3446) Diaspora Historian Argues Against -One Nation, One Homeland- Myth

Marine Martirosyan, January, 2014

Talin Suciyan calls for greater bridge building between western and eastern Armenians

In December 2013, Munich-based historian Talin Suciyan was invited to Yerevan by the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs to participate in a conference regarding Diaspora-Armenia relations. Also invited were other intellectuals and political figures with a western Armenian background.

Suciyan, a researcher at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich's Institute of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, tells Hetq that the participants had different approaches to the Diaspora – Armenia (hayrenik/homeland) paradigm:
. . .

“I was told that we'd be discussing the Diaspora-Armenia relations and probable new ways of relations between the two. Afterwards, during the discussion, it became clear that we had differing understandings regarding a number of concepts. One of these concepts was the idea of the homeland. There was a general conceptualization, that of a nation state, which included the concept of Armenia and of a diaspora belonging to it.

"There exists a diaspora which doesn't belong to Armenia: it was created before the independence of Armenia, mostly from the late 19th century up till 1915 and after. It is the diaspora of western Armenians.

"There is also a diaspora formed after Armenia's independence that's comprised of individuals from Armenia. The approach of official Armenia to somehow link these two realities and call them one diaspora is a figment of the imagination.

"We must recognize these differences and speak about them, putting aside those imaginary, idealized, abstract concepts such as 'One nation, one homeland'. I believe that the most glaring example of these differences was the reaction of diaspora communities regarding Armenia’s signing of the protocols with Turkey. We must learn lessons from what transpired.

Please explain.

"First of all, as I explained, there is no direct affiliation, and second, which is much more important, there is no mechanism of representation, especially for the western diaspora. That is, the diaspora minister is decided by the state or the government; accordingly, this government must be the representative of the people of Armenia in Armenia but not of western Armenians. Third, Armenia, of course, is dear for all Armenians; that is, there are Armenians who have never been to Armenia, but the idea of Armenia is [pure] bliss for them, or they think, there's a country where people speak Armenian.

"There are Armenians who come to Armenia once a year, stay for 15 days, and that is also a connection for them. There are diasporan Armenians who have settled in Armenia. Armenia is important for all, but when we assume that Armenia is also the homeland for all, that's something different, because Armenia can be someone's birthplace; for someone else, it is the birthplace of his forbearers. So, where is home for someone living in Glendale [California] whose ancestors are from Tigranakert?

"There's another reality: the diasporan Armenian does not live in the day-to-day of an Armenian living in Armenia, and that's natural. And I think, the day-to-day is very important, because it's our life."

What is expected of the diaspora ministry?

"It can be said, if the number of diasporan Armenians is three times greater than those living in Armenia, then a diaspora ministry is needed. In my opinion, the work of the diaspora ministry is first and foremost in Armenia. Between Armenia and the diaspora there are very important cultural, political differences and in way of thinking. There have to be spaces created where we can live together with those differences and establish connections with each other."

Is this succeeding? Is there such a process in place?

"There are very good explanations of the cultural differences and the challenges that arise from them in Anahit Mkrtchyan's research. In my opinion, Armenia has to be a country where eastern and western Armenians can talk together and understand each other. For Armenia to be a country in everyday life that creates spaces for western Armenian intellectuals, so they come to Armenia often, do their research, teach in the universities, establish ties with university students and with the western Armenian world.

"In recent years, there's been an effort in literature for books written in Western Armenian to be printed in Armenia. Armenians migrating from Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq, many came on sad occasions, but today you can hear Western Armenian on the streets of Armenia. The same happened in the 1940s, when there was an immigration to Armenia program, but those people were unable to stay, since the differences between the worlds of eastern and western Armenian were unable to live together in the Soviet reality. If we go back further, we remember the western Armenian intellectuals who survived 1915 and came to Armenia, for example, Zabel Yesayan, who disappeared in 1943 — but very little is spoken about this. Of course we speak of Charents, but not as often about Zabel Yesayan, and when it is spoken about, it is so in a very limited context."

Fine. So what do you propose should be done?

The Ministry of the Diaspora must work to create these spaces, so that Armenia can become a country in which western Armenians have opportunities to live normally. While saying this, I know that people in Armenia are facing serious difficulties and challenges – political, social, and why not, endless migration.

To date, we have no such representative organizations in the diaspora; no such system. I would like to reflect on the words of Mihran Dabagh, Director of the Genocide and Diaspora Studies Institute at Bochum University, regarding the importance of having strong communities. I believe it’s a significant point.

Community life assumes that, for example, you can send your child to an Armenian school. When you are poor, you can seek assistance from the community budget. When you want to attend a concert, say, the community should have the ability to organize such events. In other words, the community is life itself, and people speaking the same language and sharing the same culture have a need for this.

That’s to say there must be a direct link between ones daily life and the community. There must be a mechanism for self-revival for the creation of a community. Only when there is a community can we think about representation.

