What is the News?
The US President has officially recognised the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915-16 as an act of genocide.
What is Genocide?
- Raphael Lemkin, the Polish lawyer has coined the term “genocide” in 1943.
- 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.
- The Armenian diaspora marks April 24 as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.
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 has acknowledged that atrocities were committed against Armenians. But it denies it as a genocide. This is because, genocide will come with legal implications. Further, Turkey has also challenged the estimates that 1.5 million were killed.
- India has not formally recognised the Armenian Genocide. It has primarily adopted this stance because of India’s geo-political interests in the region.
Source: The Hindu