians nz dating timaru penguins roster 2019-2019 blackhawks revenged their own persecution by massacring the inhabitants of local Turkish Muslim villages. Hitherto, Turkish historians — other than Akcam and a few brave colleagues — have refused to recognise the Armenian genocide as a genocide.

They have suggested that the deportation of the Armenians may have been prompted by the Allied landings at Gallipoli in the fourth week of Aprila few hours before the first Armenian leaders were arrested in Istanbul, or by the Turkish defeat at the battle of Sarikamish in January But to suggest that the mass killings of a million and a half people could have been devised in so short a time is ridiculous.

The start of the Armenian genocide in December could have been no surprise to the authorities in Istanbul, certainly not to Talaat. But he was himself a central committee member of the governing Union and Progress Party and had arrived in Erzurum from Istanbul. Perhaps Talaat found it expedient to begin the genocide — or to give the project a trial run — far from the capital and its foreign ambassadors, especially the Americans who would publicly reveal the later massacres to the world.

Akcam himself is still bemused as to why Ottoman archive personnel produced the incriminating papers for him.

These are amazing discoveries. They certainly disprove the idea — widely disseminated by Turkish genocide deniers — that the Armenian deportations and killings occurred when Turkey was experiencing serious military difficulties and the prospect of losing the war. Not only were the Erzurum decisions taken five months before Gallipoli and a month before the Russians destroyed Turkish forces in the forests of Sarikamish; the killing of Armenians was underway well before the Ottoman state was endangered.

Jews who fled the mass killing and anti-semitism of the Austrian capital for Germany found that Jews suffered less discrimination in Berlin. This, of course, was not to last. Hitler followed the history of the Armenian massacres closely and often referred to them in the years before the Second World War.

Rural Muslim Turkish and Kurdish communities far from the sophistication of Istanbul or Smyrna might have more easily accepted the first brutalities; they were certainly to participate in them.

Nor were the Croatians ordered by Berlin to slaughter their Serbian neighbours after Germany occupied Yugoslavia in ; they did so without orders from Berlin. The roots of their genocidal racism already existed. Does this apply to Rwanda, where up to a million Tutsi and moderate Hutus — including 70 per cent of the Tutsi population — were massacred in the genocide? This was centrally organised and planned, but the execution of these crimes against humanity was in the hands of Hutus across the entire country, where neighbours killed neighbours.

And in their persecution and murder of Christians and Yazidis in Iraq and Syria, Isis — which included Muslims from around the world — may not have been specifically aided by the local population; but while Arabs tried to protect their neighbours, others systematically looted their homes and property after Isis had slaughtered or deported the owners. Hebrew University of Jerusalem lecturer Umit Kurt studied the dispossession and killing of Armenians in the southern city of Aintab and found that local Turkish Muslims freely and willingly participated in the crimes.

What he discovered was that a genocidal government must have the local support of every branch of respectable society: tax officials, judges, magistrates, junior police officers, clergymen, lawyers, bankers and, most painfully, the neighbours of the victims.

Not to mention the governors. In other words, leaders do not commit genocide, not on their own. Ordinary people do. And holocausts can start far from home, in the frozen east, and long before the date we all believed the bloodbaths began. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Try Independent Minds free for 1 month to access this feature. Find your bookmarks in your Independent Minds section, under my profile.

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Most historians still think the Armenian Holocaust online hatched up by the Ottoman Turks in Istanbul in But now, almost incredibly, we discover that the liquidation of Dating Armenian men, women and sites was for instigated on 1 December in the miliatry away city of Erzurum — not on 24 Aprilwhen Armenians commemorate the first killings of the genocide perpetrated against them. We already know the terrifying statistics of the two genocides. The Jewish Shoah Holocaustwhich began less than a quarter of a century later, destroyed at least six million souls. The Germans — and, alas, many Slavic peoples of the Nazi-occupied states — committed these crimes against humanity of the Second World War. The Turks have never, to this day, accepted their responsibility. The Germans have. As a teenager in the s, Israel Kaunatjike joined the fight against apartheid in his native Namibia. He couldn't have known that his activism would take him across the globe, to Berlin—the very place where his homeland's problems started. Black and white people shared a country, yet they weren't allowed to live in the same neighborhoods or patronize the same businesses. That, says Kaunatjike, was verboten. A few decades after German immigrants staked their claim over South-West Africa in the late 19th century, the region came under the administration of the South African government, thanks to a provision of the League of Nations charter. This meant that Kaunatjike's homeland was controlled by descendants of Dutch and British colonists—white rulers who, in , made apartheid the law of the land.