Armenian Genocide, Suny

Up until reading “They Can Live Anywhere In The Desert”, I barely had any knowledge on the Armenian Genocide. It is never discussed in any history class, it is never mentioned World War 1. It is treated as if it never occurred which is saddening considering 1.5 million people were brutally murdered in an attempt to wipe out their ethnicity and culture. In Suny’s book, he goes into immense detail about the the events and political occurrences that lead up to and while the genocide is happening. He describes how The Ottoman Empire, which was once a powerhouse and center for development, slowly deteriorated in the modern world into a shell of what it once was and stood for. How the Committee of Union and Progress, the CUP or commonly known as the Young Turks, rose to power to over throw Sultan Abdul Hammid II and institute a modern democratic system. This however turned corrupt and into a terrifyingly extreme Turkish Nationalist party that would orchestrate and execute a mass genocide.┬áSuny also describes the long history of tension between the different ethnicities and nationalities in the Ottoman Empire thought its long existence. The religious tension between the Muslims (mainly turks) and the christians (which is where the armenians fell) were always clashing ever since the birth of the empire. The dominant Muslims would institute the Millet system which would keep the peace and order the minority faiths. Another was the passing of tanzimat and the attempt to modernize the old model of an empire. This allowed land to be owned by all but since armenians were poor, the wealthier nationalities like the turks were able to purchase ancient armenian land and then have the poorer armenians work the land for them.

The denial of this genocide is the worse part arguably. The fact the entire government of Turkey will not acknowledge or even let the topic be discussed in their borders is terrible. Also, the fact a lot of nations who are aligned with Turkey allow the genocide to be lost to history is disgraceful. Allowing people to know the past accurately is how we prevent things from being repeated in the future.

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