Category Archives: APPENDIX

THE TREATY OF SÈVRES AND THE ARBITRAL AWARD OF W. WILSON AS THE BEGINNING OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ACT OF UNITED AND INDEPENDENT ARMENIA – 2019-3

Summary

Armen Ts. Marukyan
Being guided by provisions of “The Act of Independence of United Armenia” the head of the delegation of the First Republic of Armenia A. Aharonyan together with other winning powers on August 10, 1920 signed the Treaty of Sèvres with the Ottoman Empire that was beaten in World War I. According to the 88th article Turkey alongside with other states that had signed this treaty recognized Armenia as an independent state. By the 89th article of the Treaty, Turkey, Armenia and also other countries that had signed this Treaty agreed to leave the demarcation of the ArmenianTurkish border in the provinces of Erzurum, Trabzon, Van and Bitlis and also the solution of a question of an exit of Armenia to the Black Sea on the decision of the USA. Because of the change of the geopolitical situation and internal political processes in Turkey the Treaty of Sèvres was not ratified and did not come into force.

However, several months before signing the Treaty of Sèvres four conferences in San Remo devoted to the process of specification of border between Armenia and Turkey that ended on November 22, 1920 with adoption of Arbitral Award of the U.S. President Woodrow Wilson on the Armenian-Turkish border began. According to Arbitral Award, the most part of provinces of Western Armenia namely of Van, Bitlis and Erzurum and also one third of the Trabzon province were transferred to Armenia, providing it an exit to the Black Sea. The territory transferred to Armenia composed of 103.599 km², i.e. about 40% of the territory of Western Armenia. Arbitral Award of Wilson was made according to the norms of the international law operating then and was the manifestation of political responsibility concerning the Ottoman Empire that committed genocide of the Armenian population. Deprivation of the Turkish authorities of dominance over the listed former territories of the Ottoman Empire this international legal act registered the fact that only the inclusion of these territories in the structure of the Armenian state can be a sufficient guarantee that the indigenous Armenian people who fell a victim of genocide can return homeland and restore the violated rights.
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THE VISION OF UNITED ARMENIA – 2019-3

From Past to Future

Summary

Gevorg S. Khoudinyan
Each epoch in Armenian history had, relatively speaking, its own perception of “United” beginning from the nevertheless imperfect wish of uniting Armenia Major and Armenia Minor up to the unification of Eastern and Western Armenia, as well as, today’s political task of enclosing the Republic of Armenia and Artsakh in one state-political vessel. Alongside with this our persistent struggle for “Unity” in the diachronic scope of Armenian history has up to now shown only one result, i.e. the successive fall of Armenian kingdoms, the expulsion of Armenians from Western Armenia, the fall of the First Republic of Armenia. Here a question rises whether the reason of such downfalls was our wish of restoring unity or there have been other, rather objective reasons.

The loss of “Unity” as an expression of ontological crisis that has crept up the Armenians has been the result and consequence of permanent change in the civilized environment surrounding Armenia. By acknowledging our own powerlessness against such objective challenge we started to look for new paradigms of our unity instead of physical-geographical standards, that is, trying to compensate the loss of political basis of self-organization by means of spiritual, cultural, economic and other arguments.

Our great thinkers of the medieval period considered the primary basis for defining “nation” not as much the area, language and kinship but rather the faith and church tradition, that is doctrine, rituals and ceremonies. In new times the scientific basis for restoring the political Armenia as an entity was founded by the Mkhitarist fathers in Venice while the value-civilization pillars for that new unity of Armenia and Armenians were created on the basis of ideas of the European Enlightenment. By encountering the resistance, which was contrasting in form but united in its essence, of powers that have conquered Armenia this new perception of unity finally came up to the strategy of exercising asylum land collection through the restoration of independent statehood on the certain part of national land.

