THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE 1915-1923 “ The 20 th  Century’s Forgotten Genocide” THE ARMENIAN ASSEMBLY OF AMERICA - Yeghig L. Ke...
BECOMING EVIL,   How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing <ul><li>James Waller </li></ul><ul><li>What is the u...
UNDERSTANDING GENOCIDE,  Evolutionary Psychology <ul><li>Waller’s Central Premise:  (pg. 160) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ What...
ARMENIAN GENOCIDE, James Waller’s Theoretical Framework <ul><li>Starting Point:  What were the  cultural ,  psychological ...
Cultural Construction of Worldview, “Vertical” Hierarchical Context <ul><li>1.  Collectivist Values:   Examining the chara...
CULTURAL CONSTRUCTION, Collectivist Values <ul><li>1.  What  did  group-based identity  in Ottoman society entail? </li></...
ANSWER TO QUESTION #1, Collectivist Values – Religious Identity <ul><li>The  millet  system provided the basis for the Ott...
OUT-GROUP HOMOGENEITY EFFECT, Christian Population <ul><li>From the time Armenians first came under Ottoman rule in the 14...
CULTURAL CONSTRUCTION, Social Dominance – Young Turks <ul><li>2.  How did the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide manipu...
ANSWER TO QUESTION #2, Social Dominance <ul><li>MASTERMINDS OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE, </li></ul><ul><li>Committee of Union...
CUP LEADERSHIP:  The Triumvirate  <ul><li>Talaat:  Minister of the Interior  (Mastermind of the Armenian Genocide) </li></...
IDEOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS,  Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) <ul><li>The CUP never felt itself bound to a single ide...
<ul><li>Pan-Turanist , mixed with  pan-Islam  and  Ottoman loyalism  constituted the official national identity of the Emp...
<ul><li>The presence of Ottoman (or what became Turkish) collectivist values eventually translated into  collective violen...
<ul><li>Turkish understanding of “nation” did not borrow from the 18 th  c. European concepts of social democratization (i...
<ul><li>The  cultural preconditions  for genocide were already in existence  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As Christian infidels, ...
CULTURAL CONSTRUCTION, Authority Orientation <ul><li>3. What was the cultural tradition of obedience and identification wi...
ANSWER TO QUESTION #3, Authority Orientation <ul><li>The Ottoman administrative tradition and Ottoman conceptions of power...
YOUNG TURKS IN POWER, Absolute Rule of Ottoman Empire <ul><li>On January 23, 1913, some two hundred CUP members, headed by...
PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION OF THE “OTHER” <ul><li>Us vs. Them Thinking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outlines how   killing is mad...
PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION, “ Us vs. Them Thinking” <ul><li>1.  How did Armenians become objectified by the Young Turks? <...
ANSWER TO QUESTION #1, Us vs. Them Thinking – Occupational Traits <ul><li>Pejorative characterization of Armenians as a “m...
EUROPEAN PROTECTORATES, Christian Loci of Powers  <ul><li>Europeans were sympathetic to the plight of Armenians </li></ul>...
PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION, Moral Disengagement <ul><li>2. How do perpetrators regulate their thinking to disengage onesel...
ANSWER TO QUESTION #2, Moral Disengagement <ul><li>Moral Justification:  Necessary for the safety and security of one’s ow...
EXIGENCIES OF WAR, Dehumanization of Victims <ul><li>Armenians posed a danger to the Empire and to the Ottoman Turks </li>...
MORAL JUSTIFICATION, “ The Armenian Rebellion” <ul><li>The irony was when the Ottoman Empire entered the war, the  Armenia...
EUPHEMISTIC LABELING, Armenian “Resettlements”   <ul><li>Ottoman authorities put a shiny gloss on the legality of their ac...
LEGALITY OF ACTIONS, Justification for Government’s Actions <ul><li>Temporary Law of Deportation (May 27, 1915) </li></ul>...
PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION, Blaming the Victim <ul><li>3. How did the Turks and Muslims alike assure themselves that Armen...
ANSWER TO QUESTION #3 Blaming the Victim <ul><li>Turkish Consul, Djelal Munif Bey: </li></ul><ul><li>“ All those who have ...
SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF CRUELTY <ul><li>Professional Socialization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compliance : Obey authority, synon...
SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF CRUELTY, Professional Socialism <ul><li>1. How were the attitudes of ordinary Turks and non-Turkish...
ANSWER TO QUESTION #1 Professional Socialism <ul><li>“ The Balkan debacle resulted in recriminations and searches for  sca...
OTTOMAN TURKISH MILITARY, Subscribing to Conformity <ul><li>The Ottoman Turkish military circumscribed to the prevailing t...
MERGER OF ROLE & INDIVIDUAL, A Series of Escalating Commitments <ul><li>The liquidation of the Armenians was organized by ...
