European or Asian? The Origins of the Armenians

The discourse around Armenian identity is one that oftentimes creates division within the Armenian community, as Western Armenians and Iranian Armenians tend to stand firm in the belief that Armenians are Southwest Asian and Middle Eastern, while some Eastern Armenians from the Caucasus lean towards the notion that Armenians are and should identify as European. Armenians, and even people from the Western world, are torn about the nuanced complexities of Armenian identity. But the geographic, genetic and historical identity of the Armenian people showcases an Asian and Middle Eastern heritage. 

In the past year there have been several significant instances where Armenia was regarded as a European country, most shockingly during a CNN segment on the show The Lead with Jake Tapper. While reporting on the blockade of Artsakh, Tapper called Armenia and Azerbaijan “two European countries.” Another significant moment was when a CBN News host deemed Armenians as part of Europe while reporting on the same issue. Earlier this year Armenia was even listed as one of the “most welcoming countries in Europe,” according to euronews.

These moments have ignited a long-simmering discourse around Armenian identity, as people on social media debate whether Armenians are European, Asian or if they can claim Middle Eastern heritage. Oftentimes, non-Armenians join the discourse and deny the nuanced perspective of the Armenian identity. When this happens, it becomes clear that Armenians must take control of their narrative before the Armenian identity becomes erased all together.

Geographic identity is a core part of nationhood and cultural identity. That is why the concept of the homeland is so sacred. By looking more closely at the geographical placement of Armenians, we can better understand why Armenians are an Asian and Middle Eastern peoples. 

The Middle East is a geographic region located in Southwest Asia and North Africa. It was first coined as a geopolitical term in the 1850s by the British. The British definition includes the Arabian Peninsula, the Levant, Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Egypt. The Middle East, soon after its inception, replaced the term “Near East,” which also was a British term used around the same time period. The Near East was originally created to differentiate West Asia, which shares borders with Europe, from the rest of Asia, which is further away from Europe and deemed the Middle and Far East. The old definition of the Near East also included the Balkans. 

Armenian Highlands (Wikipedia)

Armenians are indigenous to the Armenian Highlands, which spans Eastern Anatolia and the South Caucasus, spilling over slightly into northern Mesopotamia. Anatolia, also known as modern-day Turkey, has historically been known as Asia Minor, a strategic trade route of the Silk Road and home to some of the first farmers. The people of Anatolia played an instrumental role in the ancient Near East and the Neolithic settlement of the European continent thousands of years ago. 

With these geographic realities sorted out, one can conclude that, by using the British definition, Armenians who are indigenous to Eastern Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia are Middle Eastern. So what about Armenians from the Caucasus?

The Caucasus is a mountainous region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. This unique mountainous region spans parts of Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia. The South Caucasus consists of the modern-day countries of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, but the Caucasus mountains spill over into the southern tip of Russia (also known as the Northern Caucasus), eastern Turkey and northern Iran as well.

We know that the Northern Caucasus lies in Eastern Europe, so where does that leave the South Caucasus? The continents of Europe and Asia are one massive Eurasian landmass with no clear breakage, so the borders of the two continents are purely man-made and are based on history, ethnicity and culture, researched by geographers and historians over time. The concept of Europe, Asia and Africa dates back to ancient Greece, and definitions have varied over time. Even though the map around the Caucasus has been redrawn many times, historically, modern-day Armenia’s borders have commonly been considered to be part of Asia. 

This complicated space has always been a topic of debate. The Soviet Union placed the entire Caucasus in Asia, and very rare, unofficial alternative maps place the South Caucasus entirely in Europe. Other experts refuse to categorize the region altogether, calling it a space “between” Europe and Asia. 

Calling a region “in-between” doesn’t fare well in a globalized society and can cause confusion amongst people, especially when almost every other country in the world has a clear indicator of which continent it belongs too. Therefore, it makes sense that the most widely accepted and used division between Europe and Asia is the Greater Caucasus, which spans northern Georgia and Azerbaijan, and the Ural Mountains, which splits Russia into European and Asian portions. This places modern-day Armenia in Asia and ends a complicated and socially constructed debate. 

So if modern-day Armenia is generally accepted to be a part of Asia, why is it cut off from the British definition of the Middle East? Armenia borders two core Middle Eastern countries: Iran and Turkey. The definition of the Middle East is constantly changing, with continual disagreements on the world stage of what countries should make up the Middle East. 

Some newer definitions include the modern state of Armenia; some don’t. Others argue that the term should be replaced completely by Southwest Asia/North Africa (SWANA) in order to be more inclusive of surrounding countries with historical and cultural ties, since the British definition of the Middle East viewed West Asia and North Africa through the outdated 19th-century European lens. 

