SHORT REVIEW OF ARMENIAN HISTORY
origins of the Armenians and the geography in which they lived
are still debated today. It is certain, however, that they
have always been the subjects of other states throughout history.
state that Yerevan, Lake Sevan, Nahkichevan, north of Rumiah
Lake and Maku region were called “Armenia” which meant “ upper
lands” and the people living there were named Armenians.
Some of the
Armenian historians claim that they are descendants of the
Hittites who lived in Cilicia and Northern Syria in the 6th
century AD, while some others bring the genealogy to Haig,
one of Noah’s sons. There is no certainty about exactly where
the community referred today as Armenians settled and lived
in the geographical region called Armenia. Their population
and the percentage of their population to other groups that
lived in the same area are still a mystery.
the Armenian historians are not unanimous as to their origin.
It may therefore be stated that it is impossible for a community
that has never had the privilege of being a nation and founding
an independent state, to have claims on a certain geography
as “a homeland”. Consequently, the dream of Great Armenia
is but the product of an expansionist ideology.
As the history
went, the Armenians lived under the Persian, Macedonian, Seleucide,
Roman, Partian, Sasanite, Byzantine, Arabian and Turkish hegemonies.
In fact, all of the Armenian principalities known to have
existed in the region were established by the sovereigns that
controlled the region in order to draw this community into
their sphere of influence and employ them in a variety of
saved the Armenians from the Byzantine persecution and offered
them the opportunity of leading a decent life when they secured
the control of Anatolia in 1071. Under the reign of Mehmed
II, freedom of thought and belief was granted to the Armenians
and the right to establish a patriarchate of their own for
governing the community’s religious and social activities.
Patriarch had the power of appointing and dismissing clergy
members, banning the religious rites, collecting dues from
the community, concluding the marriage formalities and even
pronouncing imprisonment decisions.
Until the end
of the 19th century, the Armenians lived their golden age
under the Ottoman rule, also with the vast tolerance of the
Turkish people. Having been exempted from military service
and of most of the taxes, they excelled in trade, agriculture,
artisanry and rose to major posts in the administration. For
the services that they rendered to the Ottoman Empire, the
Armenians were allowed to settle in the regions vacated after
the Greek rebellion and were given the prestigious title of
“the faithful nation”.
It ensues from
the foregoing that there was not any Armenian issue until
the end of the 19th century nor were any problems that the
Armenian citizens could not solve with the assistance of Turkish