DENIAL OF A COMMON HUMANITY, “Ritual Conduct” <ul><li>The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 1915-1916, p. 563 <...
SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF CRUELTY, Group Identification <ul><li>2. How did group identification, whether centered on race, et...
ANSWER TO QUESTION #2, Diffusion of Responsibility <ul><li>Testimony of a Turkish Captain to Eyewitness: </li></ul><ul><ul...
DECLARATION OF JIHAD, Armenians Fall Prey to Islam <ul><li>The British consul Henry Barnham, who oversaw Aintab and Bireci...
SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF CRUELTY, Binding Factors of the Group <ul><li>3. What were the group dynamics in play that kept the...
ANSWER TO QUESTION #3, Binding Factors of the Group <ul><li>ZIYA GOKALP, CUP  Turkish Propagandist   </li></ul><ul><li>MYT...
CONFORMITY TO PEER PRESSURE, Proto-Totalitarian Regime <ul><li>According to Hannah Arendt, “In order to establish a totali...
ARMENIAN GENOCIDE, A Quick Overview <ul><li>In April 1915 the Ottoman government embarked upon the systematic decimation o...
TIMELINE OF GENOCIDE <ul><li>February 1915:   Armenians in the armed forces were segregated into labor battalions, disarme...
THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY, Genocide and Cover-up <ul><li>According to Waller, “No other nation [Turkey] in the modern age has...
ARMENIAN ASSEMBLY OF AMERICA, Genocide Education & Prevention <ul><li>ARMENIAN GENOCIDE: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Confront th...
SUGGESTED READING <ul><li>James Waller,  Becoming Evil:  How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing </li></ul><u...
<ul><li>Henry Morgenthau,  Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story (1918) </li></ul><ul><li>Leo Kuper,  Genocide </li></ul><ul><li>J...
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UCSD Seminar: Genocide in the 20th Century, 8.18.09

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UCSD Seminar: Genocide in the 20th Century, 8.18.09

  1. 1. THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE 1915-1923 “ The 20 th Century’s Forgotten Genocide” THE ARMENIAN ASSEMBLY OF AMERICA - Yeghig L. Keshishian -
  2. 2. BECOMING EVIL, How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing <ul><li>James Waller </li></ul><ul><li>What is the underlying cause behind having “ordinary people become genocidal perpetrators?” </li></ul><ul><li>Who actually carries out the killings? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not interested in the macro-level political, economic, and historical factors that underline the origins of genocide and mass killing in a given society. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Psychological explanation of how ordinary people commit genocide and mass killing </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. UNDERSTANDING GENOCIDE, Evolutionary Psychology <ul><li>Waller’s Central Premise: (pg. 160) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ What are the universal reasoning circuits – designed by natural selection to solve the adaptive problems of intergroup relations faced by our hunter-gather ancestors – that are activated by cultural , psychological , and social constructions in the process of ordinary people committing genocide and mass killing?” </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. ARMENIAN GENOCIDE, James Waller’s Theoretical Framework <ul><li>Starting Point: What were the cultural , psychological , and social constructions that enabled the Ottoman Turks to systematically destroy and annihilate the Armenian population and its cultural remnants during 1915-1923? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How did these forces come together to activate the process of genocide and mass killing -- not to mention sustain the crimes being committed by Turks and Ottoman subjects alike? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Overarching Question: Does James Waller’s “Model of How Ordinary People Commit Genocide” provide us with a suitable theoretical framework in understanding how genocide is perpetrated and why the Ottoman Turks engaged in genocidal killings of Armenians? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Cultural Construction of Worldview, “Vertical” Hierarchical Context <ul><li>1. Collectivist Values: Examining the characteristics that set the &quot;in-group identity” apart from the “out-group” (i.e. race, ethnicity, tribe, kin, religion or nationality). (Waller 174) </li></ul><ul><li>2. Social Dominance: Understanding the dominance of individuals within a group and their access to certain resources (i.e. ideologies, myths, symbols, etc). (Waller, 185) </li></ul><ul><li>3. Authority Orientation: Relating to people according to their position and power in hierarchies. (Waller, 181) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying the cultural tradition of obedience and identification with a given state </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. CULTURAL CONSTRUCTION, Collectivist Values <ul><li>1. What did group-based identity in Ottoman society entail? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a) How did group membership in Ottoman society become a central (and defining characteristic) in viewing Armenians as a perpetual threat to the Ottoman empire? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. ANSWER TO QUESTION #1, Collectivist Values – Religious Identity <ul><li>The millet system provided the basis for the Ottoman society’s treatment of non-Muslim minorities ( dhimmi ). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bound non-Sunni Ottoman subjects to their millets according to their religious affiliations (rather than their ethnic origins). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Religious identity was the unifying, supra-identity in Ottoman society. (Akcam, 120) </li></ul>
