1914-1918

Yazı: ermenisorunu.gen.tr  ///  21.02.2015

The period of 1914-1918 displays significance both because it includes the years of the Ottoman State’s inclusion in the First World War – from which it would emerge defeated – and the years during which the Dispatch and Settlement Law was be enacted. The before and after of the period is usually constructed by looking at this certain interval. Since political consideration usually determines 1915 as the focal point of the issue, considerable impasse is reached in the construction process of the historical framework of the events. In this sense, it can be stated that the selective attitude, adopted in terms of both testimonies and documents, is the outcome of a political approach, not a scholarly one. Thus we come across 1915 as a subject that constitutes a breaking point in the literature, just as much as it is the final stage of the enactment of the Dispatch and Settlement Law. This is the reason why mostly subjective approaches – put forward with a claim to objectivity – among the historians make their mark on almost every debate related to the period.

The main debates surrounding the period can be listed as: Inclusion in the First World War and the alliance bloc, of which the Ottoman Empire was part, military preparation and strategy, German influence on the strategy, Armenian volunteers in the armies of the Entente Powers, Armenian uprisings, Russian activity in Eastern Anatolia and the Armenians, Van Rebellion, the security threat, warnings prior to the Dispatch and Settlement Law, the process of taking the decision, the extent of the decision, the implementation of the decision and the regulations, date of dispatch, time given prior to dispatch, emval-i metruke – property left behind, gathering centers, the situation of dispatch roads, food and quartering, safety during dispatch, attacks on dispatch convoys and massacres, massacres of Muslims, The Ottoman Special Organization and çetes (bands), situation of the camps, life in the camps, life standards, orphans and widows, immigrants, the role the Germans played in the relocation, the Labor Battalions, 24 April 1915, propaganda, debates on Armenian and Muslim casualties.