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While they are loathe to discuss it today, the Ottoman Turks, under the leadership of War Minister Enver Pasha (1881-1922), may have conducted the first large-scale, organized genocide of the 20th century. During and immediately after the First World War, Turkey killed, deported, and starved to death as many as 1.8 million Armenians, along with hundreds of thousands of other non-Turks. The Ottomans may have also been the first to introduce the concept of the concentration camp, though most of these camps were short-lived.

Modern Turks generally refuse to acknowledge what happened to have been genocide, considering it simply a mass deportation of people who had allied themselves with the Russians (a nation Turkey was at war with at the time), and who largely died from exhaustion or neglect during forced marches. Most genocide scholars, however, consider it to have been an orchestrated effort at exterminating an unwanted ethnic group that had lived within the borders of the crumbling Ottoman Empire for centuries. Not surprisingly, it remains a touchy subject among modern Turks to this day, not to mention angry Armenians with guitars.

This post has already been read 463 times!

Originally posted 2017-12-18 09:29:46.