Throughout history, hundreds, thousands...millions of people lived on these lands. At times, their existence was marked by battles, and at others, peace reigned over them. The Armenians too, were among the inhabitants of these lands. They were ruled by the Persians, the Macedonians, the Seleucids, the Romans, Partians, Byzantines and Arabs...were constantly exiled from one region to the other, and were accorded third-class citizenship until the Turks gained sovereignty over Anatolia, in 1071. After this date, fighting gradually diminished and Byzantine persecution left its place to the just, tolerant, humanitarian and unifying beliefs and traditions of the Seljuks. The years of peace and calm enjoyed by Armenians under the hegemony of the Seljuks reached a climax under the rule of the Ottomans...a period that can be defined as the 'Golden Age'... Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, who put an end to Byzantine rule, allowed the foundation of the Armenian Patriarchate, an unprecedented move for the Armenians to whom he granted freedom of conscience and faith. The transformation of the Armenian Episcopate in Western Anatolia to the Istanbul Patriarchate, following a decree he issued in 1461, is clear evidence of the vision and tolerance displayed by Mehmed and of the subsequent Ottoman Sultans toward other faiths.
As a matter of fact, the present day Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II was according due rights to those who in turn had taken a similar stand toward the Armenians throughout their 'Golden Age' by saying: " We can duely grasp the significance of tolerance between different religions and cultures, as well as the value of this incident dating back to 538 years, by taking into account the tensions witnessed throughout the world on the threshold of a new millennium, the ongoing wars beyond our borders in particular."
Following the reign of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, Turco-Armenian relations continued excellently until the end of the 19th century. In fact, Armenians were by far, the greatest beneficiaries of the opportunities offered by the Ottoman Empire to all industrious, efficient, honest and productive subjects of the non-muslim communities. Being exempted from the military service and to a great extent from taxation, the Armenians had the opportunity to make headway in trade, agriculture, craftsmanship and administration, and by reason of their loyalty to the Empire, as well as their ability to intermingle with other subjects, they had duely attained the title of 'loyal people'.
Towards the end of 7th century, the Byzantine hegemony in Anatolia came to an end. First, the Umayyeds gained sovereignty and then the Abbasides came into power, ruled until the end of the 9th century. At the end of 10th century, the Byzantine Empire restored its hegemony in entire Anatolia.
Byzantine Emperor Vasil II spent the last years of his life leading some activities in the Caucuses. After the death of Gagik I (990-1020) of the Armenian Bagratuni dynasty, chaos started in this region, which gave the Byzantine Emperor a chance to interfere with the Caucuses successfully. Thus, a part of Georgia and Van region were annexed to the Byzantine Empire and the Armenian Ani dynasty was succeeded by Ionnas Smbat, the son and life-long heir apparent of Gagik. After Ionnas Smbat died Byzantine Empire had annexed the dynasty.
The Byzantine Empire not only annexed the territories in this land, where Armenians lived but also “removed the commanders of Armenian nation from their own houses and states and exiled these commanders with them” as Mateos of Urfa stated. The situation was really suitable for Seljuks to enter Anatolia. Christian defenses in the region had weakened and Byzantine army also lost power due to domestic political disputes and military rebellions.
The Seljukian Crown Prince Hasan commenced raids to Van Lake region in 1047-1048. Ibrahim Yinal who was appointed as Azerbaijan Governor General, in collaboration with Kutalmish defeated the Byzantine Army, which was under the command of Liparit, Aaron and Katalon, in Pasin Plains in September 1048, upon the order he took from Tugrul Beg.
Romanos VI. Diogenes, who obtained power by marrying Byzantine Emperor Konstantin Dukas’s (May 1067) wife after the emperor’s death, promptly took the control of the war against the Seljuks. However, due to the weakening of his army, he gathered an army mostly consisting of foreign soldiers (Pecheneg, Oghuz, Norman, Frank, Armenian, Slav, Bulgarian, German, Caspian, Georgian) with great difficulties.