Thus it went on up to nowadays when the hopeful realities of the restoration of the West-Russia common civilization area began to emerge. Therefore the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the state act of United and Independent Armenia must bring our political consciousness which is deep in sand of routine closer to the height of new interstate and international priorities that correspond to the circumstantial changes of civilized environment that surrounds us.

Armenia is unable to be compared with its main rivals in terms of its economic, demographic and quantity standards of military capability deriving from them and because of scarcity of natural resources and low rates of demographic growth will continue to lag behind them. Hence a nationwide consensus must be formed in its political leadership and among main political forces for the creation of technological society with its needful political, economic and cultural priorities.

Only due to the usage of quality resources accumulated by the Armenian people through centuries and the formation of technological society in Armenia it is possible to secure the proper scientific-technological dominance in the region which will allow us also to compete in the battlefield with our neighbours that outnumber us and bring to life the idea of United and Independent Armenia.

THE ORIGIN OF THE CONCEPT “TRIBUTE TO HOMELAND” – 2019-2

And attampts of its implementation in the First Republic of Armenia

Summary

Narine M. Nushervanyan

Key words – community, immigration, Republic of Armenia, community department, supporting unions, diplomatic representatives of the Republic of Armenia, tribute to homeland, Egyptian Armenian Relief Authority, national constitution.

For the first time, the article introduces the concept of “Tribute to Homeland”, the dynamics of its development and its ratification by the Government of the First Republic of Armenia. Its roots go back to Western Armenian National Constitution (1860) and originally was taken as a “National Tax” as a form of obligatory payment and not as chasity.

After the Armenian Genocide, the “National Tax” was transformed into “Tribute to Homeland” aiming to help Armenian refugees, orphans and the First Republic of Armenia. Once again tax collection became mandatory and it was implemented in the Armenian communities to coordinate irregular donations. The Government of the First Republic has ratified the concept of the “Tax for Homeland” with a separate draft, which envisaged the mandatory collection of taxes in the Armenian communities for reconstruction, immigration and support of refugees.

Though the Turkish-Armenian war (1920) and the Sovietization of Armenia prevented the full implementation of these programs, however, it is obvious that the Government of the First Republic has always focused on issues of refugees, dealt with the resettlement of the Armenians and the revival of the country.

ROUGH COPIES OF ROSTOM’S LETTERS OF INSTRUCTIONS

On 100 anniversary of his death

Summary

Ervand G. Pambukian (Beirut)

Key words – Rostom, ARF Central archive, coding, Bureaus, rough copies, rebellion of Sasun of 1904, assassination attempt on Hamid, Tiflis, Van, Kars, Baku, Batum, Constantinople, Cilicia.

In the Central archive of ARF in Boston there are some voluminous copybooks of which the most important are the ones called rough copies. They include the letters sent by the Western Bureau of ARF that were addressed to the parties and leaders acting in Ottoman Turkey and tsarist Russia. Due to the instructions given by the Bureaus those letters and notes were destroyed by all means after being read as they were containing important information. Thus, only their rewritten versions called rough copies that include extremely significant information are preserved for deciphering the secret correspondence of ARF. Their subsequent number that is included in the present publication in entitled “Western Bureau-rough copies of secret letters written in ink, May, 1904”. It includes two letters written by Christopher Mikaelyan on May, 1904 addressed to Mush, i.e. Askanazyan committee and Eastern Bureau in Tiflis. Though in this copy-book there are also other letters written by other people, but they are written by Rostom who has written the other 67 letters the last of which is dated January 5, 1905.

The important part of letters written by Rostom is addressed to the Eastern Bureau in Tiflis and mainly refers to the issues concerning the rebellion of Sasun of 1904.There are also a number of notes addressed to the various bodies of the party like in Van, Kars, Baku, Constantinople, Cilicia and etc. which deal upon the political problems, as well as, with the issues on the assassination attempt on Sultan Hamid and armament and money delivery.

