Sunday, October 20, 2019

Fall of the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire had Administrative Units, political officials of which were chosen in Istanbul and who relied upon Istanbul for a good income, with pension and the kind of territorial protection that gave them authority and through this authority the officials were able to settle disputes through court systems. Some of those Administrative Units contained  denominations of Christians, Muslims and Jews. The mix of these different sets of beliefs varied from place to place, yet no matter the passions, it was generally reckoned that you didn't go up against the authority of Istanbul, because if you did you'd lose. The Ottoman Empire controlled Jerusalem and Mecca. To the East of Ottoman Turkey, was Iran and Russia, to the North East was Armenia. These eastern and northern Administrative Units were populated by Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds and in the Turkey part of the Ottoman Empire there were communities of Greeks.

When the Ottoman Empire fell the integrity of the eastern and northern Administrative Units where challenged by the Russian Empire, which was undergoing its own series of changes, and by movements within the Armenian, Assyrian and Kurdish communities which reacted to instability by giving serious consideration to the possibilities of living in an independent sates. Istanbul chose to prevent further deterioration to the integrity of its Eastern border. Playing one community against another had been a good long tradition. And when it came to the Armenians, Assyrians and Kurds, Istanbul with the help of the Kurds conducted a pogrom against the Assyrians, and rather than rewarding the Kurds, Istanbul turned its attention against the Kurds, who retreated into British controlled territories where the British had no intention of giving them a homeland. With respect to the Armenian communities, without much help from anyone Istanbul decided just to get rid of the Armenian and Greek communities on their North Eastern borders. Nations, as we all well know, don't like to admit to ever, ever having been responsible for a genocide.

No comments: