April 24 - 1915 - The Deportation of Armenian Leaders
From the middle of the nineteenth century, the Ottoman Empire's leadership was obsessed with the "Armenian Question," or how to deal with the particular Christian community in the Caucasus. Fortified by nationalism and Pan-Islamism, as well as being under the stress of World War I, the Ottoman government, led by the "Three Pashas" in a triumvirate dictatorship, ordered the arrest of about 250 leaders and intellectuals of the Armenian community in Istanbul. This act would launch the Armenian genocide. While the removal of intellectuals and community leaders dealt a blow to the Armenian community, the real goal was wiping out Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in general, which was achieved almost immediately. The Ottoman Empire basically marched large numbers of Armenians over miles, then allowed them to be raped, murdered, or forced to work to death. Taking away the leaders of the community was an attempt to keep the action quiet. Instead, it made many people aware of what the Ottoman government was doing on the international stage, but not enough to stop the Armenian genocide.