Prelude to genocide: “the Armenian question” and the massacres in the Ottoman Empire
Autor: Remus TANASĂ
Cuvinte-cheie: Armenian genocide, Sublime Porte, Young Turks, Treaty of Berlin.
The fate of Ottoman Armenians was closely linked to the decline of the Ottoman Empire in the last decades of 19th century and the first two decades of 20th century. The interests of European diplomacy, the bundle of religious and ethnic communities competing for status and resources, the administrative inefficiency and corruption of state officials and a mischievous rule of Abdul Hamid II created the powder keg that led to a political deterioration for all parties involved in the Ottoman “millet system”. The status-quo of centuries of Muslim ascendancy was succumbing and the sultan’s authority was menaced by the lack of unity between the different state constituents. The Ottoman elite started looking for someone to blame for the fall back and since the Armenians were eager to improve their condition, even working together with the external enemies of the Porte, they gradually became the excellent scapegoat. The political fragility of the Ottoman state made possible the massacres against the Armenians, opening the path for a prospect to better homogenize and strengthen the state: the physical exclusion of Armenians through annihilation or ottomanization/turkification.