Armenia’s genocide: death and denial

April 17, 2015 5:26 PM

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Armenia’s genocide: death and denial

Pope Francis caused a diplomatic uproar in Turkey this week when he called the massacre of the Ottoman Armenians of Anatolia a century ago genocide. Even if the term had not been invented when most of the mass killings took place in 1915-16, and was to be legally defined only in the 1948 UN convention on genocide, he was stating a fact. Thoroughly an array of documented accounts over the past two decades, by Turks, Armenians and western historians, have placed the nature of those atrocities beyond the questioning of the modern Turkish republican narrative.

Essentially, that denialist story holds that massacres did, indeed, take place, but in the context of total war — the first world war — that also killed many hundreds of thousands of Muslims when the Ottoman Empire, allied with Germany and assailed by the main Entente powers of Britain, France and R...

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