Template talk:POTD/2015-04-24

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"Eight years of genocide"[edit]

The Armenian Genocide (big G) is generally held to have lasted from 1915-1923. That the genocide itself (small g), i.e. a state planned extermination of the entire Armenian population, lasted eight years doesn't necessarily follow. It seems perfectly clear that the period of the death marches 1915-1916 was genocide, since these deportations were promulgated by state decree, the so-called Tehcir Law that was in force from 27 May 1915 to 21 February 1916. After that the historical record is not so clear on state planning. The killings continued, but there were comparable pogroms earlier than 1915 in which hundreds of thousands of Armenians were slaughtered which are not described as genocide. And it frankly does seem scarcely credible that a state-planned genocide was indeed in progress over the whole eight years.

Claiming more than need be simply gifts the denialists ammunition. I suggest the following wording:

An Armenian woman kneeling beside a dead child in a field during the Armenian Genocide (1915-1923), conducted by the government of the Ottoman Empire. The genocide is conventionally held to have begun on 24 April 1915, when Ottoman authorities arrested and executed some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. Much of the remaining Armenian population were subsequently deported into the deserts of Syria, where most died from starvation, exhaustion, and systematic massacres. The total number of people killed over the eight year period has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million. Though the events are widely recognized as a genocide by historians, the Turkish government rejects such a description.

where I date the Armenian Genocide (1915-1923), add "subsequently", wikilink "systematic massacres" with pogroms, and replace "eight years of genocide" with "over the eight year period".

I think it's important when Wikipedia commemorates an event like this, and this would perhaps be the first such commemoration as I don't believe the Holocaust has been remembered in a POTD, that it sets a standard of absolute fidelity to the facts. c1cada (talk) 15:06, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Your suggestion using the word 'pogroms' has been discussed and has been rejected by several users. Eight years genocide is made because the Turkish Republic was established in 1923, effectively ending the Armenian Genocide. Étienne Dolet (talk) 16:00, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Well, thank you for reminding me about pogroms at Armenian Genocide, Étienne. What do you mean by "eight years is made"? I can't construe that. Would you care to address the remarks I made? Are you saying there was a genocide over the entire eight year period i.e. a state-planned attempt to exterminate the whole Armenian population? There may be evidence that there was, but I've not seen it. Would you care to cite the relevant historians, please? As you know (let me remind you of a matter as well), Armenian Genocide failed a Good Article nomination because it lacked citations (as well needing copy editing). We should be quite clear on our grounds here, as this is potentially a matter that might embarrass Wikipedia. Some other input from editors not necessarily at Armenian Genocide would be welcome. c1cada (talk) 16:26, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
The virtual annihilation of the Armenians ended with the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923. There's not much to argue about here. Here's some sources: page 142 and page 136. Étienne Dolet (talk) 16:29, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Well on that we actually agree in effect, Étienne, but for different reasons I think. That is to say I think of this POTD as primarily a commemoration, and it seems to me little matter whether the events after 1916 were a series of pogroms or genocide. But you are determined, I think, to educate us in a matter of history. Will you please therefore cite the relevant historians regarding genocide i.e. a systematic state-planned attempt to exterminate the entire Armenian population, after 1916. Neither of the sources you give does that i.e. address the issue of whether the events after 1916 constitute a genocide. The second in fact goes to say that the death marches constitute by any definition a genocide, leaving open whether the subsequent events were genocide (state-planned extermination). Will you please address this issue directly. c1cada (talk) 16:47, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

The sources I provided are clear. Étienne Dolet (talk) 16:49, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Not that I could find. Will you please quote the material you say clearly indicates that the massacres after 1916 were genocide (i.e. a systematic state-planned attempt at the extermination of the entire Armenian population). It seems to me that I'm not asking very much here, that if if the events after 1916 were also genocide then that would be a momentous matter given weight by historians. I remind you that before 1915 there were pogroms in which hundred of thousands died, but those are not regarded as genocide. Plainly the events of 1915-1916 were a genocide, but in what respect were the events after 1916? What feature did they have them made them different from the pogroms before 1915 and made them a genocide as well? You do have to cite stuff, Étienne. c1cada (talk) 17:06, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Robert Melson makes it clear: "In the period between the Great War and the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1923, well over a million Armenians were killed by mass shootings, massacres, deportations, and induced starvation." You can read the chapter "The Push Beyond Domestic Genocide" from this source which describes, for example, the 1918 campaigns by the Ottoman army to murder Armenians within not only the Ottoman Empire, but Transcaucasia as well. If you want a further "history lesson", then visit me on my talk page. Étienne Dolet (talk) 17:15, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
That Robert Melson quote is not an adequate citation for genocide after 1916 and I can't find the chapter you mention in the other source, Étienne. Will you please address this issue here (I'm not interested in your Talk page). This is a matter that potentially might embarrass Wikipedia (and I can add that the liability will be yours). Unless I see convincing citation for genocide after 1916, I shall edit accordingly in accordance with Wikipedia policy. c1cada (talk) 17:33, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
The chapter is here: [1]. Étienne Dolet (talk) 17:36, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
I see the chapter now. I don't see anything that asserts the events after 1916 constituted genocide (a systematic state-planned attempt to exterminate the entire Armenian population). The chapter is about events outside Armenia, while the source is relatively obscure I fancy. Will you please provide Wikipedia with a citation from a standard history from an accepted authority and, in the circumstancse, provide detailed quotes that support the thesis that the genocide continued after 1916. It's not disputed that pogroms continued, as there were before 1915, that killed hundreds of thousands of Armenians, but we need to see those events unambiguously cited as genocide as the ones before 1915 are not. c1cada (talk) 18:03, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