  8. 8. OUT-GROUP HOMOGENEITY EFFECT, Christian Population <ul><li>From the time Armenians first came under Ottoman rule in the 14 th c., as Christians, they were living under the protection of the Muslim Turkish ruling order. (Balakian, 40) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Subordinated as second-class citizens subject to a range of discriminatory laws and regulations imposed both by the state and its official religion, Islam . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Armenians, for example, had to be deferential between Muslims in public; they could not ride a horse when a Muslim was passing by; they were to wear dress that made them easily identifiable; they were forbidden to own weapons.” (42) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Treatment of Armenians by the Ottoman ruling elite made the “Armenian Question” palpable </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. CULTURAL CONSTRUCTION, Social Dominance – Young Turks <ul><li>2. How did the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide manipulate certain ideologies and myths to gain social dominance ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a) How did the Young Turks monopolize their hold on Ottoman society and politics? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. ANSWER TO QUESTION #2, Social Dominance <ul><li>MASTERMINDS OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE, </li></ul><ul><li>Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) </li></ul><ul><li>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 self proclaimed reformists known as the Young Turks . </li></ul><ul><li>When the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) , Ittihad ve Terakki Jemiyeti, emerged at the head of the government in a coup staged in 1913, the party concentrated control of Ottoman Empire in the hands of the nationalistic, anti-liberal forces. </li></ul><ul><li>The Young Turks, under the CUP umbrella, ventured to Turkify the multiethnic Ottoman society to (1) preserve the Ottoman state from further disintegration; to (2) obstruct the national aspirations of the various minorities; and to (3) further their imperialistic ambitions . </li></ul>
  11. 11. CUP LEADERSHIP: The Triumvirate <ul><li>Talaat: Minister of the Interior (Mastermind of the Armenian Genocide) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordinated the various agencies of the Ottoman government overseeing the deportation, expropriation, and extermination of Armenians. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ordered the arrest of Armenian leaders in Constantinople on April 24, 1915, and requested the Tehcir Law of May 1915 initiating the mass massacres. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Issued an order to close all Armenian political organizations operating within the Ottoman Empire and arrested Armenians connected to them on April 24 1915. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Enver: Minister of the War (later Grand Vizier, 1917) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitated the buildup of the Turkish armed forces with German financial, logistical, and planning support. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exercised ultimate control over the Ottoman armies that carried out major atrocities in 1915 and in 1918 when he invaded the Caucasus. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Deputy Commander-in-Chief and nephew to reigning Sultan </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Jemal: Ministry of the Navy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Controlled the southern part of the Ottoman Empire as virtual viceroy from his seat in Damascus. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oversaw control of the concentration camps and extermination sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fell within his jurisdiction as commander of Syria. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. IDEOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS, Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) <ul><li>The CUP never felt itself bound to a single ideology. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The sole reason for this attitude was that, for them, everything outside than keeping the Empire together was of secondary importance.” (Akcam,137) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Drift toward Turkism should be understood as the result of necessity rather than of doctrinal preference (Akcam, 136) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initially envisioned a policy of Turkification that did not entirely reject Ottomanism . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only when the Ottoman ruling elite was unable to offer a stable national identity to replace insecurity arising from Ottoman loss of previous hegemony within the international hierarchy of states did the CUP turn to proscribing “Turkish identity” as a last alternative for the Empire </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Pan-Turanist , mixed with pan-Islam and Ottoman loyalism constituted the official national identity of the Empire in 1908: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ the only way of saving Turkey from the complications which threatened on every side, building up her strength and giving her true place among nations .” (Karsh & Karsh, 101) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Turkish nationalism was the keynote of relations w/ Tartars of Russia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pan-Islam proved useful in forming alliances with Arabs and other non-Turkish Moslems both within and outside the Empire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ottomanism continued to be the keynote of internal politics </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>The presence of Ottoman (or what became Turkish) collectivist values eventually translated into collective violence , as the normal inhibitions against killing out-group strangers was weakened </li></ul><ul><li>Result of the nation building process by the in-group – namely, the CUP – and the war conditions surrounding the losses sustained by both the Balkan Wars and WWI . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Ottoman Empire lost 75% of its territory and 85% of its population between the years 1878 and 1918. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By 1914, the empire lost virtually all its lands in Europe and Africa. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The end result was the emergence of a bellicose Turkish nation bent on destroying its enemy at any expense. </li></ul>COLLECTIVE VIOLENCE, Turkish Militarist Values
  15. 15. <ul><li>Turkish understanding of “nation” did not borrow from the 18 th c. European concepts of social democratization (i.e. popular sovereignty, parliament and political aspiration) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Turkish national identity developed in tandem with a desire for revenge , which was created by military defeats, the massacre of Muslims in many places, and the loss of Ottoman territories. (Akcam, 92) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Militarist values had long been a part of Turkish culture and its approach to solving internal and external problems. (Akcam, 53). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Given way to theories of social-Darwinism of a superior “Turkish” race capable of rescuing the ailing Empire from further losses. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Glorified images of a Turk of the 14 th and 15 th centuries became the prevalent focal point of Turkish identity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nostalgic images of Turks who had “swept out of his Asiatic fastnesses, conquered all the powerful peoples in his way, and founded in Asia, Africa and Europe one of the most extensive empires that history has known” became prevalent in Ottoman society. (Balakian, 276) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>AN EXERCISE IN NATION BUILDING, Emergence of a Turkish Identity
