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Dashnaktsutyun - Armenian Revolutionary Federation

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  • Dashnaktsutyun - Armenian Revolutionary Federation

    Հայ Հեղափոխական Դաշնակցութիւն

    ARF Founders left to right: Stepan Zorian, Christapor Mikaelian, Simon Zavarian

    The ARF is a serious political party who's members portray serious party mentalities and ethics. In theory, an ARF member is expected to only serve the party, and the party in turn is expected to serve the Fatherland. Unfortunately, however, due to human nature, it does not work that way all the time. Nevertheless, the political ideology of the ARF, on paper, is perhaps the most ideal form of Armenian nationalism we have today. Most ARF members are true Armenian nationalists. And ARF's one hundred+ years experience is simply priceless.

    The ARF, with its affiliates worldwide, is perhaps amongst the biggest organizations within the world. The ARF controls a vast network worldwide: It has a youth organizations (AYF), a spiritual branch (Cilician See), a political branch (Hai-Dat/ANC), a cultural branch (Hamazgayin), a sports branch (Homentmen), a charity branch (HOM), and a military branch (information not available). This unique nature of the ARF is the fundamental reason why the KGB and the CIA tried very hard to infiltrate it during the Cold War. As a result, at times, the ARF had agents within the organization that worked for either the KGB or the CIA.

    Founded in 1890, the ARF fought the Ottoman Sultan within Anatolia, in the Caucasus and in the Balkans during in the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. The ARF fought the Young Turks during the Armenian Genocide (Note: previously the ARF had made a serious mistake when it made a deal with the Young Turks and disarmed in 1908 after the Young Turks overthrew the Sultan and promised reform). Miraculously, the ARF managed to create and defend a fledgling Armenian homeland, the First Armenian Republic in 1918. Not being able to hold on due to serve geopolitical and socioeconomic problems in 1921, the ARF handed over the Armenian Republic to the lesser of the two evils at the time, the Bolsheviks. Afterwards, the ARF moved its operations and resources into the Armenian Diaspora. Within the Diaspora, the ARF organized the Armenian community and continued to fight for Armenia's liberation from Turks and Bolsheviks.

    ARF Freedom Fighters Soon After Shushi's Liberation

    When the KGB/NKVD penetrated the Armenian Church in Etchmiadzin, the ARF responded by essentially taking over the Cillician Church in Lebanon. During the Second World War, with hopes of liberating Armenia from Bolshevik rule, the ARF made a political alliance with the Nazis. During the Cold War, the ARF joined forces with the CIA. During Lebanon's civil war, the ARF was instrumental in protecting the Armenian community there and played a great "neutral" role within Lebanese politics. Also during the seventies, the ARF "Justice Commandos" began assassinating Turkish officials in the name of our "Hai Dat." Also during the same time, the ARF created the ANC, the finest political lobbying groups Armenians have in the West. During the eighties, ARF managed to establish ties with the Kurdish PKK and even managed to open lines of communications with the KGB. And in 1988, the ARF began sending armed agents into Artsakh.

    In short, as a true political party, the ARF has attempted "everything" in its power to pursue its stated ideology: It attempted everything in its power to lead the Armenian Diaspora; it attempted everything in its power to resists turks; it attempted everything in its power to establish international ties, be it American, German, Socialist, Kurdish, Palestinian, Soviet, Iranian, etc. In essence, the ARF story is an epic in Armenian historiography. Looking at the ARF from afar, it looks very impressive, especially to none Armenians. I know first hand that the US State Department has taken notice of the unique nature of the ARF as well. I know that they consider the ARF to be one of the largest socio-political networks on earth and they openly call it an "untra-nationalist" organization. They also consider the ARF the only major entity within the Armenian nation today that gets in the way of Armenian-Turkish reconciliation. The aforementioned is the fundamental reason why the US State Department helped promote the creation of the "Armenian Assembly" in America. The AA was created in essence to compete with the political influence the ARF has had over the Diasporan (Note: TARC was presented to the Armenian community in America via the Armenian Assembly).

    Famous ARF Armenian Freedom Fighters During the Ottoman Period. From Left to Right - Garegin Nzhteh, Arabo Arakel, Kévork Chavush.

    The ARF party ideology is somewhat similar to the German NSDP - it is national socialist, although capitalists are found within the ARF ranks as well. The greatest ideological emphasis, however, is placed upon liberating Armenia's occupied western lands and preserving the liberation of Artsakh. And today, the ARF has began turning its attention towards the serious situation with Javakhq. The ARF began serving the Armenian nation in 1890 when its founding fathers decided to unite the various Armenian military and political groups in existence then, under one leadership and one flag. Hence their name - the Federation - Dashnakcutyun. And they have been at it ever since. During their one hundred and seventeen year existence they have had historic victories and historic defeats, monumental successes and tragic mistakes, great heroic men and corrupt betrayers. They, in essence, have reflected the very nature of Armenian society as a whole. Of the great men that have been ARF members: Drastamat Kanayan, perhaps one of the greatest modern day warrior we have had. And let's not forget Garegin Njhdeh, perhaps the greatest nationalist/philosopher/political activist the Armenian nation has known.

    In short: The ARF is an integral part of modern Armenian culture.
    Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:


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  • #2
    Re: Dashnaktsutyun - Armenian Revolutionary Federation

    The Boston Globe

    HEADLINE: Defending the land, no matter the cost; Network seeks Armenian freedom; ARMENIANS IN AMERICA Last of two parts. April 24, 1995

    From the outside, the modern brick building on Bigelow Avenue here looks like it could house a dentist's office or a law firm. But for those who can read the Armenian lettering that lines the building's front wall, and know what country's flag hangs in the front hall, 80 Bigelow Ave. is one of the most important addresses in town.

    It is a key field office of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, an ultra-secretive organization that officials say was one of the main sponsors of a brutal wave of international terrorist attacks in the 1970s and '80s, and is now believed to be providing millions of dollars to fund a drawn-out war 8,000 miles away in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan.

    Though Armenians from Boston to Beirut share deep ties with their embattled homeland, Dashnak, as the organization is known, constitutes the most extreme form of Armenian diaspora support aimed at promoting Armenian independence at any cost. From strongholds in Los Angeles, Boston, Paris, Athens and the Middle East, Dashnak has organized what Western officials say is one of the most sophisticated diaspora networks in the world.

    By its own admission, Dashnak has supplied everything from Armenian-American mercenaries and machine guns to baby food to prop up Nagorno-Karabakh, the kidney-shaped enclave where an undeclared war against neighboring Azerbaijan has been fought since 1988. About the size of Delaware, Nagorno-Karabakh is populated mainly by ethnic Armenians, but is still nominally a part of Muslim Azerbaijan.

    "All resources have to go to the war," said Apo Bohigian, a Lebanese-born American and a leader of the Dashnak party who was expelled from Armenia in January following a government crackdown on the organization's activities. "To defend the land. That is the only thing that is important. The interest of the fatherland is above everything."

    Though the warring parties in the seven-year conflict have been held apart for almost a year by a cease-fire, most specialists believe fighting will flare again in the coming months. And while Azerbaijan's population is about 70 times that of Karabakh, the Armenian forces are now on top. Analysts say this David vs. Goliath outcome is due in large part to the diaspora fighters, who are credited with planning and leading the two most important offensives, in the spring and fall of 1993.

    The foreign assistance, say Western specialists and analysts, has not only swung the pendulum on a conflict that just a few years ago seemed a lost cause for the Armenians. It has also given a scattered and wounded diaspora a chance to fight back, and in the process acquire a new sense of pride and dignity.

    Diaspora often ideologically split

    Similar to the powerful xxxish community, the 4 million-strong Armenian diaspora - about 1 million of whom live in the United States

    * has often been ideologically split. Moderates believe the homeland should be aided with humanitarian assistance, cultural exchanges and polite pressure on the governments in the countries where Armenians have settled. Though they favor Karabakh becoming part of Armenia, by and large the moderates have opposed what they consider the fanaticism of their radical-thinking brethren.

    But nationalists like Bohigian provide a window on an ultra-nationalist Armenian movement that advocates more extreme measures. The Armenian people have been xxxxxled on long enough, so their argument goes, and the only way to survive in a hostile sea is to fight back. Because Azerbaijan is populated by ethnic Turks, many of these Armenian nationalists see the war in Karabakh as an opportunity to avenge massacres during World War I, during which the Armenians say that up to 1.5 million of their people died at the hands of the Ottoman Turks.

