Formation and development of international Armenian terrorism: view through time ( II part)

Aqil Shahmuradov: Geographically far, politically near Argentina
Resettlement policy of the Russian Empire
Formation and development of international Armenian terrorism: view through time ( III part)
The cross-border activities of Armenian militants were not sporadic, but systematic and planned. Armenians subjects of Tsarist Russia not only were bringing weapons secretly to the territory of the Ottoman Empire, but also launched extensive agitation. From the South Caucasus, which was part of Russia, they were delivering to Turkey newspapers and pamphlets calling on Armenian subjects of the Ottoman to launch armed insurrection, separatism and incitement against Muslims. According to a report dated January 18, 1887 of the Internal Control Office of the Ministry of Interior of Turkey, a book titled “Karabakh” and sent from Russia by an ethnic Armenian named Hovhannes was confiscated. According to the information of the Cabinet of Turkey addressed to the Ministry of Interior on October 8, 1903, two pamphlets distributed among Armenians by a Russian subject Aristakis, a Karabakh-based leader of one of Armenian organizations, were also confiscated. In those materials, leaders of Armenian organizations called on Armenian subjects of Tsarist Russia, the Ottoman Empire and Persia, to start armed uprising with the aim of creating an imaginary “Great Armenia” and “Armenia from sea to sea” on the territories of the said states.
Secondly, since its inception the Armenian terrorism has introduced many innovations for development of terrorism in many countries, become an example and without exaggeration, a kind of “academy” for other similar organizations. Today, international terrorism, if one may say so, “should thank” Armenian terrorism for “enriching” its experience and because Armenian terrorism has become a benchmark for international terrorism by indicating the ways and methods of development.

On August 26, 1896, Armenian terrorists attacked the Ottoman Bank. The action played a “special role” in development of terrorist activity throughout the world, and now, after more than a hundred years, the method used by Armenian terrorists still remains the most common and preferred method of international terrorist organizations. During this campaign organized by Dashnaktsutyun, Armenian terrorists took civilian hostages. Demands of terrorists to the authorities were another novelty for terrorist activities. The third hallmark in this sensational terrorist attack was that the terrorists managed to get guarantees on smooth exit from the Ottoman Empire. This act of violence that began with terrorists “breaking into the bank, throwing bombs and barricading with bags of silver coins, continuing to shoot in all directions” also has a number of important features. The assault on the Ottoman Bank was committed by three ethnic Armenians, who were subjects of Tsarist Russia. Besides, a lot of weapons and explosives were seized from the terrorists. The Turkish side organized an exhibition of weapons confiscated from the terrorists, but it was hastily closed after the intervention of foreign ambassadors.
This action has become and continues to be a classic example and model for future terrorist acts of violence around the world. Methods of terrorist attacks have not changed until now: committing terrorist acts by nationals of one country in the territory of another state; taking hostages; filing demands to authorities; obtaining guarantees to leave for another country; patronizing terrorists by foreign countries for their geopolitical and other aspirations, which was a typical example of applying “double standards” by leading powers in the XIX century.
It should be noted that taking hostages remains the most common method of terrorism today: a terrorist or group of terrorists attacks a relatively isolated facility (building, plane, bus, ship, etc.), which usually accumulates a lot of people. They establish control over the facility, take people there hostages and submit their demands to authorities (demands are often delivered through associates of perpetrators). Demands include a threat of killing the hostages in the event of failure by the authorities to fulfill the demands of terrorists by the deadline. The authorities usually enter into negotiations, which are rarely effective. Depending on the outcome of negotiations, either hostages are released after the terrorists’ demands are fulfilled by authorities or the latter takes assault, which usually leads to casualties among the hostages. Therefore, the method of taking hostages by terrorists, “the founders” of which were Armenian terrorists, remains one of the most socially dangerous means of terrorist activities.
Thirdly, since its formation, the Armenian terrorism has distinguished for its cruelty, sophistication, violence; the violence almost always turned against those ethnic Armenians who did not want to become complicit in the bloody actions committed by Armenian terrorists.
In particular, the program of Hunchak, as indicated by the French scientist Maleville, stated: “To kill Turks and Kurds in all conditions, to never spare Armenians, who betray their goals, and to avenge them.” In order to fight for the establishment of an Armenian state in Turkey, the ideologists of Hunchak collected money in order to purchase weapons across Europe. Collecting money to finance activities of Hunchak was usually carried out by blackmailing and intimidation, while those Armenians, who did not approve the activity of Hunchak were brutally liquidated.Sophisticated methods of exterminating the dissented Armenians and premeditated provocation were among the main elements in the activities of the party for disseminating fear among the Armenians. In particular, in 1895 the Armenian terrorists Avet Aveka and Kalust Androsyan, who were the party members “prepared a great “Van rebellion”, which was to remind the world community about the atrocities perpetrated by the Turks”.Such actions required lots of money and sacrifice. The abbot of the Akhtamar monastery on the Lake Van assumed to give monastery contribution in parts. He refused to pay at once, as he thought that the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire lived happily. His refusal cost him his life and life of his secretary: both were killed and quartered. Then their bodies were thrown into the lake. The abbot`s successor willingly paid the required amount, and during the campaign launched a year later, the Armenian terrorists massacred almost the entire Muslim population of Van.
