Britain and the Launching of the Armenian Question

Author(s): Robert F. Zeidner
Source: International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 7, No. 4 (Oct., 1976), pp. 465-483
Published by: Cambridge University Press
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Int.
J.
Middle East Stud.
7 (1976), 465-483
Printed in U.S.A.
Robert F. Zeidner
BRITAIN AND THE LAUNCHING OF THE
ARMENIAN
QUESTION
In
August 1894,
as if
by
prearranged signal,
a series of Muslim attacks on the
Gregorian1
Armenian
subjects
of the Porte broke out in eastern Anatolia and
spread gradually, province by province, throughout most
of Asiatic
Turkey.
These
disorders
raged sporadically
for two
years
until
finally,
in
August 1896, they
culminated in a similar assault on the
Gregorian
Armenian
community
of Istan-
bul,
beneath the very windows of the embassies of the Great Powers.
European
estimates
place(l
the total of Armenians
kille(l thlroughlout
this
period
at between
250,000
and
300,000
men, women,
and children, an(l
ro
percent
of the entire
Armenian
pop)ulation
of the Ottoman
Empire.2
Tle Great Powers were
outraged.
The
presses
of the West bristled with
indig-
nant
appeals
for
immiiediate
action
against
the Porte to relieve the
sufferings
of its
1
The
Gregorian (or Apostolic) community
was
by
far the
largest
of the four Armenian
minorities. The
other,
smaller
groups
were
Catholic,
Eastern Rite
(Greek Orthodox),
and
Protestant. The latter
groups
did not
escape
harm
entirely; they
too suffered, but
mildly
in
comparison
with their
Gregorian compatriots.
The three smaller communities
enjoyed
the
protection
of the Great
Powers; and, thus,
the Ottoman Government
apparently
took
pains
to
spare
them-to
deny
the Powers a
pretext
for intervention. Tlle actual attackers, on the
other
hand, occasionally
lacked
sophistication
in
differentiating among
Armenians of different
sects. See
Sidney Whitman,
Turkish Mlemories
(New York, I914), pp. 20-21;
Sir Charles N.
Eliot
("Odysseus"), Turkey
in
Europe (London, I908), p. 408.
2
Rev. Edwin M. Bliss, Turkey and the Armenian Atrocitics
(New York, I896),
pp. 368-
481; J.
Rendel Harris and Helen B. Harris,
Letters
from
the Scenes
of
the Recent Massacres
in Armenia
(London, I897) passim; Paul Cambon, Correspondance, 1870-1924,
Vol. I
(Paris,
1940),
pp. 389-398, 405-423;
Sir Edwin
Pears, Forty
Years in
Constantinople (New
York,
I916), pp. 144-I69;
Victor Berard, La
Politique
du Sultan, 4th ed. (Paris, I900), passim;
Abraham Hartunian, Neither 7To
Laugh
nor To FWeep, A Memoir
of
the Arimenian Genocide,
trans. Vartan Hartunian
(Boston, I968), pp. 10-26; George H. Hepworth, Through
Armenia
on Horseback
(New York, I898), passim; Eliot (Turkey in Europe, pp. 405-413)
and Whit-
man (Turkish Me,mories, pp. 10-35)
contain
descriptions
of these events based on the mem-
oirs and letters of interested
observers, both in the provinces and in Constantinople. A more
detailed
survey
of
casualty
estimates is available in Louise Nalbandian,
The Armenian Revo-
lutionary Movement
(Berkeley
and Los Angeles, 1963), p. 206 n. 54. The total Armenian
population
of the
empire
was about 2.6 imillion. For documented analyses
of the Armenian
population
and its distribution
throughout
the Ottoman Empire,
see Esat
Uras,
Tarihte
Erneniler ve Ermtcni Meselesi (Ankara, I950), pp.
13I-147; Garo Chichekian, "The Arme-
nians since the
Treaty
of San Stefano: A
Politico-Geographical Study of
Population,"
The
Armentian Reviewe, XXII, 2-82 (Spring I968), 42-49; Sarkis Atamian, The Armenian Com-
munity (New York,
1955),
pp.
43-46; William L. Langer, The
Diplomtacy
of
Imperialism,
Ir890-I902, Vol. I (New York,
1935),
p. I47 n. 3.
465
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466 Robert F. Zeidner
Armenian
subjects.3
Close
uniformity
of
pattern
in the execution of these massacres
and the
apparent
care taken to
spare
Armenians of the Eastern Rite
(Greek
Ortho-
dox)
and of the Catholic and Protestant faiths4 from harm convinced the Powers
that the entire affair had been
planned
and ordered
by
the Porte or the
palace,
or
both.5
Moreover,
foreign
and native witnesses had
reported
Ottoman
troops-
especially
units of the
newly
formed Kurdish
irregular cavalry (the
famous
Hamidieh
regiments)
6-and
police assisting
the mobs in their
bloody
business.
Reactions
among diplomats
in the
capital
and
among
other
subject
Christian
peoples
in the Balkans were so
fraught
with terror and
anxiety
that the Russian
government
considered a
quick
seizure of Istanbul and the Straits on the
pretext
of
restoring
order.7
This was the first
great agony
of the Armenian
Question, purportedly
the work
of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. The
Young
Turk
regime
unleashed the final two at-
tacks
against
all Armenians,
regardless
of faith, in
I909
and
1915.8
The
purpose
of
this
paper
is not to examine the circumstances of
any
of these
early attempts
at
3
For
examples,
see The Duke of
Argyll,
Our Responsibilities for Turkey (London, I896);
W. E.
Gladstone,
The Earl of Meath et
al.,
"The Massacres in
Turkey,"
The Nineteenth Cen-
tury Review,
XL
(I896), 654-680;
Diran
Kelekian,
"La
Turquie
et son
Souverain," ibid.,
pp. 689-698;
Wilfred Scawen Blunt and E. F. Du
Cane,
"Turkish
Misgovernment," ibid.,
pp.
838-848;
Malcolm
MacColl,
The Sultan
atnd
the Powers
(London,
New
York, Bombay,
1896).
4
The Catholic Armenians enjoyed the formal protection of France and
Austria-Hungary.
Russia looked after the small Orthodox sect. See text of the Treaty
of April 28, I649,
in
J.
C.
Hurewitz, ed. and trans., Diplomacy iin the Near and Middle East: A Diplomatic Record,
1535-1914 (Princeton, I956),
p. 24; also, Treaty
of Kiuiik Kaynarca, July IO/21, I774,
in
ibid., pp. 54-60.
5
Count Chedomille
Mijatovich,
The Memoirs
of
a Balkan
Diplomat (London, I917),
pp. 82-83; N. V. Tcharykov,
Glimpses
of Higjh Politics through War and Peace, 1855-1929
(New
York,
1931), p.
226. Whitman (Turkish
Memories, pp. 61-62),
on the other hand,
ab-
solves the sultan of any blame. For a balanced assessment of culpability
in the massacres, by
a
keen student and observer of Hamidian Turkey, see Eliot, Turkey
in
Europe, pp. 391-414.
6
These units were raised in eastern Turkey during late 1890 or early I891 for the
alleged
purpose of maintaining order along the Russian and Persian frontiers. See
ibid., p. 392;
Whitman, Turkish Memories, pp. 73, 109, I45-I55; The Times
(London), April 4, I89I, p. 5
(this source henceforth cited as LT) ; and Sir William A. White (British
Ambassador to the
Porte) to the Marquis of
Salisbury (British
Prime Minister),
Feb. 24
and March
13, I89I,
in Great Britain, House of Commons, Sessional Papers, ed. Edgar L. Erickson,
Readex Micro-
print Edition (New York, I967), 1892, Vol. XCVI, pp. I9, 25 (this source henceforth cited
as
BSP).
7
Count A. I. Nelidoff
(Russian
Ambassador to the Porte)
to N. P. Shishkin
(Russian
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs), Sept. 6/I8 and Nov. I8/30, I896;
Count S. Y. Witte
(Russian
Finance Minister) to Nelidoff, Nov. 24/Dec. 6, I896, as summarized in Leona W.
Eisele, A Digest
of
the
Krasnayi
Arkhiv: Red Archives, Vol. II (Ann Arbor, 1955), p. 62;
E.
J.
Dillon, The Eclipse
of
Russia
(New York, I918), pp. 231-244.
Even the U.S. Senate,
on Dec.
3, I894, resolved to request details and causes of the massacres from President Cleve-
land, as reflected in James D. Richardson, ed., A Compilation of
the
Messages
and
Papers of
the Presidents,
1789-I897,
Vol. IX
(New York, 1917),
p. 557.
8
Sultan Abdul Hamid II, Abdul Hamid'in Hattra
Defteri,
ed. tsmet
Bozbag (Istanbul,
I960),
pp.
I30-133. For authoritative, eyewitness accounts of the events of I909 and
1915-22,
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Britain and the
launching of
the Armenian
question 467
violence but to trace the
genesis
of the Armenian
Question
as an international
issue
during
the incubation
period
of the Armenian
Revolutionary
Movement,
roughly I877-I890.
The dean of
contemporary
Ottoman
historians,
Professor Enver
Ziya Karal,
has
declared that the Armenian
Question
did not exist before the ascension of Abdul
Hamid II
(1876).
Even the Albanian and Arab national
issues,
Karal
asserts,
had
surfaced as
separate
and distinct facets of the
greater
Eastern
Question
before the
middle of the nineteenth
century.9
This is not to
suggest
that a sense of national
identity
had not existed
among
the
dispersed
Armenian
subjects
of
Turkey,
Russia,
and Persia at an earlier date. Several Armenian
kingdoms
had flourished
in the Trans-Caucasus area and in Eastern Asia Minor from about the fourth
century
B.C. until
conquered by
the Arabs in A.D.
