"After this, there will be no Armenian Question for fifty years" - Talaat Bey

Talaat Bey (aka Talaat Pasha or Pasa) was the Minister of the Interior for the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Talaat's use of concentration camps and policies of genocide against the Armenians presaged those of Adolph Hitler and may have given Hitler the confidence to carry out his crimes1. Turks and Kurds, both predominantly muslims, organized under Talaat to rid the empire of Armenians, who were predominantly christian. Talaat, a member of the Young Turks, had signed a secret treaty with Germany to enter the war and extend the Ottoman Empire into central asia. He saw the Armenians as standing in the way of a homogenous, Turkish, muslim nation.

Not only were millions2 killed or made into refugees, but the manner of their treatment, torture, and deaths were especially barbaric. Entire villages would be stripped naked and forcefully marched through the desert - leaving the road lined with corpses. There were reports of as many as 10,000 people shot and their bodies dumped into a river -- in a single afternoon.

After the war, and the empire's defeat, those deemed responsible for designing the policy were sentenced to death by a Turkish war crimes trial, but no attempt to carry out the sentence was made. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (or Dashnags) took matters into their own hands. In March of 1921 Soghomon Tehlirian, on a street in Germany, shot Talaat Bey in the head, killing him instantly. Tehlirian was acquitted of murder by a German court.

1"Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" Adolph Hitler in a speech given to his military commanders on August 22, 1939.

2The number of dead is highly controversial, with 600,000 as the most 'objective' figure. See mauler's Armenian Genocide.

Thanks to wh00t for providing the correct spelling of Soghomon Tehlirian.

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