The first Holocaust, state-sponsored massacre, or mere causalities during necessary mass deportation, there are many names assigned to the incident of 1915 which occurred in Ottoman Turkey on the eve of the First World War. From the side of professional historians, it is a well-documented case of Genocide. The International Association of Genocide Scholars affirmed based on scholarly evidence that the Young Turk government of Ottoman Turkey conducted a systematic genocide of its Armenian citizens in 1915.
However, the popular perception of the Turks tells another story. Modern-day Turkey has never accepted the claim that the events of 1915 were a state-sponsored act of terrorism against a particular community and has prohibited the use of the term “genocide” to describe the incident. Even on the International level, Turkey is adamant to maintain its version of history. The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recalled his ambassador from the Vatican after the Pope called the incident of 1915 the First Holocaust.
Reporting on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, a Northeastern University student, Audrey Pence writes in CNN that Turkey has prohibited the use of the G-word (genocide) so intensely that the population has almost forgotten the factual past and claim no such event occurred, it’s just foreign propaganda to disrupt the harmony of Turkey. While walking on the streets, Audrey Pence and her Turkish co-worker, talked to many local people and recorded their story, some of the abject denial and some speaking the dread of a Holocaust.
Though Armenians are still fighting for the recognition of the Genocide, Christina Asquith and Audrey Pence writes that the exposure of International historical texts to the younger generation has made them see things from a broader perspective and they are more accepting to the facts of history.