According to Islamic and Christian resources, this army mobilized by the Byzantine Emperor, added up to a total between 200.000 and 600.000 soldiers. The Byzantine Emperor, before moving towards Malazgirt, heard the news that Armenians acted more brutally than the Turks did and he swore to destroy Armenian community after the war.
On 26th August 1071, the Byzantine Emperor attacked onto Sultan Alparslan’s army at a location around Van Lake near Malazgirt with his paid army, which was superior in number but undisciplined and consisting of foreign soldiers. However, his army was routed and almost destroyed by Alparslan’s army, and even the Emperor himself was captured. Alparslan made peace with Emperor Diogenes and sent him to Istanbul back to his throne with a great ceremony.
Mateos of Urfa, after listening to people who had experienced these events personally wrote about it and expressed Byzantine behavior towards Armenians who lived for so long under the sovereignty of Byzantium:
“... They (Romans) caused Catholicos (Haçik) to suffer from various types of torture because of his sect. As we heard, they tortured him with fire, but he came out of fire safe and sound.”
“Two years later (993-994) the Great Roman Duke attacked the Armenians with a powerful army, dashing at Christians, he killed them and captured them. He, like a poisonous snake, brought death everywhere, and thus took the place of godless nations.”
How did Turks behave the Armenians who fought together with Byzantium against Turks? Did Turks despise and oppress them or burn their churches and monasteries as the Byzantine rulers did? Mateos of Urfa recorded the tolerance shown to all non-Moslem minorities living under Seljukian rule, especially the Armenians:
“In 539 (27th February 1090-26th February 1091) the Armenian Catholicos Barseg went to Conqueror Sultan Melikshah. Seeing that Christians are oppressed at some places, taxes are demanded from churches of God and clergy, and bishops are oppressed in monasteries for taxes, Catolicosis decided to enter the presence of Iran’s and all Christians’ magnanimous and pleasant Sultan and tell him all problems. The Sultan admitted signor Barseg to his presence paid him a great compliment and fulfilled his wishes. The Sultan exempted all churches and monasteries and the clergy from taxes and gave Armenian Catolicosis, firmans and saw him off with compliments.”
As it can be understood from the statements above, Seljukian Turks showed Armenians as well as the other non-Muslim subjects, the tolerance, which had not been shown by the Byzantine Empire and ensured them that he will protect their religion and social lives. This tolerance continued in the period of Anatolian Seljuk Empire as well. In spite of all the tolerance shown to them, it is also known that Armenians sometimes supported to the Byzantine Empire and also, at the time of the Crusades, they reinforced the Crusade Armies.
OTTOMAN — ARMENIAN RELATIONS
In the first years of the Ottoman Empire, Armenians were scattered as small princedoms and emirates. They were living as subjects of Iran, Byzantine Empire, Georgian and Seldjukian States and the other small emirates located generally in Cukurova, Eastern Anatolia and Caucasus regions.The first relations of Armenians with Ottomans started in the western region of Anatolia, where Armenians were a small minority. After Bursa was made the capital city of the state by Osman Ghazi (Sultan Osman I) in 1324, most of the Armenians in Kutahya and the Armenian spiritual chieftain were transferred to this city.Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, on his own initiative transferred Hovakim, the Armenian spiritual leader in Bursa, to Istanbul after he conquered Istanbul in 1453. In 1461, he had Armenian Patriarchate established as well as the Byzantine Greek Patriarchate, and he ensured Armenians to be controlled by this Patriarch. Following Sultan Selim’s (Selim I) conquest of South Caucasia and Eastern Anatolia in 1514-1516, Armenians in this region were also included in the same congregation and were connected to Istanbul Patriarch. Armenians, who received the attention of the Ottoman Empire, an attention, which they had never received in their history from any other state or any other ruler, became sincerely fond of the Ottoman State and the Turkish nation. Because of this reason, in a short time great numbers of Armenians immigrated to Istanbul from various places, and formed a big community. Thus, they became one of the world’s most prosperous communities.In a period of three hundred and fifty years from Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror to Sultan Mahmut II, religious and social affairs of Christians, as well as the Armenians, were certainly not interfered with. Many schools, printing-houses and libraries were established with the help of Armenian bankers (then called Amira), merchants and civil officials. In addition, many Armenian young men were sent to European universities and schools to be educated in various fields and learn art. Nevertheless, Armenians living under Russian rule were not given these rights at that period.Armenian Patriarch Nerses stated, in his letter, to the Citizenship Assembly