ISSN 1829-4618

THE ARMENIAN QUESTION AND THE ARMENIAN DIASPORA BEFORE THE COLLAPSE OF THE USSR

By: Melkonyan Christine,

Yerevan, 2018, “Chartaraget”, 168 p.

The research is devoted to the study of the Armenian question and the Armenian diaspora before the collapse of the USSR. In 1921-1991 the Armenian diaspora had the exclusive «monopoly» in pursuing the Armenian cause in international arena although after World War II USSR made it clear to Turkey that the issue of the Armenian territories is not taken off the table and if necessary it can be brought back to agenda. Moreover, Moscow was greatly highlighting the role of the Armenian Church and Diaspora in resolving the issue.
Meanwhile «Cold War» started in 1946 had a negative influence on the process. Turkey gained new allies in face of the USA and the Great Britain who pledged to protect the territorial integrity of Turkey. In these conditions the Armenian cause was deadlocked and in 1950s there was no progress towards its resolution. The struggle of the diaspora Armenians became more productive starting mid-1960s on the eve of the 50th memorial date of the Armenian genocide.
Before 1970s the Armenian cause had been perceived by Armenians around the world as an issue of struggling for returning Armenian lands: later it expressed itself as a movement aimed at international recognition of the genocide and compensation getting the name «Hay Dat» (The Armenian Cause).
In 1960-1970s Armenian national parties, organizations, Hay Dat Committees operating in Diaspora and the Armenian Church conducted a wide range of activities towards the propaganda of the Armenian cause seeking to bring it into the agenda of international relations. In USA, France and other countries this was expressed in cultural penetration and trying to shape the world public opinion in favor of the Armenian cause as well as through direct impact on the public administration system of countries.
Besides, the need to resolve the Armenian cause and to recognize the Armenian genocide gradually led to radical sentiments among some circles of the Armenian diaspora as a result of which in 1970s the phase of armed struggle began in the Diaspora which continued till the 2nd half of 1980s.
At the same time, in 1970-1980s, there was a significant growth of interest among world community towards the Armenian cause; new discussions began in different international organizations, scientific and social conferences. Moreover, in all above-mentioned cases Diaspora organizations - parties, Hay Dat committees, centers for Armenian studies, individual scientists etc. have had a maximum participation on state, social and scientific levels.
The processes aimed at recognition of the Armenian genocide in diaspora during those years made Turkey take some counter-measures which short time later became the basis for the Turkish denial policy and anti-Armenian propaganda. That same policy with some transformations and additions continues at present, too.
Thus, despite some success gained by Diaspora Armenians, there was no radical change in the struggle for the Armenian cause and the recognition of the Armenian genocide. However, as a result of their activities in 1940-1980s the issue of the Armenian genocide, becoming a topic of hot discussions for international organizations, parliaments, governments of different states as well as means of mass media, turned into an issue of international diplomacy starting the process of recognition and condemnation of the Armenian genocide (Uruguay, Cyprus, Council of Europe etc.).