GAREGIN A HOVSEPYAN: THE BLISSFUL PATRIARCH AND GREAT SCIENTIST – 2018-3

Summary

Sargis R. Melqonyan

Key words – Garegin Hovsepyan, Saint Echmiadzin, Gevorgian theological seminary, improvement of the Armenian Church, matenadaran, publishing house, the education of the clergymen.

In our previous article dedicated to the reforming activity of Garegin Hovsepyan we had referred to the programs of the popular scientific periodical of the Holy See and to the one connected with the choice of the priests which, certainly, had vital significance for the improvement of the Armenian Church. But according to Hovsepyan the most significant preconditions for improving the Armenian Church were the science and education. By taking into consideration the above mentioned condition in the present article we have analyzed the programs put forward by him in 1900-1917 in the field of science and education.

At the beginning Garegin Hovsepyan printed his ideas on the given issue in the periodical “Ararat” and put forth the idea that in order to achieve the truth it isn’t necessary to contradict science and religion but they both must be viewed in parallel. While leaving aside the ideological part and passing to the practical one Hovsepyan stated the following three main conditions for the development of science in Mother See: a) the presence of specialists who had undergone scientific preparations,
b)the foundation of fully equipped matenadaran of central Armeniology and theology,
c) the provision of means for the publication of the scientists’ ready works.

Though the above mentioned three points really had crucial significance for the development of the science, nonetheless, Garegin Hovsepyan paid great attention to the educational institutions acting under the control of the Armenian Church. The first of them, where Hovsepyan managed to carry out certain improvements still being an archimandrite, was the diocesan school of Yerevan. After being appointed by the catholicos Mkrtich A. Khrimyan as the surveyor of this school the archimandrite Garegin settled down disputable various issues that were present there by confirming a new system of taking exams.

After conscientiously ruling the diocesan school of Yerevan and settling down the controversy issues there in 1905 Garegin was appointed the surveyor of Gevorgian theological seminary. In 1905-1906 during his years at the office Hovsepyan together with Pedagogical council presented an expanded program of improving the seminary: due to this program he was offering to divide the seminary into two sections, namely, Armeniological and theological ones with their corresponding subjects. Thus, he was establishing in Armenian educational system the model of branch specialization of scientific and educational development that was typical for the German educational system. Besides he was offering to form councils for solving a number of issues in order to avoid the polarization of the seminary. In spite of the fact that the programs put forward by Hovsepyan were rather logical, nonetheless, they were severely criticized and caused various contradictions as a result of which he and his ideological friend were forced to leave the seminary in 1906 due to their application for removal.

In 1915 archimandrite Garegin was appointed the surveyor of Gevorgian theological seminary for the second time and remained in that office till late 1917. This time he was offered this office by the catholicos Gevorg E. Surenyants to whose invitation Hovsepyan presented a project of preconditions and after their assurance he agreed to take the office. While being a surveyor for the second time Hovsepyan succeeded in carrying out the vast amount of the provisions put forward still in 1906 as result of which the following reforms were implemented:

a) In the school section of the seminary 7th grade was opened and new assignment of academic hours was fulfilled
b) The upper specialized educational sector was divided into two professional directions, i.e. theological and Armeniological and for each of them a separate curriculum was created.
c) The Pedagogical council of the seminary was assigned to work out the project of the new charter and hand it to the Catholicos of All Armenians
d) By appointing archimandrite Garegin as a surveyor of the seminary catholicos Gevorg E. instructed him to make an educational body as soon as possible and the right of choosing the members for it was from now on endowed to the surveyor.

In spite of the fact that now archimandrite Garegin had enough opportunities as compared to the first period of him being in office for implementing his programs aimed at the improvement of the seminary, however, this time he was impeded by the inter-political events of Armenia conditioned by the Russian revolution of 1917 as a result of which in late 1917 Gevorgian seminary was closed for a time being.

