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#1 Arpa

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 09:24 AM

ԵՂԵՌՆ
CRIME
ՄԵԾ ԵՂԵՌՆ
Here we see how we have advanced from the “Numbers Game” to “Word Games”. Was it 1,500,000 to call it a genocide” or was it 1,499,999? One short of the definition.
Was it a Genocide or a “Yeghern/Catastrophe/Tragedy“? OK! It was a “catastrophe”, a tragedy”. But, who caused it? The Martians, or those “lunatics“ from the moon/crescent?
-----
QUOTE
ՄԱՐԻ ՅՈՎԱՆՈՎԻՉԸ «ՑԵՂԱՍՊԱՆՈՒԹՅԱՆ» ՓՈԽԱՐԵՆ ՆԱԽԸՆՏՐԵԼ Է «ՄԵԾ ԵՂԵՌՆ» ՏԵՐՄԻՆԸ
Հայաստանում ԱՄՆ դեսպանի թեկնածու Մարի Յովանովիչը Բարակ Օբամայի հարցին ի պատասխան 1915-23թթ. ընթացքում Օսմանյան կայսրությունում հայերի զանգվածային
------
Վաշինգտոնի Հայ դատի գրասենյակին:

----
And now those sonofafurks are using our very own Armenian terms as ammunition against us. Neither they nor we know the fine nuances of the Armenian language, but they are using our own language against us.
See the full text here;
http://hyeforum.com/...mp;#entry253711
QUOTE
Elekdağ: Firstly, they are referring to Great Catastrophe; this is Metz Yeghern in Armenian. This word is a synonym for genocide. The difference between the two words is as little as the difference between mass slaughter and mass killing (kitle katliamı” and kitlesel öldürme). There is no difference between them. When Metz Yeghern is used, Armenians understand genocide. When some official person goes to Armenia, visits the Monument and wishes to condemn genocide as well as not to offend the Turkish Republic they use Metz Yeghern; and Armenians accept this. This statement is tantamount to supporting the genocide campaign of the Armenian Diaspora. It would have been alright --------
genocide or not, let’s not talk further; let’s just end the discussion right here and go home

---
Yes, of course we used, (still use) the term “YEGHERN/ԵՂԵՌՆ” before the term “GENOCIDE” was coined. Strictly speaking “yeghern” is rather synonymous with “tragedy/ողբերգանք” similar, but not quite to the Greek “elegia/elegy”. The latter is a failed attempt by some of amateur linguists.
Neither those dogs above and their “tail“, the so called US Ambassador to Armenia know our language as we do. At least some of us do. But when some of us so gingerly use terms that even we don’t the real meaning, like “yeghern”, “aghet”, “nakhjir”, “vojir” and more.
Արմատական: Յովհան, խնդրեմ ընդլայնիր:
We will see that in both dictionaries, one of the synonyms of “yeghern” is CRIME/ՈՃԻՐ.
ՊԱՏՈՒՀԱՍ, Calamity, catastrophe.
QUOTE
ԵՂԵՌՆ- փորձանք**, չարիք, ոճիր:” Նոր գրական Մեծ Եղեռն”

QUOTE
Matthew 6,[13] And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
**14.…(Եւ մի տանիր սմեզ ի փորձութիւն)։

Հոմանիշների Բառարան: Pleas note, I have removed all the “utiun” endings.
{quote]ԵՂԵՌՆ- Ոճիր, յանցանք, …չարաքործում,Սպաննում. Կոտորածշջարդ, նախճիր, սպանդ, արիւնահեղանք, խողխողում,եղեռնագործ,=ոճրագործ:[quote]
**We use this term to mean “disaster”. Literally, it means “temptation”, as when Jesus in the desert was subjected to “temptation“. That damn cheap “outiun/ութիւն” again .See how “temptation” is translated as փորձութիւն rather than փորձանք: We will see more when we come to the Armenian word for “genocide”. The Latin word is “genocide”. Some Armenian sources use the term “kenotsid/գենոցիդ“, to mean the “ciding/killing of a race/race-murder”, see all the words that use the term “cide“, as in homicide, suicide…. And many more.
Ցեղասպանութիւն? Do any of those Latin word use the “tion” ending, like “genocid-ation“? Then why do we feel obligated to add the “ութիւն” suffix? Is not “ցեղասպանք ցեղասպանդ ” enough? Is that why many otars shy away from using terms like “ցեղասպան-ուն-ու- նու-քաքա- թիւ- թիւն”?
When will we learn to speak Armenian without using that disgusting “utiun” suffix?
Can we make it any longer?
Some day, long after I am gone we may see fit to remand that cheap amateurish linguistical abominaTION/ աբոմինացիա “utiun” suffix to the dustbin of linguistics. Btw, the Armenian word for “abomination” is զզուանք, գարշանք to mean boredom, nausea, disgust.

.

Edited by Arpa, 29 December 2008 - 09:26 AM.