    The ultra-nationalist movement traces its roots back to Boston, once the command center of a secret terrorist organization known as Nemesis. Over the years, Armenian nationalists have joined forces with some of the world's most feared terrorist organizations. As the nexus of the movement, Dashnak, which is based in Athens, boasts "bureaus" throughout the world, including the one in Watertown. On most days, the office on Bigelow Street is a bustle of activity and ringing telephones. Activists and sympathizers from the Boston area and beyond flow through the doors of the building, and phone lines crackle with news from Washington, Yerevan and Karabakh.

    Tatul Papazian, a leader in the Watertown Dashnak bureau and also the editor of the "Armenian Review," described the office as a locus to keep the Armenian dream alive. "Dashnak's role . . . is mostly in making the people believe it was possible to fight," he said. Papazian, a soft-spoken intellectual, said the Watertown bureau serves both as a beacon for the local Armenian community - sponsoring forums, publishing materials and hosting foreign visitors - and as a liasion with the organization's other offices and its political wing, the Armenian National Committee.

    Worldwide, Dashnak relies on a sophisticated network of activists and sympathizers to raise money and support for the cause in Karabakh; in a 24-hour telethon last year on the Armenian-owned Horizon Channel in California, the organization gathered $ 1.5 million for the war effort. Two months ago, a California telethon raised another $ 1.4 million.
    "We were the ones that kept the dream of independence alive. . . . by fighting for our rights," Bohigian said. "The idea of fighting for national liberation was a Dashnak idea. We are the ideological lighthouse."

    Though Dashnak membership numbers in this country are kept secret - leaders will say only that there are between 2,000 and 6,000 members - specialists believe the organization draws much of its strength from thousands of sympathizers who contribute money, attend meetings and read Dashnak-sponsored newspapers. The United States, which strongly supports Armenia, has acknowledged the activities of the Armenian nationalists based in America.

    Though the Federal Bureau of Investigation has declined to discuss its involvement in investigating Armenian-Americans, government sources say the agency has looked into at least a handful of cases in which Armenian-Americans were suspected of providing arms to Karabakh. The sources said no charges have been filed. The bureau believed that one, Californian Garo Khakhejian, had been running arms to and from the enclave under the cover of an import-export company, the sources said. Khakhejian was killed on the battlefield in Karabakh in 1993.

    Officials acknowledge that sending cash to Karabakh does not violate US law, even though some of that cash is in turn used to purchase arms. But they say Dashnak's activities raise a potentially difficult prospect for Washington and other Western governments. Privately, some officials express fear that a handful of other diaspora groups in the United States - from Ukrainians to Serbs - could take a cue from Dashnak and begin funneling cash and weapons to fuel separatist movements in their own countries. Such a scenario could ultimately undermine US interests as Washington scurries to devise a new policy to deal with dozens of nationalities and ethnic groups sprung free by the collapse of communism.

    "Washington is watching Dashnak very closely," said one US official who follows the region.

    Passionate defense goes back a century

    Passionate defense of the fatherland, or heirenik, is nothing new among the Armenian population. Armenians began forming revolutionary parties more than a century ago. The organizations had predominantly Marxist roots, shaped by what they believed to be an indisputable truth: Turkish oppressors must be brought to justice. It was in this spirit that Dashnak was founded in 1890. From its inception, Dashnak was ultra-secretive, its aims simple and clear: winning freedom for Armenia by whatever means necessary. Throughout the century, Dashnak and other radical Armenian groups have turned to violence. In the 1920s, Nemesis planned and carried out a wave of assassinations of Turks believed responsible for perpetrating the massacres of 1915-1920.

    In the 1970s and 1980s, two main Armenian terrorist groups - the Dashnak-affiliated Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide (JCAG) and the more radical Beirut-based Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) - claimed responsibility for bombings and assassinations that killed more than 100 people, both Turks and non-Turks, around the world. In 1982, the violence came to Boston, when ASALA claimed responsibility for gunning down Orhan R. Gunduz, the honorary Turkish consul to New England, in Somerville. Gunduz was not replaced. Since the late 1980s, radical Armenians have been focusing on Karabakh, a cause many of the nationalists believe is as much about avenging the past as it is about determining the future.

    Hrair Marukhian, the Iranian-born former Dashnak leader, now in a coma following a stroke last year, told an audience of party faithfuls in Los Angeles in 1992: "We regard Karabakh as our Stalingrad," referring to the pivotal World War II battle that turned the tide for the Soviets in the war against Nazi Germany. ". . . If we compromise Karabakh in any way . . . we will no longer have any chance to present ourselves as the defenders of the Armenian people's rights."


    Nationalist cause exerts strong pull

    Though they were brought into the movement for different reasons, the stories of several Armenian-American mercenaries underscore the pull of the nationalist cause for some. Monte Melkonian, a soft-spoken intellectual from Visalia, Calif., grew up knowing little about his heritage. The son of a first generation Armenian-American, Melkonian said he was raised in "the typical assimilated family."

    But as a student at the University of California at Berkeley in the late 1970s, Melkonian said he was swept up in a movement to force the Turks to acknowledge the massacres of 1915-1920. In 1978, after graduating with a dual degree in archeology and Asian studies, he turned down a scholarship to study at Oxford, deciding instead that he needed to help the Armenian cause. Melkonian spent the next dozen or so years in Iran and Beirut, where he said he helped defend the city's Armenian enclave against Christian Phalangists.

    After serving time in prison in Paris in the mid-1980s for his role in a planned terrorist bombing, Melkonian made his way to Armenia in 1990, eventually heading to Karabakh to take up arms. He spent two years leading a unit in the Karabakh region of Martouni, where he was killed in June 1993, the first American to die on the distant battlefield. In one of his last interviews before his death, Melkonian told the Globe that he recognized the dangers of war, but "when you know your rights have to be guaranteed, often you have to do it yourself."

    Los Angeles resident Chahe Ajamian, 31, arrived in Karabakh in early 1992 after spending nearly two years shuttling in uniforms for the enclave's army. Like many of the diaspora fighters, he was born in Beirut, wwould continue to fight to avenge the death of his best friend, Garo Khakhejian, a Fresno, Calif. native who was killed by a sniper bullet in June 1993. "I am not a Rambo," he said. "But I do my best."

    Bohigian, the Dashnak leader, said about 40 diaspora Armenians have joined the struggle. The majority of them, he said, are from the Middle East, with about a dozen from the United States. Their presence on the battlefield, by all accounts, has been crucial. In April 1993, Melkonian and a French-Armenian commander were believed to have masterminded the capture of Kelbadjar, a key town in the Azeri-controlled territory that separates the enclave from mainland Armenia, according to a handful of soldiers who took part in the offensive. Kelbadjar was seen by military analysts as the battle that turned the war. Later, Melkonian was credited with the capture of Agdam, a strategic village in Azerbaijan that gave the Armenians their first taste of security.

    By most accounts, Dashnak has been funneling weapons and cash to Karabakh since at least 1991. Bohigian boasted that the organization was "the first to get automatic weapons into Karabakh." In a 1992 speech in California, Marukhian said: "We must determine what kinds of weapons exist or don't exist in Karabakh so we can evaluate the struggle."

    Dashnak leaders acknowledge that they provide more than $ 3 million a year each year to the enclave, although they say much of that money is used for humanitarian assistance. Karabakh's entire budget for 1994 was $ 4 million, so the foreign assistance is life-saving for the enclave, said Hovig Saliba, president of the California-based Artsakh Fund Committee. Bohigian said much of the aid have gone to helping children of felled fighters, as well as for medicine, food and clothing.

    Armenians opposed to Dashnak dismiss the organization's claims as greatly exaggerated, but Western officials believe Dashnak has provided even more than the organization admits. Most Western experts estimate annual Dashnak contributions at around $ 10 million, most of which they believe is used to prop up the war effort. Because the enclave is so small, though, and because of the relatively low cost of weapons in a region brimming with arms left by the Red Army, even several million dollars can provide a significant boost.