Map of the Greater Middle East (orthographic projection) (Wikimedia Commons)

In 2004, the United States attempted to redefine the Middle East and replace it with the term “Greater Middle East.” The Greater Middle East was part of a reformation of the Middle East led by President George W. Bush and his administration. This sought to reframe how the Western world viewed the Middle East and desired to unify the Arab and Islamic world. Though this new definition was applied with ulterior motives and led with a stereotypical view of West Asia and North Africa, it still helped bring nuance to the region by including formerly excluded neighboring countries with historic and cultural ties. The Greater Middle East includes modern-day Armenia as part of the newly-updated American definition of the Middle East and is used by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Armenians who still cling to the notion of being European must understand that geographic reality is different from cultural influence. Since the modern-day borders of Armenia are near Europe, it is evident that there will be European influence in the region, particularly since Armenia just recently became independent after nearly 200 years of Russian occupation. Having European influence in a post-colonial Armenian state does not mean that Armenians are geographically, genetically or historically European. 

One must also remember that the Middle East is extremely diverse both ethnically and religiously. It is not a race, nor is it solely the Arab or Islamic world. It is a geographic region with many different peoples, customs, cultures and religions. They simply have historic ties to one another as neighbors, and therefore have influenced one another culturally because of their shared geographic region. Some non-Arab ethnic groups from the Greater Middle East are Armenians, Assyrians, Persians, Kurds, Turks, Azeris, Afghans, Pashtuns, Amazighs, Yezidis, Jews, Copts, Greeks, Georgians and much more. 

Now that we’ve covered geographic identity, let’s take a look at the genetic identity of the Armenian people. During the Bronze Age, there was significant population mixing that took place, laying the foundations of the Armenian identity. 

The genetic components that mixed to create the Armenian identity are mainly made up of the Anatolian Neolithic Farmer. It makes up roughly half of the average Armenian genome, similar to the Assyrians, an indigenous ethnic group of Mesopotamia. The other half of the average Armenian genome usually comprises of the Caucasian Hunter-Gatherer, which is shared with other Caucasians and Assyrians, the Iranian Neolithic Farmer and the Levant Natufian Hunter-Gatherer, which is shared with Levant Arabs. Though the average Armenian will share a similar genome with their ancient ancestors, Armenians are very diverse and individual genetic make-up of a person will vary.

Armenians have maintained genetic continuity since the sudden collapse of the Bronze Age, with the last significant epoch of genetic admixture occurring around that time. Due to their geographic location and later adoption of Christianity, Armenians have managed to maintain their genetic identity since then. Modern-day Armenians and Assyrians look more like the ancient Anatolian and Mesopotamian Near Easterners than many of the modern-day majority populations of the region. Armenians are descendants of the original inhabitants of the Near East. 

Some people point out the genetic affinity Armenians have to some Europeans as proof that Armenians have European origins. But this genetic affinity is due to the Anatolian Neolithic Farmer gene, which some Europeans, like southern Italians, Spaniards and Romanians, share with some Middle Eastern ethnic groups due to migrations that took place during the Neolithic period thousands of years ago. 

During this time, Anatolian farmers spread into Europe, likely sharing their languages along the way. This is also where Indo-European languages like Greek, Albanian, Armenian, Farsi and Kurdish originate from. Armenians are not descendants of Europeans; rather, some Europeans are descendants of former Near Eastern populations. Indo-European does not mean of European origin. There is no doubt that the Near East has had a massive impact on modern Europe, whether it be genetically, linguistically and even culturally. 

The conclusion here is that Armenians are genetically, historically and geographically West Asian and Middle Eastern, not European. The rhetoric that Armenians are European continues the genocidal language of the Turkish and Azerbaijani governments, which seek to erase Armenians from Anatolia and the Caucasus and choose to ignore our immense impact in the creation and foundation of the modern Middle East. If we allow this rhetoric to continue, we will lose the historic Armenian identity completely. This false rhetoric also perpetuates the impact of Russian colonization, under which Eastern Armenians begin to believe the notion that they too are Eastern Europeans just like their colonizers. One can strive to adopt Western ideals and still recognize one’s geographic, historic and genetic identity. The two can co-exist. May we remove the distorted lens that occupation has left us with, and may we never forget our roots, our ancestors and our affinity to the cradle of civilization. 

Jane Partizpanyan

Jane Partizpanyan

Jane Partizpanyan is the Development Assistant for the Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center of California, a historic world-class project currently under construction. She is also a regular contributor to The Armenian Weekly and a published poet, having been featured in several literary journals and magazines. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations from California State University, Northridge, where she graduated magna cum laude.
Jane Partizpanyan

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35 Comments

  1. This article is based on subjective perception and conveys a personal belief and/or preference, nothing more. If you wanna identify as a middle eastern, by all means, please do. Middle eastern cultures are very rich and beautiful and very old.

    Armenia does not belong to the Middle East culturally, genetically and even geographically.

    Culturally, Armenia is Indo-European, just like any other European countries and as well as some Asian countries, such as northern India and vicinity. Armenia is full of Indo-European artifacts, literally everywhere you go. One of Such artifact is the blooming flower, also known as the eternal sun, also known as the eternal life.

    Genetically, Armenians are very rich with R1b, actually makes Armenia an anomaly in the region as R1b is high in Western Europe. Due to that anomaly, some scientists believe that the Armenian highlands was the birthplace of the proto-info-Europeans, this is heavily disputed. That being said I’m sure there was a lot of genetic influence from the Middle East over Millenia. I would describe Armenians as Europeans with middle eastern influence and not the other way around.

