Armenians are marched to a nearby prison in
Mezireh by armed Turkish soldiers. Kharpert,
Armenia, Ottoman Empire in April 1915.
The Armenian Genocide (Armenian: ?????
Soykırımı), also known as the Armenian Ho-
locaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by
Armenians, as the Great Calamity
?????, Meç Eġeṙt’, Armenian pronunciation: [Mɛt-
sʼ jɛʁɛrn]), refers to the deliberate and sys-
tematic destruction (genocide) of the Armeni-
an population of the Ottoman Empire during
and just after World War I. It was charac-
terised by the use of massacres, and the use
of deportations involving forced marches un-
der conditions designed to lead to the death
of the deportees, with the total number of Ar-
menian deaths generally held to have been
between one and one-and-a-half million.
Other ethnic groups were similarly attacked
by the Empire during this period, including
Assyrians and Greeks, and some scholars
consider those events to be part of the same
policy of extermination.
It is widely acknowledged to have been
one of the first modern genocides, as
many Western sources point to the systemat-
ic, organized manner the killings were car-
ried out to eliminate the Armenians.
The date of the onset of the genocide is
conventionally held to be April 24, 1915, the
day that Ottoman authorities arrested some
250 Armenian intellectuals and community
leaders in Constantinople. Thereafter, the Ot-
toman military uprooted Armenians from
their homes and forced them to march for
hundreds of miles, depriving them of food
and water, to the desert of what is now Syria.
Massacres were indiscriminate of age or
gender, with rape and other sexual abuse
commonplace. The Armenian Genocide is the
second most-studied case of genocide after
The Republic of Turkey, the successor
state of the Ottoman Empire, does not accept
the word genocide as an accurate description
of the events. In recent years, it has faced