A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Armenian Deportations, 98 Years On

Today is marked by Armenians worldwide as Armenian Genocide Day; it is also an official holiday in the Republic of Armenia. On April 24, 1915, the Ottoman authorities rounded up leading Armenians in Constantinople ,beginning the process that would, over several years, lead to deportations and deaths on a mass scale.

The next day, British, French, and ANZAC forces landed at Gallipoli.

Nearly a century after the fact, and 90 years after the end of the Ottoman Empire, the question if whether it is appropriate to refer to the tragedy as a genocide continues to be a subject of often very heated rhetoric between Turks and Armenians. Turkey actively lobbies other countries to dissuade them from recognizing the events as genocide, though the Turkish Republic had not yet been established. I see little to gain by plunging into this thoroughly rehashed and studied subject, except to note that large number died (Assyrians and Greeks as well as Armenians), and that today is the day they are memorialized.

On a related note, Akiva Eldar looks at the ambivalent feelings in Israel about the Armenian massacres.
Armenians being marched under guard, April 1915

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