Armenian Terrorist Groups
Who Were the HUNCHAKS?
According to Louise Nalbandian, a leading Armenian researcher, the Hunchak program stated the following:
"Agitation and terror were needed to elevate the spirit of the people. The party aimed at terrorizing the Ottoman Government, thus contributing toward lowering the prestige of that regime and working toward its complete disintegration. The Hunchaks wanted to annihilate the most dangerous of the Armenian and Turkish individuals who were then working for the government as well as to destroy all spies and informers. To assist them in carrying out all of these terrorist acts, the party was to organize an exclusive branch specifically devoted to performing acts of terrorism. The most opportune time to institute the general rebellion for carrying out the immediate objectives was when Turkey was engaged in war".
[Nalbandian, Louise, Armenian Revolutionary Movement, University of California Press, 1963]
Who Were the DASHNAKS?
K.S. Papazian wrote as follows of the Dashnak Society:
"The purpose of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnak) is to achieve political and economic freedom in Turkish Armenia by means of rebellion. Terrorism has, from the beginning, been adopted by the Dashnak Committee of the Caucasus, as a policy or a method for achieving its ends. Under the heading "means" in their program adopted in 1892, Method No. 8 is as follows: "To wage fight and to subject to terrorism the government officials, the traitors…". Method No 11 is: "To subject the government institutions to destruction and pillage".
[Papazian, K.S., Patriotism Perverted, Boston Baker Press, 1934]
Armenian savagery was not confined to Muslim targets. They were not happy with the failure of Greeks and Jews to fully support their revolution. As a result, they massacred thousands of Greeks in the Trabzon area and hundreds of Jews around the Hakkari region. — Professor Mumtaz Soysal, Ankara Univ.
One man's "terrorist" is another's "freedom fighter," and, understandably, "General" Khrimian is a hero of the Armenians. Even though he betrayed the nation that had allowed his people to prosper for seven hundred years of primarily Turkish rule.
According to the Armenian site, Mr. Khrimian was of Sivas, Sepastia... and lived from 1878 to1918. "Will forever be remembered for his humanitarian deeds by exchanging one gold piece for one Armenian child." He sure looks like a regular Albert Schweitzer to me.
I don't understand what he would be a "general" of ; don't the Armenians claim they were helpless, innocent victims... and any fighting that was done was done out of self-defense? Could Boghos Nubar Pasha have been right, and were there actually Armenian armies (aside from Russian-Armenians... from the ranks of those "volunteers") that were formed to fight against their Ottoman nation... while their nation was pitted in a life and death struggle?
ADDENDUM, 4-06: There were apparently two Murads from Sivas, the other being Parliamentarian Hamparsum Boyajian, a Hunchak. Still trying to clear this up. I am wondering if Khrimian was the possible second Murad, a Dashnak, featured in Toynbee's Blue Book. Christopher Walker (Armenia — The Survival of a Nation) wrote this Murad was born in 1874, four years earlier than the above claim, and died on August 5, 1918, in Baku. Pg. 221: After a battle with Turks, he escaped in autumn 1915 to Batum (with the help of friendly Greeks form the Black Sea coast). Pg. 403: He was a fedayi leader in the 1904 Sasun rebellion. Also fought in the 1905 Armeno-Tatar conflict in Nakhichevan and Zangegur. After being present at the time of the Erzindjan truce in December 1917, he became a leader when the Russian forces pulled out.
More embellishments, from above two authors
K.S. Papazian adds, from Patriotism Perverted (pg. 37):
When the world war broke out in Europe, the Turks began feverish preparations for joining hands with the Germans. In August 1914 the young Turks asked the Dashnag Convention, then in session in Erzurum, to carry out their old agreement of 1907 and start an uprising among the Armenians of the Caucasus against the Russian government. The Dashnagtzoutune refused to do this and gave assurance that in the event of war between Russia and Turkey, they would support Turkey as loyal citizens. On the other hand, they could not be held responsible for the Russian Armenians.. The fact remains, however, that the leaders of the Turkish-Armenian section of the Dashnagtzoutune did not carry out their promise of loyalty to the Turkish cause when the Turks entered the war. The Dashnagtzoutune in the Caucasus had the upper hand. They were swayed in their actions by the interests of the Russian government and disregarded, entirely, the political dangers that the war had created for the Armenians in Turkey. Prudence was thrown to the winds; even the decision of their own convention of Erzurum was forgotten and a call was sent for Armenian volunteers to fight the Turks on the Caucasus front.
(K.S. Papazian's book is examined in more detail, below.)
