Dr. Jeremy Salt
Dr. Jeremy Salt is in 1980 gepromoveerd in Sociale & Politieke Wetenschappen aan de Melbourne Universiteit van Australië, waar hij tot op heden nog steeds een functie heeft. Zijn interessegebied ligt vooral in het Moderne Midden-Oosten, waardoor hij vaak gastdocent is bij Bilkent Universiteit in Ankara.
"In the first half of 1915 the Armenian insurrection across the eastern provinces intensified. By April Van, Bitlis, Erzurum and Sivas provinces were sliding into complete chaos, confirmed daily in reports coming in from the military command and provincial authorities of pitched battles, attacks on jandarma (gendarmerie) posts, the ambush of supply convoys and convoys of wounded soldiers, and the cutting of telegraph lines. What was happening could no longer be described as disparate uprisings; it was rather a general rebellion, orchestrated principally by the Dashnaks and encouraged by Russia. The victims included not just soldiers or jandarma or officials but the Muslim and Christian villagers who were the victims of massacre and countermassacre.[..]
At this critical juncture, between April 13 and 20, thousands of Armenians inside the walled city of Van rose up against the governor and the small number of regular and irregular forces garrisoned in the city. The extent to which the rebellion was coordinated with the Russians remains an open question, to which the answer must lie buried somewhere in the Russian state archives, but the effect was to weaken the Ottoman campaign in eastern Anatolia and Persia. [...]
The army had first claim on food, medicine and all means of transport; it is doubtful whether the government would have been organizationally and administratively capable of shifting so many people in any circumstances, let alone at such short notice; and the Armenians would be passing through regions where Kurdish tribes and other ethno-religious groups badly affected by the war would not hesitate to take surrogate revenge for the crimes committed against Muslims. On the grounds of military necessity, however, a directive had come from the military command that the bulk of the Armenian population had to be moved. What could not be done had to be done. The outcome was calamitous. In the coming months hundreds of thousands of Armenian men, women and children were wrenched from their homes, from the Black Sea region and the western provinces as well as the eastern, and moved southwards toward Syria. Thousands died before they reached their destination, dropping dead by the roadside, succumbing to starvation, exposure and disease (typhoid and dysentery being two of the chief killers), or massacred in attacks on their convoys; the desperate scenes in and around the transit camps, of starving and dying people, of filth and stench, were described by American, German and Austrian officials."
Dr. Jeremy Salt, The Unmaking of the Middle East: A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands (University of California Press, 2008) p. 62-63
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