Last modified on 6 March 2014, at 15:10

Mehmed Talat

These different blocs in the Turkish Empire...always conspired against Turkey; because of the hostility of these native peoples, Turkey has lost province after province - Greece, Serbia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Egypt, and Tripoli. In this way, the Turkish Empire has dwindled almost to nothing.

Mehmed Talat (August 20, 1874March 15, 1921), also known as "Talat Pasha", was one of the first important members of the Committee of Union and Progress. He played an increasingly important part in Ottoman politics becoming deputy for Edirne, minister and finally in 1917 Grand Vizier. Mehmed Talat was the interior minister who ordered the arrest of Armenian leaders with a order on April 24, 1915 and sent a request for the Tehcir Law on May 29, 1915, which initiated the large scale Armenian Genocide. After the courts gave him a sentence of death in absentia, he left the empire with Enver and Djemal Pashas in 1918. He was assassinated in Berlin in 1921 as a response for evading the war crimes committed under his order.

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  • Turkey is taking advantage of the war in order to thoroughly liquidate its internal foes, i.e., the indigenous Christians, without being thereby disturbed by foreign intervention.
    • In a conversation with Dr. Mordtmann of the German Embassy in June 1915. Quoted in The Evil 100 (2000) by Martin Gilman Wolcott, p. 35
  • What on earth do you want? The question is settled. There are no more Armenians.
    • After the German Ambassador persistently brought up the Armenian question in 1918. Quoted in The History of the Armenian Genocide (2003) by Vahakn N. Dadrian, p. 211
  • The Turkish elements here referred to were shortsighted, fanatical, and yet sincere in their belief. The public encouraged them, and they had the general approval behind them. They were numerous and strong.
    • Quoted in "In God's Name: Genocide and Religion in the Twentieth Century" - Page 53 - by Omer Bartov, Phyllis Mack - Religion – 2001
We need to tranquilize our neighbors. State officials ought to remain in ignorance.
  • The Porte, acting under the same obligation, and wishing to secure the safety of its army and its citizens, took energetic measures to check these uprisings. The deportation of the Armenians was one of these preventive measures. I admit also that the deportation was not carried out lawfully everywhere. In some places unlawful acts were committed. The already existing hatred among the Armenians and Mohammedans, intensified by the barbarous activities of the former, had created many tragic consequences. Some of the officials abused their authority, and in many places people took preventive measures into their own hands and innocent people were molested. I confess it. I confess, also, that the duty of the Government was to prevent these abuses and atrocities, or at least to hunt down and punish their perpetrators severely. In many places, where the property and goods of the deported people were looted, and the Armenians molested, we did arrest those who were responsible and punished them according to the law. I confess, however, that we ought to have acted more sternly, opened up a general investigation for the purpose of finding out all the promoters and looters and punished them severely.
    • Quoted in "In God's Name: Genocide and Religion in the Twentieth Century" - Page 53 - by Omer Bartov, Phyllis Mack - Religion – 2001
  • We need to tranquilize our neighbors. State officials ought to remain in ignorance. Let the Armenians wait, opportunities will certainly come our way too. Turkey belongs only to the Turks.
    • Quoted in "Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination" - Page 405 - by Ben Kiernan - Social Science - 2007
  • I have accomplished more toward solving the Armenian problem in three months than Abdul Hamid accomplished in thirty years!
    • Quoted in "The Burning Tigris: the Armenian Genocide and America's response" - Page 157 - by Peter Balakian - History - 2003
  • Necessary preparations have been discussed and taken for the complete and fundamental elimination of this concern, which occupies an important place in the exalted state's list of vital issues.
    • Letter to head of parliament, May 26, 1915. Quoted in "A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility" - by Taner Akçam, Paul Bessemer - History - 2006 - Page 8
  • These different blocs in the Turkish Empire...always conspired against Turkey; because of the hostility of these native peoples, Turkey has lost province after province - Greece, Serbia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Egypt, and Tripoli. In this way, the Turkish Empire has dwindled almost to nothing.
    • Quoted in "A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility" - by Taner Akçam, Paul Bessemer - History - 2006 - Page 92
  • It is confirmed that the Armenians should be transferred to the indicated region as communicated in the February 13th telegram. As the situation has been evaluated by the state, the probability of rebellion and protest indicates the need to take action. The increasing possibility of Armenian uprisings requires that every effective means of suppression needs to be applied.
    • March 2. Quoted in "A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility" - by Taner Akçam, Paul Bessemer - History - 2006 - Page 159

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