In 1915, Armenians incited by Huncak and Dashnaktzutyun rebel parties (Armenian Revolutionary Federation), financed by the Tsarist Russia, rebelled against the dying Ottoman Empire.
Sometimes Armenian rebels, volunteer units, or locals engaged in ethnic cleansing of the overwhelmingly local Muslim population, sometimes these Muslim populations retaliated ferociously and sometimes preemptive massacres were conducted, and such horrific actions are inexcusable. The CUP government, in a desperate attempt to protect their land ordered that Armenians in suspected rebelling provinces be removed to Syria provinces and Mosul, Iraq, the provinces are mentioned specifically in the archival documents. However, there was no evidence of intentions of the CUP government or encouragement by any of their high ranking officials to exterminate Armenians, hence why it is not genocide.
The debate of genocide is in the fact that the CUP government ordered forced relocations of Armenians. Armenians believe that this forced relocation caused the deaths of many Armenians and thus constitutes genocide. Turks believe that this forced relocation was the last resort to restore order to the lawless east where Armenians had been rebelling and it was standard for empires/nations at the time to put down rebellions in this fashion but that mistakes were made.
See the Following
Some of our writers explain what really happened in 1915. Individual writers may have a biased perspective.
April 24th 1915
What Actually Happened in 1915? Part III - Bulgarian Independence
What Actually Happened in 1915? Part II - Russia and Ottomans in the Balkans
What Actually Happened in 1915? Part I - From Kucuk Kaynarca to Bulgarian Uprising