View Poll Results: Did the Ottoman Empire Commit Genocide Against the Armenians?

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Thread: Did the Ottoman Empire Commit Genocide Against the Armenians?

  1. #11
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    Re: Did the Ottoman Empire Commit Genocide Against the Armenians?

    Yes and somehow Turkey gets away with lying about it.
    Quote Originally Posted by RabidAlpaca View Post
    There's nothing republicans hate more than people being informed of their rights. The horror.

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    Re: Did the Ottoman Empire Commit Genocide Against the Armenians?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    I dont disagree, but I think we have to be careful on using certain definitions like genocide because it could end up as "terrorism" or worse "liberalism".. actually meaning nothing and can be thrown against anyone someone disagrees with. Genocide to me is like the Jewish Holocaust and using the term in conjunction with say the Bonsnian war or even the Iraqi war (nr 2.) is just wrong, but some people have done so. Even today in the Syrian conflict, the word genocide is being used again and again... and frankly that is a bit iffy to say the least.

    That is why I like the term ethnic cleansing better in this case (and others), because it can be used in small geographic areas and does not need to include killing all people.. driving them out for example is also ethnic cleansing. And ethnic cleansing has happened far more and more often during history that we dare admit.

    The problem is also that the age old animosity towards Turks/Ottomans have been driving a lot of the "Armenian Genocide" bid, and not the facts. Yes it was mass organised ethnic cleansing/forced deportation with mass murder there is no doubt about that.. the Turks dont even dispute this fact. But labelling it a genocide changes the whole picture, both legally and morally. Genocide is a very very powerful word.. just like Terrorism once was.
    It may become tedious to go this route then. Just with your examples. There is plenty listed for Bosnian War as involving Genocide as a description of the activity as to show intent, including ultimately charges against Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić for several counts of Genocide. I'll concede I am unsure of the disposition of that case. To make matters worse the 109th US Congress marked a 10 year anniversary as "recognition of Genocide" as a showing of remembrance. With the Iraqi War that may be another matter I agree, but one could argue that Saddam did have the intention to commit Genocide against the Kurds (ref, Halabja chemical attack.) That took time to play out as Genocide as many lived for years with complications before their demise.

    But I can see your point on the line between ethnic cleansing and Genocide, it is just one that does not appear to have much merit when it comes to after the fact branding (for lack of a better word) for some event. For example, the ICC by result has muddied the waters on the difference between the two.

    We may have no choice but to start evaluating these events in terms of intention, which as a consequence shifts those definitions slightly.

    For this subject, for this OP odds are it will result in little anyway. As we've talked about, this is by law something not even allowed to be discussed in Turkey. As for the perpetrators of these acts against the Armenians, they all have to be long since deceased themselves. So it would boil down to the politics of two groups in dispute for actions that occurred before they were all born. Just that notion clouds even further the impact for today's generation, but I'd agree with you that Genocide would be a purposeful position in order of getting into the history books with that description.
    "Every time something really bad happens, people cry out for safety, and the government answers by taking rights away from good people." - Penn Jillette.

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    Re: Did the Ottoman Empire Commit Genocide Against the Armenians?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    It is a tricky question because the definition of genocide is some what tricky.

    The general definition is "systematic destruction of all or a significant part of a racial, ethnic, religious or national group"

    The problem here is "significant" and what is significant.

    For example, 6 million Jews out of about 15 million world wide. That is not all, but it certainly meets the significant part by any logical standards, especially when we only count European Jews.

    Another is the American Indian. Now the tricky part here is that we dont have numbers or even reliable estimates of the native American Indian population during the US expansion west. So the question is, was there enough Indians slaughtered in this expansion west to justify the genocide claim? Personally I would say yes, but US history books I learned history from never mentioned genocide of the American Indian. But we do know that quite a few Indian tribes were wiped out, which meets the "all" criteria.

    The final example is the so called Bosnian Genocide. Now here we have portions of the population targeted because of their religious or ethnic build. Were all killed? Nope. Were a "significant" portion killed? not really, if we use the Jewish holocaust as a guide. Considering the population of Bosnia is in the millions and that "genocide" part was under 10000 people, then no this certainly does not meet the basic criteria. Of course politically the UN and west had to paint it as genocide or ethnic cleansing, but in reality it was just war and **** happens so to say. For example, in Iraq during the US occupation there was far more killed in an ethnic cleansing campaign by the various sides but that is not called a genocide or even ethnic cleansing by most.. so...

