For 600 years, the Ottoman Empire ruled much of southern Europe and the Middle East. Its rule ended after World War I (WWI), known as “the Great War.”
The country at the helm of the Empire was Turkey. The capital was Constantinople. It is now called Istanbul.
Millions died in WWI. But the single greatest tragedy of the war was the death of 1.5 million Armenians. It was said to be the first genocide of the 20th Century.
At mid-century 6 million Jews were slaughtered in the German Holocaust. They died along with countless others, including Romas (Gypsies) and bohemians (gays).
As the century ended, genocidal killing took place in the Balkans and Rwanda. And there were others.
The 21st Century is not doing better. Hundreds of thousands of people in Syria, Iraq, Libya and parts of Africa are being murdered or forced from their homes.
What makes the genocide in Armenia different? It is that the Turks do not admit that genocide took place. They just say millions died in the war. Genocide is a crusade meant to kill people because of who they are. They are not just casualties of war.
The rest of the world calls it genocide.
The DNA of the Armenian people shows that they go back more than 5,000 years. Armenia is located in the Caucasus region of Eastern Europe. Russia, Turkey and Iran border this area. It has been taken over or divided by war many times.
The presidents of Russia and France went to Armenia to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the slaughter. The refusal of Turkey to say that they had conducted genocide is a political issue. Many countries want to have good relations with Turkey. For example, President Obama does not call Turkey’s actions genocide. He called it Meds Yeghern. Translated, it means “the Great Catastrophe.”
Source: The Wall Street Journal April 24, 2015