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What Actually Happened?

In the 1800's, Armenians were a mostly Christian minority in Asia Minor, also known as Anatolia, under rule of the Ottoman Empire. The geography is very similar to the footprint of modern day Turkey today. Here are some of the historical events, many of which are included in the novel Reclaiming Konia:


  • The Genocide actually occured in 3 Major Waves from 1894 to 1915. Turkey and the United States still have not formally acknowledged it as Genocide. Leaders who do refer to it as Genocide find themselves in a precarious position as the policy of denial continues in Turkey. 

  • Hamidian Massacres: 1894-96, Sultan Hamid becomes known as "The Bloody Sultan" after acts of violence against Armenians and Assyrians. It is estimated anywhere from 80,000 to 300,000 were killed during this period and 50,000 children were left orphaned.

  • The Adana Massacres: These occured in the Adana Vilayet in April of 1909 resulting in upwards of 30,000 deaths of Armenians and Assyrians. 

  • The Armenian Genocide: April 24th in 1915 the Ottoman Government began a systematic campaign to extinguish the Armenian population with their first act - rounding up Armenian intellectuals. It is estimated that upwards of 1.5 million Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians died in this massacre. 

  • Tehcir Law describes the forced displacement law put into place by Turkish officials.

  • The New York Times and other international papers covered the story of the genocide. The article posted here is the one referenced in Reclaiming Konia.  

  • Saint Paul's Institute at Tarsus: Harutune and Melkon did establish this educational facility in Asia Minor. In the Wikipedia entry for Tarsus American College, it does list Harutune S. Jenanyan as one of the first administrators under the history section 1888 here

  • In Harutune's book "Harutune or Lights and Shadows in the Orient" he mentions meeting Colonial Shepherd while in the New York area who became a benefactor for St. Paul's Institute for $100,000 per year.

  • Melkon and Semma were sent as missionaries to Anatolia where they established the first Protestant Church. 

  • Harutune died in 1907, before the second and third waves of massacres against Armenians occured in the Ottoman Empire.

  • Melkon Jenanyan died on June 18, 1956 at the age of 84. Since leaving Asia Minor, he had not spoken of the Genocide until now through Reclaiming Konia. 

Anatolia, Asia Minor, and the Ottoman Empire all refer to the same geography which is mostly the current footprint of modern day Turkey. Iconium is another word for Konia which is a current city in Turkey that is now spelled "Konya."

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