Genocide at the Twilight of the Ottoman Empire

Hilmar Kaiser

in The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199232116
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Genocide at the Twilight of the Ottoman Empire

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  • History
  • Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing
  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This article considers the development of the genocide in the context of wider Ottoman demographic policies and late Ottoman history. World War I saw the almost complete annihilation of the Ottoman Armenians. The Armenian deportations were not the result of an Armenian rebellion. On the contrary, Armenians were deported when no danger of outside interference existed. Thus Armenians near front lines were often slaughtered on the spot and not deported. The deportations were not a security measure against rebellions but depended on their absence. The initial deportations resembled earlier measures against Greeks, Nestorians, and Zionists. The assimilation of Armenian children and women overwhelmed the state's resources and local Muslim initiative became decisive. Nevertheless, far too many Armenians still survived and reached the lower Euphrates. Armenian resilience and a series of survival strategies as well as undercover relief work made this survival possible.

Keywords: Ottoman Empire; genocide; World War I; Armenians; deportations

Article.  9122 words. 

Subjects: History ; Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing ; Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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