  16. 16. <ul><li>The cultural preconditions for genocide were already in existence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As Christian infidels, Armenians had already been marginalized. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By the end of the 1890s, Turkish society engaged in a culture of massacre that permanently dehumanized Armenians in an evolutionary process that would culminate into genocide. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>From 1894 and 1896, 300,000 Armenians were massacred under the rule of Sultan Abdul Hamid II </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Later in 1909, an additional 30,000 Armenians were massacred in Cilicia </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>With an ideology now aimed at transforming the troublesome heterogeneous social structure of the Ottoman Empire into a more or less homogenous one, the Armenian Genocide was palpable. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Armenians became fair game.” (115, Balakian) </li></ul></ul>IDEOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS, The Armenian Question
  17. 17. CULTURAL CONSTRUCTION, Authority Orientation <ul><li>3. What was the cultural tradition of obedience and identification with the Ottoman state? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a) How did the Young Turks manage to inoculate a sense of duty from the in-group to garner their support during the Armenian Genocide? </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. ANSWER TO QUESTION #3, Authority Orientation <ul><li>The Ottoman administrative tradition and Ottoman conceptions of power derived from an archaic imperial tradition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Power drew its legitimacy solely from itself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>State was sacrosanct ; the nation did not possess the state, the state possessed the nation (Akcam, 230) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>State formed itself around the ideology that the state was established in order to counter threats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For centuries, “the Sultan had been an unquestioned despot, whose will had been the only law, and who had centered in this own person all the power of sovereignty.” (Akcam, 19) </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. YOUNG TURKS IN POWER, Absolute Rule of Ottoman Empire <ul><li>On January 23, 1913, some two hundred CUP members, headed by Enver Pasha, staged a coup d'état that resulted in the assassination of the Minister of War, and the resignation of the grand vizier and entire cabinet. (Karsh & Karsh, 101) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Absolute power rested in the hands of the CUP Triumvirate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ The rest of the Ottoman ruling institutions – the government, the Parliament, and the Sultan – were made to dance to the tune of the triumvirate.” (Karsh & Karsh, 101) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Ottoman state had effectively been transformed into a military dictatorship </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mohammed V may have been the Sultan and Caliph, meaning the Head of the Mohammedan Church </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yet his new duties, under the “Young Turks” consisted merely performing certain ceremonies, such as receiving ambassadors, and in affixing his signature to such papers as Talaat and his associates placed before him. </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION OF THE “OTHER” <ul><li>Us vs. Them Thinking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outlines how killing is made easier as the distance between the perpetrators and victims increases (i.e., “Social Death;” “Excommunication”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ethnocentrism, Xenophobia </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Moral Disengagement: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moral Justification : For the safety and security of one’s own group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dehumanization of Victims : Rationalized evil; Reflect belonging to a subhuman group of people based on a distinct racial, ethnic, religious, social or political group the perpetrator regards as inferior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Euphemistic Labeling of Evil Action. Camouflage evil using innocuous or sanitizing jargon to hide moral repugnancy of individual actions (i.e. “evacuation, resettlement, etc.”) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Blaming the Victim </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Victims earned their suffering because they got what they deserved </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION, “ Us vs. Them Thinking” <ul><li>1. How did Armenians become objectified by the Young Turks? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a) How was the differentiation between the empire’s Muslim population and its Christian Armenian heightened by this sense of ethnocentrism and xenophobia ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>b) How were these actions translated into acts of violence against the Christian Armenian population? </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. ANSWER TO QUESTION #1, Us vs. Them Thinking – Occupational Traits <ul><li>Pejorative characterization of Armenians as a “mercantile race” </li></ul><ul><li>In large part because Christian Armenians were denied advancement positions in government or warfare, Armenians became active in commerce </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Transformed into a comprador class, (that is, a bourgeoisie cooperating with foreign interests) under the Capitulations. (Morgenthau, Akcam, 85) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Armenians controlled 60% of imports; 40% of exports; and at least 80% of commerce in the interior. (Kuper, 117) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>GERMAN PROPOGANDA </li></ul><ul><li>October 9, 1915, article in Frankfurter Zeitung : </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Armenian…enjoys, through his higher intellect and superior commercial ability, a constant business advantage in trade, tax-forming, banking, and commission-agency over the heavy-footed Turk, and so accumulates money in his pocket, while the Turk grows poor. That is why the Armenian is the best-hated man in the East – in many cases not justly, though a generalization would be unfair.” (Waller, 215) </li></ul>