    Western officials and specialists believe most of Dashnak money in Karabakh has come from the United States, home of the wealthiest of the diaspora communities. Papazian - who also stressed that aid is used for mainly humanitarian purposes - estimated assistance last year from contributors in the United States at $ 5 million. US and Turkish officials who follow Armenia believe funds are sent through Syria, Lebanon, Russia and France. One government worker in Karabakh, however, said a large portion of the funds arrive directly from Armenian-Americans who hand-carry cash when they travel to the enclave. "When the Dashnaks come, they bring briefcases and envelopes full of dollars," said the worker, who requested anonymity.

    On top of the Dashnak money, the experts say, the $ 175 million the Armenian government received in foreign aid last year from Washington helped Yerevan free up other money for the war in Karabakh. As Papazian said: "If Karabakh falls, Armenians in the diaspora will see that as the first stone of Armenia falling. We cannot allow that. We set the mentality that if you want something, you have to fight for it."
    Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:


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    • #3
      Re: Dashnaktsutyun - Armenian Revolutionary Federation

      Is the historical Dashnak party still a driving force in Nagorno-Karabakh?

      Article published in 02/11/2004 Issue, By Célia CHAUFFOUR in Stepanakert

      Nationalist party founded at the end of the 19th century which kept on acting abroad during the Soviet time and nowadays strongly rooted among the diaspora, the Dashnak or Dashnaktsutiun (abbreviation of Hay Heghapokhakan Dashnaktsutiun which means Armenian Revolutionary Federation or ARF) played a key part in the Armenian History. First secretary of the Dashnak division in Nagorno-Karabakh, Jiraïr Shahigjian highlights the problematics

      Jiraïr Shahigjian receives us in the newly renovated Dashnak HQ in Stepanakert, two steps away from the Nagorno-Karabakh presidency. Since April 2004, he is the first secretary of the Karabakh section of the party. On the wall, a Dashnak flag adorned with the words « Freedom or death », a black and white picture of the three foundators of the party created in 1890 in Tbilisi, in Georgia : the marxist C.Mikaelian, the populist R.Zarian and the bakuninist S.Zavarian. Jiraïr Shahigjian speaks fluently Armenian and Persian. Not surprising for an Iranian of Armenian origins. The interview is thus done with the help of Nara, a young militante polyglotte, fluent in Russian and English.

      « The Dashnak line is a Social policy and it aims at the friendship between peoples », starts Jiraïr Shahigjian, with a solemnal attitude. « There is nothing specific to Karabakh. We follow a same and only national line, identical to the one in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, notably for the recognition of the genocide. Every four years, during the International meeting of comitees, a vote takes place about the main lines of the national politicy. The last one was held in February 2003 ».

      But the Stepanakert representation has to adapt to stakes specific to the has to the enclave. Alike the example of the thorny issue of displaced/refugees. «The precarious refugees’ situation is a political and before all financial issue.If we just want to mention the aid for houses construction, this depends on the budgetary choices of the government.», as he thinks. Interviewed about the Dashnak stand about the Nagorno-Karabakh, the first secretary has rather to dodge : «We are today independent. But Dashnak is in favour of the defense of a Great Armenia.».

      The offices of Dashnak have just been renovated, and the desks are well equipped with computers. But the budget and financial resources of the party are still taboo. There a lot of gossiping around the financing of local political forces. The party in power, MDA, would be supported by local businessmen and the diaspora. Dashnak zould be no exception to the rule. Its first secretary asserts that each supporter gives 3% of its salary to the party. In addition, the party benefits from various sponsorships and donations, from Karabakh businessmen. Surmounted by the three Armenian, Karabakh, and Dashnak flags, the HQ bustles around by an incessant comings-and-goings of militants and voluntaries.

      Bought in 1998, the building shelters the secretariat of the party, with its ten or so full-time employees, but also young qnd students sections, or also the editorial team of Aparaj, the organ of the Press of Dashnak. Bimonthly created in Stepanakert, Aparaj printed to 1,000 copies, for a strictly Karabakh circulation. 31 years old, Jiraïr Shahigjian is a probing example of the weight of the youth inside the party. «We have created several youth associations : the first one aimed at schoolchildren and tries to improve the studies, the two other ones gather University students as well as activists », as he explains.
      Borned in Ispahan, and now maried to a Karabakh woman, Jiraïr Shahigjian was very active in the Dashnak representation in Teheran. He left his country in 1996, since he refused to be any longer under pressure of the power over the Iranian youth.

      Nara, 22 years old, our translator, has been involved for now ten years in the life of the party. Volontary worker, Nara knew about the Dashnak by her parents. She is nowadays commited in the student association of the party, which gathers 150 students, of which 50 active militants. « By now, our workgroup prepares the muncipal elections of August 8th », explains Nara. Every week, according to the community policy of the party, the representation also organises seminars gathering voluntaries and supporters. The objective ? To follow the international and national news, around two themes : the evolution and the History of the Armenian people.

      « Our party has opended offices in the regions for example in Shushi, but it is true that decisions are taken here, in Stepanakert », as confides Jiraïr Shahigjian. According to Rozanna Ishkanian from the newspaper Demo, Dashnak has indeed developed into the regions. «To proove it, a part of the Dashnak deputies of the Parliament are coming from the districts of Hadrut (three of them), or Askeran, two regions at the border with Azerbaijan {the districts of Hadrut and Askeran are respectively located at the South-East and East of Nagorno-Karabakh, editor’s note} », explains Rozanna. « Even if they are particularly active in those Eastern regions, they lack readability ».
      Their impact on the local political life yet stops at the villages. The great municipalities are still at the hands of the MDA. In addition, the local elections are known for being rigged. According to Jiraïr Shahigjian, the stake is still the Karabakh « capital », the decision-making center of the regional political scene.

      Present among the government, the party holds the Education, Culture and Sports portfolio, at the hands of the minister Armien Sarkissian, and his principal private secretary. But, according to journalists and specialists of local Policy, the prospects of Dashnak could not break away from its eternal anti-establishment part in which the party seems to contented with. The population does not acknowledged this political force as an alternative power.
      A stand rejected by Jiraïr Shahigjian. « As a matter of principle, we are not systematically for or against the government in power. Even if we agree about the main lines of the domestic policy of the government of Arkady Goukassian, we disagree about its external policy, as well as about its budgetary allocations».

      With nine deputies in the Parliament, the Dashnak influence is undeniable. As for the future of the party, Rozanna Ishkanian is being skeptical : « since Dashnak did not hesitate to take up arms à prendre les armes during the war, the party was welcomed by the public opinion. After 1997, Dashnak made an alliance with the president, that is what lost them as regards the presidency. And now, the party claims to be critical toward the government in power. »

      Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:


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      • #4
        Re: Dashnaktsutyun - Armenian Revolutionary Federation

        It's better that I be a dog or a cat, than a Turkish barbarian..."

        Edna Petrosyan, a SIX YEAR OLD Californian girl who recites hateful poems on the insistence of her mother. The Los Angeles Times, February 1, 1990

        This page will focus on a Dashnak community center, to get an idea of how impressionable young Armenian minds are being molded.

        As we all know, Armenians cherish their terrorists. This chapter of the "Armenian Youth Federation" is lovingly named after the terror-spreading bandit, Aghpuyr Serop (Aghpiur Serop). Here's how the site describes him:

        "Also known as Serop Vartanian, Aghpuyr Serop was born into a wealthy family in the village of Soghort, Aghlat in 1864. After he joined the Dashnaktsutiun [ca. 1891-- HW], he began to travel and organize villagers to protect themselves against the attacking Turk's. Upon hearing of his actions, Turkish officials sent out soldiers to capture Serop and his men. Although the Turkish government organzied many surprise attacks, they were unsuccessful. Unfortunately, in 1899, after being poisened by the enemy, Serop was killed during battle, alongside his brother and son."

        Let's figure out what's going on here. The fact that his family was wealthy provides a giant clue the Ottoman-Armenians were not oppressed. But this lunatic decided to "stir things up." He wasn't heroically getting Armenians to protect themselves against the attacks of Turks, because no Turks were attacking. (Depredations by Kurdish tribes, lawless bands and the occasional exceptions of locally committed mass murder aside, there were no massacres of Armenians before the formation of these terror groups in the late 19th century. It was the idea of these terrorists to "stir things up," commit violence and murder, to incite Muslims to do the same, thus inviting European intervention... in accordance with the Dashnak charter.)

