April 24th, 1915 is discussed by Armenians as the Armenian Genocide Day. According to Armenians, many of them say the Armenian Genocide started on this date. According to Armenian sources, they say 200 "Armenian intellectuals" were arrested in "Constantinople", according to the "Armenian Genocide" article on Wikipedia. They call it Constantinople even though it was renamed as Istanbul since 1453, I guess it's another low blow for propagandists to keep ancient Christian names on cities that they believe doesn't belong to Muslims.
A source to Peter Balakian's book
This information is cited from the book "The Burning Tigris" written by Peter Balakian, who was born in 1951, in Teaneck, New Jersey to an Armenian family. Peter Balakian has a Ph. D. in American Civilization, he currently works in the Department of English in Brown University and is a Director of Creative Writing.
This is very interesting, because it seems that Armenians write about Armenian History based on books written by English writers who specialize in Fiction and Creative Writings. Are not historians (preferably ones that are expert in the Ottoman Empire and ones that are not from an Armenian family) suppose to write history about the Armenian Genocide?
Armenian sites say
If you look at other Armenian sites some say 200 Armenian Intellectuals were arrested, some say hanged, some say tried, and then some sites say 250, another one says 239. It's interesting because it seems like no one really knows what happened on April 24, 1915. Although they seem to agree that the Armenian Genocide supposedly started on that date.
Turkish sites say
So what do Turkish sites say? Every single Turkish site says 2,345 Armenian Rebel leaders were arrested on April 24th, 1915, and many Armenian revolutionary committees were closed down. This is a severe blow to Armenians, because the Ottoman Archives reveal that the Armenians basically lost most of their independence on April 24th, 1915. In fact, this is around the time when the massacres were coming to an end. With Armenian Rebel leaders behind bars it became harder for Armenian Revolutionaries to wage massacres against Ottoman Muslims. Of course, some Armenians know this but they hide this from each other because they know that it would mean that the Armenian Genocide is just a cover-up in order to exploit the current Turkish government (even though they say the Ottomans are guilty, they refer to the Ottomans as the Turkish government) into paying reparations and giving back the lands that Armenians believe were stolen from them thousands of years ago.
If you follow Armenian logic, then you would realize that they are basically saying that us Americans should go back to Europe and give our lands back to the Native Indians. The Canadians should do the same according to Armenians. In fact, they basically believe that conquering is extremely illegal and should be reversed throughout history. This is interesting because they do believe it is perfectly OK to illegally invade Azerbaijan as they did in 1992 after the Cold War and occupied 16% (Armenian's claim 9%) of their territory which they still currently own. If you question them as to why they invaded and massacred the Azeri's during 1915, they'll tell you it was stolen from them back in B.C. times or they tell of a cover-up story, that most troops were in Armenia at the time, and that some troops went to liberate Nagorno-Karabakh from Azeri "oppression" and/or Azeri "massacres".
Beginning of the Armenian Nationalist Movement
Armenians in reality have been fighting since 1890 when they formed the Dashnaks or more commonly called ARF (Armenian Revolutionary Federation) which is a revolutionary organization that was created with the new rise of nationalism and they became active in their attacks during 1890s against Ottoman villages and military supply routes. They killed so many people that Ottoman Muslims had to gang together and fight them back since the Ottoman Empire was so tied up on multiple fronts of all-out-war. Atrocities were committed by both sides and this was what resulted in 300,000 dead Armenians as well as up to (probably inflated number) 2 million dead Ottoman Muslims during 1890-1915.
To be fair to Armenians and historically accurate
In fairness to Armenians, some massacres by Ottoman Muslims were unprovoked and were supposedly "pre-emptive strikes" organized by locals. Therefore there is no excuse for Ottoman Muslims to massacre Armenians, yet there was no excuse for Armenians to rebel and create the tensions that eventually pressured locals to attack them nor was there an excuse for them to massacre Muslims with or without provocation.
April 24th, 1915, the significance
April 24th, 1915 marked the beginning of a slow-down of these massacres and the killings of Armenians, Kurds, Turks, and other Ottoman Muslims had started to fade away. The end of the Ottoman Empire was only a few years away and World War I was starting to show that the Allies would be winning a decisive war. However, the propaganda used by the British during World War I against the Central Powers (The Turks and Germans), was still at full force, since the United States did not yet enter the war, and the British needed to convince Christian America that Christianity was at stake in Europe by fabricating horror stories about Christian Armenians getting killed by the big bad Ottomans. By around 1917, the Armenians had ceased to be killed, and so were locals being killed by Armenian Revolutionaries or invading armies.
The Archival Documents
Henry Morganthau, who met with Talat Pasha on April 24th, 1915, learned that a large number of Armenians were arrested and according to him:
they intended to put them among Turks in the interior where they can do no harm.
Now, according to the Turkish "Prime Minister Archives", it says
[the order was not to be implemented] in such a manner as will cause mutual killings on the part of the Muslim and Armenian elements of the population.
In fact, Talat Pasha's telegram sent out that day, can be summed up by an excerpt of the following:
You are therefore ordered to close down immediately all branches, within your province, of the Hinchak, Dashnak, and similar committees; to confiscate the files and documents found in their branch headquarters, and ensure they are neither lost nor destroyed; to immediately arrest all prominent members of the committees, together with such other Armenians as are known by the Government to be dangerous... to begin the process of searching for hidden weapons..."
Hence, one can conclude that though the orders were to capture Armenians who are suspected of being part of rebellious committees, it is easy to understand why Armenians say that they were ~200 "intellectuals, politicians, teachers, etc". It's very likely that a 0 is missing at the end, and perhaps they are forgetting that many Armenians thought of these rebellious committee leaders as politicians and intellectuals and even national heroes. However, Osama Bin Laden is a politician to some people though, so it is interesting to note that one's terrorist is another's hero. In the Armenian case, the Ottomans have a right to protect their empire, but it is difficult to say how accurately they captured and arrested these people.
It is clear though that the Armenian Genocide Day April 24th, 1915, is a day of rebellion being crushed, because the 12 pillars in Armenian Genocide memorials represent the 12 provinces lost by the Armenians during World War I to the Turks. Showing that Armenians are trying to confuse the public as to whether they are mourning the loss of a rebellion or the beginning of a genocide which they have yet to prove. However, they forget to realize, that the public is intelligent.