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Armenia History

Armenia - national flagArmenia - national flag

The history of the Armenian tricolor dates back to 1885, but then with partly different colors. The flag in its current form was first hoisted in 1918 with the creation of the Transcaucasia and was officially reintroduced in 1990. The colors are said to go back to ancient flags and banners. Red symbolizes the blood that Armenians have shed especially in the struggles against the Turks, blue the country's unchanged character, and orange stands for courage, expressed through the work of the people.

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Armenia - history

In Armenia's legendary material, the nation's prehistory is linked to the biblical genealogical registers and to great powers such as Assyria. Archaeologically, the possible connection to the Clockwork Kingdom and its high-ranking material culture is of particular interest. Inscriptions and names give clues to Armenian presence north and west of Lake Van in present-day Eastern Turkey in the 8th century BC.

The actual source basis for Armenia's historical existence, however, we only get with the Persian king Darius ' mention of his victory over the Armenians (approximately 520 BC), with depictions of Herodotus and in later Armenian historians' flashbacks.

Armenia History

The first individual to emerge clearly on the historical scene between Rome and the Parthian Empire is King Tigranes the Great (95-c. 55 BC). He represents an early - since often repeated - attempt to assemble probably originally small, independent principalities.

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Armenia became early Christian (see Armenian Church), and with the creation of its own alphabet in beg. of 400-t. began an extensive literary and cultural activity rooted in Christianity and in a common Indo-European language. Armenia distinguished itself politically and culturally, first between the Roman Empire and the Persian Empire, then between Byzantium and the Baghdad Caliphate (Anı), but was often dependent on the strength and political stance of the great powers.

The boundaries were very shifting, and also the inner unity was of fluctuating solidity; often one or more Persian-influenced princely families faced more western (especially Byzantine) oriented princely houses, and strong Persian and from approximately 700 Arab cultural impulses prevailed; thus Roman law was never introduced in the Caucasus. Towards the end. of 1000-t. became the old Armenia with centers in Anı and present-day Yerevan ran over the end of the first "Turkish wave", the Seljuks. Many emigrated south, and in Cilicia a new "Little Armenia" emerged, which existed until 1375.

This empire was an important ally of Western European crusaders, and many ties were attached to Western (Roman/Frankish) culture, politics, and theology. At the same time, a special inner life unfolded with the production of richly illuminated manuscripts, with the construction of churches, monasteries and fortresses, as well as with literary activity in poetry, theology and history.

From approximately 1400 the Armenians had to submit to the Ottoman Empire, often as a respected middle class with craft and trade functions. In Istanbul and Jerusalem, Armenian patriarchates were established, which were mainly administrative links between the Armenian people and the supreme Islamic authority.

At times, frictions arose between different population groups in the Ottoman Empire, but only with the decadence of the Istanbul Sultanate in the late 1800's. the Armenians became a particularly threatened minority. Serious massacres took place in the 1870's and 1890's.

The Armenians had hopes for the Young Turkish movement - towards a recognized Armenian existence within a new Turkish empire - but already around 1900 and definitely during World War I, the Young Turkish government resumed an ethnocentric policy, which led to major massacres in 1915, which by Armenian was designated as genocide, since probably at least 3/4 of the Armenian population in the then Turkey were killed or displaced. The policy of the following years continued the purge.

The solution of the Armenian question in the peace negotiations after the World War, where the US President Wilson proposed a Greater Armenia from Transcaucasia to Cilicia, led after a brief intermezzo (1918-20) with a small independent Armenia with Yerevan as the capital of a Soviet republic that was somewhat smaller in scope. The population here consisted partly of descendants of the ancient Armenian population with roots dating back to antiquity and the Middle Ages, and partly of refugees from Turkey.