    I don’t even need to talk about the language. Again lots of scientists believe that the Armenian language is the mother of all indo-European languages, again heavily disputed. But what is not disputed is that Armenian is its own branch in the Indo-European language families and closest to the Greek and Albanian branch.

    Looks, some Armenians do look like middle easterns, just like some Greeks look like middle eastern, just like some Cypriots look like middle easterns, just like some Italians look like middle easterns, you catch my drift here. Yes, over all Armenians look like southerners. But, very different than middle eastern in general.

    Geographically, Armenia is not in Anatolia, is not in the Caucasus, is not in Mesopotamia. It’s in the Armenian highlands which borders all of the above regions. If based on geography alone, we shall consider Armenia as in the middle east, then what do you make of Cyprus, or Malta…Europe?! Africa?! Middle East?!

    One thing must be noted in this comment is that I am not an expert, not even close, about genetic matters, I just read lots about regions, cultures, history and languages. And from my unimportant, uneducated and superficial research it always appear to me that Armenians are culturally, genetically and linguistically, closer to some Europeans. Unfortunately, we only have some influence from the middle east but it remains only an influence.

    • Avo:

      You’re exactly correct. It doesn’t surprise me that a graduate from CSU would want to do whatever they can to not be European (for obvious reasons).

      Sorry, Jane, we’re “white”.

    • Avo,you say you are not an expert but apparently, a Cal State Northridge PR major is:) If you read it carefully, you will notice some terms are used in a different manner in various parts of the article.
      Anyway, what is being suggested here, that North Caucasus is Europe but South Caucasus isn’t? In other words North Ossetia is Europe but South Ossetia is ‘middle east’, but that’s plainly absurd. Of course Caucasus is in Europe as in ‘Caucasian’.

  2. To be noted: 1) The notion that Armenians are European was already present at the turn of the twentieth century and was not exclusive of Eastern Armenians.
    2) The Armenian Highland does not span Eastern Anatolia. “Eastern Anatolia” as the region usually called Western Armenia is an invented term, since Anatolia (= Asia Minor) ends where the Armenian Highland starts, namely, the Euphrates River.

  3. I tend to agree with Avo. The recent DNA studies and their results are very interesting. Also, there is a chart of Armenian genes by percentage in various nationalities. They all betray a commercial and cultural flow from Armenian to various points on Earth. A trade network. The very word Caravan, is Armenian. Gara Van, means the tread to Van, a former starting point for Caravans. High percentage of Armenian genes in Sardinia, Etruria Italy, Georgia, Turkey , are interesting. But in the Hunza, the Han Chinese, Papua New Guinies and other Himalayan ethnicities are revealing of this trade network.

  4. Excellent article
    Ask anyone from the Middle East and they will of course say Armenians are middle eastern. Bring from a place is not only about geography and of course Armenia geographically is that as well
    Armenians are part of the soul of the Middle East as are many other non Arab groups mentioned in the article

    • Zla’od, speak for your family. The rest of us are a by-product of creation. It requires more blind faith to believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution than in the tooth fairy. Regarding Armenian: we are not and never been “European”. We are aboriginals, natives of ancient Asia Minor. In modern terms, that makes us Asian and Middle Eastern.

  5. European – period.

    This article is ridiculously written – first off, the J-line, which is the Arax River, places all of current Armenia in Europe. There is a big debate about this. Additionally, the dominate haplogroup in Armenia is R1b – which is western European.

    This is just another poor and uneducated attempt at not being “white”. It doesn’t matter how much one wants to be MENA, we are NOT MENA. We are Europeans, and to use geography as an indicator of genetics is ridiculous – just as the Afrikaans or the Spaniards of South America.

    • Shan’t, R1b originated in West Asia which is where Armenia is located. It spread into Europe. Not the other way around.

  6. ..Thank you, Ms. Jane, for your wonderfully thoughtful & balanced story. I marvel at all our Commentators stories too. More, please & thanks..

  7. Armenia of course is not Middle East or Asia, some influence from Middle East I can be agree but not being Middle Easterners. Our identity is European and we have culture history with Italians and even Spainsh people. Our lifestyle is different than Middle East. Our culture is European. Our language is European because it’s also from Indo-European language family as other European languages are from Indo-European language family. Just Armenians are thinking different and don’t want to cut that indo-. Some people especially wth Soviet mentality is also wouldn’t say it because Soviet mentality is not best in this world. I came in conclusion that Armenians didn’t maintain their identity as European. Anyway Armenia was from one to another empire maybe that’s why they didn’t keep their identity firmly being under the influence of empires where they were being. I don’t think it’s correct. Also our architecture is Italian besides Soviet(but they have plan to change it) but we don’t have Middle Eastern architecture. I don’t think Armenia had before Middle Eastern architecture. And also we should pay attention on food. Our food is not Asian or Middle Eastern. We have food from them but it’s not ours like Shawarma Hummus… if we were Asians we would eat unusual animals like Kazakhstan people. I think they eat camels and some of Asian horse. We eat standard animals as whole Europe, pig, sheep, cow, chicken. We don’t eat insects. If you even look to Iran lifestyle you will see Armenians totally Europeans. In Iran they put in living room many armchairs and leaving the middle part empty not putting table with chairs around like 4 or something like that as we do and other European countries do.