  23. 23. EUROPEAN PROTECTORATES, Christian Loci of Powers <ul><li>Europeans were sympathetic to the plight of Armenians </li></ul><ul><li>“ Beyond this, it was certainly true that the impoverished Muslim population in certain regimes was in much worse shape than their Christian neighbors in a number of ways. Unlike the Christians, when local Muslims were subjected to oppression there was neither a foreign consulate where they could seek redress, nor a foreign state that would stand behind them.” (Akcam, 82) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fostered bad will with Muslim communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foreign embassies and consulates become new loci of power within the Empire (80) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allowed Europeans to exert influence on the Ottoman Empire (Balakian, 171) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When the Turkish Government abrogated the Capitulations, it freed the CUP from the domination of the foreign powers, making the Pan-Turkish dream a possibility. (Akcam; Balakian, 285) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ended foreign interventions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Declared principle of general equality for all subjects null and void </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION, Moral Disengagement <ul><li>2. How do perpetrators regulate their thinking to disengage oneself from their moral scruples to allow for their evil actions toward another group? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a) How did ordinary Muslims disengage themselves from the crimes they committed against the innocent Armenian civilians? </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. ANSWER TO QUESTION #2, Moral Disengagement <ul><li>Moral Justification: Necessary for the safety and security of one’s own group </li></ul><ul><li>Armenians were considered treacherous and sympathetic to European economic and political interests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Armenian aspirations for representation and participation in the government aroused suspicions among the Muslim Turks who responded to the demands from Armenian political organizations for administrative reforms in the Armenian-inhabited provinces and better police protection from predatory tribes among the Kurds by inviting further repression </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From the viewpoint of Ittihadist ideology, and its new and ambitious foreign policy, the Armenians represented a completely vulnerable population straddling an area of major strategic value for its Pan-Turanian goals. </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. EXIGENCIES OF WAR, Dehumanization of Victims <ul><li>Armenians posed a danger to the Empire and to the Ottoman Turks </li></ul><ul><li>The CUP justified its actions to its citizens by implicating Armenians in the Russian war effort, on the basis that a contingency of Russian Armenians participated alongside Russian forces in the Battle of Sarikamish, which dealt a devastating blow to Enver’s pan-Turanism dreams . (Karsh & Karsh, 154) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Armenian soldiers in the Ottoman army were relegated to “ labor battalions ” and stripped of their weapons. (Karsh & Karsh, 155) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Armenians did not exhibit the same racial , ethnic , religious , social and political characteristics that constituted a “ Turk ” </li></ul>
  27. 27. MORAL JUSTIFICATION, “ The Armenian Rebellion” <ul><li>The irony was when the Ottoman Empire entered the war, the Armenians immediately strove to demonstrate their loyalty : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Prayers for an Ottoman victory were said in churches throughout the empire, and the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul, as well as several nationalist groups, including the Dashnaktsutiun Party, announced their loyalty to the Ottoman Empire and implored the Armenian people to perform their obligations to the best of their ability.” (Karsh & Karsh, 153) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>WHY? The Russo-German proposal, worked out in February 1914, provided for the creation of two Armenian provinces, one incorporating the Sivas, Erzerum, and Trbizond velayets, and the other velayets of Van, Bitlis, Kharput, and Diarbekir. Yet for all the imperfections they contained the most far-reaching concessions the Armenians had managed to extract from their suzerain , and most of them were eager to preserve their gains come what may. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each of these provinces was to be administered by a European inspector-general appointed by the great powers; by May the first two inspector-general appointed by the great powers, a Norwegian and a Dutchman, assumed their posts. (Karsh & Karsh, 153) </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. EUPHEMISTIC LABELING, Armenian “Resettlements” <ul><li>Ottoman authorities put a shiny gloss on the legality of their actions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General deportation decree of May 30, 1915 instructed security forces to protect the deportees against nomadic attacks, to provide them with sufficient food and supplies for their journey and to compensate them with new property, land, and goods necessary for their resettlement (Akcam, 157) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>According to U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire Henry Morgenthau, however, “The real purpose of the deportation was robbery and destruction; it really represented a new method of massacre . When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race ; they understood this well, and, in their conversations with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact.” (Morgenthau, 309) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Armenians had hardly left their native villages when the persecutions began. (Morgenthau, 314) </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. LEGALITY OF ACTIONS, Justification for Government’s Actions <ul><li>Temporary Law of Deportation (May 27, 1915) </li></ul><ul><li>– No overt reference to Armenians </li></ul><ul><li>– Created sense of duty </li></ul><ul><li>Temporary Law of Expropriation & Confiscation (Sept 1915) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>– Register the properties of the deportees; safeguard them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>– Dispose of items at public auctions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>– Revenues to be held in trust until their return (Balakian, 187) </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION, Blaming the Victim <ul><li>3. How did the Turks and Muslims alike assure themselves that Armenians were less than animals deserving of the inflictions they had faced? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a) How did Turks and non-Turkish Muslims deflect any guilt surrounding their actions by blaming the Armenians for their suffering? </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. ANSWER TO QUESTION #3 Blaming the Victim <ul><li>Turkish Consul, Djelal Munif Bey: </li></ul><ul><li>“ All those who have been killed were of that rebellious element who were caught red-handed or while otherwise committing traitorous acts against the Turkish Government, and not women and children, as some of these fabricated reports would have the Americans believe.” But the same representative added that if innocent lives had in fact been lost, that was because in wartime “discrimination is utterly impossible, and it is not alone the offender who suffers the penalty of his act, but also the innocent whom he drags with him… The Armenians have only themselves to blame .” (Powers, 10) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Armenians, as the last large Christian group left in the Empire, ultimately paid the price for the other Christian communities that had, one after the other, broken off from it. </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF CRUELTY <ul><li>Professional Socialization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compliance : Obey authority, synonymous with individual’s universe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identification : Mimics behavior that seems to go with a particular role </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internalization : Accepts authority because it is congruent with one’s value system </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Group Identification </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Repression of Conscious : Rejection of outside values </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Diffusion of Responsibility : Sidestep personal responsibility for role </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Deindividualism : Identified not as a particular individual, rather as a group member </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rational self-interest : Subjective calculation based on expected benefits vs. costs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Binding factors of the Group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conformity to Peer Pressure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kin Recognition Cues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF CRUELTY, Professional Socialism <ul><li>1. How were the attitudes of ordinary Turks and non-Turkish Muslims transformed by their given roles? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a) How did the merger of role and the individual internalize evil and later shape evil actions against Armenians? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>b) What role did the Turkish military and/or paramilitary organizations have in socializing their Muslim subjects into a context of cruelty? </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. ANSWER TO QUESTION #1 Professional Socialism <ul><li>“ The Balkan debacle resulted in recriminations and searches for scapegoats , both at the popular level and within the regime . Blaming Europe, Russia in particular, for this recent disaster, Muslims in various parts of the Ottoman Empire vented their anger on Christians , who, by virtue of their religion, were seen as sympathizing with Europe.” (Karsh & Karsh, 99) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fostered a sense of duty from the Turkish and Muslim masses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengthened the societal bonds across religious grounds. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The war exterior gave the CUP the opportunity they so desperately wanted to begin creating subcommittees across the empire, comprising of men whom the committee placed in power to execute their orders against the Armenians. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>According to U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Henry Morgenthau, “No man could hold an office, high or low, who was not endorsed by this committee.” (14) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This was an important consideration because the bulk of the genocidal killing was done by the gendarmerie, not the army. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Secretary of Defense, Enver Pasha, made it known to his contacts that the army was not to interfere in the deportation of the Armenians Enabled the CUP to deflect responsibility: “For as the death tolls rose, they could always say that “things got out of control,” and it was the result of “groups of brigands.” . (Akcam, 170; Balakian, 183) </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. OTTOMAN TURKISH MILITARY, Subscribing to Conformity <ul><li>The Ottoman Turkish military circumscribed to the prevailing thinking because of their position within the bureaucracy and because obedience, conformity, tradition and safety became a rallying cry to follow orders in the interests of one’s own security. </li></ul><ul><li>To further entrench the control of the state in matters pertaining to the completion of the Armenian Genocide, Enver issued orders which stigmatized the evasion of military service as desertion and therefore punishable with the death penalty. (Akcam, Morganthau 66) </li></ul>