Council in 1876 that “If by any chance the Armenian nation has been preserved as a nation and if it is preserving its beliefs, its church, language, history and cultural values, all these are due to the protection, help and benevolence shown by the Turkish government to the Armenian nation. Fate bounds Armenians to Turks. Because of this, Armenians can not remain indifferent during wars and hardships facing the state. On the contrary, they are obliged to help the state as they have always done. The Armenian who loves his homeland and who will help the state, will receive the best service of his own nation.”As it is seen in the statement above, the Armenian Patriarch says that the Armenians under Turkish rule have preserved their identities and he thanks for the rights offered by the Ottoman State.The Ottoman State announced the reforms to be made in Gulhane Decree but non-Muslims were not pleased with these new rights given. Non-Muslims were obliged to do military service and they could also charged with official duty or attend civil and military schools. As a result of this, Armenians had the government ratify the Armenian Nation Regulations, which came into force in 1863 and consisted of 99 articles.Armenians were always treated first class citizens as the other non-Muslims were. They did not do military service, furthermore, they gained important positions in society and became rich especially by obtaining key points in commercial life.Armenians’ fidelity towards the Ottoman State, their adaptation of Turkish customs and even their speaking Turkish well ensured Armenians to be appointed to high and responsible positions of the state. With regard to this fact, in the 16th century, there were statesmen who were promoted to the post of vizier like Mehmet Pasha of Armenian origin. In the 18th century, there were palace jewelers and later Ministers of Mint from the Duzyan family of Divrik and palace doctors from Sasyan family. In the 19th century, there were Ministers of Mint from Bezciyan family and Ministers of Powder-mill from Dadyan family. Also, there were Armenian foreign affairs officials and ministers in the 19th century and Abdulhamid period and so on. In addition, many Armenians worked as counselors to Ottoman statesmen. The Armenian community always lived in a tolerant and free environment, like all the other minorities and non-Muslims in the Ottoman Empire. They were not a community which was exposed to a massacre as claimed but a community who held important positions and practiced important professions in every level of state administration. Perhaps the most striking statements about Ottoman-Armenian relations were submitted in person by the Armenian community in Turkey. Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II used the expressions below in his speech in the reception in Hilton Hotel on May 22, 1999:“We are at the brink of the third millenium. We are preparing to celebrate the beginning of a new period in the History of Humanity. I think that this is a great chance for all of us. The chance of designating our future with the dreams of unity of cultures and nations...Respect to human life and individual rights and freedoms, and a world lawful and far away from all types of violence are common aspirations for all of us. This milestone in front of us is offering not only a unique opportunity but also a difficult test. The second millenium, which we are preparing to leave behind, is full of tragic events. However, among the ones we left behind there are also many events which we will always remember with respect and celebrate with pleasure in the coming milleniums.
As we celebrate today...
The foundation of Istanbul Armenian Patriarchate is an unique event in the history of world. Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror’s converting the Armenian episcopalism in Western Anatolia into Istanbul Patriarchate with a firman in 1461, eight years after he conquered Istanbul, is a clear example of his and Ottoman Empire’s future vision and tolerance they showed to all religions. In history, it has never been seen neither before Mehmed nor after him that a ruler who is a disciple of a certain religion establish a spiritual presidency for the disciples of an another religion.If we consider present tensions in the world and especially the wars in our neighbors in the eve of a new millenium, I suppose we can comprehend better the value of this event, which occurred 538 years ago and the importance of tolerance between religions and cultures. With pleasure and gratitude, we commemorate Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror who offered a new life for the Armenian community within the borders of the Empire according to their own customs and practice, the statesmen who served the country following Mehmed’s steps, and our 83 patriarchs, beginning with the first Istanbul Armenian Patriarch appointed in 1461, Hovagim of Bursa, all of whom served this position faithfully. We, Turkish Armenians, as being the most crowded Christian community living in Turkey celebrate 75th year of our country with enthusiasm, we sincerely believe in the bright future of Republic of Turkey and we have great expectations for future.”
