The the end of the 19th century when

The Armenian Genocide which isn’t recognized as such today by Turkey and allies alike, was the mass extermination of Armenian Christians living in the Ottoman Empire. Inside this domain were two predominant religious groups, the Turks which practiced Islam, and the Armenians which practiced Christianity. The Armenian Genocide had its roots dating back to the end of the 19th century when the current rulers of the Ottoman Empire at the time the Turks began to collapse. Fearing a revolution inside the empire by Armenian christians the Turks began to repress the group. The first massacre of Armenians started in the 1890s. The attacks then began to ramp up when a group called the Young Turks, a political party, took over the government. It was said that their goal was to purge the land of any non-turks. Once World War I broke out the Turks saw the Armenians as a threat to their control of the Ottoman Empire. Hence, due to the Armenians faith in Christianity they feared that they would help the Russian Christians against their regime. The genocide officially started after vast numbers of Armenians were killed on April 24, 1915. The genocide lasted roughly eight years and during this span it is estimated that around 1.5 million Armenians lost their life due to massacres, deportations, such as being forced to walk across desert regions of Europe which lead to deaths in dehydration, and starvation. Epidemics spreading within various concentration camps, and finally children being ripped away from their families and forced to convert to Islam.  The evil actions of the Turks towards the Armenians in this genocide can be connected to dispositionalism. Dispositionalism is the idea that individual behavior is caused by internal characteristics that are present within the perpetrator of the crime as opposed to situational influences. Thus, the Turks had internal characteristics that caused them to be directly involved with the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians. Attributing the Turk’s behavior with dispositionalism can be traced back to the main difference between the two groups involved in this genocide, religion. The Turks practiced Islam and prior to the massacres of the Armenians were happening the Turks treated them as second class citizens due to them practicing a different religion, Christianity. Therefore the Turks had predispositioned hate towards the Armenians prior to any of the killings taking place. Evidence of the Turks’ dispositionalism in this event can be found in the article, Ottoman Empire and The Armenian Genocide. In this article it states that, “Through various investigations convened between 1919 and 1921 in Constantinople, the covert planning, secret organization, and brutal implementation of policies designed to destroy the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire were found”( Rouben Paul Adalian). This shows the willingness of the turks to take part in the genocide. What can’t be undermined is the fact that no authoritarian or dictator implemented these plans, and policies. It was a vast majority of the Turks themselves. Their dispositionalism, which is the concept that personal or internal factors are the cause for a certain event, led to the Turks planning out how to and eventually killing the Armenians. Rationale for connecting the perpetrators in this genocide to dispositionalism is by comparing it to another genocide of its sort. For example, in another massive genocide such as the Holocaust, the Germans prior to Hitler taking control had no hate towards the Jews. They had to be persuaded to believe that the killing of the Jews was in fact what was right not only for Germany, but the world as a whole. So they fell prey to the situation they were in, a poverty stricken post World War II Germany whose only hope seemed to be Hitler. Conversely, as opposed to the Germans in their genocide, the Turks prior to the official start of taking part in their own already had hatred towards the Armenians. They saw them as threats to their control of the Ottoman Empire, and once the nationalistic group, The Young Turks, took control and officially started the genocide the Turks internal hate towards the Armenians began to show through their actions. While it’s possible that there may have been a small portion of Turks that felt indifferent to the Armenians, it’s evident that the vast majority had some sort of hate towards them. No one leader fueled the fire for the Turks, it was all of them as a whole. And by internal influences such as religious differences, and fear of uprising within the empire, these factors  motivated them to carry out the mass killings in the genocide. What can’t be ignored is the fact that Turkey even up to this day fails to recognize this historical event as a genocide. While this event clearly happened, Turkey fails to accept this event as a genocide due to being contrite in recognizing that their predecessors had internal characteristic attributes that led to them committing such heinous crimes. The author Daniel Goldhagen is widely known for his book Hitler’s Willing Executioners.  In his work, Goldhagen deduced that the members of police battalions were not pressured they were willing, and that the Holocaust itself was monocausal. His statements seem to favor the idea of dispositionalism. Furthermore, Goldhagen’s main idea is that the people in Germany were the sole cause of the Holocaust and they were not forced to participate in the killings of the Jews, they were willing. His views directly correlate to my views of the Armenian Genocide. I believe that the members of the Armenian Genocide were not pressured to kill the Armenians. They were willing as well. The sole cause of the Armenian Genocide was the Turks willingness  to expel the Ottoman Empire of the Armenians in fear they would align with neighboring Russians which shared the same religious beliefs as them. Internal characteristics such as differences in religion and motivation from keeping the regime under their control is why the Turks willingly participated in the genocide. In conclusion the ideas of Goldhagen about the Holocaust correlates with the evil actions of the Armenian Genocide. The group on top was willing and both exterminations were monocausal. Thus, the evil actions of the Turks comports with the ideas of one Goldhagen.


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