The Armenian Genocide
By Alec Avery
It happened 100 years ago. 1.5 million people died. Yet the Armenian genocide is still not recognized in many places around the world. Most people have never even heard of it. Many people don’t know that Armenia is in the middle East. Some places such as Turkey ban talking about it.
What Caused the Armenian Genocide
The ancient Ottoman empire, what would soon turn into Turkey, was falling, and the last Sultan (ruler/monarch) was overthrown by a group called the Committee of Union and Progress (also called the Young Turks). They had a very strong sense of nationalism that did not include Armenians. According to an Article by Raymond H. Kevorkian, the Young Turks believed that, “On our soil, there should be only one nation and one language.” The Armenians were also a rather wealthy group, and the Turkish empire needed resources. After several years of planning, the Young Turks started killing off the Armenians.
Who Caused the Armenian Genocide
The government of the time, the Young Turks, were the ones who set the whole plan in motion. They created a secret group called the Special Organization. Its leader was Behaeddin Shakir, a former doctor. They were the ones in charge of actually killing all the Armenians. The soldiers themselves were usually ex-convicts and murderers, because they had a willingness to kill.
How were the Armenians Killed?
The Turks killed the Armenians systematically, and with precision. The Turkish government first captured and killed a few hundred Armenian intellectuals. Then they started forcing the rest of the Armenians out of their homes to trails, where many would starve to death or die of thirst. Those who weren’t brought on these walks were murdered by Turkish groups called “killing squads”, who were especially brutal and merciless.
How Did other Countries React to the Armenian Genocide?
The governments of Great Britain, France, and Russia agreed that the acts committed by the Young Turks were crimes against humanity. They tried to get the Ottoman government to punish them, but they had already fled to Germany. The word genocide had not been invented yet, so there was no dispute yet on whether it could be called a genocide. It did not get as much attention as it could have though. Adolf Hitler used it as an excuse to kill off the Jews; He said, “Who speaks today of the extermination of the Armenians?” He was implying that nobody would remember the extermination of a race. He was wrong; by now, 24 governments recognize the Armenian massacres as a genocide
What happened to the Armenians was horrendous. Even though it seems ridiculous that anything like this could ever happen, it did. We have to be aware of what is going on in the world, so that nothing goes unnoticed. We should not let another government commit a genocide. It is not only against basic morals, but it can completely cut off an entire culture.
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