The Armenian Genocide was the systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was implemented through wholesale massacres and deportations, with the deportations involving conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees. The total number of resulting Armenian deaths is generally held to have been between 10 – 15 lakhs. Other ethnic groups were similarly attacked by the Ottoman Empire during this period, including Assyrians and Greeks, and some scholars consider those events to be part of the same policy of extermination. It is widely acknowledged to have been one of the first modern genocides of the world.
The Republic of Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, denies the word genocide is an accurate description of the events. In recent years, it has faced repeated calls to accept the events as genocide. More recently (late 2011 onwards) France has stepped up calls for Turkey to recognize the Armenian massacres as a genocide, and Sarkozy has initiated laws to criminalize the denial of the Armenian genocide. This has caused tensions with Turkey which recalled its ambassador to France and cut off military cooperation with Paris (Note that Turkey is a NATO member).
2. The Hindu, 6th March 2012.