The Armenian Genocide and Its Ongoing Impact

Tragic events in history should never repeat itself. It should be learned from. One tragic event was the Armenian Genocide. This incident was so catastrophic that an entire race was almost wiped off the face of the earth. At least, that was what was attempted by Turkey. The main issue here is Turkey. They’re, evidently, so hungry for power, control and the elimination of races they hate, that they will do absolutely anything to achieve their desire. Turkey has shown up in the tabloids for a variety of “crimes”, but the Armenian Genocide was a memorable one.

No matter how hard the Armenian community tries, we cannot get the Turkish to admit their wrongdoing. It’s important for people to know what the Armenian genocide is, why it happened, and why some countries and governments keep denying that it happened; if you look over the recent news regarding turkey, knowing and acknowledging the Genocide may force them into understanding their wrongdoings and not repeating them.

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The Historical Background

The history of the two counties is not too complicated. The two nations used to be close-knit. Armenians have lived in the Caucasus region for about 3,000 years and were also thought to be the first to make Christianity an official religion of their nation. According to an article on about the “Ottoman Empire”, at its peak, which was about 1520 and 1566, it included Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia, Egypt, Romania, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, some of Arabia, and “a considerable amount of the North African coastal strip”.

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Armenia became part of The Ottoman Empire in the 15th century according to an article on the “Armenian Genocide”. Even though the Ottoman Empire was mostly Muslim, they still had to endure other religions living in their nation; though other religions were thought of as unequal and not as meaningful to the Ottoman Empire. Because of the difference in religion, Armenians, being Christian, were required to pay higher taxes and had less rights than anyone who was Muslim. Despite that impediment, Armenians flourished under Ottoman authority with both education and wealth, which caused the antagonism to start bubbling in the Turkish community. Everything was going good until World War One, when Turkey decided to use the war as a cover to start getting rid of Armenians. How they got rid of them though, consists of all the unpleasant and obscene details that no one should ever have the misfortune of hearing about.

The Atrocities

April 24th, 1915, the atrocities started. The Turks had originally decided to exterminate the Armenians by cutting them at the root. This meant that they were going to kill all Armenian men to avoid the expansion of the race. If they entered a house and asked for the man, he would have to come out and be killed or else they would kill the whole family. The Turks gathered Armenian political leaders and intellectuals and either murdered them, hung them, or marched them into the desert to die from thirst, hunger, and heat. Anyone who stopped for a breather was shot immediately. Many Armenians were forced out of their homes, told they were being relocated, then marched off to concentration camps, also in the desert, where they would die of the same deprivations. People would become so desperate that they would look through horse droppings for any grains to eat. Some were also beaten and killed by guards. Those who weren’t marched to the desert were mostly women and children who were taken on barges and drowned at sea. This isn’t even the worst of the killings.

Besides the death marches, concentration camps, and mass drownings, there were also the use of poisons, drugs and gases, mass burnings and crucifixions. They used drugs like morphine to inject and cause overdose and used toxic gases to choke children with. It’s believed that almost 80,000 people were burned alive during the mass burnings. Even some Turkish officials admitted that they were maddened by the torturous scene. Witnesses said that the smell of burning flesh and blood lingered in the air for days after. Most women and girls were raped and abused in every sense of the word possible. The Turks would look for the “pretty ones”, abduct them, rape them, and start families, even though they already had many wives and children. The women and girls would try everything from dirtying themselves to hitting their faces and heads on sharp rocks to be disfigured so that they would not appeal to the Turks. The “pretty ones” were raped with no end then shot, dismembered, or crucified naked in the desert. Others would be robbed, sold, or abducted. They would cut unborn children out of women’s’ wombs and cut it limb from limb. So many different fates awaited the women and girls of the Armenian race. So, many girls threw themselves down cliffs or drowned themselves in attempts to end their lives before the Turks could abuse them then kill them. Because, for the ones being tortured, ‘death before dishonor’ was a better choice.

In a Ted Talk YouTube video, Lucine Z. Kinoian tells her great-grandmother’s experience. She explains how her grandmother watched the Turk soldiers take infants from the hands of their mothers and bury them in the ground up to their shoulders and they watched, with futile attempts to stop them, as the Turks had their horses trample the infants to death. The horrors that the Armenian people endured: starvation, burnings, drownings, and so on, lasted for two years. At the beginning, there were about 2 million Armenians. As a result of the genocide, there were only an estimated 388,000.

