|Died||April 17, 1922|
|Cause of death||Assassination|
|Resting place||Şehitlik Mosque|
|Known for||Founding member of the CUP and perpetrator of the Armenian genocide|
Behaeddin Shakir or Bahaeddin Shakir (Ottoman Turkish: بهاءالدین شاکر; Turkish: Bahattin Şakir; 1874, Constantinople (now Istanbul) – April 17, 1922) was a Turkish nationalist politician and one of the architects of the Armenian genocide. He was a founding member of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), which he transformed into a political party, and director of the Shuraï-Ummett, a newspaper that supported the Committee. During World War I he was part of the leadership of the Teşkilât-ı Mahsusa. At the end of that war he was detained with other members of the CUP, first by a local Ottoman court martial and then by the British government. He was then sent to Malta pending military trials for crimes against humanity, which never materialized, and was subsequently exchanged by Britain for hostages held by Turkish nationalist forces. On 17 April 1922, he was assassinated along with Cemal Azmi in Berlin.
Creating the CUP
Bahaeddin Shakir was instrumental in reviving the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) inside the Ottoman Empire (by the turn of the 20th century it was an organization of exiled intellectuals). In 1905 the Bahaeddin set the infrastructure for an internal center for the organization. The next year, the Ottoman Freedom Society would be founded, which would merge with the CUP in 1907 and become its internal center for revolutionary activity. The Young Turk Revolution would be carried out by the CUP, forcing Abdulhamid II to recall the constitution and call elections, starting the Second Constitutional Era. Shakir would become the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies during this period.
On 3 March 1915, Shakir sent a letter stating
the Committee [of Union and Progress], as the bearer of the nation's honor, has decided to free the homeland from the inordinate ambitions of this accursed nation and to assume the responsibility for the blemish that will stain Ottoman history in this regard. The Committee, which cannot forget [the country's] bitter and unhappy history and whose cup runneth over with the unrelenting desire for revenge, has decided to annihilate all of Armenians living within Turkey, not to allow a single one to remain, and has given the government broad authority in this regard. On the question of how this killing and massacring will be carried out, the [central] government will give the necessary instructions to the provincial governors and army commanders. All of the Unionist regional representatives would concern themselves with following up on the matter in all of the places where they were found, and would ensure that not a single Armenian would receive protection or assistance.
Behaeddin Shakir was a central figure of the Teşkilat-i Mahsusa (Special Organization) and has been described as "one of the architects" of the Armenian genocide. This is sometimes used as proof of a state organized genocide using the tehcir (deportations) process of the Tehcir law. Halil Berktay says that local administrators objected to Behaeddin Shakir's deportation orders and called for his arrest. Dissidents were usually replaced by hardliners; sometimes twice if the replacement was not pliant. He was involved in the subduing and deportation of the Armenian population in Ardanuç, where he was the head of the Special Organization, and Ardahan in 1914.
In the autumn of 1919, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) decided to punish the executors of the Armenian Genocide. Under Operation Nemesis, Aram Yerganian and Arshavir Shirakian were given the task to assassinate Cemal Azmi and Shakir who were both in Berlin. On 17 April 1922, Shirakian and Yerganian encountered Azmi and Shakir walking with their families on Uhland street. Shirakian managed to kill Azmi and wound Shakir. Yerganian immediately ran after Shakir and killed him with a shot to his head. The assassins were never detained.
Shakir and Azmi were buried in the cemetery of Şehitlik Mosque in Berlin. In 2005, Kurdish-German politician Giyasettin Sayan asked a parliamentary question about their "graves of honour" and Armenian genocide denial.
- McCullagh, Francis (1910). The Fall of Abd-ul-Hamid. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd. p. 19.
- Hanioğlu 2008, p. 159. sfn error: no target: CITEREFHanioğlu2008 (help)
- Akçam, Taner (2019). "When Was the Decision to Annihilate the Armenians Taken?". Journal of Genocide Research. 21 (4): 457–480. doi:10.1080/14623528.2019.1630893. S2CID 199042672.
- In Turkish: "Cemiyet, vatanı bu lanetlenmiş kavmin [Ermenilerin] ihtirasından kurtarmaya ve bu konuda Osmanlı tarihine sürülecek lekenin sorumluluğunu milli onura sahip omuzlarına almaya karar vermiştir. Birbiri ardı sıra gelen intikam duygusu ile ağzına kadar dolu, uğursuz ve acı geçmişi unutamayan cemiyet, gelecekten ümitli olarak Türkiye’de yaşayan bütün Ermenileri, bir tanesi kalmayıncaya kadar mahvetmeye karar, bu hususta da hükümete geniş yetki vermiştir. Hükümet Katledip yok etmenin nasıl gerçekleşeceği konusunda, vali ve ordu kumandanlarına gerekli izahatı verecektir. İttihat ve Terakki’nin bütün delegeleri bulundukları yerlerde bu konunun takibiyle ilgilenecek, hiçbir Ermeni’nin korunmasına ve yardım görmesine meydan vermeyeceklerdir.", Bahaettin Şakir’in Ermenilerin imhasına dair mektupları, Taner Akçam, 21.04.2019, Agos
- Hofmann 2020, p. 88.
- Robert Kaplan (July 7, 2007). "Long history of the doctors of doom". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-09-03.
- Rogan, Eugene. “The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East” (Basic Books, 2015) p. 174
- Mihai Andrei, "Historian unearths more solid evidence of the Armenian Genocide" 
- Düzel, Neşe (2000-10-09). "Ermenileri özel örgüt öldürdü". Radikal (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-09-03.
Osmanlı ordusu ve bürokrasisinin de bunun korkunç bir olay olduğunu algıladığını, bunları valilerden ve garnizon komutanlarından bağımsız olarak fütursuzca yapmış olan özel timlerden iğrendiğini ve hatta Enver ve Talat'ın özel adamı olan Behaeddin Shakir hakkında 1915-16 yıllarında tevkif müzekkeresi çıkaran, onu tutuklamaya çalışan valiler ve garnizon komutanlarının olduğunu görüyoruz.
- Mann, Michael (2005). The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing. Cambridge University Press. p. 159.
- Badem, Candan (2019). Kieser, Hans-Lukas; Anderson, Margaret Lavinia; Bayraktar, Seyhan; Schmutz, Thomas (eds.). The End of the Ottomans: The Genocide of 1915 and the Politics of Turkish Nationalism. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 55–57. ISBN 978-1-78831-241-7.
- "Two 'Young Turks' Murdered in Berlin Assassins of Azmy Bey and Chakir Escape, but 15 Armenians Are Arrested. Financed from America German Police Say These Acts of Vengeance Have Their Inspiration Here" (PDF). The New York Times. 1922-04-18. Retrieved 25 May 2013. - NYT preview page
- Berberyan, Nazaret (April 13, 2010). ՏԱՐԵԴԱՐՁՆԵՐ- Արշաւիր Շիրակեան Հայ ժողովուրդի Արդարահատոյց Բազուկը. Asbarez (in Armenian). Retrieved 25 May 2013.
- Derogy, Jacques (1990). Resistance and revenge: the Armenian assassination of the Turkish leaders responsible for the 1915 massacres and deportations. Transaction Publishers. p. 61. ISBN 9781412833165.
- Hofmann, Tessa (2020). "A Hundred Years Ago: The Assassination of Mehmet Talaat (15 March 1921) and the Berlin Criminal Proceedings against Soghomon Tehlirian (2/3 June 1921): Background, Context, Effect" (PDF). International Journal of Armenian Genocide Studies. 5 (1): 67–90. doi:10.51442/ijags.0009. ISSN 1829-4405.