GAREGIN I HOVSEPYAN. THE BLESSED PATRIARCH AND GREAT SCIENTIST – 2018-2

Summary

Sargis R. Melkonyan

Key words- Garegin Hovsepyan, Holy Echmiadzin, Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, Antelias, Gevorgyan Theological Seminary, reformation of Armenian church, Maghakia Ormanyan, periodical “Ararat”.

In the given publication, which is the continuation of the article dedicated to 150 anniversary of Garegin A. Hovsepyan – the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, published in the previous issue of Panarmenian journal “Vem” analyzes the role of Garegin Hovsepyan and the programs put forward by him for the purpose of church’s reformation beginning from the end of XIX century up to the second half of XX century.

After finishing his education in Germany in 1897 he during 1897-1917 years came back to Echmiadzin and took rather serious offices, like, for instance the editor of official newspaper of Holy See and the inspection of Gevorgyan Theological Seminary. While taking these offices he came forth with programs for the reformation of Armenian Church which were mainly presented in different issues of periodical “Ararat” or in separate projects.

The analysis of these programs shows that Garegin Hovsepyan was offering to reform the church by paying attention on the following points,
a) reform of Holy See’s popular scientific periodical,
b) reform of parish clergymen’s education and election,
c) raising the role of science in church reform,
d) turning of Mother See’s library into central, fully Armenological library,
e) the active participation of the church into charitable and in various common social issues,
f) the need for reform of educational institutes and raising the role of school in Church,
g) revision and reform of the Church’s statutory system,
h) the need of acting publishing house for strengthening and securing the influence of Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin in different layers of the Armenians.

By taking into account the vast volume of the subject in the present publication we have only turned to reformative programs on a) Reformation of Holy See’s popular scientific periodical, b) Reform of parish clergymen’s education and election offered by Garegin Hovsepyan. We will turn to other points in the subsequent series of our article.

GAREGIN A. HOVSEPYAN. THE BLESSED PATRIARCH AND GREAT SCIENTIST – 2018-1

Summary

Sargis R. Melkonyan

Key words – Garegin Hovsepyan, Garegin catholicos, Garegin I., Holy Ēǰmiacin, Catholicosate of Cilicia, Antelias, Gevorkyan Theological Seminary, University of Leipzig, monothelitism, the Council of Karin, «Sasna Crer», national epos.

In February 2017 was celebrated the 150th anniversary of the outstanding Armenian art critic, armenologist, archaeologist, theologian, member of the brotherhood of St. Ēǰmiacin and Catholicos of the Great Hous of Cilicia in 1943-1952: Garegin I. Hovsepyan. Not many such people, about the life of which it’s possible to write a book, but exclusive ones, about individual parts of life which can be written several books. Catholicos Garegin belongs to these latters.

The history of the Armenian people of the first half of the 20th century without his name is inconceivable. By his activities he was always there, where the Armenian people needed him. From the church altars to the fronts of wars, from archaeological excavations to libraries, from different centers of the Armenian diaspora on the historic See of Cilicia. Here is the outline, on which it’s possible to describe the biography of the blessed Catholicos. On this basis we can say, that it’s impossible to present the all activity of Garegin Hovsepyan in one article. Therefore we decited to write separate articles about for different periods of his life and activities: his study period (1877-1897), when he was archimandrit-vardapet (1897-1917), bishop (1917-1943) and catholicos (1943-1952).

In the frst part of our work, which is published here, we investigated the long 20 years of student life of Garegin Hovsepyan. His studies began in 1877 from the monastic school of Amaras. After several months of study here in 1878 he moved to the Theological Academy of Shushi and studied here until 1881. At that time it was the central school of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Church.

In the life of the future Catholicos everything has changed when his father received a letter from Gevorkyan Theological Seminary of the Holy Ēǰmiacin. By this letter Hovsepyan was given the opportunity to continue his studies in Ēǰmiacin. The reason for this proposal was a letter of the father of Garegin Hovsepyan addressed to the Catholicos Gevork IV. In this letter he asked to receive his sone to the Theological Seminary.

