Dr. Anahit Khosroeva

Official Genocidal Policy of the Young Turks’ State:
The Assyrian Case

This paper focuses primarily on the history one of the internationally “forgotten” and not recognized as genocide mass atrocities of the Assyrian population in the Ottoman Empire during the Great War. The systematic manner in which the massacres and slaughters of Assyrians was conducted, along with the documented intentions of the Ottoman leaders and sheer number of individuals murdered, demonstrate that the Turkish government planned and, to a great extent, succeeded in fulfilling a policy of genocide toward the Assyrian people. Hundreds of thousands Assyrians perished as the result of execution, deportation, starvation, diseases, the harsh environment, and physical abuse. Obviously, the wartime emergency situation provided the opportunity to put into action Young Turks’ wild plans to get rid of all Christian minorities, including not only the Armenians but Pontic Greeks and Assyrians, also.

The Ottoman Empire’s widespread persecution Assyrian civilians during the First World War constituted a form of genocide, the present-day term for an attempt to destroy a national, ethnic, or religious group, in whole or in part. Based on multilingual archive documents and original sources, on the case of the Assyrian Genocide I’ll try to show that the genocide against Christian population of the Ottoman Empire was by no means unexpected or accidental. It logically derived from the brutal and nationalistic policy pursued by the Turkish sultans and later, the Young Turks against the non-Turkish nations. It was not a policy of individuals, but an official state policy which included persecution and carnage.