Sassounian: Frequently Asked Questions on Armenian Demands from Turkey

The approaching centennial of the Armenian Genocide in 2015 raises some fundamental questions, particularly on Armenian territorial demands from Turkey. In the weeks and months ahead, this column will address these issues by presenting the rationale for these demands and provide answers to frequently asked questions.

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Question 1: Is it true that all claims arising from the crime of genocide become invalid after 100 years?

Answer: Not true. On No.v 26, 1968, the UN General Assembly adopted “The Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity,” which includes the crime of genocide. Article 1 of this Convention states that “No statutory limitation shall apply to [these crimes]…irrespective of the date of their commission.” Therefore, no matter how much time has elapsed, war crimes and crimes against humanity, including genocide, can still be prosecuted. However, for logistical reasons, it would be wise to refer such crimes to the courts as quickly as possible.

 

Question 2: Isn’t it a fantasy to expect that Armenians will ever regain Western Armenia?

Answer: No one should be under the illusion that Turkish leaders will voluntarily hand over to Armenians a single inch of land, let alone the territories of Western Armenia. Peaceful transfers of land are extremely rare in the practice of international relations. All too often, land is taken by force. Since Armenia is not militarily more powerful than Turkey, and is not expected to be so anytime soon, Armenians have to wait for unforeseen developments to occur in and around Turkey—such as civil war, global or regional conflict, revolution, Kurdish insurrection, natural disaster, or nuclear catastrophe—that bring about a power vacuum and possible border changes in that part of the world. Meanwhile, Armenians have to keep alive and transmit their territorial demands to future generations until the opportune moment when they can claim their lawful rights.

In the meantime, it is unwise for Armenians to make minimalist demands from Turkey. Since Turkish leaders are not willing to make even the smallest territorial concession, there is no point in telling them that Armenians would be satisfied by the return of only Ararat or Ani. Armenians should ask for nothing less than “Armenia from sea to shining sea” (dsove-dsov Hayasdan). Rather than minimize their demands, Armenians should claim the maximum, so that they can end up getting a portion of what is rightfully theirs. As all good Armenian businessmen know, you don’t start negotiating from your bottom price!

 

Question 3: If Western Armenia is freed, wouldn’t the overwhelming majority of the population and elected officials be Kurds and Turks, making Armenians a small minority in their own homeland?

Answer: Yes, that would be true if Western Armenia were handed to Armenians today. However, this is not likely to happen. As explained earlier, before Armenians have the opportunity to regain their historic lands, calamitous events must first occur in that part of the world. No one knows the impact of such developments on the local population. Demographic changes resulting from unforeseen circumstances in the region shall determine how many Kurds, Turks, or even Armenians remain in the area. One cannot simply assume that the status quo will remain unchanged forever. Therefore, one cannot automatically conclude that Armenians would become a minority in Western Armenia.

 

Question 4: If someday Western Armenia is liberated, would Armenians be willing to leave their comfortable homes in the West and resettle on those inhospitable lands?

Answer: The issue here is the right of Armenians to settle in their historic homeland. Once these lands are returned, it is up to each Armenian to decide whether to relocate. This should not be a Turkish concern. Do all Jews live in Israel? Since most Lebanese, like Armenians, live outside of their homeland, do people question the reason for the existence of Lebanon as a state? Someday, when Western Armenia is freed, most Armenians who live in nearby Middle Eastern countries will probably choose to relocate there. However, there is no problem if every single Armenian from around the world does not head for the homeland. Those who remain in the diaspora will surely play a critical role in strengthening the newly established country economically and politically, just as Armenians worldwide are currently assisting their compatriots in the Republic of Armenia.

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Harut Sassounian

California Courier Editor
Harut Sassounian is the publisher of The California Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Glendale, Calif. He is the president of the United Armenian Fund, a coalition of the seven largest Armenian-American organizations. He has been decorated by the president and prime minister of the Republic of Armenia, and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

69 Comments

  1. What if the nukes that Turkey is in possession of “accidentaly” go off?
    Or what if Van gets hit by more and biger earthquakes? would it help?

    Assuming ARmenia had a better army or a “weapon never seen before”, would it be within the International law to envade Turkey and liberate Western ARmenia?

  2. Good strategy. Let’s hope for a natural disaster, a nuclear war, an asteroid impact, heck why not even an extraterrestrial invasion of the Anatolian region. Maybe then there will be a Western Armenia. Did it ever occur to Mr. Sassounian that any catastrophic event in the region particularly war will severely affect and probably eradicate what’s left of Armenia today.

    Let’s just face it, Western Armenia is gone. Eastern Armenia is a Russian outpost, and the Diaspora is losing its identity. In my opinion, we need to strengthen the Diaspora and what’s left of Armenia and become more unified, demand Turkey to acknowledge the genocide, and instead of a delusional hope of getting back Western Armenia, Turkey may give Armenians Ararat and if we’re lucky a sea port to heal wounds and close the chapter.

    Then we need to move forward, not backward, and certainly not in a schizophrenic manner.

    • I agree that hoping for natural disaster or nuclear war was a poor choice and unbecoming someone of Mr. Sassounian’s stature.

      Disagree with the rest of your arguments and predictions.
      And you may not have noticed, but we are definitely moving forward.

    • Avery,

      I reread the article again and did not see anything about “hoping” for a natural disaster or nuclear war. Sassounian plainly reffered to potential activities (most of which are already taking place) that could change things in and around Turkey, in the result of which Western Armenia can be liberated.

      I think it was more of a warning than a hope!

    • AR: you are right; Mr. Sassounian did not use the word ‘hope’.

      I have no problem with: “civil war, global or regional conflict, revolution, Kurdish insurrection”

      But I object to these: “…… natural disaster, or nuclear catastrophe”.

      What kind of natural disaster ?
      Or nuclear catastrophe ?