RELATIONS DURING WORLD WAR I AND AFTER
Ottoman Empire went into war against Britain, France and Russia on November 1, 1914 and Armenian committees considered this as a great opportunity. The Armenians formed voluntary troops and joined the Russian forces. They attacked Eastern Anatolia together with the Russian expeditionary forces. Furthermore, new rebellions were provoked in various parts of Anatolia, Ottoman forces were stabbed in the back, and civil Turks were massacred. The Armenians’ targets were not only the Turks but also the Byzantine Greeks around Trabzon and Jews around Hakkari.
Tashnaqsutyun committee was gathered in Erzurum in June 1914 just before the Ottoman Empire began to fight and it took the following decisions:
“Tashnaqsutyun Congress takes into account economic, social and administrative policies contrasting and followed by the government of Party of Union and Progress against Christian factors, and especially Armenians and its deceptive activities about oppression and reforms. So, it decided to remain as an opponent to the party, to criticize party’s political program, to struggle severely against itself and its organization.”
Turkish Armenians living in Marseilles published a declaration at the end of the meeting held on August 5, 1914, when Ottoman Empire declared mobilization just before it went into war. Several statements from the aforementioned declaration which was published in various newspapers were as follows:
“Russian Armenians will fulfil their duties in order to take revenge of the abuse against our brothers’ corpses by taking place on the side of Moscow armies. We, Armenians under the tyranny of Turks, shouldn’t point any of our arms to France, which is our second homeland, and to its allies and friends.
Armenians, Turkey calls you to arms without telling you who the enemy is; to enlist voluntarily in the French army and its allies, in order to help the defeat of Wilhelm II’s army whose railways passed over the corpses of 300.000 of our brothers.”
We can easily learn from any sources that Armenians cooperated with Russians when the war broke out.
On this subject Philips Price said that:
“... when the war broke out, Armenians in that region (Eastern towns) contacted with Russian authorities in the Caucasus secretly, and volunteers from Turkish towns were begun to join the Russian forces by the help of an underground organization.”
Rafael de Nogales wrote:
“Garo Pasdermichan (Pastirmaciyan), deputy of Erzurum, passed across the border to join the Russian Army with almost all the Armenian Officials and soldiers the Third Army. After a short while, he returned with the Russian Forces, burned down the Turkish villages, killed violently all the innocent Muslims whom he caught. The measure taken by the Ottoman authorities was to disarm the Armenian soldiers and gendarmes still the army, perhaps they had not has the opportunity to escape, and to transfer them to labor battalions to work in road construction and in equipment transportation.
Clair Price wrote:
“ In compliance with the 1908 Constitution, the Government of Enver Pasha had the right to call Armenians to arms together with Turks who were at the right age for military service. However, they immediately began to resist with arms against authorities especially in Zeytun. Along the Eastern borders, Armenians began to escape and join Russian armies. The Government of Enver suspected the loyalty of the rest and transferred them to working battalions.”
The Ottoman Government declared mobilization on August 3. The Armenians of Zeytun refused to stay under the Turkish flag, so they formed Zeytun Commando Regiment under the control of their own officials and wanted to protect their region themselves. But naturally their demand was refused and hence they actually rebelled on August 30. At the end of the pursuit approximately 60 rebels were caught with their arms and peace was established for a short time, but in December people of Zeytun began to attack administrative officers and gendarme again.