Louise Nalbandian adds, from Armenian Revolutionary Movement:
The programme of the Dashnaksutiun Party (Armenian Revolutionary Federation) was drafted during the General Congress in 1892. The methods to be used by the revolutionary bands organized by the Party were as follows:
a.. To propagandize for the principles of the Dashnaksutiun and its objectives based on an understanding of, and in sympathy with, the revolutionary work.
b.. To organize fighting bands, to work with them with regard to the above-mentioned issues and to prepare them for activity.
c.. To use every means, by word and deed, to arouse the revolutionary activity and spirit of the people.
d.. To use every means to arm the people.
e.. To organize revolutionary committees and establish strong links between them.
f.. To stimulate fighting and to terrorize government officials, informers, traitors, usurers and every kind of exploiter.
g.. To organize financial districts.
h.. To protect the peaceful people and the inhabitants against attacks by brigands.
i.. To establish communications for the transportation of men and arms.
j.. To expose government establishments to looting and destruction (p. 168).
And an embellishment from a more recent author:
Hratch Dasnabedian wrote in "History of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutiun 1890/1924" (Milan,1989, p.21):
Even before 1878, in the regions of Daron-Sasoun and Vasbouragan there had been underground cells, secret groups, and bands of "brigands" who fought against government forces. During the eighties, Khrimian (see photo above) and Mgrdich Portugalian were active in Van...Expelled from Van in 1885, Mgrdich Portugalian left the Ottoman Empire and settled in Marseille, where he published the periodical 'Armenia'. His students and friends in Van considered 'Armenia' their voice, and in 1886 established the 'Armenagan' Party, the purpose of which was to 'secure the sovereignty of the Armenian people through revolution'.
Some Historical Outlook
After the Berlin Congress, Armenians became the pawn in the hands of the British and the Russians to advance their imperial ambitions. When the Tories handed the power over to the liberals in 1880, British foreign policy underwent dramatic change against the Ottoman Empire with consulates opening in every corner of the Eastern Anatolia to improve contact with local Christian population. The Armenian Patriarch Horen Ashikian wrote in his History of Armenia: "The Protestant missionaries distributed in large numbers to various places in Turkiye made propaganda in favour of England and stirred the Armenians to desire autonomy under British protection." In pursuit of these policies, various Armenian revolutionary societies were established in Eastern Anatolia as early as 1880. However, these societies had little influence, as the local Armenians were too content with their life. Therefore they eventually moved outside the Ottoman territories establishing the Hunchak Committee at Geneva in 1887 and Dashnak Committee at Tiflis in 1890, both aiming at 'liberation' from Ottoman rule.
'Terror was to be used as a method of protecting the people and winning their confidence in the Hunchak program. The Ottoman government itself was not to be the only focus of terrorist attacks. To assist them in carrying out all of these terrorist acts, the party was to organise an exclusive branch specifically devoted to performing acts of terrorism. The most opportune time to institute the general rebellion for carrying out immediate objectives was when Turkiye was engaged in war'.
'The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnak), in order to achieve its purpose through rebellion, organises revolutionary groups; to wage fight, and to subject to terrorism the Government officials, the traitors, ... 'to subject the government institutions to destruction and pillage'.
Thus, as the Armenian writers freely admitted, the goal of their revolutionary societies was to stir revolution, and their method was terror. This method was utilised by others during the course of history both before and after the Armenian revolts. The first incident was at Erzurum in 1890, others following at Kumkapi, Kayseri, Yozgat, Corum, Merzifon, Sasun, Zeytun, and Van. All these revolts and riots were presented by the Armenian revolutionary societies in Europe and America as the killing of Armenians by Turks, stirring up considerable emotion among Christian peoples. The Armenian propaganda web sites are still using the same tactic in this day and still gaining recognition by the Western politicians.
Excerpt, Professor Mumtaz Soysal of Ankara University
Armenakan, Hunchaks and Dashnaktsutiun: Revolutionary Parties; Terror as Metho. Nationalism Spreads From the Church to Secular Organizations
Excerpts (pp 65-66) from the book: A Myth of Terror
An Illustrated Expose by Eric Feigl
The first political party of the Armenian minority to attain any significance was the "Armenakan- Party. Founded in Van in the autumn of 1885, the party was organized along European lines and had its own publication.
The mastermind behind this thoroughly revolutionary organization was the son of a tremendously wealthy banker from Constantinople. His name was Mekertich Portukalian. After running into many difficulties with schools that he had established in Van, he emigrated to Marseilles, and from then on he directed his party from there. He also published a periodical in Marseilles, called "Armenia". His objective was to rouse enthusiasm for an Armenian state among the Armenians who were scattered across Europe. The response came in the form of an "Armenian Patriotic Society", which raised money and bought arms and munitions.
