MOSCOW (Realist English). On April 24, Armenians all over the world remember the victims of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. Our litigation with the descendants of the murderers of the Armenian people has been going on for more than a hundred years. And it will continue until the pan-Turkists and the heirs of their criminal regime repent of the atrocities committed. As for the Armenians, it is time for us to abandon the victim complex that we have imposed on ourselves.
Remember once and for all: Armenians are not descendants of Genocide victims, Armenians are descendants of Haik Naapet! Armenians are the heirs of the Kingdom of Ararat. We did not allow the Chaldean tyrant to build the Tower of Babel, which was intended to establish a one-man dictatorship. Our forefathers rejected tyranny from the very first days!
According to lore, a person’s name already contains his fate. We call ourselves “hai” — after the name of our ancestor Haik. “Hai” translates as “leader”. The derived word from it is “khair”, which means “father”.
Did you recognize yourself? Every Armenian dreams of being the owner of his own business, strives to be the master and does not tolerate somebody else’s power over himself, because he craves freedom and independence more than anything else in the world. It is not by chance that the persons endowed with administrative power in Greater Armenia were called “tanuters”. That is, the owners of the house. This is our collective soul.
Armenians are the masters of Western Armenia, not the descendants of the victims of the Genocide. Our ancestors were killed not because they were weak, but because Armenians and Greeks accounted for 70 percent of industry and more than 80 percent of domestic trade in the Ottoman Empire. Our ancestors ancestors were killed not because they were not loyal to the Turks, but because they were loyal to the Russian people and the Russian tsar, with whom the Ottomans and the Germans fought in the First World War.
Pan-Turkists killed our ancestors because they were afraid of independent Western Armenia. Pan-Turkists were afraid that the Armenians, like the Greeks and Bulgarians, would revive their statehood, as it has been many times in Armenian history. Although before the Genocide, Armenians demanded from the Ottoman government only the observance of their civil rights.
In particular, one of the leaders of the Armenian liberation movement Pogos Nubar assured the Russian Ambassador in Paris Alexander Izvolsky:
“The Turkish Armenians absolutely do not want to raise the issue of autonomy or change of citizenship. They only want to achieve the implementation of the reforms envisaged by the Berlin Treaty and developed in 1895 by Russia, France and England, which have so far remained a dead letter. At the same time, the Armenians hope for Russia’s strong support and are determined to follow the instructions of the Russian government in everything.”
Armenian intellectuals of that time understood that the independence of their homeland was not included in the plans of the Russian Empire itself and was not included in the plans of the European colonial powers. Judging by the letters and articles in the press, the Armenians had no doubt that external players were using the Armenian issue as a bargaining chip in their games in the Middle East and the Caucasus. This is confirmed by the position of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Empire Sergey Sazonov, stated in April 1916 at a meeting with representatives of the Armenian National Council:
“If you should talk about Armenia’s independence, there can be no conversation between us… We can provide greater autonomy than previously stated.”
The English were no better. In a note dated March 1916, the Extraordinary Commissioner of the British government, Mark Sykes, wrote to the British ambassador in Petrograd, Buchanan, that he considered it impossible to create an Armenian state, as well as the complete transfer of Armenia to Russia. Although in November of the same year, British Prime Minister Henry Asquith declared that a “free country” would be created for the Armenian people. By the way, this thesis was repeated in January 1918 by another British Prime Minister, Lloyd George.
I am retelling these well-known facts to remind you of a simple thing: foreigners will never be more Armenians than the Armenians themselves. They have their own goals and interests.
The great achievements of the Armenians happened at the moments of history when we relied only on ourselves. If the great Mesrop Mashtots had relied on foreigners, he would not have invented the alphabet that helped Armenians preserve their identity. After all, without the alphabet, Armenia would have dissolved between Persia and Byzantium, who imposed their own writing systems on us. Mashtots literally forced the Armenian nobility to speak to the people in the Armenian language, because many princes spoke Syriac and Greek and were cut off from the people.
Today, the Armenian ruling class, thanks to Mashtots, speaks Armenian to the people. But this ruling class never became Armenian in its spirit, because it did not sit down at the same table with the people.
The ruling class is mired in luxury, mired in junk and hopelessly far from the common people. The poor are thinking about how to get their daily bread, and the super—rich are thinking about a new palace. They dream about different things, so they cannot be considered a single whole.
Instead of bemoaning fateand calling ourselves victims, let’s honestly admit to ourselves on the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Genocide that the lawlessness within our people is delaying the return of the Armenian lands.
Anyone who commits iniquity against one’s own people receives the punishment of God, and not help from abroad. God punishes us with treacherous enemies because we have departed from our mission. And this mission is very simple: become a blessing for ourselves and then – for the neighboring nations.
The Bible warned us:
“As he loved cursing, so let it come to him; As he did not delight in blessing, so let it be far from him.” (Psalms 108:17)
Blessing literally means a good word, that is, gratitude to one’s neighbor and the Almighty, and words, as we know, are material. A society where everyone knows how to be grateful to everyone, and together they are all grateful to God — this society cannot be defeated with fire and sword. It is invincible.
How does this work in practice? We must learn to thank teachers for educating our children, creating decent working conditions for them.
We must learn to thank doctors for our health by creating decent working conditions for them. We must learn to thank our soldiers by creating conditions for them to live a decent life. We must learn to thank our farmers by helping them cultivate their native land, which preserves the Armenian identity and provides people with food. Teachers, doctors, soldiers and farmers are the foundation on which our people are destined to build the Armenian dream in the XXI century. That’s how I see it!
Only the Armenian Dream can stop the current lawlessness, because it is based on the idea of justice, which is universal. It’s like in real life. You can’t humiliate your family members at home and remain a brave guy on the street. You either live right at home and on the street, or stop lying to yourself and others.
The same laws work in the global politics! You will not get justice from the world, you will not return the lands of your ancestors, while your own people live in poverty and abandoned to the mercy of fate.
Today, on the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Genocide, let’s promise each other that from now on every Armenian will learn to thank his neighbor. When we improve, the world will need Armenia. In the meantime, the opposite is happening…
Sarkis Tsaturyan is the Editor-in-Chief of the Realist Information Agency