#2 Johannes

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 10:11 AM

I prefer to not use the word; "genocide" after. Because this word lost its' meaning by using it at every occasion, from here to there. We hear this word -"genocide", when 25 people kill.
We can not translate many words in many languages 100 %. Therefore, there is no synonym word for "Metz Eghern", in the meaning and the feeling that we have. So, who cares, which word Mrs. Jovanovich uses for our tragedy… while she doesn't feel like us. Moreover, while she is a diplomat, she doesn't mean what she says.

#3 Arpa

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 08:17 AM

Since there is a renewed interest in the word.
Hi Rupen, please forgive me for not responding under that category. Were you searching using the F word as in flower, Ts word as in tsirani tsaghik, the S word as in "april Showers"? Of course not. Were you searching using keywords like Charents, Sevak, Varuzhan or Siamanto? NOOOT!!! After all how many Armenian words there are beside "genocide/kenocid" etc.? How many know what "arevaham bar=sunsweet/flavored fruit" means?
Of course. We know this being April everyone and anyone will come out of the woodwork to equate the month with you-know-what.
I have expressed my BIG ALLERGY to the G word as at times it is used to justify our very (non)existence. Just at times it used to find Armenian sites on the internet. SAD!!! :msn-cry:
Let us revisit this thread and expand on it. Let us see how it means any less than “MURDER”.
Ajarian says very little about the origin of the word.
He only cites the similarity to the Greek word “elekia/elegy”, funerary oration, մահերգանք.
Where we can see the Epsilon=Ե, L= Ղ, E=Ե, but I don’t know how to explain the Ռ and Ն that follow.

ελεγεία =elegy -A mournful, contemplative lyric poem written to commemorate someone who is dead, often ending in a consolation. Tennyson’s In Memoriam, written on the death of Arthur Hallam, is an elegy. Elegy may also refer to a serious meditative poem produced to express the speaker’s melancholy thoughts.

From the above synonyms… Some day we may come back and explain the real meaning and etymology of each of those words.

ԵՂԵՌՆ
Ոճիր=crime
Յանցանք=guilt
Չարաքործում=malfaisance, evil-do-work
Սպաննում=killing
Կոտորած=slaughter, massacre, carnage
Ջարդ=massacre (note that the word does in fact means to cut to pieces like when we cut onions etc).
Նախճիր=massacre
Սպանդ=killing, murder
Արիւնահեղանք=bloodbath,
Խողխողում=murder as in “cutting the throat” like butchering an animal
եղեռնագործ,=ոճրագործ=criminal, murderer.

PS. See above what our house philosopher/philologist Johannes said.

I prefer to not use the word; "genocide" after. Because this word lost its' meaning by using it at every occasion, from here to there. We hear this word -"genocide", when 25 people kill.

What in fact he is saying that the word has been so genericized and cheapened as to lose its intended impact, significance and purpose when the murder of 25 people or three blind mice is labeled so. We should not sucked into playing semantical word and numbers games with those comedians.

Edited by Arpa, 09 April 2011 - 02:04 AM.


#4 Anoushik

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 12:17 AM

After all how many Armenian words there are beside "genocide/kenocid" etc.? How many know what "arevaham bar=sunsweet/flavored fruit" means?

Dear Arpa, as I grow older - and as a result hopefully a bit more wiser - I appreciate more and more what you stand for and what you say. Thank you.

#5 Arpa

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 09:02 AM

ՏՕՆ ՆԱՀԱՏԱԿԱՑ? ՆԱՀԱՏԱԿԱՑ ՏՕՆ?

PSST!
Hush!!
Keep it quiet lest they hear.
It is a wonder that they have not picked up on the
ՆԱՀԱՏԱԿԱՑ ՏՕՆ Nahatakats Ton that some of us still call that day.
Is this how we "celebrate" April 24th? The Հահատակաց Տօն/ festival of MARTYRS?


Beside the fact that one of my least favorite words is ՆԱՀԱՏԱԿ/nahatak/martyr..
Who else names their children Martiros/Mardiros/Martyros/martyr/witness?
Hello to all the “Martins” out there.
Oh yeah, we know those who name their sons shaheed/witness/suicide bomber.
An actual headline in today’s reporter
http://www.reporter....7E90003FF3452C2

Haverhill observes 96th Martyrs' Day

Beside the fact that I have always had a reservation to the word “ՆԱՀԱՏԱԿ-nahatak/martyr”. The literal meaning of the word is “վկայ/ականատես/witness”, just like the Arabic “shaheed”.The main square in Beirut is called “shuhada” (plural) in memory of the hanging by the ottomans of the Lebanese nationalists
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martyrs'_Square_Beirut


A martyr (Greek: μάρτυς, mártys, "witness"; stem μάρτυρ-, mártyr-) is somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce a belief or cause, usually religious.

With all due respects Otian and Papazian , did they really know the actual meaning of ՏՕՆ- ՏՈՆ/TON/DON? That it means festival/festivity? Just as in the Armenian “handes/ khrakhjanq”.