Their aim was to "win for the Armenians the right to rule over themselves, through 'revolution." The members of the Armenakan in Van and the surrounding area were equipped with the most modem weapons and trained in the art of guerilla warfare and in "preparing the people for a general movement" with due consideration given to the support "of friendly great powers". Soon, the Armenakan had revolutionary cells in Trabzon and Constantinople, as well its cadres in Russia, Persia, and the United States.
According to the pro-Armenian historian Christopher Walker, the "enlightenment developed by Portukalian" was soon lost in the "sterile brutality" of the Armenian terrorist scene.
In 1887, Armenians in Geneva founded the first Armenian party emphasizing Marxist principles. Their symbol was the bell ( "hnshak" = bell). The Hunchaks drew their membership almost entirely from Russian Armenians, who gave the party the militant-revolutionary spirit that comes from the Caucasus (the young Dzhugashvili, commonly known as Stalin, also came from the world.) The party organ was called Hunchak, and in 1890 the group adopted the name "Hunchakian Revolutionary Party", or "Hunchaks" for short. Their leader was the fanatical revolutionary Avetis Nazarbekian. He was reportedly "dark, slender, very handsome in an oriental style, and played the violin excellently". He also saw "revolutionary terror" as the natural consequence of rejecting "capitalist" legislation.
Finally, the "Federation of Armenian Revolutionaries", the "Hai Hegapokhakanneri Dashnaktsutiun", appeared as a result of the need for an umbrella organization for all the little terrorist groups and revolutionary cells. The goal of the organization was (and is) to win Armenian independence by means of a people's war. Many groups shunned this common umbrella from the start, however, so the Dashnaks changed their name to "Hai Hegapokhakan Dashnaktsutiun" — "Armenian Revolutionary Federation". This name is still used by the Dashnaks today.
In the nineteenth century, some Protestant-Armenian pastors had fought bitterly with the Gregorian priests over who the best nationalist shepherds were. Now, two political groups, the Dashnaks and the Hunchaks were competing for the favor of the Armenians in the same way. The Hunchaks stressed their socialist convictions where as the Dasknaks put more emphasis on their nationalist views. Together, they produce exactly the same fanatically distorted, national-socialist worldview as other organizations with the same ideological persuasions.
July 21, 1905: The "Yildiz attempt" on the sultan's life
The Dashnaks in particular used brutal terrorism again and again as a political means to accomplish their ends. They have been responsible for numerous attacks, including some very recent ones. Their activities are financed largely by means of intimidation and extortion.
One of the ugliest attacks of the Dashnak organization was the assassination attempt on Sultan Abdul Hamid. The Armenian politician K. Papazian, author of the book Patriotism Perverted (Boston, 1934), writes that "the attempt of the life of Abdul Hamid in 1905 constitutes the last episode of the revolutionary attempts of the A. R. Federation" to achieve political goals by means of assassinations. Since the attempt failed, its consequences were merely unpleasant. The bombs went off too soon because the Sultan spent too much time talking to Sheik ul Islam after his visit to the Yildiz Mosque. The Sultan's pardon of assailants was futile. The troublemakers just turned to plotting flashy uprising in order to attract European attention.
A Round-Up of Armenian Terror Organizations
"The following list is a spine chilling example of how some members of an ethnic group can master the act of murder by using devious methods of deception and channeling American taxpayers’ money into funding their ruthless terrorist activities."
Hincak (Hunchak): This organization was established in 1884 (other date: 1886) by Nazarbek and is considered to be the first Armenian Terror organization. Hincak consists of two divisions; Troyak: ”The Flag” and Tasnaksiyun ”Unity”. The organisation publishes the “Hincak” paper.
The separatist Social Democrat Armenian organization “Hincak” met in May 1993 in Beirut. The resolutions adopted at this meeting included cooperation with the terrorist PKK and launching attacks on Nahcivan
Tasnak (Dashnak): This committee of terror was formed in Tiflis in 1890. Their aim was to establish a non-communist Armenia and force Turkish authorities to pay compensations for an alleged genocide. Tasnak committee and PKK had a meeting in Northern Iraq in May 2000. Tasnak publications include “Hayrenik”, “Asbarez” and “Armenian Weekly”
Gulbenkyan Foundation: Mr Gulbenkyan was one of the major shareholders in the Turkish Petroleum Company which was supposed to operate the Iraq oil fields according to an agreement signed in 1905. Gulbenkyan sold all his shares when the Ottoman Empire was defeated at the end of WW1 and started
pursuing the dream of establishing an independent Armenian state in Anatolia. The Foundation is currently working for the religious, territorial and cultural benefit of the world Armenian community through its offices in London, Lisbon, Beirut and Jerusalem. Gulbenkyan’s son was given Turkish citizenship in 1915 and given the title of Honorary Consul to London.