In May 1915, Rsussian forces advanced in Eastern Anatolia. English and French forces attacked Çanakkale and in the south, the channel operation was in progress. The domestic situation of the country was as explained. In Zeytun, Van and Mus rebellions broke out, the rebellion in Van led to Rusian occupation, and meanwhile the revolts of Zeytun and Mus were going on. Every corner of the country was full of deserters, every corner was exposed to attacks of gangs. As all adult Turks were in the army, the country was left to Armenians. The State was trying to deal with those rebellions while it was also fighting on the fronts. Under those circumstances the Ottoman Empire had to take the decision of relocation of the rebellious Armenians. (1)
There was another decision taken during the war related to Armenians in Turkey, which actually concerned the Patriarchate. With a new regulation published in Takvim-i Vekayi on August 10, 1916, the relations of Armenian churches in Turkey with Ecmiyazin were stopped completely. Sis and Akdamar Catholicoses were united, the center of Catholicosism was moved to Jerusalem. Istanbul Patriarchate participated in that Catholicosism. It was also decided that the Istanbul Patriarch can only be contacted through sect administration. Moreover, the new regulation established new rules for the election of Patriarchs and the formation of Patriarch Assemblies. (2)
1) Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyası, TTK Basımevi, Ankara, sh. 193- 209
2) Gürün, a.g.e., sh. 229
The states which had been the protectors of Armenians for long years, claimed that they fulfilled this task with humanitarian feelings for human rights and justice, and they gave them promises and made commitments about some issues. However, when they saw that they would not benefit from this policy, they left them to their fate in Laussane Peace Conference. Armenians hoped that great European countries would be able to find solutions to their problems. When they understood that they would not be able to realize their demand in this way, they felt the necessity of befriending to Russia. Armenians thought that Russians had always been the natural enemy of Turks throughout history, that there was a deep-rooted antipathy between them, because Russia still aimed at reaching the Iranian Gulf or The Mediterranean Sea via Eastern Anatolia. They thought that any kind of regime in Russia would protect Armenians. Upon this thought, they prepared a program and decided to work on the principles below:
To consolidate the economy and the culture of Soviet Armenian Republic apart from the regime of the country.
To ensure and protect the national feelings, language, religion, culture and targets of Armenians living in the different parts of the world.
To ensure the demands and claims of Armenians in European countries and The League of Nations and to watch for an opportunity for this.
To provide donations of from charities for Armenian people and immigrants; to bring up orphans, to give necessary assistance to the ill and those in need.
It was planned to establish an organization to practice this program and to receive the support of Armenians living in Europe. However, some groups which opposed this, as they were afraid that committees would intervene again. In spite of this, the Tashnak Committee continued its demands about a “United and Independent Armenia”.
After the foundation of the Turkish Republic, a non-aggression pact was signed on December 17, 1925 between Soviet Russia and the Turkish Republic. That pact was in force for almost 20 years, however, when Second World War broke out Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs gave a note to the Turkish Embassy in Moscow, stating that the agreement was invalid from then on. While Turkey was under such bad circumstances, a petition signed by effective and dominant figures of the Armenian Diaspora in America, was submitted to Harry S. Truman, President of the United States. This petition, provoked by Armenian Tashnak Revolutionary Committee member, tried to bring the old problems on the agenda considering that Turkey living through extremely different difficult conditions.
In the petition submitted to Truman, it was requested that the USA should suggest the board of the United Nations (UN) that Armenia should attain its borders drawn by Woodrov Wilson, the President in 1920. Soviet Russia administrators began to follow a different policy when the Second World War ended. According to this policy, all Armenians living around the world would gather in Soviet Armenia Republic; Armenians who dispersed around the world would be provoked to rise in rebellion; especially Turkish antagonism would be regenerated; thus, they would get control of Eastern Anatolia. To this end, they started a intensive provocation. The advantages and benefits of the regime of Soviet Russia were explained; the exaggerated pleasure of Armenians in Soviet Armenia was propagated. For this reason, in order to deceive Armenians living in other countries and persuade them to join this cause, agents were sent those countries and Armenian Societies were established; it was put forward that the cause of Armenia was a problem of humanity and justice, hence, big states were called to be a mediator for this issue.
