Dr. Justin McCarthy, an American demographer, Ottoman Empire expert, and historian at the University of Louisville, notes 1.3 million Armenians lived in the Ottoman Empire pre-World War I, half of which resided in warzone areas.
As such, McCarthy argues, 1.5 million Armenians could not have been killed during the 1912-1922 period. By his accounts, the number of Armenians casualties is closer to 600,000. Prominent scholars, such as British historian Arnold Toynbee, have since confirmed McCarthy’s figure.
But in discussing the Armenian casualties, we cannot overlook the two to three million Ottoman citizens, Muslims, Jews, Kurds, and Christians, who too lost their lives— a count far higher than the total Armenians killed. Yet, no matter the lives lost, no matter which side one stands on, a common school of thought holds: 1912-1922 reflected a grim period for Turks, Kurds, Arabs, and Armenians alike, and for humanity as a whole.