ASALA: (Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia) This group was established in January 1975 by Agop Agopyan [Hagop Hagopian] (Killed by rival Armenian terror organizations in 1988) and Agop Tarakciyan (Died of leukemia in 1980). Command center is in Beirut with branches in Denmark, USA, Austria, Australia, Syria, Venezuela, France etc. Publications include “Call to Young”, “Hayastan”, “Hay Hay Baykar”, “Armenia” and “Kaytzer”
The aim of the group is to establish a “Greater Armenia” and secure acceptance of the alleged genocide in Turkiye. ASALA launches terrorist attacks on Turkish and Azeri targets. ASALA follows a Marxist-Leninist ideology and claims that other Armenian organizations are too soft in their approaches. ASALA states that they will adopt terror campaigns to achieve their goals. Other terror organizations followed the emergence of ASALA. “New Armenian Resistance Organization” in 1981 in France, “Azad Hay” in Canada, “Gaitzer” in England all declared that they will unite with ASALA. The organization was divided into three fractions after the death of Agopyan in 1988. ASALA-MR, ASALA-PMLA and SASSOON. ASALA groups started cooperating with Islamic Jihad and PKK since 1983. ASALA-MR: (New ASALA) One of the leaders of ASALA, Agop Agopyan, started losing control in the organization after 1983. He resorted to internal terror by getting his militant opponents executed, accusing them of treason. One of those who escaped death was Monte Melkonyan (who was killed in Azeri town of Agdam in 1993) and Karsik Havaryan. These two established the New ASALA and accused Agop Agopyan as being a fascist gangster. New ASALA opposes mass murders and favours targeted attacks.
New Armenian Resistance: This is an arm of ASALA. Their first terror act was the 1972 bombing of the Turkish Tourism and Information Office in Paris. They also claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Soviet Information Office in Paris and Aeroflot office in Brussels. The head office is in France.
Armenian Liberation Front: Was formed as a branch of ASALA in 1979. Organization was active in training the terrorists who were sent to Turkiye and Azerbaijan.
Armenian Unity: This organization was formed in 1988 by Vazgen Sisliyan in Moscow. Has organic links with ASALA and responsible for preparing false documents for the ASALA members as well as supplying funds for the terror activities. Plays active role in hiring and arming mercenaries, terrorists and providing safe passage to the disputed Karabagh region in Azerbaijan.
3 October Group: Thought to have emerged after the appearance of a cell with the same name in ASALA.
9 June Group: An action group formed in 1991. It is active within ASALA. Main purpose is to secure the release of detained Armenian Terrorists. The group is active in Switzerland.
Armenian Liberation Movement: This was established in France in 1991. Acts in accordance with ASALA. The head office is in Yerevan.
Young Armenians Union: Formed 1990 in France. Carries out lobby activities directed towards the diplomats and decision makers of the old Soviet Republics in an effort to facilitate annexing Karabagh into greater Armenia.
GEKO: (Secret Armenian Liberation Organization) Formed in 1975, Beirut. Controlled by Syrian Armenians. Organizes terrorist acts against Turkish Diplomats. They claim to have murdered 19 diplomats in the first 6 years.
Democratic Front: This group was formed by the amalgamation of USA, Canada, Western Europe GEKO groups and the Armenian National Movement. Main aim is the destruction of Turkish Republic.
Armenian Support Committee for Political Detainees: Established by the Armenians in France. Declared “Bloody War” against the Swiss government which is supporting Turkiye. Suicide Commandos: Is famous for the 1981 terrorist attack against the Turkish Embassy in France.
Armenian Resistance Organization: Established 1997 in Paris, follows a socialist line.
Armenian Youth Attack Organization: Head office is in Beirut. Publication: Zortang “Awakening” Controlled by the Armenian church. Active in Algeria, Italy and Germany.
JCAG (Armenian Genocide Justice Commandos): Thought to have been established in 1973 in Los Angeles, USA. Branch in Paris. Publication: “Yerevan” Main aim is to establish an independent and free Armenia. This is the military arm of the Tasnak Party. Activities are concentrated in European countries and targeted at Turkish interests. JCAG also uses the name ARA(Armenian Revolutionary Army)
Armenian Revolutionary Army: Beirut based “Armenia” magazine informed in 1984 that ARA claimed responsibility for many specific terrorist activities.