As the result of the aforementioned studies, the activities below were realized:
An American committee, so-called “Justice”, was founded by Armenians in Washington, the capital of the United States in December 1945. This committee, formed by people with communist tendencies published a declaration and demanded that Eastern parts of Anatolia should be given back to Armenian Republic, and the Turkish-Armenian border drawn by Wilson should be put into practice.
VI. Kevork Corekciyan, Echmiyazin Catholicos, sent a diplomatic note to Stalin, Soviet leader of Soviet Union Public Commissariat, to Truman, president of the United States, to Atlee, prime minister of England. In this diplomatic note old claims were repeated and it was demanded that towns in Eastern Anatolia had to be given to Soviet Armenia.
The activities in Syria and Lebanon: Soviet Russia increased its activities concerning Armenians by making use of the weak administration in Syria and Lebanon; it provoked Armenians there under the guise of assistance. These activities were conducted by the diplomats of Soviet Russia and one each head offices were opened in Aleppo, Damascus, Beirut and in many other cities. There were many schools, teachers of which were Russian Armenians. Military officers worked in these schools as agents. As a result of these activities, an Armenian organization was formed consisting of 100.000 members, 30.000 of whom lived in Lebanon. Solod, the Soviet Ambassador, founded “the Society of Armenian Friends” in Damascus with the cooperation of a communist party chaired by Armenian Hrant Devyan whoo had a political tendency towards Moscow. In those organizations communist members worked and aimed at annexing Eastern Anatolia to the Soviet Union, with the promise of founding an independent Armenia State.
In January 1946, a Soviet diplomat visited Beirut, met with representatives of Armenians in Lebanon and Hatay one by one and informed them about the directives of Soviet Russia.
The Armenian Committee in Lebanon sent a telegram to UN Security Counsel on May 16, 1946, saying that “we demand that our aforementioned territories should be annexed to Soviet Armenia in return for the confiscation of our goods and the invasion of our territories by Turks during the events resulted in the death of one and half million Armenians.
Armenian defense committee in Paris, in June 1946 sent a diplomatic note to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of four big states, demanding the annexation of Kars and Ardahan to Soviet Armenia.
Soviet Russia tried to influence Armenians in the country in various ways and also tried to seduce Armenians in other countries. Civenof, who was one of the members of the Armenian Science Academy was made to give a conference to the representatives of Armenian commission on February 20, 1946 at the hall of Polytechnic School in Moscow. During this conference the lecturer stated that Van, Bitlis, Elazığ, Erzurum, Sivas and Trabzon were within the borders of Armenia; he said that Armenians were killed in masses and accused the great states of Europe of having been spectators during such a tragedy. Civenof praised the interest of Russians for Armenians, and emphasized that towns in Eastern Anatolia left to Armenians in compliance with the Peace Treaty of Sévres had been exposed to attacks by Turks and that Turks regained control of the towns with the Treaty of Gumru signed with Tashnak Revolutionary committee members.
National Armenian Counsel prepared an 800-person feast for an American association named “Defense Association for Armenian Rights”. During the feast it was decided that one and half million Armenians dispersed all around the world would apply to UN board to claim the annexation of East Anatolian towns, which had been confiscated by Turks to Soviet Armenia.
On July 29, 1946 in Erivan, Bochon, a representative of English- Soviet Association told journalists that: “Each Englishman who knows Armenian history, knows about their sufferings and sympathize them. We will try to make these positive feelings the general view of English public opinion when we return home.”
Armenian Counsel in the United States published a brochure titled “What do Armenians want?” in September 1946. They claimed that the population of Armenians was increasing; the territories confiscated by Turks were empty and they added: “Armenians just want justice to prevail in order that their territories are given back to them.”
On August 15, 1946, Turkish-Armenian Problem Defense Committee applied to representatives of 21 nations in UN with a message about Turkish-Armenian Issue.
French Armenian Committee arranged a religious service chaired by Monsignor Manukyan on April 24, 1965, at the Armenian Church. In the evening of the same day, Old Warriors Association realized a demonstration and laid a wreath on the Unknown Soldier monument in France. Next day, another religious service was arranged at Notre Dame Church.
