2497) Armenian Mistake


Armenians are consisted of people, who have lived in Iranian and Anatolian geography separately, adopted the Gregorian sect of the Christianity, and politically, they continued their cultural and social existence under Persia, Roma, Byzantine, Arabia, Seljuk, Safavid, Ottoman and Russia Empires.

Despite the fact that they had displayed a serious cultural, social and economical existence and executed significant functions, they could not find a chance to become a independent and separate political personality since they lived under the protection, shadow and administration of the above-mentioned Empires. In order to do more trading activities, the Armenians, who are craftsmen and tradesmen, have lived separately under the administration of the above-mentioned Empires, which presented them an environment of peace and quiet.

Therefore, they never had enough population potential that would help them to form a political power, namely, a government, against the other nations that have lived in the region which they call Greater Armenia and Smaller Armenia. This shows that Armenians do not posses a conscious of turning the lands they live within, into a country.

They had settled at the crowded cities, towns where other nations lived sometimes as a group, as a neighborhood and sometimes together with couple of families for doing their professions, namely, their trading activities. This type of living has been their life style and source of wealth. For instance; the wide lands of the Ottoman Empire accompanied with the indulgence of the administration, had presented the Armenians this opportunity. The Armenian population in Istanbul was more than the Armenian population at some provinces. Moreover, Armenian neighborhood existed in provinces like Bursa, Izmir, Konya, Ankara, Samsun, and Trabzon.

Briefly, the life styles of the Armenians had been the most significant factor, which prevented them from constituting a political existence and unity. As known, because the population of the non-Muslim nations like Greeks, Serbians, and Bulgarians at the Balkans had concentrated at a certain region, it was easier for them to revolt and get separated from the Ottoman Empire.

The Armenians were having difficulty in drawing the lines of the future Armenia that they wanted to establish in the framework of a small number of population they had in the Eastern Anatolia (Vilayât-? sitte) since they did not posses geography with certain cultural borders. As a consequence, they did not posses a military and human power that would support and reinforce a separatist uprising in the Eastern Anatolia. They also did not have any political union or power for they were the citizens of the Ottoman, Iran and Russia.

A-The Born and Development of the Armenian Issue

Until the XIX century, there were no serious problems among the Ottoman State and the Armenians. In the framework of the “Nation” (Millet) system, they continued their comfortable lives in their own wagons. Nevertheless, this wagon was pulled by the Ottoman locomotive (Turks). The head engineer (the Ottoman ruler) had never encountered a problem when he took the wagons, which belonged to various nations to a certain direction in a certain speed.

In XIX century, the engineer and the wagons got old; firewood and coal diminished. There was no enough water. The speed of the train lessened. The travelers in the Wagons were restless and started to complain.

First Serbians (1804), then Greeks separated from the Ottoman in 1821 and proceeded in a different way. It is a known fact that Christian Europe had helped founding Greece.

The issue of East was flared up with the incidents like uprising of Mehmet Ali Pasha from Kavala, the Treaty of “Hünkâr I.skelesi” in 1833, the declaration of the Reforms Period (Tanzimat), and Crimea War in 1854, and big states of Europe (England, France, Russia) had turned their attention towards the Ottoman Empire and its heritage. Under these circumstances, the Ottoman Empire had charged the Armenians, whom it considered to be a loyal nation and it had granted significant governmental positions to many Armenian bureaucrats. So, the positions of the Greeks, who were distrusted by the Ottoman, were filled by the Armenians, whom the Ottoman trusted. This situation demonstrated that Armenians were not under the patronage of a foreign country and also the relation between Turks and Armenians were good during the middle of the XIX century.

When the Turks trusted Armenians so much and granted them significant governmental positions, the governments of England, France, and Russia turned their attention to the Armenian society (politically), which was only though at the religious basis by England, France, Russia and American churches. The increase of the attention towards the Armenians and politicization was no good. As a matter of fact, when the political interest was added to the religious interest, which has been going on since the XVIII century, Russia started dealing with Orthodox Armenians and France started dealing with Catholic Armenians. And England, which conquered India, started dealing with Gregorian Armenians in Anatolia to balance and prevent Russia from going down to South.

