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For Those Who Dont Know the Story...

I copied this article from the bbc  (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6045182.stm).  It is an unbiased way to familiarize yourself with this issue.


Q&A: Armenian 'genocide'

Picture from Armenia in 1915 Arguments have raged for decades about the Armenian deaths A US congressional committee has approved a bill recognising as genocide the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915-1923.

The move has infuriated Turkey and delighted Armenians.

The White House said it was very disappointed by the non-binding vote.

Why put "genocide" in inverted commas?

Whether or not the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians during World War I amounted to genocide is a matter for heated debate. Many Western historians believe it falls into the category of genocide. Some countries have declared that a genocide took place, but others have resisted calls to do so.

What happened?

During World War I, as the Ottoman Turkish empire fought Russian forces, some of the Armenian minority in eastern Anatolia sided with the Russians.

Turkey took reprisals. But historians argue over the extent to which Turkish policy towards Armenians during that period was motivated by wartime conditions. On 24 April 1915 Turkey rounded up and killed hundreds of Armenian community leaders.

In May 1915, the Armenian minority, two or three million strong, was forcefully deported and marched from the Anatolian borders towards Syria and Mesopotamia (now Iraq). Many died en route and numerous eyewitnesses reported massacres by Turkish forces. Atrocities against Armenians continued until the Ottoman empire collapsed after the war.

What do Armenians say?

Armenians say 1.5 million of their people were killed during World War I, either through systematic massacres or through starvation.

They allege that a deliberate genocide was carried out by the Ottoman Turkish empire.

What does Turkey say?

It says there was no genocide.

It acknowledges that many Armenians died, but says many Turks died too, and that massacres were committed on both sides as a result of inter-ethnic violence and the wider world war. Turkey estimates the number of Armenian dead to be 300,000.

What is genocide?

Article Two of the UN Convention on Genocide of December 1948 describes genocide as carrying out acts intended "to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group".

What do others say?

Argentina, Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, Russia and Uruguay are among more than 20 countries which have formally recognised genocide against the Armenians.

The UK, US and Israel are among those that use different terminology.

Why does the row continue?

Armenians are one of the world's most dispersed peoples. While in Armenia, Genocide Memorial Day is commemorated across the country, it is the diaspora that has lobbied for recognition from the outside world. The killings are regarded as the seminal event of modern Armenian history, and one that binds the diaspora together.

In Turkey, the penal code makes calling "for the recognition of the Armenian genocide" illegal. Writers and translators have been prosecuted for attempting to stimulate debate on the subject.

Turkey has condemned countries that recognise the Armenian genocide, and was furious when the French parliament passed a bill in 2006 outlawing denial of it. Turkey suspended military ties with France in retaliation.

The European Union has said that Turkish acceptance of the Armenian genocide is not a condition for Turkey's entry into the bloc.
iriseyes iriseyes 21-25, F 3 Responses Oct 17, 2007

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Very informative - thank you.

Nice story but I think it's kind of incomplete isnt it? This is the other side of the medallion from OUR side.<br />
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 While Russians together with Armenian bandits were forced back from Hasankala to their own frontiers, they killed a part of the two thousand Muslim folk they took away and drove the remaining to an unknown destination in the inland; in Erzerum the Russians and the said bandits executed nine people and sent the whole male population above forteen years to no one knows destination; in the sub-district of Pekreç a self appointed Armenian tribunal sentenced some three-four hundred people to the gallows and hanged them; in the surroundings of Aşkale, Tercan, Ilıca, Tavuskerd and Arvin no one muslim was left alive; in Van Armenians after having killed about two hundred women and children, massacred eight to ten thousand muslim people in the valley of Mahfuran; the population of the village Hot on the boundary of Narman were entirely exterminated with machine-guns; the majority of immigrants living in Marhi Sufla of the subdistrict of Çukur attached to Bitlis were put to the sword; the entire villages of Cinis, Pezantan, Ergani and Şemerşeyh with all of their inhabitants were burnt up and due to the pretentious ignorance of the Kurdish Bedirhani Kamil many villages’ inhabitants settled in the vicinity of Bitlis perished from starvation; seriously ill children cared of in Bitlis Hospital were savagely slain; in the village of Balıkan Corpses were thrown to the dogs to feed on; Çukur women and girls were raped and old people burnt, small children were bayoneted and many other massacres committed; all these facts are stated in copies of dıspatches sent by the governorships of Erzurum, Bitlis and Mamuretülaziz.<br />
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So....Where is this "so-called" Genocide?

Never knew any of this...thanks..