There are photographs of most of these atrocities, which are not easy to look at. The photographs that were taken by journalists, back then, are pretty much burned into many Armenians’ minds. They can be found on It shows the torture people went through. Their starved, dehydrated bodies, men, women, and children, ranging all ages. It shows the executions in every way, shape, or form, starting from hangings to beheaded and displayed on sticks. These horrors aren’t things that can be easily forgotten. Imagine a relative telling their family’s story and explaining how much pain and suffering they went through. According to Steve Sweeney, a writer for, Hitler used the Armenian genocide as a “blueprint” for the holocaust. His reasoning behind giving himself permission to carry out the holocaust was, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”. A survivor of these types of crimes can never forget it because of how much weight it carries in their heart.

The survivors that lived to tell their story, passed it down to their children and grandchildren and so on. Tsovinar Kovalenko, the daughter of Tsolak Sahakyan, a genocide survivor, tells the story of how her father survived the Turks. Tsolak had ran, on foot, from a city named Kars (Ղարս) and had entered Armenia. When he heard that the Turks were coming into their village he ran and hid on the roof of a house. At the time, if the Turks saw a man’s shirt in the house, they would demand for him to be brought out or else they would slaughter the entire family. They ended up finding him on the roof and had laid him down on his back in order to behead him. The seconds before the blade came down, a woman had yelled that they were stealing her gold, from a nearby house. The Turk who had laid him down immediately ran to go after the gold. In the process, Tsolak had brought up his hand as a reflex to shield himself and the blade had come down short and cut his fingers off. He was able to escape the hands of the Turks after that. Many other survivors escaped in various ways, some being hidden by trusted Turks, being deported, or escaping to other countries. Every Armenian has a story about their family’s survival, no matter how painful it is for them to remember.

Many questioned why the genocide happened. Why did the Turks want to get rid of the Armenians so desperately? Because it questioned the Turks’ power and control. It was a fight over land, power, and faith. Mainly, it was the attempt to get rid of the race or to Turkify the remains of Armenians. According to the FAQ page on, it explains that when Christians decided to proclaim independence, this threatened the Ottoman Empire’s greatness. Like any developing nation, the Turks strived for more land and more control. Armenians stood in their way, so they decided to dispose of them. Armenians had also become more successful, wealthy, and educated despite being under Turkish rule, which may have caused jealousy in the Turkish community. There isn’t much information on why the Armenian Genocide occurred, mainly because the Turks won’t admit to it and Armenians don’t really know what they did that was so wrong, that caused Turkey to hate them so much.

When it comes to the genocide, there is a lot of controversy regarding the acknowledgment of it. Turkey, for one, denies that the massacre of the Armenian people was a genocide. “The Armenians were an enemy force, they argue, and their slaughter was a necessary war measure.”, which is stated in the “Armenian Genocide” article on They don’t want to recognize the fact that it was a genocide. According to “Why Turkey won’t say the G-word when it comes to the Armenians” on, approximately ninety-one percent of the Turkish people do not believe that the Armenian Genocide happened. The Turkish government had called it a “necessary deportation” that had to happen because of Armenian radicals wanting to side with Russia. They completely deny any extermination of the Armenian race. Turkey accepts that Armenians were killed during World War One because it was war and there are always casualties, but they deny any form of genocide.

Turkey isn’t the only country to deny that the genocide ever occurred. Other countries, mainly Israel, the US, and Azerbaijan, don’t acknowledge the Armenian Genocide either. Why? Because they’re allies with Turkey and do not want to lose their advantages. Israel’s reluctance to acknowledge the genocide primarily comes from this political stance. Being allies with Turkey and Azerbaijan, which are also enemies to Armenia because of territorial, religion-based, and ethical wars, they cannot do anything to invoke any sense of anger or “betrayal”. According to Mark Perry, a reporter for Foreign Policy, Azerbaijan buys military hardware and weapons from Israel and Israel gets oil and uses Azerbaijan’s land area to test out the military hardware. Israel is selling quite a bit of the hardware and weapons to Azerbaijan and they would lose all benefits, if they “betray” their allies.