    Now the Armenian question. Like in the American Indian example, accurate numbers are hard to come by. On top of that you have a hell of a lot of allied propaganda during a time of war to muddle through for truth and what is basic disinformation and propaganda. The estimates of deaths go from under 500k to 1.5 million. The problem comes to the estimation of the Armenian population at the time and frankly after. It is here it gets really strange.

    According to the Armenian religious scholars, in 1912 there were just over 1 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.. so considering that there were still Armenians after the so called genocide, then the 1.5 million deaths is impossible. Others state there was more likely 1.6 to 2 million, which makes the 1.5 million possible. The Ottoman census of 1914 stated there was 1.2 million, also making the 1.5 million deaths impossible. Other figures from the late 1800s stated around 1.2 million down to 800k.

    Now lets say that it was the high number of 2 million, then killing off 500k to 1.5 million would be significant and it would trigger the genocide accusation.

    Problem comes from a 1922 US State Department estimations, that state there was 817873 Armenian refugees. Other sources state there was 281k Armenians left in Anatolia, 150k in Constantinople and 131k in Asia Minor in 1921. Now that is 562k Armenians.. but the Armenians them selves stated that there was 1 million of them before the genocide, so how can there be 1.5 million killed which is what most pro-Armenian genocide people quote..

    So the math simply does not add up, which is why the genocide claim is a bit iffy. Mass murder and ethnic cleansning.. sure, but out right genocide of a population of up to 2 million when the US states there are 817k refugees and 562k still in what was left of the Ottoman Empire?

    So to the question.. no, not genocide since there is not enough factual information. But yes to mass organized murder and ethnic cleansing.
    If I'm getting your post right, you're saying that it's tricky to call it a genocide because some scholars disagree on the numbers, and because there are many refugees in the US? Those aren't exactly arguments to be made against calling a particular action a genocide. A genocide implies a plan to destroy a certain group. This plan involves the destruction of that group's culture, religion and institutions. There is very little doubt that this is what the Ottoman Empire intended by wiping out hundreds of thousands of Armenians.
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    Re: Did the Ottoman Empire Commit Genocide Against the Armenians?

    The historical record clearly shows that it occurred.

    The denial or obfuscation of the event is 110% political.

    However I would stress that it should not be a statement about the modern Turkish state, Turkey wouldn't be the first country to try to iron out a crinkle in their shirt, japanese denial or in most cases minimization about war crimes committed against the Chinese is the most stark example that comes to mind.

    It did happen and the modern Turkish state denying or accepting that won't change anything.

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    Re: Did the Ottoman Empire Commit Genocide Against the Armenians?

    Quote Originally Posted by OrphanSlug View Post
    It may become tedious to go this route then. Just with your examples. There is plenty listed for Bosnian War as involving Genocide as a description of the activity as to show intent, including ultimately charges against Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić for several counts of Genocide. I'll concede I am unsure of the disposition of that case. To make matters worse the 109th US Congress marked a 10 year anniversary as "recognition of Genocide" as a showing of remembrance.
    Yes but the problem here, is this was clearly a political move against the Serbs and Russians. Saying that the killing of 10k people was an organised genocide of a whole people is a bit rich. Was it ethnic cleansing in geographic areas? yes. Mass murder? yes. but genocide... sorry but is stretching it.

    With the Iraqi War that may be another matter I agree, but one could argue that Saddam did have the intention to commit Genocide against the Kurds (ref, Halabja chemical attack.) That took time to play out as Genocide as many lived for years with complications before their demise.
    Then he did a piss poor job of it. Targeting one little town and killing 5000s or so out of millions... sorry but not genocide. Mass murder yes, but not genocide.

