By Jirair Tutunjian, Toronto, 10 February 2022
After the French army’s devastating victory over the Ottoman army at Mount Tabor in Palestine, an Armenian deputation met Napoleon. The French leader offered to help the Armenians establish a state “that was about to appear on the world’s map after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire”.
When Gustave Flaubert and his friend Maxime Du Camp were in Egypt in late 1849, they visited Artin Bey, minister of foreign affairs. In “Flaubert”, the novelist’s biography, Henri Troyat wrote: “Artin Bey welcomed them with Oriental graciousness, promised them assistance, and offered them carriage and horses to continue their journey. Like Artin Bey, Troyat was Armenian. His parents (Tarasyan) had fled Russia because of the 1917 Revolution and had settled in France.
In “The End of Tsarist Russia”, author Dominic Lieven wrote: “…Serbia suffered higher casualties relative to its population than any other people involved in World War One except for the Armenians.”
Some 50 million were killed during WWII. In percentages, more Armenians were killed than any other nationality. In the Soviet Union Armenians had the most victims. About 11% of the population was killed. Belorussia was second with 6.8%. Why were so many Armenians killed? Did the Soviet military intentionally send Armenian soldiers to the most precarious fronts?
In 1939 the population of Artsakh was 150,838 of which 90% were Armenian. During WWII over 45,000 people or 32% of the population of Armenians were drafted. In percentage, more people were mobilized in Artsakh than even in Germany.
In the mid-15th century, Armenian merchants took melon seeds to Italy. The sweet melons were instant hit in Italy. In 1471 Pope Paul II died from eating too many of the melons from the papal garden of Cantalupo (from which the name ‘cantaloupe’ derived).
In “Inner Folds of the Ottoman Revolution”, Mevlan Zadeh Rifat (1929) wrote: “the Armenian genocide was decided in August 1910 and October 1911 by a Young Turk committee composed entirely of displaced Balkan Jews in the format of a syncretist Jewish-Muslim sect which included Tala’at, Enver, Behaeddin Shakir, Jemal, and Nizam posing as Muslims. It met in the Rothschild-funded Grand Orient loge/hotel of Salonika.
In “Armenian Origins of Etruscans,” Robert Ellis (1861) cited the following words which are found in Armenian and in Etruscan: Hamatam, oknell, yerk, pazoom, vazel, bagas, ot, heut, pots, and shirim. In total, 50 words.
During the massacres of 1894-’96, Tsar Nicholas II declared his support for Sultan Abdul Hamid’s anti-Armenian policies. Russian diplomacy called the Armenian movement against the sultan’s policy of exterminating the Armenians “part of the international revolution that must be suppressed at the very beginning”. Russian Foreign Minister Lobanov-Rostovsky instructed the sultan: “Exterminate, Your Majesty, exterminate.”
Turkish journalist Burak Bakdil has said he heard the following mottoes incessantly when he was going to school:
“A Turk is worth the world.”
“Turks have had to fight the seven biggest world powers.”
“Turk’s only friend is another Turk.”
“…we lost WWI because we allied with the Germans, who were defeated (not us) but one day we will make the entire planet Turkish.”
Picture in teaser: Battle of Mount Tabor by Leon Cogniet