April 24 is a Don/Ton /Festival /Celebration!!!???
I am not laughing and jumping in joy.
Read the rest here;
http://culture.azg.a...&num=2010042401

Ապրիլի 24 - Տոն նահատակաց

Երվանդ Օտյան, Վրթանես Փափազյան եւ Գեւորգ Ե կաթողիկոս

1920 թ.-ից ի վեր համայն հայությունը ապրիլի 24-ին նշում է Ցեղասպանության օրը: Սկզբում՝ որպես սգատոն, որպես հոգեհանգստի, եկեղեցական արարողությունների, ողբի ու լացի, հարազատների ու մերձավորների հիշատակի օր: Ավելի ուշ եւ հատկապես 60-ական թվականներից սգատոնը վերածվում է համաժողովրդական բողոքի ու ցասման ցույցերի եւ վերջապես պահանջատիրության օրվա: Ազգային ինքնագիտակցությունը, համամարդկային արդարության ձգտումը, վերջապես՝ իր իրավունքներին տեր կանգնելու ցանկությունը համաժողովրդական առումով ըմբռնվեց եւ որդեգրվեց Մեծ եղեռնի 50-ամյակից սկսյալ՝ նաեւ Խ. Հայաստանում, պետականորեն: Եվ Ապրիլի 24-ը ընդունվեց բոլորի կողմից, նաեւ օտարների, անգամ որոշ թուրքերի: Սակայն քչերը գիտեն, թե ինչպես որոշվեց եւ նվիրագործվեց այդ օրը, ո՞վ կամ ովքե՞ր էին առաջին անգամ այդ միտքը հղացողները: Նույնիսկ Հայկական Սովետական հանրագիտարանում չկա որեւէ ակնարկ այդ մասին: Հարցը պարզաբանելու անհրաժեշտությունը մեզ հուշեց Ազգային գրադարանի մատենագետ Սուսաննա Գալստյանը, որի պրպտումները նրան տարան մինչեւ 1920 թ. մարտ, Պոլսո «Ժամանակ» օրաթերթ, որտեղ դժնդակ աքսորից մազապուրծ, մեր մեծագույն երգիծաբան Երվանդ Օտյանն էր աշխատում: Հենց նա՛, Ե. Օտյանն է առաջինը հրապարակավ արտահայտել մեր անմեղ զոհերի համար հատուկ օր ընդունելու անհրաժեշտության մասին: Ս. Գալստյանը մեզ է տրամադրել այդ հոդված-կոչը՝ դրան կցելով իր խոհերը:
---
"Երվանդ Օտյանը եվ ազգային տոնը
Պոլիս, Պոլիս, Պոլիս, որքան եմ սիրում քեզ: Երբեմն ինձ թվում է, թե քո մեջ եմ մեծացել, ապրել, սիրել «Սկյուտարի սոխակի» պես, գաղթել անապատով, Կոմիտասի չխմած ջրի պես ես էլ եմ ծարավից տոչորվել, սպանվել եմ նահատակների ..."


Above the word “ton/don” may have been used naively if not ignorantly, perhaps to mean gathering, commemoration . Yes, there was a time when April 24 was called Nahatakats Ton.
Here is what ՏՕՆ/Ton means. See you later….
How many words do you know that is based on the word “տօն/ տոն/ton/don ?

Edited by Arpa, 20 April 2011 - 10:58 AM.


#6 Arpa

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 08:57 AM

CAN WE PLEASE TONE DOWN THESE INSULTS AND ATTACKS AGAINST THE PRESISENT???!!

This is petit, it is known as “nit picking”, looking for “hair in an egg”.

Do we want him to altogether ignore the April 24th Commemoration?

After all, what obligation does he have to remember it year after year?

He used the Armenian term for the CRIME of the Millennium, that he learned, not in Yerevan but in anakarakaka. When will the US President visit Yerevan?? After it becomes a suburb of ankaka? See how many of them have vistited furkey.
Where did Obama learn the term "Mets Yeghern", at the university of BAMIA? Certainly not in Yerevan!!
Let us instead teach the world the true meaning of the word YEGHERN, not as defined by the ermeni enstituti of ankarakak. Do you realize that we are dancing at the end of the string held by mehmet, playing silly “word games”. Look above and see that the word means CRIME, MURDER.** Anyone here know what “yeghernagorts” means. Yes, it means MURDERER.
Do we want him to, next year use another two word phrase like “SCREW YOU”??****
Some of us speak as if WE single handedly elected him to the post.
How? Let’ see.
We claim that there are one million (?) of us in the US. How many have the right to vote? How many do? Like a couple of dozens? How many vote for this or for that candidate? Read some of the post by some of our so called conservative v liberal members. When a Republican president does that we blame it on their political slant. When a Democrat president does it we blame it on their political bias. When we grow as big as the Latino or Afro-American communities, maybe then the President will use the word of our choice.*** When we reach the level of other US minorities,maybe then we can urge him to attack ankarakak.
Can we speak from our heads rather that from the opposite side?
Can we stop “killing the goose that lays golden eggs”?
Lest, in the coming years we get “goose egg” on April 24!!!
Let US teach the world the true meaning of the word. It is not calamity”. It is MURDER. Calamity is like an earthquake, hurricane, tsunami etc.
Can we stop this kindergarten game and definition of "yeghern"?
just like "taspik tsapik tsirani" as those other idiots who don't have the letter for "ts" would recite "zabig zabig zirani" Rhymes with "gabig".