    However, there is informations from some University from Netherlands Ireland Spain, European organizations, institutions, European International organizations like conservation of nature (Switzerland) that says we are Europe. And besides that we are member state of the Council of Europe which is for Europe because USA Canada Mexico Japan Israel received observer status not membership because those are not Europe. They have criterias that the country should be wholly or partly located in Europe for be member of the Council of Europe

    Here are useful resources about Armenia, South Caucasia being Europe. In South Caucasus only Azerbaijan is not European culturally but anyway Armenians are culturally historically politically European too. There is genetic science from Europe that even Armenians are coming from Neolithic European farmers. We have genetics in common with Italians Spainsh Romanians in Europe. Well, we had mix marriages with Middle Eastern people but it’s not smart to call us Middle Easterners. People are confused when they are spiritually feel themselves as Middle Eastern but it’s different. There are who born there but being Armenian.

    University of Netherlands
    https://europeanvaluesstudy.eu/about-evs/research-topics/religion/

    University of Ireland
    https://www.universityofgalway.ie/international-students/studyinireland/yourcountry/europeancountriesnon-eu/

    https://www.universityofgalway.ie/international-students/studyinireland/country.html

    University of Spain
    https://ibb.co/h96KSb2

    World Atlas map
    https://ibb.co/bd81MNL

    Británica Europe map
    https://ibb.co/H2tFPQP

    Británica about Europe where talks about South Caucasus locating in Europe
    https://ibb.co/3fbCVmB

    Armenian nation identity confirmed (Council of Europe, France)
    https://ibb.co/t325CYN

    EU
    https://ibb.co/19m8sDG

    Council of Europe
    https://ibb.co/y4m317r

    Institute Of Security Development Policy (EU)
    https://ibb.co/FJd0PFc

    International Union Conservation of Nature (Switzerland)
    https://ibb.co/8m1LkYt

    Switzerland
    https://ibb.co/vZD3Wh3

    European Training Foundation (Italy)
    https://ibb.co/gvzvChZ

    Shchengen Visa Info
    https://ibb.co/DrfK62T

    US Assistant Secretary
    https://ibb.co/3N8XZwp

    EuroGeographics, Headquarter Belgium
    https://ibb.co/TryWPsw

    Oriflame
    https://ibb.co/44VqnND

    Sinalda U.K (Voltage company)
    https://ibb.co/cYcXVFV

    About online encyclopedia which is not reliable source
    https://ibb.co/5BDTnKX
    https://ibb.co/mFB5Z89

    Armenia’s flag at German government
    https://ibb.co/J7pJcHb

    Armenia’s flag in Belgium (EU building)
    https://ibb.co/mJ83kQp

    Armenia’s flag in Marceille municipality
    https://youtube.com/shorts/WN0lIKwhX4g?feature=share9

    Armenia’s flag in Italy
    https://ibb.co/N19ZnDb

    🇦🇲🇪🇺

    • you don’t have to use racism in order to prove your point as being European. It was completely uncalled for. First of all, look at ancient Armenia. It was spread out from turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Syria, and Iraq, mostly middle eastern countries. Modern Armenia is just what is left of Armenia after being colonized for so long. Second of all, Indo-European languages include Iranian and Indian too, but nobody calls them European. 3rd of all, Armenian food and middle eastern food is literally the exact same. We eat kebab and dolma and all that stuff all the time. And middle easterners eat lavash. I don’t think we should use food as an argument. The only reason Armenians are different from other middle eastern countries is because we aren’t Muslim, of course we are going to be different. Israel isn’t like the Arab countries because its Jewish, but it’s still middle eastern. Also, what is with you and Italy? you put as one of your resources as “Armenia’s flag in Italy”, bro there are 12 million Armenians in the entire world and they have spread EVERYWHERE after the genocides, especially in Europe and Russia because it’s safer there for Christians especially, but that doesn’t make Armenians not middle eastern. Our architecture is literally nothing like Italy’s, have you even seen our architecture? go search up photos right now. If you’ve seen buildings in Italy that look Armenian, it must’ve been a church made by Armenians who immigrated there, because all Armenian churches look the same, like the ones in Armenia. With that logic Armenia must also be European or Italian. the Armenian flag is also hung up in America… the Italian flag is also hung up in America… and like every flag in the world, but we don’t call them all American. All it means is that there are relations to the countries, and relations to a country doesn’t always have something to do with geography. Of course, Armenian culture with be a similar to European culture (AKA Russian) considering it was part of the Soviet Union for so long… just like Kazakhstan was but that country is Asian too. Over everything, Armenia’s culture is overwhelmingly similar to Turkish, Azeri, and Iranian, considering its our neighbors, who you consider middle eastern. The only reason you say Azerbaijan isn’t European is because its Muslim… Do you know how stupid it is to say that Armenia is European and not Azerbaijan and Türkiye? Armenia is literally between those two countries… that makes no sense. I wouldn’t blame you for saying that Armenia isn’t middle eastern because of the definition on google but saying that it’s not west Asian is just stupid. There are resources that prove Armenia is middle eastern just as much as those European.

