100 Years Ago, 1.5 Million Christian Armenians Were Systematically Killed.
Today, It's Still Not A 'Genocide'
-- On April 24, 1915, Ottoman Turkish authorities hauled off Daniel Varoujan, a
leading Armenian poet of the time, along with over 200 other intellectuals in
the capital Constantinople. To the crumbling Ottoman Empire, the poets,
painters, writers, booksellers and politicians at the beating heart of the
Armenian community posed too much of a threat.
and nearly wiped out, accused of conspiring against the empire with the
Russians. Many Armenians say the genocide was collective punishment for the
actions of a few.
In August, after a wave of deportations began that would force hundreds of
thousands of Armenians on brutal death marches toward the Syrian desert,
Varoujan was tortured to death, according to eyewitnesses at the time. Varoujan
was just one of many men, women and children who lost their lives.
This week, Armenians from around the world are gathering in Istanbul to
commemorate the deaths of nearly 1.5 million Armenians who
died in what would later be known by many -- but not by Turkey, the United
States and some other countries -- as the Armenian Genocide. A century on, the
killings are hardly a thing of the past, with sensitive geopolitics still
fueling the controversy.
Regardless of how it's labeled, here are some figures that explain the size
and scope of this tragedy:
Armenians killed by Ottoman Turks during
the Armenian Genocide in 1915.
1.5 millionThe number of Armenians believed to have been killed
between 1915 and 1917.
“Rape and beating were commonplace,” wrote acclaimed historian David Fromkin
in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book on the Ottoman Empire’s downfall, A
Peace to End All Peace. “Those who were not killed at once were driven
through mountains and deserts without food, drink or shelter. Hundreds of
thousands of Armenians eventually succumbed or were killed."
An Armenian man in Istanbul, who as a schoolboy discovered his family was
Armenian, told The WorldPost one story passed down to him by his parents: His
grandfather, too exhausted to walk any farther in the death march toward the
Syrian desert, refused to go on. He would rather drown than walk another mile
to his death, he told the Turkish Ottoman guards. And so, the man says, they
held his grandfather under the water until he was dead.
250The number of intellectuals reportedly rounded up by Ottoman Turks
on April 24, 1915, in Constantinople (now Istanbul), kicking off what
would become a massive wave of arrests, deportations and killings. Many of
these Armenians were later deported and in many cases killed. Armenians
commemorate the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide every year on April 24.
“They took the intellectuals, the cream of the crop,” one Armenian book
publisher who said his father, a baker, lived in Constantinople when the
arrests took place, recently told The WorldPost. “They took the head and left
French Armenian Gerard Bodigoff (R)
lights candle with his wife Jacqueline in the Armenian church on April 20 in
Istanbul to pay tribute to his grandparents who were massacred and her mother
who fled the Armenian genocide in 1915.
60,000The number of dead bodies reportedly found in 1916 in a mass grave
in Maskanah, a northern town in what is now modern day Syria, according to Jesse B. Jackson, U.S. consul in
Aleppo. "As far as the eye can reach mounds are seen containing 200 to
300 corpses buried in the ground," he said in a cable to Washington.
300,000The number of Armenians who died during this period due to war and
disease, according to Turkey, which vehemently denies the 1.5 million
“According to independent researchers, 300,000 Armenians lost their lives
because of the war and disease,” reads one Turkish state-provided textbook for
high school students. “But during that time, Armenians killed 600,000 Turks and
forced 500,000 Turks to leave their land.”
2,133,190The number of Armenians living in the Ottoman empire before 1914,
according to the University of Minnesota’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide
387,800The number of Armenians still left in the Ottoman Empire in 1922.
20The number of nations that officially recognize the Armenian Genocide. The
list does not include the United States, Israel and many others who on the centenary
are grappling with labeling the killings a genocide. Germany is expected to finally do so on the anniversary.
