An historic reference
- The Motherland of the Armenians – Armenia including the Armenian Highland and adjacent territories is located between Asia Minor, the Black Sea, the basin of the Kur River, the Iranian plateau and Mesopotamia, covering a total area of 400 000 square kilometers.
- In spiritual perceptions of a number of peoples of Ancient World the Armenian Highland was perceived as a sacred land. According to the Bible, Sumerian, Babylonian and other sources it was the cradle of mankind and, after the creation, the symbols of wisdom and immortality were kept there. After the flood, this highland became the country of the renewal of mankind where God established Eternal covenant with humankind.
- The traces of human settlements here date back to the early period of the Paleolithic epoch. A number of very important achievements in human history were registered in the Armenian Highland. Particularly, for the first time in the world, transition from wild and merely consumer way of life to agriculture and cattle-breeding (civilized and productive economy) took place in the 10th millennium B.C. in the south (the archeological site of Shanidar) of the Armenian Highland.
- First temples were built in the Armenian Highland (the 9th millennium B.C.), as well as the earliest metallurgy originated and for the first time horses were domesticated here…
- The Armenian people has Indo-European origins and until the end of the 4th millennium B.C., it is still constituted a part of the main body of the Indo-European community which lived in the Indo-European proto-homeland – in eastern regions of Asia Minor, the Armenian Highland, Northern Mesopotamia and north-western part of the Iranian plateau.
- The first historical information about the Armenian Highland dates back to the 28th century B.C. Sumerian inscriptions mention the early state formation of Aratta which is identical with Ararad according to the Bible. In the Sumerian and Biblical histories about the world flood, Aratta and Ararad, respectively, are presented as the land of salvation. The god-protector of Aratta was Hayk (who is mentioned in the Sumerian sources under the name of “Dumuzi” – “the truthful son”) – the son of the creator god Haya. Later Aramazd became a successor of Haik.
- King Naram-Sin of Akkad (the 23rd century B.C.) in his inscriptions repeatedly mentions the country of Arman which “no one had chance to conquer”.
- Naram-Sin’s domination was crushed by the 17 countries’ confederation (Gutian) which united under its power the whole Mesopotamia and some neighboring regions and had been formed the first empire known in the history of Armenia. The Gutian empire has existed 100 years, until the end of the 22nd century B.C.
- The cuneiform inscriptions of the 20th-18th centuries B.C. are evidence of the economic and political development of the Armenian Highland. According to these inscriptions, there were nearly 40 production and trading centers in the Armenian Highland.
- In the 16th century B.C. Mitanni was formed in the south-west of the Armenian Highland (to the south of the Eastern or Armenian Taurus) and the northern part of Mesopotamia. Mitanniwas ruled by an Indo-European dynasty and until the 13th century B.C. was one of the strongest states in Western Asia. The kings of this state, which were formed in southern part ofArmenia, were classified among the Armenian patriarchs and the first kings by the Armenian medieval written sources. At its mightiest period Mitanni’s power reached the territories of northern Mesopotamia, Cilicia, sharing with Egypt the eastern coastal regions of the Mediterranean Sea.
- In the 15th-13th centuries B.C. the regions lying to the north of the Armenian Taurus mountains and to the east of the Euphrates were mentioned as the Kingdom of Hayasa [in Hittite –a(sa) was a suffix forming a place-name: Hayasa means “the country of the Armenians”] according to the Hittite sources.
- At the end of the 12th century B.C. the Haykids proclaiming Armavir as the capital undertook the process of the statehood’s reestablishment. Aram was the mightiest of the rulers of Armavir who had been mentioned under the name of “Aramu the Urartian” in the Assyrian inscriptions (860-840 B.C.). Owing to his activities, the name of “Ararad” (Urartu is the Assyrian-Babylonian version) spread all over the Highland and became identical with the name of “Armenia” in the Bible and other written sources of Mesopotamia, Achaemenid Persia etc. For the last time Armenia had been mentioned under the name of “Urartu” in the inscription of the Achaemenid empire written in the 4th century B.C. in Babylonian.
