The Red Sultan (1876-1909)

At this crucial time, Abdulhamid II accede the throne, becoming the 34th Sultan. He was tyrannical, debauched, mistrustful and ruthless. He takes over a country with an empty treasury and banking defaults. While power being in the hands of Midhat Pasha and the “New Ottomans” (a progressive movement), Abdulhamid promises Midhat a constitution on the European model. He passes the first constitution of Ottoman Turkey in 1876 on the eve of an international conference on the question of reforms in the Balkans. By January 1877 and at the end of the conference, he removes Midhat Pasha as Grand Vizier and dissolves the The Red Sultan (1876-1909) Parliament. Midhat Pasha is exiled and murdered on his orders in 1884. Abdulhamid considers that the political structures of western norms are not applicable with the centuries old Ottoman political culture. To build his treasury, he imposes a heavy tax burden over his subjects, especially the Christians.

Bosnia revolts against the taxation in 1875 and Bulgaria follows in 1876 to become free from the Ottomans. The Turks ruthlessly massacre more than 12 000 men, women and children in Bulgaria, and thousands more all over the Balkans. The Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca of 1774 gave Russia the right to interfere in Ottoman affairs to protect the Sultan The Red Sultan (1876-1909)’s Christian subjects. The British Government defends the Ottoman actions, and a furious Russia declares war.

The war of 1877-78 takes place in the Balkans and on the Caucasus fronts. The Russians along with other volunteer ethnic armies deal the Ottomans a crushing defeat. Able generals from the Balkan and Armenian generals in the Tsar’s Army like Mikhail Loris-Melikov and Ivan Lazarev among others bring victories to the Russian forces. In March of 1878 and under pressure from Britain, Russia enters into a settlement under the Treaty of San Stefano, in which the Ottoman Empire recognises the independence The Red Sultan (1876-1909) of Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, and autonomy of Bulgaria. Article 16 states that Russians would leave the Armenian provinces, once the Sultan implemented the improvements and reforms demanded by local requirements in the provinces inhabited by Armenians, and to guarantee their security from Kurds and Circassians. For commercial and political interests in mind, Britain’s Disraeli and the Austrians insist that a new treaty be drawn up in June of that year, at a congress of powers in Berlin.

At the Congress of Berlin, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro were recognised as independent. And autonomous Bulgaria was greatly reduced and the The Red Sultan (1876-1909) Austro-Hungarian Empire occupies Bosnia-Herzegovina. An Armenian delegation headed by Bishop Mkrtich Khrimian is sent with a formal request for implementation of the reforms for Armenians. Germany’s Bismarck dismisses the delegation and refuses them a place on the agenda. Britain secretly agrees with the Ottoman Empire that it would militarily protect it from Russia and receives Cyprus in exchange. Disraeli reverses article 16 to 61, which returns two Armenian provinces with no Russians or Europeans to protect the Armenians. It leaves the same abusing Sultan as the “guarantor” of their security from Muslim continuing abuses.

After the Russo-Turkish The Red Sultan (1876-1909) War, the treatment of the more than 2,5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Government became an international issue. Despite the promises of reform by the Sublime Porte at the Congress of Berlin, the situation even grew worse. Not only Russia but the other European powers were to oversee the Armenian reforms. An angry Abdulhamid made sure that the conditions of the Armenians grew worse. Now it was dangerous to be identified as an Armenian across the Empire. As the Millet structure degraded and as a result of constant persecutions, Armenians begin to rethink their position in the world. In this analysis the Armenian The Red Sultan (1876-1909) subjects of the Empire influenced by the Armenian Diaspora and following the Balkan examples.

Years passed, and the masses simply yearned for reforms, dreaming only for a normal administration under Ottoman rule... “The mere mention of the word “reform” irritated him (Abdul Hamit), inciting his criminal instincts” writes historian Osman Nuri. Armenian small organisations started printing newsletters and bulletins to enlighten the Armenian public about their rights and ways to protect them. Later the first major organisation was the Armenakan Party in 1885, and the Huntchak Party in 1887. In 1890 the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaksutyun) was formed in Tbilisi. Its members The Red Sultan (1876-1909) armed themselves into fedayee groups to protect the people from Ottoman oppression and massacres in the Armenian provinces. Armenians begin clamoring to obtain the reforms which were promised. They protest in 1892 and 1893 at Merzifon and Tokat and are met with violence and harsh methods. Abdulhamid declares that “Without Armenians there would be no Armenian problem”

