Justin McCarthy: Says Armenians didn't die from genocide during WWI

Armenians during World War I died of starvation and disease, not genocide, an Ottoman Empire historian said Friday in a speech sponsored by the University of Florida's Turkish Student Association.

Justin McCarthy, a history professor a the University of Louisville, was greeted by applause in a half-full University Auditorium and spoke about his research on what others say was genocide against the Armenian people during World War I.

Armenians cannot claim that the Ottoman Empire's intention was genocide because it is clear from his research that the Armenians fought back during the war and even formed guerrilla armies, McCarthy said.

"The Ottomans were defending themselves against this guerrilla war," he said. "The Armenians cut the Ottomans' telegraph lines and revolted when the military came into their towns."

When the Ottomans attempted to relocate the Armenians, Armenians raised up against their own government, McCarthy told the crowd.

McCarthy argued that the relocation of the Armenians was justified because the Ottomans feared them after they sided with their enemy, Russia.

"Lives were lost during the deportation, but the Ottomans never intended to kill the Armenians," McCarthy said.

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