Turkish official teasing starving Armenian children with bread (1915)
The Armenian Genocide, also known as the Armenian Holocaust or the Great Crime among Armenians, was the systematic murder of the minority Armenian population by the Ottoman government in Turkey. The crisis started on April 24, 1915 when authorities arrested around 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. After this, able bodied men were either outright murdered or died during forced labour and women, children the sick and the elderly were forced to go on ‘death marches’ where over one million people died during deportation to the Syrian Desert.
While most experts in genocide see it as just that, (in fact the word came about to describe these events), Turkey still officially deny genocide is an accurate description of what transpired. They do however acknowledge that many people died, but argue that it was not state sanctioned, citing state archive records of punishments of Turkish officials who were cruel to the migrating Armenian people.