Photo: Haigazian University


-Harut 13 January, 2014
This is a bold approach to the perennial question of the Armenian Diaspora. Ms Suciyan has brought to light the plight of many Diaspora Armenians and where they find themselves. The search for ones own identity in a foreign land is a nagging crisis of the new generation of Armenians. This bridge between Armenia its people need to be discussed and solutions needs to be discussed on a greater scale. Yes, we all will remain still remain one even if we have different affiliations and various other connections.

- To the Republic of Armenia , persian gulf and Arevmetean ... I lived in various places while still some life in the community , there was every variety of traces of past recollections and I've learned so far in 1915 in the Western irakanutenen the reality of no return has passed and went away. Same re impossible and pointless new conditions and new times in search of a new identity dictations gave them that are not present in Armenia gtnar past , only disappearing asakawatiw hints : If you come to be in the reality of a new life and , if you want you can create your own identity to some extent .

-It's time to talk about these issues , discussing the importance of the school's task to gather in the Diaspora ; Soviet books were printed in the native language of the Diaspora schools ; AND I --- Eastern writers , poets works as if he were becoming Western , missing the point that it is almost crime ; My daughter teaches at San Francisco 's Armenian school. I like it and ask for nothing in its principle ; Armenia in Western Literature pearls child will begin to learn until the third , fourth grade , not now, like eight or nine ; Yes , the one where I live and free to read and understand. or Western , or Western , because the only way to begin the school ; just tsavets my heart when I read that YUNESKON Western canonized among the endangered languages

The defense and usage of Western Armenian in Armenia is up to each and every speaker to propagate the language in daily conversation. Parents who speak Western Armenian should be conversing with their kids in both the eastern and western variants. The notion that children of diasporan parents now living in Armenia should only learn Eastern Armenian is foolhardy and restrictive. At an early age children are being taught foreign languages, so why not two branches of the same language. Don't wait for an official decree from the government to spur the usage of Western Armenian. Just speak it!!! How many languages are spoken in Switzerland? Here in little Armenia, nowhere are there official restrictions against the use of Western Armenian. The RoA may be geographically part of eastern Armenian but it is the product of the historical development of both Armenias - Ottoman and Russian. As such, it's cultural and social underpinnings have been a hybrid ever since the existence of the First Republic. Today's Armenia is an amalgam of the two. If the "western Armenian" diaspora wants a place in the new Armenia, then it should act and stop whining about political restrictions, cultural differences and attitudinal dissimilarities. The country is what you make of it. You won't bring back the western Armenia of the past, but you at least will be able to preserve aspects of the culture in a much more conducive environment. Yes, the "One Nation, One Culture" catchphrase of the RoA Ministry of the Diaspora is a myth that needs to be replaced with something more inclusive and multi-layered. No one in official Yerevan seems to grasp this reality - or else they are frightened of its implications. That's their problem!!!

"the "One Nation, One Culture" catchphrase of the Ministry..." ? Vahan, those words do not belong to any current Ministry, they are not invented by its PR people. It refers to a fundamental precept defining the Armenian Liberation Movement which started around 1930… Beyond the words, through real efforts and tremendous sacrifices, it actually insured our survival up to now. Just to give some examples of what the idea behind that slogan achieved, in actual reality : without it, the current Republic of Armenia would not have existed, Artsakh would never have been liberated. Without it, the Genocide would not have been necessary… And when it happened, it would have been complete… The whole Armenian Cause is based on this conception, the Diaspora still manages to be on life-support thanks to it, and the ultimate fate of Armenia depends from it. I understand that everybody is looking for some solutions to our huge problems, but before destroying the little we still have, let's at least understand what we are talking about. Cf.

14 January, 2014
(1830, that is, of course... not 1930...)

14 January, 2014
.....the only Myth that is mentioned in tnis article is the term Western Armenians. There are no more western Armenians......there are french lebanese syrian australian armenians........And all those have alot of difference but their main goal remains the same. Armenians all over the world have one homeland which is Armenia....the lands which are controlled by the Armenian Armed Forced and where we have the State of Armenia.