Demonstrations were also realized in England on April 24, 1969 which was declared as the remembrance day of the Armenian dead. An Armenian group, the majority of which was young, protested Turkey while passing by the Turkish Embassy.
Turkish antagonism appeared in the universities in the United States. An Armenian tycoon, named Agop Kevorkyan, donated 30 million Turkish Liras to New York University and had “the Institute of the East” department of the university closed down, and the Institute of Armenian Language and History founded. Now in New York university, people who have never heard about the existence of such a society study the language and history of Armenians, who had never notified to a nation.
Armenians in Latin America arranged a demonstration in Brazil, in the city of San Paulo, where Armenian majority lived. Armenians carried out a ceremony at the monument of Armenian Dead on April 24, 1965 of 50th Anniversary of putting into force the Law of Relocation, and a play titled “The Adventures of Armenians 1915” was written and played by Armenians of Brazil at a theatre of San Paolo.
An establishment on behalf of the United States National Armenian Committee, gave an announcement to the New York Times, in order to have the Armenian issue placed on the agenda of UN on April 2, 1967, when Cevdet Sunay, the president of Turkish Republic was visiting the United States.
Armenian Revolutionary committee members demanded that putting the Armenian issue on the agenda of UN had to be supported with this announcement, and hence they claimed that Turkey would participate in and serve for the world peace.
Armenians did not refrain from continuing their protests by means of press during president Sunay’s visit to Paris. It was stated in the article written by Hrant Samuel that: “Armenians in Paris welcomed General Sunay and expressed their respect and regard for this country; Turkish president received a standing ovation from them. However, we would like to emphasize that it does not mean that Armenians do not demand anything from Turkey. We would not give up our just cause, we will continue our struggle in the political arena in peace and try to find a solution.”
Patriarch I. Horen, took a trip in Europe, met with Makarios in Cyprus and following this, provocative publications in Armenian began to be published in Cyprus. Meanwhile, due to the 45th Anniversary of its foundation Armenian Ramgavar Party, the headquarter of which was in Lebanon, made a statement to the press about its purpose and plans concerning the determination of the boundaries of the territories which had been belonged to Armenians but now confiscated by Turks; realizing the independence and freedom efforts of Armenians in the framework of a free and democratic understanding.
While Armenian Revolutionary committee members were arranging demonstrations, conferences and protests in the countries where they were living, in order to protect their own existence and interests, Archbishop Shinork Kalusyan, Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul, made statements to the world press on February 6, 1967 and April 4, 1967 as a response to the events going on throughout the world. He announced that there was not an Armenian Issue since Lausanne Treaty was signed, and that he regretted to see the development of these events.
Muslims of Lebanon and Christian Arabs commemorated 54th Anniversary of so-called Armenian Genocide all together in 1969, and Lebanon Government granted a day off Armenian officials on April 24 to mourn. As a result of this they arranged demonstrations in the streets against Turks and Israelis.
Big demonstrations were arranged in France, the United States, Germany and Greece due to the 60th Anniversary of the so-called Genocide, claimed to be realized against Armenians. Governments of aforementioned countries had to take measures concerning the protection of Turks before those demonstrations. (1)
After 1965, the Armenian issue was felt strongly in the world and in Turkish public opinion because of a campaign started by Armenians in various countries, to discredit Turkey. It turned into terrorist actions against Turkish representations abroad in 1970’s. “Individual Armenian Terror” started with the murders of Consul-general of Los Angeles, Mehmet Baydar and Consul Bahadır Demir by an old Armenian named Gurgen (Karekin) Yanikan on January 27, 1973 in Santa Barbara, USA. Then, it turned into “Organized Armenian Terror” in 1975.Armenian Attack directed to Turkish Embassies, Institutions and officials abroad, increased in a short time and became denser after 1980. Armenian terrorists realized 110 terrorist attacks, 39 of which were committed with arms and 70 of which were realized with bombs. These attacks were carried out in 38 cities of 21 countries. During these attacks 42 Turkish diplomats and 4 foreigners lost their lives, 15 Turkish and 66 foreigners injured.
