On April 12th, Pope Francis referred to the mass killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire during World War One, as “the first genocide of the 20th century” In response, Turkey recalled their Vatican City ambassador and declared the pope’s comments to be “null and void
” Both deniers and believers of the Armenian genocide claim to have history on their side So, was the Armenian genocide a genocide? As the Ottoman Empire declined in power during the turn of the 20th century, Turkish leaders suspected the Armenian population of supporting Russia in the Russo-Turkish wars, and during World War I Starting in the early 20th century, The New York Times began regularly reporting on a series of mass executions of Armenians by the Turks Most Armenian genocide historians agree that the largest loss of life occurred around 1915, with one and a half million Armenians left dead from torturous practices like hard labor camps and death marches France, Canada and Switzerland are among more than 20 countries which officially acknowledge that the violence against Armenians WAS a genocide
However, the Turkish government refuses to acknowledge that claim So, was it a genocide? The United Nations describes genocide in a 1948 convention, as the carrying out of acts intended "to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group” But Turkey denies that they were attempting to destroy the Armenian people They say that during World War I, both sides experienced casualties Turkey claims that only about three to six hundred thousand Armenians were killed, while Muslims in the region experienced even more casualties – “approximately 2
5 million in eastern Anatolia” alone Therefore, Turkey has maintained that the violence towards Armenians did NOT constitute a genocide Azerbaijan is one of the only nations to side with Turkey on this issue So WAS it a genocide? Most major nations say, “yes” But the dispute is ongoing
And since Turkey is a powerful ally in the Euro-Asian region, some countries, like the US and the UK, have avoided using the term “genocide” Diplomatic alliances in the area are currently in a delicate balance, but dialogue between Armenia and Turkey remains open for now While large international wars are less commonplace in recent years, the death toll from terrorism has been on the rise To learn more about just how many people have been killed by terrorists, watch our video here Thanks for checking out TestTube, make sure you hit subscribe to see all of our newest videos!