Vahan 15 January, 2014
Sorry H.C., but the "One Nation, One Culture" rhetoric is exactly the fabrication of the current RA govt and propagated by the Ministry of the Diaspora. To say the concept dates back to circa 1830 (why 1830?) is stretching it a bit. Show me one mention of anything remotely akin to this dating back to that date. Of, course, the liberation of the homeland from Ottoman despotism was a core element of the national awakening that would come a decade or so later, but to state that the intelligentsia in Bolis or Tiflis put forth a "One Culture" ideal is ludicrous. The beys and aghas of the Armenian bourgeoisie had little need for the rural Armenian whose culture was drastically different from the salons of the Ottoman capital. "Culture" is not some imaginary reality to be showcased whenever needed but manifestation of a people's objective conditions. This isn;t some Marxist mumbo-jumbo either. Armenians in the Ottoman Empire were far from sharing a common culture. You can surely accept this fact. The same goes for present-day Armenia. Is ths culture (political and moral value systems, lifestyle, etc) the same for the fat-cat MP sitting in the National Assembly and the poor shlub driving a taxi cab for 12 hours a day, or the single mom with several kids to feed...And on and on... Are you actually arguing that the privileged MP and the unemployed thousands in Armenia share the same culture just because their last names end in "yan"? The "One Nation, One Culture" concept is a smokescreen conveniently employed by the powers that be to advance their own narrow interests; pure and simple. And they're using the ruse to attract the Armenians from overseas. They repeat the worn-out rhetoric of nationalism and belonging - "Come to the homeland, we are all the same...and please overlook the fact that we are wringing the country dry." Yes, as you say, let's look for the similarities that connect us. It's an optimistic mantra that's been heard before, but has fallen flat on it's face. Armenians of goodwill, those with a vision for a future homeland that can welcome all Armenians and provide opportunities for each to grow personally and enrich the nation at the same time, should not fall prey to such hollow rhetoric.

16 January, 2014
You are looking at everything through the prism of politics, Vahan. Which can only lead to mistakes on the substantive level of your thoughts and way of thinking. ---- But even on the political level, the slogan in question was being used in the Diaspora, way before the Ministry of Diaspora started using it, in fact, waaay before Armenia became independent again. On the particular point, the Ministry was actually inspired - or even, educated - by the Diaspora. --- On the non-political level, I already tried to explain that, beyond the words themselves, beyond the formulation of the slogan, the fundamental idea that it carries was the basis of a movement dating back to the beginning of the 19th century (re: Armenian National Liberation Movement), and which - among numerous other achievements -resulted notably in the foundation of the Republic of Armenia and the liberation of Artsakh. --- you and anybody else are of course totally entitled to be political, and it's also fair game to criticize the government, as vigorously as one wishes; what I am trying to say is, let's not mix important ideas, ideals and our vital national aspirations to the political rhetoric and militantism, because that would lead to a re-writing of our own History (something that Ms. Suciyan is fighting against, so admirably, on another front..), and it would lead to self-denial and self-destruction. --- cf.

Vahan 16 January, 2014
I can put more faith in the "One Nation, One Homeland" concept more than I can in the slogan - "One Nation, One Culture". The former encompasses a unifying vision of what can happen, while the latter is pure rhetoric used by our pseudo-patriots. This isn't a political perspective on the issue but a realistic evaluation of the situation that exists. To neglect such reality leads to a hollow and dead-end nationalism devoid of any structural significance.

17 January, 2014
Contrary to what the introduction of this interview suggests ("Munich-based historian"), Ms. Talin Suciyan is born, was raised and went to school in Turkey. --- These are objective facts. --- On that basis, it would be interesting to hear how she analyses her relationship with that country, by comparison to her position towards Armenia that she expresses here. --- H.C.

17 January, 2014
The above-mentioned facts should have been at least indicated by the journalist who conducted and published the interview.--- As for the simple question based upon them, it is certainly legitimate, considering that there are as many "spurkahays" as there are countries where Armenians are born, raised and educated. --- Also, everyone should bear the full responsibility of the opinions that he or she expresses --- H.C.

-While the of his interview -limitation other thing assume giveth , day reality take flight midst , Talin Sujyan been begotten is the , dastiarakuats and number of school pursued her in Turkey : --- Asonk starting terms of subject reality are (which are further need is the that the , at least, entered in The interview presenter of the journalist's CPUC ) : --- In that based of the earth , of quaint K. ' [be] the listen to that he was a even as the distractions analyzes the of his the relation between latters the country's with the and collate the Armenia towards the it from days assure you with the which needed to he who distractions but he revealeth absolutely no question a personal item - an Interview with midst : --- Hartsadranke surely is appropriate is the , second of all is so different types of « Diaspora Armenians » there are as much as different countries where Armenians were tsnin , height will be cut and school education will receive : --- Also , that every one has the full responsibility to take his expressed opinions --- H.Sh.

Vahan- 18 January, 2014
I agree with H.C. It would have been interesting to read how Suciyan sees her identity as a Bolis Armenian in Turkey. Many Armenians there do not regard themselves as "diasporan" Armenians. Nevertheless, they cannot refute the plain fact that Istanbul was never part of the "homeland". Over the centuries, Armenians from the provinces went to the Ottoman capital for a number of reasons. They formed their own insular community that itself was divided on religious, social and economic lines. In many respects, it existed outside the parameters of "western Armenian reality" and evolved into a hybrid of its own.