The sources provided describe just that. Étienne Dolet (talk) 18:12, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Armenian Genocide itself incorporates the following note linked to the date 1915 in its infobox:"The Armenian Genocide is generally associated with 1915, when most of the atrocities took place. The span varies from source to source: 1915–1916, 1915–1917, 1915–1918, 1915–1923, 1894–1915, 1894–1923". You edit too frequently and meticulously there not to be aware of this. For the last time I ask you to stop being obstructive in the way you have been. I would say that most sources date the big G event 1915-1923 (I would date it 1894-1923 on my own reading) while characterising only the 1915-1916 deportations properly as genocide. Unless you can provide standard sources (and you have not in point of fact provided any sources, the ones you provided being fictions) to back your assertion that the genocide (state-planned extermination of the entire population) continued past 1916 over an eight year period, I propose to edit tomorrow as I have indicated. I repeat once more how potentially sensitive this matter is for Wikipedia, and remind you again that ultimately you are liable for the edits you make. c1cada (talk) 11:32, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Looking at Armenian Genocide recognition, one of the articles linked by the template, I see that the United Nations Whitaker report is cited as well as the International Association of Genocide Scholars. The former give 1915 as the date of the genocide, and the latter 1915-16.
I shall make the edit I suggest above tomorrow unless you can provide a citation from bodies of similar standing which recognises the genocide over the whole eight year period. What my edit does is date the Armenian Genocide as occurring 1915-1923 as it is most commonly dated. But on the question of genocide properly understood in a legalistic sense (i.e. as a state-planned extermination of the Armenian people) it remains silent, referring neutrally to an "eight year period", rather than the "eight years of genocide" you wish to promote. In deference to your wishes, I shall return "systematic massacres" to "massacres" without wikilinking to pogroms, as in your original copy. c1cada (talk) 17:03, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
You'll have to get a consensus in order to make further edits to the blurb. I'm not liable for anything until you point out the edit in question I have purportedly made onto this template or the article in which you find so potentially "embarrasing". This never-ending WP:ICANTHEARYOU take on this discussion is not helping. The sources I provided aren't "fictions", they are among the best sources in the scholarly and academic world concerning the Armenian Genocide, and they attest to the fact that the genocidal activities of the Turkish government didn't just end with the expiration of the Tehcir law in 1916. No credible historian or scholar has ever stated that the genocidal policies of the Ottoman government should be limited with the Tehcir law. With that said, the dates you give are encapsulated within the 1915-1923 period, so there will be no further discussion there. The fact of the matter is that by 1923, with the establishment of the Turkish Republic, the new Turkish Republic was expunged of its Armenian population due to the genocidal policies from 1915 until 1923. Besides, since you're acting as though the sources don't say what you want it to say, I'll just quote, for example, one section of Dadrian's chapter:

This is the backdrop against which the genocidal thrust of the invasion by the Turkish armies, and their subsequent capture and occupation in the Transcaucasus of territories, largely occupied by the Armenians, must be examine and assessed. Two salient features of this military undertaking merit special attention. 1) The description below of the role in this undertaking of 1918 by the Turkish military as a lethal instrument underscores the preeminence of the Ottoman legacy of destroying the Armenian population of the empire by recourse to the functional efficiency of the military.

Israel Charny, who is the is the editor of two-volume Encyclopedia of Genocide, and executive director of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide, in his monument work Encyclopedia of genocide published by the Oxford writes:

Hence, throughout most of the critical years from 1915, when the extermination of Armenians began, to 1923 when the Republic of Turkey was established and the era of deportations and massacres ended.

We also have contemporaneous sources that attest to the genocidal activities of the Turkish government after the year 1916:
"The aim of Turkish policy is, as I have reiterated, the taking of possession of Armenian districts and the extermination of the Armenians." - Otto von Lossow in 1918

Source: Charney, Israel (1994). The Widening Circle of Genocide.

