Nazım Bey

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Nazım Bey
Doktor Nazim.jpg
Born 1870
Salonica, Salonica Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
Died 1926
Ankara, Turkey
Occupation Politician, physician

Nâzım Bey or Dr. Nazım Bey (born 1870 in Salonica - died 1926) was an Ottoman-born Turkish politician and physician. Dr. Nazim played a significant role in the Armenian Genocide and the expulsion of Greeks in Western Anatolia.[1][2][3] He was convicted of the attempted assassination of Atatürk in İzmir and hanged in Ankara on 26 August 1926.[4] He also served as the chairman of the Turkish sports club Fenerbahçe S.K. between 1916-18.[5]

Early life and the Balkan wars[edit]

From a Dönmeh background,[6] Nazim was born and raised in Salonica; his family were longtime residents of the city, successful in running various businesses, and he himself was the director of a hospital.[7]

Nazim had joined the Young Turks Movement, and when the Greeks occupied Salonica in October 1912 during the Balkan wars, he was imprisoned for eleven months in an Athens prison as a Turkish nationalist.[7] The guards abused him and told him that his family had been killed, and that Constantinople was already occupied, while Anatolia would soon fall to the Greeks. Sent to Izmir after a request by the Committee of Union and Progress, he was deeply troubled by his family's fate (and that of his baby daughter) and the exile from his hometown. In newspaper articles he called attention to Bulgarian atrocities committed against Muslims and "call[ed] for vengeance against the remaining Ottoman Christians".[7] The Ottoman defeat and the ethnic cleansing of Muslims was traumatic for many Young Turks and led to a desire for revenge; Nazim's "transformation from a patriotic doctor into a rabid, vindictive nationalist... symbolized the fate of many others".[7]

Role in the Armenian Genocide[edit]

Nazim was a leading figure in the Turkification of the Ottoman Empire.[1] He was a member of the Teşkilât-ı Mahsusa (Special Organization in the Ottoman Empire).[8] Many members of this organization eventually participated in the Turkish national movement and had played special roles in the Armenian Genocide.[9]

In a speech delivered on during the closing remarks of a Committee of Union and Progress meeting, Dr. Nazim has said:[10][11][12][13]

And continued by saying, "the procedure this time will be one of total annihilation-it is necessary that not even one single Armenian survive this annihilation".

During one of the secret meetings of the Young Turks, Dr. Nazim was quoted as saying, "The massacre is necessary. All the non-Turkish elements, whatever nation they belong to, should be exterminated".[14] In February 1915, two months prior to the commencement of the Armenian Genocide, Dr. Nazim declared a new government policy which would "produce total annihilation" in which would be "essential that no Armenian survives".[1] He has been noted to have said that the Ottoman Empire should be "freeing the fatherland of the aspirations of this cursed race" when referring to the Armenians.[15]

Nazim subsequently fled from the Ottoman Empire to Germany in October 1918.[16] Due to his role in the Armenian Genocide, Dr. Nazim was sentenced to death in absentia by the Ottoman Turkish Courts-Martial of 1919–1920, but this was never carried out due to him having fled.[17] He moved to the newly founded Republic of Turkey in 1922 and was never executed for his crimes against the Armenians. However, he was ultimately executed for attempting to assassinate Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1926.[18]


  1. ^ a b c Totten, Samuel; Bartrop, Paul R. (2008). Dictionary of genocide (1. publ. ed.). Westport, Conn. [u.a.]: Greenwood Press. pp. 303–304. ISBN 9780804768672. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  2. ^ Miller, Donald E. Miller, Lorna Touryan (1993). Survivors an oral history of the Armenian genocide. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520923270. In addition to Drs. Nazim and Shakir, other physicians were involved in the genocide. 
  3. ^ Dündar, Fuat. Crime of Numbers. Transaction Publishers. p. 62. ISBN 9781412843416. Dr. Nazım Selanikli (1870–1926), one of the oldest members of the Committee (İstanbul 1899), was one of the responsible for the expulsion of the Ottoman Greeks from Western Anatolia. 
  4. ^ Dr. Nazım`s political life (in Turkish)
  5. ^ Past Presidents
  6. ^ Baer, Marc David (2010). The Dönme: Jewish Converts, Muslim Revolutionaries, and Secular Turks (1st pbk. ed.). Stanford: Stanford University Press. p. 91. ISBN 9780804768672. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d Üngör, Ugur Ümit (2012). The Making of Modern Turkey: Nation and State in Eastern Anatolia, 1913-1950 (1st pbk. ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 45–49. ISBN 9780199655229. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  8. ^ Kuper, Robert Melson ; with a foreword by Leo (1996). Revolution and genocide : on the origins of the Armenian genocide and the Holocaust (1st pbk. ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226519913. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  9. ^ Taner Akçam, Türk Ulusal Kimliği ve Ermeni Sorunu, İletişim Yayınları, 1992, ISBN 9789754702897 p. 155.
  10. ^ Rıfat, Mevlânzade (1993). Metin Hasırcı, ed. Türkiye inkılâbının içyüzü. Pınar Yayınları. 
  11. ^ Cummins, Joseph (2009). The World's Bloodiest History: Massacre, Genocide, and The Scars They Left on Civilization (illustrated ed.). Fair Winds. pp. 132–133. ISBN 9781616734633. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  12. ^ Lewy, Guenter (2005). The Armenian massacres in Ottoman Turkey : a disputed genocide ([Nachdr.]. ed.). Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. p. 51. ISBN 9780874808490. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  13. ^ Rifat, Türkiye, pp. 159–60, quoted in Sarkisian and Sahakian, Vital Issues in Modern Armenian History, p. 32. 40
  14. ^ G. Hovannisian, Richard (2011). The Armenian Genocide: Cultural and Ethical Legacies. Transaction Publishers. p. 269. ISBN 1412835925. Retrieved 16 February 2013. During one of the secret meetings the Young Turkish ideologist Dr. Nazim said: "The massacre is necessary. All the non-Turkish elements, whatever nation they belong to, should be exterminated." 
  15. ^ Payaslian, Simon (2005). United States policy toward the Armenian question and the Armenian genocide ([Online-Ausg.]. ed.). New York [u.a.]: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 60. ISBN 9781403970985. Nuri Bey quoted Dr. Nazim as stating that the CUP had decided to shoulder the responsibility of "freeing the fatherland of the aspirations of this cursed race." 
  16. ^ Sevag, Grigoris Balakian ; translated by Peter Balakian with Aris (2010). Armenian Golgotha : a memoir of the Armenian genocide, 1915-1918 (1st Vintage Books ed.). New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 1400096774. 
  17. ^ "Verdict ("Kararname") of the Turkish Military Tribunal" (in Ottoman Turkish). Translated into English by Haigazn Kazarian. Published in the Official Gazette of Turkey(Takvimi Vekayi),no. 3604 (supplement), July 22, 1919. Retrieved 12 January 2013. In accordance therefore with the above mentioned paragraphs in the law code, Talaat, Enver, Djemal and Dr. Nazim are sentenced to death 
  18. ^ Baron, Jeremy Hugh (2010). Fifty synagogue seminars. Lanham: Hamilton Books. p. 288. ISBN 0761851089.