The most basic characteristic of this period lies in the fact that the Armenian Question ceased to become a matter concerning the inner dynamics of the Ottomans and transformed into an international one. Within this framework, Article 16 of the Treaty of San Stefano, signed following the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, or more commonly known as the 93 War and Article 61 of the Treaty of Berlin are of primary importance. With these articles, the Ottoman State has accepted to undertake reforms in favor of the Armenians in the Vilayet-i Sitte, the Six Provinces, with the particular supervision and control of Russia and England.
And thus, the actors of the period that would last until 1908 are determined. The first one of them is the Great Powers, which came to the fore as the natural protectors of the non-Muslims living within the Ottoman territories. The second is Armenian nationalism, which had gathered the support of the Great Powers and which was clinging stronger to a phase whose short-term aim was autonomy and long-term aim was independence. The third are the major masses of migration coming from Caucasia and the Balkans following the 93 War. The fourth is the fact that the other ethnic population in the Eastern Anatolian landscape was positioned against the nationalist or socialist Armenian organizations and thus presented as a new sort of political actor. The Ottoman imperial administration – the direct addressee of the mutually influencing and triggering phenomena such as land losses, the Great Powers, nationalism, administrative requests, immigration and inter-communal violence – is the final actor of this period.
Within this framework, the debated headings of the period can be listed as; the 93 War and the Treaty of Berlin, the population issue, establishment of Armenian revolutionary organizations, the events in the 1890s, Abdulhamid II’s perspective on the issue, Russia and England’s incitement of the issue, the missionary activities that had started at the beginning of the century and which were still maintained, the establishment of the Committee of Union and Progress, Ottoman contrarian movements, the Committee of Union and Progress-Dashnak alliance and the proclamation of the Second Constitutional Era.