Yes, my absolute pleasure.
Basically, the Ottoman Empire during the 20th century was slowly breaking away after power for centuries. Armenians, a large ethnic minority who lived under Ottoman rule (because that land has been ours since 2000 BC), were immediate targets. You can never answer why a country could just kill 1.5 million of its citizens and deport over 2 million, but that’s what happened. The Armenians Christians, living in the centers of cities in Turkey, were grouped together like sheep and either slaughtered on spot, or forcibly marched through the Syrian Desert without food, water, or consumables. It was the first Genocide of the 20th century, occurring between 1915 to around 1923.
The major political governing party at the time was the CUP, the Committee of Union and Progress, well known today as the Young Turks. The CUP spread propaganda of Pan-Turanism, creating a region across the Asian Minor that would be only Turkic. The leaders of this group, the architects of the genocide, were Mehmet Talaat, Ismail Enver, and Ahmed Jemal. They held very high positions within the group (Prime Minister, Minister of War, and Minister of the Marine and Military governor of Syria).
The word Genocide had not been invented at the time, but it was created by Holocaust survivor Phael Lemkin, who created the word in reference to Turkey’s annihilation of the Armenian people. It is the organized killing of an entire people for the only purpose of putting an end to their collective existence. The Armenian Genocide was centrally planned and administered by the Turkish government against the entire Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire (including Greeks, Assyrians, and Jews). The Armenian people were subjected to deportation, expropriation (all their property and possessions were burnt or looted), abduction (many Armenian women were forced into the harems of wealthy Turkish sheikhs), rape, torture, massacre, and starvation. Most of the Armenian population was forcibly removed from Armenia and Anatolia to Syria, where the vast majority was sent to the desert to die of thirst and hunger. Large numbers of Armenians were methodically massacred throughout the Ottoman Empire, including mass shootings, mass drownings, and even crucifixions (yes, like how Jesus died). An eye-witness (survivor) wrote in his diary that the Tigris and Euphrates rivers were colored red with the blood of all the Armenians.
The problem is, Turkey actively continues to deny the Armenian genocide. As recent as March 19th, 2015, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Armenians to bring evidence of the Genocide. In addition to the documented accounts by reliable news services of the age such as the New York Times and the combination of personal records, including my great grandfather’s diary, I am personally willing to present myself, as a product of the diaspora, to Erdogan as proof of the Genocide.
Also, you may have not heard, but Turkey’s Prime Minister called the Pope, YES THE POPE, “an axis of evil” following the Pope’s special mass last Sunday commemorating the Genocide, recognizing the event as a “genocide,” and calling it the first genocide of the 20th century. Also, Turkey followed its statement by pulling all of its diplomats from the Vatican city.
The Armenian Genocide is now internationally commemorated on April 24th of each year. This year is the centennial (100th anniversary) of the Genocide, and what us Armenians want more than ever is recognition, by Turkey and the United States.
WHY DO WE WANT TURKEY TO RECOGNIZE THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE?
THE ARMENIAN PEOPLE DESERVE CLOSURE, WE DESERVE THOSE 1.5 MILLION MARTYRS TO BE RECOGNIZED. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, TO PREVENT GENOCIDE FROM HAPPENING IN THE FUTURE.
BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE DON’T EVEN KNOW THE PHRASE, “ARMENIAN GENOCIDE”.
WHEN WE DENY THE TRUTH OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE, WE SUBJECT OURSELVES TO GENOCIDE IN THE FUTURE. AT FIRST, DENIAL LEADS TO CLASSIFICATION, THEN TO DEHUMANIZATION, THEN TO POLARIZATION, UNTIL WE ARE LEFT WITH THE FINAL STAGE, EXTERMINATION.
THEREFORE, IT IS A CRIME TO HUMANITY TO DENY THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE.