Timeline of Events
Hundreds of years of history fueled the conflict between the Armenians and the Ottoman Turks, which ultimately led to the Armenian Genocide–the systematic extermination of nearly 1.5 million people between 1915-1922.
Here are some key events that help to put the pieces together.
- C. 1299
Formation of the Ottoman Empire, including modern-day Turkey
- 15th century
Armenia absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, Muslim Turks begin poor treatment of Christian Armenians
Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid II becomes 34th sultan of Turkey; further fosters distrust of Armenians by Turkish people, by strengthening Turkish nationalism and encouraging the resentment of any non-Muslims in the region
Armenians began to fight for civil rights, which was met with backlash by the Ottoman government
Sultan Hamid II kills hundreds of thousands Armenians participating in civil rights protests
Rebel group Young Turks overthrew the Sultan, giving Armenians brief hope that the political tide will change in their favor
Turkey enters WWI as German allies
In response to Turkey entering WWI, the Armenians form volunteer armies that join forces with Christian-ruled Russia
Turkey declares holy war on all non-Muslims (except their allies)
- April 24, 1915
Armenian genocide begins with a death march of Armenian intellectuals through the desert, killing hundreds
U.S. Congress created the Near East Relief organization (currently known as the Near East Foundation), which raised the equivalent of over $2 Billion (in current day dollars) to help survivors of the Genocide.
Armenian genocide occurs; 1.5 million Armenians are horrifically slaughtered by Turkish military on orders from the government
Ottoman Empire crumbles
Formal end of Armenian genocide; only 338,000 Armenians remained in Turkey
The United States first officially recognized the Armenian Genocide in a written statement to the International Court of Justice regarding the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and later by President Reagan in 1981.
- 1975, 1984
The U.S. House of Representatives adopted Armenian Genocide legislation
US reduced aid to Turkey citing the Armenian Genocide
- 2000, 2005, 2007, 2010
The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted legislation regarding the Armenian Genocide
United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee passage
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s new president, calls for healing of old wounds between Armenia and Turkey