Descending Upon Nakhichevan

Garen Yegparian
Garen Yegparian

Garen Yegparian


What’s going on in Nakhichevan? It worries me. Not the at-best-misleading “news” (several weeks ago) emanating from Azerbaijan that they took control of territory that had been in Armenian hands. Even if that were true, it would be an insignificant blip, and, it’s not true.

What worries me are more substantive issues. What’s happening with the population of the area. In one source, there’s a reference to its having grown from 307,200 in 1991 to 410,100 in 2011. That’s HUGE. Think about it, a one-third increase in the number of people in the span of less than one generation? But is it true? Or, equally, is it true that huge numbers of people fled that so-called “autonomous republic” after the Armenian side won in Artsakh? I recall some statistics that purported the region’s population had been halved as a result, but half of what?

Why does population matter anyway? The more people are there, the more that can be marshalled to arms should a conflict erupt on the Republic of Armenia’s southwestern flank where this now-devoid-of-Armenians region lays.

Turkey is the root of my concerns. Plans for a railroad connecting the Nakhichevan and Turkey have been put forth, but no action has been taken since 2012. That’s good news. But the very fact that a project such as this lingers and festering is cause for concern. A railroad would enable faster delivery of military needs to our enemies in case of a conflict. As it is, the Turkish military is said to have an actual presence in Nakhichevan. This is hardly a surprise. Couple this with the incident referenced above when Azerbaijan took some action, perhaps the real intention was to probe for Armenian weakness. That was not an isolated incident. Every so often, they take such action. But the Turkish presence there is “unofficial” since formalizing such a condition would intrude on Russia’s perception of its space. Despite this, Turkish media occasionally report plans to build a Turkish base in Nakichevan. This, too, is likely a probe to see what reactions are elicited.

All this is possible because of a land swap between Iran and Turkey under the Tehran Convention, of 1931. This gave Turkey an 11 mile (18km) common border with Nakhichevan. Ostensibly, this came about as a result of the Kurdish rebellion that preceded it. Because Kurds were crossing the border from Iran, Turkey wanted a more controllable border. Even an Armenian source cites this. Supposedly, the land swap was not to gain a common border with Nakhichevan for pan-Turkic reasons. But it baffles me why people cannot conceive that Turkey wanted the land swap for both reasons – the Kurdish and Nakhichevan benefits it bestowed.

Of course the pan-Turkist Kemal Ataturk would not publicly state the Nakhichevan angle. Would you? But it is what anyone with that expansionist, Turkist mindset would do. It’s completely rational.

Meanwhile, a border wall between Iran and Turkey is under construction by the former and was scheduled for completion in Spring of 2019. I do not know what to make of this. Supposedly, Iran welcomes its construction, but I don’t see why it would. That’s very shortsighted and Tehran usually thinks very long term.

We must heighten our awareness of Nakhichevan. Happily, Yerevan officialdom seems to be aware of the importance of this front. But more public, especially Diasporan, awareness is important so that if the time should come when trouble starts, we can be of more assistance. Also, it would help us spread the word in government circles worldwide that Turkey likely has nefarious plans for the Republic of Armenia via Nakhichevan.

Let’s start reading and spreading more news about the place-of-the-first descent (of Noah’s ark) as the region is named (Nakh-eech-e-van).


Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.


  1. Zartir Lao said:

    An Evil Bolshevik Georgian and Dumb Bolshevik Armenians are the reason that the Nakhichevan mess exists. And as for Dumb Bolshevik Armenians, what evidence is there that anything in Armenia’s leadership has changed that we can even start to talk about Nakhichevan? The Morons just gave away miles of hard-earned Artsakh lands to Azerbaijan merely two years ago. What was the answer to that???? And what was the answer to the Armenian deaths as a result of that aggression as well???? What was the consequence for Azerbaijan making a hero of a terrorist who killed an innocent Armenian soldier in a foreign land???? Oh wait I know the answer must be, “Mother Russia” wouldn’t hear any of this trash talk, since I forgot how much “Mother Russia” loves and cherishes its relations with Turks and Azeris. That’s also the reason that we can’t do shit in Nakhichevan, since “Mother Russia” has deep friendship agreements with Turkey. And Armenians are not smart enough to influence Russian politics and foreign policy. There are even morons in Armenia who believe that “Russia must be friends with Turkey which is good for Armenia”. Good luck with that, idiots. Armenia is the country that needs to be cleansed before anything else of all these left over Soviet Apparatchik trash before we can even start to think about liberating any lands.

    • State of Emergency said:

      We Armenians are one of the most gullible people on earth. We were the first to fall prey to history’s biggest fallacies. First we accepted Christianity and later adhered to Communist doctrine. Both have caused irreparable damage to our once might culture. Instead of worshiping nationalism, we became slaves to universal theories that were designed to replace cultural identity, values and priorities.

  2. Vahakn said:

    Good article, Garen. Thank you.

    Nakhichevan used to be Armenian land but Azeris kicked out Armenians.

    I cannot understand why this is not brought up more often by Armenia and Artsakh as an argument for the latter’s independence from Azerbaijan.

    Well, we all know that those parties are not good at PR. They need to hire Armenian Americans to do their PR. They really do.

    Moscow signed the treaty on Nakhichevan in the 1920s. Does Russia have nothing to say about its current militarization?

    Of course, Moscow wants Armenia to become alarmed.

  3. State of Emergency said:

    Without an Armenian populace on the ground, it’s all futile. No one to defend the land is akin to no claim to the land.

