“The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard”. Gaylord Anton Nelson
Z. S. Andrew Demirdjian,
Paleontologists, who study ecologies of past life forms
using fossils, have charted the evolution of early man in a fascinating
progression. Humanlike creatures called “southern apes” lived in
Africa nearly four million years ago. About two millions later, a kind of human
that we call “handy man” (Homo habilis) began to use stone tools,
oldest of which were recently found in Armenia. Hundreds of thousands of years
after that, “upright man” (Homo erectus) found out how to use fire.
That is why Armenians have always liked Khorovadz!
line came the Neanderthal man who evolved about 250,000 years ago, and died out
about 30,000 years ago. By this time, another human being was around. This was
“modern man,” or Homo sapiens, which means “wise man.” On
account of favorable ecological conditions, a number of scientists believe he
first lived in Armenia and then moved to Europe.
It has been determined that climate and landscape play a crucial role in the formation of every civilization. In many places societies seem to have arisen because of natural advantages which made the area ideal for permanent settlement. In Armenia, for example, crops could be cultivated in abundance in the fertile soil deposited by the life-giving Euphrates and the Tigris Rivers that defined Mesopotamia. These river valleys sustained life better than the nomadic life style, hopping around from place to place to hunt large animals such as mammoths, and gather fruits, berries, and nuts to eat.
According to archeologists of milestone
discoveries at Chayonu, Nevali Cori, Tille Hoyuk and others located in Western
Armenia (present-day Turkey), modern man developed farming, kept animals and
made cave paintings, formed organized religion, all of the settled life began
in Western Armenia as the birthplace of civilization. Contrary to the false
concept of the Fertile Crescent, dubbed as the cradle of civilization, the
triangle of Mesopotamia begins with Armenia, then goes down to Assyria,
Babylonia, and Sumer. The vast stretch of land between Assyria and the
Mediterranean Sea was a barn land, not suitable for cultivation and nor for
habitation. The American historian who first mentioned the term Fertile
Crescent never meant it to be the cradle of civilization. To include Israel in
the cradle of civilization, most historical books by Jewish writers, refer to
the Fertile Crescent as the cradle of civilization and never mention Armenia as
the beginning of the glorious triangle formed by the Euphrates and Tigris
Rivers, known as Mesopotamia. Read more in The
Triangle of Trade in the Cradle of Civilization in which Western Armenia is
a significant member of the major nations of Mesopotamia.
life gave rise to patriotism, love of country. If Armenia is the site of the
first human settlement based on archeological evidence, then patriotism must
have emerged from there too and has become part and parcel of the Armenian
heritage. That is why the average Armenian always dreams of Western Armenia
–that is why the Armenian Diaspora feels nostalgic about the homeland.
Therefore, we must take action to realize the persistent dream no matter how
difficult it would be.
19th century, nationalism gripped the civilized world, a feeling of national
superiority. Moderate level of nationalism was healthy, but super nationalism
made a nation prone to ethnic cleansing, massacres, and genocides as it
happened during the Ottoman Empire and during the so-called Turkish War of
Independence. For most European nations, super nationalism gave them the
impetus and the excuse to colonization and subjugation of other people.
All throughout the evolutionary period, early
man fought to defend territories which provided plants and animals to be
gathered and hunted. With stone weaponry, fierce battles were waged to the end.
Now as then, nations engage in wars with canons and tanks to defend their
well know, The Republic of Armenia cannot wage war to regain lost territories
to Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Iran. However, the Armenian Diaspora is an
independent force to reckon with. It is
estimated to be well over 12 million strong. The concept of patriotism began in
Armenia. Most Armenians around the world want somehow to regain their homeland
but feel helpless against the strength of the two formidable enemies of Turkish
origin. So, let us unleash the power of the Diaspora to begin the ball rolling
on finding a creative way(s) to get to Western Armenia. At least, let us plant
the seeds for future germinations.
In a previous article, a safe suggestion was made to
resort to the law of the Right of Return clause to become also citizens of
Turkey. Another approach would be to buy our way to Western Armenia. Let us
explore this idea further for possible implementation. Don’t shake your head
that this is a wild idea. It is. In
brainstorming, we have to come up with as wild ideas as we possibly could think
of. It was wild idea(s) that took us to the moon.
Another idea to get Diaspora’s foot in door of its ancestral homeland
would be by buying land in Turkey.