YEGHERN MEANS MURDER!!!


PLEASE STOP THE ATTACKS AND INSULTS LEST WE LOSE THE VERY FEW FRIENDS WE HAVE!!!

**look above and see the synonyms of the word.
*** See the latest population statistics. To not forget the American furkish community is growing by leaps and bounds. Also observe that the latter speak in ONE VOICE, unlike you know who.
****This is silly. How many Armenians does it take to screw a bulb?
One... as the world revolves around us!!! :P

Edited by Arpa, 30 April 2011 - 03:27 PM.


#7 Louise Kiffer

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 02:37 PM

Metz yeghern or Aghet are not equivalent as the word genocide, which has a special meaning: the murder of a whole race, or population.
The tsunami is a metz yeghern, aghet is a crime (the word in French is never used by anybody, they have coined it for the circumstance)
A massacre is not a genocide.

#8 Arpa

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:45 AM

Soon we will once again be embroiled in a war of words.
====
When Dictionaries Are Left Unopened: How ‘Medz Yeghern’ Turned into Terminology of Denial
The author- Vartan Matiossian
Born in Montevideo (Uruguay) and long-time resident of Buenos Aires (Argentina), Dr. Vartan Matiossian is a historian, literary scholar, translator and educator living in New Jersey. He has published six books on Armenian history and literature (five in Armenian and one in Spanish), and scores of articles in Armenian, Spanish, and English. He is currently the executive director of the Armenian National Education Committee in New York and book review editor of Armenian Review
======
An excellent, scholarly and exhaustive article in The Armenian Weekly. Somewhat lengthy but worth a read.

http://www.armenianweekly.com/2012/11/27/when-dictionaries-are-left-unopened-how-medz-yeghern-turned-into-terminology-of-denial/

The author argues that when Pres. Obama recited the phrase that he had learned in ankakra, we were all thrown into a tizzy quoting his interpretation of great Calamity. Every one of us, be it scholars or amateur linguists mouthed the term, some having looked up in trashy me too dictionaries, none consulted a real good scholarly etymological dictionary to see the origin and the usage of the word in classical literature. He shows that even our most vociferous commentator Harut Sassounian fell for it, parroting furkish sources. When our ancestors, at the wake of the Genocide may have used the word ro mean calamiy, disaster mny of them may have had a lomited mastery of the lnguage and had not had the luxuy of the access to Ajarian's Armatakan.

Many Armenians, including some who claim proficiency of the Armenian. language, seem unaware of what Medz Yeghern means. It was used by the survivors to name the event that crushed them, as Sassounian has recalled: “Every April 24, they would commemorate the start of the Armenian Genocide by gathering in church halls and offering prayers for the souls of the 1.5 million innocent victims of what was then known as the Meds Yeghern, or Great Calamity.”11

Let me repeat what I had said above. Also see above hat I had said about YEGHERN meaning CRIME. Beside all the amateurish, arbitrary and loose interpretations the actual meaning of YEGHERN is CRIME, most aptly applied to the CRIME of MURDER. Consider the word YEGHERNAGORTS, i.e MURDERER.It is also curious that of all the dictionaries he cites, the most amateurish (me too) by Koushakjian translates it as CRIME, ATROCITY, MURDER.
---
The author meanders, quoting many dictionaries, some scholarly others not. Oddly, he does not quote the most scholarly Armatakan by Ajarian. He eventually comes to this. Note where he uses words like CRIME. Below highlights mine.

On June 26, 2012, “Great Calamity” and its footnote were deleted and replaced with “Great Crime,” now backed by two dictionary citations (it was previously supported by a 2011 citation from the Armenian Reporter). After a two-month ceasefire, Meowy made several attempts (Aug. 17-22) to revert to what s/he claimed, in the “History” section of the article, to be the “original, reasonably well-crafted introduction that had been mangled and propagandised.” The argument was: “‘Great Calamity’ must remain as a translation for Medz Yeghern because it exists in a cited source. Is there something about that fact you do not understand? Stop deleting properly referenced content! You have been warned repeatedly about this in the edit summaries” (Aug. 22, 2012). The fourth attempt was successful: Between Aug. 26 and Oct. 1, the Wikipedia entry stated that Medz Yeghern is “usually translated as the Great Calamity or Great Crime,” with Sassounian’s article again in place as support for the translation “Great Calamity” and the Armenian Reporter article for “Great Crime.” This attempt was repealed on Oct. 1, when the status quo of June 26 was restored and “Great Calamity” disappeared from the text. The situation remains unchanged at the time of publication of this article, but denial may always try another comeback.
It is pertinent to quote another supposed justification for the inclusion of “Great Calamity” in Wikipedia: “Also, ‘Great Calamity’ needs to remain as the primary translation because, as was carefully explained to you many months ago, Google search results suggest that usage of ‘Great Calamity’ is almost four times more common than ‘Great Crime’ (and about 15% of all ‘Great Crime’ usage is in the context of an argument about whether ‘Great Crime’ should be use[d] instead of ‘Great Calamity’)” (Aug. 22, 2012). A good portion of those inflated results is unfortunately the product of ignorance of the Armenian language on the part of Armenian speakers who transmit their defective understanding to their peers, speakers, and non-speakers of Armenian alike, thereby unabashedly making themselves and those they influence readily available for the exploitation of denialists. Such is the case of scholar Lou-Ann Matossian, who misguidedly declared in 2009: “Meds Yeghern is an Armenian phrase, which translates as ‘great calamity.’ A tornado is a ‘great calamity.’ A genocide is a crime. The concept of crime implies the concept of justice. ‘Genocide’ has a meaning in international law. ‘Calamity’ (yeghern) has none


Edited by Yervant1, 08 January 2013 - 03:03 PM.


