According to a theory which is put forth by Armenian Historians, Armenians are members of Phrygians whose origins were Balkans. As a result of the invasions from Balkans in 6th century B.C., they immigrated to Eastern Anatolia and settled there. The name “Armenian” was firstly come across in 521 B.C in “I had beaten Armenians” statement in the Persian King Darius’ inscription of “Behistan”. The Armenian name was seen further after engaging of Anatolia and Rome. Especially at the time of Byzantine Empire, two Armenian Princedoms were settled in Van and Kars. After the invasion of the Princedom in Kars by Byzantine Empire in 1045, people of two regions were forced to immigrate to Urfa and Center Anatolia. Armenian-Turkish relations, which had started with the discovery rush of Anatolia of Çagri Bey from 1015 until 1021, continued with the Malazgirt victory of Alparslan in 1071 and the admittance of the Seljuks’ dominance by Armenians. Armenians, who were forced to be Greeks, saw the Seljuks as saviors. Armenians, who lived a pleased and comfortable life with Seljuks, survived under the Ottoman Empire as comfortably as they lived with Seljuks. Moreover, because of their loyalty to the Ottoman Empire, they were honored as “Millet-i Sadika”, which means “Loyal Nation” in Ottoman Turkish.
Briefly; until the end of the 19th Century, Ottoman Empire had no Armenian issue. Moreover, Armenian people had no problem with Turkish Governors, too. After Greeks, European Imperialism began interesting in Armenians in 1838, in order to create a new market in Asian Part of Ottoman Empire. Therefore, Europe had close relations with Armenians. By the way, in a short period, The Armenian Traders became brokers of both Europe and English Industry in Ottoman Empire. Because of that, a group of people who were like mediators have arisen in order to exploit Ottoman Empire and assist people who serve European Imperialism. On the other hand, the reason that Europeans interested in Armenians was the strategic position of Eastern Anatolia where they live. In fact, the strategic position of this location, which is surrounded by Black Sea, Iskenderun and Arabian Gulf and gives opportunity to reach Center of Asia by Iran-Caucasian way, was important for Russian and British Imperialism, either. The Christian Community had considered Armenians as coreligionists in Ottoman Empire. According to the community; most of the Christians in Balkans had been saved. And it was Armenians’ turn who lived in Anatolia to have been saved. In fact, the Armenian Issue has begun after the invasion of many locations in Eastern Anatolia by Russians, who provoked Armenians, as a result of Ottoman Empire – Russia war in 1877-1878.
Therefore; Russians are considered as the first government, who arose the Armenian Issue. Until many years, Armenian Journalists and Philosophers who lived in Russia have provoked Russian Armenians and Turkish Armenians against Turks, and insulted Muslims by publishing books and magazines. Because of these problems, an Armenian Problem has arisen. According to the scientific researches, the reason for arising of the artificial “Armenian Problem” was put as zealot Armenian terrorism groups. Today, it is stated by researchers that, the bloody events in 1876-1918 caused by Hunchak committee which was settled in Geneva, and by Armenian Revolutionary Federation which was settled in Tbilisi in 1890.
The independence of Christians who live in Balkans has also become a model for Armenians. Besides, according to Ayestefanos (Yesilköy) and Berlin Pacts signed between Ottoman Empire and Tsarist Russia; Russians were authorized and named as “Patrons of Armenians”. After the war between Ottoman Empire and Russia in 1877-1878, although Armenians had demanded Ottoman Empire for autonomy by consulting Russia, Russia rejected their demand because of being a threatening model for Armenians living in Russia. According to the 61st statement of Berlin Pact; Ottoman Empire was supposed to take precautions in order to improve conditions of Armenians and inform great nations. These nations were also supposed to control Ottoman Empire about Armenian conditions. The centralist – revolutionist Hunchak Committee, which was founded in 1887 in Switzerland, was trying to take apart Eastern Anatolia from Turkey and join to Armenia. In 1890, The Armenian revolutionist Tashnak Committee which was founded by Russia in Tbilisi tried to achieve “United Armenian Nation” dream by organizing a group with the name of “The Union of Armenian Revolution Committees” in Anatolia. Besides, in many cities of Anatolia; local Armenian Communities were also founded. In 1878 “Dark Crucifix Community” in Van, in 1881 “Motherland Defenders Community” in Erzurum and in 1885 “Armenekan Party” were instance of local communities. With the joining of Eastern Rumelia to Bulgaria in 1885, Armenian operations were started. Upon the provocation of Armenian Patriarch in 1878 in Van; The Armenian revolt was suppressed. With the provocation of Armenian Committees in Iran and Russia; another great Armenian revolt arisen in Sassoon. Therefore, The Ottoman Empire was obliged to take hard precautions. At the time of the Armenian revolt, England demanded Ottoman Empire for the independence of Armenians. But Russia was against the demand, because they were looking for an Armenian government which could be controlled by Russia. On the other hand, Armenians were demanding an independent Armenia including all Armenians in Russia, Iran and Ottoman Empire. Although Armenians’ demand was beneficial for England, it was against Russians’ expedience.
After the Sassoon Uprising, Ottoman Empire continued rehabilitations on condition of Armenians. Because of few Armenians, who had started a campaign to Sublime Porte in Istanbul and attacked and also killed Ottoman soldiers, Ottoman Empire were obliged to take precautions against Armenians. European governments sent many naval forces to Istanbul in order to protect Armenians. Britons’ tough interference demand had been blocked by Germany and Russia.
Although in 1896, Armenians had attacked on Ottoman Bank in Istanbul; this case was suppressed by Ottoman Empire because of the precautions. Some of Armenians died in this case.