Moreover, regarding the US, the House of Representatives recently voted in favor of a bill recognizing the killings of Armenians as a genocide. This has put an overwhelming amount of strain between the US and Turkey. Even though the US had never denied the acknowledgement of the genocide, they had never admitted it either. This was in order to keep Turkey, Israel, and other countries as allies. Since the vote, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to meet with President Donald Trump in Washington. Right after their meeting, Senator Lindsey Graham blocked the Armenian genocide resolution, which gave for some fire against the senator. In more recent news, Senator Graham confirmed in a phone interview with Johnathan Swan, a national reporter covering the presidency and other republican leaders on, that the Senior White House staff requested him to block the bill. Senator Graham said that, “I’m trying to salvage the relationship if possible.” The next time that the blocking was heard about was a week after Senator Graham’s. This time being David Perdue’s objection. This doesn’t give the Armenian community any comfort because in their eyes, they are being used as a pawn, to get a reaction, deal, etc., out of Turkey.

Turkey has been quite busy recently. They have been attacking another race again; specifically, Kurds. They suspect Kurd forces in Syria will link up with Kurdish rebels in Turkey. The attacks on Syria began after the US troops pulled back from the north-eastern Syria and Turkey border. President Erdogan announced the attack on the ninth of October. By the tenth, according to “Why is Turkey bombing the Kurds in Syria?”, about nine people were killed, including a nine-month old baby, and many others were wounded. From then on, the US tried to negotiate a cease-fire with Turkey, which was achieved on the seventeenth of October. According to Bel Trew, a middle eastern correspondent for, the cease-fire didn’t last too long; the next day, Kurdish medics claimed that Turkey had used white phosphorus in north-eastern Syria. They have released photographs of the severe burns on the citizens including one of a four-year old boy. Many are arguing that Turkey attacked again because Trump pulled back the US troops. There’s been quite a bit of talk about ISIS as well; in which case brings up questions about US strategies with war and what they’re trying to achieve by making these specific moves. According to Bethan McKernan, The Guardian’s Turkey and Middle East correspondent, President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that there was no place for the Kurdish fighters in Syria’s future. Syria doesn’t know what to expect from Turkey and neither does the US.

It’s important to know all these things because it affects everyone. Many countries, many different races can be subject to this type of treatment from other countries. Specifically, in Turkey’s case, they have attempted two genocides. They had been after the Armenians back then, and for a while now, they’re after the Kurds. Turkey may not have announced an attack against the US, but they attacked the Armenians back in 1915, and they announced the attack on the Kurds in 2019. With all the news regarding Turkey, Syria, and Kurds, it has people thinking there may be an attempt at another genocide. It may not be much of a threat to the US, but many citizens have relatives and family living in the countries Turkey is going after and their lives are threatened. Turkey keeps attacking races because they haven’t acknowledged their first mistake, which was the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915.

For genocide victims to get justice against the genocide committers, the general public needs to be informed about and understand genocides. They must know what it is, which countries are affected by it, and if anything, remotely close to becoming a genocide is occurring. Political leaders need to have the will to predict, prevent, and stop genocides. In the recent case of Turkey going up against different countries and attacking them because of their color, faith, or land, something must be done to stop Turkey’s leaders from announcing attacks on everyone.

Many issues have been solved by people themselves. The key is communication and bravery. It has come to a point where the media doesn’t even allow any news, posts, or talk about the issues going on in other countries. The news outlets are being filtered and only report the things that will not be cause for political riots. People need to start using their own voices because they have that power. One person can inspire the ch6ange in another person to go against the heinous crimes committed by countries, specifically Turkey. Genocide needs to come to an end and so does Turkey’s pride in themselves.

Genocide is one of the serious worldwide crimes that should never repeat itself, and yet, it still does. It’s important to know about genocides and which countries have fallen in the hands of other countries. The countries attempting genocides and massacres need to be stopped. More specifically, in this case, Turkey needs to acknowledge the Armenian genocide for them to understand that what they’re doing now to Syria and Kurds and other races may turn into the same thing.

History has many remnants and no matter how many times they try to change it, there is factual evidence left over from survivors who have passed it down through generations. The Armenian race survived Turkey’s attempt at getting rid of them, and so will other races. Because, no matter how hard Turkey tries, wiping a race off the earth is more difficult than they think. One of the quotes used most regarding the Armenian genocide is by William Saroyan, in which he says, “I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia. See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing, and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” This quote not only relates to Armenians, at this point, it relates to any of the races who have fallen victim to genocides. No matter the pain and suffering they’ve lived through, they will rise again.

Updated: Jan 25, 2024
Cite this page

The Armenian Genocide and Its Ongoing Impact. (2024, Jan 25). Retrieved from

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