        Furthermore, Aghpiur Serop got his poor Armenian wife involved, an innocent he married when she was about 13. (Sose Vartanian, a.k.a. Sose Mairig/Mayrig. She was five years younger than her husband.) Corrupting the illiterate girl's mind, the whole young family got into the murderous act. (Setting a familiar pattern, Serop passed his hatred onto his young sons, took them to the mountains to live the glorious life of the fedayi, and ultimately helped caused their untimely deaths.) Finally, the dishonest passage above makes it sound as though the Turks must have poisoned him, but in actuality, his poisoning "enemy" in this case appears to have been his fellow Armenians.

        These villains brought disaster upon themselves, and their people. They were absolutely bereft of morals; not only in their dealings with the hated Turks, but with their fellow Armenians. They forced the Armenians who wanted nothing to do with them to buy weapons (allowing these terrorists to make huge profits), and to join their fanatical cause. They used the girls and the women whenever they would bunk down in an Armenian village. Anyone who got in the way learned the price of defiance was frequently death.

        Lord Wentworth was quoted in The Diplomacy of Imperialism as having pointed to these criminals' "atrocious methods of terrorism and blackmail by which a handful of desperados, as careful of their own safety as they are reckless of the lives of others, have too successfully coerced their unwilling compatriots into complicity with an utterly hopeless conspiracy." One year before Serop got himself killed, British Consul Elliot wrote in a report to his government (May 5, 1898): "They [the Dashnaks] quarter themselves on Christian villages, live on the best to be had, exact contributions to their funds, and make the younger women and girls submit to their will. Those who incur their displeasure are murdered in cold blood."

        These are the scoundrels the Dashnak AYF presents as role models for young Armenians today. Here's an idea of the operation of this Dashnak center, they've got around fifty kids from 9 to 16, participating in "various activities including community educationals and discussions." They also "work closely" with parent organizations, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and the Armenian Youth Federation. The kids were asked the following question:

        "If you could meeting any famous Armenian, who would you choose and why?"

        There are a lot of famous Armenians, and the kids could have picked some positive role models, like tennis player Andre Agassi, film director Atom Egoyan, the actor who played "Captain Kangaroo," scientists, financiers... why, the sky is the limit. We all know what a gifted people the Armenians are. Let's see how these Dashnak whippersnappers responded. A few were on the right track. Two spoke of Mesrob Mashdotz, whose claim to fame appears to be the creation of the Armenian alphabet. One picked Aram Khachaturian, described as a musician. But the bulk of them answered in following fashion. A 10-year-old chose the namesake of his AYF center, Aghpuyr Serop, himself. "He is one of my favorite fedayees," the boy explained, adding that he would be "very curious about his life, if it was easy or difficult, or complicated what he went through." Living in the mountains, dragging his family along on his same crazed murderous route... what does the kid think?

        Another, a 14-year-old, went with another Dashnak killer, Soghoman Tehlirian. "I'd ask him what it felt like to fight for his country and to take a stand for all the bad things that happened to us." Tehlirian, like his predecessor from the 19th century, Serop, came from a wealthy family. There were no "bad things" happening to the Tehlirian family, until those like Tehlirian did "bad things" first. And Tehlirian's list of criminal acts is long; before he took a pot shot at Talat Pasha, he murdered in cold blood a fellow Armenian, on suspicion of giving up the 235 Dashnak and other revolutionaries in Istanbul, arrested on April 24. (In other words, for committing the greatest sin among the Dashnaks, acting as a loyal Ottoman.) Worse was Tehlirian's positioning himself to join Antranik's forces once Tehlirian had gone off to side with the Russian enemy in 1914, bloodying his hands many fold when Antranik and company targeted the mass slaughter of many thousands of defenseless villagers.

        In fairness to the killer-worshipping child, let's not forget Silly Samantha Power also allowed her heart to skip a beat by glorifying this deranged yet calculating murderer. A 15-year-old found Karekin Njdeh to be "a great historical figure that I respect and I look up to because he founded the Armenian Youth Federation." The parallel of the AYF with the Hitler Youth is, of course, no accident. (We already had a taste of this madman in the excerpt above, where his name was spelled as "Nejdeh.") An Armenian member of a "Germanic" forum, named Ramzig, while spreading his genocide propaganda, described Njdeh as follows: "a fascist and pro-Nazi Armenian at the time... published a book called "Armenianism-Aryanism" which informed the Germans of the Armenians, and allowed the Armenians a place in the empire of the Germans, considering them a 'brother nation.'" Nejdeh was evidently yet another "fedayi," and some have assigned him the title of "general."

        Perhaps the most troubling of famed Armenian heroes that our "ungers" chose was a terrorist of recent times, Hampig Sassounian. A 12-year-old went gaga for the "Justice Commando" (when the A.R.F. re-entered the familiar waters of terrorism back in the 1970s-80s, the JCAG was their creation) who killed an innocent Turkish diplomat "because to live in the U.S. today and to care about his Armenian nation so strongly really amazes me and makes me proud to be Armenian." (Hampig was an import from Lebanon, barely getting familiar with U.S. living before his brain snapped for the "Cause.")

        One 11-year-old wrote a poem of an Armenian teen-ager marked for death in 1915, while a 12-year-old felt genocide-obsessed enough to pen:

        Turkey admit it, you know you're wrong. Stop denying it, it's been too long.

        It is nothing less than grotesque to mold the minds of these impressionable children in such destructive fashion that they look up to the cold-blooded murderers and liars in their midst. Where are today's brave Armenians? Why are not diaspora Armenians taking a stand against the hateful Dashnaks, causing so many to curtail their evolution as better human beings?

        Thanks to A.F.

        In this part of the world, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation is over 110 years old. It came ashore with the earliest immigrants, was established and worked and helped to maintain a small part of our nation on faraway shores. Our Lowell, Mass., chapter, the oldest, was established in 1894, and our Armenian-language newspaper, the Hairenik, is the longest-running Armenian newspaper we have. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation today is a presence in most every city in the U.S. with an Armenian population. We have to remember the past because here, as in most every corner of the Diaspora, the history of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation is the history of our people. And the struggle of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation has been the struggle of the Armenian nation, the struggle to liberate our people and to ensure their future. For the Diaspora, this effort has meant two things: building for our national survival and working towards Hai Tahd.

        It has been possible to lead, because this nation trusts the Armenian Revolutionary Federation to pursue these goals. It is the trust which you have in the Dashnaktsoutiune which enabled us to establish ourselves in the center of Washington last year with the purchase of our new ANCA building. It is this trust which brings a Senator like Menendez or Biden to work with us, and not only for our financial support only, but for the grassroots and shared ideals which we represent. It is the fact that the Armenian Revolutionary Federation feels the pulse of our nation, and that the Armenian Revolutionary Federation is accountable always and only to the Armenian nation.

        And so we have worked hard to support our friends in the American political system, supporting people like Congressmen Schiff, Pallone and Knollenberg in their election campaigns. We have also worked with Sen. Menendez to put a hold on the nomination of Mr. Hoagland as U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, because we, as our friends, believe in truth and in a cause that is just. We are making every effort now to realize the Genocide Resolution in Congress with our friends on both sides of the isle. The Genocide Resolution is not only a condemnation of Turkey's crime committed over 90 years ago, but is also a condemnation of its reluctance to come to terms with its past, a condemnation of the kind of oppression and limits on speech that foster hatred and racism. A poisoned public opinion fueled by years of lies which results in desecration and attacks against Armenian churches and cemeteries, destruction of symbols of Armenian cultural heritage, and even assassinations like that of Hrant Dink.

        Whether it is in Washington or in the Illinois State House, whether it is a genocide resolution or aid to Armenia, or a high school Genocide curriculum, we never tire of these goals because we bear the trust our nation has in us to defend our political and human rights. And we know that in this effort, together we will prevail.

        But this is only part of what the Dashnaktsoutiune does.

        For any political effort to succeed, you first need to establish vibrant, viable Armenian communities. Ten or 20 or even 80,000 Armenians in an area such as New Jersey do not become an Armenian community just by being there. A community needs centers, it needs churches, it needs schools, it needs cultural activities, it needs newspapers, it needs to see each other, to gather together, to learn of each other, to share lives with one another. This is what a Diasporan community is about. And this is the work, the supreme effort which the Armenian Revolutionary Federation has engaged in from the beginning, the struggle, which has meant really the survival of a nation.