  36. 36. MERGER OF ROLE & INDIVIDUAL, A Series of Escalating Commitments <ul><li>The liquidation of the Armenians was organized by the Central Committee of the CUP. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Department of Interior informed the governors of the official order for deportation, and the governors in turn forwarded this information to the security forces in their area, primarily by the gendarmerie. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Party Secretaries established gangs of killers and delivered the order for genocide to the regions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Three Sources for Recruitment of the Gangs: Kurdish tribes, convicted prisoners and immigrants from Caucasia and Balkans. (Akcam, 161) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Involved in inciting Moslem population to demonstrate against the Armenians, looting Armenian possessions, and enriching themselves through the process. (Akcam, 174) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The outfit, known as the Special Organization (SO), Teshkilâti Mahsusa, was organized within the Ministry of War, under the command of CUP leader Behaeddin Shakir </li></ul>
  37. 37. DENIAL OF A COMMON HUMANITY, “Ritual Conduct” <ul><li>The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 1915-1916, p. 563 </li></ul><ul><li>Viscount Bryce Toynbee </li></ul><ul><li>“ I asked my gendarmes what all the strange little mounds of earths were which I saw everywhere, with thousands of dogs prowling round about them. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Those are the graves of infidels!’ they answered calmly. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Strange, so many graves for such a little village.’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Oh, you do not understand. Those are the graves of these dogs – those who were brought here first, last August. They all died of thirst.’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Of thirst? Was there no water left in the Euphrates?’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ For whole weeks together we were forbidden to let them drink’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“… [ D]emonstrated the evil that ordinary people can be readily induced into doing to other ordinary people within the context of socially approved roles, rules, and norms, a legitimizing ideology, and institutional support that transcends individual agency.” (Waller, 237) </li></ul>
  38. 38. SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF CRUELTY, Group Identification <ul><li>2. How did group identification, whether centered on race, ethnicity, tribe, kin, religion, or nationality, become a defining characteristic of the perpetrator’s personal identity that it overshadowed the self ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a) How did the repression of conscience have a desensitizing effect on the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide? </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. ANSWER TO QUESTION #2, Diffusion of Responsibility <ul><li>Testimony of a Turkish Captain to Eyewitness: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I asked him if he felt responsible to answer to God, to mankind, and to what we call civilization. The captain replied that he felt no responsibility whatsoever . He was only obeying orders given to him from Constantinople. He indicated that he was only a captain and have been ordered to kill everyone because a “Holy War” had been declared. When the massacre was over with, he told me he said a prayer and absolved his soul .” (Waller, 247) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Islamic Call to Duty </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On Nov 14, less than 2 weeks after the Ottoman Empire entered the war, the sheikh-ul-Islam (the chief Sunni Muslim religious authority in the Ottoman world), Mustafa Hayri Bey – who was a CUP appointment and not, as it was traditionally, the sultan’s choice – made a formal declaration of jihad in Constantinople, followed by well-organized demonstrations in the streets (Balakian, 169) </li></ul></ul>
  40. 40. DECLARATION OF JIHAD, Armenians Fall Prey to Islam <ul><li>The British consul Henry Barnham, who oversaw Aintab and Birecik in Aleppo Province, made it clear in his account how powerfully the killing of Armenians was motivated by Islamic fanaticism and a jihad mentality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Muslim clerics played a perpetual role in the massacring of Armenians; imams and softas would often rally the mob by chanting prayers; and mosques were often used as places to mobilize crowds, especially during Friday prayers. Christians were murdered in the name of Allah .” (Balakian, 112) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The religious leaders read proclamations denouncing Christians – namely, Armenians – to their assembled congregations in the mosques, while newspapers printed it conspicuously </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information was spread broadcast in all the countries which had large Mohammedan populations – India, China, Persia, Egypt, Algiers, Tripoli, Morocco, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read to the assembled multitudes and the populace was exhorted to obey the mandate. (162) </li></ul></ul>
  41. 41. SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF CRUELTY, Binding Factors of the Group <ul><li>3. What were the group dynamics in play that kept the perpetrators within the organizational hierarchy to sustain genocide? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a) What were the situational pressures that made the Armenian Genocide a product of Turkish society? </li></ul></ul>
  42. 42. ANSWER TO QUESTION #3, Binding Factors of the Group <ul><li>ZIYA GOKALP, CUP Turkish Propagandist </li></ul><ul><li>MYTH – “Gokalp believed that for Turkey to revitalize itself , it has to reclaim a golden age, which he defined as a pre-Islamic era of Turkic warriors such as Genghis Khan and Tamerlane. (Balakian, 164) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tanzimat reforms weakened the empire; opened the door to minority inclusion in Ottoman Empire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Islam mandated domination; Valued Sunni Muslim identity above all else </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Nation for Gokalp = “a society consisting of people who speak the same language, have had the same education and are united in their religious and aesthetic ideals – in short those who have a common culture and religion .” (165) </li></ul><ul><li>Turkish xenophobic and ethnocentric thinking bound Turks with one another, and instinctively told them who to fight against </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychological warfare that promoted genocidal intent of Young Turks (Waller, 201) </li></ul></ul>
