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British Policy and the Application of Reforms for the Armenians in Eastern Anatolia

Hasret DİKİCİ*
Review of ARMENIAN STUDIES, Number 3, Volume 1 - 2003


Author:  Musa ?A?MAZ

(Ankara: Turkish Historical Society Printing House, 2000). 307 pp. ISBN 975-16-1253-5

Musa ?a?maz deals with  the Armenian Question from an international relations perspective in his book. He mainly concentrates on the policies of Britain i the context of reforms appiled to the Armenians in the Eastern Anatolia. It is on the cause corner of this cause-and-effect study, and as he points out he does not deal with the Armenian disturbances.

In the first chapter, he analyses how the reform question emerged and what kind of a role Britain played in this respect. The author begins with the treaties of San Stephano and Berlin, and specifically studies the Article 16 and Article 61 respectively. Then Musa ?a?maz moves to Britain and questions why not the other European powers, but Britain was interested in this issue.

In the second chapter, ?a?maz investigates the Reform Question in terms of the British-Ottoman relations in the years between 1878-1880. In this period, discussions between Britain and Ottoman Empire started on the reform scheme. How the commissioners would be sent to the Eastern Anatolia was planned afterwards. With a closer look, the author particularly explain the activities of two Imperial Commissions in Erzurum, Van, Diyarbak?r, Harput and Sivas. These commissions had aimed to find out the the needs of the country for reform and to draw a programme in accordance. The mission of Baker Pa?a is paid special attention in the context of the reforms.


The third chapter broadens the agenda of the book in the sense that this chapter deals with an international coalition. In this chapter, how Britain tried to convince Russia and France for a coalition in order to make the reforms applicable for the Armenians. This process corresponds to the years between 1880 and 1894. The author reviews the reforms applied in Eastern Anatolia between these years at the end of the chapter.


The settlement of the reform question is plotted in the next chapter. Britain attempts to bring together the above mentioned international coalition in order to present a plan of reforms to the Ottoman Empire. This diplomatic process goes on with the replies of the Porte towards the reform proposals. Then an agreement is reached on the 6 points and the final shape of the reform schedule is discussed also in this chapter.


The final chapter is concentrate on the application the reforms in a two-year-time period. First of all, the author begins with the appointment of the Inspector-General of Reforms, and takes a further look to his mission to carry out the reforms. The author concludes the book with execution of the articles concerning the Commission of Control, Administrative Reforms, Reorganization of the Communes, the Police and the Gendarmerie, Judicial Matters, Taxation, Control of Kurds and Other Matters.


The book, although is a historical one dealing with 19th century Armenian Question, is significant in the sense that it provides an international relations dimension, and projects on the current discussions. 



* -
- Review of ARMENIAN STUDIES, Number 3, Volume 1 - 2003
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