639.
The
Bagratid dynasty
man-
aged
to reestablish a measure of
independence
for Armenia from 886 until
Byzan-
tium annexed it in
1045;
and it was overrun
shortly
thereafter
by
the first
major
wave of
Seljukid
Turks to
penetrate
Anatolia. Armenian
refugees
from the east
then created a "New
Armenia,"
centered on
Cilicia,
but this tenuous state was
absorbed
by
the
Egyptian
Mamluks in
I375.
Even after assimilation into the Ottoman
Empire
in the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries,
the Armenians of Anatolia retained a form of unified administration and
representation
through
the theocratic
system
of
government (the
millet
system)
adopted
by the Turks for the control of their
subject
peoples. By
the mid nineteenth
century, however,
the
hierarchy
of the
Gregorian
millet had become
corrupt
to
the
point
that the
patriarch
and his senior functionaries had allied themselves with
the Porte to
suppress
and fleece their flock.
Although
the Armenian National
Constitution of
I860
(actually
ratified
by
the Porte in
I863)
did much to ameliorate
this situation-at the
instigation
of the
growing
Armenian
intelligentsia
of Con-
stantinople-the moneyed
amlira
class retained influence in the
governing
of the
tillet far in excess of its
relatively
small
numbers;
and a vast hiatus of mutual
understanding,
much less
sympathy,
continued to
separate
the urban Armenian
element from the
peasantry,
until the "back to the
provinces"
movement
gained
considerable momentum
following
the Berlin
Congress
of
T878.10
see Herbert Adams
Gibbons,
The New
Map of Europe (New York, I914), pp. 190-194;
Helen
Davenport Gibbons,
The Red
Rugs of
Tarsus: A Woman's Record
of
the Armenian
Massacres
of I909 (New York, I917),
pp.
103-I7I; Hartunian,
Neither To
Laugh
nor To
Weep, pp. 43-205; J.
A.
Zahm,
Fronm Berlin to
Bagdad
and
Babylon (New York, 1922),
pp. 205-213;
Arnold
J. Toynbee,
The Armeniian Atrocities: The Murder
of
a Nation
(London,
I915), passim; Henry Morganthau,
Ambassador
Morganthau's Story (Garden City, I918),
pp.
293-384;
and
Stanley
E.
Kerr,
The Lions
of Marash,
Personal
Experiences
with American
Near East
Relief, 1919-1922 (Albany, I973), passim.
9
Enver
Ziya Karal,
Osmanlh
Tarihi,
Vol. VIII
(Ankara, 1962),
p. 126. For
primary
sources
on the same
issue,
see James
Bryce,
Transcaucasia and Ararat
(London, I896),
pp.
viii, 445;
J.
H.
Skene,
Anadol: The Last Home
of
the
Faithful (London, 1854),
pp.
353, 357.
10
For
authoritative, dispassionate,
and well-documented
surveys
of
early
Armenian
history
and of the antecedents of modern Armenian
nationalism,
see Hrand
Pasdermadjian,
Histoire
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468
Robert F. Zeidner
Moreover,
relative
geographic
isolation from the mainstream of events and
thought
in
Europe
had
simply prolonged
the
embryonic phase
of nationalistic
development among
the
Armnenians
of Anatolia.
Although
the Armenian "Dias-
pora" had
been in
progress
for over
a
millennium by
the advent
of the
nineteenth
century,
the disastrous Ottoman wars in the Balkans and the Trans-Caucasus
region following
the
tturn
of that
century (the
Serbian and Greek
struggles
for
independence,
the Russo-Turkish W\ar of
1828-29,
the Crimean War and the
Russo-Turkish
Wrar
of
1877-78), plus
the
subsequent
consolidation of an inde-
pendent Bulgarian state, did
much
to
dimlinish
the
Armenian
proportions
of the
total Ottoman
population
in Eastern Anatolia. Not
only
did
many
thousands from
the Armenian
community
emigrate
to the cities of the
empire-and
to Trans-
Caucasian Russia-to
escape
the
depredations
of the untamed Kurdish tribes of
the East the
Porte,
in turn,
attempted
to
pacify
its unruly eastern
provinces
by
settling
there hordes of Turkish
refugees
from the Balkans,
and Muslim Circas-
sians andi
Lezghians
from the Trans-Caucasus.11 In short, by
1878 the Turco-
Armenians (lid not constitute a clear
imajority
of the total
polulation
in
any
of
the six Anatolian
provinces
where the bulk of them lived.12 This fact alone
prob-
ably
sufficed to stifle
separatist
ambitions and to
relegate
the Armenians to a
d(e I'Armn;ia depuis
les
origines jusqut'au
Traitc de Lausanne
(Paris, 1949);
A. 0. Sarkissian,
History of
the
lArlcmnianl) Question to 1885
(Urbana, I938); Nalbandian, Arm1cnian
Revolt-
tionary
Movement, pp. 1-89; Vahain M.
Kurkjian,
, History of
Armenia (New York, I959);
Claude Cahen. Pre-Ottomian
Turkey,
trans.
J. Jones-Williams
(New York, i968), passim;
and Atamian,
Armenian Community,
pp. 1-63.
For assessments of the
functioning
of the millet
system
in the late nineteenth century,
see M. A. Ubicini,
Letters on
Turkey,
ed. and trans.
Lady Easthope,
Vol. II
(London, I856),
letters iv-vii;
Roderic H. Davidson, Reform
in the
Ottoman Empire,
l856--I876 (Princeton, I963), pp. 12-19; Bliss, Turkey,
pp. 303-309.
For
the text of the Armenian National Constitution, see H. F. B. I.ynch,
Ar,menia: Travels and
Studies, Vol. II (London, 1901), pp. 445-467.
Article LVII of the constitution allowed the
provinces only 40 deputies
in the National General Assembly,
whereas the
clergy
and lay
Armenian (Gregorian)
of Constantinople received 20o and 80 deputies, respectively. Thus,
the
Gregorian inhabitants of the
capital
alone-about
I5o,000
souls-became the "tail that
wagged
the
dog." With
respect
to the "back to the provinces" movement, see n.
23
below.
11
F. Dubois de Montpereux, Voyage
autour du Caucase (Paris, 1839-43), II, 263-265;
James Brant, "Journey through
a Part of Armenia and Asia Minor,"
Journal
of
the
Royal
Geographical Society,
VI (1836), 201 ; R. Wilbrahim,
Travels in the Trans-Caucasian Prov-
inces
of
Russia (London, I837), pp. 294, 314; Janmes Brant,
"Notes of a Journey through
a
Part of
Kurdistan," Journal of
the Royal Geographical Society,
X
(1840), 344;
Robert Curzon
Zouche, Armenia: A Year at Erzeroom, antd on the Frontiers
of
Russia, Turkey, anid Persia
(New York, I854),
pp. I88, 2IO; Austen Henry Layard,
Discoveries
armtong
the RuiJns
of
Niueveh and
Babylon (New York,
1853),
p. II; Frederick Millingen,
fW'ild
Life among
the
Kurds
(London, I870), pp. 36, 104-IO6, 264; William M. Ramsay, Impressions of
Turkey
dur-
ing
Twelve Years'
Wanderings (London, I897), pp. 110-II4.
After I878,
it is
highly probable
that the Porte viewed the settlement of Muslim
refugees
in the eastern
provinces
as a deterrent
to
separatist plotting
and
uprisings among
the Armenians there.
By
that date the Porte had
seen over
seventy-five years
of such activity among
its
subject
Christian
peoples
in the Balkans.
12
White to
Salisbury, May 26, I89g,
in BSP,
1890-1891,
Vol.
XCVI, pp. 498 ff. Both Otto-
man and British estimates placed
the Armenians of all faiths at about
35 percent
of the total
population
in the
provinces
of eastern Asia Minor. See n. 2 above.
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Britain and the
launching of
the Armenian
qutestion
469
"least favored"
position
among
the various Christian minorities of the Ottoman
Empire
in the eyes of the Great Powers.
Meanwhile. from
1830
to
1847,
the Porte had
employed
its new, Westernized
army
to sub(lue the rebellious Kurds-and
thils
brought
to most of eastern Asia
Minor
almiost
thirty
years of relative freedom from tribal terror. The successes of
this
camplaign
were confirmed by
greatly
relduce(l Armenian
emigrations
fron- the
eastern
Ilrovinces
(during
the Crimean War and the
opening
months of the Russo-
Turkisll War of
87,7-78.1: Although
occasional Kurdish
outrages against
the
Christian
mninorities
of tle East continued to occur, the Armenian
peasants
tlere
appeared
to be
resigned
to their lot until
1877.14
Furtliermore,
they
were
relatively
prosperous
and content. Even
in
the
many
farmn
villages
of Asia
Minor,
where
life was least
pleasant
for all
subjects
of the
Porte,
the Armenians
enjoyed
im-
munity
fronm
nmilitary
conscription
and thus were free to look after their own
interests. Their Muslim
neighbors,
on the other
hancd,
lived in constant dread of
tle sultan's
conscription officers,
an(l many of
tlhemn
were forcibly carried away to
serve
long
and
arbitrary
terms of
military
duty, fighting
in the nunerous civil and
foreign
wars which rocked the
empire
throughout
the nineteenth
century.
Strangely
enotugh,
Armenians and Turks
got
along ratlher well until
1877, especially
at the
village
level,
despite
the second-class citizenship
impose(l
on the former
by
the
elite of the latter.15
Although
the Armenians labored under a number of civil disabilities
(forbidden
to bear
arms,
to ride a
horse,
to hold certain
public
offices,
and to wear certain
articles of
clothing), they prospered greatly
in the cities of the
empire.
