The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide
The first genocide of the 20th Century
The Ottoman Empire, 1914
Background of Armenia
Armenia was a part of the Ottoman
Empire. While the empire was Muslim,
Armenians remained Christians. They
were tolerated, but did not experience
full equality under Islamic law.
 In 1867, Sultan Abdul Hamid II, came
to power and attempted to stop the
many revolutions within his empire. He
did this mainly by encouraging Muslim
groups to settle in Armenian lands.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II,
also known as the “Red
Sultan” for his role in
the genocide.
Armenian Background Cont…
This caused wide spread conflict and in
1894, Hamid falsely charged the
Armenians for rebelling without
authority. The Muslims, backed by the
Ottoman Empire, were allowed to
attack the Armenians. Over the course
of the next 2 years, 200,000 Armenians
died from attack and/or starvation.
The Young Turks
In 1908, a group of young intellectuals
over threw the sultan-called The Young
Turks. This new leadership sought to
make the Ottoman Empire exclusively
Turkish and Muslims.
 In 1910, the Armenians were labeled
enemies of Muslim Turkey (due to not
fitting the above description)
Enver Bey, the
leader of the
Young Turks.
The Genocide Begins
In 1914, Turkey entered WWI. A
military offensive against Russia ended
in disaster and Turkey accused the
Armenians of aiding Russia.
 On April 24, 1915-Turkish authorities
arrested and executed Armenian
leaders in Constantinople. This date
would be forever remembered as the
beginning of the Armenian genocide.
The Genocide Continues…
In June 1915, the Armenian population
was deported to the desserts of Syria
and Iraq. Prior to deportation, all ablebodied males were shot.
 25% of those that left Turkey would
eventually arrive in Syria and Iraq. The
majority of people were either
murdered or died of thirst and
starvation along the way.
The Genocide Ends
In 1919, the Young Turks were put on
trial for war crimes and were found
guilty for the destruction of the
Armenian people.
 In 1923, a war hero Mustafa Ataturk
came to power, formed the Republic of
Turkey, and released all prisoners
found guilty of war crimes (including
the Young Turks).
Mustafa Kemel Ataturk
In the end, the Soviet Union carved out
territory for the Armenians.
 Over 1 million Armenians died during
the genocide.
 Today, the country of Turkey still
formally denies that any premeditated
genocide took place.
Why do we know so little about
this event during WWI?
1 million deaths is not a lot compared to
millions lost in other countries.
 Europe is in shambles, each country has its
own issues to deal with.
 The term “genocide” is created by Professor
Raphael Lempkin in 1946, (after WWII ) and
recognized at a United Nations convention in
 Genocide, briefly, is the intent to destroy, in
whole or part, ethnic or religious groups.
You decide….
Based on the evidence provided and
the UN covenant…..
 Do you believe the events in Armenia
were genocide?
 Provide evidence to defend your