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The Young Turks' Crime against HumanityThe Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire$
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Taner Akçam

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153339

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153339.001.0001

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Ottoman Sources and the Question of Their Being Purged

Ottoman Sources and the Question of Their Being Purged

(p.1) One Ottoman Sources and the Question of Their Being Purged
The Young Turks' Crime against Humanity

Taner Akçam

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses how the demise of the Ottoman state led to a succession of ethnic and religious groups playing out their struggles for independence on its shrinking stage against a backdrop of forced population exchanges, deportations, massacres, and ethnic cleansing. As the last of the great early modern empires, the Ottoman state entered its long nineteenth century trailing the heritage of Byzantium but lacking the means of modernization. Without the requisite political and social structures and public consensus of a nation-state, “the Muslim Third Rome” could no longer bind together the diverse groups that peopled its vast territory. The logic of the nation-state utterly contradicts that of empire. Whereas an empire, by definition, encompasses a number of territories and diverse peoples, a nation-state is circumscribed by two clearly defined boundaries: geographical and social.

Keywords:   Ottoman Empire, independence, forced population exchange, Byzantium, deportation, massacres, diverse peoples, ethnic cleansing

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