Whether what happened to the Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire can be called ‘genocide’ remains contentious – despite the ruling by the French senate which now makes it an offence to deny it was.
However, the facts of what took place between 1915-23 are well-documented by a variety of sources – many of which had no vested interest in the what happened.
As many as 1.5 million Christian Armenians were massacred or deported, after trying to use the First World War as an opportunity to escape repression from the Muslim Ottoman Turks.
The Republic of Turkey, founded after the war, refuses to recognise the killing of Armenians as ‘genocide’. Instead it argues that both sides suffered a large amount of casualties during a struggle against each other.
A 44-metre high memorial near the Armenian capital Yerevan and the nearby Armenian Genocide Museum built into the hillside commemorate those killed by the Ottoman Turks. They receive hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
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