      Are we that low that we have to take advantage when Turks, i.e. civilians, have suffered a natural calamity ?
      And who is going to live anywhere near an area of a ‘nuclear catastrophe’ ?
      Any nuclear strike on Turkey of a level that would cripple it, presumably by Russia, would mean an areawide, possibly worldwide nuclear war. The whole region would be rendered uninhabitable for 1000s of years.

    • Avery,

      Let me ask you this:

      Assuming AG case goes to US Supreme court or International court and the courts deny it. And assuming Armenia is in a position to invade and liberate Western Armenia by force. (including using any kind of weapons that would be necessary) Would it be the right thing to do???

  3. “.. Armenians have to wait for unforeseen developments to occur in and around Turkey..”

    It is estimated that in year 2215, a meteor might hit the earth. Moreover, there is a 0.00001 chance that it might hit Bitlis.

    Therefore, Armenians shall keep the hope….

    • “It is estimated that in year 2215, a meteor might hit the earth. Moreover, there is a 0.00001 chance that it might hit Bitlis.”
      Your estimate is very “realistic” I should say. But even more realistic events that will take place, or should I say has been taking place, is redrawing of Middle East borders. Of course, you being a nationalist Turk live in a bubble of illusion. You might think that your country with temporary economic advances is untouchable/invincible in the chaotic situation that most of the Middle Eastern countries find themselves today. If you read current affairs, you will be surprised to hear voices that are openly saying that Turkey was played by Western powers and was sucked into this chaotic game.
      I will not go into details, because previously I have posted on this subject where I argue that since “Arab Spring” Turkey has been burying herself in the mud deeper and deeper. The mud, that no Western country wanted to touch.
      So I tell you what is more realistic. The probability of carving an Independent Kurdistan is much higher say, 2025, than your genius estimate. As you are witnessing painfully (I’m sure) the birth of yet another Kurdistan. Should I go into the details how Turkey is trying hard in manipulating the Syrian Opposition, making sure that in the future Syria there would be no room for “Iraq Kurdistan” situation.
      Again, if you follow international affairs, you would be informed that the international community or “the big players” have already agreed to “attach” a big chunk of land from Southern Turkey to the newly born Independent Kurdistan states.
      To be on the safe side, I would guess around 2050 we should welcome an Independent Kurdistan which includes parts from Syria, Iraq and Turkey.

  4. Amet: Who anticipated the collapse of the Soviet Union? Do you know why it happened? Wait for the “unforseen developments” to occur. It may happen within Turkey. It may start with Turkish intellectuals. It will probably come long before you are able to figure out what is going on. Harut is right on.

  5. Based on the article, here is my prophecy. Let me know if you like it:

    A strong earthquake will strike Spitak killing thousands of armenians. Resulting nuclear meltdown in Metzamor will cause more thousands to be displaced, leaving armenia a barren land where nobody lives. Russia will close its base in Gyumri. As a result of turmoil and chaos in armenia, Azerbaijan will regain Karabag and further take over the the stripe that connects armenia to Iran. Thus, Azerbaijan and Turkey will be bordered.

    How was that? ;-)

  6. Ahmet,

    1000 years of tyranny and oppression, culminating in Genocide, have left Armenians able to thrive in and out of their homelands, much as Jews, Lebanese and Chinese do. Even before Manizkert, Armenians negotiated the worlds of Roman and Persian war and diplomacy, and before that they did so as well.

    Now you hope they will leave Armenia if Medzamor leaks. Unlikely. More likely we will arm every grandma with an RPG and 10,000 rounds. Many of our best snipers are middle aged women. A collective memory of Genocide makes every Armenian another Monte Melkonian, Victor Maghakian, or Vartan.

    Or, as William Saroyan said to those baying for our blood and lands: See if you can do it.

    I encourage you to enlist.

  7. Ahmet:

    you loudly advertise your Anti Armenian bigotry and hatred when you repeatedly and deliberately use lower case for ‘Armenia’ and only Armenia,: shows the level of your maturity; good job, son.

    Regarding your prophecy:

    In December 1988 when the Spitak earthquake hit, the NPP survived quite well, thank you very much.
    It has been upgraded and seismically re-enforced even more since then.
    The massive destruction in 1988 did not stop Armenians from having the back of their NKR brothers and sisters, despite efforts by Azerbaijan trying to take advantage of the massive natural disaster to bring Armenians to their knees.
    Another quake of the same magnitude, a highly improbable event next 100 years, will cause no more damage.
    Even with the massive human and materiel loss after the 1988 Earthquake, Armenians, who were outnumbered 3/4-to-1 (fighters), crushed your invading Azeri Tatar Turk cousins and their helpers. So don’t hold your breath.

    [Side note: trainloads of supplies sent from other Soviet republics (mainly Russia) after Dec 1988 that had to come though Azerbaijan due to rail links were looted of the goods and replaced with trash. Some ‘Brotherly Soviet’ neighbor.]

    Here is my prediction:

    1. Frustrated with their inability to gain advantage after massive military expenditures, and with oil production reaching plateau and starting to go down, Azeri leadership gambles and invades NKR. Armenians execute a fighting retreat into successive layers of previously prepared defense lines. After some initial success due to mass and surprise, Azeri invaders are stopped and slowly decimated.
    NKR counterattacks. Lowlands Karabagh, historic Armenian lands, is also liberated. NKR troops push all the way to the Kura River.
    In the North, NKR troops push to the Russian border and establish a land link: Azerbaijan is cut off from Georgia.
    Turkey is unable to send help through Georgia to desperate Azerbaijan.
    Taking advantage of the turmoil, various ethnic minorities of Azerbaijan, chafing under the Tatar Turk yoke for generations, declare independence (helped by Armenia, Russia, and Iran).
    Azeri Tatar Turks retreat to their own little part of Azerbaijan. Tats, Talish, Avars, etc have their own little counties.
    War ends. Peace reins. Everybody in the neighborhood lives happily ever after.