Armenian Popular Movement: Established by Armenians living in Greece. Carries out anti-Turkish activities. Head office is in Athens.
Freedom Tigers: Established in 1991, organises attacks against villages in Karabagh, Azerbaijan.
Eagle Organization: Formed by Armenian youth in France in 1981. Lobbies for the release of Armenian terrorists in various prisons around the world.
Switzerland Organization: A product of recent years. Active in European countries. Asumed responsibility for 4 terror acts in France, Italy and Greece.
List prepared by Ramil Alekberov, Tamam Newspaper, Baku, Azerbaijan
"An Armenian Author on Patriotism Perverted"
Holdwater: I bumped into this on the Internet, and am tacking it on...
In 1934 a book called Patriotism Perverted was published in Boston by an Armenian-American author Kapriel Serope Papazian (Baikar Press). " In it he tried to present to the English-speaking Armenians of the United States and to the American public in general a picture of an organization called the "Armenian Revolutionary Federation", or the "Dashnagtzoutune".
K. S. Papazian dedicated it to the memory of those Armenian martyrs who "met death at the hands of their brothers". That organization had received much publicity in connection with the assassination in New York of Archbishop Leon Tourian.
Prof. Türkkaya Ataov, an established Ottoman and Turkish history scholar later published a book called "An Armenian Author on Patriotism Perverted" from which these pages are taken. Plainly putting into view the Armenian Revolutionary Movement and its acts, which today's Armenian fanaticism prefers to 'not remember' and biased historians sweep it under the rug as it contradicts their theories...
Author Papazian thought that "an understanding of the background, past activities, the purposes and the methods" of the Dashnags would be important. He believed that the Dashnags' "mode of organization, its discordant mental make-up.., its belief in the use of violence..its tendency to disregard and distort the will of the majority... " were all alien to American ideals and Christian principles. He wrote the book to help create an idea "as to the moral and physical dangers" with which the youth and the community was "threatened on account of Dashnag activities."
Dashnak leaders, reportedly from the late 19th Century
The Dashnagtzoutune was organized in the Caucasus, in 1890, through the union of several secret Armenian revolutionary societies. It is difficult to assert that they shared a common purpose or ideal, which meant different things for the Armenian rightists and leftists, moderates and radicals. Although for some, this might have meant "some measure of autonomy" (p. 9), author Papazian accepts elsewhere (p. 31) in the same book that the Armenian Patriarchs of Istanbul, under age-old firmans of the Sultans, enjoyed privileges, "according to which the Armenians were given some sort of autonomy in ecclesiastical, educational arid purely Armenian community affairs." Papazian states that "from the very beginning, the society (Dashnags) has lacked consistency of purpose and method, and opportunism and lack of common sense have characterized most of its actions." (p. 1l)
Papazian describes the organization of the Dashnags as being "democratic in form only" (p.11). He says that its various committees and conventions were "little more than debating societies and providers of money". The actual direction of affairs, he believes, "had rested in the hands of a secret Bureau", with headquarters in Geneva. The common members were not encouraged to communicate with each other or with committees. This did away with criticism and independent thinking (p.12). The leaders of the official bodies could withhold facts and information from the rank and file. Hence, many plots, intrigues, conspiracies and terroristic enterprises were kept secret from the members (p. 13). Many innocent members were made co-partners in plots without knowing the purposes behind them. This "privilege of secrecy" has been gravely abused by the Dashnag leaders.
Dashnak co-founders: Stephan Zorian,
Christophor Mikaelian and Simeon
Zavarian. (Alt. spelling: Rostom Zorian,
Christaphor Melikian, & Simon Zavarian.)
Vahakn Dadrian's Zoryan Institute was
likely named after the Dashank leader.
Papazian says that "'self-interest governed the policies of the Dashnagtzoutune". Opportunists placed themselves at the helm of the organization, and "even criminal methods were resorted to..." (p. 14). "Terrorism has, from the start been, adopted by the Dashnag Committee of the Caucasus. '' Papazian underlines that the "Dashnag publications are full of stories of terroristic exploits" (p.15). The Program, adopted in 1892, states that they believe in terrorizing government officials and subjecting government institutions to destruction and pillage. Papazian quotes several Armenian and other sources to prove that, at first, terroristic methods were resorted to in order to obtain money, then used to intimidate prominent men and exterminate officials.
