Armenian Genocide

On April 24, 1915 one of the worst tragedies in modern history began. From 1915 to 1923 approximately 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Empire. How could this type of tragedy remain unknown by so many and unacknowledged for so long?

Armenia which is surrounded by Turkey, Iran, Georgia, and Azerbaijan was the first country to formally adopt Christianity. Currently, Armenia has almost 3 million people. I first began hearing about this tragedy after moving to Los Angeles in 1998. Los Angeles has the largest Armenian population in the world, outside of Armenia. On April 24th, rallies slow down traffic near the Turkish Embassy and Armenian restaurants like Zankou, one of my favorites, close down to remember.

I had lunch with a friend of mine who lives in this part of the world yesterday. I really enjoyed getting to spend time with him. He always encourages and inspires me! In the midst of our conversation, he shared that everyone in the region knows the genocide occurred, yet the Turkish government claims the deaths are exaggerated and the result of civil war. Ultimately, he believes the genocide occurred due to the fact that the Armenian leadership chose to back Russia during World War I rather than the Ottoman Empire. For years, strife had already existed between the Ottomans and Armenians due to religious differences – Islam and Christianity.

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