Thursday, November 12, 2009

Armenian Genocide: The Hamidian Massacres of 1894–1896

Hamidian Massacres - Sultan Abdul Hamid II
Contemporary political cartoon portraying Hamid as a butcher of the Armenians

The Hamidian massacres, also referred to as the Armenian Massacres of 1894–1896, refers to the massacring of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, with estimates of the dead ranging from 80,000 to 300,000, and at least 50,000 orphans as a result. The massacres are named for Abdul Hamid II, whose efforts to reinforce the territorial integrity of the embattled Ottoman Empire reasserted Pan-Islamism as a state ideology.

Abdul Hamid believed that the woes of the Ottoman Empire stemmed from the endless persecutions and hostilities of the Christian world. He perceived the Ottoman Armenians to be an extension of foreign hostility in the hands of the European powers.

One of the most serious incidents occurred in Armenian-populated parts of Anatolia. Although the Ottomans had prevented other revolts in the past, the harshest measures were directed against the Armenian community. They observed no distinction between the nationalist dissidents and the Armenian population at large, and massacred them with brutal force. However, this occurred in the 1890s, at a time when the telegraph could spread news around the world and when the European powers were vastly more powerful than the weakening Ottoman state.

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License)

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