The Armenian Genocide was the forcible deportation and massacring of hundreds of thousands to over 1.5 million Armenians during the regime of the "Young Turks" from 1915 to 1917 in the Ottoman Empire.
Other Christian ethnic groups such as the Assyrians and the Ottoman Greeks were similarly targeted for extermination by the Ottoman government, and their treatment is considered by some historians to be part of the same genocidal policy.
Argued similarities with Communist mass killings
The mass killings have been argued to have several similarities with the mass killings under Communist regimes. The "Young Turks" organization which had gained power "was clearly a left-leaning anti-nationalist organization whose slogan — “Hürriyet, Müsavaat, Adalet” (Liberty, Equality, Justice) — would do justice to any liberal party in the modern West." The leaders are argued to have been disproportionately from certain ethnic minorities. One such influential minority was the Dönme (or Dönmeh) religious sect that had Jewish origins. Many of the Dönme had recently been expelled from Christian Greece. As was the case in the Soviet Union, certain other minorities were seen as (potentially) traitorous and subjected to harsh deportations and mass killings. Motivations such as some of the Dönme taking revenge on Christians may also have been important. The most important Young Turk leader eventually ended up in the Soviet Union, where he gained the trust of the mass killer Lenin, before being killed due to a falling out.
Many countries have officially recognized it as genocide. Most Muslim, African, and Asian countries have not.
The Republic of Turkey's formal stance is that the deaths of Armenians during the "relocation" or "deportation" cannot aptly be deemed "genocide" for reasons such as claiming that the killings were not deliberate or systematically orchestrated. Turksih prosecutors acting on their own initiative have used Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code prohibiting "insulting Turkishness" to silence a number of prominent Turkish intellectuals on the issue (most of these cases have been dismissed).
Israel has not officially recognized the Armenian Genocide, despite placing great emphasis on the Holocaust, outlawing "Holocaust denial", and making various demands on other countries related to the Holocaust. The non-recognition has been argued to be due to geopolitical considerations, such as the relationship with Turkey and Azerbaijan.
The Jewish Anti-Defamation League has been similarly criticized.
The "European Court of Human Rights" in 2015 proclaimed that outlawing "denial" of the Armenian Genocide was wrong and an infringement of free speech, but that outlawing "denial" of the Holocaust was not wrong and not an infringement of free speech.
- Alleged statements by Hitler on the Holocaust: Obersalzberg speech - On a speech by Hitler which allegedly included a well-known reference to the Armenian Genocide and which has been criticized as a forgery.
- Greek genocide
- The First Leftist Genocide of the Twentieth Century
- The Dönme: Jewish Converts, Muslim Revolutionaries, and Secular Turks
- Armenian National Institute
- Bjerknes, Christopher Jon (2007-06-17). The Jewish Genocide of Armenian Christians. Christopher Jon Bjerknes.
- The First Leftist Genocide of the Twentieth Century http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2015/05/the-first-leftist-genocide-of-the-twentieth-century/
- The Dönme: Jewish Converts, Muslim Revolutionaries, and Secular Turks http://www.webcitation.org/5ukCn6F22
- Swiss wrong to prosecute politician for denying Armenian genocide, court rules http://www.theguardian.com/law/2015/oct/15/swiss-authorities-wrong-to-prosecute-politician-for-denying-armenian-genocide-court-rules