Armenian Genocide Essay 2010

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"At a time when global issues dominate the political agenda of most nations, the Armenian genocide underlines the grave risks of overlooking the problems of small peoples.

We cannot ignore the cumulative effect of allowing state after state to resort to the brutal resolution of disagreements with their ethnic minorities.

Formally organized as the Committee of Union and Progress, the Young Turks decided to Turkify the multiethnic Ottoman society in order to preserve the Ottoman state from further disintegration and to obstruct the national aspirations of the various minorities.

Resistance to this measure convinced them that the Christians, and especially the Armenians, could not be assimilated.

The defeat of the Ottomans in World War I and the discrediting of the Committee of Union and Progress led to the rise of the Turkish Nationalists.

Their objective was to found a new and independent Turkish state.The repressive measures these governments use have the limited function of controlling social change and maintaining the system.In this frame of reference, genocide is viewed as a radical policy because it reaches for a profound alteration of the very nature of the state and society.The killings were done during the day and were witnessed by the general public (Bliss1982, 476-481).This kind of organized and systematic brutalization of the Armenian population pointed to the coordinating hand of the central authorities.Yet its rulers still governed over a heterogeneous society and maintained institutions that favored the Muslims, particularly those of Turkish background, and subordinated Christians and Jews as second-class citizens subject to a range of discriminatory laws and regulations imposed both by the state and its official religion, Islam.The failure of the Ottoman system to prevent the further decline of the empire led to the overthrow of the government in 1908 by a group of reformists known as the Young Turks.They argue that the process of alienation was embedded in the inequalities of the Ottoman system of government and that the massacres prepared the Ottoman society for genocide.Other scholars point out that the brutalization of disaffected elements by despotic regimes is a practice seen across the world.The sultan was alarmed by the increasing activity of Armenian political groups and wanted to curb their growth before they gained any more influence by spreading ideas about civil rights an autonomy.Abdul-Hamid took no account, however of the real variation in Armenian political outlook, which ranged from reformism and constitutionalism to separatism.


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