Although the Armenian Issue had appeared as an interior problem of Ottoman Empire until World War I; in fact it was about expediency and competition of great countries. The Armenian Issue was also a part of Eastern Question of Ottoman Empire. In World War I, the Armenian Issue became a different problem. It was not only terrorism, but also a betrayal against government. The Armenian Gangs, who made an agreement with Russian military in World War I, also tortured Turks cruelly and committed massacre on them. Therefore, over 700.000 Turkish People immigrated to Western Anatolia, and many people were massacred by Armenians as well. In history, it is stated that until World War I, Armenians couldn’t have found a state which had borders. And also they were not a majority in any part of the world.
According to the statistics about Armenian population, it is obvious that Armenians could not have become a majority in any part of the Ottoman Empire as well. According to the western resources, although the Armenian population was about a million in nine cities of Ottoman Empire, Muslim population were about 5 million. Therefore, Armenians are admitted as a minority in Ottoman Empire.
The official documents of Ottoman Empire state that only 7% of Ottoman Empire’s population is formed by Armenians. Hence, it is impossible to find a state in Anatolia where Armenians were majority. Because of Ottoman Empire’s taking part in World War I, Armenians started moving by declaring independence moment and using weapons which they have already equipped. They also rejected the proposal made by Committee of Union and Progress of Society. After Ottoman Empire had taken part in World War I, Armenians made an agreement with The Entente Powers. Hence, a new battle front was occurred. The Entente Powers were also looking for a victory in World War I by making the agreement.
During the World War, first Armenian uprising arose in Zeytun, in 17th August 1914. When Armenians’ independent Armenian forces demand had been rejected by Ottoman Empire, Armenians started moving through Eastern Mountains for revolt. Armenian soldiers in Maras also participated in the same group. Armenians who started attacking villages also attacked government buildings and military posts. Armenian soldiers who were in Beyazit also escaped along with their weapons to Caucasians. A group of Armenians leaded by an Armenian congressman also started moving around Van and Bitlis. A group of Armenians also joined Russian Army against Ottoman Empire. In this case, Ottoman Empire was obliged to take some precautions such as “Emigration Law”. According to the law, people who revolt against Ottoman Empire should have migrated to safe zones. This law had been introduced because of the reasons given below: 1- The Entente Powers’ navy and soldiers had started moving to Çanakkale and also Ottoman Empire was sieged by enemies. 2- When Entente Powers had started an assailment in Çanakkale, Ottoman Empire Armenians started terrorist campaigns against Ottoman Empire by using Russians. 3- Leading by Russia, the Entente Powers armed Armenians in order to let them attack against Ottoman Empire.
At the most important time of the World War I, in April, a great Armenian Uprising started in van. After many genocide and collision done by Armenians with the support of Russians, Armenians captured Van City. The Emigration Law was introduced after this event, in 14th May 1915. The law was not only for Armenians, but also for people who were tempted to revolt against Ottoman Empire. According to the law; people who were against Ottoman Empire would be moved into another Ottoman Empire zone and lived in there together. It can be clearly seen that this law was not actually for assimilating Armenians. The Emigration Law was introduced after Armenians Revolts. Besides, this law wasn’t applied in whole Ottoman Empire. For instance; this law was not valid for Armenians in Central Anatolia and East. It is fact that; many Armenian people died in collisions and immigration in Eastern Anatolia. It is the reason of the World War, Armenian Revolts and immigration. At the unsafe time of the World War, immigrating Armenians were attacked by small groups of people who were looking for revenge. The government tried to take precautions against these attacks as soon as they could and punished people who were considered as guilty. The Armenian Issue is propagated today by Armenian terrorist groups as “XX. Centuries’ First Genocide” because of the reason given above. It is stated in these falsified propagations that, approximately 1,5-2 million people died in these issues. In fact, there were a million of people in Ottoman Empire. Hence, this propagation can be considered as falsified. It was stated in last group meeting of Union and Progress of Society Party by Talat Pasha that; approximately 250000 Armenians could be considered as dead. Besides, the number of dead Armenian people stated by Talat Pasha was also stated by England and France. On the other hand, it is supposed to be stated that, the number of dead Turkish people killed by Armenians is much greater than the number of Armenian people died. In World War I, after the victory of Russian Forces in Sarikamis, Muslims were tortured by Armenian People in there. In 11th May 1918, Armenians massacred 12000 Turkish People in Erzurum. In recent days, mass Turkish graves were also revealed. Armenians also exterminated 3000 Turkish people only at a night in Yanikdere.
Mustafa Kemal was worried about The massacre committed by Armenians in Eastern Anatolia and Caucasia, and also the future of the Turkish nation. Hence, Mustafa Kemal sent a diplomatic note to the allies, delegates of neutral countries and United States of America in Paris Peace Conference. Giving the Turkish cities as a bribe to Armenians by Entente Powers was highly considered as the beginning of “Dark Days” by Mustafa Kemal. Mustafa Kemal, who put the games played on Turkey, says: “History can never deny the presence of a nation.” A notification was published at the end of the Erzurum Congress leaded by Mustafa Kemal, who highlights the survival of Turkish nationalism. In this notification, the indivisible integrity of Turkish zones and Eastern Anatolia, where Armenians wanted to acquire; therefore, Turkish nation was supposed to defense and the future of Turkish nation written by this issue were mentioned.
At the end of the war campaign in Eastern Anatolia done by Kazim Karabekir, Armenians looked for a ceasefire. Hence Gümrü Pact had been signed in 2nd and 3rd December, 1920. Therefore, Eastern Anatolia cities and Kars were joined to Turkish lands. The Armenian Issue had been disappeared with Lausanne Peace Pact in 24th July, 1924.