Armenian Genocide – UPSC Prelims

What is Genocide?
  • According to Article II of the UN Convention on Genocide of December 1948, Genocide has been described as carrying out acts intended to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.
What is the Armenian Genocide?
  • The Armenian Genocide is often called the first genocide of the twentieth century.
  • It refers to the systematic annihilation of Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1917 i.e. during the First World War.
  • According to estimates, approximately 1.5 million Armenians died. This is due to genocide, either massacre and killings, or from ill-treatment, abuse and starvation.
  • What is the News? US President has officially recognised the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915-16 as an act of genocide.
Significance of Acknowledgment by US:
  • The acknowledgement by the US government would have a little legal impact on Turkey. It will only cause an embarrassment for Turkey. The US acknowledgement perhaps provides impetus to other countries for acknowledging the genocide.
Turkey’s stand:
  • Turkey has acknowledged that atrocities were committed against Armenians. But Turkey denies it as a genocide. As genocide will come with legal implications. Further, Turkey also challenges the estimates that 1.5 million were killed.
India’s stand:
  • India has not formally recognised the Armenian Genocide. It has primarily adopted this stance because of India’s geo-political interests in the region.
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