On the issue of the Armenians of Western Armenia

  • by Western Armenia, June 09, 2023 in Culture

In the early 17th century, the Nakhichevan region was one of the most ethnically homogeneous regions of Armenia, with the majority of its population being Armenians. The 17th century European traveling missionary Villot provided remarkable information about the above-mentioned. However, the Turkish-Iranian wars of the 17th century had disastrous consequences for the Armenians in the region.   In 1603, Shah Abbas I of Iran began his invasion. The regions of Armenia from the eastern borders of Nakhichevan to Shirak turned into a battlefield. According to the religious traveler Antoine Gouvea, the Armenian population was predominantly Armenian in these areas, and more than twenty cities and thousands of villages were subjected to warfare.

During the military operations, Shah Abbas, having come to the serious conclusion that the quantitative relationship of forces was not in his favor and that it would be impossible to resist the Turks in an open war, decided to devastate and evacuate the cities and villages of Nakhichevan, which were in the path of the advancing Turkish army, and retreated. Thus, in 1605, the city of Jugha was almost completely evacuated. In 1812, the British diplomat William Suzli, during his visit to Jugha, noted the following: "I have examined the ruins of Jugha: the entire population consists of only 45 Armenian families, but the large cemetery testifies to the number of past inhabitants. It is situated on the slope of a mound and descends to the river with numerous tombstones, densely planted like a military company; this is the result of centuries, the memory of many generations."