For instance, in the summer of 1902, a Dashnag "storm" squad "arrested" the well-to-do Isahag Jamharian and took him to a lonely spot outside the city of Shousha. He was set free when he promised to pay 30,000 rubles. But he notified the police. He was stabbed to death inside an Armenian church in Moscow. M. Varandian, a historian of the Dashnags, (1)writes that the traitor has paid for his sin. In Papazian's evaluation, "Jamharian had committed the sin of defending himself" (p.16). He was a traitor in 1902, and is still a traitor for the Dashnag historian Varandian, writing in 1932. Papazian says: "All those who disagreed with the Dashnag leaders, or against whom the local Dashnag chiefs nourished a grudge, were denounced as traitors..." Mateos Baliozian, a merchant of Izmir, was thus denounced. (2) The same terroristic methods were also used within the ranks of Dashnag leaders for differences of opinion and to satisfy personal grudges. In 1891, for example,
Gerektzian was killed in Erzurum by the decision of the local Central Committee, whose members cast lots, and the lot fell on Aram Aramian, who killed Gerektzian. (3) According to Papazian, The Dashnags were "very prolific in organizing and carrying out terroristic acts " (p.17). Terrorism against their own co-nationals has been a prominent part of the activities of the Dashnags. Varandian exalts terroristic activities in. the following words: "...Perhaps there has never been a revolutionary party-not even the Russian Narodovoletz, or the Italian Carbonaris-with such experien-ces on the road of terroristic acts, as the A.R. Federation..."(4) Papazian concludes: "One of the most unfortunate results of these terroristic methods was the gradual development of a class of terrorists, who used their bullets and dagger indiscriminately.. This class of terrorists enjoyed a place of honor within the society" (p.18). They killed Mihran in 1909. (5) They shot and stabbed to death Abbot Arsen Vartabed of the Akhtamar Monastery (near Van) and his secretary Mihram in 1904. They then dismembered their bodies and threw them into Lake Van. Abbot Vartabed had opposed the designs of Ishkan, a notorious Dashnag chieftain, who wanted to control the property and the income of the monastery. Papazian adds: "After his death, Ishkan and his gang pillaged the ancient monastery" (pp.68-69). Dehertzi David was a very trustworthy man in the ranks of the Dashnags in Van. He was sent to Iran on a secret mission. Returning to Van he found that his fiancee had been gravely mistreated by Aram, the chief Dashnag leader in the district. He was disarmed and imprisoned at Aram's order, but escaped. Maddened with thoughts of revenge, he confessed to the Turkish authorities. He was killed by the Dashnags in 1908 (p. 69). Garjgantzi Manoug, a former Dashnag, who had opposed the arbitrary acts of the leader, was murdered in 1910. Bedros Capamajian was likewise shot and killed one winter night in 1912 while getting into his carriage with his wife and daughter.
Hampartzoum Arakelian the well-known seventy-year old editor of the journal Mushag of Tiflis (Tbilisi), "whose biting pen and sarcasm", in the words of Papazian, "had mercifully lashed the Dashnag stupidity and arbitrariness for many years," was killed in his bed one night in 1918 by terrorists. Garjigian, "a Dashnag of high rank, who occupied a ministerial chair in the newly formed Armenian Republic at Erivan", was killed in 1918 by another Dashnag, Egor Der Minasian (pp.69-70). Bedros Atamian, the manager of the Ramgavar paper Nor Alik, was stabbed to death on a street in Salonica (Greece) in 1926. Dekhruni, a Hunchagist was shot to death in Athens in 1933. Mihran Aghazarian, a Hunchagist editor, was killed in Beirut also in 1933.
The Dashnags adopted the methods of sensational, sporadic and partisan fights inside Turkey. They decided on an attack on the Imperial Ottoman Bank. In August 1896, a group of young men entered the Bank in Istanbul, subdued the employees and threatened to blow it up. Through the intervention of the Tsarist Russian Embassy, they were safely escorted out and placed on board a French steamer. The Dashnag leader clung to the idea that such terroristic acts would bring European intervention in favour of the Armenians. Papazian says that they ignored "the people of Turkish Armenia," that they "never took the trouble of inquiring into the actual conditions" of the Armenians and that they never consulted them. "They pursued their own disastrous methods" (p.2l).