Ali Vehbi
Bey,
a
private
secretary to Abdul
Hamid,
claimed that
they
held one-third of all
state
positions
on the civil list. These
positions
included those of cabinet
minister,
provincial governor, ambassador, and
principal
assistant to Muslim cabinet
minis-
ters.
Moreover,
Armenian bankers,
imerchants,
and
entrepreneurs
controlled shares
13
William Francis Ainsworth, Travels and Researches in Asia
Minor, Mesopotamlia,
Chal-
dea,
and
Armenlia,
Vols.
I,
II
(London, I842), passim; Zouche, Armenia, pp. 80, 94;
Charles
McClumpha
et
al.,
eds. and
trans., Essays, Speeches,
and Mem7oirs
of
Field-Marshal Contt
Hfelmuth. von
Moltke, Vol.
I, (London, I893), pp. 278-287.
Concise sketches of the Kurdish
wars of the nineteenth
century
are available in Arshak
Safrastian,
Kurds and Knzrdistan
(London, I948),
pp.
49-60;
V.
Minorsky, "Kurds," Encyclopaedia of Islam, II, 1147-II48.
14
Friedrich
Parrot. Jolurney
to
Ararat,
trans. W. D.
Cooley (New York, 1846), pp. 97-98,
230-231; Milli,ngen,
Wild Life, p.
262; Bryce, Transcaucasia, pp. 336, 344, 464; Pears, Forty
Years, p.
153;
Charles B. Norman to
LT,
Oct.
1, 1877, p. 10; Norman,
Armenia and the
Campaiqgn of 1877 (London, 1878), pp.
329 ff.;
David G.
Hogarth,
A
Wanidering
Scholar int
the Levant (New
York, I896), p. I49; Ramsay,
Imjpressions
of Turkey,
pp.
I90, 207-209, 215;
Noel Buxton and Rev. Harold
Buxton, Travels and Politics
inz Armenia
(London, I914), pp.
36-37.
The Armenian
uprisings
at
Van, Zeytiin, Mus,
and Erzurum
during
the
years
I860-
1863
are notable
exceptions
and occurred under
extraordinary
circumstances. See
Nalbandian,
Armenian
Revolutionary
Moz,vemnct,
pp. 65-79,
for documented outlines of these events.
15
Layard, Discoverics, pp. I3-I6, 20; Cyrus Hamlin, Among
the Turks (New York, i878),
p. 334;
Buxton and
Buxton, Travels, pp. viii, 19; Hogarth, WFandering Scholar, p. 149; Eliot,
Turkey in
Europe, pp.
396-397, 401.
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470 Robert F. Zeidner
of
imperial
trade and
industry
far out of
proportion
to their numbers.
Thus,
the
upper
strata of the Armenian
community
had little interest in revolt or
upheaval
during
the nineteenth
century
despite
the
sufferings
of their rural brothers in
eastern Asia Minor. Even there life was
relatively good
and secure
until,
as
sug-
gested
above, the outbreak of war between
Turkey
and Russia in
I877.16
The war
precipitated
a
general collapse
of
order,
such as it
was,
in the eastern
provinces
of the
empire.
Masses of Muslim Circassian and Kurdish nomadic
tribesmen took
flight
in the wake of Russia's
advancing
armies in the Trans-
Caucasus area,
passing
into Asia Minor il
great
disorder. The Muslim elite of the
Ottoman
government naturally
felt a
deep
obligation
to
grant
haven to these
tribesmen. Their forebears had been
loyal
Ottoman
subjects
before the advance of
Russia
beyond
the Caucasus barrier
(commencing
in
T803).
On the other
hand,
Ottoman administrative and defensive
organization
in the eastern
provinces
had
long
since
proved
too weak to resist the frontier
maraudings
of the tribes. This
sudden mixture of masses of nomads with the
sedentary
Armenian farmers and
tradesmen of the frontier
provinces
nevertheless
wrought great
upheaval
in the
security
of life and
property.
The resultant milieu mirrored the
contemporary
struggle
for the
fencing
of
grazing
lands in the American West. The
invading
nomads
generally
bore armis as
part
of their
occupational gear. They
were
unruly
and thus
usually pastured
their flocks in
regions
wliere
local
authority
was weak or
lax.
The remoteness of the Trans-Caucasus area from both Istanbul and St.
Petersburg
made for
equally
remote
interest,
and
means,
for the maintenance of
order there in the councils of both
powers
concerned.
Thus,
the
Armenians,
un-
armed and
inexperienced
in the
military arts,
suffered
every
description
of
outrage.
They
saw their
crops
stolen,
burned,
or
trampled by
livestock. Tribesmen violated
or carried
away
their women.
During
winter the nomads even drove them from
their homes and
villages.
To make matters
worse,
the Circassian and Kurdish
tribes
already living
in eastern
Turkey, encouraged by
the
collapse
of local
authority,
joined
in this
sport. Murder, robbery,
and
rape
became
commonplace
events in the
Armenian towns and
villages,
and
especially
so
along
the roads between them.
Ottoman authorities were too
preoccupied
with the
prosecution
of the war to
bother with the mniseries of their Armenian
subjects.
The Russian
Army,
however,
gradually
restored order to
many
areas as it
slowly pressed
into the easternmost
16
Ali Vehbi
Bey,
Penscdes ct Souvenirs de l'Ex Sultan Abdul-HamZid (n.p., n.d.), p. 12;
Turk Tarih Kurumu
Library, Ankara,
Atif Hiisni
(Hiiseyin) Bey,
Abdulhamid'in Hatiralarz
MSS,
Box
IX,
No.
14;
Ismail Kemal
Bey,
The Memoirs
of
Ismiiail KeIal Bey (London, I920),
p. 2I; Ramsay, Imipressions, p. I67; Whitman,
Turkish Memories, p. I9;
Andreas D. Mordt-
mann, Stamlbul
und das imoderne
Tiirkenthtu (Leipzig, I877-I878),
I, I29-131, 141, I77-I79;
Murad Efendi
(Franz
von
Werner),
Tiirkische
Ski-zcn,
Vol. II
(Leipzig, 1877), p. 72;
Abdolonyme
Ubicini and Pavet de
Courteille,
Etat present de
l'Esmpire Ottomani (Paris, 1876),
p. 87;
G. G. B. St. Clair and C. A.
Brophy,
Twelve Years'
Study of
the Eastern
Question
(London, I877),
pp. I25-134.
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Britain and the
laulnching of
the Arm-enian
qtuestion 471
provinces
of
Turkey. Moreover,
the
Russians,
in
occupying
much of eastern
Turkey,
set
up
a more
enlightened regime
for Muslim and Christian alike than either of
them had
recently
known at the hands of the Porte.
Thus,
the Armenian
villagers
and townsmen had cause for discontent with their Ottoman masters when Russia
offered
peace
at San Stefano in March of
I878.17
Meanwhile, other,
more subtle forces had
long
been at work to
gradually
infect
all Christian minorities with Western ideals of
government by
the consent of the
governed.
Western Christian
missionaries, both Catholic and
Protestant,
had been
pouring
into the Ottoman
Empire
since 1820. Their
numbers
had
swelled to
several thousands
by
the advent of war with Russia. Frustrated
initially
in their
efforts to win converts
among
the Muslim
peoples
of the
Empire, they promptly
reconcentrated their attention on the task of
imlproving (so they
apparently
thought)
the level of life
among
the Christian communities.
Many British,
Ameri-
can, and German missionaries (levoted their labors to the
Gregorian
Armenians.18
The results were chaotic for the
patriarchate.
The olscurantist
hierarchy
of the
Gregorian minority naturally opposed
the
mlissionaries.
The latter
posed
a
grave
threat to the
authority
and vested interests of the
formner. Thus, the
Patriarchate,
in order to strike terror in the hearts of its
adherents,
restored to summl
ary
excom-
munication of those who
kept
company
with the missionaries. The excommunicated
elements
sought refuge
with their newfound
benefactors,
and a
splinter
Armenian
community
was soon born: the Protestant Armenian
sect,
under the formal
pro-
tection of Great Britain.19 The
large Gregorian group
remained, to the end of the
Empire,
the
only Christian
minority
without
foreign guardianship.
Although
the WTestern missions
began modestly
with
elementary
Bible lectures
and
readings, they
soon
expanded
to establish
literacy
classes for their unschooled
communicants in rural areas. Formal
primary
schools followed. The
consequent
development
of a
complete
mission educational
system
climaxed in the
founding
of Robert
College,
in
Istanbul,
in I86i. In the
meantime,
the zeal of the
missionaries and the
generosity
of their
sponsors
in the \est had also
yielded
hospitals,
normal
schools,
and even Protestant seminaries in the remote
provinces
of Asia Minor. On the
cliplomatic
scene in
Istanbul,
the
burgeoning
of their
missions soon
swamped
the British and American embassies in the mere business
of routine assistance and
protection.
The
missionaries,
on the other
hand,
made
17
Capt. Henry
Trotter
(British Consul at
Erzurum)
to
Salisbury,
Nov.
13,
and Dec.
28,
1878,
in
BSP, 1879,
Vol.
LXXX, pp.
458, 466;
Sir A. H.
Layard (British
Ambassador to the
Porte)
to
Salisbury, June
I2 and
July I, 1879,
in
ibid., pp.
547-548, 559;
LT:
April 4, I877,
p. io; June II, I878, p. 10; Aug. 31, I878, p. 10; Sept. 24, I878,
p. 6;
Oct.
I5, 1878,
p. 4;
Pears Forty Years, p.
I53; Bryce, Transcaucasia,
pp. I37-I39, 343-346, 349, 428-429; Ramsay,
Imlpressionls, p.
205.
18
See n.
