Regional Riots before WWI

Regional Riots before WWI

The British deep state’s protection of its interests in Eastern Anatolia hinged on a strategy of mobilizing some groups from the Armenian community against the Ottomans. This is a fact confirmed today by many Western and Armenian historians. Initially, the British deep state’s efforts failed because the Armenians had no complaints about the Ottoman administration, as they had lived for centuries in peace. Therefore, many organizations set up for provocation purposes failed and disappeared in time. They became active and sought success in countries other than the Ottoman Empire.

Louise Nalbandian, a modern leading propagandist of the Armenian issue, described the goal of such rebel groups with the following words:

Agitation and Terror were needed to ‘elevate the spirit of the (Armenian) people’… The people were also to be incited against their enemies and were to ‘profit’ from the retaliatory actions of these same enemies…. The party aimed at terrorizing the Ottoman government…” (Louise Nalbandian, Armenian-Revolutionary Movement, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1963, p. 110 )

In other words, a group of Armenians that the British deep state provoked into starting riots in Anatolia chose ‘terror‘ as their method. Indeed, following the establishment of such rebel groups, riots broke out across Anatolia and consequently many innocent local people – Turks, Kurds, Assyrians and Armenians – lost their lives while Anatolia lost its peace.

Armenians were a free people that were mostly occupied with arts and trade under the Ottoman rule. They enjoyed full religious freedom, had their own churches, worshipped the way they wanted and had their monasteries where they trained their own clergy. They didn’t have to serve in the military. In other words, the Ottoman Empire had provided them centuries of unprecedented peace and security. However, as the Ottoman Empire entered its decline period, a role was also cut out for them by the British deep state. Certain groups from the Armenian community were supposed to rebel against the Ottoman Empire. The British deep state was well aware that the Armenian people had no intentions of rebelling, and so it had to find a way to provoke them.

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George H. Hepworth, an American journalist who travelled in East Anatolia, remembers in his memoir what the Armenians told him:

Ah, we were a happy people once. We … had large business interests, we were contented and prosperous. But the Treaty of Berlin! And the interference of England! If Europe would let us alone, we might still have a future…(George H. Hepworth, Through Armenia on Horseback, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1898, p. 32)

As the Empire began to lose strength, the peaceful atmosphere began to dissipate and left in its place an environment of hostility and riots nurtured by the British deep state. The Armenians, who have never been affected by rebellious and nationalist movements up to that point, were provoked by the British deep state, which played on their different faiths and ethnicities. In order to provoke the Christian Armenian community against Muslims, the British deep state began to spread the propaganda that Armenians were being oppressed and that their riot would be the rising of the so-called ‘downtrodden people’. Clashes and bloodshed would look like the natural outcome of this insidious plan.

General Mayewski, Russia’s General Consul in Van and Bitlis, recalls the shameless sedition and provocation by the British deep state:

Europe had to see that Christians of Turkey – this time Armenians – were being oppressed and tyrannized by the Turks. This is what happened with Serbia and Bulgaria before and the plan was to use Armenians in the same way… Propaganda was like this: ‘Only with blood, Armenians can be free. Shed blood, Europe will protect you.’ They were convinced that there had to be bloodshed. They were positive that once Armenian blood was shed, Europe would rush to protect Armenians. If this hadn’t been the case, there wouldn’t have been this much violence. If the desire for autonomy hadn’t been strong, would thousands of lives be sacrificed upon the orders of London?(General Mayewski, “Van – Bitlis Vilayetleri Askeri İstatistiği Matbaa i Askeriye” [Van-Bitlis Provinces Military Statistics], Istanbul, 1330, p. 134 (32))

The divisive sedition policy of the British deep state became more clear and visible over time. British Prime Minister Gladstone, who took office in 1880, declared that ‘to serve Armenians is to serve civilization’ and hinted at the British deep state’s policy when he stated that Armenians should be given independence for the East to progress and achieve enlightenment. It shouldn’t be surprising that the Gladstone government gathered Armenians together, helped them organize and egged them on by promising British support for their new state.(İhsan Ilgar, “Bir Asır Boyunca Ermeni Meselesi” [Armenian Issue for a Century], Hayat Tarih Magazine, p. 10, October 1975, p. 68)

However, their concern was neither protecting the Armenians nor bringing ‘enlightenment’ to the East. The true goal was dividing the Middle East into smaller parts, hoping that it would then be easier to control.

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Historian Süleyman Kocabaş described this well-known fact with the following words:

Armenian violence erupted in Eastern Anatolia. According to the foreign witness accounts, Armenian rebels were secretly communicating with the British consuls in the region. General Mayewski, who was Russia’s Consul in Van, wrote about this. American journalist George H. Hepworth, who travelled to Eastern Anatolia in 1896, which marked the height of Armenian riots, also mentions about British-Armenian links in his memoir. He writes that the main reason behind the bloody confrontations between Muslims and Armenians in the region had been the Armenian rebels that came from other countries and says: “In the meantime, the revolutionists are doing what they can to make fresh outrages possible. That is their avowed purpose. They reason that if they can induce the Turks to kill more of the Armenians, themselves excepted, Europe will be forced to intervene, and then the Armenian kingdom will re-establish itself… England has eulogized them, has incited them to new effort. They steal their way into a village under cover of night, stir up those who will listen, declaring that if the people engage in open revolt the Powers will rush to their assistance.”(Süleyman Kocabaş, Osmanlı İsyanlarında Yabancı Parmağı, p. 87; George H. Hepworth, Through Armenia on Horseback, p. 342.)

Indeed, the Armenian rebels in question organized a large rally in 1896 in Liverpool, where Gladstone gave another fiery speech sowing more seeds of sedition among the Armenians.(Halil Halit, Türk Hâkimiyeti ve İngiliz Cihangirliği [Turkish Domination and Britain as a World Conquerer], Istanbul: Yeni Publishing, 1341, p. 26; Süleyman Kocabaş, Osmanlı İsyanlarında Yabancı Parmağı, p. 87)

According to William L. Langer, who was a former chairman of the history department at Harvard University,

England is more responsible for the cold-blooded murders [in Turkey] which have come near exterminating the Armenians than all other nations put together“.(Süleyman Kocabaş, Osmanlı İsyanlarında Yabancı Parmağı, p. 88; William L. Langer, The Language of Imperialism (Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1960), pp. 157-160.)

Armenian riots managed and supervised by the British consuls in Anatolia reached their peak in July and August 1895. The Armenian riots that broke out in the year 1895 were as follows: September 29 in Divriği, October 2 in Trabzon, October 6 in Eğin, October 7 in Develi, October 9 in Akhisar, October 21 in Erzincan, October 25 in Gümüşhane, October 25 in Bitlis, October 26 in Bayburt, October 27 in Maraş, October 29 in Urfa, October 30 in Erzurum, November 2 in Diyarbakır, November 2 in Siverek, November 4 in Malatya, November 7 in Harput, November 9 in Arapgir, November 15 in Sivas, November 15 in Merzifon, November 16 in Antep, November 18 in Maraş, November 22 in Muş, December 3 in Kayseri and December 3 in Yozgat.

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