- From the middle of the 9th century the Kingdom of Van (Biaina) with the capital of Tushpa (later Van) strengthened within the Armenian Highland. The Kingdom of Van is called Ararad/Urartu as a general name of Armenia in the Assyrian sources and the Bible. In the first half of the 8th century the Araradian Kingdom (particularly at the period of the reign of Argishti I) became the mightiest state in Western Asia owing to the successful activities of the sovereigns of Van.
- At the end of the 7th century-the beginning of the 6th century the Eruandakan (Orontid) branch of the Haikid dynasty established its rules and reigned in Armenia until 201 B.C. In 521-331 B.C. Armenia was under the rule of Achaemenid Persia becoming one of its satrapies, but in 331 B.C. after the battle of Gaugamela the Eruandakans restored independence of two Armenian kingdoms – Great Armenia and Armenia Minor.
- At the end of the 3rd century the Seleucids succeeded to take under their control the Armenian kingdoms. But a little shortly after, in 189 B.C. Armenians again restored their independence. In Great Armenia Artashes, proclaiming himself “Eruandakan,” founded a kingdom (189 B.C. -1 A.D.) which in historiography is called after his name.
- The Artashesid dynasty reached a zenith of its might at the time of the King of Great Armenia Tigran II the Great (95-55 B.C.). His domination spread over Atropatene, Media, Northern Mesopotamia, the former Seleucid kingdom, Phoenicia, Palestine and Cilicia (in 66 B.C. these conquered territories were yielded to Rome). His domination went beyond these limits covering the territory of almost 3 million sq. km.
- After the fall of the Artashesid dynasty (1 A.D.) Great Armenia preserved the status of the kingdom, but at that time a period of temporary destabilization had started which finished in 66 A.D. when the Armenian branch of the Arshakid dynasty established on the throne of Great Armenia.
- Before conversion to Christianity (301 A.D.) in Armenia the polytheistic pantheon was headed by the supreme trinity (which is a typical Indo-European phenomenon). The supreme trinity comprised the creator father god Aramazd, saint goddess Anahid and the god of courage Vahagn. There were worshipedalso the goddess of the family hearth Nane, solar Mihr, the god of literary culture Tir, the goddess of the celestial light and beauty Astghik, the god of hospitality Vanatur and other gods.
- In 301 A.D. Armenia, the first country in the world recognized Christianity as the state religion. Unfortunately, during the adoption of Christianity as state religion the great part of the pre-Christian Armenian culture (including the pre-Christian writing culture) was destroyed.
- In 387 A.D. Armenia was divided between the Roman Empire and Sassanid Persia, and two years later the Western Armenian kingdom was abolished in the Roman part, the Arshakid kingdom existed until 428 in Eastern Armenia.
- In 405 A.D. Mesrop Mashtots created the alphabet consisting of 36 letters which resulted in the renaissance of the Armenian literary culture.
- In the 7th century a new power appeared in Western Asia, the Arab Caliphate and in 640 A.D. took place the first raid of its troops into Armenia. In 701 A.D. the Arab Caliphate conquered Armenia.
- In 885 A.D. Armenia’s independence was restored under the leadership of the Bagratid dynasty (the Bagratids were an ancient priestly family, the coronant knights of the Armenian kings). The Bagratid centralized kingdom existed until 1045.
- During centuries Armenians settled in Cilicia and in 1080 A.D. they established a princedom headed by the Rubenid family. On January 6 1198 A.D. Levon II the Rubenid was crowned as King. Thus the Cilician princedom was proclaimed as the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia which existed until 1375 A.D.
- From the end of the 14th century Armenians lost last fragments of their statehood. In the 16th and 17th centuries Armenia was divided between Persia and and the Ottoman Empire, constituting Eastern and Western Armenia.
- In 1801-1829 the north-eastern territories of Eastern Armenia passed under the domination of the Russian empire. It was a new stage in the life of the Armenianhood, when Armenia was divided between three states.