        When you establish an Armenian Revolutionary Federation chapter in New Jersey, it means you are forming, organizing the New Jersey community. It means one day you will build a church, and one day you will open a school, and then a center, then youth clubs and cultural associations and newspapers and picnics and dances, and you have given space for a fragment of our nation to breathe and to prosper. It is the same story in every community. And it is this same effort the Dashnaktsoutiune has always been engaged in. In the Diaspora, our struggle has been one of national survival, not just as individuals, but as Armenians. It has been to create the conditions for generations of Armenians to retain their identity, to realize their dreams and to come to the aid of Armenia.

        And so we have the Hairenik Building, the Hairenik newspaper, the Armenian Weekly, the Armenian National Committee of America, the local Armenian National Committee chapters, the local Armenian Revolutionary Federation chapters, the Armenian Youth Federation, the Armenian Relief Society, the Hamazkayin, the Homenetmen, the Prelacy and the parish churches, the schools and the community centers, and all the activities in our communities across this region that have allowed us the freedom to stay Armenian.

        Dozens of people have joined the ranks of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation recently in this region, and many hundreds internationally. They join because they see the Armenian Revolutionary Federation as the organization that has for over 100 years struggled to secure a future for the diaspora and for Armenia, and they see the Armenian Revolutionary Federation as the embodiment of the most noble ideas in our national character, of sacrifice and of dedication to a national ideal.

        But whether it is in Hai Tahd, in community building or securing and helping Armenia, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation has never been alone in its efforts. Just as we share the stage every day with those joining to help us, we share our work also with all the churches and our entire community. And it has always been so. It is only in that spirit and together that we have succeeded and prevailed in the past, and it is the only way we will ever succeed and prevail in the future as a nation. Hayg Oshagan is the chairman of the ARF Central Committee, Eastern USA.

        Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:


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        • #5
          Re: Dashnaktsutyun - Armenian Revolutionary Federation

          Dashnaks Insist On Territorial Claims To Turkey

          Armenia does not recognize Turkey’s territorial integrity and may in the future lay claim to lands that were populated by Armenians before the 1915 genocide, a senior member of the governing Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) claimed on Friday.

          “The current government of which we are a part and the president whom we have supported and will support will not abandon territorial claims,” Giro Manoyan, a spokesman for the nationalist party’s ruling Bureau, said. “Armenia’s official position is that the issue is not on our foreign policy agenda. That means it can be on the agenda tomorrow.” Recognition of Turkey’s current borders has been one of Ankara’s preconditions for normalizing relations with Armenia. Official Yerevan says it recognizes the existing Turkish-Armenian border which was set by the Treaty of Kars signed in 1921 following the country’s takeover by Bolshevik Russia. The government of the then Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic was among the treaty’s signatories

          “Armenia is the successor state of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry explains on its website. “All of the agreements which the ASSR signed continue to be in force unless new agreements have been signed to replace them.” At the same time the Armenian government has repeatedly dismissed Turkish demands to officially declare that it will never claim any lands in what is now eastern Turkey. “No Armenian government can do that because I believe the Armenia people would not allow that government to remain in power,” Manoyan said during a roundtable discussion in Yerevan.

          “The fact that there are no territorial claims today, does not mean we can’t lay such claims tomorrow,” he told RFE/RL separately. The possibility of such claims has never been publicly acknowledged by President Robert Kocharian, Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian and two other parties represented in Armenia’s government. In a famous 2001 interview with CNN-Turk television, Kocharian sought to assure Ankara that its recognition of the 1915-1918 mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide would not prompt territorial demands from Yerevan.

          “Genocide recognition by Turkey will not lead to legal consequences for territorial claims,” Kocharian said at the time. “The problem is that those events have taken place in Turkey, and the Republic of Armenia did not exist at that time, and today's Republic of Armenia is not the heir to those lands,” he added. David Phillips, a U.S. scholar who chaired the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission, wrote in a 2005 book that Kocharian’s interview “helped mollify [Turkish] concerns about Armenia’s intentions.”

          But according to Manoyan, the Armenian leader simply stated that “there is no such issue on the agenda of Armenian foreign policy today.” “The president also said genocide recognition would not automatically result in territorial claims,” he said, denying any disagreements on the issue between Kocharian and Dashnaktsutyun. Manoyan revealed last summer that the party, which also has chapters in major Armenian communities abroad, plans a major shift in its long-running campaign for international recognition of the Armenian genocide. He said Dashnaktsutyun will strive to force Turkey to pay reparations. Kocharian, however, had told CNN-Turk that for him genocide recognition is “more of a moral issue.”

          Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:


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          • #6
            Re: Dashnaktsutyun - Armenian Revolutionary Federation

            ARF Shant Kickstarts Planning for Reunification of Western Armenia

            Los Angeles, CA - On Sunday, December 3rd, about 150 college and high school students attended a Panel Discussion organized by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Shant Student Association (ARF Shant) at Hollywood's Karapetian Hall. The topic of the panel discussion was the re-integration and re-development of the occupied Western Armenian territories after they have been returned by Turkey as a condition of Armenian Genociden recognition. The experts who participated in the panel discussion were political scientist and historian Garabet Moumdjian, Ph.D., economist and professor Ara Khanjian, Ph.D., and professional civil engineer Aram Kaloustian P.E.

            The panel discussion was moderated by Levon Baronian, founder of the Confederation of All-Armenian Student Associations (All-ASA) and administrator of the ExecNet Armenian Network of Student Clubs (ExecNet). Before introducing the panelists, Mr. Baronian relayed that the ARF Shant organized this event because it believes that the time has come to take Hay Dat to the next level and begin planning for what comes after the imminent recognition of the Armenian Genocide. The panelists presented interesting facts about Western Armenia and discussed a broad range of issues pertaining to the challenges faced in repopulating and revitalizing the region.

            Dr. Garabet Moumdjian presented a historical overview of the legitimate claims that Armenians have over the occupied regions and offered insight into the geopolitical questions of reunification. Dr. Ara Khanjian provided vital statistics on the region and offered analysis on its current economic and demographic realities, particularly as they relate to the remainder of Turkey and the Republic of Armenia. Mr. Aram Kaloustian spoke on a variety of infrastructural issues that must be considered, such as rapid construction of housing, securing sources of water and energy, and repairing transportation routes.

            The audience submitted dozens of written questions during the discussion, after which the panelists read and answered as many of the questions as possible within the time allotted. On behalf of the ARF Shant, Mr. Baronian concluded the panel discussion by thanking the panelists and audience for making the revolutionary and ground-breaking event a great success. The mission of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation "Shant" Student Association (ARF Shant) is to bring a higher level of political and cultural awareness to Armenian students within American Universities and institutions of higher learning. The ARF Shant's goal is to work side by side with the Armenian Student Associations and other Armenian Student organizations to further the Armenian Cause.

            Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:


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            • #7
              Re: Dashnaktsutyun - Armenian Revolutionary Federation


              Currently the matter is not so much in recognizing the Armenian Genocide, as recognizing the responsibility of the Turkish government for that crime,” “Hay Dat” office head Giro Manoyan stated to a press conference in Yerevan. He said, Today Turkey tries to increase his value both for the U.S. and the European community. “Armenia’s foreign policy is clear and right in this connection: we do not put preconditions and are sure the opening of borders must not be connected with the Armenian Genocide, though ARF Dashnaktsutyun thinks if someone has the right for preconditions, it is Armenia and not Turkey. Nevertheless, I am sure our government is on the right way,” Manoyan stressed. He also added ARF Dashnaktsutyun thinks it necessary to make not only moral, but also territorial demands of Turkey. “Turkey has problems with all his neighbors – with Armenia, Greece, Iraq. Sooner or later all those demands will be made,” the “Hay Dat” office head said.

              Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:


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              • #8
                Re: Dashnaktsutyun - Armenian Revolutionary Federation


                Under pressure by pro-Armenian Democratic senators, U.S. President George W. Bush Friday withdrew his pick for ambassador to Yerevan, but his move is seen to be paving the way for further complications. Bush gave in to Democratic objections and withdrew the nomination of Richard Hoagland to be ambassador to the Armenian capital. The White House's decision came after Robert Menendez, a staunchly pro-Armenian Democratic senator from New Jersey, placed a hold on Hoagland's nomination for the second time in January because of Hoagland's refusal to call the World War I-era killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire a genocide. Despite the administration's pleas, Menendez' hold has remained in place since then.