Professor of Department of Political Science of Tennessee Tech University Michael Gunter also points out that terrorist acts of Dashnaktsutyun were directed not only against officials of the Ottoman Government, but also against those Armenians who did not meet the Dashnak interests. At the 18th annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association, held on November 3-6, 1983 in Chicago, Illinois, the Armenian political scientist Zh.Libaridyan presented a report on “Roots of political violence in recent Armenian history”. In his report, he referred to statistical data on political murders from 1904 to 1906 committed by Armenian terrorists in Baku and Tbilisi, as well as in Van and its surroundings. According to the his data quoted by Professor Lowry, that three-year period witnessed 105 political murders of 56 Armenian informants, 32 Russian and Turkish officials and officers, 7-8 provocateurs. Every second person killed by Armenian terrorists within a short period was ethnic Armenian. Armenian terrorists intended to create fear among the Armenian population by killing civilians, tried to subordinate their will through intimidation and blackmail, also to make them remain silent regarding the inhuman nature of the Armenian terrorists.
A similar method was used by Armenian bandits almost a hundred years later in Sumgait in 1988. It was found out that these events had been prepared and provoked by the KGB, performed by Armenian criminals and gangsters headed by Eduard Grigoryan, who in the course of these events personally killed five Armenians. During these events, the object of attack and violence was those Armenians, who were not members of extremist organizations “Karabakh” and “Krung”. The Sumgayit events were planned with the active participation of Armenian nationalist circles in order to create favorable ground for broad international anti-Azerbaijan campaign on the eve of an armed attack against Azerbaijan.
It should be noted that violence by Armenian terrorist organizations against those ethnic Armenians who did not want to become participants of bloody actions. It was confirmed, in particular by the head of ASALA Hagop Hagopian`s statement dated August 1, 1980 on the newspaper “New York Times”, in which he said that “our enemy is the Turkish regime, NATO and the Armenians, who are not with us.”
This bloody experience of Armenian terrorists has been adopted by other terrorist organizations, which currently apply it for bribing officials of state institutions and attracting financial resources, and those who refuse to cooperate with terrorists are brutally destroyed. When resolving disagreements between the terrorists inside the same terrorist organization, this method remains one of the most effective; the problem is solved in the simplest way: those, who, in the opinion of leadership of a terrorist organization, are guilty, are destroyed.
The method of killing with cruelty and sophistication was repeatedly used by Armenian terrorists not only against ethnic Armenians, who refused to participate in the inhuman acts of violence, but also against the civilian population of other nationalities, in the first place against Azerbaijanis. Later history witnessed other inhuman and sophisticated forms of violence, including insulting corpses. Scalping corpses or living persons, cutting off the limbs, raping women and children, whipping wombs of pregnant women, gouging eyes, quartering, or burning alive are an incomplete list of monstrous, inhuman methods of violence committed by Armenian terrorists against the civilian population. Various atrocities have been used by Armenian terrorists against ethnic Azerbaijanis in different periods of prosperity of Armenian terrorism throughout the 20th century.
Several authors note that the Dashnaks and other Armenian groups consciously used terrorist attacks on a large scale to cause massive repression and killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks, thus, to achieve broad support of Armenians, and finally the intervention of major powers to support them. According to the famous historian William Langer, “the immediate goal of [Armenian] agitators was inciting riots accompanied by inhuman repression, thus, provoking the intervention of great powers.” The renowned expert on terrorism Walter Laqueur wrote that “since they [the Armenian terrorists] did not hope to overthrow the government, their strategy was based on provocation. They believed, in all probability, that their attacks on Turks would cause violent revenge, and the Armenian population would act more radically; more decisive Western powers shocked by massacres would act on their side. ”
Fourthly, in order to attract the attention of foreign states and obtain maximum effect, the Armenian terrorist organizations planned and performed their actions in public places – squares, train stations, and, as a rule, used extreme provocative actions. Inviting reporters and journalists immediately after the violence was a mandatory attribute of all Armenian terrorist acts.
