April 24 marks the Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day—a time to remember the many victims lost. On this day in 1915, 300 Armenian leaders, writers, thinkers and professionals in Constantinople (present day Istanbul) were collected, deported, and killed. Tragically, 5,000 of the poorest Armenians were also slaughtered in their homes and the streets.
The Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day is a reminder that while the international community recognizes the mass slaughter of Armenians as genocide, the Turkish government denies it.
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide defines the crime as the deliberate killing or destroying of a large group of people, in whole or in part, because of their nationality, ethnicity, race, or religion.
Below are five facts about the tragedy:
- During WWI the Turkish government (aka Young Turks) moved to eliminate the Armenian people from the Ottoman Empire.
- Of the 2.5 million total Turkish population, 1.5 million were killed.
- The Armenian Genocide took place from 1915-1918, with renewed instances of brutality occurring between 1920 and 1923.
- By 1923, the Armenian population had been completely eliminated from Asia Minor and historic West Armenia.
- Only one Turkish government, that of Damad Ferit Pasha, has ever recognized the Armenian genocide.
For the entire 11 facts about the Armenian Genocide, click here.