                Under U.S. law, even one senator can indefinitely veto the nomination of a senior government official. Such holds are rare, because the move usually puts the dissenting senator under huge pressure, But in Hoagland's case, Menendez' action was supported by many other senators, including some Republicans. Now Bush needs to nominate another person to replace Hoagland, a career diplomat whose last job was U.S. ambassador to Dushanbe in Tajikistan. However, regardless of whom Bush picks as his choice for ambassador to Yerevan, that person will face the same problems Hoagland did. At his confirmation hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in June 2006, Hoagland was repeatedly urged by pro-Armenian senators to qualify the Armenian killings as genocide. But he declined to do so under the U.S. administration's official policy.

                History repeating itself?:

                Analysts say that the new nominee for ambassador will again face the same pressure from the pro-Armenian senators. If he or she again declines to utter the word genocide, at least one Democratic senator will most likely place a hold on him or her, repeating Hoagland's case. Another option could be that diplomat uttering the "g-word." But if that happens, it will effectively kill the relationship with Turkey, which sees the administration's acknowledgement of an Armenian genocide as a worse situation than a similar move in Congress. A third option could be something different. If the new nominee declines to use the word genocide, and faces a senator's hold again, Bush this time may appoint him or her as U.S. ambassador to Yerevan when Congress is in recess. But if this happens, that person will probably not find suitable working conditions in the Armenian capital because of probable reactions there.

                "For the United States, all options are bad, some worse and others, and there is no way out for an easy solution," said one analyst. "It's not our problem," said one Turkish Foreign Ministry official. "If the United States cannot send an ambassador to Armenia because of such moves by the Armenian lobby, it will be their mutual problem, not ours." The official said Turkey did not expect the Washington administration to change its position on not officially recognizing an Armenian genocide. John Evans, the previous U.S. ambassador to Yerevan, was fired in May 2006 after he qualified the Armenian killings as genocide in violation of U.S. policy, leading to strong reaction by pro-Armenian groups in the United States.

                Armenians welcome withdrawal:

                The Armenian National Committee of Armenia (ANCA), an organization of radical U.S. Armenians, welcomed Hoagland's withdrawal. "We are gratified to see that the administration has finally come to recognize what the ANCA and the Armenian American community have understood for more than a year that xxxx Hoagland – through his own words and action – disqualified himself as an effective representative of either American values or U.S. interests as U.S. ambassador to Armenia," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. Also Menendez said, "this is certainly welcome news." The Armenian Assembly of America (AAA), a more moderate group, had a more nuanced reaction. "Should this withdrawal indicate that the next nominee to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Armenia shall properly acknowledge and characterize the Armenian Genocide, then this is a positive development," it said in a written statement.

                Expressing concern that the United States was not being represented by an ambassador in Yerevan for a long time, the AAA had not joined the ANCA's efforts to stop Hoagland at all costs. In a related development, the number of members of the U.S. House of Representatives backing an Armenian genocide resolution pending in that chamber rose to 224 last week, the AAA said in another statement. This represents a clear majority in the 435-member House. The non-binding bill calls for the official recognition of the Armenian killings as genocide. Turkey and the Bush administration have so far managed to prevent a House floor vote on the resolution, but Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may hold a vote after Congress returns from its summer recess in September, analysts and congressional sources say.

                Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:


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                • #9
                  Re: Dashnaktsutyun - Armenian Revolutionary Federation

                  Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission: Missed Opportunity

                  By Kamer Kasım, October 13, 2004

                  Although the Reconciliation Commission did not attract much attention in Turkey and the Turkish people around the world, it was discussed in the Armenian diaspora and Armenia widely. The establishment of the Commission and the each meeting of it debated among the Armenian diaspora organizations. Despite some exceptions, Armenians’ reaction towards the TRAC was negative. The harshest criticism towards the Reconciliation Commission came from Dashnaks and their organization Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). Contrary to the harsh criticism of Dashnaks, Armenian Assembly of America (AAA) supported the Reconciliation Commission and its activities. Dashnaks (the ANCA and also the Armenian Revolutionary Front -the ARF-) around the world showed negative reaction towards the TARC. The ARF Bureau made a statement in which they stated that although they did not oppose the principle of free dialog between the two peoples and neighboring states, they rejected any initiative mandated by foreign powers, which involves unsanctioned individuals, and which did not depart from Armenian national interests.

                  The ARF considered the TARC as an initiative aimed at strengthening the position of Turkey vis vis Armenian demands and damaging the national security of Armenia. The ARF feared that the establishment of the TARC would divide the Armenians and undermine their efforts for the recognition of “genocide”. The ARF’s argument about the TARC’s role to divide Armenians will be discussed later. The Armenians, who are against the Armenian National Movement and the AAA, also opposed the TARC. The main reason for this was the features of the Armenian members of TARC. Alexander Arzumanian was the former Armenian Ambassador to the United Nations and Foreign Minister of Armenia during former Armenia’s President Levon Ter-Petrosyan era. Arzumanian is also Chairman of the Armenian National Movement. David Hovhanissian was Armenian Ambassador to Syria from 1992-1998. They had important positions during Ter-Petrosyan’s presidency. The ANCA and other Armenian organizations, which opposed to the TARC, strongly criticized the US State Department for its involvement in the TARC.

                  They argued that the State Department was only care about the US oil companies’ strong interests in the Caspian Sea and the US government has supported the Bakü-Ceyhan oil pipeline to carry the Caspian oil to the world markets and the US has vested interests in Turkey. Thus the State Department has no interests in Armenia and Armenian genocide recognition. According to Dashnaks, the TARC was the creation of the State Department in order to convince the Armenian community for concessions on issues such as the Armenian “genocide” and the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. The US State Department had very positive reaction towards the TARC. The State Department openly expressed its support for the TARC. Although US Deputy Secretary of State Elizabeth Jones stated that the TARC was a private initiative and the US government did not involve in it, media wrote about the US government’s involvement in the initiative. Congressional Research Service also published the four pages report titled “Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission and US Role”.

                  The report mentioned that the State Department provided financial assistance to support the Commission's activities as it does other civil society initiatives or people to people contacts. The funds were in the form of a grant to the American University for a conflict resolution program, which is supporting the activities of the Commission. Regarding the claims of the US government’s financial support of the TARC, Van Krikorian stated, “From the beginning the US government said it was supporting us. So I don’t think that is a surprise.” Arzumanian and Hovannisian stated that they did not have information about the US government funding. On the contrary to the harsh criticism from the ANCA, the AAA, which is one of the biggest Armenian organization in the US, supported the TARC. Harair Hovnanian from the AAA stated that “This is the first multi-disciplinary, comprehensive attempt to reconcile differences between two neighbors, separated by bitterness and mistrust, and as such, it is a major advance.”

                  He further stated, “I am particularly proud that the Assembly's Board of Directors Chairman Van Krikorian is on this high-level Commission.” Carolyn Mugar, from the AAA's board of trustees commented, “We believe that the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission will benefit and build on the experiences of other similar international efforts.” Arti Vartanian, acting executive director of the AAA considered the Commission as a groundbreaking step. She said, “Turkey and Armenia are neighbors. Right now they are not communicating. This is going to open the line of communication and hopefully the border.” The AAA is in competition with Dashnak’s organization, the ANCA. The ANCA views the AAA as an organization closely aligned with the US State Department, which means that it followed the interests of the US rather than those of Armenia and the Armenian people. It might be argued that the ANCA and the AAA have consisted of different social classes and their interests differ accordingly. The AAA is an organization consists of Armenian-Americans that represent the elite and establishment.

                  The AAA’s members have more business minded and they aware of the fact that if Turkish-Armenian border opened, Armenia and Armenian and American-Armenian businessmen would benefit from it. They realize the benefits of reconciliation between Turks and Armenians. On the other hand, the ANCA members are more politicized and economically less advantaged. The AAA’s support of the TARC and Van Krikorian’s presence there instigated the division among Armenian diaspora especially in the US. As it was mentioned above the ANCA accused the AAA of dividing the Armenians and disrupted their joint lobbying efforts in the US. Van Krikorian, stated, “Armenian-Americans are already divided.” Van Krikorian also pointed out differences between the ANCA and the AAA in terms of structure and capacity.

