Hundreds of thousands of Armenians were massacred under the Ottoman Empire. But the most horrifying event was to come in 1915.
1913: Coup brings the ultranationalist Young Turks to power in Constantinople (Istanbul). Three ruling figures were Grand Vizier Mehmed Talat Pasha, Minister of War Ismail Enver Pasha and Minister of the Navy Ahmed Djemal Pasha: principal architects of the genocide.
October 1914: After signing a secret treaty with Germany, Turkey launches attack on Russian ports and enters war on German side. Armenians considered “internal enemies.”
February 1915: Talat Pasha tells the German ambassador it is time to conclude the “Armenian question.” The ruling Ottoman Central Committee discusses plans to “eliminate the Armenian people in its entirety.”
April 24, 1915: Talat Pasha orders arrest of more than 200 Armenian intellectuals in Constantinople, and about 2,000 others follow. They are deported and many of them killed.
April 1915 to May 1918: Ethnic cleansing of Armenians launched on vast scale with murders, looting, burning of villages, rapes, deportations. Western observers estimate more than one million are dead at the campaign’s end.
October 1918: Turkey signs armistice with the Allies, Ottoman Empire is subsequently dismantled.
1923: Turkey becomes republic under Kemal Ataturk.