- For the Armenianhood and Armenian culture the Genocide (1894-1923) committed by Turks’ government had catastrophic consequences in the Western Armenia. Two million Armenians in their native cradle fell a victim to the Genocide, many monuments of theArmenian culture (having world significance) were demolished. As a result of the Genocide, they deported from their homeland and dispersed all over the world, Armenians and their generations which formed communities – in different countries.
- December 29th, 1917 (January 11, 1918), the decree of Russia recognizing the independence of Western Armenia. The Council of people’s commissioners promulgated the “Decree on Turkish Armenia” and it was published in the n° 227 of the Pravda, December 31, 1917 (January 13, 1918).
- In 1918-1920 the Armenian people of Western Armenia succeeded in reconstruction of its independent statehood, which, however, had a short life, under a delegation led the chairmanship of Boghos Nubar Pasha. On August 10, 1920 Great Powers signed the Treaty of Sèvres, which provided that the provinces of historic Armenia – Van, Erzerum (Garin), Bitlis (Baghesh) and Trebizond had to be passed to State of Armenia (Western Armenia) (the borders were drawn by thePresident of the USA Woodrow Wilson, the November 22, 1920).We recall the important dates of this fact. The conference of San Remo 1920, the signature of the Treaty of Sèvres by the western powers the 24 April 1920, the remittance to signature to the 2 Turkish state of the Treaty of Sèvres the 11 May 1920, and finally the signing of the Treaty by Turkey the 10 August 1920.ecember 17th, 2004, the National Council of Armenians from Western Armenia in Shushi (Artsakh, Karabagh) declared the right to self-determination of the Armenians from Western Armenia.
- According to the statement of the United Nation’s General Assembly on the rights of indigenous peoples on September 13th, 2007, the Armenians of Western Armenia as an indigenous people, assert their right to self determination. “Indigenous peoples have the right to self determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development”. (Art. 3)
- February 4, 2011 Paris (France), the National Council of the Armenians of Western Armenia, expressing the will of the Armenians of Western Armenia and conscious of its responsibility for the destiny of his people committed to achieving its aspiration and the restoration of a historical justice, manifests to transmit the present resolution. Taking into account the international provisions following, a) The principles of Universal human rights of the UN, b) The standards recognized by the international law, c) The right to self-determination of the Armenians of Western Armenia, applied by the National Council according to the official statement of December 17, 2004. declare the creation of a real institution of State within the Armenians scattered around the world, namely, the realization of the formation of a government in exile.
- May 24, 2013 Paris (France), the National Council of Western Armenia, the Government-in-Exile of Western Armenia and Special Commission on the formation of the National Assembly (Parliament) of Western Armenia, taking responsibility for the development and establishment of Public Institutions of Western Armenia, preservation of the existence and identity of the Armenian people, the restoration and reconstruction of the economy of Western Armenia, Declare the decision to form the National Assembly (Parliament) of Western Armenia to consolidate the forces of the Armenian people; The decision to adopt the fundamental requirements of the Armenian people to the ”Armenian issue”, considering the basis of the principles of national unity and immutable law; The decision to adopt a single resolution to the ”Armenian issue”, that is the Armenian people must live in one self-sufficient and, in the future, in the United and Independent Armenian State.
- February 23, 2014 – On the historical and legal basis that confirmed the (“de facto”) recognition of the Armenia on the 19th january 1920 and by rigth (“de jure”) on the 11th may 1920 by the main Allied powers, the State of the Western Armenia is definitly the continuity of the State of Armenia recognized in 1920.
The origin of the flag of Western Armenia Republic (Dikranagert)
Occupation of Turkish Armenia transferred to a civilian rule under Hakob Zavriev in 1917 by Ozakom of Russian Provisional Government, which Zavriev began to oversight of districts Trebizond Vilayet, Erzurum Vilayet, Bitlis Vilayet, and Van Vilayet
Armenia refers to the boundary configuration of the State of Armenia in the Treaty of Sèvres, as drawn by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson’s Department of State, the November 22, 1920
By Armenag APRAHAMIAN
President of Western Armenia National Council