4
above.
19
Bliss, Turkey, pp. 302-3II ; Ubicini, Letters, II, 206-208; Noel
Verney
and
George
Damb-
mann,
Les
puissances Otrangcres dains
le Levant
(Paris, I900),
pp.
31-I45; Hamlin, A4mong
the
Turks, pp. 24, 29 ff., 37 ff.; George Washburn, Fifty
Years in
Constantilople (Boston
and New
York, I909), pp. I-50.
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472
Robert F. Zeidner
diplomatic negotiations
witli the Porte difficult
through
vociferous,
and
frequently
exaggerated, representations
in
support
of the
grievances
of their
congregations.
Thus, the missions
lprovided
a
setting,
in the forms of both intellectual
atmosphere
and
physical facilities,
for the incubation of
daring
and ambitious ideas and for
the hatching of
dangerous plots
within their flocks.20
The intellectual
leavening
of the Ottoman Armenians
and,
for that
matter,
of
all
Armlenians
in
general
during the nineteenth century
was
by
no means restricted
to the Protestant
segment. Early
involvement of Armenians in the trade of the
Orient had contributed both to the Armenian
"diaspora"
and to the
growth
of a
prosperous
commercial class
amnong
them.
By
the turn of the
century, thriving
colonies of
Armienian
merchant-bankers had
emerged
across a broad
span
of the
Old
\Vorld, extending
frolm
ILondon to Calcutta and
beyond. Moreover,
the
gradual
displacemient by
Armenians of the Plhanariote Greeks from domlinance in the
trade of the Ottomanl
Empire, following
the Greek War of
independence,
wit-
nessed
rapid
growth
and increasing wealth within the a;mira and Armenian
petite
bourgeoisie
classes of Istanbul an(d Izmir.
Thus, Armeniian contacts with tlhe West
expanded apace,
and the
continuing
diaspora
of Armenians
fromn
Turkey gained
force
through
a
growing
flow of
Armenian youtlh to institutions of
higher learning
in Christian
Europe (particularly
to
Paris, London,
Geneva,
Venice,
Vienna, Moscow,
St.
Petersburg,
and
Dorpat).
A concurrent
expansion
of Armenian
philanthropic activity
in both
Turkey
and
Russian Trans-Caucasia soon
yielded exclusively
Armenian institutions of learn-
ing,
in addition to the seminaries of
long standing,
both in
Europe
and the home-
land. In the latter
area, the sclhool systems of all Armenian sects
enjoyed
simiilar
growth and
improvement. One school after another
opened until,
in
I866,
there
were
thirty-two
schools for boys and fourteen for
girls
in Istanbul alone.
Like other "backward"
peoples,
the Armenians were seized with a veritable mania
for edutcation and information. The first Armenian
language newspaper appeared
in Izmir
during
1839;
and, within the next
twenty-five
years,
Istanbul alone saw
the
pul)lication
of fourteen mnore.-1
20
Bliss,
Turkey,
pp.
311-323; Washburn, Fifty Years,
pp. 76-88; Mary
Patrick Mills,
A
Bosphorus
Adventure
(Palo Alto,
1934), pp.
28 if., 62 ff.; Bryce, Transcaucasia, PP. 466-
470; Lloyd C. Griscom, Diplohmatically .S'peak
in
(New York, 1940), PP. 134-135;
Edmund
Hornby,
Aiutobiography
(London, 1928),
pp. I24-125. Layard had foreseen nationalist
plotting
within the missionary folds, as reveale( in his l)iscovecries,
pp. 348-350. Whitman,
Turkish
1Memories, p. 120, reported
621 Protestant schools, serving more than 27,000 students,
in Asia
Minor (luring his investigatory
tril)
through the "Armenian" provinces
in
1896.
21
Ibid.; Pears,
Forty Years, p.
151 ; Jacob Burckhardt, Die Zcit Constantine's des GrosseiL
(Basel,
I853), p. 125.
With tIle forJmation of a formal Protestant millet in
1849, animosity
between the Gregorian Patriarchate and thle Armenian Protestants gradually dwindled; and
Gregorian students soon began to attend the missionary
schools throughout Turkey.
For more
detailed discourses onI these
developments,
see Nalbandian,
A4rmeniant tRe,olutionary Move-
lmerit, pp. 30-40, 48-66; Atamiail, Armncian Community,
pp. 70-91 ; Leon D.
Megrian,
"Ar-
menian Life and Thought
in the Ottoman
Empire
between
1839-1863,"
The ArmenJian Revicw,
XVI,
3-63 (Sept. 1063), 33-39;
and Ara
Caprielian,
"H.
Ajarian
and his 'The Role of the
Armenians in the Ottoman
Empire'," ibid., XXI, 3-83 (Sept. I968), 51---58.
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Britain and the
launching of
the Armenian
question 473
Meanwhile,
on the international
political front,
Turkish Armenian
hopes
for
relief from
hardship
in the
provinces-even
for
autonomy
on the order of that
granted
the Christian Maronites of Lebanon in I86o-rose when General
Skobeleff,
tle Russian commander at San
Stefano,
granted
an audience to the
Gregorian
Patriarch,
Narses
Varjabelian, during
the
peace negotiations
started there to end
the war of
1877-78. As a result of Armenian
grievances presented by Varjabedian,
Russia wrote into Article XVI of the
peace pact
a demand for
sweeping
reforms
in the rule of Christian minorities in the eastern
provinces
as a condition for her
withdrawal therefrom.
Although
Britain and
Austria-Hungary,
in
pursuit
of
their traditional
policies
of
blocking
Russian
expansion
toward the Mediterranean
Sea, quickly
intervened to
abrogate
the
Treaty
of San
Stefano,
the Armenians
found new assurance when the
powers
invited an unofficial
delegation
from the
Gregorian
Patriarchate to attend the
subsequent Congress
of
Berlin,
convened in
mid-1878 to
forge
a new
peace treaty.22
The
Treaty
of
Berlin,
signed
on
July 13, 1878, disappointed
the Armenians
sorely,
however. It
provided
for the inmmediate withdrawal of Russian
troops
from
eastern
Turkey,
in (leference to British demands.
Although
the
powers
did not
reject
the issue of relief for the
beleaguered
Armenians, they
successively
diluted
the
stringent provisions
of Article XVI of the San Stefano
agreement
to
produce
Article LXI of the new
pact.
The latter article
obliged
the Porte to
pursue
reforms
andI
security
for its Christian
subjects
in Turkish Armenia under the
supervision
of the Great Powers. But the nature of this
supervision
remained undefined. The
new
treaty
failed, moreover,
to set
up any
sort of administrative
machinery
for
such
supervision. Thus,
it
appeared
that the
Porte,
noted for
lethargy
and for
tolerant disinterest toward the
plight
of the
Armenians,
stood free to reform or to
neglect
its eastern
provinces
as it saw fit.23
British
public opinion, long
conditioned to
sympathy
for the Armenians
by
the
22
Abdul
Hamid, Deftcr, pp. II9, 14I;
Sir Edwin Pears,
The
Life of
Abdul Hatlid (New
York, I917), p. 218;
Minasse Tcheraz (an Armenian
delegate
to the
Congress
of
Berlin)
to
LT, n.d.,
in
LT, April 6, I890, p.
6. A
copy
of the Armenian
petition, presented
to the Great
Powers at the Berlin
Congress,
is available in Antoine de La
Jonquiere,
Ifistoire de
l'Empire
Ottomanl
(Paris, I881), pp. 39-44.
23
The text of Article LXI of the
Treaty
of Berlin is
reproduced
in Hurewitz,
Diplomlacy,
p. 190.
For the
personal
observations of a
contemporary
Ottoman bureaucrat (and
historian)
involved in the
implementation
of the
treaty,
see Ali Fuat
Tiirkgeldi,
Mcsail-i Muhizmmiln-i
Siyasiyye,
Vol. II
(Ankara, 1957), pp. 86-87.
The leader of the Arrmenian
delegation,
Gre-
gorian Archbishop
Mekertitch Khrimian
(Khrimian Hairig), explained
the failure of his
lelegation,
and its mission at
Berlin, to his
congregation
in Constantinople in his famous
"Sermon of the Iron Spoon." This sermon is
reproduced
in toto in A. Asvadzadrian, "Armenia
before the
Revolutionary Movement," The Armenian
Review, XVI,
2-62 (May
I963), 55-56.
In
short,
Khrimian told his flock that
Armenia,
in contrast with the Christian states of the
Balkans, did not win
autonomy
from the Porte because no Armenian blood had been shed in
the cause of freedom. He went on to
say
that the
only hope
to
gain autonomy lay
in
sending
masses of educated Armenian
youth
to the
provinces-to
raise the
spirit,
economic
welfare,
and
political
awareness of the Armenian
peasantry.
This sermon marked the de facto launch-
ing
of the "back to the
provinces"
movement
among
the urban element of Turco-Armenians.
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474
Robert F. Zeidner
oratory
and
writings
of
liberals,24 might
well have cried out at such a result
(and
so
might
articulate
Armenians)
were it not for a
separate,
more
binding arrange-
ment concluded between Britain and
Turkey during
the
negotiations
at Berlin.
This
engagement,
the
Cyprus
Convention of
June 4, 1878,
awarded to Britain a
loose form of
stewardship
over eastern Anatolia and
possession,
but not owner-
ship,
of
Cyprus.25
Britain, on the other
hand,
undertook to defend
Turkey
from
attack
by
Russia.
The two
contracting parties
had withheld
publication
of this
arrangement
until
the Berlin deliberations closed. The Armenians were
jubilant. They
had
found,
so
they apparently believed,
a
champion
at last in Britain.26 Her
appointment,
more-
over, of
roving
military
consuls for Anatolia, in the fall of
I878,
further convinced
the Armenians that Britain aimed to
put
teeth in the flaccid terms of Article LXI.
