April 24, 2016 - 11:08 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - 101 years have passed since the beginning of the Armenian Genocide.
In April 1915, the Ottoman government embarked upon the systematic decimation of its civilian Armenian population. The persecutions continued with varying intensity until 1923 when the Ottoman Empire ceased to exist and was replaced by the Republic of Turkey. The Armenian population of the Ottoman state was reported at about two million in 1915. By 1923 virtually the entire Armenian population of the Ottoman Turkey had disappeared.
The massacres of Armenians began in late 19th century, when despotic Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid II – obsessed with loyalty above all, and infuriated by the nascent Armenian campaign to win basic civil rights – declared that he would solve the “Armenian question” once and for all.
On April 24, 1915, the Armenian Genocide began. That day, the Turkish government arrested and executed several hundred Armenian intellectuals. After that, ordinary Armenians were turned out of their homes and sent on death marches through the Mesopotamian desert without food or water. Frequently, the marchers were stripped naked and forced to walk under the scorching sun until they dropped dead. People who stopped to rest were shot.
Although modern Turkey denies the Armenian Genocide, many Turkish intellectuals have recognized this crime against humanity, committed at the hands of the Ottoman Empire.
A group of some 200 Turkish intellectuals launched the initiative We Apologize, seeking to offer personal apologies to the Armenian people for the Genocide.
On April 15, 2015, the European Parliament during its plenary session adopted a resolution on the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, which recalled the Parliament’s resolution of June 18, 1987, in which the EP recognized that the tragic events that took place in Ottoman Armenia from 1915 to 1918 against the Armenians constitute genocide as defined by international law.
Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, Brazil, Austria, lower house of Italy’s parliament, the majority of U.S. states, the parliaments of Greece, Cyprus, Argentina, Belgium and Wales, the National council of Switzerland, Canada’s House of Commons and the Polish Sejm, as well as the Vatican, the European parliament and the World Council of Churches have recognized the Armenian Genocide.