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Ethnic-Armenian Turkish diaspora ?


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#1 Boghos

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Posted 20 January 2003 - 10:42 AM

This subject has been mentioned in a few comments, but I think it is worth discussing it in more detail. Most diaspora Armenians have their origins in Turkey.

Are these part of an ethnic-Armenian Turkish diaspora with all its implications ?

#2 MJ

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Posted 21 January 2003 - 12:04 AM

OK, here we go...

I think the geographic origins should not be considered as the determining factor of affiliation and belonging - it is rather the cultural and other identifications that have to serve as criteria. People should be free to self-define their identity. On the cultural basis, however, I think that the predominant part of Armenian Diaspora, especially outside the former USSR, is not to be considered as Armenian Diaspora but rather as Turkish Diaspora of the Armenian Apostolic Church flavor – essentially this is what Armenians of Turkey have been for about 300 years, at least. This makes us "cousins," I guess, as once mentioned in the Hye Forum. This is a reality regardless of our attitude towards it.

Iranian Armenian Diaspora is another distinct phenomenon and a subject of a separate discussion.

Maybe in my next message I may be better organized.

#3 khodja

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Posted 21 January 2003 - 12:47 AM

MJ,

You have made a brilliant observation. But you have not gone far enough. These Turkish citizens of Armenian Apostolic (and have you forgotten Armenian Catholic Uniate and Evangelical) adherences are really not as pure as those from eastern origins. A lot of interspersal of other races and peoples, e.g. French and Mongol in Giligia, former Jews from Adiabene Kingdom and Urfa (Edessa)region (Christian Jews). Religion, not necessarily genes or approach, has forged identity in this diaspora.

#4 MJ

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Posted 21 January 2003 - 12:57 AM

Yes, indeed. Besides, they are ultra-conservative Republicans and have prejudices against the bisexuals, even if it is an experience not practiced for about 20 years.

Kill the bastards.

#5 khodja

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Posted 20 January 2003 - 03:30 PM

Interesting, in view that is WELL DOCUMENTED that the the man who is held in the most high esteem by the Turkish nation today PRACTICED the dualist sexual identity that you have alluded to.

#6 khodja

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Posted 20 January 2003 - 04:14 PM

MJ,

You are again in true form. Kill the bastards? What the hell is wrong with you? Even in view of the latest debacle concerning the INS and Armenian nationals you adhere so tightly to your conservative ideology (this attested by you in a recent posting) and your adulation of George Bush. Yet you claim that I am less of an Armenian than you are?

#7 THOTH

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Posted 20 January 2003 - 05:31 PM

MJ -

I think the relation is more than just geographic. As the Babylonian exile forever (greatly & deterministically) influenced the Jews the subjugation of the Armenian nation under the Turks has had profound cultural impact. My family had very much shown this influence but I see it in most (but perhaps not all) Armenian I meet in one form or another. Likewise I know many Turks - mostly here in the States - but also those I have met in Turkey - and I can't help but think - they are a lot like us. Obviously the cultural diffusion went both ways - but there can also be no doubt that the ottoman culture was predominate during the period of empire and it profoundly affected all Armenains living within it - some (urban/Western Anatolian) much more so then others of course. And the culute of Turkey today is a direct decendent of that Ottoman legacy...as are we...

#8 MJ

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Posted 20 January 2003 - 05:53 PM

Thoth,

Are you suplimenting my sbove thesis or are you contradicting it?

#9 THOTH

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Posted 20 January 2003 - 07:07 PM

I guess suplementing. However I do not regard us as "Turkish" per se - though certainly (effectively) Ottoman. Sorry for the confusion.

#10 Twilight Bark

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Posted 20 January 2003 - 07:35 PM

The following is my hasty take on the subject, and is submitted without waiting for my irritation by the subject to die down. Any perceived hostility should not be interpreted as directed to any individuals.