Papazian refers to another "futile expedition" which he calls the "fiasco of Khanasor." He describes the "Khanasor expedition" as the "result of the machinations of the Russian authorities, whose purpose was to encourage political unrest and turmoil along the eastern borders of Turkey.'' He says that the Dashnag leaders of Tiflis were "playing the game of the Russian government.'' In November 1897, about 250 Armenians attacked the camp of the Mazrik tribe in the Plain of Khanasor and set fire to the nearest tents, killing some. The main body of the tribe, however, drove back the attackers, who in their confusion fired upon each other. The Dashnags declared Sharaf Bey, the tribal chief, dead, celebrating the "glorious victors" -although he rived another twenty, years, and the episode itself was a retreat and a failure. Similar terroristic acts, involving sacrifices of human life, failed to lead to "European intervention". Papazian states that had the attempt on the life of the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II been successful, this "would not have helped the Armenian cause" (p.24).
The diaspora in Argentina actually got their government's postal system
to honor the Dashnak terror group
Papazian concludes: "Years of futile and wasteful struggle against the Turkish Governments finally forced the scholastic leaders of the Dashnagtzoutune, who had directed the struggle from their safe refuges of Geneva and Tiflis, to admit their defeat, but not their ignorance" (p. 25). The Dashnag flirtation with "socialism" angered the Russian Government and failed to attract the support of the European socialists. "The net result," says Papazian, "was a tremendous waste of energy and internal dissensions" (p. 31).
According to Papazian, the Dashnags also agitated against the Armenian church in Turkey. He adds: "In a great many instances, the Dashnag leaders made their henchmen break into the churches, fling open the doors and start their political meetings..." (p. 35). He mentions that at least in one instance, "two Armenians who wanted to protect the church of Smyrna from being sacrileged (violated), were shot and killed on the spot by Dashnag terrorists."
When the First World War broke out in Europe, the Dashnagtzoutune gave assurances to the Turks that in the event of a war between Tsarist Russia and the Ottoman Empire, they would support the latter as loyal citizens (p.37). However, they did not keep their promise of loyalty (p.38). "They were swayed in their actions by the interests of the Russian Government..even the decisions of their own convention of Erzurum was forgotten, and a call was sent for Armenian volunteers to fight the Turks on the Caucasian front" (p.38). Papazian adds that the "Armenian volunteer regiments rendered valuable services to the Russian Army" in the years 1914-1916. "The methods used by the Dashnagtzoutune in recruiting these regiments were so open and flagrant that it would not escape the attention of the Turkish authorities." Armen Garo, a Dashnag leader (whose real name was Karakin Pastirmadjian, one of those who invaded the Ottoman Bank in 1896), also a member of the Ottoman Parliament, had taken an active part in the organization of volunteer regiments to fight the Turks. His picture was circulated in the Dashnag papers (p.39). Papazian concludes that the representatives of the Armenians in Turkey, the Patriarchate and its organs were not consulted in adopting these policies.
Although the Armenians rendered service to the Russian forces, the latter did not help the Armenian cause. They kept the conquered Ottoman provinces in the East for themselves, and after the Bolshevik Revolution, their army abandoned the front. The Armenians declared the independence of Armenia on the Caucasus, recognized by the Turks on June 4, 1918 by the Treaty of Batoum. "The Dashnag party found itself in the saddle" (p. 40). Used to violent methods, "they failed to show any ability for government and statesmanship... They tyrannized the people and defied the government" (p.41). In support of his statements, Papazian quotes the report of General Harbord's Commission (U.S.) and the words of Hovhannes Katchaznouni, (6) the first Prime Minister of the Armenian Republic. He notes that in internal affairs, the Dashnag government "failed to establish peace and a minimum of law and order" (p. 42). Externally, it waged three wars in two-and-a-half years. (p.43). The war in Georgia "caused untold calamity to Armenia" (p. 44). The war with Azerbaijan "ended disastrously for the Armenians." The war with Turkey was "the outcome of the Act of May 28, 1919," by which the Armenian Republic claimed Eastern Anatolia. This proclamation claimed that eastern Anatolia "united" (p.47) with the existing Armenian Republic. Papazian continues: "If we remember that the existing Republic was recognized by the Turks under the Treaty of Batoum, in which the Russian-Armenian envoys renounced all territorial claims over Western Armenia, we can readily comprehend why the Turks regarded the Act of May 28, 1919, as a provocation of war" (p.45). He adds that the Armenian Government "created an immediate occasion for conflict by occupying the district of Oltu." He also says the arrogant attitude of the Armenian Government toward Soviet Russia in 1920 deprived the small republic of a strong and natural ally.
