Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

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  • The Fertile Crescent

    The Fertile Crescent is a term for an old fertile area north, east and west of the Arabian Desert in Southwest Asia. The Mesopotamian valley and the Nile valley fall under this term even though the mountain zone around Mesopotamia is the natural zone for the transition in a historical sense.

    As a result of a number of unique geographical factors the Fertile Crescent have an impressive history of early human agricultural activity and culture. Besides the numerous archaeological sites with remains of skeletons and cultural relics the area is known primarily for its excavation sites linked to agricultural origins and development of the Neolithic era.

    It was here, in the forested mountain slopes of the periphery of this area, that agriculture originated in an ecologically restricted environment. The western zone and areas around the upper Euphrates gave growth to the first known Neolithic farming communities with small, round houses , also referred to as Pre Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) cultures, which dates to just after 10,000 BC and include areas such as Jericho, the world’s oldest city.

    During the subsequent PPNB from 9000 BC these communities developed into larger villages with farming and animal husbandry as the main source of livelihood, with settlement in the two-story, rectangular house. Man now entered in symbiosis with grain and livestock species, with no opportunity to return to hunter – gatherer societies.

    The area west and north of the plains of the Euphrates and Tigris also saw the emergence of early complex societies in the much later Bronze Age (about 4000 BC). There is evidence of written culture and early state formation in this northern steppe area, although the written formation of the states relatively quickly shifted its center of gravity into the Mesopotamian valley and developed there. The area is therefore in very many writers been named “The Cradle of Civilization.”

    The area has experienced a series of upheavals and new formation of states. When Turkey was formed in the aftermath of the genocide against the Pontic Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians perpetrated by the Young Turks during the First World War it is estimated that two-thirds to three-quarters of all Armenians and Assyrians in the region died, and the Pontic Greeks was pushed to Greece.

    Israel was created out of the Ottoman Empire and the conquering of the Palestinian terretories. The existence of large Arab nation states from the Maghreb to the Levant has since represented a potential threat to Israel which should be neutralised when opportunities arise.

    This line of thinking was at the heart of David Ben Gurion’s policies in the 1950s which sought to exacerbate tensions between Christians and Muslims in the Lebanon for the fruits of acquiring regional influence by the dismembering the country and the possible acquisition of additional territory.

    The Christians are now being systematically targeted for genocide in Syria according to Vatican and other sources with contacts on the ground among the besieged Christian community.

    According to reports by the Vatican’s Fides News Agency collected by the Centre for the Study of Interventionism, the US-backed Free Syrian Army rebels and ever more radical spin-off factions are sacking Christian churches, shooting Christians dead in the street, broadcasting ultimatums that all Christians must be cleansed from the rebel-held villages, and even shooting priests.

    It is now time that the genocide against the Pontic Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians is being recognized, that the Israeli occupation, settlements and violence against the Palestinians stop, and that the various minorities in the area start to live their lifes in peace – without violence and threats from majority populations, or from the West, and then specificially from the US.

    War in the Fertile Crescent

    Everyone is free to use the text on this blog as they want. There is no copyright etc. This because knowledge is more important than rules and regulations.

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The Gallipoli/Dardanelles Campaign and the Armenian Genocide

Posted by Sjur Cappelen Papazian on January 3, 2015

Ottoman artillery in Gallipoli (Photo: Turkish General Staff)

‘In most of the writings about Gallipoli, civilian deportations and casualties are rarely mentioned. Even more disappointing is the failure to make the important link that the Gallipoli/Dardanelles campaigns had to one of the key phases of the Armenian Genocide—a genocide that would lead to the death of approximately 1,500,000 Armenians.’

The Entente naval bombardments of the Dardanelles Straits in February and March, and later the amphibious landings at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915, were two interrelated military deployments that gravely threatened the survival of the Ottoman Empire. These military battles, in turn, are linked to the Young Turk regime’s draconian decision to arrest several hundred Armenian community and political leaders in Constantinople on April 24, an act that was an opening phase of the Armenian Genocide.

Many books and articles written about the military battles at Gallipoli note the substantial number of military casualties on both sides. For Australians and New Zealanders, these days of battle are heroically identified with ANZAC Day, a day of national mourning and pride.

For Turkish citizens, it is a battle that saw a rare military victory in World War I and the emergence of a charismatic Turkish officer Mustafa Kemal who rallied his troops in defense of the empire and who would go on to become Ataturk, the founding president of the Republic of Turkey.

Military histories often focus on brilliant commanding officers and brave, often suffering, soldiers, but usually offer less on the societal context of the war. However, in the era of modern “total war,” where civilian targets were seen as a key part of a strategy for victory, incomplete accounts of the totality of war are insufficient.

In most of the writings about Gallipoli, civilian deportations and casualties are rarely mentioned. Even more disappointing is the failure to make the important link that the Gallipoli/Dardanelles campaigns had to one of the key phases of the Armenian Genocide—a genocide that would lead to the death of approximately 1,500,000 Armenians.

The stark fact is that the number of naval and army personnel who were wounded and died in the Dardanelles and Gallipoli campaigns pales in comparison to the number of civilians who were arrested, starved, tortured, and died in the Armenian Genocide—a genocide that gained significant momentum coinciding with the Entente landings at Gallipoli.

For the Young Turk dictatorship the two events were linked in key ways. Amidst foreign military peril and possible Entente military occupation of Constantinople, there was swift and deadly action to target the Armenian-Christian ethnic minority for genocide.

The Gallipoli/Dardanelles Campaign and the Armenian Genocide

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