ethnic group native to the Armenian Highlands

Armenian (Armenian: հայեր, hayer [hɑˈjɛɾ]) are an ethnic group native to the Armenian highlands in the Caucasus region of south-eastern Europe. Armenians constitute the main population of Armenia and the de facto independent Artsakh until it was annexed by Azerbaijan. There is a wide-ranging diaspora of around five million people of full or partial Armenian ancestry living outside modern Armenia. The largest Armenian populations today exist in Russia, the United States, France, Georgia, Iran, Germany, Ukraine, