The drill ship #AbdulHamidHan, #Erdogan’s latest vanity project in a country where 15 million people suffer from hunger, was launched yesterday. But who was #AbdulHamid after whom the vessel was named? A thread on the #BloodySultan and the #HamidianMassacres by #theHELC 1/12
Abdul Hamid II was Sultan of the #Ottoman Empire from 1876 to 1909. During his reign, unrest amongst his oppressed subjects in the #Balkans and Asia Minor intensified. His barbaric response would culminate in the massacres of #Armenians and #Assyrians of 1894–1896 2/12
After #Turkey’s defeat in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878, it was agreed in the conference of #Berlin that Russia would evacuate the Armenian populated territories of the Ottoman Empire in return for the implementation of reforms to protect the local population 3/12
These promised reforms never came and when Armenians began demanding them more urgently, Abdul Hamid’s response was the consolidation of the irregulars and brigands that were already actively repressing the Armenians in the provinces into state-sanctioned #HamidianRegiments 4/12
The brigand regiments could now intensify their attacks on civilians and their confiscation of foodstuffs and livestock, knowing they would escape punishment. With their means of survival threatened, the #Armenians attempted to organise themselves in self-defence 5/12
Local revolts ensued that Abdul Hamid’s troops put down harshly, while also inciting the local #Muslims against the Armenians. As a result of such violence, 300,000 Armenians were killed across the Empire in what became known as the Hamidian massacres 6/12
William Sachtleben, an American journalist who happened to be in Erzurum in 1895, left this account: ‘Along the wall on the north… lay 321 dead bodies of the massacred Armenians. Many were fearfully mangled and mutilated…One I saw whose whole chest had been skinned, 7/12
his fore-arms were cut off.. I asked if the dogs had done this. "No, the Turks did it with their knives."....To be killed in battle by brave men is one thing; to be butchered by cowardly armed soldiers in cold blood and utterly defenseless is another thing’ 8/12
Women and children were not spared. The massacres were followed by waves of forced conversions to #Islam, while famine and disease also took a heavy toll. Western press and public opinion were appalled and calls for action multiplied, though little was actually done 9/12
Echoing his modern successors, Abdul Hamid tried to limit the flow of information coming out of Turkey and counteract the negative press by enlisting the help of sympathetic Western activists and journalists 10/12
Abdul Hamid’s policy of repression followed by massacre was enthusiastically adopted and intensified by his successors, the #YoungTurks and #MustafaKemal culminating in the #ArmenianGenocide and #GreekGenocide of 1915-1922 11/12
Erdogan is an admirer of Abdul Hamid and celebrated the 100th anniversary of the #RedSultan’s death in 2018. The continuities of Turkish history are present for all to see, in the only country to have committed genocides of this scale without any recognition or apology 12/12

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More from @theHELC

Jun 10
Turkey's leaders are taking a break from enabling #Russia against #NATO and ethnic cleansing Syria’s #Kurds to launch absurd claims and empty threats against Greek islands. We take a look at the painful history of Turkish rule on one of them: a thread on #Chios from #theHELC 1/10
The history of the Greeks in Chios goes back more than 3,000 years reaching to #Minoan and #Mycenaean times. Chios is the most likely birthplace of #Homer and had its own coins and democratic parliament by 600 BC. Its famous wine was exported from the Black Sea to #Egypt 2/10
The islanders sided with Athens and then #Alexander the Great against Persia and continued to prosper under first the #Roman and then the Eastern Roman (#Byzantine) Empire. The famous #mosaics of Nea Moni monastery are considered a masterpiece of Byzantine art 3/10
Read 10 tweets
Oct 2, 2021
Protecting Europe’s frontiers with state-of-the-art European technology. A thread on French warplanes in the Hellenic Air Force… #theHELC #France #Rafale #Mirage #HAF
Modern Greek-French relations have deep historical roots going back to the Napoleonic period. In more recent years, Greece’s alliance with France has played a game-changing role in the Hellenic Air Force’s vital mission of defending the airspace of the European Union and NATO.
The recent purchase of 24 state-of-art #Rafale jets is the culmination of a long relationship between the French defence industry and HAF. The procurement of 🇫🇷warplanes in a time of threats from Turkey underlines the deep military and political bonds between the two nations.
Read 9 tweets

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