As we mentioned above, the first obstacle in front of the Ottoman Armenians was the insufficient amount of population, which was dispersed all over the Empire, comparing to the population of the Muslims. The second obstacle was leaving Eastern Anatolia, which they claim rights upon, for to make a leaving due to the absence of the homeland or native soil conscious and considering every part of the Ottoman lands as their homeland. Their third dilemma was to be separated i.e. to be spilt to four camps politically and religiously, which are Catholics, Protestants, Gregorian and Orthodox by France, England and Russia. These three countries pulled the Armenian groups away from the Ottoman by giving promises and hopes. Moreover, they destroyed national integrity and solidarity soul by plotting mischief, rivalry and hostility among Catholic Armenians, Orthodox Armenians, Protestant Armenians, and Gregorian Armenians. It should not be forgotten that starting from 1819, the USA laid hands on the Armenians via its missionaries and protected and gave hope to them.

Meanwhile, many Armenian students were educated in France, England, Switzerland, America, Russia, and Belgium sometimes via churches and sometimes with the support of European countries and then came back to Istanbul. Istanbul had been a center for Armenian culture and awakening. They were separated as “Éclairs” and “Obscurantist” with the influence of various thought currents and especially with the influence of romanticism and realism. The Armenian society spilt into two major groups. England sided “Éclairs”. Both of the groups discussed religious and national matters during the meetings that were organized in Istanbul. The issues related with Armenians had turned into a national cause in the course of time. And that meant that Armenians were politicized.

As a matter of fact, exploiting from the atmosphere of the Reforms Period, the Armenians constituted a council in order to administrate their own undertakings in the years of 1841, 1847 and 1853. In 1960, Armenian national constitution (Sahmanadrouthiun) came out, and in 1863 it was recognized by the Ottoman government under the name “The Regulations of Armenian Nation”. Taking courage of these developments and the support of Europe, some Armenians were secretly implanting Turkish-Armenian and Muslim-Christian hostility to Armenian youth via schools and meetings. Moreover, they also started their activities in Anatolia by intensifying their religious and national organizations. France was helping Catholics and Russia to Orthodox and England to Gregorian on the issues of organization. Briefly, while Armenians’ interest towards the big states and big states’ interest towards the Armenians
Increased, both of them became enemies of the Ottoman Empire.

It was expected that Turkish-Armenian relations would improve when the constitutional monarchy was declared in 1876. However, during 1877–1878 period, when the Armenian Patriarch Nerses Varjabedyan cooperated with Russia and adding the article 16 to the Ayastefanos Treaty on the benefit of the Armenians, by taking advantage of the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, was both the last drop in the glass which also displayed the real intention of the Armenians. Their intention was to establish an Armenian state in Eastern Anatolia with the support of Europe. That meant to send the Turks away from the Eastern Anatolia. As a consequence, the Ottoman Empire could not react with tolerance. However, Armenian issue was internationalized and put on the agenda of the World policy and diplomacy. As a matter of fact, when the article 61 was added to the Berlin Treaty on the benefit of the Armenians, the Turkish-Armenian relations was more tensed. The Ottomans regarded Armenians as doubtful.

The Armenians started getting organized politically and militarily in order to put their reform demands into effect and accelerate them, which they obtained in theory with the article 61 with the Berlin Treaty, and they started contacts with Europe, which was the disadvantage of the Ottoman Empire. Actually, Marxist tendency H?nchak society in Geneva was established in 1877 and revolutionary Tashnak society in Tbilisi was established in 1890. Both political differences and rivalry existed among the two societies. These were their weaknesses and they never were able to constitute a unity.

The supporters of these two societies and the churches attempted to arm the Armenian society. Europe supported them with munitions, finance and arms. Finally, they made a move in 1891 by means of uprisings, violence, raids, and assassinations. However, Armenians knew that they would not be able to establish an Armenian state in Anatolia by these methods. Then what did they intend to do with uprisings and violence?

First, they wished to evacuate Eastern Anatolia from Muslims and increase the number of the Armenian population. Secondly, they aimed at inciting Turks and lead them to kill Armenians, and then shout “See, Turks are massacring Armenians; the Muslims are assaulting Christians.” and so, get Europe to intervene on the benefit of the Armenians. Thirdly, they lead European countries to establish an Armenian state in the Eastern Europe.

It was not possible for the Armenians to reach at a point with these methods. Because they did not believe that they would be able to establish a state with their own power. Moreover, maybe they were able to disturb the Ottoman Empire with uprisings, violence, raids, and assassinations, but they could not establish a state. They could not see that point. They could not perceive that England would not let them establish a state only for their own good. As a result, England, France and Russia did not consider Armenians during their project for sharing the Ottoman Empire at the World War I (1914-1918). Armenians did not realize that also.

