In April 24th, 1915, approximately 250 Armenian Revolutionary Federation leaders and high ranking officers were arrested for their roles in the siege and capture of Van, an Ottoman city and their attempt to hand the city over to the Russians (Allies) during desperate hours of the Russian invasion of Ottoman Turkey in World War I.
Contrary to what Armenian Genocide supporters write, the arrests were not made in only Constantinople (present day Istanbul). Contrary to what Armenian Genocide activists say, the arrests were not of academics, clergymen, or "philosophers." These were ARF (Dashnak) members, some of them were Hunchak members as well, another terrorist organization rebelling against the Ottoman Empire and killing civilians in their rabid form of ultra-nationalism and their dream of creating a Greater Armenia.
Other sources report that instead of 250, 1,234 ARF and Hunchak members were arrested throughout the Ottoman provinces. Whatever the exact number, what we know for sure is they were indeed rebels.
Armenians claim they were arrested merely for being Armenian. They claim that it was the "start of the genocide." In fact, they celebrate it every year by protesting the Turkish embassy in various countries during that day. Kind of an awkward way to mourn the deaths of ancestors if you ask me. If it was the start of a genocide, then why only 250? Why not thousands and thousands being executed immediately? Why relocate them all the way to Eastern Anatolia or Syria?
Armenians answer such questions by saying that the Ottomans did not want Europeans who had diplomats in the big cities to know what was going on. If that was true, then why did they allow European and US diplomats to visit the relocation camps? US Consul Jackson was walking every day through the relocation camps with full privileges. He was bringing the Armenian families more food and money to help them.
The Ottoman governor of Aleppo Syria, spent a lot of money helping the Armenians rebuild homes and livelihoods in Aleppo. The money was approved by the Ottoman leadership.
Even Djemal Pasha was ordering soldiers to ambush bandits and Kurds who were trying to attack the families who were on route, relocating to Syria.
These are inconvenient facts that do not work for the "Armenian Cause" of recognition of genocide. They need a common enemy, the Turks, to keep themselves as an un-assimilated world-wide Armenian community. They need a reason to keep the ARF alive for 100 years (yes they still exist today). The acceptance of failure of the rebellion in World War I, is too difficult compared to the simple task of blaming the Ottoman government for defending itself during war-time against the ARF who allied themselves with the enemy.
The unfortunate deaths of thousands of Armenians and Turks who were innocent should be mourned on April 24th. However, justice was served against the ARF, but some Armenians are not ready to accept this inconvenient truth.
The Armenians suffered indeed, at the hands of the ARF, not the Ottoman Empire.