The Armenian Genocide

Armenian Genocide Map
Armenian Genocide Map

In April 1915 the Ottoman government embarked upon the systematic decimation of its civilian Armenian population. The persecutions continued with varying intensity until 1923, when the Ottoman Empire ceased to exist, and was replaced by the Republic of Turkey. The Armenian population of the Ottoman state was reported at about two million in 1915. An estimated one million had perished by 1918, while hundreds of thousands had become homeless and stateless refugees. By 1923 virtually the entire Armenian population of Anatolian Turkey had disappeared.

Armenian Genocide Memorial, Yerevan
Armenian Genocide Memorial, Yerevan

The starting date is conventionally held to be 24 April 1915, the day Ottoman authorities rounded up and arrested, subsequently executing, some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople.

Armenian Genocide Memorial 1The genocide was carried out during and after World War I, and implemented in two phases: the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and subjection of army conscripts to forced labour, followed by the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches leading to the Syrian desert. Driven forward by military escorts, the deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to periodic robbery, rape, and massacre. Other indigenous and Christian ethnic groups such as the Assyrians and the Ottoman Greeks were similarly targeted for extermination by the Ottoman government, and their treatment is considered by many historians to be part of the same genocidal policy. The majority of Armenian diaspora communities around the world came into being as a direct result of the genocide.

Memorial
Armenian Genocide Memorial

The Armenian Genocide is acknowledged to have been one of the first modern genocides, because scholars point to the organized manner in which the killings were carried out in order to eliminate the Armenians, and it is the second most-studied case of genocide after the Holocaust.

Other Links:

http://www.armenian-genocide.org/genocide.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Genocide

Credits: The Armenian National Institute; Wikipedia.

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