The consuls were
charged
with
touring
the
provinces, hearing
the
complaints
of
Christian
subjects, observing
the activities of Ottoman
governors-and
of the
Kurdish
tribes-and,
finally,
with
reporting
conditions to their ambassador in
Istanbul. He, in
turn,
was to maintain
pressure
on the Porte for the
imple-
mentation of the reforms contracted in Article LXI.27
Meanwhile in
Russia,
Prince Loris
Melikof,
an Armenian himself and recent
commander of Russian forces in the Trans-Caucasus
campaigns,
succeeded to the
post
of interior minister. He raised Armenian
hopes
in
Turkey
to
yet
a
higher
level
by proposing
the establishment of an
independent
Armenian state,
to consist of
the Armenian territories then divided
among Russia,
Turkey,
and Persia.28 The
coincidence of British interest in
pacification
and reform for Asia Minor and the
24
Such as James Bryce, the Dukes of Argyll and Westminster, the Earls of Meath (Reg-
inald
Brabazon), Carnarvon
(Henry
H.
Molyneux),
and Selborne
(Roundell
Palmer).
See
their letter to LT in LT, July I5, I878, p. 7. Also see index of H. A. L. Fisher, James Bryce
(Viscount Bryce of Dechmolt, O.M.) (New York, 1972)
for entries regarding
their speeches
and
writings in support of Armenian reforms.
25
For the text of the Cyprus Convention, see Hurewitz, Diplomacy, pp. I87-I89.
For an
exhaustive, well-documented narrative of the negotiations within and between the govern-
ments of Britain and Turkey in the conclusion of this pact,
see Dwight E. Lee, Great Britain
and the
Cyprus
Convention Policy of I878 (Cambridge,
I934). Tiirkgeldi's impressions
of
the negotiations and copies of documents involved are in his Mesail, II,
93-II4,
338-342.
26
Henry C. Barkley, A Ride through Asia llinor antd Armejnia (London, 1891),
pp.
137,
I54, 244, 28I; Ruben Khan-Azad, "Hai Heghapoghaganie
Houshertz" (Memoirs
of an
Armenian revolutionary), Hairceik Amrosakir, V (June I927), 60-72.
Khan-Azad was one of
the
founding members of the Hunchakian revolutionary movement.
27
"Return of Recent Consular Appointments
in Asia Minor," in BSP, 1879,
Vol. LXV,
pp.
i
ff.; Capt.
A. F. Townshend, A Military
Consul in Turkey (London, I9IO), pp. 7, 42-43,
73, I02-I03, II7-I I8, 219-220; Ramsay, Impressions,
p. I43;
Trotter to Sir Edward B. Malet
(British Charge d'Affairs at the
Porte), Diyarbakir, April 24, 1879,
No. 32;
Trotter to
Clayton (British Consul in
Diyarbakir), Erzurum, July 24, I879,
F.O.
I95/I211;
and Layard
to Lord Kitchener
(a military consul), Tarabya, Aug. 23, I879,
F.O.
195/I234:
cited in Lee,
Great Britain and the Cyprus Convention, pp.
I55-I56;
also, Barkley,
A Ride, pp. IOI-I02,
280.
28
Dillon, Eclipse of Russia, p.
75;
Prince Lobanov-Rostovsky,
Russia antd Asia
(New
York, I933), p. 202; Martin Shatirian,
"The Founders of the A.R.F. on National Indepen-
dence,"
The Armenian Review, XI, 2-42 (July I958), 98.
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Britain and the
launching of
the Armenian
question 475
Melikof
proposal,
however,
marked the
high
tide of Armenian
expectations
from
the Great Powers. A sudden confluence of many
conflicting
events on the inter-
national scene
during
the
years I878-I885
doomed the realization of reform in
Turkish
Armenia,
much less the creation of an Armenian state.
First,
in
Istanbul,
Sultan Abdul Hamid in
early I878 abruptly suspended
the Ottoman Constitution drafted
under
his liberal
prime
minister,
turned out his
progressive cabinet,
and commenced the centralized
despotism
that character-
ized the balance of his
reign.2"
Then at St.
Petersburg,
the "liberal" Tsar
Alexander II met death in I88I at the hands of narodniki
assassins,
and his suc-
cessor,
Alexander
III, promptly
reversed his
predecessor's enlightened approach
to
government, following
the trail blazed
by
Abdul Hamid. Of more immediate
significance,
Alexander III dismissed Loris Melikof and canceled his Armenian
project.
Worse
yet
for the nascent nationalist movement then
underway among
Russian
Armenians,
the new tsar next launched
programs
of Russification
against
all his non-Russian minorities.30
France, during
this
interim,
added a sour note to Ottoman-Great Power rela-
tions
when,
in i88I,
she assumed a
protectorate
over Tunis without so much as
a murmur of intent to the Porte. The
following year
Britain
comipounded
Abdul
Hamid's
growing suspicions
toward the
MWest when,
on the
pretext
of
securing
European
investments and
residents,
she
unilaterally occupied Egypt
after
sup-
pressing
the Arabi Pasha rebellion there.31 The Great Powers in concert had
meanwhile
waged
a
long, frustrating diplomatic
battle with the
Porte, 1878-1882,
for the
implementation
of several sensitive frontier
adjustments
in the Balkans
(Turkey's
borders with
Montenegro, Greece,
and
Serbia)
sanctioned
by
the
Treaty
of Berlin.32
Finally,
the
great Bulgarian
Crisis of
i885-I888
and the
subsequent
crises in Crete and Macedonia threatened the Powers with war in the
Balkans and thus
conspired
with
preceding
events to
push
the
pot
of Armenian
reform to a back burner on the stove of
European diplomacy.
There the Armenian
pot
simmered until it
exploded
in
I894.
The
year
I886 marked a decisive
pivot
in the
embryogeny
of the Armenian
Question.
The liberal
regime
of Gladstone in
Britain, which had
sporadically sup-
ported
the cause of Armenian reforms
during
the
years
I88o-i886,
yielded
to the
Turkophile
Conservatives under
Salisbury.
The network of British
military
consuls in Asia
Minor,
thwarted
by
the wiles of Abdul
Hamid,
had
proved
to be
unproductive
and was abandoned in
I885.33
Abdul Hamid had won the
allegiance
29
Pears, Forty Years, pp. 1o7 ff., 114 ff.; Patrick, Bosphorus Adventure, pp.
8i ff.
30
Lobanov-Rostovsky,
Russia and
Asia, pp. 202-203; Lynch, Armenzia, I, 459
ff. and
467
ff.; Shatirian,
"Founders of the A.R.F.," pp.
94-95.
31 Abdul Hamid, Defter, p. 139;
Col. Husamettin
Ertiirk, lki Devrin
Arkasi (Istanbul,
I957),
p.
I2; Washburn, Fifty
Years
pp. 171-175.
32
For the
personal
observations of
Turkgeldi
on these
issues,
see his
Mesail, II, 93-191;
copies
of the
many
notes
exchanged
are in
ibid., pp. 338-387.
33
Sir Telford
Waugh, Turkey: Yesterday, To-day
and
Tomlorrow (London, 1930),
p.
30;
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476
Robert F. Zeidner
of Bismarck in
(liscouraging
further concerted action by the Great Powers on be-
h1alf of Turkish Armenians.34 A
kaleidoscopic
search for alliances
had
meanwhile
cominenced
among
the Great Powers for the preservation
of a balance of
strength
in
Europe. Rising suspicions
among the Powers and their
increasingly
conflicting
inmperial
and commercial interests in the OttomanI
Empire
thus rendered
joint
action on almost any issue there
improbable.
The
problem
of Muslim tribal lawlessness in Eastern Anatolia, although
not
nlearly
as intense as during the war of
1877-78,
persisted.3a
More
significant,
the
continuing
intellectual
awakening among
the
Armnenians
of all confessions in both
Turkey
and Russia lhad
generated
a nationalistic literary
renaissance
throughout
all of "Greater Armenia." This mnovement did mnuch to raise the sensitivities of the
Armenians of eastern Asia Mlinor-and of Armelnians
everywhere-to
the
op-
pressions
of
the Kur(ls. The leaders of
tlese
communities meanwhile
realized
that
the
plight
of the Turkisll eastern
provinces
had fallen behind the shadows of
Egypt
and
Bulgaria
in the councils of
Europe.
On the other
hand,
the Armenians of both
Turkey
and Russia had
long
since come to
expect
substantial assistance for the
improvenment
of Ottomlan rule from the W\est. Although
somewhat disillusioned by
ap)arent
lack of interest for theml
in the
capitals
of the Powers,
both
groups per-
sisted in the belief that their best lmeans of salvation lay
with Britain and the
"progressive" nations on the Continent.36
The
principal
source of
disagreement
between Russo-Armenian and Turco-Armenian activists revolved around their
choices of method for
attracting
that salvation.
Nevertheless,
both
groups
resolved
to act rather than to wait
any longer
upon
the
pleasure
of the Powers.37
The
leadership)
of the Russo-Armenian
community
had already resorted to
revolutionary scheming in the Trans-Caucasus region.
They
chose as their first
objective
the
political awakening
and
independence
of Ottoman Armenia-to be
followed by revolutionary
expansion
of that state to include the Armenian
prov-
Washburn, Fifty Years, p.
I53;
Pears, Forty Years,
p. I53;
and Col. Sir Charles Wilson
(Chief Military Consul)
to
Layard,
Nos.
41
and
42,
April 12, i88o, F.O.
78/3129;
Lord
Tenterden (British Permanent Under-Secretary of State for
Foreign Affairs), Memoranduim,
May
25.
i88o, F.O.
