Monday, April 24, 2006
The Armenian Genocide (also known as the Armenian Holocaust or the Armenian Massacre) is a term which refers to the forced mass evacuation and related deaths of hundreds of thousands or over a million Armenians, during the government of the Young Turks from 1915 to 1917 in the Ottoman Empire.
Most Armenian, Russian, Western, and an increasing number of Turkish scholars believe that the massacres were a case of genocide. For example, most Western sources point to the sheer scale of the death toll. The event is also said to be the second-most studied case of genocide, and often draws comparison with the Holocaust. To date 24 countries, as discussed below, have officially recognized and accepted its authenticity as Genocide.
Several facts in connection with the event are a matter of ongoing dispute between parts of the international community and Turkey. Although it is generally agreed that events said to comprise what is termed the Armenian Genocide did occur, the Turkish government rejects that it was genocide, on the alleged basis that the deaths among the Armenians were not a result of a state-sponsored plan of mass extermination, but of inter-ethnic strife, disease and famine during the turmoil of World War I.
Whether or not the terminology of genocide is acceptable to the Turkish government, there is no question that the forces of the Ottoman empire subjected the native Armenian population to atrocities and crimes against humanity of a magnitute and proportion unrivaled in history.
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