Garegin Hovsepyan studied in Ēǰmiacin in 1882-1890. At that time he had the opportunity to listen to the lessons of the most outstanding Armenian teachers of the second half of the 19th century. In 1889 he became one of the first students of the Gevorkyan Theological Seminary, who wanted to join the brotherhood of Holy Ēǰmiacin and took monastic vows. Even in his student years, Garegin Hovsepyan showed interest in science and in studies recent years he published several scientific articles in the journal “Ararat”. But his serious scientific works were two folklore works: “Sasmay Crer” (Սասմայ Ծռեր) and “P’shrank’ner zhoghovrdakan banahyusut’yunits” (Փշրանքներ ժողովրդական բանահյուսությունից) published in Tiflis in 1892 and 1893. With these works he made several new discoveries in the field of Armenian folkloristics.

Garegin Hovsepyan graduated with honors from the Gevorkyan Theological Seminary and in 1892 was sent to Germany to continue his studies, especially in the field of theology. There he studied at the universities of Berlin, Leipzig and Halle-Saale from the famous German theologians of the late of 19th and early 20th centuries. In Germany in addition to theoretical theology he also studied practical theology. For this he as a volunteer lived in Charity Hospital “Bethel” in Bielefeld for about three months and practically studied diakonia. On the basis for this in the journal “Ararat” Hovsepyan has published series of articles the “Church and care for the poor”, which became the first scientific work of the Armenian theologian in the field of practical theology. His studies in Germany Garegin Hovsepyan graduated in 1897 with the degree of Doctor of Sciences. His doctoral work was called “The history of the emergence of monothelitism” (Die Entstehungsgeschichte des Monotheletismus), which was published in 1897 in Leipzig. In this article, for the first time we analyze the individual parts of this work, which is still the only monograph in the Armenian scientific environment about the problem of monothelitism in 7th century.

THE UNQUENCHABLE LIGHT OF SAINT LAZARUS ISLAND – 2017-4

Summary

Vardan G. Devrikyan

Key words – Mkhitar Sebastatsi, Mekhitarist Congregation, St. Lazarus Island, Mikayel Chamchian, Songs (Psalms, սաղմոս) of the Patriarch, “Bazmavep”.

The creation of the Mekhitarist congregation in the 17th century was preceded by attempts to revive the traditions of the Armenian monastic life. Mkhitar Sebastatsi became one of the representatives of this movement. In the 1690s, having bypassed the monasteries in the territory of Armenia, he became convinced that it was impossible to create a congregation that would be able to carry out the tasks of the church-spiritual and scientific-cultural life set by reality itself under the unfavorable conditions of that time.

That is why he had to found a Catholic congregation in order to enlist the support of Rome. The congregation, founded in Constantinople in 1701, then it was transferred to Morea (Ancient Peloponnese) in 1703, and finally in 1717 it is settled on the island of St. Lazarus in Venice, where it operates till nowadays.

One of the main reasons for reason for choosing this place was the developped typography of Venice: it was one of the centers of printing in Europe. Here it was possible not only to print high-quality publications, but also to transport them by sea to Constantinople and Smyrna.

We have highlighted the work of the Mekhitarists in separate sections of this article and showed what fundamental researches they carried out in the field of linguistics, lexicography, historiography, historical geography of Armenia, which were subsequently printed with high quality.

A high-quality edition of bible was published, in which Armenian and Latin canons were compared. Original sources of numerous works of the Armenian and translated literature were compiled.

Mekhitarists also contributed to the creative development of the traditions of ancient Armenian literature, smoothly moving to classicism, and then to romanticism, which were given an accentuated national-patriotic orientation.

ARMENIA IN 1937 – 2017-3

Summary

Ararat M. Hakobyan

Key words – repression, J. Stalin, fear, interrogation, A. Khanjyan, treachery, trial, prison, A. Amatuni, Dashnak, anti-revolutionary, investigator, Troika, military tribunal, execution.