Talin Suciyan 19 January, 2014
I too find the definition "munich-based" alienating. However, it is quite easy to find out that I was born, raised and spent 12 years in Armenian schools in Istanbul. Indeed I only came to Germany for my studies, where I still live and work. Re: the second question, I consider Armenians in Istanbul as diaspora, because of series of reasons that I cannot explain here. As a matter of fact a considerable part of my doctoral dissertation deals with it, putting the emphasis on the history of Armenians in Turkey during the first three decades of the republic (Turkey). My ideas about the history of Turkey or other issues related to Armenians living in Turkey are no secret, I have been writing on these thing for quite some time.

Haytoug Shamlian - 19 January, 2014
Sireli Talin, your work on the subject of genocide-denialism is truly remarkable. Notably, the part where you study how Armenians themselves were or still are forced to practise it... --- If your personal backround is - relatively - relevant in this subject, it is because that could explain why you have not perhaps fully understood the concept of "One Nation, One Homeland". After all, something tells me that they don't teach about the Armenian National Liberation Movement in Turkey, including in Armenian schools... --- You may more or less hear about it, over there, but it's not like you are raised in absolute accordance with it, starting from your early childhood ---- As a competent historian, you should now explore the subject, though, when you find a moment. --- And by the way, said concept is certainly not limited to the relationship between the Armenians of the Diaspora and the Armenians living in Armenia, but it also links every Armenian to every other Armenian, all over the world. --- That is why, for instance, that I certainly consider you as my compatriot, my azkagits. --- You probably read already my reaction to your interview in question, but just in case, here it is :
http://hetq.am/arm/opinion/31951/spi?rq-inch-spi?rq.html --- http://hetq.am/eng/opinion/31951/spi%D6%82rq-inch-spi%D6%82rq.html --- (Perhaps I exaggerated a little bit, fine, but you will know how to read it; since you also did the same...)

Haytoug Shamlian- 19 January, 2014
P.S. Let me finish by saying also this : the practical applications of the "One Nation, One Homeland" idea are not situated only on "high" levels, in statehood matters, etc. This concept can and must be applied on all levels, starting with the very basic ones, and also with individual initiatives . Here is how my immediate family have been implementing it, turned it into real deeds and action : http://www.shoushisummercamp.org/ --- (Under "About", 12th paragraph : you will notice that the "slogan" in question is invoked, in its full version) --- ar ayjm, --- Haytoug

Jirayr- 20 January, 2014
There is probably a confusion in Talin's mind about old diaspora and new diaspora versus "diasporas" somehow belonging to the Republic of Armenia and others that do not belong to it. After all, Armenians in all parts of the world have their roots in Armenia, whether they migrated or were displaced 500 years ago or 100 years ago. Unfortunately Talin is not alone both in the Diaspora and within the Republic of Armenia to try to see Eastern and Western Armenians as diverging groups. But if we start on that road, then there is no Armenian Diaspora because Armenians living in different countries are much further away from each other than Eastern and Western Armenians taken as two groups. Without going into a detailed discussion within the confines of a comment, our academics, activists and officials of all levels and walks can do much better by tying to find the common lines and traits uniting Armenians instead of the ones that separate us. Armenian history of the last 130 years is a proof that we succeed when we think and act as "one nation, one homeland".

Vahan 20 January, 2014
People, understand this one basic reality - there are real OBJECTIVE reasons for the cultural, political and social differences between those who trace their roots to either side of the Arax River!!! The Number One reason is the genocide, eviction and exile of Armenians of the one segment. This reality exists, you don;t have to make an effort to see it. These are different groups!! As to whether they remian divergent or can set an agenda of gradual national unification is another matter.

-However, I know that society in Armenia is experiencing serious difficulties , faces challenges - political, economic, social and , why not, before the endless emigration. To fix this all you need to convey to the society, especially the Armenian ! meaning of these lines - "Being in the ass , you can do two things. Firstly , try to understand why you 're in it . Secondly - get out of there. Error of individuals and peoples is that they think that these two actions connected somehow . and it is not. and get out of the ass is much easier than to understand why you 're in it . why ? assholes need to get out only once, and then you can forget about it . and to understand why you 're in it , you need the whole life . Which you spend in it and "Words Russian writer, but very suitable for the situation in Armenia and its people.

21. slub10:11 - 2 March, 2014
the entire "conversation" above is nothing more than rubbish of a pretentious nature. armenians do not respect each other and therefore any difference perceived or real will be magnified far beyond its importance. also, the presumptuousness of believing to speak for other people simply because there is a shared armenian heritage is absurd in the extreme. i am of armenian heritage and no one speaks for me but myself. if armenians cannot respect each other on that basis alone, then everything else is simply a worthless fraud. thank you.

Diaspora?...What Diaspora?

January , 2014

Allow me – truly, in an elementary measure only -, to react to yesterday’s Hetq interview with Ms. Talin Suciyan.

The analytical premise of Ms. Suciyan is fundamentally flawed, and thus, so are her subsequent comments.