In 1894, systematic pogroms swept over every district of Turkish Armenia. The wholesale slaughter of Armenians, forced conversion of villages, the looting and burning of hundreds of settlements, taking away their possessions. Sultan Abdulhamid prepared special attacking force from Kurds calling them “Hamidieh The Red Sultan (1876-1909)”. Along with the Ottoman Army they attacked men women and children killing them without distinction. His First Secretary wrote in his memoirs about Abdulhamid that he decided to pursue a policy of severity and terror against the Armenians, and in order to succeed in this respect he elected the method of dealing them an economic blow. He ordered they absolutely avoid negotiating or discussing anything with the Armenians and inflict upon them a decisive strike to settle scores. More than 300 000 Armenians were massacred in 1894-1896. In Sasun the Armenians resisted the massacres. But they eventually succumbed to superior numbers The Red Sultan (1876-1909). A group of Dashnak volunteers stormed the “Ottoman Bank” in 1896 in order to alarm the Europeans. Hamid had 6000 Istanbul Armenians massacred.

In 1897, Abdulhamid declared that the Armenian question was closed. All the Armenian revolutionaries had either been killed, or had escaped to Russia. The Ottoman government closed Armenian societies and restricted Armenian political movements. The formation of Armenian revolutionary groups began roughly around the end of the Russo-Turkish War of 1878 and intensified with the first introduction of Article 166 of the Ottoman Penal code, and the raid of Erzerum Cathedral. Article 166 was meant to control the possession of arms The Red Sultan (1876-1909), but it was used to target Armenians by restricting them to possess arms. Local Kurdish tribes were armed to attack the defenceless Armenian population.

ARF member’s attempts to assassinate Abdulhamid in 1905, but he escapes death by luck. He eases the Armenian persecutions as a result.

The “Young Turk” revolution of 1908 reverses the suspension of the Ottoman parliament in 1878, marking the onset of the Second Constitutional Era. Armenians hail the revolution. Hamid restores the Constitution in July. In April 1909 he and Islamist forces attempt a countercoup. It fails to restore him, but more than 30 000 Armenians are massacred in Adana by revolting The Red Sultan (1876-1909) army units, religious students and clerics asking for Sharia law. Hamid is finally deposed in April 1909 after 33 years of tyrannical rule. His 65 years old brother Resat Mehmet becomes Sultan Mehmed V, a mere rubberstamping figurehead for the new government.

a. The Early Years (1923-1934)

With the Treaty of Lausanne, an estimated 200 000 Greeks were to remain in Turkey following the 1923 population exchange. The Armenians were reduced from 2,5 million to around 150 000 after the Genocide. Turkey declared that no Armenian was ever allowed to return of the people that escaped (now Republic of Armenia).

Mustafa Kemal becomes the republic’s first president and The Red Sultan (1876-1909) subsequently introduces many radical reforms in political, social, legal, educational, and economic sectors. Kemal urges his fellow Turks to look and act like Europeans. On October 28, 1927 the first population census counted the population at approximately 13,6 million, with a 9% literacy rate. A new Turkish alphabet based on the Latin alphabet was accepted on November 1, 1928. After 10 months, Kurdish, Arabic and Persian languages were banned, replaced by only the Turkish language.

With the Liberal Republican Party, Jihadi groups joined the liberals. They were suppressed with widespread and bloody methods. The liberal party dissolved on 17 November 1930 and Turkey became a single party dictatorship The Red Sultan (1876-1909) until 1945.

The Kurds declared independence in 1927. By September 17 1930, the Turks suppressed the rebellion with 66 000 troop and 100 planes. The most important Kurdish rebellion in modern Turkey was in 1937-1938, based around the Kizilbash heartland of Dersim. The Turkish Army mobilised 50 000 troops to suppress the rebellion. Turkish forces claimed at least 40 000 Dersimlis, who were deported and massacred following this defeat. Southeast Anatolia was put under martial law and was subject to military occupation. In addition to destruction of the villages and massive deportations, Turkish Government encouraged Albanians and Assyrians to settle in the Kurdish area to change the ethnic composition of The Red Sultan (1876-1909) the region.

