The Ottoman Empire Armenian Genocide was one of the greatest tragedies of the Ottoman Empire. It was also known as the Armenian holocaust. It was one of the largest mass murders executed against a defenseless people.
During the first World War, the then Turkish Ottoman Ruler decided to systematically eliminate most of the male Armenian population and force the remaining population - women and children to deport. However, this deportation was nothing but a mass murder because it was pretty much a death march with extreme conditions and violent treatment being the order of the day.
Women and children who had survived the murder died on their way. In fact, by the time the exhausted survivors reached the safety of the borders of the neighboring countries, about three-fourths of the Armenian population under the Ottoman Empire had been terminated.
Why it All Happened
The Ottoman Empire Armenian Genocide happened through no fault of the Armenians. In the early twentieth century there was bad blood between the Ottoman Turks and Arabs. People were becoming increasingly disillusioned by the Sultan's obsession with expanding his territories and gaining control over his people. In order to curb this, the government began to try to control almost every aspect of the Ottoman people's lives.
This gave rise to the "Young Turk" movement, which ultimately led to the toppling of the Ottoman Emperor. The Armenians, who were a part of the Ottoman Empire, actually welcomed this because they saw this as a progressive alternative to the bureaucratic regime which had so far existed.
Unfortunately for the Armenians, the Young Turk Movement was nipped in the bud as it was taken over by some fanatics who were headed by three individuals - Enver Pasha, Talat Pasha and Cemel Pasha. These three viewed the Armenians as a threat and planned to exterminate them.
They had two strategies to systematically kill the Armenians -the battle age Armenian men were forced to serve the Turkish Army, they would be later executed or over worked to death and the remaining males were mass murdered. This was basically done so as to strip the Armenian community of people, males really, who could effectively defend it. This made the Armenian community an easy target for destruction.
Women and children weren't spared either, some were given the option of converting to Islam and becoming slaves, but just a couple of thousand accepted. The Ottoman Empire Armenian Genocide is probably as tragic as the mass murder of the Jews during World War II.