First of all, we should consider the subject in the proper context, and in relative, not absolute, terms. Even the Turks, the "dominant" element in the empire had very little coherent idea of ethnic identity by the end of the empire. By far the most predominant element of one's identity was religion. The modern idea of "Turk" actually antedates the modern idea of Armenian. The Turks of today are overwhelmingly the product of heavy-handed (not necessarily bloody) assimilation policies, and a big majority have no Turkish lineage. It is largely a state-synthesized identity. Armenians on the other hand have had an uninterrupted and "natural" lineage both in terms of ancestry and identity. What that identity meant has constantly changed since the time of Hayasa, the Ottoman period being no exception. This is expected. Indeed I think the only "ethnic groups" that had the meaning of their identity unchanged over millenia are the ones that somehow avoided cultural evolution, e.g. isolated hunter-gatherer groups. So I would say it is time to get over the fact that Armenians adapted to their environment. Much more important to remember is the fact that they preserved enough of their "cultural DNA" to re-emerge as a proudly distinct group. Yes, we adapted. Yes we changed over time. The adaptation was necessary. So is the re-adaptation that we are still going through. None of this is cause to feel bad. In fact, it is remarkable, considering that they have no "world-class accomplishments" to rally around, military, intellectual, or otherwise. So once again, get over it people: we adapt. And that is why we survived. While survival is not an intellectual accomplishment of high caliber, it is nevertheless the only criterion that the slow but unstoppably powerful process known as "evolution" cares about.

I regard it as poor taste to single out Armenians that descended from a particular region and question whether they are true Armenians or mere "cousins". Nonsense. The Soviet period is infinitesimal in any nation's history, particularly one that is as ancient and borderless as Armenians. Regardless of where they lived, Armenians lived under somebody else's empire, and had no "proud" national identity until now. Period. That includes the territories of the Republic of Armenia. Do we regard the Armenian Republic as "formed by Christian Turkish and Christian Persian refugees adhering to a particular sect"? We can, you know. To no useful end, of course. Do we really have time and energy to devote to this sterile subject of "Armenian from here" versus "Armenian from there"? Let us regard our historically consistent reluctance and "inability" to gang up and rape other cultures as a huge moral positive, resolve to become strong and tall, and consign such divisive talk to the smelly old coffee-houses of the old.

Armenia is not a corporation that we can downsize. It is not a conglomerate that can focus on its "core competence" depending on the economic climate of the current quarter. It is not a firm that can go into a hiring spree when the times are good. It is a family. Yes, "cousins" and all. Overly "rational" approaches to cultural and national identity is bound to end up in a sterile, meaningless cul-de-sac. My humble advice to those going that way is to remember to brake when they reach the wall.

#11 joseph

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Posted 21 January 2003 - 07:55 AM

Twilight Bark , I could not say it better.
Shame on every one that considers that some Armenians are less Armenian because of their origine.
Shame on you Hagarag you are living in a sad situation not knowing who you belong to , I dont know whats going on in your life but sure I dont want to be like you an Armenian hater .
And dont give me this old crap of your life experiance and your sexual orientation , I care less.
Every time I read your posts I picture you like this
The only time you love some one is when you look in a mirror , and that is very sad .

#12 joseph

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Posted 21 January 2003 - 07:59 AM

MJ you consider me as your cousin and I consider you as my brother

#13 THOTH

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Posted 21 January 2003 - 08:29 AM

TB - very good points - but I think that you are barking up the wrong tree. Obviously we are not "Turks" - we are Armenian - and this is certainly identifiable. And understood that the "Turks" of Anatolia are a "crafted" people - of recent origin in this sense and Armenians are as you have said - an ancient lineage (of blood & culture). Nothing (said) changes this.

However, it is clear that the Ottotman period has colored Armenians - I don't think that this can be denied. It doesn't make us any less Armenian - as this phenomenon is not new (with us). But it is recent and it has changed those of us whose families came out of this environment. I don't think it makes us not Armenians - but perhaps we are now different branches - though as was pointed out - even (a great many of) those of Armenia proper were refugees from Ottoman Empire. And while Armenians (of the diaspora) from different nations all absorb many unique characteristics and customs etc from these lands - they also have always maintained their Armenianess...

I think Boghos is not proposing what you claim - but is only saying that we need to acknowledge and understand that much of who (many/most? of us) are is also bound up with the Ottoman/Turkish past. This is perhaps nearly as much a part of us as our being Armenian. We are tied to Anatolia and to the Ottoman legacy - because this was the reality of our forefathers for generations. It colored their world view - their exposure - likes/dislikes - patterns of thought and action. And living there had a profound effect on Anatolian Armenians individualy and of course as a group...a very clear effect...So what does this mean (in practice)? Not sure...I am interested in hearing Boghos's views as he proposed this discussion.