At the same time, the number of Armenians abroad grew rapidly. The presence of Armenians in many Middle Eastern centers dates back to the Middle Ages, but the number of Armenians here and in Western Europe, Latin America and not least in North America increased especially after the massacres of the 1870's, 1890's, 1910's and 1920's. Soviet Armenia reached a relatively high scientific, technical and industrial level with chemical and electronic industry, but with environmental problems as a result, eg with the lowering of Sevansøen's mirror. The dissolution of the Soviet Union took place at the same time as Armenia's conflict with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave.with Armenian-Christian population and status of autonomous region, but enclosed by Islamic Azerbaijan. The conflict showed Armenia's immense communication vulnerability, with all traffic from the north passing through either Azerbaijan or Georgia.

A new constitution was introduced in 1995 following a referendum. It gives wide powers to the presidency both in terms of appointing government and senior officials in the province. Levon Ter-Petrosyanwas re-elected president in 1996. Following his accession, he and his successive governments continued to reject the incorporation of the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave into Armenia. Armenia also did not recognize the self-proclaimed republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. During the escalation of hostilities in 1992-94, Armenia actually contributed to the detachment of the enclave from Azerbaijan with both political and military assistance. However, this was not enough for Armenia's extremist nationalists, and on the back of economic ruin and accusations of corruption and abuse of power, Ter-Petrosyan had to resign in 1998. In an extraordinary presidential election, Nagorno-Karabakh's former president Robert Kotjarjan was elected instead.. However, the change of president did not succeed in increasing the political stability of the state. Thus, in 1999, gunmen stormed parliament, killing six of its members, including the prime minister.

The opposition, however, could not rally around a common leader, and in March 2003, Kotjarjan was re-elected president for another five years. Both the presidential and parliamentary elections in May 2003, which were won by the president's support party, were heavily criticized for irregularities by the opposition and international observers. In 2004, the opposition held several demonstrations against the president. Following a recommendation from the Council of Europe, it was decided in a referendum in 2005 to amend the Constitution in order to bring it into line with European standards for, for example, human rights and democracy. This significantly limited the power of the president. In the parliamentary elections in May 2007, incumbent Prime Minister Serzj Sarkisjansparty, the Republican Party of Armenia, a third of the votes and formed government together with the party Prosperous Armenia. International observers said the election largely lived up to international standards, while the opposition spoke of widespread electoral fraud. In the February 2008 presidential election, Serzh Sarkisjan won with 52.8% of the vote over Levon Ter-Petrosyan, who had made a political comeback and received 21.5% of the vote. OSCEexpressed moderate satisfaction with the election, but Ter-Petrosjan protested against the election result, which in his opinion was falsified. He staged large-scale protest rallies in Yerevan and was placed under house arrest when authorities on 1/3 cleared Yerevan's central square of protesters and incumbent President Robert Kotjarjan imposed a 20-day state of emergency. On that occasion, 10 people died, and approximately 250 were injured. In June, August and September 2008, Ter-Petrosyan again led mass demonstrations demanding the re-election of both president and parliament. Since his accession, Serzh Sarkisjan has primarily taken measures to combat the widespread corruption among officials. Due to the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia has a strained relationship with Azerbaijan, and the Armenians' desire to have the 1915 massacres recognized as genocide strains relations with Turkey. Both neighbors maintain an effective economic blockade of Armenia. In 2008, however, there was a remarkable thawing of relations between Armenia and Turkey. Diplomats from the two countries held confidential talks on an approximation, and the preliminary highlight was the Turkish president's unofficial visit to Yerevan in September 2008 in connection with the first ever international football match between Turkey and Armenia. The country's landlord's connections with the outside world take place through Georgia and Iran, with which it has good relations. Russia is Armenia's most important strategic partner in the region, and the two countries have reached an agreement on the stationing of Russian troops in Armenia. Thanks to the Armenian diaspora, Armenia has close ties with the United States, and the country wants closer cooperation with NATO, but not membership. In 2004, Armenia became part of the European Neighborhood Policy.

 

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