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Tsarist and Bolshevik policy towards the Armenian question, 1912-1920

Somakian, Manoug Joseph; (1993) Tsarist and Bolshevik policy towards the Armenian question, 1912-1920. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Using extensive primary sources, the thesis examines the direction, changes and ramifications of Tsarist-Bolshevik policy towards the Armenian question in the Ottoman Empire from 1912–20. As background to the main theme of the thesis, the 19th century emergence of the Armenian question is discussed in the introduction. It also examines the conflicting political aims of Britain and Russia towards Turkish Armenia in the course of the widespread Armenian massacres of 1894–96. Chapter two (1908–14) analyses the Young Turk ideology of 'Ottomanism' and the slogan of 'equality and brotherhood' within the faltering Ottoman Empire. It is argued that by using such methods, the Young Turk government tried to disguise its actual chauvinistic ideology in an attempt to fend off ethnic nationalist tendencies. The Armenian Reform question and the reasons for Russia's instigation of a Kurdish revolt are also discussed in detail. In chapter three (1914–16) there is a discussion about Russian strategic and military interests in eastern Turkey and the question of the acquisition of Constantinople and the Straits. The wholesale deportation and massacres of Ottoman Armenians by the Young Turk government is examined in depth. Russian political aims towards Turkish Armenia after the latter had been conquered by Russia during the course of the war are discussed. Chapter four examines pre-war Pan-Turanian ideology, its origins and impact on Turkish policy. The intense literary and political propaganda for the unification of all the Turkic people in a single Turanian Empire guided by the Young Turk government receives special attention. The favourable response of the Ottoman War Council towards this union; the military operations to fulfil the objective following the Bolshevik revolution of 1917; and the attempts of the Western powers to use Armenia as a means to forestall this union, are fully discussed. The last chapter (1917–20) analyses Russian Provisional Government and then Soviet Government policy towards the Ottoman Empire and the Armenian question. The leading political events in Transcaucasia from the Russian revolution to the sovietisation of the Republic of Armenia, in November 1920, are analysed in some depth. The collaboration between Soviet Russia and Kemalist Turkey against the Republic of Armenia sheds considerable light on Armenian history.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Tsarist and Bolshevik policy towards the Armenian question, 1912-1920
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10108824
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