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The Consequences of Turkey Being the ‘Continuing’ State of the Ottoman Empire in Terms of International Responsibility for Internationally Wrongful Acts

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The present article examines whether the modern State of Turkey (which was officially proclaimed in 1923) can be held responsible under international law for internationally wrongful acts which were committed by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenian population during and shortly after World War I. The first part examines whether Turkey should be considered as the ‘continuing’ State of the Ottoman Empire or whether it should instead be deemed as a ‘new’ State. Part 2 will examine the legal consequences in terms of international responsibility for considering Turkey as the ‘continuing’ State of the Ottoman Empire. This will include an examination of case law and State practice in the context of secession and cession of territory. The conclusion is that Turkey should be held responsible for all internationally wrongful acts committed by the Ottoman Empire (including acts of genocide) which were committed before its disintegration.

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor, Faculty of Law (Civil Law Section), University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada


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