      I’m at school right now so I don’t have time to fix my writing, but I wanted to respond to this. I’m sorry for sounding rude, but you had also made rude comments.

  8. This thread is yet another gallary of Armenian-style cognitive dissonance.

    Armenians were, are and will remain Western Asian. Would you Qaj Nazars consider Armenians “European” if Armenia had adopted Islam instead of Christianity? Of course not. Well, I have breaking news for you all: Christianity does not make one a European.

    The term Europe or European is actually a modern construct. Modern Europe is the offshoot of an empire forged by the famous Germanic emperor, Charlemagne. Genetically, Europeans are mostly Nordic types. Southern Europeans have Middle Eastern and Asia Minor admixture as a result of the Roman Empire’s conquest of southern Europe. Culturally, Europeans were mostly Shamanistic Pagans before they adopted a Middle Eastern religion called Christianity.

    Genetically, geographically and culturally (folk culture,
    not assimilated culture) Armenians are strictly Western Asian (which includes south Caucasus). Genetically, Armenians are more closely related to Yezdis, Kurds, Persians, Assyrians and Turks than to Europeans. People in European that Armenians share a little genetic ancestry with are those people that moved FROM Asia Minor to Europe thousands of years ago.

    What Armenians are is wannane Europeans.

    We want to think of ourselves as European in oder to feel above Armenia’s neighbors. We want to feel Eueopean bbecause we want to feel modern, advanced and successful. We want to be on the winning side. The reality however is that we are as “European” as Turks are. People in western Turkey are in fact more “European” than us Armenians. Armenians have the silly tendency to confuse Christianity with geography. Even here Armenian perception is seriously off as Christianity is Middle Eastern religion that was much later adopted by Europeans. Besides, I have a news flash: Europeans are no longer Christians.

    This topic of who we think we are, this cognitive dissonance, is the source of all of Armenia’s problems going back many centuries. For the last two thousand years our focus has been on the west (Rome, Europe, USA, etc) at the expensive of neglecting our neighborhood.

    We are Western Asian deal with it. I can’t believe I have to explain all this to adults. Next time you want to feel “European” and want to announce it to the world, look into the mirror first and ask yourself what do you really see. Or, bring a real European to an authentic Armenian gathering (i.e. no mixed breeds) and ask the European if he or she thinks Armenians are European or “White”.

    You people are amazing. More I interact with Armenians, the scarier does Armenia’s future prospects look to my eyes…

    • Gurgen you can consider yourself whoever you want like Uzbek Yemen Kazakh Chinese African… it’s your choice but it doesn’t mean whatever you feel all Armenians are like that. I am Armenian and I am not Asian. You can’t generelaize all nation as you like. However, you are not European University by the way, you are not European institutions, organizations, International organizations, European genetic science organization etc so which means your opinion is your opinion not global true. Regarding of people so, don’t be kid, people can say whatever they think (about everything) because they don’t know about Armenian origins. And instead of copy paste from Wikipedia the unreliable source better read the Universities maps organizations institutions statements that I shared about Armenia. If Armenia was in Asia Armenia couldn’t be member of the Council of Europe because USA Canada Mexico Japan Israel received observer status not membership. So Armenia is better than Canada politically? or USA or in Asia Japan is better? Not of course. Japan is more developed than Armenia especially was in 2000×. Japan could be member but didn’t receive they have a criterias by Council of Europe. Read it in my post. If you read in their page and if you know good English you would understand that they talk about only Europe having mission in Europe continent. It’s not International organization. It’s European organization. It’s says European Council not International Council. It’s logic.

      Armenians are only not European by mentality but it’s not like Italians and Swedes are the same or Spainsh and Norwegians. And regarding of look. I mentioned that we had mix marriages that’s why we have some genetics in common with Middle Eastern but it’s not the reason to call all nation in term of Middle East. We have generics in common with Italians also but it doesn’t mean mendetory Armenians should be called Asians or Middle East. Spanish people are also influenced by Arabic people and genetically but they don’t say they are Arabic. If you hate to be European it’s your choice but don’t generalize all of us. I am Armenian too but not Asian or Middle Eastern. Keep it in your heart as Asian or Middle East if you like that to be Turkish or Iran Afghanistan Iraqish etc.

      Wikipedia is not reliable source and South Caucasia was declared even not official religion and sometimes called Asia or Europe but mostly it’s located in Europe. I am not saying by me. I shared resources in my post

    • Cognitive dissonance, wishful thinking, self serving rhetoric, problems with perception are at full display. The term “Europe” is a political term. Breaking news: it’s designed to lure former Soviet states such as Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan into NATO and EU. Breaking news: it primarily an anti-Russia and anti-Iranian move. Azerbaijan, Israel and Cyprus are also “European” by today’s standards. And so are Turks. Logic and reality escapes most Armenians today. Believe what you will, but reality and biology do not lie. Armenians are a West Asia people related to peoples living in and around the Armenian Highlands, also known as Anatolia, Levant and south Caucasus. Deal with it! Ողբամ զքեզ հայ ժողովուրդ…

    • As I understand you are insisting yours because you even don’t read what i say. You are just against European term because spiritually you are Middle Eastern that’s different. I say again you are not European genetic science, organization or European universities institutions, organizations. You are not who define Europe and Armenian nation. That’s all. You want not it’s your choice not a fact. Europe is continent not political just. If Europe is just politic then whole Europe are Asians ? Lol you are funny

      Armenians are Europeans culturally historically politically and If one nation is like that it means European logically and you are not making criterias who can be in European Council. If I am in European Council it means I am Europe because USA Canada Mexico Japan Israel received observer status not membership, think about it instead of being stubborn kid. I think the question is that you don’t want to accept, well be Asian yourself it’s your choice.