During WW2, Turkey imposed Jizya, an increased property tax on all Christians and Jews in the country (Greeks and Armenians). The Jizya was even imposed on the Dönmeh (converts to Islam). Those who did not pay were condemned to forced labour in the quarries of Askale, near Erzurum. They did this to “turkify” the economy. With the draconian Varlik Vergisi in 1942; anticipating the fall of Stalingrad, Turkey concentrates troops on the Caucasian border. Turkey quarantines all Christian men between 18-45 years old, and orders 3 large crematory ovens from Germany... The Turkish officer committee with the leadership of General Cemil The Red Sultan (1876-1909) Cahit Toydemir – invited by Hitler, visits the Eastern front and English Channel coasts on 25 June – 7 July 1943. Gen. H. Erkilet, Gen. Ali Fuat Erden and Hitler at Wolfsschanze discussed various strategies.

With Germany nearing defeat, Turkey declares war on the side of the Allies on February 23, 1945 as a ceremonial gesture, to become a charter member of the United Nations in 1945.

b. The West and NATO (1945-1954)

After the war the Soviet Union attempts to annul the Treaty of Kars with Turkey and return parts of Northwestern Armenia. These efforts are halted by intervention from Winston Churchill and Harry S. Truman.

The The Red Sultan (1876-1909) close relationship with the United States begins with the Second Cairo Conference in December 4-6, 1943 and the agreement of July 12, 1947 which implements the Truman Doctrine. After 1945, in light of the Soviet domination over Eastern Europe, the US supports Greece and Turkey with economic and military aid to prevent their falling into the Soviet sphere. The act grant Turkey more than 100 million USD in aid.

On June 25, 1950 the Korean War starts. Despite being criticised inside Turkey, the Army along with other 16 nations goes to war against North Korea. Turkey participates in this campaign in order to gain membership in The Red Sultan (1876-1909) NATO, which Turkey joins in 1952.

c. Pogroms, Coup and deportations of Christians (1955-1961)

On September 6 and 7, 1955, a pogrom directed primarily at Istanbul’s 100 000 strong Greek minority takes place. Jews and Armenians living in the city and their businesses were also targeted in the pogrom. A Turkish mob, most of which was trucked into the city in advance, assaulted Istanbul’s Greek community for nine hours. Shovels, pickaxes, crowbars, ramming rods and petrol was used. 4000 private taxis were requisitioned to transport the perpetrators. Dozens of Greeks (two Orthodox priests) and at least one Armenian died during the pogrom as a result of beatings The Red Sultan (1876-1909) and arsons. Thirty-two Greeks were severely wounded. Many Greek women were raped, a number of men were forcibly circumcised by the mob. 4348 Greek-owned businesses, 110 hotels, 27 pharmacies, 23 schools, 21 factories, 73 churches and over a thousand Greek-owned homes were badly damaged or destroyed. The mob chanted “Death to the Gavours”, “Massacre the Greek traitors”, “Down with Europe [My emphasis]”

The riot died down by midnight with the intervention of the Turkish Army and martial law was declared. Eyewitnesses reported, however, that army officers and policemen had earlier participated in the rampages and in many cases urged the The Red Sultan (1876-1909) rioters on.

After a clash over the “separation of religion and state” between Inonu’s Republican People’s Party and his opponents, president Celal Bayar and prime minister Adnan Menderes; and due to the level of influence the Islamists had gained in the nation, on May 27, 1960 General Cemal Gursel led a military coup d’etat removing President Celal Bayar and Prime Minister Adnan Menderes. They were charged with high treason, misuse of public funds and abrogation of the constitution.

According to Zorlu’s lawyer at the Yassiada trial, a mob of 300 000 was marshaled in a radius of 40 miles (60 km The Red Sultan (1876-1909)) around the city for the pogrom. Menderes and two others were sentenced to death by hanging.

Deported with two day’s notice, the Greek community of Istanbul shrunk from 100 000 persons in 1955 to only 48 000 in 1965. Armenians and Jews were also thrown out of Turkey.

d. Divide and Conquer (1961-1974)

The census of 1960 in Cyprus showed that Greek Cypriots comprised 77%, Turkish Cypriots 18%, and 5% were other ethnicities.

