An estimated 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks via the ruling antipodean Committee of Union and Progress during the course of the First World War (1915). It took a little over a century for the United States to recognize this gruesome crime. President Joe Biden earlier in the week officially recognized the slaughter of ethnic Armenians by referring to this event as a genocide. It had been condemned earlier by several senators; however, they all stopped short of calling it genocide for a long-standing fear of irking Turkey, a longtime US ally who alleges that this act cannot be said to be genocide or even wrongful alleging that there is no evidence of premeditation, no systematic attempt to eradicate. Today In Turkey, bringing up the topic of Armenians is a faux pas, an act of insulting Turkish-ness.
Ethnic Armenians had resided in Anatolia from 6th century BC, though they were a minority in an Islamic Empire, they survived through a semi-community system, termed as millet. At the dawn of the first World War, an estimated 2 million Armenians lived in Turkey, scattered across the country. However, In Turkey, the seeds of hate and mistrust had been planted and some say, bore fruit when the Young Turk Movement, with an agenda of reclaiming Turkish-ness and perhaps Turkey itself waged war against the Russians on the Caucasus Mountains. The attempt was a disaster and in true fashion of selecting (and later, slaughtering) a scapegoat. The Government started to look for groups to pin the blame on.
And it had to be the Armenians.
The Government started blaming the Armenians for siding, even colluding with the Russians. A group of Armenian nationalists had indeed sided with the Russians but it was small and largely unnoticed, lying in the periphery of the community.
Armenians mark the date April 24, 1915, when several hundred Armenian intellectuals were rounded up, arrested, and later executed as the inception of the Armenian genocide and it is generally said to have extended to 1917. In 1914, there were 2,133,190 Armenians in the empire. By 1922, that number had been gassed down 387,800.
The American ambassador, Henry Morganthau Sr wrote, “When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they understood this well, and in their conversations with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact.”
Do you want to publish on Apple News, Google News, and more? Join our writing community, improve your writing skills, and be read by hundreds of thousands around the world!