In November 1914, the
Returning to Istanbul, Enver largely blamed the Armenians living in the region for actively siding with the Russians. In spite of these obstacles, the Armenians thrived under Ottoman rule. The Armenians tended to be better educated and wealthier than their Turkish neighbors, who in turn tended to resent their success. This resentment was compounded by suspicions that the Christian Armenians would be more loyal to Christian governments (that of the Russians, who shared an unstable border with Turkey) than they were to the Ottoman caliphate.
In 1914, the Ottoman Empire's War Office had already begun a propaganda drive to present Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire as a liability and threat to the country's security. An Ottoman naval officer in the War Office described the planning:
|“||In order to justify this enormous crime the requisite propaganda material was thoroughly prepared in Istanbul. [It included such statements as] "the Armenians are in league with the enemy. They will launch an uprising in Istanbul, kill off the
The Ottoman government, moving quickly,
arrested an estimated 250 Armenian intellectuals on the night of
The Turkish massacres of Armenians in 1894, 1895, 1896, and 1909 were still fresh in their minds.