Armenian diaspora – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted By on October 28, 2015

The Armenian diaspora refers to the communities of Armenians outside the Republic of Armenia including the self-proclaimed de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Since antiquity, Armenians have established communities in many regions throughout the world. However, the modern Armenian diaspora was largely formed as a result of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, when the Armenians living in their ancestral homeland in eastern Turkeyknown as Western Armenia to Armenianswere systematically exterminated by the Ottoman government.[1]

In Armenian, the diaspora is referred to as spyurk (pronounced[spjurk]), spelled in classical orthography and in reformed orthography.[2][3] In the past, the word gaghut ( pronounced[ut]) was mostly used to refer to the Armenian communities outside the Armenian homeland. It is borrowed from the Aramaic (Classical Syriac) cognate[4] of Hebrew galut ().[5][6]

The Armenian diaspora has been present for over seventeen hundred years.[7] The modern Armenian diaspora was formed largely after the World War I as a result of the Armenian Genocide. According to Randall Hansen, "Both in the past and today, the Armenian communities around the world have developed in significantly different ways within the constraints and opportunities found in varied host cultures and countries."[1]

After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish nationalists led by Mustafa Kemal Atatrk took the region of Western Armenia. As a result of the genocide, Armenians were forced to flee to different parts of the world (approximately half a million in number) and created new Armenian communities far from their native land. Through marriage and procreation, the number of Armenians in the diaspora who trace their lineage to those Armenians who survived and fled Western Armenia is now several million. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, approximately one million Armenians have joined the diaspora largely as a result of difficult economic conditions in Armenia. Jivan Tabibian, an Armenian scholar and former diplomat in Armenia said, Armenians "are not place bound, but... are intensely place-conscious."[8]

In the fourth century, Armenian communities already existed outside of Greater Armenia. Diasporic Armenian communities emerged in the Sassanid and Persian empires, and also to defend eastern and northern borders of the Byzantine Empire.[9] In order to populate the less populated areas of Byzantium, Armenians were relocated to those regions. Some Armenians converted to Greek Orthodoxy while retaining Armenian as their language, whereas others stubbornly clung on to remain in the Armenian Church despite pressure from official authorities. A growing number of Armenians voluntarily migrated or were compelled to move to Cilicia during the course of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. After the fall of the kingdom to the Mamelukes and loss of Armenian statehood in 1375, up to 150,000 went to Cyprus, the Balkans, and Italy.[9] Although an Armenian diaspora existed during Antiquity and the Middle Ages, it grew in size due to emigration from the Ottoman Empire, Iran, Russia, and the Caucasus.

The Armenian diaspora is divided into two communities those from Ottoman Armenia (or Western Armenian) and those who are from the former Soviet Union, the independent Republic of Armenia and Iran. (or Eastern Armenian)

Armenians of the modern Republic of Turkey do not consider themselves as part of the Armenian Diaspora, since they believe that they continue residing in their historical homeland.[citation needed]

The Armenian diaspora grew considerably during and after the First World War due to dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.[10] Although many Armenians perished during the Armenian Genocide, some of the Armenians managed to escape, and established themselves in various parts of the world.

Today, the Armenian diaspora refers to communities of Armenians living outside the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, since these regions form part of Armenians' indigenous homeland. The total Armenian population living worldwide is estimated to be 11,000,000.

Of those, approximately 3 million live in Armenia, 130,000 in the unrecognized de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and 120,000 in the region of Javakhk in neighboring Georgia. This leaves approximately 7,000,000 in diaspora (with the largest populations in Russia, the United States, France, Argentina, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Canada, Ukraine, Greece, and Australia).[11]

Less than one third of the world's Armenian population lives in Armenia. Their pre-World War I population area was six times larger than that of present-day Armenia, including the eastern regions of Turkey, northern part of Iran, southern part of Georgia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Nakhichevan regions of Azerbaijan.[12]

The table below lists countries and territories where at least a few Armenians live, with their number according to official data and estimates by various organizations and media.

Estimates may vary greatly, because no reliable data are available for some countries. In France, Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Germany and many other countries, ethnicity was never enumerated during population censuses and it is virtually impossible to determine the actual number of Armenians living there. Data on people of foreign origin (born abroad or having a foreign citizenship) is available for most European Union countries, but doesn't present the whole picture and can hardly be taken as a source for the number of Armenians, because in many countries, most prominently France, most Armenians aren't from the Republic of Armenia and they don't have any legal connection with their ancestral homeland. Also, not all Armenian citizens and people born in Armenia are ethnic Armenians, but the overwhelming majority of them are, as about 97.9% of the country's population is Armenian.[13]

For other countries, such as Russia, the official number of Armenians is believed, by many, to have been underrated, because many migrant workers live in the country.

Here is the original post:
Armenian diaspora - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Related Posts


Comments are closed.

matomo tracker