The collapse of the Soviet regime in 1991 put an end to the monopoly of the CPSU in the territory of the former USSR. Certain conditions were created in the post-Soviet space for the reassessment of certain pages of history. One of the similar periods in USSR, including Armenia, were the repressions of 1937.

We, as well as many researchers are convinced that the policy of repressions was not due solely to Stalin’s personality, his character and cruelty, but proceeded from the Marxist-Leninist doctrine, from the ideological foundations of the Communist Party, as according to their vision all anti-revolutionary, Trotskyist and other so-called «ideologically antagonistic» elements had to be eliminated so that the true communist society could be formed in the Soviet Union and, if possible, in the whole world.

The unique and difficult past of the historical and political development of tsarist Russia also left a mark on the dictatorial character of Soviet power, the successor to autocratic Russia.

The repressive policy was applied practically from the first days of the Soviet power, it lasted in the following decades, and the peak of the repressions was in 1937.

In the mid-1950s, when criticism of the cult of personality began, the blame for repressions was unilaterally imposed only on Stalin. This was done in order to somehow save the reputation of the CPSU. It is also obvious that other leaders involved in this black case, tried to avoid personal responsibility. The reality is that Stalin adhered and consistently followed the Leninist course, while other leaders, out of fear or out of conviction, approved of his policy.

After Stalin’s death (1953), the repressions were greatly reduced. As a result of changes in the international and domestic situation, repressions took a more hidden and mild form, the methods of violence and persecutions changed.

Based on the false position of further aggravation of the class struggle, the party-state bodies formed an unhealthy socio-political atmosphere of distrust, fear and betrayal, in order to put pressure on people. In consequence of this policy, people often reported to each other without any grounds to expose the so-called «enemies of the people».

Mostly through false testimony, torture during interrogations, falsification of signatures and other methods, «confessions» were often extorted, groundless accusations, court judgments were made. Judicial proceedings lasted only 15-20 minutes and military tribunals or Trojkas sentenced thousands of innocent people to 1 category (execution) and the second category (prison and exile).

According to available data, in 1920-1953 the total number of repressed people in Armenia was about 42,000. The most absurd is that the authorities of Soviet Armenia periodically received from Moscow a concrete plan on how many «enemies of the people» they should expose, and the Armenian government has always exceeded its plan to emphasize its adherence to the ideas of Marxism-Leninism and socialism. Planning the economy for the Soviet system can be understandable, but the fact that even the human life was planned, proves that the system was dictatorial.

Our observations of a thousand terminated and declassified court cases in the fund 1191 of the Armenian National Archive show that in the 1930s there were no political or anti-Soviet, terrorist, Trotskyist, Dashnak and nationalist groups and organizations in Armenia. The reality is that there were some individuals, writers and intellectuals in Armenia, who were concerned by the problems facing their country and the Armenian people, so they expressed a desire that the unjustly occupied lands of Armenia, such as Kars, Karabakh, Surmalinsky district, Nakhchivan and others were returned to Armenia.

80 years after political repressions, our observations allow not only to restore the historical reality and pay tribute to thousands of innocent victims, but also provide an instructive lesson for those who have dictatorial tendencies and send a message to democratic states and civil society so that they live and never forget about freedom and justice.

HISTORICAL AND DEMOGRAPHIC IMAGE OF WESTERN ARMENIA ON THE EVE OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE – 2017-2

Summary

Gegham M. Badalyan

Key words – Headmost villages, Holoyan-Petoyan, Talvorik, Khut-Brnashen, Hazo city, Khulp, Isyan princedom, Kharzan princedom, Taghi glukh, vicar church of Karmrak Surb Nshan, Aver meidan, Avekhu district, Tsaprkoru district, Gomotz district, St. John The Baptist of Amirdol, Khndrakatar Surb Astvatsatsin.