Let us speak simply and specifically, in order to better understand and be understood, amongst ourselves.

First of all, for the informed - and practising - believers of the “One Nation, One Homeland” slogan, to date, the latter has never corresponded to an established reality, yet. These words do not refer to our present - and certainly not - our past situation.

“One Nation, One Homeland” is an essential aspiration of Armenians, a vital national objective. A program of survival and preservation, which is still in a pending phase of eventual implementation.

This conception was initiated at the beginning of the 19th century, as an ideology. During those times, for the Armenians, not only in reality but even theoretically, there was neither any nation nor any homeland.

Originally, the “One Nation, One Homeland” concept for Armenians not only had no theoretical existence, but in factual reality, there was neither any nation nor any homeland. The meaning and purpose of said doctrine was – and still is – to establish same.

In effect, the Nation in question refers to an integral and comprehensive national consciousness, a collective Rebirth, self-acknowledgment and united rising, and Homeland means a sovereign statehood.

When the vision of “One Nation, One Homeland” was created, since the beginning of mankind there had never been – in the essential and modern sense of the word -, any Armenian Nation, nor had there been any pan-armenian, unified Armenian homeland founded upon said Nation (in any event, any Armenian statehood had disappeared, had ceased to exist, in any shape of form, for the previous 5 and a half centuries).

But the aforesaid ideology did not remain on the conceptual level. It was actually implemented, it translated into real work and action, and through extreme efforts and sacrifices, resulted in effective, major accomplishments. One of which, for instance, is the very existence of the current Republic of Armenia...

We could continue with such theoretical explanations at length. However, let us speak more practically and directly, in relation to our immediate reality.

A significant proportion of the current population of the Republic of Armenia is comprised of so-called "Western Armenians". They are essentially the children and grandchildren of Genocide survivors (whose grandparents arrived there thanks to the efforts of one General Antranik, a “Western Armenian” of some repute, it seems…), and the 1947-1949 repatriates and their successive generations - who replaced the mostly “Caucasian Armenian” masses who fought and died in World War II. Here, it is not even worth mentioning the Diasporan Armenians who moved to Armenia since the 1990s, considering that, at least in numerical terms (to say the least, in the case of some of them… but we shall address that issue also, one day…), that factor still remains insignificant.

In light of the elementary facts exposed above, the opinions expressed by Ms. Suciyan constitute the habitual tune played over and over again by some Armenians of the Diaspora who attempt to "justify" their deplorable estrangement, voluntary alienation, and spiritual and practical detachment from the Motherland and towards their compatriots living there.

Indeed, it is true that the “One Nation, One Homeland” concept has not yet transformed into a complete reality. However, to reject, deny or disavow it is the best way to guarantee that it never becomes reality.

And why, mind you, such a posture ? For what ? In who's name ?

Today, the "Armenian Diaspora" is merely an illusion – dust in the eyes, empty noise, self-deception and a fabrication of reality - .

For the vast majority of Armenians living on foreign shores, the most elementary components of Armenian identity have disappeared, and this existential massacre still continues. As for those who are not capable or inclined to see this painful reality, or those who still have an interest, a direct benefit in maintaining the concept of the diaspora, they don't know what to invent and come up with next, in their senseless and futile attempts to define some “new Armenian”.

If today there is still a trace of Armenian Diaspora which still tries to grasp at its national identity, that can be achieved only thanks to the re-establishment of the Independence of Armenia and the liberation of Artsakh.

It is very easy to see differences between this or that segment of Armenians. Not only between Armenians of Armenia and the Diaspora, but also between various regions of Armenia, between various Armenian communities in different countries. There will always be some people, everywhere, who will spend their time making an inventory of the differences amongst Armenians. Nowadays, even in the same city, anywhere in the world - including the voluntary place of exile where the undersigned lives -, anyone who so desires or who has nothing better to do, can observe intra-Armenian differences, even between neighborhoods.

Armenia is Armenia. Today, there is no other one, and, in even in the best case scenario, there will not be any other one, for a long time. Those Armenians of the diaspora who are not satisfied with “this” Motherland should have the clear-headedness or the honesty to address the issue of their alienation. Instead of fabricating some pretexts for the evident fact that, beyond superficial and lame appearances, they are just not able anymore to establish any authentic relationship, any communion, neither with the tangible reality of the Armenian Homeland nor with regard to our ultimate national aspirations.

Today, and from now on eternally, Armenia already has no need for the Armenian Diaspora. Whereas, Armenians living in various other countries, if they want to preserve their Armenian identity, are in vital need of Armenia, of their Homeland. And in this process, perhaps one day, who know?, we could even succeed in becoming a Nation.

There is still much to write about these issues, however it is better to refrain from going on and to stop here, in order not to aggravate this inclination and peril of internal division that constantly threatens us, and against which these lines had to be a minimal reaction only.