    • Gurgen I must say you are a very brilliant person by just writing this. These are all plain truth. I my self Eastern Turkish and we are going into the same road as Armenians. We want to be anything but Native, we want to be anyone but Anatolian. But truth is we are just Western Asians.

      Just like every neighbor has similarities with one another we do have common ancestry with modern day Europeans. They may even generated in Modern Armenia but these are not enough for one to call Armenians and others “Told you, you guys were Nordic Masterrace all along :ss”

      I can understand that some Europeans want to call Armenians and other similar groups of Western Asia to be White because these people has so much to offer. Natives doing the same thing? Man they are just pure losers.

      Those who trying anything to change the past, change the native people of these land are just delusional and they are the real enemies. Turkish, Georgian, Azeri or Armenian it is just doesn’t matter. We must come together and bring the power that we deserve to these lands. This is the only real way we can win. Not those USA clowns or their masters.

  9. Arman, you are seriously out of touch with reality. No serious historian, geneticist or political stateman considers Armenians European or Armenia a European country. Like you were told by Gurgen, Europe is for the most part a political term. Some European institutions are trying to lure Armenians, Georgians and Turks into their political structures purely for political reasons. That reason is to cause problems for Russia. Armenians like you must subconsciously hate themselves. Why do you want to be “European” so badly? Why are you not comfortable with being who you really are? Look in the mirror. Look at your familiy members. You are NOT European LOL
    Get over it. If you are 100% Armenian, you are a decedent of the Armenian Highlands. And the Armenian Highlands have ALWAYS been located in Asia Minor. I know you want to fit in Western society. I know you want to benaccepted by “White” society. Stop your silly self hate and be proud of who you really are. It might help you get through life without constantly deceiving yourself. It might help you get thought life without psychological trauma.

    • And besides that don’t live in ancient times lol wake up and see it’s 21 century and modern Armenia is only that Armenia which is on South Caucasus which belongs to Europe and I explained why

    • You better stop to insult ok? I say to you too if you like to be Arab Middle East or Asian or African It’s your choice. Stop be silly and hating European term of being. You must be from ancient Soviet Union with ancient mentality. But you should understand Soviet education is not higher education. I was talking about European institution’s CRITERIAS that they have according to which the country can be in the organization as a member. You maybe don’t get it what it means CRITERIAS. learn about criterias, learn about Universites that I posted instead of insist your low logic, education and hate speech. Wikipedia is not reliable source and even is prohibited in many schools and universities. You are just manipulated by Wikipedia or by your Soviet Union mentality which smart people are not even consider normal. Don’t be fanatic hatred. Of course you are not European because European it’s not a nation, it’s identity, feelings and culture but you are Arab or Uzbek lol. You miss good education about understanding that Armenians are Europeans culturally. Maybe you personally live as Asian or lifestyle is Asian or Arabic. Anyway I know there are arabized Armenians. That’s different. You should know also that Armenians had mix marriages also. You don’t know in ancient times modern Asia Minor was Europe or Asia before. In Ancient times there was I think West Turkey that was called Asia when Turkey wasn’t exist as whole Turkey now. European Science organization studied that we are also coming from Neolithic European farmers. (I am talking about ancient real Armenians ) and we have genetics in common with Italians Spainsh Romanians in Europe and also with some Middle East nations like Jewish maybe. It doesn’t mean Armenians are Asians or Middle East. Your understanding about these things are locked because from years of years you have been thought wrong. Don’t represent yourself as smart scientist. Being European it doesn’t mean we should be Western Europeans like French Dutch or Belgium. Europe is not about only EU. You miss good education to learn in this thing too that EU is a Union of 27 European countries. There are other European countries including Armenia Ukraine Moldova Georgia etc. In EU official website is also says that. You need to read and study instead of show your fanatic side. Regarding of USA also people are wrong that when they say America it’s understanding USA only. USA is like EU. It’s United States of 50 American states. There are other American countries too. However, there are many nations in Europe. And not all want to be in EU. And Eastern Europe culture is different but there are similarities. Some nations are similar with some nations, some are similar with others. It doesn’t mean Armenia and others are not European if is not in EU. Of course it depends on country how much European is by system laws norms etc. Armenia have progress in this and trying to do more to be developed European country. If one nation is living like European culturally it means it’s European. I shouldn’t be in EU for be considered as European ok? Develop your understanding skills. I am not saying we are European just because I am not and want to be. That’s silly.