#9 Arpa

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:38 PM

At last someone else speak about the true meaning of Yeghern. See how many times he uses words like yeghern=vojir=crime=murder and yeghernagordz=criminal=murderer. Despite all the attempts, not only by them but also many of us to trivialize the impact to mean -calamity/disaster-
YEGHERN is, as Agatha Crtistie would say MURDER MOST FOUL..
About time we learn our own language rather than mehmet p**** teaching us.

About the author;
Born in Montevideo (Uruguay) and long-time resident of Buenos Aires (Argentina), Dr. Vartan Matiossian is a historian, literary scholar, translator and educator living in New Jersey. He has published six books on Armenian history and literature (five in Armenian and one in Spanish), and scores of articles in Armenian, Spanish, and English. He is currently the executive director of the Armenian National Education Committee in New York and book review editor of Armenian Review.

 
- Armenian Weekly - http://www.armenianweekly.com

The ‘Great Calamity’ Hoax: What ‘Medz Yeghern’ Actually Meant for the Survivors
Posted By Vartan Matiossian On January 4, 2013 @ 10:18 am In Opinion | No Comments
“…All those human-like monsters who executed the Medz Yeghern
and tainted their hands with the innocent blood of the Armenians.”
Yervant Odian (1920)
During the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, the word yeghern had already entered dictionaries of Modern Armenian and literary texts with the primary meaning of “crime.” It was used, both alone and within the phrase Medz Yeghern, as one of the names of the pogrom of Adana in 1909.