During the years of national struggle (1919–1922), England and France left Eastern Anatolia with the Serves Treaty to Armenians for to use Armenian card against the Turks. So, Armenians fought with Turks at the ranks of France in Adana and Maras, and attacked once again to Turks with the encouragement of England. Despite all these, France left Armenians to their destiny with the Ankara Treaty in 1921. England and France did not mention about Armenians and Armenia with Lausanne Treaty in 1923.

England took the Armenian demands out of the agenda after it has invaded the petroleum regions in 1918. In the framework of his own 14 principles President Wilson (1919–1922) displayed his desire to protect them by taking them under the American mandate. Meanwhile, when President Wilson realized that he will need 200,000 American troops and 276,000 annually to protest and defend Armenians, he gave up his thought for supporting Armenians. So, Armenians once again were not able to see that the USA would not lift her finger on behalf of them without having political and economical interest.

B-The Eruption of the Armenian Issue once Again

The Turkish state and motherland was officially formed with Lausanne Treaty in 23 July 1923. Having a united and national structure, the new government both cut its ties with the Ottoman Empire and it did not want to deal with the issues, she had dealt in the past. And one of these issues was the Armenian issue. The Turkish government believed that the issue was over and so it did not dwell upon this issue. Also the Armenians in Armenia and the other countries seemed to accept that the issue over and left in the past during the Atatürk period.

However, after the World War II, a new polarized world appeared. The rivalry among Communist-totalitarian block and Capitalist-Liberal block brought about the cold war era and both sides used every chance and element against each other. A disturbance was felt at the East block when Turkey sided the West and entered NATO.

Therefore, Soviet Russia planned to use Armenian card against Turkey. In 1965 demonstrations against Turkey were organized at the streets of Yerevan. Armenia and the Armenians living outside Turkey liked Moscow’s plan which included using Armenians against Turkey and NATO. They moved against Turkey in a short period of time and they founded ASALA terror organization. Another network, which was involved with every kind of smuggling between Yerevan-Beirut lines, was obtaining financial support to ASALA. So, Turkish opponent campaign had started in the Soviet world.

The Armenians started a terrorist action against Turkey and Turks, and murdered Turkish Consul General in Los Angles in 1973 in order to be heard, convey their demands and influence the world public opinion. This terrorism continued against the Turkish institutions and goods all the time until 1984. European and American public opinion was quiet against the Armenian terrorism. Countries, which have accounts at the Middle East and Caucasus, were approaching the Armenians with sympathy in order to use and attract them, when needed. They considered Turks as guilty. When Armenian terror started to harm Europe, they instructed ASALA to stop, and then they put PKK terrorist organization in circuit against Turkey.

The Western powers use Armenian card on Turkey is, no doubt, because of their economical and political interests. However, demanding Eastern Anatolia from Turks and Turkey, is also not reasonable for the Western countries. Because, according to the 1893 census in the whole of the Ottoman Empire there were 1.101.413, and in 1914 census there were 1.161.119 Armenians during the years 1890–1915. Turks were dominant at the Eastern Anatolia despite the support and intervention of the European countries, and the weakness of the Ottoman state. Presently it is even impossible to imagine the annexation of the Eastern Anatolia to Armenia by the Armenians. Therefore, Armenia was directed to mountainous Karabagh and green light was lit for Karabagh’s annexation.

Seeing that Armenian card was not and would not be useful in the Eastern Anatolia, the PKK terrorism was put in the circuit.

A serious union was secured among PKK and ASALA and even Greece was also included in this union voluntarily. According to the suggested plan it was promised that first Eastern Anatolia would be separated from Turkey, and then Van and the provinces of Erzurum-Kars-Ig(d?r-Ardahan, which are situated at the North of Lake Van, would be given to the Armenians, and the South of the Van-Mus,-Bingöl line would be given to Kurds.

ASALA and PKK terrorist organizations were consoled with the attractiveness and imagination of this plan. But in fact, the real goal of the imperialist powers is to take the Caucasus-Baku-beyond Hazar, Mosul-Kirkuk and Gulf Basra petrol and natural gas lines under control, and use ASALA, PKK, Barzani, and Talabani to reach at their goal.


It seems that some Armenians have not taken lessons from the past. They were not able to get anywhere in the past, and it will not be possible for them to do so in the present day. They will not be able to succeed with their own powers, so they can never be successful with baseless genocide statements, terrorism and the congress resolutions of the third world countries. They might disturb Turkey currently, as they had disturbed the Ottoman Empire in the past. But they will never succeed.

Source: Education in the Light of Science and Mind-April 2003
Prof.Dr. Bayram Kodaman