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The Armenian Genocide was the systematic mass murder and expulsion of ethnic Armenians carried out in Turkey and adjoining regions by the Ottoman government during World War I. Although sporadic massacres of Armenians began in mid-1914, the starting date of the genocide is conventionally held to be 24 April 1915, the day that Ottoman authorities rounded up, arrested, and deported from Constantinople (now Istanbul) to the region of Angora (Ankara), hundreds of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders, most of whom were eventually murdered.

The genocide, ordered by the Three Pashas as part of a process of forced Turkification, was implemented in two phases. First, the able-bodied male population was killed in massacres. Second, according to the Tehcir Law, an estimated 800,000 to 1.2 million women, children, elderly, and infirm Armenians were deported on death marches leading to the Syrian Desert in 1915 and 1916. Driven forward by military escorts, the deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to periodic robbery, rape, and massacre. Only around 200,000 deportees were still alive by the end of 1916. According to some definitions the genocide includes the Republic of Turkey's massacres of tens of thousands of Armenian civilians during the 1920 Turkish–Armenian War.

Estimates of the total number of Armenians who died as a result of Ottoman and Turkish government policies between 1915 and 1923 range from 600,000 to over 1 million.[2] Most Armenian diaspora communities around the world came into being as a direct result of the genocide.[3] Other ethnic groups were similarly targeted for extermination in the Assyrian genocide and the Greek genocide, and their treatment is considered by some historians to be part of the same genocidal policy.[4][5]

Raphael Lemkin was inspired by the annihilation of the Armenians to define the crime of systematic extermination of a people, which he called genocide, in 1943. The Armenian Genocide is the second-most-studied case of genocide after the Holocaust. Turkey denies that the word genocide is an accurate term for these crimes. As of 2019, governments and parliaments of 32 countries, including the United States, Russia, and Germany, have recognized the events as a genocide.

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