363/5,
cited in Lee, Great Britain and the
Cyprus ConTention, p. 157.
34
Abdul Hamid to Kaiser Wilhelm I (telegram), Sept.
15,
I880, in
Tiirkgeldi, Mesail, II,
380-381;
German
Foreign Office
(unsigned),
General Directive for the conduct of German
policy
in the Near
East, Friedrichsrtu, Nov.
7. 188o,
in
Johannes Lepsius
et al. eds.,
Die
Grosse Politik der
Europdiischle
Kabinettc, I871-I914, Vol. VI (Berlin, 1926), p. 20;
Earl
Granville
(British Foreign Secretary) to the British Ambassadors at Paris, Berlin, Vienna,
St. Petersburg, and Rome, Jan. 12, I88I, and Lord Odo Russell (British
Ambassador to
Berlin) to Granville, Jan. 28, I88I, in BSP, 188I,
Vol. C. pp.
750, 773.
35 Trotter to
Salisbury,
Nov. I3, 1878. in BSP, 1879, Vol. LXXX, p. 458;
Memorial from
the Armenian Patriotic Committee of London to Lord Salisbury, London,
March
27, I888,
in
LT, April 3, I888.
p.
8; Washburn, Fifty
Years, p. 153;
A. Locher, Wffith Star and Crescent
(Philadelphia,
I890), pp. 437-573;
Ramsay, Imprcssions, pp. 204-212.
36
Eliot, Turkey in Europe, p.
398; Barkley,
A Ride, pp. I37, I54, 244,
281.
37
Lynch,
Armenia,
I, 219-223, 270-276; Washburn, Fifty Years, pp. 200-201; Bliss,
Turkey,
pp. 335-336;
Abdul Hamid, Defter, pp). 130-I32; and
Ertiirk,
Iki Devrin, Arkasi, pp.
40-41.
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Britain and the
launching of
the Armenian
question
477
inces of Russia and Persia. The internal
security
forces of the new tsar, however,
had
expanded concurrently
in size and
vigilance
in his Trans-Caucasian domains.
The
plotters,
thus driven
lunderground
in
Russia, prematurely
chose to commence
terrorist activities in eastern
Turkey
where local
authority
was
notoriously
lax
and inefficient.
They lhad
long
observed in
disgust
the
docility
with which their
Ottomnan
brothers stubmitted to the
oppression
of the tribes. This situation
they
determined to correct.
Specifically, they proposed
to
provoke through
terrorism an
Armeneian
crisis in
Turkey sufficient in scale to arrest the attention and
sympathy
of the Powers-and thus to force intervention.38
The urban elite of the Ottomani
Armenians,
on the other
hand,
opposed
such
extreme
mieasures.
They
viewed terrorism and
consequent
Turkish
reprisals
as
grave
threats to their vested
interests;
they
remmbered the fate of the Phanariote
Greeks of the Ottoman
Empire
and shuddered. Whereas the revolutionaries advo-
cated Armenian
independence
as the
only solution to all Armenian
problems
in
Turkey,
Russia and Persia, the Armenian urban elite in
Turkey
hoped
simply
to
gain
relief for the eastern
provinces.
This urban
group, encompassing
the
hierarchy
of the
patriarchate
and
many, p)owerful banking
and commercial
families, naturally
wislhed to
preserve
their favored
positions
within Ottoman
society. Hence, they
argued
for
patience
and for a subtle
program
of
appeals
to
public opinion
in the
West to
generate
international
pressures
on the Porte. Both
groups,
revolutionaries
and urban
elite,
nevertheless
agreed
that known Armenian
sympathizers among
influential liberals in the West should be
exploited.
Both factions acted to stimulate
these
sympathizers.39
Thus, the
continuing diaspora of articulate Armenian nationalists and students
from
Turkey gradually
produced
activists and
pamphleteers
in London,
Man-
chester, Paris, MIarseilles, Vienna, and Brussels. The Armenian
colony
in London
grew large enough by
Christmas of
1885
to found a formal
Gregorian congregation
there.40 The Armenian
promotional
schemes of this
congregation
were
largely
conducted
by
the Armenian Patriotic Committee of London, under the chairman-
ship
of Garabet
Hagopian.
a
product
of Robert
College.
His committee served both
as an Armenian
propaganda
agency
and as a
coordinating
center for the activities
of smaller
grotips
located in the other cities mentioned above. The London center
circulated a
newspaper, Haiasdan, providing
in
English
and Armenian a slanted
and
exaggerated
view of the woes of Turkish Armenians. Meanwhile in Marseilles,
Mlekertitch
Portugalian41 prolduced
a similar
journal
for French
consumption:
38
A
point of considerable
controversy among students of the Armenian Question.
39
See n. 37 above; also, Shatirian, "Founders of the A.R.F.," pp.
93-107.
40
LT,
Jan. I9, I886, p. 7; Abdul Hamid,
Defter,
pp. 130-I32.
41
Portugalian
had been an educational organizer (and political activist)
for the Gregorian
Patriarchate in the Van region. The Porte banished him in I885. For an outline of his activ-
ities in
Turkey and France, see Nalbandian, Armenian Revolutionary Movement, pp. 90-107.
He published an anthology of his journal in I890:
"L'Armzenie" ie Housharar (Marseilles,
1890).
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478
Robert F. Zeidner
L'Arzmenie. Both
organs
were
widely
disseminated in
Turkey,
behind the backs
of Ottoman
authorities,
of
course,
and
kept
the Armenians there in a constant state
of
agitation.42
Two different British
governments during I886,
that of Gladstone
(February
to
July)
and the
subsequent regime
of
Salisbury,
felt
parliamentary pressure
for new
initiatives in Istanbul to
urge
Armenian reforms.43 In the
long run,
how-
ever,
the
frequent changes
of cabinets (and
parties
in
power)
in London
throughout
the
years I877-I886 proved
to be the
undoing
of Armenian
attempts
to
sway
White-
hall. Whereas
Hagopian
and
his
staff had
probably pinned
their
hopes
to the
Liberals,
the Conservatives under
Salisbury
came to
power
in
July
I886
and re-
mained in office until
August
of
1892,
a critical
period
in the
development
of the
Armenian
revolutionary
movement in
Turkey. By
coincidence,
instructions from
Gladstone
(via
his
foreign secretary,
Lord
Rosebery)
in
June
of i886 to renew
overtures at the Porte for Armenian reform cost Sir Edward Thornton
(British
ambassador in Istanbul since
1884)
his
job
when
Salisbury
succeeded to
the
premiership
in
July.44 Hence,
Thornton's
replacement,
Sir William A.
NWhite,
understandably
followed a cautious
path
in
addressing
the Porte on Armenian
affairs.45
Salisbury,
on the other
hand,
had
long
since become an "old hand" in the
42
LT, April 23, I888, p.
8; White to
Salisbury, May
28 and Dec.
8, I888,
and
Salisbury
to
White,
March
29, I889,
in
BSP, I889,
Vol.
LXXXVII, pp. 163, I90-191, 205; LT,
Feb.
14,
I889, p. 5; George
Pollard
Devey (British
Vice Consul at
Van)
to Col. Chermside
(British
Consul at
Erzurum), July 6. I889; Chermside to White, Sept. 14, I889,
in BSP, I890, Vol.
LXXXII, pp. 9-II, 27-28;
Patiguian (one
of
Hagopian's
colleagues in London) to Koulak-
sizian (an activist in Van), April
25,
I889, and Portugalian to Koulaksizian, April 27, I889,
in ibid., pp. II-I3; Devey to Clifford A.
Lloyd (British Consul in Erzurum), Jan.
2 and
Aug.
I9, I890, and White to
Salisbury, April 5, I890, in
BSP, I890-I89I, Vol. XCVI, pp. 463,
487, 534. Also, Joseph von Radowitz (German Ambassador to the Porte) to Gen. Leo von
Caprivi (German Chancellor),
Aug.
I, I890, in E. T. S.
Dugdale,
ed., German Diplomatic
Documents, I87I-I914,
Vol. II (New York, I929),
pp. I09-I0.IO
43
Lord
Rosebery (British Foreign Secretary) to Sir Edward Thornton (British
Am-
bassador to the Porte), No. 2I8, July
6,
I886, F.O. 78/3866, and Thornton to Lord Iddesleigh
(British Foreign Secretary), No.
428,
Aug. 24, I886, F.O. 78/3874, cited in Colin L.
Smith,
The
Embassy
of
Sir William White at
Constantinople, I886-189I (Oxford,
1957),
p. 44.
44
Salisbury is reported by his daughter (and
biographer)
as having said, upon resuming
office in I886: "They [the Liberals] have just thrown it [British influence at the
Porte] away
into the sea, without getting anything whatever in
exchange" (Lady Gwendolen Cecil, The
Life of
Robert Marquis
of
Salisbury,
Vol. II, [London, I92I], p. 326. See also Iddesleigh to
White, Private, Aug. 27, I886, cited in Smith, Embassy
of
William White, p. 45;
and
LT,
Aug.
30, I886, p. 6.
45
White to Salisbury, No. 397, Secret, Aug. 9,
I890, F.O. 78/4277,
cited in Smith, Embassy
of
William White, p. I07. White indeed faced a dilemma: whereas his predecessor had been
recalled for
supposedly squandering British influence at the Porte on Armenian philanthropy,
his consular officers throughout Turkey were old veterans of the Levantine Consular Service
and, no doubt, still resented the
calumny heaped on them by Parliament during the Bulgarian
Crisis of I875-I876 for their alleged Turcophilism.
A well-documented study
of this issue is
contained in Gordon L.
