The Assyrians, Greeks, and other minority groups 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. It is acknowledged to have been one of the first modern genocides, as scholars point to the organized manner in which the killings were carried out to eliminate (or ethnically cleanse) the Armenians. And it is the second most-studied case of genocide after the Jewish Holocaust by the German Nazis. The word "genocide" was coined in order to describe these events.
The starting date of the genocide is conventionally held to be April 24, 1915, the day when Ottoman authorities arrested some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. Thereafter, the Ottoman military uprooted Armenians from their homes and forced them to march for hundreds of miles, depriving them of food and water, to the desert of what is now Syria. Massacres were indiscriminate of age or gender, with rape and other sexual abuse commonplace. The majority of Armenian diaspora communities were founded as a result of the Armenian genocide.
Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, denies the word "genocide" is an accurate description of the events. In recent years it and other nations of the world (most notably the USA) have faced repeated calls to accept the events as a genocide. To date, 20-30 countries have officially recognized the events of the period as genocide, and most genocide scholars and historians accept this view.
System of a Young Turk
Why can't four Turkish guys get together and form a band like System of a Down (SOAD)? That way we'll play your song "It Was No Genocide." Until then we will continue to hear from one of the world greatest bands of all time. And, regrettably, debate will be stifled. Questioning will be outlawed. Denialism will end in prison or with fines, as if the state could outlaw ideas by labeling some of them as Orwellian "thought crimes." Are Jewish scholars celebrating the end of free speech and free thought alongside shortsighted Armenian scholars?
Turks protest bill making it illegal to deny Armenian genocide
(AP Archive, July 30, 2015) "I don't know what they have against us. This Armenian issue is over a century old. What is it about? It's just creating tensions."
STORYLINE: Hundreds of members of the Turkish community gathered behind France's National Assembly in Paris on Thursday to protest against a bill that would render the denial of the Armenian genocide a crime. Politicians approved the measure that will make it a crime in France to deny that a mass killings of Armenians in 1915 amounted to a genocide. This could put France on a collision course with Turkey, a strategic ally and trading partner that argues the conflict nearly 100 years ago should be left to historians. Holding Turkish and French flags, protesters demanded that French politicians oppose the bill. "We are asked to officially recognize that our grandparents were assassins, but no one can say that," said demonstrator Fatih Ekici. More