      Here are European universities institutions organizations International organizations who define Armenia Europe ok? Read it and keep calm and deal with it. In EU website there continents section if Armenia is Asia they would put Armenia in Asia so your logic is not ok. And Armenia was Asia wouldn’t be member state of the Council of the Europe which is for Europe because as I told in my previous comments USA CANADA MEXICO JAPAN ISRAEL received Observer status not membership because if you good logic you must be understanding that those are not Europe that’s why they didn’t receive membership. The Council of Europe has a mission only for Europe it’s not a International organization it’s European organization

      University of Netherlands
      https://europeanvaluesstudy.eu/about-evs/research-topics/religion/

      University of Ireland
      https://www.universityofgalway.ie/international-students/studyinireland/yourcountry/europeancountriesnon-eu/

      https://www.universityofgalway.ie/international-students/studyinireland/country.html

      University of Spain
      https://ibb.co/h96KSb2

      World Atlas map
      https://ibb.co/bd81MNL

      Británica Europe map
      https://ibb.co/H2tFPQP

      Británica about Europe where talks about South Caucasus locating in Europe
      https://ibb.co/3fbCVmB

      Armenian nation identity confirmed (Council of Europe, France)
      https://ibb.co/t325CYN

      EU
      https://ibb.co/19m8sDG

      Council of Europe
      https://ibb.co/y4m317r

      Institute Of Security Development Policy (EU)
      https://ibb.co/FJd0PFc

      International Union Conservation of Nature (Switzerland)
      https://ibb.co/8m1LkYt

      Switzerland
      https://ibb.co/vZD3Wh3

      European Training Foundation (Italy)
      https://ibb.co/gvzvChZ

      Shchengen Visa Info
      https://ibb.co/DrfK62T

      US Assistant Secretary
      https://ibb.co/3N8XZwp

      EuroGeographics, Headquarter Belgium
      https://ibb.co/TryWPsw

      Oriflame
      https://ibb.co/44VqnND

      Sinalda U.K (Voltage company)
      https://ibb.co/cYcXVFV

      About online encyclopedia which is not reliable source
      https://ibb.co/5BDTnKX
      https://ibb.co/mFB5Z89

      Armenia’s flag at German government
      https://ibb.co/J7pJcHb

      Armenia’s flag in Belgium (EU building)
      https://ibb.co/mJ83kQp

      Armenia’s flag in Marceille municipality
      https://youtube.com/shorts/WN0lIKwhX4g?feature=share9

  10. Gurgen Jan, Kurds and Persians are also of indo-European descent. And yes, you are right Western Europeans do not consider Armenians as whites, and we are not, as in Northern Anglo-Saxon-Germanic. You are also conflating the term white with European (very lengthy discussion).
    It should also be noted that middle easterners do not consider Armenians as middle easterners. The concept of Europe existed since the ancient Greeks came to be, along with Pharaonic Egyptians and the Phoenicians. It is not an Frankish term (you mentioned Charlemagne). And there are Muslim Europeans, religion alone should not be conflated with culture, although it does influence it heavily. Albanians is a prime example, maybe not considered as whites as in Anglo-Saxon-Germanic but, very European.
    Armenia geographically is not in Anatolia, never was. It’s in the Armenian highlands, it borders Anatolia.
    I know a lot of Armenians don’t want to be associated with the new-concept of Europe, for personal, religious or political reasons and that’s all good, but it’s hard to deny all the evidence that confirms Armenia’s strong indo-European culture.

    • I think that concept that Armenians are not white is wrong. It’s interesting Who told that Armenian race is black or dark skin!!! I think people are confused between those Armenians who have dark skin but maybe he is not Armenian or had some dark skin ancestors from other nation. I am Armenian and my skin is white. I never been thought that Armenians are dark or black. It’s weird

    • Avo jan, guess what? I agree with everything you said. Your comments however have little to do with this discussion.

      This discussion is ultimately a political one. Children here are playing make-believe. Because they want to be accepted by Western society, and they have personal biases against Eastern society, they want to believe that Armenians are a “European” people, to make themselves feel important. It’s very sad if you really think about it. This cognitive dissonance (being out of touch with reality and thinking you are something you are not) lies at the foundation of our misfortunes spanning two thousand years. We constantly tried to ally ourselves with distant powers (Romans, Franks, Mongols, Europeans, north Americans) and worked against our neighbors (Persians, Byzantines, Russians, Soviets) to Armenia’s detriment.

      I never claimed Armenians don’t speak an Indo-Aryan language, although Caucasian (Kartvelian) language influence on Armenian is quite significant (probably via Hurrian and Urartian). I never claimed Armenians are Middle Easterners (another western political term meaning Arab and Muslim). I never claimed Armenians are not “White” (another fake term devised by westerners in recent times). What I am telling you all is that we Armenians are the aboriginal natives of the Armenian Highlands. Didn’t realize that was breaking news for many wannabe-European Armenians. Armenian Highlands are located in ancient Asia Minor (i.e. modern day eastern Turkey and the south Caucasus). We are west Asians or Anatolians. Asia Minor, Turkey, south Caucasus is western Asia. Not liking the term “Asian” is not enough to magically turn Armenia/Armenians into European. Asia Minor is not Europe, never has been, never will be. Asian Minor is not ME either, although it borders it and it therefore heavily influenced by it.