It doesn’t take much smarts, university degrees, special abilities of a sharp analytical mind, to see and stress the various and numerous differences that exist amongst Armenians.

The marifet [ingenuity], dear compatriot Talin Suciyan, is to perceive and to develop the similarities.

Haytoug Chamlian, Esq.



-Between them and the differences mishd stay : May be cultural , mindset , kaghakakan , and even linguistic differences : What harm us let our compatriots transfers in May speak Western Armenian : Let them eat Kharbert kufta imrik melting ... diversity , with money I have Western roots : Ten years in the bnakim not coming weeks illusions that they will vergtnem yerazeal Western man here : Surely the presence of the mixture gradually became a arevntahay cn shoes and Eastern irakanuteants : Multiculturalism in a New Do not let it overcome differences serve as a pretext for not participating in the creation of a new Armenia .

14 January, 2014
For the purposes of clarification - and also, due credit -, it has to be noted that the original version of this article is written in Armenian. It is subsequently translated to English, by the dynamic and devoted staff of Hetq. As it could happen in any translation, in case of any possible discrepancy, the original version prevails. Re: http://hetq.am/arm/news/31951/diaspora?what-diaspora?.html

15 January, 2014
I sense real anger and hostility towards the Diaspora in this article, not to mention a fair amount of chauvinism. I am not surprised. You know, isn't it interesting that the Diaspora, which supposedly has very little Armenian identity, has been able to keep itself together for 100+ years, establish thousands of institutions, and shovel billions of dollars into independent Armenia? Also, how interesting that Armenians emigrate from Armenia and thereby become part of the Diaspora in the West. Are they bad people? Are they now Western Armenians?

15 January, 2014
Dear Vahé, "anger and hostility", no. But some exasperation, yes. As for the "chauvinism", it's puzzling that you would sense any such thing in this text, because its fundamental subject is the exact contrary! --- In reaction to an interview which claims that diasporan Armenians are not feeling close enough to the current Armenia, since they are originally "Western Armenians", this article explains that there is no such concept of "Western Armenians", and Armenia is, not only in abstract but also in factual reality, the Homeland of all Armenians, anywhere in the word. How can the defense of the "One Nation, One Homeland" philosophy be chauvinistic ! It is the quintessential concept of inclusion, of a pan-armenian understanding of the relationship with the country at hand. --- As for those billions that the Diaspora has donated to Armenia, I am not so sure about such a colossal amount, but indeed, there is some sizeable monetary contribution in that regard, but that is the least that the Diaspora could do, considering what their compatriots living in Armenia are doing and enduring, in order to preserve, defend and develop our Homeland.

16 January, 2014
Bravo Haytoug! Your words are like a breath of fresh air in an environment saturated by rhetorical toxicity and emotional pessimism. Individuals like you give me hope that our Diaspora is not yet totally dead and that the concept of Armenian patriotism there still exists. Unlike one American-Armenian's faulty view, a new Armenia CANNOT be created when two Armenians meet anywhere on earth. For better or for worst, there is but one Armenia and it is our responsibility as her children to be constructive, objective, rational, loving and patient in our dealings with her. More importantly, when it comes to Armenia, we must recognize that there has been a persistent Western agenda against our fledgling homeland. This is not because there is a lack of "democracy" in Armenia but rather because there is a lack of Washington in Armenia. Had official Yerevan been in Western pockets, Armenian presidents woudl do no wrong in the eyes of Western powers and their activists inside Armenia. But because Armenia is in a strategic alliance with Russia and because Armenia has very good relations with Iran, Western powers have been targeting Armenia via large numbers of Western funded and inspired rights advocates, political activists, politicians, propaganda outlets disguised as news organizations and an army of NGOs championing various causes as a measure to cause societal unrest. Through these Western assets, Armenia's natural growing pains are being exploited and used against her for geopolitical purposes. But better times are ahead. After twenty years of stagnation, September 3, 2013 became historic turning point for our homeland. Armenia's national borders have not been this secure in well over one thousand years. Armenia is militarily safe. Now, we simply need to begin exploiting our ascension to the Customs Union to bring some life into her economy. At the end of the day, Armenia will be around long after the current Diaspora is dead and long forgotten.

16 January, 2014
Please stop with the "Western agenda" bogeyman. Just the contrary. Serzh and his ilk are being given a "pass" by the West. Just look at all the optimistic-sounding statements of Washington and the Council of Europe, etc., after every sham election. Harutik seems to argue that democratic values and processes are Western inspired notions that are being artificially injected into Armenia. How wrong he is. Ask all those brave Armenians in the RA who are waging a constant battle for their political and civic rights. Harutik argues the contrary - that Armenia should tie its fate with a degenerate state like Russia where the rule of law rests in the hands of Putin and his strongmen. How unfortunate and how narrow-sighted.