Yervant Odian
The echoes of this massacre had barely died out when a large-scale program of extermination was put into practice by the Ottoman-Turkish government. Along came the words yeghern and Medz Yeghern. This article will discuss their use in some of the many texts penned in the first two decades years after 1915.
The genocide was still in progress when the word yeghern was used to describe it outside the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1918. One of the first instances of its use was a book published by Archbishop Mushegh Seropian in Boston. In 1916, he invoked a “criminal fraternity” as responsible for the extermination: “‘The Turkish execution of the German method’ is perhaps the best adjective to characterize the last Armenian yeghern. I do not know what name must be applied to that criminal [vojrakordz] fraternity, Turko-German or German-Turkish?…” Note the use of the words “last Armenian yeghern,” implying that there were previous “Armenian yeghern,” such as Adana. The mention of a “Turkish execution” eliminates any concept of passivity that could be tied to a “calamity,” but involves a “criminal,” an active perpetrator, actually labeled “criminal fraternity.” Seropian quoted German chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg a few pages later, commenting: “This declaration would be enough proof before history of the German commission of a crime [vojrakordzutiun] in the yeghern of the Armenian extermination.”1 Clearly, the accusation that Germany had committed a crime related to the Armenians could not have been framed in terms of a “calamity.”
It is already noticeable that the word yeghern had acquired a meaning that went beyond “crime,” as the use of the words vojrakordzutiun and yeghern in the same sentence seem to show. Its approximate translation as “pogrom” may have already been surmised in this period.
Yervant Odian: ‘I come from those infernal places of the Yeghern
Other books and articles published outside of the Ottoman Empire may have also used the word yeghern, whichresurfaced there only after the end of the war. On Nov. 21, 1918, famous satirist Yervant Odian (1869-1926) published an article in the daily Jamanak upon his return to Constantinople after three and half years in exile in Syria. “I come from those infernal places of the yeghern, where the Zohrabs, Aknunis, Khajags, Zartarians, Siamantos, Varoujans, Sevags, Daghavarians—the Brain of a whole nation—were shredded to pieces by the hands of the worthy heirs of Tamerlane and Genghis Khan,” he wrote.2
This telling paragraph conveys the idea that the “worthy heirs of Tamerlane and Genghis Khan” first killed off the intelligentsia—a crime that was a manifestation of a great, unmitigated evil. It may be complemented by the following paragraph written by Odian in March 1920 about turning April 24 into an Armenian day of commemoration. Here, the fallen emperors of Germany and Austria are named alongside the Young Turk triumvirate as having an equal part in “execut[ing] the Medz Yeghern.” The meaning of the phrase is clearly indicated by the reference to the “enormous crime” in the next sentence: “Thus, every year, all churches, all schools, all national institutions will recall the memory of the great Armenian martyrdom, reading anathemas of malediction to the Wilhelms, the Franz Josephs, the Envers, the Talaats, the Čemals, and all those human-like monsters who executed the Medz Yeghern and tainted their hands with the innocent blood of the Armenians. That day, let all preachers, all speakers, all teachers, and all newspapers remember once again the enormous crime [vojir]and pillory of its authors. Let the whole Armenian nation mourn and cry over its martyrs.”3
The first book on the victims of ‘Medz Yeghern
At the beginning of 1919, Simon Kapamadjian (whose whereabouts during the genocide remain unknown) published a 48-page booklet that appears to be the earliest instance when the words Medz Yeghern appeared on the cover of a book, in this case, as a subtitle: “The Victims of the Medz Yeghern with Their Pictures, Poems and Articles of Our Best Writers (…).” The main feature was a section of pictures and brief biographies of 20 well-known victims of the genocide, and a catalogue of 94 others. The author apologizes at the end of the section, writing: “The idea of having committed an injustice weighs over me when I think that it was impossible to present here many talents hidden in deep corners of the provinces who were victims of the MEDZ YEGHERN. I hereby confess the insufficiency of my means and I ask my noble readers not to ascribe this involuntary flaw to any ulterior motive. I pay my deep homage to all the fallen, as well as to those bright intellects who were extinguished by savage criminals [vojrakordz].”4
It is clear that Kapamajian had a “great crime” foremost in his mind when he wrote Medz Yeghern. His reference to the “bright intellects who were extinguished by savage criminals” leaves no doubt that he followed his dictionary of 1910 and understood yeghern according to his own definition of “breach of political or moral law, evil, harm” cited in our previous article.
Bryce, Morgenthau, and ‘Medz Yeghern
The pictures of the well-known victims of the genocide were published in Constantinople in 1919 as a poster under the title “Medz Yeghernin zohere” (The victims of the Medz Yeghern).5 The poster was most likely printed for the first commemoration of the arrests of intellectuals on April 24. At that time, the literary weekly Shant published a special issue that included an article on writer Roupen Zartarian, signed by Zohrab Garon (Hovsep Keshishian), and starting with the following sentence: “One of the famous figures of the brilliant Armenian literary phalanx, who became the victim of the Medz Yeghern, in his highest degree of fecundity (…).”6 The context for the phrase appears in a piece in the same issue by another survivor, the writer Mikayel Shamdanjian (1874-1926): “The Turkish yeghern had materially succeeded, but had failed in essence. Many, many went to fill the road to perdition and I believe that those few who saw death and survived, returned more empowered.”7 “Turkish yeghern” can only be understood as an action like a “crime,” “atrocity,” or “massacre,” and not, as in the previous cases, as a passive event like “calamity.”
