Armenian Congress At Erzurum - Proposals

Proposals

The Ottoman plan was to draw the Persians, Kurds, Tatars and Georgians into a holy war against the Allies. In order to carry this project it was necessary to make sure that Armenian (if the Armenians became hostile), their geographical position would not hamper cooperation between these races. If this agreement went forward and the Ottoman Armenians did not support the Russians, they would be offered autonomy. This offer was one step forward from Armenian reform package, which was already established in February 1914.

The Tsar promised autonomy for Russian Armenia. The Tsar promised autonomy to six Turkish Armenian vilayets as well as the two Russian-Armenian provinces. Earlier a Tsarist minister of foreign affairs reportedly had confided Russia's aim: "We need Armenia, but without the Armenians." Primarily because of trust in France and Great Britain as associates of Russia, the Armenian National Council accepted the Tsar's offer. A representative meeting of Russian Armenians assembled in Tiflis, Caucasus, during August 1914. Tsar asked Armenian's loyalty and support for Russia in the conflict. The proposal was agreed upon and nearly 200,000 Armenians, Armenian volunteer units, served with the Russian colors.

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