The Ottoman Empire faced the challenge of nationalist movements by cultural minorities during the war. Perhaps one of the most pronounced efforts was the Armenian independence movement which arose in Eastern Anatolia (present day Turkey). This movement aided the Russians’ campaign against the Ottoman Empire. In response to this revolt, the Ottoman Empire exacted revenge on the ethnic Armenian civilian population in the form of ravaging attacks. Experts estimate that the death toll ranged from 650,000 to 1.5 million Armenians.
The images below are from the New York State Education Department’s Division of Visual Instruction. They illustrate the destruction caused by the Ottoman Turks. Cities were leveled, thousands of children were orphaned, and many were forced to flee the region in search of refuge. Some effort was made by American relief organizations to support the decimated Armenian population by sending much-needed supplies and doctors. The Armenian Genocide remains one of the darkest events of World War I.