April 24, 1915
The Armenian genocide begins with the gathering, arrest, and deportation of between 235 – 270 community leaders and intellectuals, the majority of whom are later murdered, ending in 1923 with approximately 1.5 million deaths
Though Armenians were largely targeted by the Ottoman Empire, other groups were selected as well, including indigenous peoples, those of Greek and Assyrian ancestry, and Christians. The genocide began with the systematic murder, forced army conscription, and forced labor of able-bodied men. Then women, children, the sick, and the elderly were sent on death marches. Those deported were denied food and water, and faced robbery, rape, and murder.
Turkey, the state successor of the Ottoman Empire, denies the mass murders were a genocide, going so far as to protest a memorial erected in France honoring “the memory of the 1.5 million Armenian victims of the genocide ordered by the Turkish rulers in 1915.”
The genocide has made its way into various forms of media, including books, film, and music. Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Bluebeard features the genocide. The 2017 movie The Promise’s plot revolves around the Armenian genocide. And the lead singer of Armenian-American band System of a Down, Serj Tankian, was awarded the Prime Minister’s Memorial Order medal for his contribution to the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and the advancement of music in 2011.