- 日本法政学会法政論叢 (ISSN:03865266)
- vol.36, no.1, pp.187-196, 1999-11
In the aftermath of the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-78, San Stefano Treaty was signed in March 1878 and granted in dependence to Serbia, Montenegro, and Rumania, and autonomy to a large Bulgarian state. No such provision was either sought or executed for the Armenians. Sultan Abdul Hamid II (1876-1909) believed Muslim superiority in the Ottoman Empire. He determined to annihilate the Armenian nation perfectly, and to sweep away that hated Christianity which provoked Europe to interfere. He feared nineteenth-century Armenian Renaissance, and to abort it he preferred to use force, including massacre. Lepsius mentions that the Armenian massacres were caused by the threats for reforms made by the Great Powers. On the night of 23/24 April 1915, numbers of Armenian political, religious, educational, and intellectual leaders in Constantinople were arrested, deported into Anatolia, and put to death. Minister of Internal Affairs Talaat Pasha ordered Armenian deportation from the war zones to relocation centers-actually the deserts of Syria and Mesopotamia. Armenian soldiers of the Ottoman armies were taken out in groups and murdered. The adult and teenage males were swiftly separated from the deportation caravans and killed immediately under the direction of Young Turk officials and agents, the gendarmerie. Women and children who were drive for weeks over mountains and deserts, often dehumanized by being stripped naked and repeatedly preyed upon and abused. About 1,500,000 of the Armenians have been slaughtered by Sultan Abdul Hamid II, The Young Turks and Nationalists in 1894-1923. The survivors of the Ottoman-Armenian were condemned to a life of exile and dispersion and could not help being resigned to inevitable acculturation and assimilation all over the world. The writer's aim in this paper is to raise the following three questions: What happened? Why did it happen? And what might be leaned from the Armenian case?