    2. An unlikely, but possible scenario:
    Having exhausted their reserves and facing massive defeat, in desperation Azeri Air Force sends waves of bombers to NPP. Some bombers get through.
    One or two bombs hit target.
    Radiation is released.
    Having crossed the proverbial Red Line, Azerbaijan thus gives license to RoA for massive retaliation, with no holds barred.
    Not everybody in the neighborhood lives happily ever after.

    Over to you pal.

  8. HELLO!!!
    It has been a long time sin ce I last posted a comment here online.I kept on writing and a few of my articles were published in a 2nd edition of my book entitled¨viewpoints articles and memoirs of a free lance patriot¨, in Yereva,Armenia where I was untill a week ago.
    Anyhow, I do agree with Avery that dear Mr. Sassounian´s was apoor choice,that of relying more on hypothetic occurrances(catastrphies).I STICK TO MY CHOICE:- That of preparing -by our International attorneys,historians and political analysts a File and lodge our Claim at the international court of Justice,as well as all int´l instances …CLAIM FOR BLOOD MONEY!!!!!!!!!
    Latter is much more REAL and has (Antecedentes) spanish, the English one now escapes me…Actually…precedents..like the Jews claiming from Germany and receiving BLOOD MONEY,also even those two small onces that our dear attorney Vartkes Yeghiayan achienved from the New York Life Insurance co. and AXA of France. I personally want blood money for my uncle and Grandfather who perished onm DEATH MARCH.Forcved out of grandfather´s property(confiscated by Turks). Now then as to land….
    This can wait a bit more, when KURDISH ISSUE REALLY RIPENS UP.it has been in the making and whether great Turkey like it or not cannot that easily be disposed of….Time is therefore of the essence and we are an overpatient people and can wait some more for that to happen.As to our Dire Diaspora situation.
    i have time and agian indicated that we have both the Human resources and Economic power.Both unorganized.Time to think of re organizing the Diaspora.with all due respect to our present political parties and all other establishments what they are doing is simply not enough NOT COMPATIBLE WITH A DYNAMIC DIASPORA THAT CAN GET TOGETHER A 100,000 strong Professional Colleagues Asso. members and through them and our magnates create the much needed NATIONAL INVESTMENT TRUST FUND. FOR WITHOUT FUNDS REAL FUNDS WE CANNOT ORGANiZE ONE MORE CRUCIAL ISSUE THAT OF¨¨ R e p a t r i a t i o n¨¨

    • You are on to something, Mr. Palandjian. I think your idea makes sense as a way of organizing our scattered Armenian community in ways that our political parties are unable to do. Unfortunately, our political and church divisions at times polarize the community. Professional and social associations can be unifying and can harness resources in yet untapped areas.

  9. Jda,

    “Many of our best snipers are middle aged women.”

    I like this.

    avery,
    Could you give me the computer game you mentioned in your post? :-)

    The time of armenians is long over. With fewer than 3 million people, more than half of this is female and children, there is nothing armenians can do about Eastern Turkey. This is physically and logically impossible. It will not make a difference even if you arm your grandmothers with grenades (Like JDA said in his/her post above), and give rifles to every sheep and goat in armenia.
    It is free of charge to dream. Keep on!

    • ahmet:

      if you give me your computer game, I’ll give you mine.

      and we are not planning to do anything at the moment with Western Armenia, the area that confused turks like you mistakenly call ‘Eastern turkey’. Geography lesson: Eastern turkey is East of Central Asia, about 3000 kilometers East of Western Armenia. That is where the homeland of your ancestors is.

      we’ll wait for Kurds to chase you turk invaders out, then we’ll reach a mutually beneficial deal with them. Neither Western Armenia nor the Majestic Armenian Mount Ararat are going anywhere: we can wait. It will be given to us without us shedding a drop of blood. And turks like you will pay us to take it.

    • Ahmet
      Did you notice that state legislatures of some US states enacted legislations calling for independence of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh)? What does this tell a mature, intellectually advanced, and analytically-minded Turk like you?

    • Avery
      I doubt that majestic Armenian Mount Ararat will stay. In the best Turkish traditions Turks will most probably attempt to raze it to the ground, just like they treated almost all Christian churches, monasteries, monuments, structures, geographic and botanical names, and archaeological cites.

    • It is because Israel controls the lobbies of each countries in the world “A.R”, including the control of the USA. Don’t forget the Congressional Majority Leader is a Jew (Eric Cantor) and there are tons of Jews in the US Senate (Boxer, Feinstein, Cardin, Schumer, Lautenberg, Bennett, Levin, Lieberman, Kohl, and so forth). They have infinite control over US Politics. Plus more Jewish Congressmen/women as well.

    • It doesn’t hurt to have the full support of the most powerful country in the world. Weak comparison.

    • Let’s stop the veiled antisemitism (x is a Jew, y is a Jew, all them damn Jews stick together/have a disproportionate amount of control, etc.). The reason why Israel enjoys the full support of the US is because the largest voting bloc in America–70 million Evangelical Christians–delusionally believe that Jesus will come back when Israel regains full sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. They’re lunatics, and Israel benefits from their lunacy.

      Why can’t Armenia exploit its Christianity in the same way? Why doesn’t the ANCA frame its case in Chrstianity v. Islam terms? That will get the Republican lapdogs to fall in line. Oh but no, we have to feel sanctimonious and keep yapping about human rights. Yawn…

    • I doubt that Israel enjoys the full support of the US only because Evangelical Christians believe that Jesus will come back when Israel regains full sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. But if they really believe that the second coming of Jesus will occur when Israel regains full sovereignty over Jerusalem, it IS a dellusion. There is no single word in the Bible (most applicably in the final book of the New Testament, the Book of Revelation) to that effect.

