University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies
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CHGS

  • Trial in Turkey

    Trial in Turkey

    trial in turkey

    Following the defeat of the Ottoman Turkish armed forces during World War I, the Turkish government was compelled by the victorious allied forces to hold military trials for the organizers of war crimes against the Armenians. The trial provided a convenient scapegoat to exonerate the Turkish nation as a whole by focusing on the members of the Ittihad (the organizers) and the Special Organizations (the perpetrators). The tribunal accumulated a vast array of evidence, and many important leaders were sentenced to death. The death sentences were a mockery, however, since most of the leaders had already fled the country.

    Over one million dead Armenians . . . over fourteen billion dollars in stolen assets . . . but few were prosecuted and no indemnities were made. Despite bold rhetoric, the trials collapsed as the Kemalist forces approached Constantinople. The trials were permanently suspended and the thousands of files containing incriminating evidence disappeared - burned in the furnaces of Turkish public baths.

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