Assassination of Talaat Pasha
Tue, 2022-Mar-15 02:32 UTC
Length - 3:19
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The featured article for Tuesday, 15 March 2022 is Assassination of Talaat Pasha.
On 15 March 1921, Armenian student Soghomon Tehlirian assassinated Talaat Pasha—former grand vizier of the Ottoman Empire and the main architect of the Armenian genocide—in Berlin. At his trial, Tehlirian argued, "I have killed a man, but I am not a murderer", and the jury acquitted him.
Tehlirian came from Erzindjan in the Ottoman Empire but moved to Serbia before the war; he served in the Armenian volunteer units of the Russian army and lost most of his family in the genocide. Deciding to take revenge, he assassinated Harutian Mgrditichian, who helped the Ottoman secret police, in Constantinople. Tehlirian joined Operation Nemesis, a clandestine program carried out by the Dashnaktsutyun (the Armenian Revolutionary Federation), and was chosen for the mission to assassinate Talaat due to his previous success. Talaat had already been convicted and sentenced to death by an Ottoman court-martial, but was living in Berlin with the permission of the German government. Many prominent Germans attended Talaat's funeral, and the German Foreign Office sent a wreath saying, "To a great statesman and a faithful friend."Tehlirian's trial was held 2–3 June 1921, and the defense strategy was to put Talaat on trial for the Armenian genocide. Extensive evidence on the genocide was heard, resulting in "one of the most spectacular trials of the twentieth century", according to Stefan Ihrig. Tehlirian claimed he had acted alone and that the killing was not premeditated, telling a dramatic and realistic, but untrue, story of surviving the genocide and witnessing the deaths of his family members. The international media widely reported on the trial, which brought attention and recognition of the facts of the Armenian genocide; Tehlirian's acquittal brought mostly favorable reactions.
Both Talaat and Tehlirian are considered by their respective sides to be heroes and martyrs; historian Alp Yenen refers to this relationship as the "Talat–Tehlirian complex". Talaat was buried in Germany, but Turkey repatriated his remains in 1943 and gave him a state funeral. Polish-Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkin read about the trial in the news and was inspired to conceptualize the crime of genocide in international law.
This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 02:32 UTC on Tuesday, 15 March 2022.
For the full current version of the article, see Assassination of Talaat Pasha on Wikipedia.
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