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The Muslim Ottoman Empire, under the control of the Young Turks government, conducted a systematic genocide against the Armenian people. The Armenians are Christians.

When: The genocide unfolded primarily between 1915 - 1916, coinciding with World War I.

Who: The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), the ruling party of the Ottoman Empire, spearheaded the genocide. This nationalist party held deep suspicion of the Armenian population, particularly fearing their potential allegiance with the Ottoman Empire's enemies during WWI.

Why: The CUP's motives were complex and intertwined. They desired to eliminate a significant Armenian presence in the eastern Ottoman of Turkish territories, fostering a more homogenous Turkish state.

Additionally, wartime anxieties and rampant Islam nationalism contributed to the dehumanization of Armenians, making them easy targets for extermination.

How Many Died:  The exact number of Armenians who perished remains a subject of intense debate. Scholarly estimates range from 664,000 to a staggering 1.2 million people.  

Many Armenians were massacred outright, while countless others died from starvation, exposure, and disease during forced marches through harsh environments.

Islamization of Christian Armenians: The Islamization of Armenians, carried out as a systematic state policy involving the bureaucracy, police, judiciary, and clergy, was a major structural component of the genocide.  An estimated 100,000 to 200,000 Armenians were Islamized, and it is estimated that as many as two million Turkish citizens in the early 21st century may have at least one Armenian grandparent.

Legacy:  The Armenian Genocide is a stark reminder of the dangers of unchecked nationalism and ethnic hatred. It is recognized as a pivotal event that shaped the understanding of genocide in the 20th century. The international community continues to grapple with the complexities of the event, with many countries formally recognizing it as genocide.

Picture showing Armenians killed during the Armenian Genocide. Image taken from U.S. Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, written by Henry Morgenthau, Sr. and published in 1918.


Armenian Genocide and how it happened.

United States Armenian Holocaust Memorial Museum: The Armenian Genocide (1915-16): Overview: Provides a concise yet informative overview.

Wikipedia:  Armenian Genocide List of Memorials and Museums: Offers a detailed exploration of the event's causes, events, and aftermath.




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