16 January, 2014
Gevork, please take your head out of whatever it is that you have been burying it. The West tolerated Sargsyan because of his clever "complimentary politics". Knowing that they could lose Armenia to Russia the West payed a double game. Let me explain: Western officials deal cordially with Armenian authorities on one hand and they also conspire against them on the other hand though their activists, agents, propaganda outlets and NGOs. This is what called international relations. As long as Armenia is not in Western pockets or under Western boots (thank God for Russia here), Armenia's leaders will always be worked against by Western interests. Please learn a thing or two about politics.

16 January, 2014
Again with the conspiracy theories. And the biggest one in Avetis's opinion is that democracy is a Western ploy to weaken Armenia. What a boob! or should I say boobooshka.....

17 January, 2014
Gevork, You do sound ignorant. Open your eyes. What has Western Democracy brought to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria in recent years? The answer: utter chaos, death and destruction. What has Western Democracy brought to Anglo-American occupied Europe? The answer: economic instability, social decadence, lose of national identity and the very decline of western and European civilization! India, touted as the "largest Democracy" on earth, is a cesspool of corruption, poverty and despair. Prosperity, political stability and Democracy are not interrelated: Never has been, never will be. Democracy may in fact be the worst form of government in existence today. What about Western countries such as the US and Britain? Well, despite what the sheeple think, they are NOT Democracies. They are not crazy enough to allow the sheeple any say in their state policies. The US in particular is a two party "elitists" system (even described by some Americans as an oligarchic system) run by several special interest groups (e.g. military industrial complex, pentagon, Jewish organizations, mega oil companies, large pharmaceuticals companies, Wall Street, Federal Reserve). The practice of Democracy in the Western world is tightly controlled by its deeply entrenched elite. The so-called Democratic processes in places like the United States or United Kingdom will never be allowed to get outside their clearly defined parameters. A nation cannot risk playing with Democracy when the nation is culturally not ready and politically immature. A nation cannot risk playing with Democracy when it does not have a democratic tradition or lacks powerful national institutions. A nation cannot risk playing with Democracy when it is still developing. Powerful national institutions overseeing and sometimes directly guiding the so-called "democratic process" in a political system is exactly how the Western world is currently run. Developing nations in the post-Soviet space are in no shape to risk playing with such a toxic drug. What Armenia needs is a top heavy authoritarian government that has the long term well being of the nation in mind. I fee bad for you, apsos es, please wake up and educate yourself to the world you are living in.

17 January, 2014
Democracy is a process not an end game. Harutik believes that the people of Armenia (and I'd take a wild guesss and state that he doesn't live in Armenia), aren't ready for the rule of law and protection under the constitution. In fact, he calls Armenians "politically immature" and thus denigrates them to the level of children who need a dictator. How magnanimous of him to dictate such terms will sitting comfortably in some foreign shores away from reality. No wonder he can spew such proclamations and make value judgments. He talks about the "entrenched elites in the West put has nothing to say about the same in Armenia. I wonder why? He wants Armenia and its people to forever live as servants to a bunch of oppressors that he appears to have nothing but praise for. How sad and vision-less on his part. As if Armenians should go on being the "sheeple" he berates with such vile and condensation. I pray such nonsense stays outside the borders of Armenia and that people like him only get the chance to disseminate their reactionary views in the pages of newspapers. He has nothing of merit to contribute to the process of nation-building which, despite his objections, is taking place in Armenia. The people here do not need or want your pessimistic prognostications. Young people in Armenia would view you as a Stalinist throwback and ask you to kindly leave their country. BTW, I now what "world I am living in". It is called Armenia. I would suggest that you stay in that world of doom and gloom you now reside in and not interfere in the work going on in Armenia to create a country where people want to move to rather than leave.

Ara Kassabian - 17 January, 2014
This request is coming from New Zealand. Please stop this poisonous debate, it is not healthy and you all know that. Diaspora or no diaspora, Armenians are one, they were, are and will always be. Those who do not agree, can take a hike.

-To assume otherwise is giving his interview limitation , reality , Talin Sujyan born in dastiarakuats and attended school in Turkey : --- Asonk objective reality out ( which must be at least recorded interview moderated ) --- Based on this , interesting will be to listen to him as he analyzes his relationship with country homes , Armenia compared to assure the audience with the question of the future in an interview : --- Hartsadranke certainly appropriate , because many different types of " Diaspora " there are many different countries the Armenians were tsnin , height will take them to school and get educated --- Also , that every one has to take full responsibility for the opinions expressed --- H.Sh.

17 January, 2014
Contrary to what the introduction of her interview suggests ("Munich-based historian"), Ms. Talin Suciyan is born, was raised and went to school in Turkey. --- These are objective facts. --- On that basis, it would be interesting to hear how she analyses her relationship with that country, by comparison to her position towards Armenia that she expresses in that interview. --- The above-mentioned facts should have been at least indicated by the person who conducted and published the interview.--- As for the simple question based upon them, it is certainly legitimate, considering that there are as many "spurkahays" as there are countries where Armenians are born, raised and educated. --- Also, everyone should bear the full responsibility of the opinions that he or she expresses --- H.C.