Iseminger,
"The Old Turkish Hands: The British Levantine Con-
suls, I856-76," Middle East
Journal,
XXII (I968), 297-3I6.
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Britain and the
lauznching of
the Armenian
question 479
diplomacy
of the Eastern
Question, despite
its
many complexities,
by
the advent
of the mid-I88os. As indicated
above,
he viewed the
support
of Armenian reforms
at the Porte
by
Thornton in I886 as the cause for the utter loss of what little influ-
ence Britain retained there after the
occupation
of
Egypt
in 1882.
Moreover,
Salis-
bury
then had his own "Armenian
Question"
in Ireland! British
advocacy
of
Armenian
autonomy
could
destroy
his domestic
position
on Irish home rule.
Thus,
he was
generally antipathetic
to the advances of
Hagopian
and his collaborators.
Meanwhile,
Hagopian
submitted
frequent appeals
to the British
press
for
sup-
port
of his cause.46
Through
his
efforts,
plus
those of his liberal allies in Parlia-
ment,
coverage by
The Timles of the Armenian
Question
rose from a mere
I4
articles
throughout
I886 to 6i
during
the next
year,
and
finally
to 122 in
I890.47
Whereas these statistics
might suggest greatly
increased
activity among
Armenian
agents
in
Turkey,
or
among
the Armenian minorities and their Kurdish
oppres-
sors, repeated,
on-the-scene
investigations
in
Kurdistan-Armenia,
in
response
to
queries
from
Salisbury,
revealed, until
mid-I89o,
that Eastern Anatolia
was,
if
anything,
more
tranquil
than usual.48
In
April
of I888
Hagopian
took to
addressing "open
letters" to the British
gov-
ernment,
and to
Salisbury
in
particular. Salisbury,
in
turn,
felt
obliged by public
opinion
and its echoes in Parliament to
put
on a show of cabinet interest in the
plight
of the Armenians. This he achieved
by relaying
to
White,
in
Istanbul,
the
many allegations
received at Whitehall
pertinent
to Armenian
complaints.
Salisbury merely
asked White for verification or denial of the circumstances
cited,
without
requiring
that direct overtures be made to the Porte for redress or for the
implementation
of the
long-delayed
reforms.49 On the home front, meanwhile, Salis-
bury managed
to resist exhortations from Parliament and the
public
for unilateral
British intervention in
Turkey
on behalf of the Armenians. He
simply argued
that
the
wording
of Article LXI of the
Treaty
of Berlin
provided only
for
joint
super-
46
For
examples, see LT: April 3, I888, p. 8; April 23, I888, p. 8; May 22, i888, p. 5; June
I4, I889, p. 7; Aug. 28, I889, p. 14; Sept. I2, I889, p. 5; Oct. I7, I889,
p.
13.
47
See entries under "Armenia & Armenians" plus appropriate entries under "Turkey"
in
Palmer's Index, Times Newspaper (I886-I890) (London, I887-I891).
48
Radowitz to
Caprivi,
Aug.
I, I89O, in
Dugdale,
German Diplomatic Documents, II, 109-
IIo; A. C. Wratislaw
(British
Consul at Harput) to White,
Aug.
IO, I888; Devey to Cherm-
sid, Jan. 9, I889; Salisbury to White, March 29, I889, in BSP, I889, Vol. LXXXVII, pp.
I67-I68, 20I, 205; White to
Salisbury, Sept. I4, I889, in BSP, I890, Vol. LXXXII, pp.
21-
24; White to Salisbury, Feb. 24
and
April 5, I890; Wratislaw to White,
Aug.
30, I890, in
BSP, I89o0-891, Vol. XCVI, pp. 482, 487, 535; Hogarth,
Wandering
Scholar, pp. 148-I49.
49
F.O. (Julian Pauncefote) to
Hagopian, London, March 27, i888; Salisbury to White,
March 29 and July 25, i888; Archbishop of Canterbury to Salisbury, May I4, i888; Evangeli-
cal Alliance to F.O., June 29 and Nov. 26, I888;
Hagopian
to Salisbury, London, June 27,
I889, in BSP, I889, Vol. LXXXVII, pp. 152-153,
158, 164, i66, i86, 229; Salisbury to White,
Aug. I4, I889; White to Salisbury, Sept. 30 and Oct. 4, I889, in BSP, I890, Vol. LXXXII,
pp. I7, 29-31; Devey to Lloyd, Jan. 2, 1890; Salisbury to Fane (British Charge d'Affairs in
Istanbul), July I8 and 23, I89o; Salisbury to White, Aug. 12 and I9, 1890; Lloyd to
White, July 3I, 1890,
in
BSP, I89o0-891, Vol. XCVI, pp. 463, 517, 519-520, 525-527.
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480
Robert F. Zeidner
vision
by
all of the
signatory powers
of such reforms as the Porte
engaged
to under-
take and to
report.
He
added, moreover,
that the
Treaty
of Berlin had superseded
tle
Cyprus
Convention since the former
agreement
was concluded after the
latter.50
The number of
parliamentary inquiries
referred by Salisbury to \White
kept
pace
with
growing press
interest and
swelling
public
sentiment-some of it no
loubt the result of
Hagopian's paradiplomatic
efforts. Such
inquiries
had bur-
geoned
so much
by
M:lay
of
I89o
that White
reported
a new, inform-al
procedure
arranged
with the Porte for more rapid
investigation
of them.51
Happily
for
Salisbury, precious
few of the many, many
alleged
incidents he sent to White for
confirmation were substantiated. The
gross
exaggerations
of the Armenian
agents
in
London, plus
the sheer
difficulty
of
oltaining
correct
knowledge
of violent events
in the
East,
enabled the
prime
minister to confront Armenian
partisans
at home
from a
position
of strength.52
He,
at
least,
could claim to
quote
from the direct
observations of
relatively impartial
"old lands" in eastern Anatolia. The
great
bulk of
foreign
consular offices
throughout
the Ottoman
Empire-six
of them in
eastern Asia Minor alone-were British. So. by
keeping
critics of his Armenian
policy
on the
defense, Salisbury
managed
to silence demands for British inter-
vention at the Porte. He
subsequently hoped
to restore British influence in
Turkey
and foresaw in unilateral intervention only ultimate harm for
major
British inter-
ests in the Near East.53 As the leader of an
imperial system ruling
more Muslim
peoples
than even the Ottoman
sultan, Salisbury
recognized
the
dangers
of cham-
pioning
Christian causes in Turkey.
The other
powers
all managed to stand even more aloof from the Armenian
Question
thanl did Britain under Salisbury. After several rebuffs from him in
1887-88, the Armnenian comnuittees in
Europe despaired
of British
support against
the Porte and resolved to make
urgent
representations
to France for assistance.54
Nothing
apparently
canle of this
project
if it wvas ever launched in earnest. There is
a
nagging
void
concerning
the Armenian
Question
in French
diplomatic
docu-
ments before
1894,
but it seems
plausible
to
speculate
that the issue invoked little
50
F.O.
(Julian Pauncefote)
to
Hagopian,
London, March 27, i888,
and
Salisbury
to Arch-
bishop of Canterbury, May 21, I888, in BISP, I889,
Vol. LXXXII, pp. I 52, I61-162;
Salis-
bury, Speech before the House of Lords, June
28, I889,
summarized in
Atnnual Register, I889
(London 1890), pp. I46-147; LT, May 24, i888, p. 5.
51
White to Salisbury, May 26, I890, in BSP, I89O--I89I,
Vol.
XCVI, p. 500.
52
Documents cited in n. 42 above contain examples of inquiries
which
brought sharp
denials
from WVhite or his consular officers. Wlhite to Salisbury, Sept. 13, I890,
in
BSP, I890-I891,
Vol. XCVI, p.
536,
cites the extreme lifficulties involved in
getting
accurate information of
incidents in the Near East.
53
Radowitz (citing Wrhite)
to Caprivi, Aug.
I, I890,
in
Dugdale,
German Diplomatic
Doc-
ue mcnts, II, 109-I0; Salisbury, Speech before the House of Lords, June 28, I889,
summarized
in Annual
Rcgister,
I889, pp. 146-147; LT, May 24, i888, p. 5.
54
Ibid.
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Britain and the
lannching of
the Armenian
question 481
interest in France as
long
as it did not interest
Britain,
her chief rival in the Near
East.55
Russia,
of
course,
had a
large,
turbulent Armenian
community
in her Trans-
Causasian
provinces.
She had been
attempting
to absorb all of her
many
non-
Russian
peoples through rigorous programs
of Russification. She had also been
wooing
the Porte
constantly
since the British
entry
into
Egypt (1882). Thus,
the
tsar remained
understandably
silent on the Armenian
Question.
In
1890,
his
minister of
foreign
affairs, Nikolai de
Giers,
summarized the Russian
position
on
the Armenian
Question:
"Russia has no reason to wish for a second
Bulgaria."56
Of the three
remaining powers signatory
to the
Treaty
of
Berlin, Italy
was com-
pletely preoccupied
with
her new
adventures
in East
Africa;
and
Germany
and
Austria-Hungary,
llaving narrowly
avoided war with Russia
during
the
Bulgarian
Crisis of
1887-88,
were reluctant to
challenge
the tsar in his Trans-Caucasian
provinces.57
Hence,
the
diplomatic
stage
was set for
general
Great Power indifference when
the Hunchakian
Revolutionary
Federation
began
to flex its muscles in
Turkey
in
1889-90.
This
group,
the first
major
Armenian
revolutionary league
to initiate
terrorist activities
against
the
Porte,
was founded in
(Geneva,
in
I887, by
Marxist
Russo-Armlenian
stu(lents and nationalists. In
I889
its members
began
to infiltrate
the school
systemls
of the
Gregorian
Patriarchate and of the
foreign
missions.
