The Armenian Genocide Essay

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The Armenian Genocide, also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Great Calamity, and the Armenian Massacre, was the organized killing of nearly 1.5 million Armenians. It occurred in the Ottoman Empire - present-day Turkey - where 2 million Armenians lived. The Armenian Genocide is the second-most studied massacre, after the Nazi Holocaust. Twenty-two countries have officially recognized it as genocide, but the Republic of Turkey rejects the characterization of the events as genocide. Many Armenians who are descendants of survivors are fighting for its recognition.

Under the Millet system, the Ottoman Empire did not give nearly as many rights to Armenians as to Muslims. They couldn't serve in the military, they couldn't testify
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land, livestock, and homes included ? was to be confiscated by the authorities.
The Empire?s wartime allies offered little protest, but the New York Times called the massacres ?systematic?, ?authorized?, and ?organized by the government?.

With the passage of the Tehcir Law, all Armenians were to be disarmed, demobilized, and assigned to labor battalions. Chetes, Ottoman squads, executed many recruits. In December of 1911 a ?special organization? was founded by the Ottoman government. Ittihad ve Terraki founded a second special organization composed entirely of released criminals. The organizations marched Armenians out to the Syrian town of Deir ez-Zor. They were not allowed any rest, supplies, or facilities. The New York Times in August of 1915 stated ?The roads and the Euphrates are strewn with corpses of exiles, and those who survive are doomed to certain death.? Troops escorting Armenians often robbed, killed, and raped them, and encouraged others to do the same. Twenty-five major concentration camps existed in total. Armenians were killed in large groups via mass burning, poisoning, and drowning.

Many foreign officials offered to intervene on behalf of the Armenians, but were turned away by Ottoman government officials. The events were reported daily in newspapers and literary journals around the world. Many famous Americans, including Theodore Roosevelt, William Jennings Bryan, and Alice Stone Blackwell, spoke out against the

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