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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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The Initial Phase of Anti-Armenian Policy

The Initial Phase of Anti-Armenian Policy

(p.125) Five The Initial Phase of Anti-Armenian Policy
The Young Turks' Crime against Humanity

Taner Akçam

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at how extant Ottoman documents reveal that the Unionist government made clear distinctions in its wartime policies between the Armenians and the empire's other Christian communities. The Greeks, as has been seen, were deported and expelled with brutality, but the Armenians were targeted for outright annihilation. In the decision to exterminate them, the Unionists' overarching objective of homogenizing the population of Anatolia undoubtedly played an important role; however, it would be incorrect to infer a direct line of causation between the two. The available evidence does not indicate that the restructuring of the general population resulted automatically in the annihilation of a particular group. The central question, then, concerns the nature of the relationship between demographic policy and genocide.

Keywords:   Ottoman documents, Unionist government, wartime policies, Armenians, Christian communities, homogenization, demographic policy, genocide

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