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Kamuran GÜRÜN*
The Armenian File


After Lausanne, the European Powers and Russia turned their attention to internal matters. The Armenian files in these states were closed.

Actually the Armenians were in conflict among themselves. The Tashnaks and the Hunchaks, the Antilyas Church and Etchmiadzin, were in open conflict. This struggle among the Armenians is outside our topic. (The details may be found in Papazian’s work entitled Patriotism Perverted.

In the United States of America the situation was a little different. The climate created by the missionaries in this country, which only had contact with the Ottoman Empire through the missionaries, had aroused antagonistic feelings against the Turks, at least among certain sections of society. The Protestant Church also had a very important influence on public opinion. The Armenians who took advantage of this, and who were almost entirely emigrants from Turkey, formed a lobby.

The USA had not signed the Lausanne Treaty, because it had not been at war with Turkey. However, as diplomatic relations had been severed, an Agreement of Friendship and Commerce had been signed in Lausanne on 6 August, 1923 between the USA and Turkey. The Armenian lobby in the USA engaged in a campaign to prevent the passage of this agreement through Congress. The Democratic Party even included this issue in its election campaign. As a result, in the vote which took place in the Senate in 1927, there were six votes fewer than were necessary to obtain a two-thirds majority, and the agreement was rejected.

A new agreement with the USA was not made until 1930.
The economic crisis which arose after the 1930s left the USA with its own problems, after a short time the developments which eventually led to the Second World War began, and in the USA too the Armenian flue was forgotten.

The subject of Kars—Ardakhan was brought up at the meeting held by the world Armenian organizations in Erivan, on the occasion of the election of the new Armenian Catholicos, in June, following the end of the war in 1945. Attempts were made to direct the subject to the peace conference. However, the division of the world into two spheres, and especially the warm feelings and friendship which developed between Turkey and the USA during the Korean War which occurred some time later, did not make it possible for antagonism towards the Turks, which was isolated within the Armenian communities in some countries, to reach significant levels.

Starting from the 1960s, when the period of detente began between the Eastern and Western blocs, the isolated attempts began to be unified, demonstrations were held in an increasing number of countries on 24 April, monuments were constructed. In 1966 there was an attempt to bring the issue to the United Nations.

When the Cyprus crisis occurred, cooperation was established between the Armenians and the Greeks, which was not even concealed, and which recalled the cooperation during the War of Independence.

Kachaznuni wrote:

The European Powers have abandoned our Cause. Half of the Armenian nation has been destroyed or has been dispersed around the world. The other half has had its sap drawn, its house destroyed, it needs a long rest. The Armenian Republic is a sovereign state of Russia. Even if we wanted to, we could not separate our state from Russia. The Party has been defeated and has lost its efficiency. It has been thrown out of the country. It cannot return to the land. It cannot achieve anything outside. This is the situation today. There is nothing else the Tashnaks can do now.

However, it appears that Kachaznuni was wrong, and what the Tashnaks are able to do, which is to commit murder, is being done. But, this time, the Powers have not opened the old dusty Armenian Files, but the murder files in the records of the police.

* -
- The Armenian File
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ERAREN - Institute for Armenian Research

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