What do you call the 1915 “mass deportation” of Armenians from the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) that resulted in the death of 1.5 million people?
Most historians and Armenians around the world call it genocide. The Turkish government and the United States are not among those who will officially accept the word “genocide” when speaking of the decimation of the Armenian people in the early part of the 20th Century. (And that list also includes U.S. Presidents.)
The lack of respect given to the Armenian genocide is shocking when you consider the scope and brutality of the event that killed 75 percent of the Armenians — a predominantly Christian group.
Armenia was a trendsetter when it came to Christianity. The country adopted that faith in 301 A.D. This was even before the formation of the Holy Roman Empire. For centuries the Armenian people built a healthy and prosperous country. However, in the 15th century, the Ottoman Empire absorbed Armenia and the Armenians. The non-Muslim Armenians were classified as “infidels” and had to pay higher taxes and saddled with fewer rights than Muslims.
The Ottoman Empire stayed dominant in the region through the 19th century and into the early part of the 20th century. But in the late 1890s, Armenians were growing tired of their status as second class citizens and continued their push for more rights. In 1894, that push was met with a violent response from the Sultan who turned loose his private army on the Armenians. In the ensuing battles between 1894-96, it was reported that as many as 200,000 Armenians were killed by Sultan Abdul Hamid’s troops in what has been called the Hamidian Massacre. However, the killing of the 200,000 Armenian Christians was nothing compared to the 1915 genocide.
What led to the near extermination of the Armenians? It appears a combination of a few factors were working together to create a rabid form of Turkish nationalism that saw the Armenians as the enemies of the state. After all, the non-Muslims were officially considered “infidels” in the eyes of the Turks.
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1894-1896 dat wou ik even genoteerd hebben. Dat het niet alleen in 1915 was. Later heeft Ataturk het werk afgemaakt en vandaag de dag staat Erdogan op het punt om met zijn proxie Azarbeidjan Armenië uit te roeien.