The Armenian Genocide still remains one of the most bitterly contested
events in history, especially for Turkey, fiercely defensive of its Ottoman
If President Obama decided to label the 1915 killings as genocide, already
strained relations would likely only worsen with Turkey, where the United
States has an important air base in the south, close to Syria. Turkey and the
U.S. government have butted heads over the Syrian crisis, with a U.S.-led
coalition targeting solely Islamic State extremists, while Turkey insists
military efforts must also focus on bringing down Syria's Bashar Assad. The
United States has said Turkey, hosting over 1.7 million desperate Syrian refugees, has failed to do
enough to counter extremists who often cross its border into Syria with ease.
The White House doesn’t want to use the fateful “g” word because it
would anger the wrong people.
That’s essentially what officials said Tuesday when faced with increasing
pressure to label the mass killings a genocide.
Citing “regional priorities” in its decision not to say the killings
amounted to genocide, the U.S. government insisted it would urge “a full,
frank, and just acknowledgment of the facts,” according to a White House
The decision angered many Armenians in the United States and abroad who say
they had hoped President Barack Obama would use the centennial as an
opportunity to put things right, considering his track record of acknowledging
the genocide prior to assuming the presidency.
A box that contains bones of Armenians
who were killed in Syria during their exodus from persecutions by the Ottoman
Empire in 1915 are displayed at the Vank Cathedral in the historic city of
Isfahan, some 250 miles south of the capital, Tehran, on April 20.
There is real concern in Turkey that legal ramifications of calling
the 1915 massacres a "genocide" could lead to costly reparations.
In a recent column in the Daily Sabah, a Turkish newspaper known for its
staunchly pro-government rhetoric, one columnist wrote that the genocide
claimed by Armenians is just a ruse by the Armenian diaspora and descendants in
Turkey to tear apart the country and take over Turkish territory.
While Turkey in recent years has taken more conciliatory steps towards
addressing the killings of Armenians, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan making what was considered to be a groundbreaking speech
last year in which he offered condolences to the descendants of those killed,
tempers have recently flared.
With the lead-up to the 100-year anniversary, Turkey has furiously defended
itself from genocide claims, lashing out at the Pope and the European
Parliament for their views on what is widely seen as a systematic slaughter.
"Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding
without bandaging it," Pope Francis said earlier this month after calling
the killings the first genocide of the 20th century. Ankara then recalled its
ambassador from the Vatican.
Turkey's Erdogan dismissed the genocide debate, just as the European
Parliament voted on April 15 to call the events of 1915 a genocide. On
Wednesday, Turkey said it was pulling its ambassador to Austria over the
While Turkey acknowledges that some Armenians died -- calling them
casualties of war, disease and chaos of the time -- the state says that since
the deaths were not methodically planned to wipe out Armenians, it does not add
up to genocide.
"It is out of the question for there to be a stain, a shadow called
'genocide,' on Turkey," Erdogan said last week."
Nick Wing in Washington, D.C., and Burak Sayin in Istanbul contributed reporting.
This story has been updated to clarify that while Germany does not
currently call the Armenian massacres a genocide, it is expected to do so soon.
EU countries are trying to equate and foment very deeply covert religious hate as
zionists under Netanyahu PM of Israel committed Genocide, the Christians did on
how could Muslims not have done and alleged of genocide till now so by force
accuse a likely country to equate all three religious people to have caused the
same crime and in the same balance. But this is not the first time EU
countries did this sorts of accusation forcibly previously too.
congress women without understanding played in the hands of EU countries to
make Turkey bow down to or equate with Israel has commented without going
through the facts repeatedly requsted by
Turkey to go through factual evidences still there is to prove the truth. But
no EU countries accusation has to be accepted.
see how viciously the EU countries with its electronic and print media are
after the throat of Turkey to make it accept a wrong act. This type of acts by
some Super powers are condemnable in no easy terms. This must stop or else would further breed contempt
and hate to an extremely unimaginable also to bar turkey to enter EU. It is now crystal clear.
can judge the fact, Turkey would never bow down to such horrified lies and fraudulent
acts of accusation , Turkey would never bow down to such stupid accusation ever
now and in future which smell a evil desire to bring Turkey equal to a rotten stinking
egg Israel in the basket of allegation of the recent century by the Zionist.
glaring example of blatant stupid plot to slaughter the innocent by the same
sinner countries of the past accusing to cover the innocent with blame that it