The Treaty of Sèvres, which recognized Armenia, was signed on August 10, 1920, by the representatives of the Armenian Republic. "The same men were to repudiate the Sèvres Treaty and the claims of Armenians in Turkey by signing the Treaty of Alexandropol on December 2,1920" (p.48). Papazian says that the text of this treaty has not been published by those responsible for it, that neither A.Khatisian (the head of the Armenian delegation that signed the Treaty), nor S.Vratzian (the head of the Armenian Government at the time), who have both written voluminous histories of the Armenian Republic, embody the text of the Treaty in their books (p. 74). Article 3 of the Treaty states: "As it is evident from Turkish, Russian and all other world statistics, and from the established social situation, we again, on this occasion, confirm that there is no territory within the Ottoman borders where the Armenians form a majority" (pp.74-75). Article 9 said that the Government of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey refrained from demanding indemnities although it had a "right to demand indemnities as a result of the war against Armenia which it has been compelled to wage." Article 11 declared the Sèvres Treaty "null and void." The same article stipulated that the Armenian Government undertook ''to withdraw its delegations in Europe and America, that are tools in the hands of certain imperialistic governments and circles." Article 15 mentioned that the Armenian Republic agreed "to consider as null and void all those stipulations of treaties she has signed with any power, which relate to Turkey and are against the interests of Turkey" (p. 77).
The Bolsheviks entered Armenia without any resistance. This was the decision of the Dashnags. They were driven out of authority in the new Soviet Armenian Republic (p.49). But they could not reconcile themselves to the idea of being out of power. On February 18, 1921, a rebellion under the leadership of Simon Vratzian broke out in Armenia against the Bolsheviks when the Bolshevik forces were temporarily driven out of Armenia. Not sure of his own ability to hold out against them, he "sought military assistance from the Turks" (p. 50). On March 18, 1921, he sent to Ankara a formal appeal asking the Turkish Government whether it "finds it possible to send military aid to, Arme-nia; and if able to do so, to what extent and when?" (p.50-51). Papazian gives the complete text of this appeal by Vratzian as Appendix V in his book (pp 77-78). Papazian significantly points out that the "appeal of Vratzian as the president of the newly formed Armenian Government was virtually the ratification of the Treaty of Alexandropol, by which the Dashnag leaders declared to the whole world that Armenia has denounced all her demands on Turkey and has no more cause of dispute" (p.51). Coming back to the armed conflict with the Soviets, "there was much bloodshed, until the Dashnags were again defeated by the Bolsheviks and driven out of the country."
Papazian, on the other hand, states that the newly-formed Armenia on the Caucasus "was really the beginning of a political future for the Armenian people" (p.54). The criticism leveled by the Dashnags at Soviet Armenia that "it is not independent, and that it is not a national government, have, according to Papazian, "no ground to stand upon'' (p.55). He recalls: "The Dashnags themselves, while they were at the helm, tried to place Armenia under the protection of some great power...Armenia has now secured its political existence..as one of the federated republics."
Papazian devotes several pages (pp.60-65, 71-73) to the Dashnagtzoutune attempts to terrorize the Armenian church and the diaspora into submission. He mentions a number of acts of violence, including assaults and even murders, in the United States, Egypt, Syria and Greece. He compares their language, mentality and actions to those of the Mafia and the underworld gangsters (p. 64, 67). He concludes:" Its hands are raised against everybody, its plots and crimes have rocked the conscience of all decent Armenians, and have disgraced our people before the civilized world" (p. 67).
(Holdwater: relevant articles of the Gumru-Alexandropol Treaty, as well as the text of Vratzian's plea for help, may be found on this page.)
1-History of the Dashnagtzoutune, t.1, Paris 1932 p. 3Z5-327.
2-Ibid., p. 450
3-Ibid., p. 86
4-Ibid., p. 491
5-Ibid., p. 491
6-See: Turkkaya Ataov, An Armenian Source; Hovhannes Katchaznouni, Ankara, 1984.
Source: An Armenian Author on "Patriotism Perverted", Professor Türkkaya Ataov
“A person who is not Dashnak, that person is not Armenian”
So says a Dashnak, as written "in a medieval manuscript written in a flowery decorative way by Movses Khorenatsi (an Armenian historian of the 5th century), destroyed by Turks." (Holdwater: Oh. How convenient. The thing can't be found, so blame the Turks... as usual.) "In the 17th century a clergyman copied those lines and left it as a covenant to his disciple. This fact became known to my Dashnak acquaintance lately when there was a flow of documents from an archive of a foreign country and the saint clergyman’s copied piece of paper was spread." (Holdwater: Well, I guess that must prove it. We will simply try not to think about the little fact that the Dashnak organization came into being in the tail end of the 19th century.)
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