The First World Congress of Armenian Organizations met in Paris on September 3-6 1979. ASALA participated in the congress with a significant power and played an efficient role during the congress. The congress had a great influence on the Armenian revolutionary forces in France, ASALA became particularly effective by providing participation to the terrorist organization. The purpose of this congress might be summarized as gathering and organizing Armenians in the world around a single ideal and under a flag, and making efforts to demand land use of convenient political circles.
PKK, the terrorist organization, declared the date of 21-28 April 1980 as the Red week and Armenians commemorated 24 April as so-called Armenian massacre day and arranged meetings on that date. PKK and ASALA, the terrorist organizations, arranged a joint press conference on April 08, 1980 in Sidon, Lebanon. As a result of this conference a declaration was prepared and they took a decision to organize their relations in an illegal arena secretly due to the reactions received from various sources. After the meeting, the attacks directed to Turkish Consulate-General in Strasbourg on November 09, 1980, and to THY agency in Rome on November 19, 1980 were undertaken jointly by the terrorist organizations, PKK and ASALA.
1983 Lausanne Congress was gathered owing to the important developments. Terrorism increased so considerably that world public opinion was about to condemn Armenians and terrorists. Especially the actions in the form of massacres began to disturb even the states that gave support to the Armenian cause. Under these circumstances Lausanne Congress was gathered in order to “unify the Armenian political views and direct their activities in one direction”. At the end of the congress, in which ASALA had not participated and parties in favor of violence were in the minority, separations from Tashnak and ASALA were observed. Sub terrorist teams and groups sometimes organized actions in the form of vagabond new organizations, their majority was cleared up, arrested and convicted.
The basic purpose of the congress titled “Third World Congress of Armenian Organizations” gathered in Sévres on July 7-13, 1987, was to accept the draft of the “Armenian Constitution”. Therefore, it was decided to form a “Union” which would represent Armenians throughout the world. During the congress which Armenian terrorist organizations did not attend legally, quality of the representation of Tashnaqs led to discussions. ASALA, which was not represented in this congress was exposed to drastic criticism.
With the participation of members of Armenian Hinchak Party, the terrorist organizations ASALA and PKK, a meeting was arranged at the headquarters of PKK in West Beirut on June 4, 1993.
Meetings were arranged in two different churches in Beirut on January 6-9, 1993 with the participation of Lebanon Armenian Orthodox Archbishop, Armenian authorities and 150 young people. The following decisions were taken:
For now, calm stance should be displayed against Turkey.
Armenian society has enlarged gradually and has been getting stronger economically.
By means of propagandist activities developed, the so-called genocide has started to be known well throughout the world.
Armenian state has been founded; they will take revenge of their ancestors and their territories have been gradually expanding.
Western countries, especially the United States, have considered Armenians to be right in the still war continuing in Nagorno Karabakh; this chance should be made use of and new young men should join the Armenian youth in Nagorno Karabakh.
Civil war (meaning the struggle against PKK terrorist organization) will go on in Turkey; its economy will decline to the bottom; citizens will rebel.
Turkey will be divided.
Kurdish State will be founded in Turkey.
Armenians should continue their friendly relations with Kurds and support the struggle of Kurds.
The territories under the control of Turks now, will be under the control of Armenians tomorrow.
Meanwhile, it is known that the arms supplied from Greece or other countries with the help of Greece with the money collected in October —November —December 1992 for Armenian Parties and institutions in Lebanon and other countries, and the food supplied with the rest of the money has been sent to Armenia at the beginning of January 1993, in order to transfer them to Armenians fighting in Nagorno Karabakh.
Armenian committees which transferred their activities to PKK terrorist organization in Turkey after 1984, have continued to make their so-called claims by means of Armenian Diaspora. They had the parliaments of some European countries, especially some states in the United States, which supported them issue laws which recognized the “so-called Armenian Genocide”. This process is still continuing.