On the eve of World War I, there were 2 million Armenians in the declining Ottoman Empire. By 1922, there were fewer than 400,000. In 1908 the Young Turk movement of discontented junior army officers seized power, determined to modernise and nationalise the Empire. In 1914 they entered World War I on the side of Germany. Religious minorities had been allowed to maintain religious, social, and legal structures within the Empire, but were often subject to extra taxes or other measures. During the war Armenians were stereotyped as not real Turks but as western collaborators. In April 1915 several hundred Armenian intellectuals were rounded up, arrested and later executed as the start of the Armenian genocide, which extended to 1917. The massacre is resumed from 1920–23. There were executions, mass graves and forced death marches of men, women and children to concentration camps, marking the beginning of a century of Christian persecution.
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