  43. 43. CONFORMITY TO PEER PRESSURE, Proto-Totalitarian Regime <ul><li>According to Hannah Arendt, “In order to establish a totalitarian regime [capable of genocide], terror must be presented as an instrument for carrying out a specific ideology; and that ideology must have won the adherence of man, and even a majority, before terror can be stabilized.” (6) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 st Stage: Intellectuals sentenced to their deaths </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 nd Stage: Able-bodied men drafted into special battalions who were either worked to death or killed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 rd Stage : Women, children and elderly were deported to the Syrian desert in death marches </li></ul></ul>
  44. 44. ARMENIAN GENOCIDE, A Quick Overview <ul><li>In April 1915 the Ottoman government embarked upon the systematic decimation of its civilian Armenian population. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The persecutions continued with varying intensity until 1923 when the Ottoman Empire ceased to exist and was replaced by the Republic of Turkey. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>By 1923 virtually the entire Armenian population of Anatolian Turkey had disappeared. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An estimated 1.5 million had perished and 500,000 became refugees as a result of the Ottoman Turkish genocide. </li></ul></ul>
  45. 45. TIMELINE OF GENOCIDE <ul><li>February 1915: Armenians in the armed forces were segregated into labor battalions, disarmed, and ultimately worked to death or massacred </li></ul><ul><li>August 1915: The Young Turk government began to release murderers and convicted criminals from prisons throughout Asia Minor to be enrolled in the so-called “Special Organization.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Entire villages in the eastern provinces were eradicated in the fall and winter of 1914-1915 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>April 1915: Ottoman forces disarmed the Armenian civilian population in Sothern Turkey and led them on deportations to the Salt Desert in Central Turkey or Syrian Desert in the distant south. </li></ul><ul><li>April 24, 1915: 200 Armenian religious, political and intellectual leaders were arrested in Istanbul and take to remote locations to be murdered </li></ul><ul><li>May 27, 1915: A Deportation Edict was formally promulgated, forcing Armenians to be deported on short notice to the Syrian Desert. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most of the deportees were massacred by brigands and the Special Organization, or died of starvation, disease or exposure. </li></ul></ul>
  46. 46. THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY, Genocide and Cover-up <ul><li>According to Waller, “No other nation [Turkey] in the modern age has engaged in such a massive cover-up campaign about such a heinous crime [genocide.” (58) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tuncer Kilic, Army Commander (Turkish National Security Council): “…Europe brought up the Armenian Question in the 1850s. After WWI, they turned the Armenians against us and created the foundation for dozens of horrific events that followed.” (Akam, 7) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tansu Ciller, former Prime Minister of Turkey: “In the history of every nation, there’s war or strife, and controversial incidents like this [referring to the Armenian massacres]…Turkey is no better or worse than any nation. It is a two-sided story that took place at a time of war. This is not to excuse massacre on both sides.” (Bass, 144) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Unlike Germany, which made a relatively clean break with its dark past, Ataturk’s Republic of Turkey never confronted the deeds of 1915 or distanced itself adequately from them.” (Bass, 144) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The same officer corps that comprised the leadership of the Ottoman army established the Turkish Republic and determined the behavioral norms of the political elite. (Akcam, 23) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ The Republic of Turkey was born out of the destruction of Christian populations in Anatolia and the establishment of a homogenous Muslim state.” (Akcam, 8) </li></ul>
  47. 47. ARMENIAN ASSEMBLY OF AMERICA, Genocide Education & Prevention <ul><li>ARMENIAN GENOCIDE: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Confront the Turkish lobby’s attempts to silence discussion of the Armenian genocide in the Halls of Congress and educational settings across the country </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Respond to Anti-Defamation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>GENOCIDE PREVENTION: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Educate on importance of genocide education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Education has substantial humanizing effects and, when applied, can be an effective antidote to our collective humanity.” (Waller, 287) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build coalitional support to support human rights awareness </li></ul></ul><ul><li>U.S.-ARMENIA RELATIONS: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Support and Strengthen U.S.-Armenia relation based upon a common understanding of democracy, rule of law, open markets and regional security </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage normalization of relations between the Republics of Armenia and Turkey </li></ul></ul>
  48. 48. SUGGESTED READING <ul><li>James Waller, Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing </li></ul><ul><li>Peter Balakian, The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response </li></ul><ul><li>Efraim Karsh & Inari Karsh, Empires of the Sand: The Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East, 1789-1923 </li></ul><ul><li>James Bryce and Arnold Toynbee, The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-1916 </li></ul><ul><li>Gary Bass, Stay the Hand of Vengeance: The Politics of War Crimes Tribunal </li></ul><ul><li>Taner Akcam, From Empire to Republic: Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide </li></ul><ul><li>Giles Milton, Paradise Lost: Smyrna 1922, The Destruction of a Christian City in the Islamic World </li></ul>
  49. 49. <ul><li>Henry Morgenthau, Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story (1918) </li></ul><ul><li>Leo Kuper, Genocide </li></ul><ul><li>John Hutchinson & Anthony Smith, Nationalism </li></ul><ul><li>Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism </li></ul><ul><li>E.J. Hobsbawn, Nations and Nationalism since 1780 </li></ul>

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