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April 24,1915-2015 – The recognition of the Armenian genocide

The Armenian Genocide was the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of its minority Armenian subjects from their historic homeland within the territory constituting the present-day Republic of Turkey.

The starting date is conventionally held to be 24 April 1915, the day Ottoman authorities rounded up thousands of the Armenian intellectuals and community leaders of Constantinople (now Istanbul), who were deported and mostly executed.

The total number of people killed as a result has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million. The majority of Armenian diaspora communities around the world came into being as a direct result of the genocide.

Other indigenous and Christian ethnic groups such as the Assyrians and the Ottoman Greeks were similarly targeted for extermination by the Ottoman government, and their treatment is considered by many historians to be part of the same genocidal policy.

Raphael Lemkin was explicitly moved by the Armenian annihilation to coin the word genocide in 1943 and define systematic and premeditated exterminations within legal parameters.

The Armenian Genocide is acknowledged to have been one of the first modern genocides, because scholars point to the organized manner in which the killings were carried out in order to eliminate the Armenians, and it is the second most-studied case of genocide after the Holocaust.

Even after 100 years of Armenian Genocide, the cleansing of Armenians remains unanswered crime of the 20th century. The governments of Turkey and Azerbaijan deny that the Ottoman authorities attempted to exterminate the Armenian people.

Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, denies the word genocide is an accurate term for the mass killings of Armenians that began under Ottoman rule in 1915. Article 301 is a controversial article of the Turkish Penal Code making it illegal to insult Turkey, the Turkish nation, or Turkish government institutions.

It has in recent years been faced with repeated calls to recognize them as genocide. To date, 23 countries have officially recognized the mass killings as genocide, a view which is shared by most genocide scholars and historians.

The 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide will be commemorated on April 24, 2015. It will throughout the year be organized and carried out centinental commemorations of the Armenian Genocide.

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