    • Zartir Lao said:

      On the other hand, both Turkey and Azerbaijan ethnically cleansed Armenians and suffered no consequences until today. Their lack of compassion and recognition against Armenian suffering merely means that they are OK with it if it happens to them one day as well, so there is no need to even worry about that. Remember: in their DNA these are all nomads without a historic homeland anyway, so it really does not matter on which land they are squatting.

  4. Richard said:

    Armenia should be thinking of repopulating the country. It seems that the Armenian economy is not moving fast enough. The
    government must work to bring at least 10000 people back into Armenia every year from now on. Population increase will bring soldiers to the army. we don t have time to waist , Armenians are very short sited while the Azeris and Turks are opportunists and long sited.

  5. ardachece barseghian said:

    C’est le résultat des bolcheviques arméniens qui ont adopté la politique de fraternité entre les peuples voulue par l’un des plus grandes criminelles de l’humanité avec ses suivants ” lenin papi ” dont mikoyan, défenseur de l’impérialisme russe, sur le dos de l’Arménie. Ainsi et depuis aliev ose dire : “Artsakh est à moi, Nakhitchevan est aussi à moi et mon cœur désir l’Arménie avec MA CAPITALE “EREVAN”. Ou se situe la politique russe ? Comme TOUJOURS et depuis lenine, “l’amitié privilégiée avec le turc et l’azéri” auxquels on fournit des armes pour régler la paix et la question arménienne … rappelons la traite russo-turque de Kars et Ardahan

  6. ardachece barseghian said:

    It is the result of the Bolsheviks Armenians who have adopted the policy of brotherhood among peoples by one of the biggest criminals of humanity with his followers “Grandpa lenin” including mikoyan, defender of Russian imperialism, on the back of the Armenia. Thus and since aliev dare say: “Artsakh’s mine, Nakhchivan is also mine and my heart desire the Armenia with my”Yerevan”capital.” Where is Russian politics? As always, and since Lenin, ‘friendship with Turkish and azeri’ which provided weapons to settle peace and the Armenian issue… remember the Russian Treaty of Kars and Ardahan

  7. Serop said:

    I agree 100% with Zartir Lao
    The roots of corruption must be completley pulled out, the large crime Clans must be wiped out before we have any chance of a nation that can stand on its two feet.
    So we have a free Armenia, and wehere are the hundreads and thousands that sang patriotic songs that when Armenia is Azad u Ankhax they would move there. Where are you people gone?
    I took my family back to Yerevan, for 5 years I was slapped around by those in power, from local police to ministers in power who tried everything to woo me into their corrupt groups, the intimidation did not stop, my business was raided 3 times in 2 years even though I paid all my taxes.
    Remove these vile soviet era crime groups, all of them. Develop a true democratic nation, give power to the people so as the likes of me MAY return. And once we have cleaned up Armenia, then clkean up the leaders in Artsakh, and watch how thousands will flock back
    So stop making wishful plans about Nackhachivan, who will go there to populate it? You Garen? and your family?
    Maybe those well fed Armenians from LA? Or are we just hoping to resettle more Syrian Armenians? Even Syrian Armenians wont put up much longer with the authorities in yerevan.
    Armenia has NO friends, not Russia, not USA or even France. We are not worth their time, we have no natural resources to plunder, and at best we are a pawn on the Chess board of powerful nations.
    We must develop our own technologies, we must become a hub for IT & Scientific reserach and develop products that will then further our cause glkobally.
    Are you aware over 70% of all IT security offerings are from Israel? Did you know that Brazil for instance is so under the technology control of Israel?
    If our new leaders want real change, then give the diaspora real power, give a n Armenian passport to any Armenian that wants one no matter where they are, and watch billions pour in and mass movement of Armenians from abroad back to Armenia.
    We can only hope

  8. ardachece barseghian said:

    It’s very easy to give advice to the Armenian government … it should be that … so I say, if you are a Diaspora retreat and you claim to be an Armenian, what is your country? I have been waiting for you for 28 years in your- our country, which will not progress without you

    • Serop said:

      My dear yeghpar
      Many tried including me, for decades I was used a private bank by my extended family in Yerevan, as I commented above, I moved to Armenia over 5 years I lased, from local shops to local politicians, to ministers in power the culture of extortion was so strong that finally I just got up and left. If you want real change, much needs to be done, if you want us to come back then there must a flushing of the government TOP to BOTTOM, so family friends of a particular current minister cannot simply walk into my office demanding 50% partnership. I was naive then, I believed in our nation and people, I still believe in our nation but the culture of extoration must be cleaned.
      Sure corruption is everywhere, but my God not at the same level in Armenia.

  9. Harry Kaladjian said:

    I believe the Treaty of Kars required both Turkey and Russia the right to protect the area of Nakhichevan. This was the potential source of WWIII when in the early 90s, the Turks amassed their military and threatened to invade Armenia as Armenians threatened Nakhichevan. The Russians declared that any move by the Turks would trigger Russian involvement, and thus WWIII. Perhaps we should focus on using this dual Turkish-Russian arrangement to trigger a chain that ultimately brings in Russia to defeat the Turks. After all, isn’t the Treaty of Kars the basis of the land boundary (with Vartan Oskanian once claiming that the Turks do not adhere to it because they failed to open an Embassy in Armenia, so why should Armenia???). Recently, after a Russian plane was downed in Syria, the Russians themselves protested for the annulment of the Treaty of Kars. Whatever the case may be, we should focus on the history of Nakhichevan and how provocative and beneficial any trigger can result in the ultimate return of Armenian lands to the west utilizing the Russia factor vis-a-vis the Treaty of Kars and Nakhichevan.