Doğu Ergil, Today's Zaman, 27 January 2015
Enver Paşa, the strongman of the Young Turk triumvirate, decided to conduct a surprise attack on the Russian Caucasian army in January 1915 to open the way to Central Asia. The attack ended in disaster, and a whole army was defeated by cold, frost and bad judgment.
While imposing an air-tight news ban on the disaster in the eastern front, Enver Paşa and his accomplices wanted to cover up their flop by accusing the Armenians of siding with the enemy and engaging in fifth-column activities.
April 24, 1915 is the date when the Ottoman (Young Turk) government arrested 250 Armenian intellectuals in İstanbul and banished them to Çankırı and Ayaş, both close to Ankara, on the grounds that they had participated in subversive activities against the state. One-hundred seventy-four of them never came back. This date has been acknowledged as the beginning of the “genocide” of the Armenians and an official reflex of defensive nationalism by the Turks.