viernes, 23 de noviembre de 2007

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide is widely acknowledged to have been the first true genocide of the twentieth century. Of an estimated pre-war population of 1.8 to 2.4 million in the six eastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire, approximately 1.2 to 1.7 million Armenians were exterminated in government organized deportations and massacres in towns and villages strewn across Eastern Anatolia. Under the pretext of disloyalty, the Ottoman government charged that Armenians were siding with the Russian Empire and stipulated that the deportations were born out of the necessity to preserve national security.
The general date given to the beginning of the genocide is April 24, 1915 where Turkish authorities ordered the arrest of 250 Armenian intellectuals in the capital of Constantinople, most of whom were killed. Deportations subsequently began in May where the Turkish military was utilized to uproot Armenians from their homes, and force them to march for hundreds of miles, depriving them of food and water, to concentration camps established in what is now present-day Syria. Massacres were indiscriminate of age or gender and widespread cases of rape and sexual abuse against women and children were commonplace. The Armenian Genocide is said to be the second-most studied case of genocide.The successor to the Ottoman Empire, the Republic of Turkey does not accept the deaths as the results of a systematic plan to destroy the Armenians. In recent years, it has faced repeated calls to accept the events as genocide. To date, twenty-one countries have officially recognized it as genocide as most Western scholars and historians accept this view. The majority of the survivors and their descendants are what now comprise the bulk of the Armenian Diaspora.

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