Armenians and Young Turks – The Young Turks Before the Law Court of History

Armenians and Young TurksIttihadists considered Turkey to be solely Turkish and argued that only Turks had the right to rule it. When young Turk leaders were asked why they chose the path of such strict centralization of power, they answered.

“Even the smallest decentralization will lead this country to inevitable death. In our country live such diverse elements alien to one another that it is possible to connect them with each other only through strict centralization.”

Some Armenian leaders believed that it was necessary for Armenians to arm themselves, reorganize, and prepare for the not so bright future. They did not believe in Ittihad and in the possibility of Turkey transforming. Instead, they believed that there was an insurmountable abyss between the interests of Armenians and the goals of Ittihad (165, p. 98).

True Armenian patriots opposed the new policy of the Dashnaktsutyun party which sought cooperation with the Turks. Back in 1907, while in Varna, Andranik told Aknuni, a member of the party:

“I want to remain a simple person among regular people than become a god among you. Your blood is upon your head.”

He refused to meet with the Young Turk leaders and left the party. Soon, as the head of Armenian volunteers, he went to fight against the Turkish army on the side of the Bulgarian armed forces.

He said:

“If these ‘revolutionary’ Turks do not hang you, then do not consider me a man. The day will come when these revolutionaries will, like Sultan Hamid, become beasts and devour all of you.” (165, p. 186, 188) Andranik argued that one cannot trust the friendship of Turkish politicians and officials and that one cannot believe “their vows and words” (135, No. 180, 1917).

An excerpt from the book of John Kirakosyan: “The Young Turks before the law court of history


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