Template talk:Turkish nationalism

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Adana massacres[edit]

I'm wondering why the Adana massacres are included in this template when it's clear from the page that they were perpetrated by general Muslim mobs after the Countercoup of 1909. A user has alleged that "regiments that conducted the massacre were the Rumelian regiments established and commanded by the right-wing circles of the Young Turk party. These regiments were never under the command Islamist counter-revolutionaries." I don't see any proof of this anywhere, and no sign of that on the page. The Adana massacres were committed by non-centralized mobs, under the anti-Turkish nationalist Pan-Islamist and monarchist countercoup forces. Neither the Young Turks, nor any significant "regiments" or military, were involved in them. Perhaps the reverting user is confusing the incident with something else. Ithinkicahn (talk) 18:29, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Here is some information about the Rumelian contingents:

When the Young Turks returned to power Aptil 24, 1909, they deployed the Rumelian regiments from Damascus and Beirut to Adana to restore public order, which, however, only prolonged the massacre as troops joined the program.


Local CUP officials were also involved in instigating and ordering massacres


Ittihadist forces were implicated in the massacre, and some popular participation seems to have been the result of economic-based jealousies.


In the meantime, new contingents of the Turkish army had arrived ostensibly to restore "peace and order." What followed was a one of the most gruesome and savage bloodbaths ever recorded in human history. Enraged by the magnitude of the losses they sustained during the first round of the conflagration, the Turks, directly supported by the newly arrived army contingents, descended upon the totally disarmed and defenseless Armenians, butchering and burning them alive by the thousands.


These troops were sent in order to "restore order" but were ultimately given supplemental orders from the local CUP officers in Cilicia to assist with the massacres. These troops, part of the "Action Army," were commanded by the Young Turk officers ([5]). Remember, just because Constantinople was going through civil conflict doesn't mean the entire Empire was as well. Local CUP officials throughout the vilayets including Cilicia still held a firm grip on power.

More importantly, I believe that these massacres, along with the Armenian Genocide, should be placed under a context of a social engineering program launched by the Turkish/Ottoman government that geared towards more nationalist oriented society. Many writers and researchers ([6]), attest to that notion. In fact, many historians see the Adana massacres as a rehearsal for the great genocide that followed. If you think that the article lacks significant information regarding what I have just aforementioned, I agree. We can work together and add it to the article. Étienne Dolet (talk) 19:03, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Obviously some joined the massacres, but none of those sources say in any way that Turkish nationalism was a force behind them. The Rumelian regiments and the Action Army were against the Countercoup, not a significant force in the massacres. And I seriously doubt that anyone that's not biased considers these massacres as a "rehearsal for the great genocide that followed." And do you actually think that the quote that says Turks "descended upon the totally disarmed and defenseless Armenians, butchering and burning them alive by the thousands" is a reliable and non-POV source to be included anywhere near a Wikipedia article? While a lot of these sources say that the army was involved in some part, none of them say that it was a main force or a motivating factor behind the massacres. Just because some troops were involved definitely does not mean there was some all-encompassing Turkish nationalist motive behind them, and indeed there wasn't.
The only reliable source I found to support the nationalist inclusion is this, which says that the Young Turks distanced themselves from the massacres, which they had not ordered and which had been started by the "local Muslims" who had "opposed the modernizing mission" of the 1908 Young Turk Revolution. It says that "some sources" say that one single person claimed that the massacres were for the purpose of Turkification, despite the very few number of soldiers that participated in it (and definitely did not start it) and the condemnation of the acts by the actual Turkish nationalist CUP government (as well as the CUP trial of the Muslim offenders afterwards). Ithinkicahn (talk) 19:08, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
This isn't only about who started it...this is about who finished it off as well. The Adana massacre was carried out in two periods. The first was due to conflagration between local Armenians and Turks or "local Muslims" support by their local CUP government. The second period, after 24 April, was reinforced from the central government under a military regiment that I have already mentioned. It is in this second period of massacre that most Armenians have lost their lives. Therefore, the Rumelia regiment of April 1909 was not just some small group of lawless brigands. It was a regiment directly funded by the central government which conducted and ordered massacres against the Armenians. Orders were given directly from their military commanders to strike at the Armenians.
Like I said, these massacres should also be placed under the context of a nationalist social engineering program sponsored and supported by the Young Turks, whether they be central, local, or both. There were central authorities that distanced themselves from it, but that doesn't mean that the party and its contingent officers or its local branches shouldn't be held responsible for it. I have also suggested that we add more information in this regard in the Adana massacre article. Something that is missing in the article is the economic factor of the massacre. With the massacre of Armenians, local Turks had allocated Armenian business to themselves creating a more Turkified socio-economic society in the region. To reiterate: this is not my opinion, but of the many historians in this field.
I never insinuated that I will use these sources in the article. The language in these sources may appear harsher language than others. But that shouldn't be an excuse to disregard the topic of discussion as to who or what these Rumelian regiments are and what they did in Adana. Besides, the burning of people alive is not unfounded claim. Please see the following peer-reviewed article:

On April 25, 850 soldiers from the second and the third regiments arrived from Dede Agaç. After the regiments set up a camp in Adana, shots were fired at their tents. A rumor immediately spread that the Armenians had opened fire on the troops from a church tower in town. The military commander of Adana, Mustafa Remzi Pasa, made no attempt to validate these rumors, but nevertheless ordered his soldiers to strike back at the Armenians. On Sunday, April 25 at 1:00 p.m. a battalion attacked the Armenian school that housed the injured from the first wave of the massacres. Soldiers poured kerosene on the school and set it on fire with people inside. Regular soldiers, reserve soldiers, and mobs along with the Basibozuks attacked the Armenian Quarter. They burned down churches and schools. The conflagration in the city of Adana continued until Tuesday morning, April 27, and destroyed the entire Armenian residential quarter...

