The Tehcir Law
April 24, 1915 saw the beginning of the genocide as Ottoman officials began to remove anyone who could act as a focus for resistance to the atrocities to come. At around 8 pm, on the orders of the Minister of the interior Talaat Pasha, around 235-270 Armenian Intellectuals including religious leaders, doctors, journalists, teachers, and politicians were arrested and imprisoned in Constantinople before being deported to holding centers in Ankara. Here, most of them were eventually murdered.
This was the first wave of such arrests, which occurred at different times and in different areas around Anatolia as regional governors began to carry out government orders. But in late May 1915, the Tehcir Law was passed.
This law, otherwise known as the Relocation and resettlement Law was directed at the general Armenian population. The first deportations began soon after the government passed the law. In late May, 180 Armenian families from the City of Zeitoon were moved. By June, according to a report by the American Embassy in Constantinople, 26,500 people had been moved and their numbers were rising.
The laws nominal basis was to resettle Armenians away from war zones to prevent any pro-Russian insurrections from breaking out. But its real intention was to eradicate the empire of the Armenian presence.