The Role of Naval Bombardments

In the end, I managed to come to the third point.

The naval blockades and bombardments of the Anatolian coasts.

As I have underlined at the beginning of my speech, the issue of naval bombardments was influential in the spreading of the relocation decision taken by the government due to security concerns.

In addition to the naval bombardments, there were two other developments affecting the status of the Christian people (Greeks and Armenians) in the Marmara and Black Sea regions under war conditions:

One of them was the French landings in Salonika on September 18, 1915, and the other was the declaration of mobilization by Greece just a few days later, on September 24, 1915.

Only the city of Istanbul was an exception in the Marmara region as a battlefield, because Istanbul was the capital and security could be established there although with difficulty.

Therefore, the relocation decision was not applied to the 120.000 Armenians residing downtown Istanbul, except for those associated with the Armenian Committees.

That the relocation of only the Armenians and Greeks who were affiliated with the organizations collaborating with the enemy, as an exception, cannot be justified with any reason other than the extraordinary war conditions experienced in the environs of Istanbul and in the settlement areas in Thrace, is sufficient for justifying Iit was an obligation of war.

Moreover, while battles were going on at all fronts the situation was so critical that the Government thought to move the capital from Istanbul to Anatolia.

Van 1913

Van 1915

Richard G. Hovannisian (Ed.), Armenian Van/Vaspuragan, (Costa Mesa,.California, Mazda Publishers Inc., 2000).

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