The same year, Shamdanjian published his memoirs under the title “The Tribute of the Armenian Mind to the Yeghern: Thoughts and Feelings from an Exile,” while Yenovk Armen would translate the memoirs of U.S. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau into Armenian, with the title “The Memoirs of American Ambassador Mr. Morgenthau and the Secrets of the Armenian Yeghern,” and Peniamin Bedrossian would translate the British “Blue Book,” published by James Bryce and Arnold Toynbee, with the title “The Blue Book of the British Government on the Armenian Medz Yeghern (1915-16).” In 1922, Hagop Sarkissian, the translator of Ittihadist Parliament member Hagop Babikian’s report about the massacre of Adana, would refer to his friend, writer Ardashes Harutiunian (1873-1915), as a “victim of the unspeakable Yeghern.”8
Aram Andonian: ‘Horrible Yeghern’/‘Fearful Crime’
The use of these words by survivors continued. Writer Aram Andonian (1875-1951) indicted the “whole Turkish people” for “monstrous crimes” in the first page of his memoir Medz Vojire (The Great Crime), published in 1921. They carried “the entire responsibility for this horrible yeghern,” he wrote in his introduction. “But the Armenian martyrdom lacked principally a voice of conscience and piety, a cry of resistance on the part of the millions who constitute that people who carry the entire responsibility for this horrible yeghern. Five years, those five years of terror! During those five years not a single Turk ever raised a voice of protest against those monstrous crimes [vojir] committed on behalf of the whole Turkish people in the hell called the Ottoman Empire. On the contrary, everyone was given to a sort of sadistic pleasure while a whole people was being killed with a barbarity unknown to history.”9
The first sentence of Andonian’s paragraph is particularly relevant, because the sentence is backed by the English translation published in 1920 (The Memoirs of Naim Bey), which cannot be said to have been altered with any purpose: “What is principally lacking in the records of Armenia’s martyrdom is the voice of conscience on the part of the millions who constitute the nation that is entirely responsible for this fearful crime.10
Kevork Mesrob: ‘One of the first victims of the Medz Yeghern
Historian Kevork Mesrob published a 60-page exposé of Turkish denial in 1922. He introduced documents from the Armenian Patriarchate related to the assassination of the prelate of Erzinga (Erzincan), Very Rev. Sahag Odabashian, in December 1914 with the following statement: “Very Rev. Odabashian was one of the first victims of the Medz Yeghern, whose assassination may be regarded as one of the proofs that confirm that the Turkish government had previously decided and organized the massive killing (chart) and annihilation of the Armenians.”
Mesrob undoubtedly meant “Great Crime” when he made reference to one of the first victims of the Medz Yeghern.One document, a report by the prelate of Sebastia, Rev. Knel Kalemkiarian, incidentally noted: “The first travelers who crossed the scene of the yeghern noted the traces of European horseshoes, only used by the horses of officials.”11 The “scene of the yeghern,”where the ecclesiastic had been killed, was what is called “crime scene” in plain English.
Garabed Kapiguian: ‘Yeghernabadum
Writer Garabed Kapiguian (1876-1950) wrote an account of the massacres and deportations in his native region of Sebastia. First serialized in 1919 in the periodical Yeridasart Hayastan of Providence, R.I., his account was published in book form in 1924 under the title “Yeghernabadum of Lesser Armenia and Its Great Capital Sebastia.” The neologism yeghernabadum indicated the “story of the crime,” while the word yeghern was used three times, in all cases with the meaning “crime,” when talking of Odabashian’s killing:
(1) “…[He] becomes the victim of such an absolutely political yeghern, Turkish treason”;
(2) “Rev. Vaghinag, prelate of Karahisar, reports by telegraph this great yeghern to the Armenian Prelacy…”;
(3) “The yeghern was so absolutely the result of the conspiracy of the Turkish government…”12
Grigoris Balakian: ‘Yeghernakordz Ittihad fugitives’
In 1922, in Vienna, Very Rev. Grigoris Balakian (1875-1934) published the first volume of his memoirs, The Armenian Golgotha: Episodes of the Armenian Martyrdom. From Berlin to Zor 1914-1920 (the second volume would be posthumously published more than 35 years later).
The recently published English translation has omitted his emotional preface, entitled, “To You, Armenian People,” and dated August 1922, where Balakian used the word yeghernabadum four times in the first three pages:
“This bloody book is your holy book. Read it without getting bored, don’t doubt at all of this yeghernabadum, and don’t think that the writings are tendentious exaggerations.”
“I have expected in vain since the armistice that more able people executed this hard duty. However, with the exception of foreign eyewitness missionaries and the brief travel notes of a few Armenian exiles, the yeghernabadum of your inenarrable martyrdom has not been published so far.”
“Yes, I did not want to write because my heart and my pen felt weak to write down your yeghernabadum that blackens the bloodiest pages of human history.”
“Because all those who shared with me the thorny road to the Armenian Golgotha asked me to write the inenarrable yeghernabadum of their suffering and exile.”13
There is no doubt that yeghernabadum again indicated the “story of the crime.” The conceptual frame of Balakian’s text revolves around the analogy of the Armenian annihilation with Christ’s journey and crucifixion. The use of images such as bloody book, martyrdom, bloodiest pages of history or Golgotha ensure that the author is not talking about a calamity.
After quoting German Field Marshal Colmar von der Goltz’s 1914 suggestion to deport the Armenian population of the Ottoman-Russian border, Balakian wrote: “But as we will unfortunately see, what which had seemed impossible to everyone at that time, and even become a subject of derision, became possible during the World War, as did a litany of other tragic [yegheragan] and criminal [yeghernagan] events, as well as widespread human slaughter unprecedented in the annals of mankind.” He was well aware of the difference between yegheragan and yeghernagan; a few pages later, he would refer to “what horrible pitch the frenzy of the Turks could reach and what criminal [yeghernagan]consequences it could have…”14 Frenzy can, most likely, lead to criminal and not calamitous actions.
