Scenes from the Armenian Massacres of 1896

These first near-genocidal series of atrocities committed against the Armenian population were carried out during the reign of Abdul Hamid II, the last sultan effectively to rule over the Turkish state. The police responded to a demonstration held in Constantinople in September 1895 by Armenian political organizations which sought to pressure the government and the European Powers to implement the promised administrative reforms by letting loose a massacre in the capital city. Thereupon a series of massacres spread south through nearly every major Armenian-inhabited town of the empire. To a last desperate attempt by Armenian revolutionaries to draw the attention of the world by seizing in Constantinople the European-owned Ottoman Bank in August 1896, the government responded by unleashing wholesale reprisals during which five to six thousand Armenians were killed in the space of three days within sight of the European embassies. (Source: www.armenian-genocide.org)

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