Between 1895 and 1955, Ottoman Armenians suffered enormous loss of life and property as a result of pogroms, massacres, and other forms of mass violence. The 1915 Armenian Genocide can be seen as the zenith of this process of decline and destruction. It consisted of a series of genocidal strategies: the mass executions of elites, categorical deportations, forced assimilation, destruction of material culture, an artificially created famine, and, last but not least, collective dispossession. The state-orchestrated plunder of Armenians immediately pauperized the victims; this was at once a condition for and a consequence of the genocide. The Young Turk political elite launched this process of societal and economic transformation in order to establish a Turkish nation-state with a robust economy under ethnic Turkish dominion. As part of this process, the ethnically heterogeneous Ottoman economic universe was subjected to comprehensive and violent forms of ethnic homogeni- zation. The redistribution of Armenian wealth—including shops, farms, churches, cash, jewelry, precious metals, fields, factories, and schools—was an essential part of this process. The genocide ripped apart the fabric of urban, provincial, and national economies, destroying market relationships and maiming economic patterns that had endured for many centuries.1
U ̈ngo ̈r, U ̆gur U ̈mit
"Book Review: Hrayr S. Karagueuzian and Yair Auron, A Perfect Injustice: Genocide and Theft of Armenian Wealth,"
Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal:
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/gsp/vol5/iss2/9