      What gives/gave modern Armenians or Armenia the semblance of being “European” was the country’s Russian and Soviet periods. Under Russian and Soviet rule, the Anatolian-Armenian shepherd and the north Iranian-Armenian carpet maker became a world renown classical composer, poet, astrophysicist, artist, statesman, scientist, scholar, etc.

      Regarding Charlemagne: he set the foundations of modern day Europe. Historically, Europe was the land where Nordic, Germanic, Celtic and Slavic peoples dwelt. In the middle ages, this population converted to Christianity under the Germanic Holy Roman Empire that Charlemagne founded. When the Holy Roman Empire gradually dissolved, the nations that emerged are the nations of modern day Europe. In a nutshell: the term we know as Europe today is essentially comprised of Germanic, Celtic, Slavic, Latin, Illyrian, Turkic and to a much lesser extent Greek peoples. Some of these, like Greeks and Turkics, migrated to Europe from the east, central Asia and Anatolia respectively. Armenians may desire to be European (essentially because Europe has been the center of human civilization during the past 1000 years), but let’s not confuse desire with reality. Time to look at a map again. Time to look in the mirror again. Armenians/Armenia are NOT European!

      I am done. This is a silly conversation LOL

  11. Gurgen everything you are saying it’s vain because you are saying from Soviet Union mentality and Soviet Union education but you should understand that Soviet education is not a global truth while I had shared education from Western Universities, organizations European institutions who define Europe ok? not Soviet or you. They have CRITERIAS. If Armenia was Asia Japan would be a MEMBER state in European Council but Japan received observer status. Grow your logic besides that Soviet Union was illegal Union recognized firstly by Baltic countries. Yes this is silly conversation by you because you are making yourself smart and unique but it is not and you are even spiritually Persian using “Jan”. That word is Persian and if you are Persian or middle eastern it doesn’t mean you should generalize all nation as you are feeling inside. Maybe your ancestors are Middle Eastern but it doesn’t mean you should define all nation just because your ancestors are coming from Middle East or just you don’t like the term of European. Armenians are not thinking only European European but culturally identification historically are European, even study showed that Armenians are coming from Neolithic European farmers. So, let’s deal with it and not bring up unreliable sources tought until this day. You are not universities or European genetic science organization or institutions or organizations. Don’t be stubborn it’s not about wanting to be Western Europe. Besides that in Armenia not all people are Armenians in Armenia there are arabized Armenians also and who is born in Middle East coming to Armenia. You can feel yourself whatever you want Uzbek Persian African Chinese but it doesn’t mean the nation is the way you are ethically, it’s different.

  12. Armenians are Middle Eastern? Really? Since when?

    West Asian does not mean Asian or Middle Eastern. Historically, West Asia was under heavy Byzantine Empire influence coming from the Middle Ages. This empire was a subset of Roman Empire. There is no doubt that the Armenian Highlands were under constant invasions from all sides, the North, South, West and East. Regardless, there is a strong genetic affinity of Armenians with modern Europeans.

    I did several DNA tests, including MyHeritage and MyTrueAncestry. The former test matched me with plenty of European matches from North and West / Central Europe (Nordics, Germanics and south Slavs and Romanians). Enough matches that they formed theoretical family lines. I know that I am Armenian, and was not adopted. I even look Armenian. And yet I have so many matches from Europe. Why? Because Europeans and Armenians share genetic history (obviously). They could be part Armenian too or simply carry genes that the early European peoples (from Armenian Highlands) carried with them as they spread to Europe. My ethnicity estimate showed over 50% West Asian with at least 30% Greek & Italian, with only 8% Middle Eastern, a result which many Pontic Greeks share with us. As you can see, a slight Arab genetic influence does not make us Middle Eastern. In fact, less than 10% of ethnicity is generally negligible.

    On MyTrueAncestry, besides matching ancient Armenian bone samples my genetic profile matched ancient Roman samples with 99% confidence. Armenians are ethnically very diverse, but judging from my test it would be extremely hard to conclude that I share more genetic affinity with Middle Easterners than Europeans. Geography has nothing to do with genetics. My first major haplogroup on MTA was R1B (nearly 32%) followed by J2 (24%), I (16%) and many more. As someone else noted here, R1B is mostly found in Western Europe. J2 is also found in lots of European countries (besides West Asia), as well as the I haplogroup. I am not debating how much European the West Asians are, but they are most definitely not Middle Eastern!

  13. Did anyone of you done any ethnic studies or study of ethnicity and race?, or have you people ever heard that Armenians, Creeks, and Italians are descendants of Phrygians? So if Creeks and Italians are Europeans, regardless of the geographical location, that should make Armenians Europeans too one would think. I’m an Armenian and I do not think of myself as an Asian, Middle Eastern, or Caucasian, I consider myself as an European, as for all of you out there, you can be anything you want to be. By the way Scandinavians are Scandinavians not Europeans.

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