  10. Ahmet,

    You are ignorant of Armenian history and culture. If you want to understand, read in depth our national hero Vartan’s exploits. We will fight to remain free. Read how half the able bodied men of Armenia died in WWIi, with 130 becoming Heroes of the Soviet Army, and 62 Generals, and a Field Marshall.

    If you are disinterested in reading, I warmly invite you to enlist in the Azeri army front line. Test our valor. Do it if you can.

    Don’t underestimate our women soldiers. One will likely bury you under an apricot tree.

    • The reason why NKR was taken by Armenia is because of Sneak Attack, your people are pretty good at being sneaky, whether if it is concerning war policy or putting up resolutions in federal and state governments and this is a fact.

  11. SD,

    The reason NKR was taken by ARmenia is because NKR is an ancient ARmenian teritory. If you want to brand the tacticts that were used during the liberation of NKR as Sneak Attacks, you are intitled to your oppinion :)

    Let me also tell you how I know that NKR is an ancient ARmenian land. After the liberation of NKR, group of ARmenian and international arceologists found and uncovered an ancient ARmenian city of Tigranakert, which is more than 2000 years old, built by Tigran the Great :) There were more than half a dozen of cities that were called Tigranakert. So far this is one of them. Another one is in Syria, near Aleppo. One of the bigger ones is Diyarbekir. Yes, Diyarbekir was ancient Tigranakert. Guess where Azerbaijan was 2000 years ago. Not even in the womb.

  12. haha,
    Sassounian can write such a thing in America without being brandmarked as fasist and without any legal concequences … Wow … I am suprised.
    If he had written the same thing in Germany probably he would now been in jail.
    because of his right extremist ideas … but probably there are different laws in US.

  13. Avery, I read your prediction and this is what stroke my mind:

    In 1914-15, there were quite a few Armenian “intellectuals” like you, the “predictors”, who predicted a lot of “interesting” things. Surprisingly, all their predictions had only one end – creation of an Armenian state in the 6 vilayets and turning of the Armenian minority there into a solid majority. In other words, “happy end”. None of those “predictors” predicted what would eventually happen.

    Today when I read all the Armenian experts’ predictions, they all see only one end: another defeat of Azerbaijan. They don’t even consider any other possible outcome. They think that if Armenia won once, it will win every time. If this was a rule, Azerbaijan would never prepare for another war. Why fight if you are gonna lose again?!

    Don’t you guys think that you may repeat the same stupid mistake that your “genius” ancestors did in 1914 when they made the wrong choice by joining Russians against Turks? Why don’t you consider the possibility of defeat?

    I dont want to make counter-predictions. All I say: we’ll see…

    • [Mubariz]

      Let us leave what our “genius” Armenian ancestors did in 1914 aside for a moment. (…not sure what is exactly they are supposed to have done to justify the extermination of about 1.5 million civilians, unarmed women and children included)

      Would like to give us your explanation as to why up to 300,000 Armenian civilians, including women and children, were massacred in 1895 by Sultan Hamid ? There was no World War then, was there ?

      And why do you suppose Greeks and Assyrians were also exterminated at the same time of the AG ? What is the excuse you can come up with for their genocides ?

      Regarding Azerbaijan: if you are so confident they will win, why don’t you go to Azerbaijan, enlist, and get ready for the opportunity to wash your feet in Lake Sevan.

  14. …looks like ARMeanians will never learn from history. By their actions ARMenians will be confined in the role of eternal victims!

    • [RealityPlus]

      I beg to differ. We learned quite well, thank you very much.
      When Azeri Tatar Turks attempted to ethnically cleanse and exterminate NKR’s indigenous Armenians, having learned from the bitter experience of AG, Armenians did not sit around and wait to be saved by outsiders.

      Everyone, I mean everyone, in NKR took up arms.
      Armenians from around the world rushed in to help.
      You know what the outcome was, so I will not repeat it.

      Another thing Armenians have learned – thank God: both RoA and NKR have given #1 priority to maintaining well equipped, combat ready, highly lethal Defense Forces.
      Too many times in our history we lost ourselves creating wealth, art, culture, magnificent buildings – while neglected the arts of war.
      No more: leadership of both RoA and NKR have learned quite well from our history and our mistakes.

      One thing for sure: you will not see endless columns of Armenian civilians being marched to their deaths with just a dozen Turkish or Azeri Tatar soldiers on the sides – ever again.

      Here is proof: enjoy.

      http://laviesouffrante.tumblr.com/post/4936642526/106-year-old-armenian-woman-guarding-her-house

    • Avery,

      Thank you so much for posting that picture. It made my day. I wish I could visit and talk to her assuming she is still alive. I wish we were like that in 1915 and before. It took us long, but finally we learned our lesson in a very hard way. We should have understood this simple fact before: since Turks will never change, we Armenians have to change.

      Sella

  15. Can we stop with this obsession over military power? Turkey will not invade Armenia anytime soon, we have too much to loose- I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. However, in a hypothetical Turkish invasion of Armenia- I’d look at numbers. 666 thousand active Turkish military personal, 42 thousand active for Armenia. Unless the Armenian military is composed of King Leonidas and the 300 Spartans, I don’t see really that much of a fight. No knock on Armenia, just too far outnumbered in that scenario….

    And- leave Tatars out of this, they haven’t anything to anyone.

    • Don’t discount a lot of covert and overt assistance invading Azeris intent on Genocide will get from the Turkish state,

      In 1896 and 1915 even the Ottomans did not for the most part call primarily upon the regular Army to kill Armenians, other than the men in their own ranks. They instead used Hamidiye, gendarmerie, militias, armed Kurds, and released brigands.

      A state has many different armed forces at its disposal. I am sure that when war breaks out there will be Turkish advisors and “obserers” as well.

      As for the 300 Spartans, keep in mind that once a nation has collective memory of Genocide, every person is likely to fight like a Spartan with any weapon at hand. We will lay down our lives in obedience to our memory of things far worse than death in combat – Turks raping, converting and killing the women and children is worse than combat.