Cyprus was declared an independent state on August 16, 1960 with Archbishop Makarios as President and a constitution with equal Turkish governance, (Turkish vice-president) despite their minority status on the Island. Turkish Cypriots saw themselves as The Red Sultan (1876-1909) Turks living in Cyprus rather than Turkish Cypriots. They developed the concept of Taksim, the partitioning of Cyprus into a Greek Cypriot-controlled region, and a Turkish Cypriot-controlled region.

The Zurich and London Agreements, drawn among Greece, Turkey and the UK became complex and atypical, granting the Turkish Cypriot community political rights disproportionate their numbers and containing permanent restrictions on Enosis and Taksim alike.

In 1965, the Justice Party of Suleiman Demirel won an absolute majority, which it increased in 1969, with an increasing polarisation between the Justice Party on the right and the Republican People’s Party of Ismet The Red Sultan (1876-1909) Inonu and Bulent Ecevit on the left.

In 1969, Alparslan Turkes, a member of the Turkish branch of NATO’s stay-behind army, known as Gladio, founded the right wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), whose youth organisations became known as the Grey Wolves (Fascists).

On March 12, 1971 the Turkish military threatens intervention, forcing the Demirel government to resign. The 1971 coup leads to mounting violence between ultranationalists and communists in the cities of Turkey, killing more than 5000 at the hands of MIT.

In July 1974, dissatisfaction among right-wing Greek nationalists favoring Enosis (unification) with Greece precipitated a coup d’etat against President The Red Sultan (1876-1909) Makarios. The coup was sponsored by the military government of Greece and led by Cypriot officers.

On 20 July 1974, Turkey launches an air- and sea-based invasion of Cyprus. Large numbers of Greek Cypriots lost their lives in the areas overrun by Turkish forces, and 170 000 Greek Cypriots were evicted from their homes and forced to move to the south. Cities are attacked with napalms. Large numbers of Greek Cypriots lost their lives. Churches are destroyed, desecrated or converted into hotels. Turkey captures thousands of soldiers and executes them. As of today, there are 1534 Greek Cypriots unaccounted for, as well as over 150 000 Greek Cypriot The Red Sultan (1876-1909) refugees displaced persons.

Turkey initiates a campaign and ships more than 150 000 Turks from mainland Turkey to Cypruss for the purpose of settlement. The Turkish Cypriots proclaim a separate state, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), under the leadership of Rauf Denktas, on November 15, 1983, recognised only by Turkey.

Turkey now occupies 37% of Cyprus even though there were only 18% Turks in Cyprus in 1960. Half of the Capital Nicosia remains occupied.

e. Minorities Disallowed (1975-1990)

Kurdish nationalism began resurgence in the 1970’s when Turkey was racked with Left-right clashes. The Marxist PKK was formed demanding a Kurdish state, led by The Red Sultan (1876-1909) its chairman, Abdullah Ocalan. Kurds counted almost 20% of Turkey’s population. The Turkish Army violently suppressed the Kurds, killing thousands of Kurdish civilians indiscriminately. After the Kahramanmaras massacre of Alevis in 1978, martial law was declared.

On September 12, 1980 another coup d’etat, headed by General Kenan Evren, Chief of the General Staff, was successful.

The World being silent regarding the Armenian Genocide, Marxist-Leninist groups like ASALA, target Turkish diplomats, to bring Turkey to terms of its bloody past and to raise awareness to the denied Armenian issues. In 1983 the Justice Commandoes of the Arm. Genocide attempts to take over The Red Sultan (1876-1909) the Turkish Embassy in Lisbon but it fails. The five men avoid capture by blowing the building after releasing the staff.

Kurdish music, dance and culture gets banned in Turkey between 1983 and 1991, it was forbidden to publicise, publish and/or broadcast in any language other than Turkish. Armenians in Turkey become target to daily harassment and persecution.

