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The Armenian Genocide

            Throughout history genocide has taken place on more than one occasion, causing mass destruction and casualties. The most commonly known genocide is the Nazi Holocaust, but the one less commonly known with an equivalent amount of brutality is the Armenian Genocide, also known as the Armenian Holocaust. The Armenian Genocide seems to have been ignored and this can be due to the fact that today, Turkey still rejects that the massacre was "genocide". Genocide is the murder of an entire people (Levack 800). The United Nations estimates that about 1 million Armenians were killed as a result (Bass). Since the early 1900's Turkey has been trying to hide the massacres, but this organized genocide should not be ignored because it became a model for future genocides. .
             The Armenians lived in Turkey peacefully for years. The Armenians official religion was Christianity. Islam was the major religion in Turkey. Prior to the Genocide, the Armenians and Turkish people lived together without conflict. In 1908, a movement led to a new group coming to power. The new socialist power, the Young Turks, was formed by young military officers who were concerned about the loss of power in the Ottoman Empire. They worked under the secret police to overthrow the Turkish Sultan, Abdul Hamid II. The Muslims thought the Christians were nonbelievers and treated them unequal. Christians did not have the same legal rights and had to pay higher taxes. The Armenians continued to live in Turkey and prosper. They were educated and usually from the second class. The Young Turks were peasants and below the Armenians. They were jealous and did not want Christianity to spread throughout the Ottoman Empire, so their solution was to kill off as many Armenians as possible. .
             Another factor that hid the Armenian Genocide was WWI. Turkey entered WWI as allies of Germany and Austria-Hungary. Since the Young Turks had recently begun their mission to remove the Armenians, they feared the Armenians would join forces with Russia to fight for their independence.

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