      The Azeris and Turks will avoid ground combat, and rely upon bombing. Ask the Vietnamese how well that works.

    • RVDV,

      I have to disagree with you. Turkey will invade Armenia in the next 24 hours if they could. The truth is they are waiting for a convenient moment. One such moment was in 1993 when they were ready to invade Armenia. It is a fact and no one can deny it. As I mentioned before I witnessed it since we lived very close to Armenian-Turkish border. We saw how Turkish troops were brought very close to Armenian border, and Armenian government was well aware of it.

      While Turkey has 666 thousand active military personal the number of enemies that Turkey has is far greater than Armenia has. In the case of war Turkey cannot fight with Armenia with her 666 thousands soldiers as their country will be invaded from many sides. Never forget that Turkey does not have a single neighbor that like them, and that is a for a good reason. And, never forget the battle of Sardarapad.

    • RVDV
      Yes Turkey is militarily much more capable then Armenia but Armenia does have access to modern weaponry and has a trained army that it hasn’t had in 600 years..Turkey will no doubt win but its not going to happen without some of damage being cause to it as well. Plus Russia will intervene not because they love Armenians but do not want to lose that strategically location and because they invested money in natural resources and infrastructure..

  16. Thanks Daron,if you meant to comment on my post above.Rather the ¨suggestions¨therein. Of course I like to see people like Avery and many others corner the Turks here and try hard to get some sense into their shut brains.
    But it is not that only.Their mindset since hundreds of yrs ago has been so set that the ¨Ermenis¨ have been and Still ARE so.Poor souls.That is all I can say to them.They have been transformed outwardly by their looks etc(viz. mixed wedlocks or just coupling with Armenians ,Greeks etc.,) but they still think as ottoman Turkish conquerors and are not yet ready to give that up.
    Three major setbacks(lessons) :-
    1. Refused to be admitted into EU.
    2.Refused to be denominated as Orchestra-leader,so to say of the Arab states and Iran in the Region,not to say leader…
    3. Last one? they are still at it.That of trying to NOSE-IN (my version) into Syria and fish in murky waters….
    If this last one also proves to be a failure…then they should by and by come to realize that the world is chaning and that they also should tag along….

  17. Boyajian; You are absolutely right about the division in our church. Again and again, we see two poorly attended churches in the same city holding separate celebrations of the same event. It doesn’t get more pathetic or ridiculous than that. There are those who won’t attend either church because they don’t want to be perceived as supporting one over the other. What a poor example our church fathers are setting, and no wonder the pews are empty Sunday after Sunday. And no wonder they are always pleading for money when they have two empty purses instead of one to fill.

    • Indeed. All this talk about war and invasions and what may transpire in 100 years is foolish. Everyone is playing a zero-sum game and if there is an all-out war (which would be joined by many regional actors as well as superpowers) all will suffer. There are so many ethnic, religious, cultural and language fault lines and animosities.

      For Armenia, they should concentrate on what they have got, develop Armenia and Artsakh economically, militarily, diplomatically, etc. Whatever happens in Turkey depends on Turkish politics and decision making. There are a several different scenarios but Armenia should concentrate on increasing its viability above all else.

  18. Sella, I agree with your disagreement with RVDV re invasion.
    However, I agree with him regarding the force disparity between TSK and RoA defense forces, and the eventual outcome.
    (might comment more on it later).

    Sorry RVDV:
    I know you don’t want to believe that Turkey would attack Armenia, but it would, if not for Russia.
    Turkey had much to lose when it invaded Cyprus, but it did. Even now, the occupation is costing it a lot, but Turkey is staying put.
    Turkey had absolutely no good reason to get actively involved in the war between Azerbaijan and NKR: but it did.
    I believe Turkey and its leaders place Pan-Turanism above all other considerations.
    Not sure if you do not honestly believe it, or choose not to believe it – because your deep love for Turkey – but the people that run and have previously run Turkey want to eliminate Armenia. And huge numbers of Turks in Turkey support that notion.

    I had mentioned the 1993 planned invasion numerous times before.
    And I also remember Sella writing that she witnessed it (…quite a surprise for me: small world).
    Did you know about that planned invasion ?
    Do you agree or disagree that in 1993 Turkey was planning to invade RoA (to save Azerbaijan from massive defeat) ?
    If you agree that it is true, do you support Turkey’s plans at the time to invade RoA in support of Azerbaijan ?
    (Not a trick question: I know you believe Cyprus invasion was illegal, but you also feel that Turkey had no choice. Correct ?)

    Regarding ‘Tatars’: before about 1930s or so and well after 1918, descendants of Turkic tribes inhabiting the area that is known as ‘Azerbaijan’ in the South Caucasus (North of Arax river) – being somewhat different from Turkic tribes that ended up in Asia Minor – were called Tatars or simply Moslems. ‘Azeri’ is a new invention.
    Google: Armenian-Tatar massacres 1905-1907.
    [The Armenian-Tatar massacres (also known as the Armenian Tatar War and the Armeno-Tatar War) refers to the ethnic fight between the Armenians and the Caucasian Tartars (modern Azeris) in the Caucasus in 1905—1907]

    Reason I oftentimes call them AzeriTatarTurks, and not simply ‘Azeris’ or ‘Turks’ is to differentiate them from Turks of Turkey.
    No offense, but I will continue to do so: part of the information war we Armenians are engaged in throughout the blogosphere with Turkish and AzeriTatarTurk posters. Your kind of Turkish poster is the exception, not the rule.

