What happened in Cilicia after World War I can be viewed as a tragedy on its own, or as part of the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide. Either way, it was a great blow to the Armenians who had survived the World War and the efforts of the Ottoman Empire to uproot and annihilate them as a people.
The Armenians had been deported from their homes in Cilicia and in other parts of the Ottoman Empire to sites now found in Syria, Iraq and Jordan starting in 1915. At the end of the world war, the British and the French occupied Cilicia as well as various other parts of the defeated Ottoman Empire. The Armenians began to return to their homes, encouraged that these great Western powers would ensure their safety and allow them to rebuild their lives. Cilician Turks and some other Muslims viewed the Armenian welcome of the occupying powers with hostility.
Cilicia is located today in southeastern Turkey, extending from the coastal areas off the Mediterranean Sea to mountainous areas. Armenians had begun emigrating there in large numbers starting in the 10th century, fleeing Seljuk Turkish invasions of their homeland proper, and eventually established a kingdom, which lost its independence in 1375 after attacks by Seljuk Turks and the Mamluks of Egypt.
Armenians maintained a degree of autonomy in small areas of Cilicia, especially in mountainous locales like Zeytun and Hajin, for a long period of time, and there remained a majority population, but in many regions, many people of Turkish, Kurdish, Arab and Circassian origin settled. The nineteenth century efforts to reform the Ottoman Empire attempted to end the autonomy enjoyed by some martial Armenian communities. The reform efforts were not enough to stem the decline of the empire, which in turn had grave repercussions for the Armenians.
The Cilician Armenians were subject to three sets of massacres in the span of little more than a generation. Their etiologies are a subject for a different article.