Wearing army-style camouflage costumes young Armenians lower flags as they visit the genocide memorial in Yerevan, 2013
Wearing army-style camouflage costumes young Armenians lower flags as they visit the genocide memorial in Yerevan, 2013

This week, Armenians and the wider world are marking 100 years since the most brutal episode in the country's history.

Armenia says that in 1915, the Ottoman government began the systematic murder of 1.5 million ethnic Armenians within territory that makes up modern-day Turkey.

These mass killings are regarded as one of the greatest acts of cruelty in a century that specialist in it.

But, as The Independent'sRobert Fisk explains, this "deliberate and planned attempt to liquidate a race of people" is only officially recognised by a smattering of countries (including the Vatican, which cannot be seen on the below map).

In the UK, the parliaments and/or assemblies of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales recognise the genocide although it has not been officially recognised by the central government - the governments of Germany, Israel and the US are also yet to official recognise the atrocity.

The Turkish government outright refuses to acknowledge the act as a genocide, claiming that the Armenians were not killed according to a plan and that the term "genocide" was only coined after the Second World War and therefore cannot apply to the killings.

Nevertheless, commemoration ceremonies will be held around the world, including in Turkey, this Thursday to mark the first day that Armenian men, women and children were rounded up and marched to their deaths all those years ago.

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