    • Avery, surly Turkey’s military power is far greater than ours but… Russia will always support Armenia against Turks as they are well aware of Turkish dream of Northern Caucasus. Having said that Russia will not do the fighting for Armenia like it did not in Artsakh; we still should have a very strong military. It is only in the case of huge reginal/world war that Russia will be fully involved. Plus we have to keep Azeri Turks out of Armenia. As to Turkish planned invasion to Armenia

      http://www.azg.am/EN/2002092003

    • I don’t doubt that there was a planned invasion- but several times Turkey has warned and threatened to invade both Syria and Iraq (and in both, heavy military preparations took place)- and if I remember correctly, the one time Turkey did enter Iraq it was very unsuccessful and short lived. My point? The bark may be louder then the bite. I do not understand why Suleyman Demirel- Turkish PM in 1992 when Shusha was liberated- refused to take military action against Armenia in 1992, but then planned this invasion in 1993 when he became President.

      So to answer: “Do you agree or disagree that in 1993 Turkey was planning to invade RoA (to save Azerbaijan from massive defeat) ?”

      It certainly looks like Turkey planned an invasion, but I have my doubts about whether it was preparations to actually invade or an attempt to scare the Armenian government.

      “If you agree that it is true, do you support Turkey’s plans at the time to invade RoA in support of Azerbaijan ?”

      If it were Azeris being subjected to massacres, pogroms, and aggressive warfare at the hands of Armenia and Armenians- I have to say I would support a hypothetical Turkish invasion. However- this was not the case. Not only that- it was the complete opposite. I understand Azerbaijan is our brother nation- but when the little brother gets in trouble due to their own warmongering, then little brother needs to learn a lesson the hard way.

      “(Not a trick question: I know you believe Cyprus invasion was illegal, but you also feel that Turkey had no choice. Correct ?)”

      Correct.

      Also, CAUCASIAN Tatars. Okay. I don’t know why I was thing central Russian Tatars. Fine by me.

      Finally, about Pan-Turanism (well I think you mean pan Turkism- Turamism also includes Hungarians, etc.) I don’t get it. I mean I get the notion- a politically and culturally united Turkic state. Let’s even say for a minute that Turkey and Azerbaijan destroy Armenia- then what? between Turkey, Azerbaijan and the rest of the Turkic peoples you have Iran, Russia, and the Caspian Sea. Still not UNITED. And even if Turkey and Azerbaijan were to unite in a scenario with no Armenia- still a huge issue looms. Turkey is becoming more Islamized- more radically Sunni Islamic. Azeris are Shia Muslims. Do you see a potential problem like I do?

  19. Sella,

    ‘In the case of war Turkey cannot fight with Armenia with her 666 thousands soldiers as their country will be invaded from many sides.”

    Excuse me! Who will invade Turkey from many sides? Can you explain?

    • In the case of real war; Russia, Iran, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Kurds to name a few. For now it seems to be impossible because of NATO, but NATO will not be there forever.

  20. Mr. Sassounian,

    While you’ve been busy writing up these fantasies, real patriots like me have been thinking about how best to take advantage of the coming alien invasion of Turkey. It’s a shame our community leaders can’t be as forward thinking as we are.

    • Henrik:

      while real patriots like you were thinking how to best take advantage of the coming alien invasion of Azerbaijan, people like Mr. Sassounian who had been busy writing up fantasies – e.g. the Karabagh Committee – took advantage of one of the most unlikely and unexpected events in world history, the collapse of the USSR, to free NKR from the Azeri yoke.

      Now that was quite a Fantasy – in Capital letters – before the cease fire of 1994.

  21. AR:

    {“ Assuming AG case goes to US Supreme court or International court and the courts deny it. And assuming Armenia is in a position to invade and liberate Western Armenia by force. (including using any kind of weapons that would be necessary) Would it be the right thing to do???”}

    Whether USSC or ICC rule for or against AG is irrelevant. Turkey will not give up a square inch of land for a piece of paper or legal opinion.

    In either case it would absolutely wrong for a hypothetically very powerful Armenia to invade Turkey and liberate Western Armenia: when you start a war – start a war – you are responsible for all the civilian deaths that ensue. Millions of innocent inhabitants of Turkey would be killed, if “any kind of weapons” were used. Is that what we Armenians want ? I want nothing to do with it.

    On the other hand, if Turkey invades Armenia, then Armenia will be free to use any means to defend itself.
    If Turkey attacks civilian targets, Armenia can retaliate in kind. (not that it should).

    However, laying the legal foundation serves a real purpose.
    Again, as it was said in the article, we have to wait for other actors or events to weaken the State of Turkey.
    When it is weak enough not to be able to resist outside political or military pressure from the big powers, it can be compelled to give up Western Armenia.
    When the tide turns against Turkey, powerful actors would love nothing better than solid legal framework to ‘convince’ Turkey to do what they want.
    Armenians were forced to give up large chunks of our land at gunpoint towards the end and shortly after WW1. Armenians did not start WW1, but it went round-n-round-n-round, and eventually we got hosed – because we were weak.

    A far more plausible scenario is that Kurds will gain Independence long before rest of Turkey fractures.
    Western Armenia is part of what Kurds consider Kurdistan.
    There are an estimated 6-7 million (mostly) Kurds living in Wilsonian Armenia.
    What do we do in that case ?
    (And no: No war with Kurds, unless they invade; I see no plausible reason why they would)
    (And Independent Kurdistan is better than what we have now: a buffer and possible 2nd transport route to Black Sea).

  22. Avery,

    “On the other hand, if Turkey invades Armenia, then Armenia will be free to use any means to defend itself.
    If Turkey attacks civilian targets, Armenia can retaliate in kind. (not that it should).”

    1. I think you were trying to say “If Turkey tries to invade Armenia”, because if it invades then it will be too late to retaliate. Well, don’t we know for a fact that Turkey has tried in the early 90’s and is still trying to envade Armenia?????

    2. How many times should we wait to be invaded before we retaliate? Don’t you think that the next attempt can be detrimental?

    3. So if no earthquakes or nukes fall on Turkey and if they can successfuly put an end to Kurdish and other problems, then what? In 20 years their population will be 150 million and Armenia’a population lets say, best case scenario 10 million. Meanwhile they are learning our tactics and strategies (and not only ours) how to strenghten their diaspora over seas. THEN WHAT??? What are we going to hope for then?

    4. If, assuming, we had acquired a weapon of mass destruction in 1915 or 1916 or 1917 or 1918 or 1919 or 1920 or 1921 or 1922 or 1923 or 1930 or 1940 or 1950 or 1960 or 1970 or 1980 or 1990 or (I hope i made my point) in 2000, would it have beeen our natural right to use it against Turkey????????????????
    As for civilian population, unfortunately sometimes if they don’t stand up against their governmen actions, they are doomed to die. Who said that there were not turks in 1915 that were against their government actions??? I am sure there were. But had you used a nuclear weapon against Turkey in 1915 you would have harmed a lot of innocent people. NO? So WHEN did we exactly were deprived of our rights to go against Turkey everyway and anyway we can??????????????????? Why aren’t those innocent people in Turkey standing up against their government and forcing them to recognize the AG???? How innocent can they be living in an economically very strong country who built their strong economy from the proceeds stolen from us????? And don’t tell me they are deprived from information. No one nowdays deprived from information, thanks to the internet.

    • Okay, 2 things. 1: Turkey’s population will not double in 20 years. That’s impossible. 2: In your 4th point are you suggesting that Armenia use a nuclear weapon against Turkey? That Armenia be the aggressor? NATO may be a joke to some, but I’m fairly certain that if you use a nuclear weapon on one its members they’ll probably make you regret it. What happened to Armenian’s moral high ground, and your exemplary humanity? And where do you propose to drop this weapon? Ankara- population 4.5 million? Istanbul- population 13 million? Or on the lands you hope to reclaim?

    • No AR:

      I meant actually invades; not tries to.
      And no, it will not be too late to retaliate – if you have previously prepared for such an event.

    • RVDV

      Go back and reread what I said and tell me where exactly I said ARmenia should use a nuclear weapon against Turkey (assuming it had a nuclear weapon).

      In my 4th point I just asked some questions, see if you can answer them :)
      but not with questions.

      Also if Turkey’s hope is only the NATO then Turkey’s days are numbered.
      As for population increase in 20 years, you should look up the birth rate and death rate statistics. For example in Europe, Muslims (including Turks) are reproducing 7 times more than Europeans. I am sure NATO is fully aware of this :)

    • AR:

      I can answer some questions, mind returning the favor?

      When did you say Armenia should use a nuclear weapon against Turkey if it had one? Here:

      “So WHEN did we exactly were deprived of our rights to go against Turkey everyway and anyway we can?”

      AND you preceded this quote with the question: If Armenia had a weapon in 1915…. would it have been Armenians right to use it. You answered this question with your above quote. Your answer was why not. If you cannot understand the things you yourself said, then I cannot be of anymore help unfortunately.

      To answer your questions:

      “If, assuming, we had acquired a weapon of mass destruction in 1915 or 1916 or 1917 or 1918 or 1919 or 1920 or 1921 or 1922 or 1923 or 1930 or 1940 or 1950 or 1960 or 1970 or 1980 or 1990 or (I hope i made my point) in 2000, would it have beeen our natural right to use it against Turkey????????????????”

      Without a doubt, NO.

      “Who said that there were not turks in 1915 that were against their government actions???”

      No one, of course there were.

      ” So WHEN did we exactly were deprived of our rights to go against Turkey everyway and anyway we can?”

      In any and every way- which would include nuclear warfare, biological warfare, etc. The answer is never. You never had that right. No people ever had that right. Did Turkey and other peoples in history do it? Yes. But they had no “right” to.

      Regarding population: Turkey’s population growth has been steadily declining in recent decades. In 2050 the population is projected at 90 to 100 million people, not 150. Not even close. The Turkish Statistical Institute estimates it at 94.6 million in 2050. Is that sufficient research on my part?

      “Also if Turkey’s hope is only the NATO then Turkey’s days are numbered.”

      If what you say is true then I can make the assertion that if Armenia’s only hope against a joint Turkish-Azeri invasion is Russia, then the same might be said about Armenia, no? The blade cuts both ways :)

    • RVDV,

      It would be easier for us to continue if you could distinguish between statements and questions.

      “Your answer was why not” Show me where exactly I said that.

      “Did Turkey and other peoples in history do it? Yes. But they had no “right” to. ”

      Admitting your mistakes is not enough. Your are still profiting from everything you stole from us. Give it back.

      And please stop your innocent/humanitarian approach.
      Think about how your are going to returm Western ARmenia back to whom it belongs to without harming innocent people.

  23. RVDV:

    Regarding 1992: I am guessing that because Yeltsin (an ethnic Russian) was in full control of the Russian government at that time, Turkey thought better of trying anything.
    Also, even though the liberation of Shushi was quite significant for both Armenians and Azeris, Azeri military was still capable of putting up a fight in 1992. So Turkey may have thought things would improve later on.

    There was a better opportunity in 1993, because Moscow was in turmoil. Nobody knew who was in charge. Also by 1993, the Azeri military was in a full rout, so more pressure on Turkish government (from its nationalists, its military) to do something.

    You may be right about Pan-Turkism: we always say Pan-Turanism, without thinking of Hungarians.
    And you are also right about the Shia and Sunni schism, and what might or might not happen after Azerbaijan and Turkey have wiped out Armenia and NKR.

    But I don’t care about after: as an Armenian, all I care about is the survival of RoA and NKR. Given what Turkey and Azerbaijan have done to Armenians, we Armenians cannot afford not to think of and plan for the worst case scenario.

