10/4/1919 Glimmers of justice for the Armenians as the butcher of Yozgat goes to the gallows

During the war the Turkish authorities attempted to exterminate the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire, either by violent murder or by sending them on death marches to inhospitable desert regions where they could be left to die of hunger and thirst. Now Turkey has been defeated and its capital is under Allied occupation. It will be some time before the Allies agree a peace treaty with the Ottoman Empire, but in the meantime they are pressuring the Turks to pursue those who directed and perpetrated the mass killing of the Armenians. The main architects of the slaughter (the ruling triumvirate of Enver, Djemal and Talaat) have by now fled the country but persons lower down the chain are now beginning to face justice.

In trials, prosecutors are able to demonstrate that the mass murder was not accidental but directed from the centre by Enver, Djemal and Talaat, who are convicted and sentenced to death in absentia. Today justice catches up with the first of their subordinates. Mehmed Kemal was the lieutenant governor of Yozgat, responsible for the murder of thousands of Armenians. Today after his conviction by a Turkish court, he is hanged in Constantinople. Calthorpe, head of the Allied occupation of Constantinople, hopes that this is a sign that the Turkish authorities are now committed to pursuing the murderers of the Armenians. However Kemal’s funeral turns into a nationalist demonstration, with mourners hailing Kemal as a martyr to the British.

image sources:

The trial of Mehmed Kemal (I think) (Aravot: Turks continue commemorating Armenian Genocide murderers: Conference in Turkey on ‘The Armenian Question and Governor Kemal Bey’)

The Karalian family in Yozgat, before the war (Houshamadyam: a project to reconstruct Ottoman Armenian town and village life)

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