Before their horrific genocidal era, the Assyrian culture was blossoming. The ancient Assyrians were inhabitants of Mesopotamia (“The Assyrian Genocide”).The people of Assyria were credited with having “…deep autochthonous roots in Anatolia and Mesopotamia, going back well before the 3rd millennium BCE” (“The Assyrian Genocide”). This depicts the overall longevity of this seemingly unknown culture. It is said that “Parallel to the dynamic of imperialist power involved in Mesopotamian archaeology itself, the European reception of Assyria presents a series of conflictual power relations” (Bohrer, Frederick N.). This explains that the ancient government, and workings of the Mesopotamian culture greatly impacted the judicial and governmental power we see in Europe in the 21st-century. It is important to note how much guidance the early Assyrian lifestyle affects the current governmental state of many countries today.Besides being one of the oldest and most impactful cultures, the Assyrians have been influential in many other aspects of our modern life. Many genres of art, denominations of Christianity, and marriage rituals were formed (“The Assyrian Genocide”). The citizens were rapidly developing new styles of life, and ways to help themselves make it easier. Like previously stated, “Christianity came early to the Assyrians, at least since the third century CE.” (“The Assyrian Genocide”). The Assyrians were very influential in the way Christians worship in this modern era. Their advances in song, prayer, and fasting are still practiced today in the new-age Church. These advances may have seemed like nothing but good things, but it would later haunt them and lead them to their deaths.In the sixteenth century, the Ottoman Empire took over the majority of Eastern Anatolia and the Middle East (). The Assyrians resided in the area of the  “Upper Mesopotamia” (present-day southeast Turkey and northwest Iran) which was controlled by Ottoman power (). It is said that “The population of the Ottoman Empire was ethnically, religiously and culturally diverse, and its ruling religion was Islam”  (). This is important to note because the Islamic leaders will later persecute and marginalize the Jewish and Christian populations for the sole purpose of creating a population of uniformed and like minded people. Because of this, the Jews and Christians living in the Empire were considered second-class citizens. They were treated lesser, and it affected their lifestyles greatly by giving them lower occupational positions, receiving lesser educations, and being secluded to homogeneous neighborhoods ().This causes the term “millet” to be formed. The millets, the Jews and Christians of the Ottoman Empire, were granted freedom of  political and religious stances on the condition that they did not challenge Islamic rule (). Appointed leaders of each neighborhood would in turn govern their members according to their particular religious laws (). In return the communities stayed very loyal to the Empire and accepted the limits  that were given to them as a “protected minority group” (). These limits include, “the deception of ‘special’ taxes, the prohibition of carrying a weapon, the mandate to carry visible markers of identity, and in some areas the prohibition of speaking their native language” (). They followed these laws in great obedience because without the watchful eye of the Ottoman Empire, they were very much alone and stranded without a homeland or governmental structure to cling to.  The control of the Empire began to spiral towards its end in the late 19th century, due to “corruption and threats posed by European powers, particularly Russia” (). The rise of “nation states” took place all at one,  followed by “Turkish nationalism and Islamic envy, and the faltering of the various millets’ standing” (). Ethnic minorities—in particular the large Kurdish minority— began to weaken the Empire to their advantage and began to add to their power. Even though the Assyrians there lived a Kurdish majority, when the Ottoman rulers began to cracking  down on the Kurdish people, the Kurds in turn went against the Assyrians, begetting the “violent upheavals against the Assyrians” (). From 1842-1845, during the Massacres of Badr Khan, the Kurds slaughtered the Assyrian people on the Hakkari Mountains (). It’s is aid that “10,000 Assyrians were murdered in the massacre and thousands more were imprisoned” (). In an effort of revenge the Assyrian women and children were enslaved and many Assyrian leaders, priests and tribal heads were murdered (). Vengeance  against the Assyrians lasted throughout the last half of the 19th century and included the “desecration of holy sites, the kidnapping of women and children for slavery, and massacres” (). Between 22,000 and 23,000 Assyrians were killed in just the year 1860 ().        During August of 1984, a “revolt of  Armenian citizens erupted in the Sason district” (). The Ottomans replied to the defection with much barbarity, massacring numbers of Armenians.  The future Armenian protests had managed to lead to more carnage of the Armenians neighborhoods. This act was committed by the Turks and Kurds over a timeline of three years (). The slaughter initially focused at the Armenian population rapidly advanced to and depressed all minorities, such as the Christians, in the Empire. Between 1895-1896 the Turkish and Kurdish inhabitants liquidated the Assyrian people  in Diyarbakir and Urhoy (). The Turks and Kurds murdered around 25,000, and this act became noted as the “Hamidean Massacre,” titled subsequently because of Sultan Abdul Hamid II ().


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