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You are here News Human Rights 100 Years Ago, 1.5 Million Christian Armenians Were Systematically Killed. Today, It's Still Not A 'Genocide'

100 Years Ago, 1.5 Million Christian Armenians Were Systematically Killed. Today, It's Still Not A 'Genocide'

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Armenian genocideOn April 24, 1915, Ottoman Turkish authorities hauled off Daniel Varoujan, a leading Armenian poet of the time, along with over 200 other intellectuals in the capital Constantinople. To the crumbling Ottoman Empire, the poets, painters, writers, booksellers and politicians at the beating heart of the Armenian community posed too much of a threat.

Soon, much of the empire’s Christian Armenian population would be targeted and nearly wiped out, accused of conspiring against the empire with the Russians. Many Armenians say the genocide was collective punishment for the actions of a few.

In August, after a wave of deportations began that would force hundreds of thousands of Armenians on brutal death marches toward the Syrian desert, Varoujan was tortured to death, according to eyewitnesses at the time. Varoujan was just one of many men, women and children who lost their lives.

This week, Armenians from around the world are gathering in Istanbul to commemorate the deaths of nearly 1.5 million Armenians who died in what would later be known by many -- but not by Turkey, the United States and some other countries -- as the Armenian Genocide.

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