Anyone can buy real estate in Turkey. One Web site states “Turkish
citizenship with real estate investment program, or bank deposit option”. Here is an interesting URL for you to explore
real estate investment opportunities in Turkey: Turkish Citizenship – by Investment. All legal work would be done by the company
selling lands. There are also fertile farm lands in the Western Armenia
(so-called Eastern Anatolia).
region, where Armenians are the majority, has two main advantages: it has a
paradise-like setting and there are a lot of hidden Armenians there to engage
them in such a project. What is more interesting is the fact that real estate
prices have plummeted during the last ten years for Eastern Anatolia is
currently experiencing an exodus of population to Europe. Better economic
opportunities and gentler government treatment are enticing them over. When the time comes, I personally would be
ready to invest a small amount of money in a fund consisting of real estate
properties in Western Armenia.
We live in a world where
dual, triple, and even more citizenship is possible for a person to have. I
know a friend who has four passports.
We need to help farmers of Dersim to stay in their ancestral lands.
Western Armenia is not ancient Armenian province lost many thousands of
years ago. Faced with the Ottoman soldiers’ swords, the choice was Islam or
death. Sometimes, a whole village became Islamized to save their life. It is
very difficult for the descendants of the survivors to fathom the
life-and-death predicament Armenians of the Ottoman Empire had to endure during
Only 100 years ago, we were there, in Western Armenia. Only 100 years ago, our parents, grandparents were working the soil to eke out a living under the oppressive Ottoman Empire rule. Only 100 years ago, we were executed and expelled from our ancestral lands. We still have many survivors of the Genocide who remember life in those enchanting Armenian Highlands.
Granted, as individuals,
we do not have the luxury of time nor the means to buy large tracks of land.
However, we are able to form, for example, an investment corporation, a fund,
or a syndicate to let the hidden Armenians who come out of the shadows to
cultivate the properties for profit to cover expenses and to buy more land as
years go by. We do not have to go to Turkey to buy land and manage operations.
All we need is an able
banker to establish a special fund based on real estate investments in Turkey. Lately,
investment bankers have made the switch from public to private equity funds for
institutional and individual investors. A special real estate fund can be set
up for the Armenian Diaspora. Details of it are beyond the scope of this
In the Dersim region (in the Armenian Province of Daron in the Kharpert Villayat), the hidden Armenians have formed The Union of Dersim Armenian Organization, which could be assigned as the local management of properties invested in that area. Likewise, the Armenian Diaspora can form an organization to deal with our hidden Armenians (e.g., Friends of Dersim Armenians Association). Our salaried representative(s) in Turkey will do all that for the Diaspora. This project should be packaged as purely an investment project. The whole motive is to make money.
Let us put the accent on
Western Armenia, while waiting to get a big break in regaining it. This would
be a great legacy of the Diaspora to the future generations. The idea of
investing in Turkey is not to populate the Western Armenia with the Diaspora
Armenians –although that would be great if it were possible. The objective is
to create a virtual presence in Western Armenia through property ownership
which would also serve as a moral and economic support to our hidden Armenians.
Some skeptics may question
the risk. Naturally, there is no venture without any risk. While the risk will
not pertain to life and limb, but the Turkish government may decide to
expropriate the Armenian Diaspora’s purchased lands with the right of eminent
domain. We have to be careful not to forget to insure against loss.
The unanimous passage of
the U.S. Senate Res. 150 reaffirmation of the recognition of the Armenian
Genocide has renewed great interest in and ardent hope toward the possible
realization of the Armenian Cause. It will take an eternity for the government
of Turkey to accept responsibility for the Genocide of 1915-1923. Turkish
officials know full well the dire consequences of such an admission. No sooner
they would accept the veracity of the Genocide, Armenians would become
irredentist, demanding their lost lands and properties.
us learn from the parody of two hungry vultures sitting on a tree, talking to
each other. One of them responds to the other: “Patience, my ASS! I am
going to k-i-l-l something! The Diaspora will get nowhere without some sort of
sacrifice, some sort of entering the Homeland from the backdoor, so to speak.
As Aristotle aptly said, “You will never do anything in this world without
courage.” Let us muster up enough courage to experiment with keeping the
fire under our new generations to persevere and to prevail by trying different
ideas to liberate our Western Homeland when the opportunity presents itself. We
should always remember that true patriotism demands willingness to sacrifice
for one’s country in action and not in fancy words.
While patience is a
virtue, inaction is a dangerous position when facing the acid of time. We
should not lapse into wait and hope for the ultimate break to come by. We
should create the opportunity in some ways. There is not just one single strategy
to win back our Western-Armenian Homeland. Creativity is the avenue to multiple
ways toward the realization of our dreams of one day going back to Ararat.