"Talaat's government party wants to destroy all Armenians not only in Turkey, but also outside Turkey." - Otto von Lossow in 1918

Source: Charney, Israel (1994). The Widening Circle of Genocide. and Kiernan, Ben (2008). Blood and Soil: Modern Genocide 1500–2000.

"On the basis of all the reports and news coming to me here in Tiflis there hardly can be any doubt that the Turks systematically are aiming at the extermination of the few hundred thousand Armenians whom they left alive until now." - Otto von Lossow in 1918

Source: Charney, Israel (1994). The Widening Circle of Genocide.

"The Turkish policy vis a vis the Armenians is clearly outlined [zeichnet sich klar ab]. The Turks have by no means relinquished their intention to exterminate the Armenians [ihre Absicht...auszurotten]. They merely changed their tactic. Wherever possible, the Armenians are being aroused, provoked in the hope of thereby securing a pretext for new assaults on them." - Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein in 1918

Source: Charney, Israel (1994). The Widening Circle of Genocide.

This is for the year 1918 alone, I haven't even talked about the genocidal campaigns of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the early 1920s, or the many other genocidal campaigns preceding then. At this point, for the sake of your argument, you'll have to prove, in some way, that these reports and sources are unreliable so that any semblance of a valid argument on your behalf can stand. That means that you'll have to explain why Vahakn Dadrian, Israel Charny, Robert Melson, and others are unreliable sources. So that'll take a lot more effort on your part than to just dismiss them as mere "fictions". These sources are from the top genocide scholars in the world, and disproving such sources, which can easily verifiable information from secondary sources, and indeed contemporaneous ones, will be a tough task. Good luck. Étienne Dolet (talk) 23:01, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

I read through your text. There is nothing there that matches the authority of the United Nations or the International Association of Genocide Scholars and both these bodies recognise the genocide (I mean in the legal sense rather than the ordinary idiomatic usage of the collocation "Armenian Genocide") as occurring 1915-1916 i.e. coinciding with the deportations. You are reading more into your sources than is justified. I checked as to the original editor of "eight years of genocide". I see it was Crisco, but he depends on you and your group at Armenian Genocide for expertise: that is why he contacted you, and amongst other things he responded to criticism of the original graphic by substituting the present image. He acted in good faith. It is you and your group who are responsible for the veracity of the caption. That is what you have taken upon yourselves and that is why you are liable.
I shall wait to see any other input and then I will edit tomorrow as I have indicated I shall, my only purpose to honour the Armenian dead on this anniversary without introducing controversy about the historical facts as you are intent. I don't need consensus to correct matters of fact. If others editors change it, so be it. c1cada (talk) 23:33, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

I agree with Etienne here, the sources provided by him do show that the Armenian Genocide continued well after 1916. There's no question about that. The sources are also among the best. So it's best to leave the template as is. --Երևանցի talk 23:50, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

The United Nations report is nothing more than a report, and contrary to what you say the United Nations never recognized the Armenian Genocide. So were left with The International Association of Genocide Scholars report that just uses the date 1915, but also doesn't clarify when it has ended. To say that the genocide lasted in just that year alone is also out of the question. More importantly, those scholars that make up that association, say that it ended in 1923 in their independent, but nevertheless monumental, studies (i.e. Israel Charny, Ben Kiernan, and others). So that's what we need to consider. Étienne Dolet (talk) 00:08, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
The notion that the Armenian Genocide only occurred in 1915 is deeply wrong and uninformed. As the sources presented here and in the Armenian Genocide clearly show, 1915 was just the start, the genocide went on over a period of several years. The UN is also far from the most authoritative source on this, the most authoritative sources are genocide scholars. Athenean (talk) 01:27, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

If we were to base our understanding of the genocide by the IAGS alone, we'd have to adopt their more recent report which states the genocide lasted until 1923. Երևանցի talk 01:35, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

That's certainly a good point, but a careful reading shows that IAGS is extending the genocide to other Christian minorities of the Ottoman Empire, the same point I would have made about Dolet's contributions above if were I interested in engaging him on them (and I'm not : because in the first place I'm not a single purpose editor, and in the second place because it amounts to original research). It is the Armenian Genocide we are concerned with here and Wikipedia needs to see good quality secondary sources which unequivocally assert the genocide (in its legal sense of a planned extermination of an entire ethnic group) extended over eight years. Wikipedia doesn't care about your Talk page bands. c1cada (talk) 09:44, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I see that Crisco has made a sensible edit to the template, and I'm content with that. c1cada (talk) 09:44, 19 April 2015 (UTC)