Haytoug Shamlian- 19 January, 2014
Talin's work on the subject of genocide-denialism is truly remarkable. Notably, the part where she study how Armenians themselves were or still are forced to practice it... --- If her personal backround is (relatively) relevant in this specific subject, it is because that could explain why she has not perhaps fully understood the concept of "One Nation, One Homeland". After all, something tells me that they don't teach about the Armenian National Liberation Movement in Turkey, including in Armenian schools... --- One may more or less hear about it, over there, but it's not like they are raised in absolute accordance with it, starting from their early childhood ---- As a competent historian, Talin should now explore the subject, though, when she finds a moment. --- And by the way, said concept is certainly not limited to the relationship between the Armenians of the Diaspora and the Armenians living in Armenia, but it also links every Armenian to every other Armenian, all over the world. --- That is why, for instance, that I certainly consider Talin as my compatriot, my azkagits.--- Let me finish by saying also this : the practical applications of the "One Nation, One Homeland" idea are not situated only on "high" levels, in statehood matters, etc. This concept can and must be applied on all levels, starting with the very basic ones, and also with individual initiatives . Here is how my immediate family have been implementing it, turned it into real deeds and action : http://www.shoushisummercamp.org/ --- (Under "About", 12th paragraph : the "slogan" in question is invoked, in its full version) --- Haytoug

8 February, 2014
What illogical non-sense. This moron cannot even define what a nation is in any accurate, historical or realistic way. A nation, as told by Hitler and many before him is: race, language and territory. Armenians should have been more wise during the Soviet revolution by helping to stop it dead in its tracks. The rest is sour grapes. Armenia is a paper state filled with mongoloid half-breeds that are ugly, incapable of intellect and psychologically crippled. The culture in Armenia itself resembles post-collapse Russia. A place where immorality and drugs run rampant. The government is thoroughly corrupt with no real power to clean out thuggery or even protect national mail services from organized crime monopolies. The Caucuses were doomed after WW2 as is culture, nationalism, heritage and humanity as a whole. The world had its chance to stop communism twice and both times its failed. Communism has now completely engulfed the entire planet. The U.S is primed for a full on 2nd Civil War between communist Liberals and Nationalist Conservatives. When you consider how Armenia is a small piece of worthless land a quarter the size of San Bernardino county, no access to a coast and entirely dependent upon Russia, Armenia and the Armenian people are, at best, 100 years away from becoming a language only. Even that will fade with time as Armenian is not a globally important language. 200 years from now, Armenians will be extinct. As an Armenian, I don't give a damn. Why should others? I am still a pure blooded White Armenian. I do not identify myself as such. My only identity is race and political belief: a proud, White, National Socialist. Good riddance to Armenia and Armenian women who have always been the breeding subjects of males from other races. I could give Armenia and Armenians a simple plan to follow for the next 50 years that would see you become a true power in the East. Would you morons follow it? No. Even despite the success rates (100%) of other nations that have done it perfectly. Of course you wont because Armenian men would rather be cuckolds who, for centuries, watched their women being carried of by invaders. Basic rules of strong Nationalism in the world today: (1)Buy or manufacture lots of guns to protect the state. (2) Use guns to prevent anyone from foiling your plans in acquiring Nukes. (3) Threaten Israel with Nukes (4) Watch the money and political power roll in. (5) Help destabilize Turkey to gain favor with Russia. (6) Destabilize Turkey. (7) Sell your souls to Russia in an effort to create a military force to wipe every border state off the face of the earth. (8) Gain Access to Med and Black Sea. (9) Become globally significant. If not, remain a third world, broken and worthless paper-state with nothing more than a genocide story to cry about. "Former Armo" from Evergreen Colorado. 1488!

Ara Sutlian 13 February, 2014
If Armenian author and intellectual Khachtur Apovian read this article, he would in disbelief change the title of his masterpiece to " Verk Hayutyan" from "Verk Hayastani. I am prety sure our intellectuals from the past to the present be that from Eastern or Western Armenia will shake their heads in disappointment. Haven't we learned from our history?

2 March, 2014
the entire "conversation" above is nothing more than rubbish of a pretentious nature. armenians do not respect each other and therefore any difference perceived or real will be magnified far beyond its importance. also, the presumptuousness of believing to speak for other people simply because there is a shared armenian heritage is absurd in the extreme. i am of armenian heritage and no one speaks for me but myself. if armenians cannot respect each other on that basis alone, then everything else is simply a worthless fraud. learn to respect each other regardless of differences or disappear. thank you.

Sources 1
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