The Turkish Army commits acts of extreme violence in order to fight “terrorism”. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children are killed ore systematically tortured in prisons from the early 80’s to the early 90’s. However, in 1990-91 the World The Red Sultan (1876-1909) was to change forever.

f. Fall of the Iron Curtain (1991-1994)

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia breaks free. The Armenians in Karabakh who wanted to unite with Armenia for decades, decide to protest their case. Even before its independence, Soviet Azerbaijan (94% Muslim where majority are Turkic) suppresses the voice of the Armenians with street pogroms and massacres in Sumgait in 1988 and Baku in 1990. Faced with brutal Azeri methods to quell the Armenians, Karabakh Armenians vote to secede from Azerbaijan, to which the later responds with full scale war in 1992, backed and aided by Turkey. The Armenians The Red Sultan (1876-1909) fight back as they remember the past. Even with food and power shortage in Armenia and Azerbaijan often bombing civilian targets with military aeroplanes. Karabakh takes the offensive and scores vital victories in late 1992 and 1993. Azerbaijan recruits Afghan, Chechen and other voluntary Mujahedeen.

In light of the Armenian successive victories, Turkey’s Prime Minister Tansu Ciller threatens to invade Armenia with thousands of Turkish troops. Russia warns Turkey and counters their movements to ward them off. Aliev tries with every method to win the lost territories, to no avail. After six years of fighting an exhausted Azerbaijan finally asks for The Red Sultan (1876-1909) a cease fire in 1994. Turkey and Azerbaijan subsequently blockade Armenia. In addition, Azerbaijan takes “revenge” by wiping out the Armenian Cemetery in Julfa, Naxichevan and desecrating Armenian churches.

Current situation of Armenia (2008, source CIA): Armenia is primarily a source country for women and girls trafficked to the UAE and Turkey for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation; Armenian men and women are trafficked to Turkey and Russia for the purpose of forced labour. My comment: The EU and the US have showed little or no will at all to support Armenia in any way. They remain to be the last survivors The Red Sultan (1876-1909) of Byzantine Christianity, largely ignored by the Christian world.

g. European Union? (1995-2007)

On 14 April, 1987, Turkey submitted its application for formal membership into the European Community. It was refused, citing Turkey’s economic and political situation, poor relations with Greece and the conflict with Cyprus.

The 1995 elections brought a short-lived coalition between Yilmaz and Ciller at the helm. In 1997, the military, committed the fourth coup by sending a memorandum to Erbakan government requesting that he resign and banning his religious Party.

A series of economic shocks led to new elections in 2002, bringing into power the religious Justice and The Red Sultan (1876-1909) Development Party of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who introduced a series of new reforms.

Status as of today:

Turkey restricts religious rights of Christians and converts. Their murder is indirectly encouraged. Millions of Kurds, Assyrians, Alevies, Yezidies and other minorities have no status. Women in Turkey are often subjected to “honour” killings and employment discrimination.

Turkey occupies 37% of Cyprus with half of its Capital Nicosia and refuses to recognise the Republic of Cyprus.

Search Turkish history and compare...

What is expected from a country that murders its intellectuals and journalists for uttering a word... “Genocide”... Not forgetting to honour The Red Sultan (1876-1909) those same murderers.... What is expected from a country that restricts speech, jails and fines its authors, pressmen, thinkers for daring to think and “insulting Turkishness”, and regards all minorities as “Turks”... With centuries of unrepentant murders and violations, is Turkey fit to enter the European Union? Or is it still “The sick man of Europe”.

All EU and national level parliamentarians who supports EU membership for Turkey should travel to the Turkish countryside, wear a sweater with a cross, and see how long before it takes before they are beaten or gets murdered. Then he will bear witness himself how The Red Sultan (1876-1909) “tolerant” Turkish Muslims are…

Current situation in Turkey will continue in another section.

Sources: Written by Hay Brountsk,

1. Are the Turks European?: B. Munnich

2. The Decline and Fall of the Ottoman Empire: Alan Palmer

3. Abdul Hamid II, The Red Sultan: K. Yazejian

4. A History of the Armenian People, Volume II: George A. Bournoutian

5. Haykakan Harts Encyclopedia

6. Seljuk, Tatar, Turkish History: P. Yeghyaian

7. The Burning Tigris: Peter Balakian

8. The Turks in World History: Findley, Carter Vaughn

9. Turkey: A Modern History, Revised Edition: Erik J. Zurcher

History of the Ottoman Turkish Empire I (1299-1876)

History of the Ottoman Turkish Empire II The Red Sultan (1876-1909) (1876-1909)

Документ The Red Sultan (1876-1909)