Armenia without Armenians
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Armenia without Armenians (Armenian: Հայաստանն առանց հայերի; Russian: Армения без армян; Turkish: Ermenisiz Ermenistan) was a policy allegedly used by the Ottoman Empire and/or the Russian Empire in the Armenian-populated areas of their respective territories at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. In the modern times, the phrase has been used in various contexts.
It is notorious that the government responsible for the empire of Russia would very much like to have the Armenian territory, which at present belongs to the Sultan of Turkey, but the Russian government would very much prefer to have Armenia without Armenians, and therefore the soldiers of the Czar, Cossacks, are lending most efficient aid to the troops of the Sultan in putting an end to the Armenian people.
Armenian writer Edmond Y. Azadian suggests that Russia was "relatively more tolerant than, let’s say, their Ottoman counterparts. But the word “relative” needs to be understood in its full implication here, as Armenians subsequently heard warnings by Russian officials that Russia needs Armenia without Armenians. Just one example of Russian tyranny was that Armenian church property was confiscated by a decree of the czar." Azadian claims that "the attitude of the Russians towards the Armenians did not differ much from other colonial powers such as Britain looking down on indigenous peoples over whom they had control. That attitude is typically reflected by the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin in his memoirs from Erzurum, denigrating Armenian common folk in the area, a disdain to be matched by the US Admiral Marc Bristol in his 1916 reports to Washington."
World War I
During World War I, when the Armenian Genocide was underway, the Russian army occupied Turkish Armenia with the help of the Armenian volunteer units. In 1916, the Russian government disbanded the Armenian volunteer units. General Nikolai Yudenich, who led the Russian army into the Armenian-populated areas of the Ottoman Empire during the Caucasian Campaign of World War I, allegedly proposed a plan of deporting Armenians from their ancestral homes. The Russian government considered the possibly of repopulating the Armenian lands by Russian peasants and Cossacks.
Armenian Genocide and aftermath
French journalist Jacques Derogy wrote: "Massacres and deportations had answered the prayers of those who dreamed of an Armenian without Armenians. The act was given a name after the Jewish martyrdom during World War II. It was called "genocide." The horror of the genocide of 1915-1916 cannot be measured by the number of victims."
In the recent years, the phrase "Armenia without Armenians" has been used by critics of the Russian government migration program, which they believe "is draining away some of Armenia's best and brightest." The program that started in 2009 encourages Armenians to settle in Russia. Sociologist Ruben Yeganyan described it a program "which leaves Armenia without Armenians, initiated by their strategic partner." In 2013, French Armenian expert Sargis Hatspanyan stated that the program is used in implementing the "Armenia without Armenians" program. He said "Migration in my country has reached such a level that one doesn’t have to even offer a weapon. There has to be someone to use it."
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- "Massacres, Reform Plans, Massacres. 1894-1896". armenica.org. p. 332. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
- Universal Peace Congress (1904). Official Report of the Thirteenth Universal Peace Congress. Boston: The Peace Congress Committee. p. 206.
- Azadian, Edmond Y. (25 June 2013). "Friend or Foe?". Armenian Mirror-Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
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- Hovannisian, Richard (1971). The Republic of Armenia: Volume 1, The First Years, 1918–1919. Los Angeles: University of California Press. pp. 14–15. ISBN 0-520-01805-2.
- Derogy, Jacques. Resistance and Revenge: The Armenian Assassination of the Turkish Leaders Responsible for the 1915 Massacres and Deportations. 1990: Transaction Publishers. pp. 24–25. ISBN 9781412833165.
- Grigoryan, Marianna (25 March 2011). "Armenia: Russian Guest Worker Program Highlights Population Drain". EurasiaNet. Open Society Foundations. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
- Abrahamyan, Gayane (2 March 2011). "Dangerous Decline: Demographers raise alarm over exodus from Armenia". ArmeniaNow. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
- "Armenia without Armenians is what Russia wishes, says expert". Tert.am. 24 May 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.