The ideology of “Turkey for the Turks” and the rejection of any heritage other than their own, remains at the core of the Turkish psyche that resulted in the grievances of ethnic and religious minorities in Turkey a century ago and of the Kurds today.

This book contextualizes that mentality that existed in 1915, which was propagated and promoted through the Ottoman government apparatus, controlled by a radical political party, which could not accept non-Muslims and non-Turks as their equals. Instead, they opted to repress, then ultimately destroy their Armenian, Assyrian and Greek fellow citizens.

This “Young Turk” mindset of 1915 manifests itself today in President Erdogan and his government’s belief that the country can resolve the conflict with Turkey’s Kurdish minority through brutal force.

This book provides valuable context to help understand that mindset, the terrible pain and destruction it caused between 1913-1923, and the unstable situation in Turkey today.

This book’s unique approach is to synthesize the cases of these three peoples for the first time. One of the results of this approach is to reveal that the claim by the Turkish state that the Armenians were in rebellion, and that the Ottoman state had to treat them harshly owing to wartime conditions starting in April 1915, is a cynical distortion of the truth.

The Zoryan Institute is pleased to announce the release of its long-awaited publication, Genocide in the Ottoman Empire: Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks, 1913-1923. Edited by George N. Shirinian. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2017. 433p.

The final years of the Ottoman Empire were catastrophic for its non-Turkish, non-Muslim minorities. From 1913 to 1923, its rulers persecuted, deported, and killed staggering numbers of their own citizens in an effort to preserve “Turkey for the Turks.”

“The Armenians are not the only subject people in Turkey which have suffered from this policy of making Turkey exclusively the country of the Turks. The story which I have told about the Armenians I could also tell with certain modifications about the Greeks and the Syrians. Indeed, the Greeks were the first victims of this nationalizing idea … In fact, Bedri Bey, the Prefect of Police at Constantinople, himself told one of my secretaries that the Turks had expelled the Greeks so successfully that they had decided to apply the same method to all the other races in the empire.” – Henry Morgenthau, US Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire

George N. Shirinian is Executive Director of the International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (A Division of the Zoryan Institute). His book publications include Studies in Comparative Genocide and The Asia Minor Catastrophe and the Ottoman Greek Genocide: Essays on Asia Minor, Pontos, and Eastern Thrace, 1913–1923. His articles include “Turks Who Saved Armenians: Righteous Muslims During the Armenian Genocide,” and “Starvation and its Political Use in the Armenian Genocide.”