On this day…

In 1921, Talaat Pasha was coming out of the house in Hardenbergstrasse, in the Berlin suburb of Charlottenburg, when he was shot and killed by an Armenian revolutionary named Soghomon Tehlirian. Talaat had been part of the Triumvirate, along with Enver Pasha and Djemal Pasha, that had run the Ottoman Empire during the First World War and had served as Minister of the Interior and later as Grand Vizier. When it became clear that the Ottomans faced certain defeat in the war, Talaat resigned his office and fled Constantinople in a German submarine on 3 November 1918. Enver and Djemal fled too.

Talaat Pasha. (Library of Congress)
Talaat Pasha. (Library of Congress)

As Minister of the Interior, Talaat had signed orders for the arrest of Armenian community leaders in Constantinople on 24 April 1915, and for the mass deportation of Armenians between June 1915 and February 1916, key moments in what would become known as the Armenian Genocide.

When Tehlirian was tried for Talaat’s murder in Germany, he was found innocent after two days, on the grounds of temporary insanity as a result of his experiences during the terrible events of 1915.

Djemal Pasha would also be murdered for his part in those events, dying in Tiflis, Georgia, in July 1922. Kemal, however, died in August 1922 near Dushanbe in what is now Tajikistan, fighting as part of an uprising against the Soviet government.

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