                  For example when it was asked why was not the ANCA invited to join the TARC?, he replied that the ANCA/ARF did not have any member who meet the three criteria to join the Commission; 1) Significant international and national political experience; 2) Fluency in English; 3) Willingness to work. It might be argued that the TARC soured relations between the ANCA and the AAA and affected their joint lobbying activities. Indeed, the ANCA and the AAA were in disagreement about the mechanism and timing of introducing a genocide resolution in the House of Representatives. The dialogue was started by the TARC also affected other states’ attitude towards the Armenian genocide claim. The European Parliament attributed significance to the TARC and it refused to include “genocide” issue in a resolution about Turkey.

                  The European Parliament stated that “It supported the civil initiative launched by a group of former diplomats and academics from Turkey and Armenia, the aim of which was to arrive at a common understanding of the past; hoped that this initiative would contribute towards the normalization of relations between the two communities concerned.” The German Parliament also refused to deal with a petition about Armenian genocide claim. The German Parliament referred to the contact between Turkish and Armenian organizations (the TARC). The establishment of the TARC also affected the ARF’s relations with the Armenian government The ARF had suspicion about the Armenian government’s involvement of the TARC. As a reaction, the ARF voted against a bill about the privatization of the electricity distribution network.

                  The Armenian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on 13th of July 2001 in which it welcomed the establishment of the TARC. However, the Armenian Foreign Ministry emphasized that a full normalization of relations between the two neighboring states only possible after the establishment of diplomatic relations. Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian stated that the Armenian Foreign Ministry was informed about the process but not involved in it. He said, “Nobody had asked us whom we want to see in the commission. Nor did we have a right to say yes or no to any candidate.” Armenian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Dziunik Aghajanian sated that “ In connection with the position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the Reconciliation Commission, I must say that Armenia has always hailed any public contact and dialog between the Armenian and Turkish peoples, which will promote public discussions on current problems.”

                  The TARC received a negative reaction from several leading Armenian political parties. They made a joint statement on 31st of July 2001 in which they condemned the TARC and considered it as “artificial reconciliation”. The Armenian political parties’ reaction affected the Foreign Ministry’s opinion about the TARC. As a result, on 1st of August Armenian Foreign Ministry issued a statement different than its earlier statement. As a response to the political parties’ joint statement Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Aghajanian said, “It is noteworthy that the political forces holding the majority in the parliament have assumed a unified position over the Armenian-Turkish reconciliation commission. We believe that opinions voiced in the statement, as well as other opinions made public so far will be taken into account by the commission.”

                  Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman also stressed that the TARC could not divide Armenians and deviate Armenian authorities from consistently pursuing and realizing the process of Armenian genocide recognition, one of the priorities on the agenda of the Armenia's foreign policy. She also pointed out that the TARC activities could not replace state level discussion and all existing problems between Turkey and Armenia could be solved only through an inter-state dialog. Armenian President Kocharian also stressed that Armenian-Turkish relations should be discussed on the state level. It can be argued that criticisms from Armenian political parties and Armenian diaspora led the Armenian authorities to distance themselves from the work of the commission. As was seen from the reaction of the Armenian diaspora and Armenian political parties the TARC was viewed negatively by some Armenians and Armenian organizations.

                  As a response of criticisms, the Armenian members of the Commission claimed that most Armenians from around the world have offered support, both publicly and privately towards the TARC and most Armenians believed that if Armenians and Turks talk directly and in a structured fashion, addressing the numerous issues that cause problems, some progress may follow. One of the criticisms to the TARC was about the members of the Commission. As was mentioned above the most Armenian members of the TARC had important position during the former Armenian President Ter-Petrosyan era and they were strongly criticized by the opponents of the Ter-Petrosyan. The Armenians involved the TARC were also criticized of not consulting the other Armenian organizations. The Turkish members of the TARC were criticized by some Armenians as being hardliners on the Armenian question and being connected with the Turkish establishment. 2.2.

                  Reactions of the Turkish Side Although in Turkey, the TARC did not attract as much interest as it got in Armenia and Armenian diaspora, there were positive reactions towards the TARC and a dialogue between the Turks and the Armenians. Mahmet Ali Briand argued that Turkey should support the TARC and should encourage meetings with Armenian business groups. Ömer E. Lütem, Director of the Institute for Armenian Research emphasized the benefits of the TARC for softening of the strained atmosphere between the two states and nations. Nuzhet Kandemir Turkey’s former Ambassador to the United States argued that the TARC was a positive development, but it would be wrong to have great expectations. He also added, “Turkish participants should coordinate with Azerbaijan when they do something in order to prevent any damage to Turkish-Azerbaijani relations.” Sami Kohen from Daily Milliyet newspaper considered the establishment of the TARC was a right step on the right time. Turkish Armenians welcomed the TARC.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Dashnaktsutyun - Armenian Revolutionary Federation

                    It's better that I be a dog or a cat, than a Turkish barbarian..."

                    As we all know, Armenians cherish their terrorists. This chapter of the "Armenian Youth Federation" is lovingly named after the terror-spreading bandit, Aghpuyr Serop (Aghpiur Serop). Here's how the site describes him:

                    "Also known as Serop Vartanian, Aghpuyr Serop was born into a wealthy family in the village of Soghort, Aghlat in 1864. After he joined the Dashnaktsutiun [ca. 1891-- HW], he began to travel and organize villagers to protect themselves against the attacking Turk's. Upon hearing of his actions, Turkish officials sent out soldiers to capture Serop and his men. Although the Turkish government organzied many surprise attacks, they were unsuccessful. Unfortunately, in 1899, after being poisened by the enemy, Serop was killed during battle, alongside his brother and son."

                    Furthermore, Aghpiur Serop got his poor Armenian wife involved, an innocent he married when she was about 13. (Sose Vartanian, a.k.a. Sose Mairig/Mayrig. She was five years younger than her husband.) Corrupting the illiterate girl's mind, the whole young family got into the murderous act. (Setting a familiar pattern, Serop passed his hatred onto his young sons, took them to the mountains to live the glorious life of the fedayi, and ultimately helped caused their untimely deaths.) Finally, the dishonest passage above makes it sound as though the Turks must have poisoned him, but in actuality, his poisoning "enemy" in this case appears to have been his fellow Armenians.

                    ************************************************** ******
                    Many lies by this Guy.

                    My Father told me stories of Aper Serop and of my Uncle. My father was from
                    Akhlat County’s town of Gdzouag. Father was born around 1887 to 1895.

                    Here is a little story that was in a Armenian News paper Hayrenik from france.
                    It was an article from an Armenian who lived at the times and wrote of the troubles of our people.
                    ************************************************** ******

                    Modest Hero’s

                    This is an article published in June 22,23,24 1956 in the daily Armenian “Harach” in Paris France.

                    Complied by Armenak Hagopian
                    Translated by Garo Soghomonian Minneapolis June 1981
                    Rewritten and corrected by Avak Melikian

                    Every time I try to write about the life and work of an Armenian hero, faces with more then heroic bravery pop in front of my eyes.

                    Aryudz Avak (I roots – ahh vakk) was one of those personalities; he was from Akhlat County’s town of Gdzouag.

                    After killing the tyrant and corrupt governor of the town, he goes into seclusion in the mountains, disappearing for weeks. Finally he is forced to leave his hometown and travels on to Govgass (Caucus).

                    In Govgass when Aghpyur Serop was organizing his combat units, teaching them military tactics and the use of weapons of war. Aryudz Avak was among those dedicated men.

                    Later on participants of this group, after the martyrdom of Aryudz Avak, these men became prominent leaders and they served under the command of the formed party (Dashnaktsutiune) unit their deaths.

                    Avak was brave, mighty and fearless in the real sense of the word. Aghpur Serop seeing his brave deeds gives him the title “Aryudz “ (Lion) he had participated in many battles and had become a hero, so know one dared call him Avak without the “Aryudz” title.

                    Avak had punished the Kurdish governor, who was over the towns of the areas Akhlat and the Sal valley. On other occasions he cleansed the towns of Armenians who were traitors or betrayed their own people.

                    It was enough that the committee, along with witnesses verifies the act of the accused. Avak would gun him down in broad daylight, it didn’t matter how much protection the suspect had. The political party recalls Aryudz Avak to Vaspouragan. He was almost forcefully sent to Govgass because of his autonomous acts of retribution and intimidation.

                    Before writing about these, let me give you some information about our comrades Tro and Roupen, who talk about Aryudz Avak in their memoirs of the Armenian- Tartar conflicts.