    But I can see your point on the line between ethnic cleansing and Genocide, it is just one that does not appear to have much merit when it comes to after the fact branding (for lack of a better word) for some event. For example, the ICC by result has muddied the waters on the difference between the two.
    I agree, and that is a problem. The term has become political and that is a problem. The problem is the ICC is an organisation set up by the major powers and they have been using it as a proxy to go after political enemies across the globe.
    PeteEU

  6. #16
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    Re: Did the Ottoman Empire Commit Genocide Against the Armenians?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    If I'm getting your post right, you're saying that it's tricky to call it a genocide because some scholars disagree on the numbers, and because there are many refugees in the US?
    No. First off the refugees were not in the US, but in the area. LOL 800k refugees in the US.. yea right... especially during those racist times. They form most of the present Armenian population today. Secondly it was not only scholars, but also official records for the most part. Official census records and religious records.

    Those aren't exactly arguments to be made against calling a particular action a genocide. A genocide implies a plan to destroy a certain group. This plan involves the destruction of that group's culture, religion and institutions.
    That is a very broad definition of genocide and a very dangerous one. Pretty much any war of conquest between nations falls under this description.

    There is very little doubt that this is what the Ottoman Empire intended by wiping out hundreds of thousands of Armenians.
    And that is what is disputed... the numbers. Was there a forced deportation of disloyal Armenians by the Ottomans during the last years of Empire.. yes. Did many die, most likely, but the accusations include more people than officially registered or estimated, and THAT means the claim is a bit iffy to say the least.

    But lets be clear, there was an organised attempt of ethnic cleansing that cost the lives of many thousands of people and no one is denying this... not even the Turks themselves. The issue is labelling it as a genocide.. a term associated with the Jewish holocaust, and that is the point. People, especially politicians, are trying to link acts of mass murder by political opponents to the acts of the Nazi´s.. and thereby tainting them forever as "modern Nazi's". It is one of the reasons that the US officially denies that the treatment of the native American Indians was genocide.
    PeteEU

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    Re: Did the Ottoman Empire Commit Genocide Against the Armenians?

    Quote Originally Posted by OrphanSlug View Post
    We have little evidence to the contrary, there is too much that tells us the Ottoman Empire did commit genocide against the Armenians even going so far as to leave behind the reasons for doing so. The Armenians not only thrived, but they aligned with Christians and that upset those in charge. Deportations, confiscation of property and wealth, and/or mass killings became the answer. It is still illegal to talk about this in Turkey, if that tells you anything about the will to keep this conversation closed.
    no it is never illegal here .but in switzerland if you deny it they will put you into jail.very democratic.if you dont believe in me Google it
    Last edited by Medusa; 04-07-15 at 05:10 AM.
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    Re: Did the Ottoman Empire Commit Genocide Against the Armenians?

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    no it is never illegal here .but in switzerland if you deny it they will put you into jail.very democratic.if you dont believe in me Google it

    Turkey Deports German Photojournalist Who was to Cover Armenian Genocide Article


    Turkey Deports German Photojournalist Who was to Cover Armenian Genocide Article - Armenian News By MassisPost

    Article 301 (Turkish Penal Code) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Re: Did the Ottoman Empire Commit Genocide Against the Armenians?


    if you deny it in switzerland they will arrest you .Google it too.

    this thread belongs to the ME forum....
    "Sovereignty is not given, it is taken." ATATÜRK

  10. #20
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    Re: Did the Ottoman Empire Commit Genocide Against the Armenians?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    Yes but the problem here, is this was clearly a political move against the Serbs and Russians. Saying that the killing of 10k people was an organised genocide of a whole people is a bit rich. Was it ethnic cleansing in geographic areas? yes. Mass murder? yes. but genocide... sorry but is stretching it.

    Then he did a piss poor job of it. Targeting one little town and killing 5000s or so out of millions... sorry but not genocide. Mass murder yes, but not genocide.

    I agree, and that is a problem. The term has become political and that is a problem. The problem is the ICC is an organisation set up by the major powers and they have been using it as a proxy to go after political enemies across the globe.
    Well, best of luck getting some sort of standard adhered to with this. And given the conversation to date it still seems to me that intention means more than results, which speaks well to the historical implication level of getting an event recorded a certain way. Just the way I see it.
    "Every time something really bad happens, people cry out for safety, and the government answers by taking rights away from good people." - Penn Jillette.

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