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ARMENIAN GENOCIDE INTRODUCTION Genocide is the deliberate extermination of a people or a nation The twentieth century will always be remembered for the genocide that Adolf Hitler perpetrated against the Jews of Europe But there was a lesser-known genocide during the First World War which may not have matched Hitlers in scale but certainly matched it in atrocity This was the Armenian genocide masterminded by the Young Turk government of Turkey in 1915 Historically the Armenian people have always been subjected to oppressive regimes Armenia was the first nation to accept Christianity as a state religion After the fall of the Ottoman Empire the Young Turk movement sought to restore Turkeys shattered national pride Their idea was to go about it through the persecution of its minorities In 1915 the Young Turk government resolved to deport the whole Armenian population of about 1750000 to Syria and Mesopotamia It regarded the Turkish Armeniansdespite pledges of loyalty by manyas a dangerous foreign element bent on conspiring with the pro-Christian tsarist enemy to upset the Ottoman campaign in the east Following is an excerpt from a speech presented to the Turkish Committee of Union and Progress February 1915 It is absolutely necessary to eliminate the Armenian people in its entirety so that there is no further Armenian on this earth and the very concept of Armenia is extinguished1 In what would later be known as the first genocide of the 20th century hundreds of thousands of Armenians were driven from their homes massacred or marched until they died There are varying death tolls of Armenians in Turkey because few outside observers could gain access to the region during that time However it is estimated to have been between 600000 and 1500000 in the years from 1915 to 1923 Tens of thousands emigrated to Russia Lebanon Syria France and the United States and the western part of the historical homeland of the Armenian people was
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