8 Stages of the Armenian Genocide

In 1915, leaders of the Turkish government conducted a premeditated, systematic plan to exploit and massacre Armenians residing in the Ottoman Empire. During this time the Ottoman Empire composed of Eastern Europe, Northern Africa, and Western Asia. Armenian homeland is described as being modern day Eastern Turkey. The Ottoman rulers at the time were mostly Muslim, and the Armenians were viewed as “unfaithful” to Allah. The first stage of genocide, classification, began when the Armenians were forced to pay higher taxes, and had few political and legal rights simply because they were they were the Christian minority. Despite unjust treatment, Armenians tended to be better educated and wealthier than the Turkish, who then became jealous over their success. The Turkish government, and their Turkish neighbors resented the Armenian community and began to make suspicions that the Armenians are more likely to be loyal to other Christian governments than the Ottoman government.

Armenians campaign began to fight for basic civil rights and large-scale protests drew attention to the community. The Turkish government began calling this the “Armenian question”. The second stage of genocide, classification, has unraveled. Between 1894-1896, military officials, soldiers, and citizens attacked Armenian villages and cities. They degraded their citizens by beating them, raping them, and stealing from them. The third stage of genocide, dehumanization, really came into play when a new government came to power in Turkey. They were called the “Young Turks”, and were ruthless to non-Turks, especially Christian non-Turks. Propaganda had been established and most citizens knew exactly who the Armenians were.

Organization, the fourth stage, began when World War I broke out in 1914. The Turks entered the side of Germany, and military leaders soon began to argue that Armenians were traitors that would be eager to fight for the enemy. Polarization, the fifth stage, began once the war intensified. The Turkish government removed Armenians from the war zones along the Eastern Front. Preparation, the sixth stage, began when Turkish government arrested and executed Armenian intellectuals that were deemed a threat. Next, ordinary Armenians were forced out of their homes to walk through the desert without any food or water. Often, these marches were stripped naked and anyone who stopped to rest was shot dead.

The seventh stage, extermination, began on April 24th, 1915. Special organizations created “killing squads” made up of ex-criminals and murders. Unimaginable acts were carried out to destroy the Armenians and sadly, succeeded. Close to 1.5 million of Turkey’s Armenians were murdered during the genocide. The last stage, denial, is still going on today. The government refuses to recognize the Armenian genocide, the victims, the cruelties, and the events the Turkish took part in.

Check out this link that describes the “forgotten genocide“.

 

-Colleen

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