                    The late comrade Tro writes in his memoirs. “At the time of the Armenian-Tartrian fighting, Aryudz Avak had formed a special group of commandos comprised of his compatriots. Many of these were soldiers of General Antranig or Aghyur Serop, but their commander was Hadji Godo. Hadji Godo was a calm and extremely intelligent, he was an experienced and serious leader.

                    Aryudz Avak, on the other hand, was nature’s rustic and uncultured son, who was extremely courageous, emotional and unrestrained as a child, with a clear soul and conscience.

                    An Armenian town was being besieged by the Tartar Turks; I (Tro) came to the town to help with a group of my men. We besieged the Turks and commenced to fierce fully fire on them.”

                    “ At this moment, Aryudz Avak arrives with the speed of lightning, he was upon his horse Kefo and had his group of men with him. It was like a storm had descended, he whizzed through the enemy forces destroying everything. I felt extremely embarrassed, unable to do the same thing myself. I was filled with shame and guilt.

                    I immediately arranged that we gather our horses and follow Avak and his men. When we reached him, Aryudz Avak had already removed the Turks from their fortifications, firing at them and cursing the retreating ones at the same time.”

                    “ During the fiercest point of the fighting, Avak noticed that a few Turks were trying to get away with a flock of sheep. He stopped and looked back at us and said, “Boys for Serop Pasha’s sake go out and get that flock back from those bastards.”

                    “Then he sees a Turk hiding out behind a rock, he fires at him, but the bullets miss him, so infuriated he starts to yell. You unworthy Turk, a bullet is to good for you. He dismounts Kefo and goes over to the coward and crushes his head with the butt of his gun.”

                    “After we pushed the Turks out, we regrouped. Avak also came, bringing with him the guns of the Turks he had killed.

                    After getting his men together, he got upon his horse and led them into the town. We followed him respectfully at a distance. They entered the town while singing songs of Serop Pasha. Avak had ordered his men strictly not to sing Antranig’s songs.

                    After putting away our horses. I followed Avak quickly into a primitive town inn, Avak sat having Oghi (a drink like whiskey or brandy) with his friends and cursing the Turks and praising Serop Pasha and drinking to his honor.

                    The following day when we were ready to go to Nakhichevan’s mountainous areas, Aryudz Avak put us on the road with warm well wishs. Saying men there is no place in these mountains that is out of danger, and I, Aryudz Avak hearing of the coming danger would not hesitate to come to your side. So go fight the enemy and if you are in need, I will arrive with birds speed, I’m behind you always, you may be sure of that.”

                    Roupen, in his memoirs, speaking of the guerillas of Akhlat describes Avak as follows.

                    We meet Aryudz Avak at the battles of Kataven and Papshen, he was one of Serops bravest soldiers, and altogether justifying his Aryudz title.

                    Along with Palabekh Garabed, he too had to leave Akhlat county, via the city of Van he passed through Persia into Govgass (Georgia).

                    Garabed did not like Avak, because he would make adjustments according to time and place. He would change his behavior, and adjusted to his environment, but always keeping his lionly bravery.

                    His ability to adapt and adjust perhaps was the reason for his fall and bitter death.

                    Avak started to love life and its pleasures. In order to be free from Govgass’s atmosphere, he made some changes in his maneuvers that were not in agreement with Serops instructions. For this reason he was not liked by Serops men and party members.” He was not a politician.

                    “There after he did many brave acts for his country. In 1905 in the Armenian-Tartar war he preformed miracles of battle. But his greatest act was the defense of Talarakyugh and the battles of Nakhichevan. The people of these places still remember respectfully and gratefully, the services of Aryudz Avak recognizing him as their savior.

                    But despite his rendered services and fame, he allowed himself to make some mistakes that gave Nigol Touman the opportunity to strike him down with the approval of the party. This ignoble death perhaps was a bitter necessity of the party’s discipline, but that should not make us forget this self-scarifying and unprecedented hero, who risked his life and died in the name of his nation and people.

                    However Lions like these are the ones that warm up the world. Life would have been much colder without them. Alas Aryudz Avak!

                    “Now let me give you some examples of the numerous acts of terrorism. These acts were upon the request of his people in his hometown.” (A town committee approved these acts. We must not forget, the legal authority was an enemy power, and had a hand in the commission of these crimes against the people. )

                    When Avak finds out, from word of mouth in his town, that his godfather while transporting the town taxes had taken some of the money. When the godfather was asked about the missing amount, he had told the governor that Aryudz Avak had stolen it. Avak kills his godfather”.

                    “In the town of Dapavank there was a wealthy homeowner who refused to accommodate the Armenian guerillas and help them. So Avak goes over with two of his comrades and kills three members of his family”.

                    “In the town of Perkhus, an Armenian traitor, counting on the protection of the Turkish police did some treacherous acts. The result of which was the imprisonment of a few dozen members of the town committee, they were tortured in terrible ways.

                    Everyone’s wish was to get rid of this traitor. Avak had to locate this traitor by himself in order to be able to hit him. The problem was that he was always with the Turkish police, eating and spending most of his time with them”.

                    One day Aryudz Avak goes into the town all alone and in broad daylight, he walks over to the guardhouse and confronts two police on duty, he points his pistol at them and says,” “ I have come to take the life, of the Armenian traitor who is staying with you. If you make the slightest move I’ll kill you both”. The police knowing him by reputation were frightened and dropped their weapons.

                    Avak enters the room where he sees four other policemen and the traitor. He repeats his threat to them, and without losing a second he shoots the traitor in the heart, he turns to the Turks and says, “ I’m leaving now, if you come out before five minutes I kill you too”, pointing the gun at them. He leaves and travels to Nemrut. The policemen not only stay there five minutes, they remain motionless for a long time, not moving till people from outside come in to tell them that Aryudz Avak is long gone”.

                    After the death of Serop, Avak committed many acts of terrorism in his home county. These were in the interests of his people and against the Turks and traitors, but they always were with the consent of the committee in charge.

                    He did these things till the party called him to Vaspouragan. He was almost sent to Govgass for fear of more of his independent activities.

                    Taking along his wife and children, Avak settles in Gars (Kars) and remains available as a soldier for the party till his death.

                    In nineteen hundred and five he had a group of his own men and fought in the Armenian-Tartar wars. This group is said to have performed some miracles during the self-defense of Nkhichevan and Talarskegh, they always returned victorious from these battles.

                    After returning to Gars with his wife and children, he lives in the shade of his fame and glory he acquired through his braveries and heroism.

                    Once again he begins to disobey the party, this brings about an organized struggle to over –throw and too finally kill him.

                    For the first time ever, under the command of Aris, a few comrades of the party are sent to disarm Avak, this is done to stop him from independently committing terrorist acts.

                    Aris tells Avak about their mission and informs him of the party’s purpose. After hearing this, Avak kisses his weapons and hands them over to Aris Saying “ The decision of Serop Pasha’s party has a place in my head and heart, here are my weapons. Aris seeing his obedience returns his weapons to him.

                    “ In the same year, Murad of Sepastia is sent, this time plainly to kill Avak. But Murad being the godfather of Avaks’ children, advises Avak to go to Tiflis
                    (In Georgia) and finally takes him there personally, explaining the accusations made about him. Aryudz Avak upon hearing all of this gets upset. His friend advises him to stay calm and to obey the party. Avak returns to the town filled with hatred against his party members and threatens to kill them all.

                    One time when his was fishing, five or six of his opponents sneak up on him, tie him up and take him to Gars, After a short time he is found back in his town, nobody knows what happened.

                    One of his opponents was from Moush, when Avak finds this out, he kills him the next day. Because of this act the party decides to stop Avak at any price, by putting an end to his life.

                    In nineteen hundred and seven, the very same day as his death, two of his soldiers go over to the party and furiously kill three of its members. Their corpses were paraded on horse back through the town to show defiance to the party and to pay homage to a hero and son of Armenia.

                    Henceforth, in Govgass, years after his death, his heroic acts and braveries were being told as part of history. Aryudz Avak was their savior and unprecedented and courageous warrior. He was a patriot.

                    Armenian songwriters even composed songs and lyrics about him.
                    Bakou, Shoush, and Nakhichevann you saved, thirty thousand liras to your nation you gave……..

                    The struggle is not over! God is on our side.

                    Attached Files