This article is devoted to the historical-geographical district of Sasun and to the town Bitlis. The district of Sasun, which occupies the most part of the southwestern province of Bitlis, has a unique place in the history of Armenia. Until the beginning of the 20th century, Sasun was the place where fragments of Armenian statehood were preserved. Semi-independent Armenian rule of Sasun was a federation of several noble families, where the dominant family was the Holo dynasty (Peto) with its branches. In Sasun an important role was also played by the Princes (Ishkhans) of Talvorik, Kajarents, Bermtsi and Asetsi. It should be noted that in some parts of Sasun (Khut-Brnashen, Kharzan or inland Sasun) in the 18-19th centuries there were mixed-national autonomous units, where, equally with the Armenians, the Yezidis and Kurds, who had penetrated into Sasun in the 15th and 16th centuries, had managerial rights. It should also be noted that members of the local Armenian council retained their high position and privileges in the west of Sasun (Koghb or Khulp) and in the southeast (Hazo-Khabiljos or Hazvan), where semi-independent Kurdish governments (hükümet) were formed. The most important role of Sasun is also visible in the preservation of the Armenian armed forces. A number of facts make it possible to assert that the military forces of the districts of Upper Sasun (Shatakh, Tsovasar, Talvorik, Psank, Ishkhandzor) reached 4-4.5 thousand as a whole in the 80-90s of the 19th century. Unfortunately, as a result of the treacherous policies of the Ottoman state power in the late 19th century, the Armenian rule of Sasun was significantly weakened and lost its positions. Nevertheless, in the 1890s, the Armenians of Sasun again assumed the role of the flagship of the struggle for freedom, rebelling against the Turkish-Kurdish dictatorship. The tragic events of 1894 and 1904 did not break the rebellious spirit of the Sasun Armenians. Moreover, despite the large losses, the overwhelming majority of the population in Sasun until 1915 was still Armenian, i. e. 55000-60000 people. Meanwhile, the population of Upper Sasun was only Armenian. The tragic year of 1915 was a year of severe trials for the heroic Sasun. The advantage of the enemy did not discourage the freedom-loving inhabitants of Sasun, who had been in battle for life and dignity for the last six months. With terrible losses, 11,000 Armenians from various provinces of Sasun were able to move to Taron in 1916, whence they moved to Eastern Armenia, where they made a great contribution to the noble cause of gaining Armenia’s independence. It should be noted that even the infernal conditions could not completely destroy these mighty people of the sacred land. And even today the Armenian highlanders live lives in some parts of Sasun.

The mountainious town of Bitlis (Baghesh) was a well-known handicraft and trade center of Western Armenians. But Bitlis was famous primarily for his spiritual and cultural centers. In the late Middle Ages, the monasteries and churches of St. John the Baptist of Amlordvo (Amirdolu), St. Astvadzedzin (the mother of God) (the monastery of Saint Thaddeus), Surb Karapet Tsaprkoru, Khndrakatar of St. Mary’s, Tatraakabnak St. Astvadzedzin (the mother of God) or the monastery Gomots, Karmrak (Karmirak) surb Nshan or St. Kirakos were known here. Turkish-Kurdish violence had serious negative consequences also for this densely populated Armenian city, where in 1915 the Armenian population was sharply reduced to 10,00011,000 (total of 30,000). Despite this, Armenians were engaged in trade and crafts in the city before 1915. The Armenian Genocide almost completely destroyed this part of the Armenians in their homeland.

This article summarizes the study of the demographic situation in 1914 in the three most important vilayets of Western Armenia – Van, Erzurum and Bitlis. It should be noted that the current study, which covers mainly the borders of Wilsonian Armenia, will be continued. We are planning, after some pause, to proceed to other vilayets in order to complete the study of the historical and demographic image of Western Armenia on the eve of the Armenian Genocide.