#14 Stormig

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Posted 21 January 2003 - 08:41 AM

quote:
Originally posted by HOVSEP KASHISHIAN:
Twilight Bark , I could not say it better.
Shame on every one that considers that some Armenians are less Armenian because of their origine.

I don't understand. Who did put down another Armenian for geographic origin, at least on this thread? I must have missed it.

#15 MJ

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Posted 21 January 2003 - 09:47 AM

Hovsep,

I don't consider others neither my cousins nor my brothers. Ad hoc, others are normally strangers to me. But once they find their place and define their affiliation with me, I will make my choices correspondingly.

So, now that you have called me “brother,” I would like to learn if we have the same emotions towards my mother so that I decide to accept your brotherhood or not.

#16 Twilight Bark

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Posted 21 January 2003 - 10:01 AM

quote:
Originally posted by THOTH:
I think that you are barking up the wrong tree. Obviously we are not "Turks" - we are Armenian - and this is certainly identifiable.

Well, it was time for a twilight bark I guess . My aside about Turks was not in response to the "Turkish diaspora" idea, in the sense of proving we are not "Turks". I tried to use it as a glaring example to put things in the proper context, and analyze them comparatively. Armenians were the first to be conquered and the last to be ditched aside as a half-dead body in the thousand-year saga. And what is to be awed by, and analyzed, is not whether they changed and adapted in the process. It is the fact that they managed to keep a critical amount of their "cultural DNA" to re-emerge as a coherent, proud entity. With many scars to be sure. Whether the Armenians of Kutahya were scarred differently than the ones in Ijevan can be an interesting discussion in a nice little conference room, for the enjoyment of the specialists. It should have no role whatsoever in a discussion of whether "Western" Armenians belong to the same nation as the "Eastern" ones. Such a discussion should not take place at all. Not because it is "amot", but because it is contrary to how Armenians view themselves. No sophistry can argue against that.

quote:
And understood that the "Turks" of Anatolia are a "crafted" people - of recent origin in this sense and Armenians are as you have said - an ancient lineage (of blood & culture). Nothing (said) changes this.
I was not suggesting that such was implied.

quote:
However, it is clear that the Ottoman period has colored Armenians - I don't think that this can be denied.
Nobody in this thread denied it. It is in how we view, interpret, and deal with it that we seem to have differences.

quote:
I think Boghos is not proposing what you claim
What did I claim?

quote:
saying that we need to acknowledge and understand that much of who (many/most? of us) are is also bound up with the Ottoman/Turkish past. This is perhaps nearly as much a part of us as our being Armenian. We are tied to Anatolia and to the Ottoman legacy - because this was the reality of our forefathers for generations. It colored their world view - their exposure - likes/dislikes - patterns of thought and action. And living there had a profound effect on Anatolian Armenians individually and of course as a group...a very clear effect...
I think a good majority of Armenians are aware of the Ottoman legacy. Some embrace it and view it as quintessentially Armenian. Some deny it. And some try and move beyond it. My contention is that all Armenians have been affected by the Ottoman legacy, including those in the Republic. Ottoman legacy is something we have to live with, build upon, change, and move beyond. However, it is not something that divides us. It's not as if the Yerevan province was at the heart of European Renaissance. Therefore, I disagree with the context of the Ottomanization discussion.

quote:
I am interested in hearing Boghos's views as he proposed this discussion.
So am I. Boghos, can you elaborate your thoughts?

[ January 21, 2003, 10:03 AM: Message edited by: Twilight Bark ]

#17 Boghos

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Posted 21 January 2003 - 10:03 AM

I am short of time at the moment, but I would like to say that I have no interest in generating any schisms nor do I believe in them. In any case we seem to have so many people well versed in these matters that my non-existant contribution
wouldn´t even have a marginal impact.
Don´t get irritated TB, there is no reason for that. I also disagree with MJ, we are not cousins, we are Armenians, whatever that is.

Let me go a bit further and ask whether the Armenians that found their origins in the OE or Turkey (which is by the way the legitimate successor...) do not have legal claims that can be addressed as such ? As persecuted citizens. Am I the grandson of a citizen of the OE and hence of Turkey ? What are my rights in that case ?

