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Ermenilerin Kaçmaları

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Ermenilerin Kaçmaları

Mesajgönderen TurkmenCopur » 30 Nis 2011, 15:39


The worst Armenian massacres of Muslims and destruction of Muslim villages took place in two periods at the beginning and end of the First World War. The first period began with the entry of the Ottoman Empire into the war and the beginnings of organized Armenian rebellion against the Ottomans. It ended with the Russian conquest of eastern Anatolia in 1916. The second period began as the Russian army dissolved or retreated from eastern Anatolia and ended with the defeat of the Armenian armed forces who had taken the Russians' place in the field.

For the middle period of the war, the years of Russian occupation of eastern Anatolia, from the middle of 1916 to the middle of 1917, there is very little evidence of any kind. No Ottoman investigation committees such as the ones that investigated the early atrocities were present to record the events of the Russian occupation. Scattered reports indicate that major massacres of Muslims took place, particularly in Van and Bitlis vilâyets. From the large number of Muslim refugees, it is obvious that conditions were awful, but not as bad as they would become after the Russian army collapsed in 1917.

The Russian Revolution brought with it the wholesale desertion of Russian soldiers on the Anatolian front. Enlisted men and some officers simply left their units and walked home, stealing their sustenance (and anything else that was available) from villages as they passed. Russian authority in eastern Anatolia was replaced by the authority of Armenian soldiers and Armenian bands, at first nominally under the control of the Transcaucasian Federation, then as troops of the Armenian Republic. The area they ruled in Anatolia stretched from Erzincan in the east to the Persian border and north to Trabzon and the border of Russian Armenia.

Muslim villagers suffered from the depredations of the deserting Russian soldiers, but they suffered far worse from the Armenians who were left in charge. After the Russians departed, nothing held the Armenians in check. The events of the first period of the short Armenian rule were of a type seen all too often in that time -- murder of unarmed Muslim villagers, kidnapping of villagers, who were never seen again, destruction of Muslim markets, neighborhoods, and villages, and ubiquitous plundering and rape.

Armenian atrocities in the region between Erzincan and Kars went on for a relatively short time. Using units that had been held in reserve for such a purpose, the Ottoman government followed the Russian collapse with an attack on the occupied territories. Although they were relatively well-equipped with Russian supplies And weapons, the Armenians were outnumbered by the seasoned Ottoman troops. With the moral justification of the outrages being committed against Muslim villagers and townspeople, the Ottomans attacked. The Armenian forces fell back in disarray. It was obvious to them that their cause was at least temporarily lost and that Turks would reoccupy what the Armenians had claimed as Anatolian Armenia. They set about to ensure that the Ottomans would find little when they arrived. Only the rapid advance of the Ottoman army saved many of the Muslims. Those who could not be reached in time all too often perished.

The Ottomans and later the Turkish Nationalists and, in particular, Ottoman and Turkish Nationalist generals on the eastern front lodged complaints about the way Muslims were treated by the Armenians. The Turks had difficulty in finding who was in charge of Armenian troops and guerrillas. Complaints and lists of atrocities were usually sent first to the Russian commanders who were nominally in charge, later to the generals who theoretically commanded the forces of the Transcaucasian Federation. In fact, these were not the masters of the Armenians who were murdering Muslims. Understating the case, the general commanding the Ottoman Third Army in northeastern Anatolia, Vehib Pașa, wrote, "I have regularly informed the Russian Command of these atrocities and cruelties and I have gained the impression that the above authority seems to be failing in restoring order." Insofar as Armenian guerrillas in Anatolia answered to any master it was to the Armenian Republic, which was neither sympathetic toward Muslims nor had any intention to accede to Ottoman wishes.

Vehib Pașa received the reports of advance units that entered cities evacuated by Armenians, and he saw the evidence of Armenian atrocities with his own eyes.

In his report to his superiors in Istanbul he described the sad situation:

All people old enough to use weapons were rounded up, taken to the Sarikami direction for road-building and were slaughtered. The remaining people were subject to cruelties and murder by Armenians following the withdrawal of the Russians and were partly annihilated, the corpses thrown into wells, burnt in houses, mutilated by bayonets, their abdomens ripped open in slaughterhouses, their lungs and livers torn out, girls and women hung up by their hair, after all kinds of devilish acts. The few people who were able to survive these cruelties, worse than those of the Spanish Inquisition, are in poverty, more dead than alive, horrified, some driven insane, about 1500 in Erzincan and 30,000 in Erzurum. The people are hungry and in poverty, for whatever they had has been taken away from them, their lands left uncultivated.

The people have just been able to exist with some provisions found in stores left over from the Russians. The villages round Erzincan and Erzurum are in the worst condition. Some villages on the road have been levelled to the ground, leaving no stone on stone, the people completely massacred.

Kitap: Death and Exile: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims, 1821-1922
Yazar: Justin McCarthy
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Kayıt: 29 Eki 2010, 17:26

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