In this sense, a demonstrative action was organized on September 30, 1895, by the party Hunchak near the Sublime Porte (Bab-i Ali) in Istanbul. The organizers of the rally sent letters in advance to all the embassies, by informing on peaceful nature of demonstrations and opposing any act of violence. Meanwhile, as noted by the Austrian scientist E. Veigl, “many protesters gathered with weapons in order to make September 30 a memorable day, by sparking clashes with police. By noon, about two thousand people assembled in the Kum Kapi quarter before Armenian Patriarchate. The noisy crowd was yelling, demanding for vengeance; it lasted until one of the rally leaders shouted “Freedom or death!”. It was a signal to storm the Bab-i Ali.” This action ended with casualties, and Istanbul got paralyzed for a few days.
Fifthly, destructing settlements, massacring people en masse, pogroms, special cruelty towards civilians, especially children and women, by ethnicity, devastating historical, cultural and religious heritage, as well as social facilities (hospitals, schools, etc.) are the hallmarks of Armenian terrorism.
As known, in the early 20th century, the leadership of Dashnaktsutyun made a decision to strengthen the party’s activities in the Caucasus, therefore, adopted the so-called “Caucasus project” in October 1905. By early 1907, the party had 3,233 groups, of which more than 2,300 operated in Tsarist Russia, mostly in the South Caucasus, while the rest in the countries with Armenian diaspora. The decision was made in response to the 1903 decree of the Russian Tsar on confiscation of property of the Armenian Gregorian Church. Soon Armenian terrorists committed numerous attempts on the governors-general and other officials of Russia. However, Tsarist Russia managed to redirect terrorist activities Dashnaktsutyun against Azerbaijanis. In 1905-1907, Armenian armed forces conducted a series of large-scale bloody operations against Azerbaijanis. The operations were launched in Baku, Azerbaijan, later spread the entire Azerbaijan, as well as Azerbaijani settlements on the territory of present-day Armenia. Hundreds of settlements were destroyed and razed to the ground, thousands of Azerbaijanis brutally killed. According to the information dated January 22, 1906, of Consulate General of the Ottoman Empire in Tiflis, over 300 Muslim houses were burnt, thousands of Muslims murdered only in Ganja in 1905; 800 Armenian militants from Erzurum region of the Ottoman state also participated in mass extermination. It is important to emphasize that the Armenian church took an active part in the pogroms of Azerbaijanis. In 1907, the police found a large quantity of firearms and explosives in the Armenian churches of Ganja. According to the letter of the Consul General of the Ottoman Empire in Tiflis Fovzi addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the weapons and ammunition discovered in Armenian churches belonged to groups of Dashnaktsutyun. One of the most influential leaders of the Dashnaktsutyun, Archimandrite of the Armenian Church Korpik, who also had plans to carry out sabotage and terrorist acts on the territory of the Ottoman Empire, was arrested for storing a large number of firearms and explosives in his house in Ganja in the same year.
From December 1917 to June 1918, the Armenians looted and burned 200 Azerbaijani villages only in Erivan governorate, which had been part of Tsarist Russia since the treaties of Gulistan and Turkmenchay. Armenian armed forces used traditional policy of ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijanis. According to American scholars J. McCarthy and K. McCarthy, “massacres and destroyed villages urged the Azerbaijanis to leave their homes. By the end of the conflict, 180,000 Muslims, or more than two-thirds of the Muslim population of Erivan governorate had been either killed or become refugees.” Under the banner of Bolshevism and fight against counterrevolutionary elements, the Baku commune led by S. Shaumyan launched a sinister plan to eliminate Azerbaijanis in the entire Baku province from March 1918. The genocide of Azerbaijanis were implemented with particular brutality in Baku, Shamakhi, Guba, Karabakh, Zangezur, Nakhchivan, Lankaran and other regions of Azerbaijan. Civilians were massacred en masse, villages burned, national cultural monuments, schools, hospitals, mosques and other buildings destroyed, a large part of Baku devastated. According to the report dated July 15, 1918, of the Extraordinary Investigation Commission established by the Decree of the ADR government for investigating violence against Muslims and their property, 12,000 Muslims were killed only in Baku. More than half of the residents of Baku – ethnic Azerbaijanis were forced to flee the city. J. McCarthy and K. McCarthy noted that according to U.S. intelligence sources, 60,000 Azerbaijani Turks became refugees, 420 Muslim villages were destroyed by Armenians in the rest of Azerbaijan. According to various estimates, 50,000-100,000 ethnic Azerbaijanis were massacred during this period in the South Caucasus.
After proclamation independence on May 28, 1918ç Azerbaijan again faced territorial claims of Armenians. Given the prevailing historical and political realities, as well as the purpose of ending territorial claims, it was decided to pass Erivan to Armenians in 1918; thus, an Armenian state with the capital in Erivan was created in Azerbaijani lands. However, exodus of Azerbaijanis from those lands continued. Having captured Zangezur corridor as a result of the armed aggression, the Armenians obtained a border with Persia.

(To be continued)
Ramiz Sevdimaliyev,
Doctor of Political Sciences