Perhaps Armenians have for so long denied their link to OE, Turkey etc, for right or wrong that they have been blinded...

BTW, this was written before I sw TB´s last message: I have to run but will elaborate further ASAP.

[ January 21, 2003, 10:27 AM: Message edited by: Boghos ]

#18 khodja

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Posted 21 January 2003 - 10:05 AM

Hovsep,

Your view of an Armenian is different than mine. You are so deep into the traditional way of thinking that you do not understand my viewpoint. I do not HATE Armenians. I respect progressive Armenians such as Anna Eshoo, Dick Harpootlian, Raffi Manoukian, Rachel Kaprielian, Cher, Charles Garry, etc. It is the Ottoman/Soviet/Arab rigidity that I HATE. Do you know anything of the diversity of Armenian thought through the centuries? Do you know that some of the most enlightening viewpoints in history were engendered in the Armenian community, only to be quelched by the traditionalists?

#19 MJ

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Posted 21 January 2003 - 11:08 AM

Since we are talking about the “proper context” here, let’s also use it for the ease of further conversations.

I do not belong to the category of people defining who the “true Armenians” are and counting the number of beans in the soup. It has been a recurring thesis of mine in this forum and elsewhere that the nationality is a subject of self-consciousness, and this is what I have reclaimed in this thread.

I have also never been interested in such false categories as the “genealogy” of Armenians, their origin, etc. I don’t care about Hittits, Shumerians, Urartu, Great Armenia, etc, unless it is to understand how did we get where we are today, and what is it that prevents us from repeating the same path.

In the current Armenian palette the “Eastern” vs. “Western” Armenian is nonsense. It is not the origin that defines who we are. It is our current attitude and consciousness. For example, I am a descendent of Western Armenians with all my ancestors originating in the Ottoman Empire. However, the axis of my Armenian self-consciousness is the Republic of Armenia. One can say that this is because I am born there. I would disagree. I know many Armenians who are not born in Armenia but share my thoughts and feelings. I know also the opposite.

As a side comment to Boghos, nothing that I have said implies that not all of us are Armenians in my view. I think everything I say implies that I recognize it. What I am saying can be formulated as “So what?”

I think that my previous response to Hovsep was clear enough of what I am saying – if “he is my brother,” then he has to “share with me my mother.” Otherwise “he is my cousin.”

Moreover, I have not ever given myself the privilege of defining “who has the right to share with me my mother.” I have always claimed it being an issue of self-determination. And I think this is not a high threshold. If someone is refusing to claim ownership of “my mother,” why does he/she expect me to recognize him/her as my “brother/sister.”

This should be clear, by now.

I would like to also remind you of a newcomer, lately, who in his first material in the forum proclaimed “this Armenia being not the real one, but the Great Armenia being the one.” My posture on the issue is a reaction towards the stance of such cowards. Only, in his case it is explicit, in most of the cases it is implicit. And this cowardice is most widely spread. I don’t want to be “brothers” with cowards.

Now, my original message in this thread meant that Armenians are heavily influenced by the Turkish culture (call it Ottoman or Anatolian, I don’t care – it is not Armenian.) It seems that now we agree on it, based on the emerging responses, only “we have decided not to talk about it.” My developing thought has been that most of the Diaspora Armenians are disattached from the recognition of a real “common mother,” and have rather imaginary perception of her. If I am wrong, I would like to be corrected.

Finally, about Armenia being a corporation or not… Nice terminology… However, Armenia is not a corporation. Additionally, it is not an imaginary symbol. It is a homeland. Moreover, the Republic of Armenia has been the only real manifestation of Armenian homeland in about 800 years – this is a whole lot of history. If someone doesn’t recognize it, why should I recognize him/her other than as “cousin?”

Now, I am short of time, and still could not organize my thoughts better, and I would rather stop before breaking myself while hitting the wall...

#20 joseph

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Posted 22 January 2003 - 12:45 AM

Posted by MJ
...If " he is my brother " then he has to"share with me my mother"Otherwise"he is my cousin"
And if he cant share my uncle or my aunt with me he is not my cousin and we can go on and on
MJ I think you hit the wall too hard




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