ABSTRACT

The events of 1915 mark the beginning of the culmination of a series of calamities that befell the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire. These events, spanning about a quarter of a century—beginning with the Hamidian massacres of 1894–1896, continuing with the Cilician massacres of 1909, and ending with the Kemalist campaign of 1919–1923—constitute what is known today as the Armenian Genocide. As a result of the calculated and systematic destruction of Armenian life in the Ottoman Empire, an estimated one and a half million Armenians lost their lives and about five hundred thousand survivors fled the country and scattered around the world. Today, aside from a dwindling Armenian community of about 50,000 in Istanbul, it is estimated that about one hundred thousand forcibly Islamized Armenians continue to live throughout Turkey, a modern republic in which the presence of Armenians in their homeland of 3,000 years, as well as the edifices of their culture and heritage, are no more, wiped off the map as they are from the memory of its Turkish citizens.