  24. Avery,
    Firstly hello to you and hope you keep writing such like sensible and to the point comments here continually.In 1993( and I wrote in ¨The Armenian Reporter¨¨ when Turkey´s premier was Mr. Ecevit, he threatned to invade nakhijevan , when General Shposhnikov responded and I quote ¨Just you dare¨¨..So the Russians even then had somethiong interesting in that area.The russian may pull back -according to a half Armenian diplomat- relatesd a bit towards Chechnya area,but they still have some intersts in the Caucaus.
    best,
    rgds,
    gaytzag palandjian

    • Hello Mr. Palandjian:

      Hope all is well and you are in good health.
      And don’t worry: as long as my fingers move and as long as AW lets me, I’ll post @AW.

      Regards.

  25. AR:

    In point 4 you did not explicitly, exactly say ARmenia should use a nuclear weapon against Turkey.
    However, if I stitch together several sentence, that’s the conclusion I would have to reach as a reasonable person.

    You tell me what you meant by these, taken as a whole:

    {“ If, assuming, we had acquired a weapon of mass destruction ….would it have been our natural right to use it against Turkey?”}
    {“As for civilian population, unfortunately sometimes if they don’t stand up against their governmen actions, they are doomed to die.”}
    {“But had you used a nuclear weapon against Turkey in 1915 you would have harmed a lot of innocent people. NO? So WHEN did we exactly were deprived of our rights to go against Turkey everyway and anyway we can”}
    {“Why aren’t those innocent people in Turkey standing up against their government and forcing them to recognize the AG”}
    {“ How innocent can they be living in an economically very strong country who built their strong economy from the proceeds stolen from us”}

    I read that as you blaming ordinary Turkish citizens for not forcing their government to recognize the AG, and then are justifying – in a roundabout way – punishing them, hypothetically, by the use of nuclear weapons. Against civilians. Not for doing something, but for Not doing something.

    Sorry friend, but you are going down the wrong road.

    • Avery,

      Unfortunatelly, any other roard took us to Der-Sim in 1915. And that road we should never take again.

      If you want to take the same road again then history did not teach us anything.

  26. Avery,
    For your info Mr.(Dr.) Henry Astarjian-whom I have met long ago-is more or less an authority on KURDS and present day Kurdistan(which mostly includes Iraqui Kurdistan,I mean part that he is well acquainted with, as he was born there in Mosull and knows the poeople the language .Also he wrote a book on Kurds..
    When Kurds ,rather their Case, ripends up , and they really begin to move(indeed encouraged and supported by Powers) then we can approach them.they have a Parliament in exile(Brussels,I believe) and negotiate with them.Only a short while ago the kurdish mayor iof Dikranakert(Diarbakir) latter they consider their future capital city..invited Armenians to hold mass at Soupr Kiragos, church a huge one and the repaires of which was half footed by his municipañlity.so that shows they are more or less well disposed towards us.
    But then he was jailed by the Turkish regime ,then let loose again.
    Hide and seek is what greaqt turkey is playing with kurds.But besides the 6/7 million kurds that you write are in Western Armenia, there are much more to the West(Anatolia).Plus indeed to those in iraq ,Syria, Iran.These people willEVENTUALLY GAIN INDEPENDENCE OR AT THE LEAST AUTONOMY.
    best,

  27. Avery,

    I respect your humanitarian approach, but I highly doubt when/if the war starts you will be going into enemy teritory to distinguish between who is innocent and who is not so they can be delt with accordingly.

    Let me simplify the question for you and RVDV:

    Assuming Armenia had a nuclear wepon. (ASSUMING) and Turkey did not know about it :) and invaded ARmenia. Would it be our natural right to nuke Turkey before they could cofiscated the WEAPON?????????????????????
    YES or NO?????????????????????????????????????????????? :)

    • AR:

      Your question regarding nukes cannot be answered with a Yes or No, because the question is not precise enough. (i.e. “attacking Turkey”).

      But I will disassembled it some, then answer:

      {“and Turkey did not know about it and invaded ARmenia”}
      Now you give me something to work with: ‘invaded’ (not ‘tried to’ as before).
      ‘Invaded’ makes all the difference in the world.

      {“our natural right to nuke Turkey”}
      Nuke what ?
      I have absolutely no compunction using tactical nukes on massed TSK formations, including any number of troops – our side of the border or theirs – as soon as Turkey mounts a military invasion of RoA. As in ‘invades’; fait accompli.
      If millions of Turkish troops get vaporized, I would not lose one night of sleep.
      But troops, not civilians.

      I can see no scenario to justify dropping nukes on Turkish population centers. None.
      Not only it would be a war crime, but it makes no military sense.
      If you have nukes and the other guy doesn’t, it’s a game changer.
      You can completely destroy his fighting ability.
      After his military is gone, you force his unconditional surrender.

  28. RVDV,

    Why not? So we can be subjected to another Genocide? Or is it in the best of your interests for Turkey to get away with invading other countries and stilling whatever they can?

    I must say that by aswering “no” to my question you have gained more respect.

    Do you agree that Turkey should give back Western Armenia?

    • Here’s why. You said in this scenario Turkey invades Armenia. If Armenia uses a nuclear weapon- then all public, worldwide support goes back to Turkey- who were the invaders. Second, I doubt one nuclear weapon would be enough to make Turkey surrender- in fact, I think it would make Turkey more determined to destroy Armenia.

      “Do you agree that Turkey should give back Western Armenia?”

      I partially agree. re

  29. While Armenians dream of war, the people in Armenian die of hunger.

    First, fix your economy which is THE SECOND WORST ECONOMY IN THE WHOLE WORLD: http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2011/07/05/the-worlds-worst-economies/

    For now, you should compete with Madagascar, Zimbambve and Gana. :)))))))))

    At the end, look at the poverty level of your country and compare with your enemies, it will help, too. http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?v=69

    Your best neighbours here should Be Togo. ))))))

  30. Dear Mr Sassounian,i need to ask you that first I’m a arminan catholic in Lebanon and I have many title deed in many region in turkey,is there any possible way to retrieve these lands from turkey or getting any offset .

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