To close the circle, it is worth quoting the following: “Still, the course of the Armenian political parties toward the Turkish government was always friendly and never conspiratorial, as the major criminal [yeghernakordz]Ittihadist fugitives responsible for shedding Armenian blood are now endeavoring to show, of course in the hope of gaining exoneration for their great crime [vojir].”15
Needless to say, someone who sheds blood is the perpetrator of a crime [yeghern-a-kordz] and not of a calamity.
Mardiros Sarian: ‘The Greatest Yeghern of all times’
In 1933, a survivor from Smyrna, Mardiros Sarian (unrelated to the homonymous Soviet Armenian painter), published a rare booklet with a conversation he had overheard in February 1916 from his room in the “Turque Hotel” in Konia, where he had first been deported with his family (in the same manner as deported Armenian intellectuals had found lodging in Armenian or Greek homes in Changr for a few months before meeting their fate). He had written down his notes in 1918; the text remained unpublished for 15 years.
The conversation was held between an Ottoman military officer called Hüsni Bey (later revealed to be Albanian of origin), and a Young Turk official, Nejib Bey, in the presence of several other Turkish officers. Hüsni Bey had gone “from Konia to Tarsus, from Adana to Osmaniyeh, from Islayeh to Aleppo as far as Deir-er-Zor.”16 After describing the atrocities he had seen on his way, he questioned the purposes of the Ottoman government. This prompted Nejib Bey to reveal the plans of the Ittihad Party in considerable detail and characterize the ongoing annihilation as a fait accompli. His lengthy response provoked a counter response from Hüsni Bey, in which he applied the adjective “greatest” (medzakuyn)to the extermination: “Out of the 2,000 year history of Christian martyrdom, we were the ones who earned the title of those who had horrifically exceeded all tyrants and monsters in the unheard of numbers of our victims and torments caused, while the Armenian nation is seen as the 20th century’s greatest hero and greatest victim and has been found worthy of admiration, even of adoration. Are we then to go on stubbornly believing that in view of this, the greatest yeghern, the fait accompli you have made so much of has any power?”17
Nazaret Piranian: ‘The Yeghern of Kharpert’
We will end by referring to Nazaret Piranian’s The Yeghern of Kharpert, published first in installments in the daily Baikar of Boston, Mass., and appeared as a book in 1937. Writer Yervant Mesiayan noted in his preface: “Nazaret Piranian is warning to us ‘Don’t ever forget.’ This warning comes from the reminiscences of the terrible yeghern, which undoubtedly lighten fair passions of vengeance and fury, but also a deep awareness of Armenian fate, which we may rule just if we keep aflame in ourselves the sense of justice spiked by the Crime [Vojir] and the idea of right.”18 Indeed, “passions of vengeance and fury” could have only been lightened up by an action that generated them: the crime that also spiked a “sense of justice.” It is clear that yeghern and vojir were used here as synonyms.
The abovementioned examples illustrate how the combined forces of “evil” and “crime” imparted a particular power on the meaning of Medz Yeghern and accounted for its widespread use in the decades to follow. This is the reason that a word much less used than vojir in everyday language took its place with the meaning “Great [Evil] Crime.” The survivors had no need to coin a phrase to say “Great Calamity” when the word aghed (“catastrophe, disaster, calamity”) already fulfilled that function.
Notes
[1] Archbishop Mushegh, Haykakan mghdzavanje: knnakan verlutzumner (The Armenian Nightmare: Critical Analyses), Boston: Azk, 1916, p. 70, 73.
2 Yervant Odian, “Voghjuyn dzez” (Hail You), reprinted in Teotig, Hushardzan nahatak mtavorakanutian (Monument to the Martyred Intelligentsia), Los Angeles: Navasart, 1985, p. 16.
3 Yervant Odian, “Azgayin nor tone” (The New National Anniversary), Jamanak, March 21, 1920, reprinted in Azg-Mshaguyt, April 24, 2010.
4 Simon Kapamadjian, Hayastani Kaghandcheke (The New Year Gift of Armenia), Constantinople: Simon Kapamadjian Bookstore, 1919, p. 12 (capitalized in original).
5 “Matenagitakan (1915-1921)” (Bibliography, 1915-1921), Haykashen taregirk, vol. I, Constantinople, 1922, p. 397.
6 Zohrab Garon, “Ruben Zardarian,” Shant, April 26, 1919, p. 293.
7 Mikayel Shamdanjian, “Ittihati hayajinj nopan” (The Armenian-Exterminating Crisis of the Ittihad), Shant, April 26, 1919, p. 299.
8 Hagop Sarkisian, “Artashes Harutiunian (hishatakner)” (Ardashes Harutiunian: Reminiscences), Haykashen taregirk, vol. 1, Constantinople, 1922, p. 266.
9 Aram Andonian, Metz Vochire. Haykakan verjin kotoratznere yev Taleat ***** (The Great Crime: The Last Armenian Massacres and Taleat *****), Boston: Bahag Press, 1921, p. 5-6 (emphasis added).
10 The Memoirs of Naim Bey, second edition, Newtown Square (Pa.): Armenian Historical Research Association, 1964, p. IX (emphasis added).
11 Kevork Mesrob, “Trkahayern u turkere (1914-1918). antip u pashtonakan pastatughter” (Turkish Armenians and Turks [1914-1918]: Unpublished and Official Documents), Haykashen taregirk, Constantinople, 1922, p. 119-20.
12 G. Kapiguian, Yeghernapatum Pokun Hayots yev norin medzi mayrakaghakin Sebastio (Story of the Yeghern of Lesser Armenia and Its Great Capital Sebastia), Boston: Hairenik Press, 1924, p. 48.
13 Krikoris tz vard. Balakian, Hay Goghgotan. Drvagner hay martirosagrutenen. Perlinen depi Zor 1914-1920, vol. I, Beirut: Planeta Printing Press, 1977, p. 17-19 (second printing of the 1922 edition).
14 Grigoris Balakian, Armenian Golgotha, translated by Peter Balakian with Aris Sevag, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, p. 21, 24 (Balakian, Hay Goghgotan, p. 61, 68).
[1]5 Balakian, Armenian Golgotha, p. 38 (Balakian, Hay Goghgotan, p. 81).
[1]6 Mardiros Sarian, Fe d’agombli yev Astudzo dem paterazm. Polis Nuri Osmaniyei mej Ittihatakanneru gaghtni voroshumnere. hayots bnajnjman sharzharitneru masin (Fait Accompli and War against God. The Secret Decisions of the Ittihadists in Nuri Osmaniyeh, in Constantinople: On the Motives for the Annihilation of the Armenians), Paris: n.p., 1933, p. 4.
17 idem, p. 40.
18 Nazaret Piranian, Kharperti Yegherne (The Yeghern of Kharpert), Boston: Baikar Press, 1937, p. [II].
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Edited by Arpa, 04 January 2013 - 12:45 PM.





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