At the beginning of the 20th century, between 1.5 and two million Armenians inhabited the Ottoman Empire, and some members of the community enjoyed respectable positions within the Administration – there were even Armenian ministers – in financial businesses or as architects from the court of the Sultan, because their reputation as skilled craftsmens were notorious.
But the state of the empire was deplorable: in the 50 years before World War I, the Ottomans had lost vast tracts of their territory to the European powers of the time, causing an exodus of several million Muslim refugees to Anatolia, which led the hate to the Christians who had persecuted and expelled them from the Balkans, Crimea and the Caucasus, something that contributed to the rise of Turkish-Muslim nationalist movements.
What happened on April 24, 1915?
Nearly two million Armenians, of Christian majority, lived between the borders of the empire and were a persecuted minority. Already in 1909, in the province of Aldana, about 20,000 Armenians were killed in an outbreak of ethnic violence. The massacre was the boiling point of a persecution that took years.
On April 24, 1915, 250 Armenian leaders were arrested in Istanbul and transferred to Ankara where they would be executed. It was the beginning of something more serious: the Empire passed the Transfer and Resettlement Act a few weeks later. Thousands of Armenians would be forced to leave their lands and forced into a march that left thousands dead. A fact that for some experts was the first genocide of the twentieth century. Historians do not agree on the death toll: the most conservative say there were at least 800,000 dead, but there is talk of up to a million and a half.
On October 10, we will talk about what is the Armenian Genocide, what happened on April 24, 1915, and what was the response of the international community to the Armenian Genocide?
This event is organized as a follow-up of the “Youth & Peace” training course that took place at the beginning of September, in Yerevan, Armenia and its main objective was to provide youth workers with the necessary skills and tools to develop projects in the field of peacebuilding by raising awareness of the need to follow a youth diplomacy approach. During this mobility, the participants visited the Genocide Museum, where they were received by its director, and discussed human rights and the Armenian genocide, as well as the importance of educating young people in respect for tolerance and human rights, and show them the importance of historical memory.
See you at 6:00 p.m. at Avenida Isabel Manoja, 18, Torremolinos!