A Commemorable Week

Garen Yegparian
Garen Yegparian

Garen Yegparian


Reading Armenian publications this week brought me to the realization that this time in January seems to be one worthy of some note for our nation, though not entirely in a good way. Three dates that we do not give enough attention to stood out. I’ll tackle them in calendar (not overall chronological) order.

On January 13, 1990 the massacres of Armenians by Azeri Turks under government authority began in Baku. This, along with various other massacres during 1989 and 1990 were certainly horrific. But my intention in remembering and giving importance to them and their dates is not to add yet another opportunity for us, Armenians, to bewail our fate. Rather, each year, on these dates, we should be organizing publicity to demonstrate the unbroken chain of anti-Armenian hate and violence perpetrated by Turks in an unbroken chain dating back centuries.

Embedding this awareness among people of the world (not to mention ourselves) creates the necessary backdrop for resolving our national issues (reparations and territories stolen) in the most favorable way. Intermediaries will play a role along the way until Turks (both Baku and Ankara based) finally sit in earnest across the table from Armenians to finally remedy the harm they inflicted. If these go-betweens are conscious of the Turkish track record, their behavior will inescapably be impacted by this knowledge. Hence it behooves us to develop awareness on this front through television programs, lectures, conferences, publications, and energetic dissemination of all of these via social media.

January 14 marks the birth of the Armenian Youth Federation. This organization, of which I am proud to say I was a member, has produced countless leaders for our community since 1933. That’s roughly three generations’ worth. It enabled young Armenians to maintain their national pride while being pressured to conform by the crushing forces of assimilation. It engaged our youth through the trying days of the Cold War. As our national liberation struggle was reborn in the 1960s and 1970s, the AYF became ever more politically active. It served as a model for ARF youth organizations when those were recreated more systematically worldwide. With the reestablishment of an independent Armenian state (more correctly two of them), the AYF generated various programs to reconnect our youth with the homeland. It continues to invent novel forms of service to our communities, homeland, and nation. All this is something that we should do a better job of acknowledging annually.

The third date is January 19th, the day of Hrant Dink’s assassination in 2007. This, too, is an incident that is attributable to Turkish anti-Armenianism, much like the Baku massacres. But Dink’s assassination has another significant factor. He was one of the early, if not earliest, Armenian voices that were raised in Turkey voicing Armenian concerns. He was present at the time of the first (and to date only) real opening up of Turkish society and thought since the days of the Genocide. Dink spoke out and made it slightly less scary to do so. He was able to get through. Using his death to remember a more positive time benefits not only Armenians, but Turks and Turkish society as a whole. Therefore, Dink’s doings should be remembered and cited as examples of what is possible and what there must be more of. There is some a activity on this front. Unfortunately, it is largely confined to that sector of our Diasporan communities which originated in Bolis. We must ALL do more with Dink’s contributions.

We must ALL avail ourselves of these three dates, January 13, 14, and 19 and the opportunities they present to advance our national interests. Get busy every January!


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  1. ardachece barseghian said:

    Both Turkey and its Azeri cousin have historically adopted, politically, the primacy of force over international public law. If the Western powers have admitted this behavior for a century with low questions of state interest, today the Armenians of the diaspora through political organizations and their intellectuals say “let’s respect public law international, the history of peoples whose genocide, pogroms, massacres and various persecutions has racial aims against the majority Christian minorities, largely attested, documented, recognized internationally ” I mean my respect and admiration has all these Armenians who by the world his attentive to fight this policy of negation of facts, at the sides of intellectuals and Turkish populations in order to achieve this inescapable reparation in the interest of Turkey. After being set in tribulation in the world in 1909 and 1915 the Armenians and their political representatives demonstrated their quality of dignity, laborious and loyalty, which Turkey has lost, for the time being. Thank you to all these women and men of conviction.

  2. Dikran said:

    Guess why Hrant Dink was assassinated on January 19?

    On January 19, 1920, the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers had finally agreed to recognize the Government of the Armenian State on the condition that the recognition should not prejudge the question of Armenia’s final borders.

  3. Ararat said:

    Hrant Dink’s murder on January 19th 2007 in broad daylight and in front of his office proved yet again that the core character of our racial Turkish enemy has not changed in a thousand years. His juvenile murderer proudly holding a Turkish flag, after murdering his Armenian victim, and taking pictures in the police station with police officers proves this point even more. Dink’s cold-blooded murder in the place of his birth in terrorist and genocidal Turkey is reminiscent of indiscriminate attacks and massacres of innocent Armenian civilians, citizens no less, in artificial Azerbaijan.

    Dink’s murder, much like the Baku Sumgait and Kirovabad criminal gang attacks against the Armenian citizens of artificial Azerbaijan-SSR, which were without a doubt government sanctioned and under police protection, were not just random and isolated attacks against the Armenians but rather they were organized and they were also symbolic. The attacks on these Armenians in artificial Azerbaijan-SSR, having absolutely nothing to do with the politics of the day, and the attack on Hrant Dink, an intellectual exposing the past atrocities committed against the Armenians in order to break the Turkish taboo and gag order on this issue and in attempts to start a dialogue between the two nations, prove that Turks in general, and racist and fascist Turks in particular, not only they have disdain for common and ordinary Armenians but that they are fearful of Armenian intellectuals who can expose their unsuspecting Turkish public to the truth undermining the government sponsored institutional brainwashing the Turks get against the Armenians from very early age.

    They are fearful of friendly relations between the two nations for this could sabotage their firm hold on their ill-gotten gains, stolen Armenian properties and assets as well as territories, which they guarantee through indoctrination of their illiterate and politically ignorant gullible populations, through fallacies and racism against native Armenians and the Armenians worldwide. To certain group of Turks, the genocide deniers and hate mongers, animosity between the two nations is an asset and cordial relations based on historical facts are very costly liabilities.

    Also, let’s not forget that Dink’s murder took place in an atmosphere of hatred manufactured towards the Armenians by Article 301 of Turkish Penal Code, better known as “Insulting Turkishness”, introduced and enacted into law carrying mandatory prison term by the very same Islamo-fascist Turkish president Erdogan, former prime minister and mayor of occupied Constantinople, running this xenophobic and racist country and a well-known genocide denier who proposes a committee of historians be formed to “study” the Armenian Genocide WHILE never missing every opportunity calling the Armenian Genocide a lie, deciding what the outcome of this “study” should be, before such a committee is even formed! But of course, “studying” this historical fact is nothing more than a euphemism for taking the Armenian Genocide recognition off-course and prolonging its international recognition indefinitely.