Étienne Dolet (talk) 19:45, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

It's more than obvious that these events were a product of nationalism and especially nationalism by the Young Turk government. So I wonder why this shouldn't be part of the template.Alexikoua (talk) 22:12, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
Soldiers are people too. Not all soldiers align with the state's intentions or desires; they'll join the mob if it happens. This is clearly a case of that happening, not a Turkish nationalism-driven event. You're taking the involvement of some soldiers as a sign that the massacres were driven by Turkish nationalism, and not Islamism? You sound like you're just looking for an excuse to add the maximum amount of genocides and massacres under this template just because it is called "Turkish nationalism". The Adana massacres article and sources add the addition of some soldiers as a sidenote, while you take that as a sign to add an unrelated event to the template. And Alexikoua, you haven't added any substance to the discussion, so I don't know where you're getting "more than obvious" from, other than just intending to "vote" for one side or the other. This discussion is clearly not going to settle things one way if there are editors willing to add a link to a template based on the participation of relatively few unsanctioned, rogue troops in a massacre began and participated in by mobs completely aligned to the opposite of Turkish nationalism.
I don't know where you're getting that this was a "nationalist social engineering program sponsored and supported by the Young Turks" when the Young Turks' government condemned the massacres, tried and executed many of its participants, and denounced them afterwards as well. And you know perfectly well I'm not referring to the burning of people, I'm talking about the language that says "Turks descended upon the totally disarmed and defenseless Armenians", which is clearly nowhere near NPOV language. However, all this is useless, as you seem to be set on accusing the Young Turks of all atrocities that have ever occurred under the Ottoman Empire, even in 1908–1909 when they were aligned right with the Armenians against the Ottoman government (which, by all sources, was the perpetrator of this incident). Ithinkicahn (talk) 01:02, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
Whether or not the Young Turks condemned the massacres has nothing to do with this topic of discussion. The Young Turks of 1919 condemned the Young Turks of 1915 for the Armenian Genocide, does that mean they didn't feel morally and politically accountable for the lives that were lost? They did.
In its entirety the Adana massacres had a whole mishmash of elements responsible for massacre: average Turks, politicians, and soldiers; both regular and irregular. It was a coalition of all these forces to get rid of the Armenians in Adana. The very soldiers sent to "restore order" were given orders to strike at the Armenians not because they just wanted to join the mob, but because they were given orders to do so. These elements were guided by nationalist sentiment and it is not uncommon to find sources attesting to this. See Abdalian [7]:

"The intensity of the carnage prompted the government to open an investigation, but the failure to prosecute dashed Armenian expectations of liberal reforms by the new regime. The reactionary elements of the Ottoman Empire were suspected of instigating the massacres to discredit the CUP, but the Young Turks were also implicated. The Adana Massacre exposed the twin composition of the Young Turk Movement, which consisted of both liberal and radical nationalist elements. It also demonstrated the convergent interests of the nationalists with the reactionary and conservative elements of Ottoman state in their policies toward a progressive-minded minority. For the Young Turks, the Adana Massacre proved a rehearsal for gauging the depth of Turkish animosity in the Ottoman Empire toward Christian minorities and for testing their skills in marshaling those forces for political ends. Despite the restoration of a constitutional government, the specter of mass violence was reintroduced as a mechanism of state power."

As for nationalist social-engineering, it is not a term that I just made up. It is used by various historians and scholars to best describe what the Young Turks had in mind from 1908 and onwards. The young Turkish historian Umit Umit Ungor seems to sum it up best [8]:

"Apart from the many wars, an incomplete list of mass violence in the Ottoman Empire would include: the 1909 Adana massacre, the violent expulsion of European Muslims especially after 1912, the 1915 deportation and genocide of Armenians and Syriacs, the 1921 Kocgiri and Pontus massacres, the mass violence against Kurds from the 1925 Sheikh Said conflict to the 1938 Dersim massacre, the 1934 anti-Jewish pogrom in Thrace, all the way up to and including the 1966 pogrom against Greeks and Armenians in Istanbul. Sociologically speaking, one could interpret these events as constituents of the "dark side" of the Turkish process of nation-building, of which violence was a defining feature. Unlike violence in modern German history, Young Turk violence and social engineering remains remarkably underresearched, both in Ottoman-Turkish studies and in genocide studies in general."

By the way, I don't suggest nationalist social-engineering to be a term the article should adopt. It was just helpful terminology to best describe the context the Adana massacre should be placed within the analyses of Turkish nationalist history.
I have already allowed you to remove Hamidian massacres because I more or less agree that those massacres were religiously oriented. But the Adana massacres is a different story. As for the article, I agree it needs to be worked on. I am hoping you can help me.
So it all broils down to these questions:
Were a major part of the massacres systematic in nature? Yes.
Was there a motivational factor gearing towards a nationalist oriented socio-economic structure in and around Adana? Yes.
Were the CUP governors in charge do anything to stop the massacre? No.
Do contemporary researchers and scholars place the massacre as a component of Turkish nationalist history? Yes.
Do we have sources to attest to all these answers? Yes.
Étienne Dolet (talk) 02:33, 23 February 2014 (UTC)