They
next
smuggled
in
arms,
disseminated seditious
literature,
and bombarded
Salisbury
(via
Hagopian)
with
allegations of
atrocity
when a few of their
agents
were
caught
flagrante
delicto
by
Turkish
police.58
When the Porte, in a show of concern for the safety of its Armenian
subjects,
,
Radoxvitz to Caprivi (reviewing the history of the powers' involvement in the Armenian
Question), Aug. 3, I890, in Dugdale, German Diplomatic Documents, II, III. Despite the es-
tablishment of two committees in France (Paris and Marseilles) and the publication there
of L'Armcniec, France was (lisinterested in Armenia, as reflected by the contents of Ministere
des Affaires 2tirangeres, Documents
Diplomatiques
Francais, I871-1914,
Ire
Ser. (Paris, 1930-
1955), Vols. VII and VIII, for the
period
Jan. i, i888-Aug. 28, I891. These sources contain
only one brief dispatch on the issue. This document, Laboulaye (French Ambassador in St.
Petersburg) to Ribot (French Foreign Minister), Sept. 21,
I890,
outlines the position of
Russia vis-a-vis Armenian autonomy-without giving even a hint of the French
position-at
ibid., VIII, 247.
5i
Count Pourtales (German Charge d'Affairs in St.
Petersburg)
to Caprivi, Sept. I5, I890,
in
Dug(lale,
(Germani Diplomatic Documcnts, II,
112.
57
Radowitz to
Caprivi, Aug. 3, I89o, in Lepsius
et al., Die Grosse Politik, IX, 191-192.
For a documented analysis of Great Power involvement in the Eastern Mediterranean and
Black Seas area during the late i88os, see G. P. Gooch, History of Modern
Europe,
I878-1919
(New York, 1923),
pp.
115-i55.
58 For a personal account of the founding and exploits of the Hunchakian movement, by
one of its charter members, see Avetis Nazarbek,
Through
the Storm: Picturcs
of Life
in
Armcuia
(London, I899), passim;
also, Khan-Azad, "Hai Heghapoghaganie Houshertz,"
/Haircuik Aimsakir, Vols.
V,
VI
(1927-1929), passim. For a documented history of the move-
ment, see Nalbandian,
Armenian
Revolutionary Movement, pp. 90-I3I.
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482
Robert F. Zeidner
brought
a notorious Kurdish bandit chieftain of Anatolia
(the
infamous Musa
Bey)
to trial in November of
I889,
the Hunchakians
whipped up
Armenian
feelings
of
outrage
and
willingness
to
protest openly
at his
subsequent acquittal (June 1890).
Thus,
Hunchakian
strength
first came to
light
in Istanbul in
July
of
I890
when activists
precipitated
a
major
riot
among
some five hundred Armenian
peasants
who had come from the eastern
provinces
to
testify
at or to observe the
trial. The rioters confronted their
patriarch,
about to conduct mass in his
cathedral,
and demanded that he
immediately
lead them to the
palace
and
present
their
grievances
to the sultan himself. When the
patriarch
tried to
temporize, they
assaulted him
violently. Troops
in the
neighborhood
of the cathedral had been
alerted to the unusual
gathering; they promptly
intervened and rescued the
patriarch
in the nick of time. Wholesale arrests and a massive
investigation by
Turkish
security
police
followed
quickly
on the heels of these events. The Porte
subsequently managed
to
allay
the concern of the Great Power ambassadors
through
a
speedy, open
and
orderly
trial for the defendants and
through
obvious
clemency
in
awarding punishment
to those convicted of misbehavior. Sir William
White,
a
long-time
resident in the Ottoman
Empire
and a veteran observer of the
Istanbul
scene,
registered
shock and disbelief at this
new, unprecedented
boldness in the actions of the Armenian
minority.59
Meanwhile, suspicions
of subversion
among
its Armenian
subjects
had
already
taken root in the councils of the Porte.60 In
response,
Abdul Hamid's famous
internal security
agency,
the secret Hafieh, initiated a
campaign
of sudden
searches and seizures in Armenian
churches,
schools and homes, both in Istan-
bul and in the
provinces.
One such
raid,
in
June
1890,
gave
the Hunchakians an
opportunity
to
stage
a full rehearsal for the cathedral riot in Istanbul the
following
month. In
Erzurum,
the
principal city
of Turkish
Armenia,
Hafieh and
other Ottoman officials conducted a dawn search of the
Gregorian
cathedral on
June
20tll.
Although
this measure
reportedly
failed to reveal
any
indications of
revolutionary activity among
the Armenians of
Erzurum,
Hunchakian
agents
ex-
ploited
the occasion to arouse the Armenian
quarter
of the
city
with wild stories of
alleged
Turkish desecrations
against
the
holy
relics of the cathedral.
Outraged
Armenian
youths
assaulted the
bishop
as the search
entourage departed
the build-
ing,
and the entire Armenian
community
closed
shops,
offices,
and schools in
sullen
protest.
Hostile
responses
from the Muslims of the
city
unleashed two
days
of Muslim-Armenian
rioting
and
looting.
Local Ottoman
authorities, however,
dis-
played
normal restraint in
promptly restoring
order and in
dealing mildly
with
59
LT, July 29, I890, p. 5,
and
July 30, I890, p. 5;
White to
Salisbury, Aug. i, I890,
with
enclosures,
in
BSP, I890-I891,
Vol.
XCVI, pp. 522-524; Lloyd
to White, Aug. 21, I89o,
in
ibid.,
pp.
532-533;
White to
Salisbury, Aug. 21, 1890,
in
ibid., p. 526.
For the memoirs of a
participant
in the cathedral
riot,
see H.
Jangulian,
Notes on the Armencian
Crisis,
Vol. III
(Constantinople, 1913), passim.
60
Eliot, Turkey
in
Europe, p. 392; Lynch, Ar?tmenia, II, 423-424; Tcharykov, Glimipses of
High Politics, p.
226.
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Britain and the
launching of
the Armenian
question 483
arrested Armenians.
Thus,
in
Erzurum,
as in Istanbul one month
later,
Turkish officials succeeded in
convincing
the
representatives
of the Powers of
their concern for the
safety
of the Armenian
community.61
In
July
and
August
of
1890,
two
major
fires broke out
mysteriously
between
the Armenian and
Jewish quarters
of Istanbul. More than a thousand homes
were thus
destroyed. Finally,
on the
following September 3d
and
4th,
Armenian
arsonists reduced one-half of the
major
port city
of Salonika to ashes. More than
sixteen thousand
persons
were made
homeless,
and the total
damage
was esti-
mated at imore than one million
pounds sterling
!62
Thus,
the Armenian nationalists had
clearly
shown their hand to the Porte
by
the close of the summer of I890. But
they
had miscalculated
seriously
in
laying
their
plans: they
still lacked a
champion
among
the Powers. It would
appear
that
they
had counted
heavily
on the survival of the Gladstone
government
of
I886,
or
failed to understand the two
opposing points
of view on the Eastern
Question
then
prevalent
in Britain.
Salisbury,
of
course,
was wed to the Palmerstonian
approach:
the
protection
of
Turkey against
Russian encroachments into the Balkans or into
the Mediterranean area.
Moreover,
he remained deadlocked with France over
British
rights
in
Egypt
and thus was uncertain of his
options
in the eastern Medi-
terranean Sea. The most he could do for the Armenians and other
oppressed
Christians of Asia
Minor,
he
felt,
and in fact
did,
was to
encourage
German eco-
nomic
penetration
of the area with the
hope
that the Germans would exercise a
"civilizing"
influence on the Porte.63
This
stopgap
measure came too late for the
pacification
of Asia Minor. Abdul
Hamid had
already
had
enough
of Armenian
plotting;
he had also learned from the
actions of the Powers
during
the
past
thirteen
years
that
they
would not intrude in
his affairs on behalf of the Armenians. Late in 1890 or
early
the next
year
he
began
to recruit his famous
Hamidielh
the Kurdish
irregular cavalry.64 Thus,
the
Armenian
Question
was launched on its
way
to a new era.
University of
Utah
Salt Lake
City,
Utah
61
White to
Salisbury,
Nov.
Io, I890,
with
enclosures,
in
BSP, I89o-I891,
Vol.
XCVI, pp.
544-558;
Fane to
Salisbury, June 22, 1890,
with
enclosures,
also
June 23, 24, 27, I890,
in
ibid.,
PP. 505-509; Lloyd
to
Fane, June 20 and
28, 1890,
in
ibid., pp. 5II-5I6.
62
LT, July 14 and I6 and
Aug.
6, I890,
p.
5 (in
each
issue); LT, Sept. 5, 6, 8, 12, I890,
PP. 3, 5, 3
and
7,
and
8, respectively.
See
Stephen Bonsai, Heyday
in a
Vanlished
World
(New
York, I937), pp. 286-289,
for an account of a
fantastic,
chance
meeting
between the author
and the
plotters
of the Salonika fire.
63
Waugh, Turkey, pp. 30-32; Pears, Forty Years, p. 137; Eliot, Turkey
in
Europe, p. 414.
64
LT, April 4,
I891, p.
5;
White to
Salisbury,
Feb.
24
and March
13, I89I,
in
BSP, 1892,
Vol.
XCVI, pp. I9, 25.
Meanwhile, to
allay any
fears or
suspicions among
the
Powers,
Abdul Hamid had
staged
several
spectacular
acts of reconciliation between himself and his Armenian
subjects
in late
December I890
and
January I89I,
as described in White to
Salisbury, Jan. I9, I89I,
in
ibid.,
p. 6; LT, Dec.
26, I890, p. 9,
and Dec.
30, I890, p. 4.
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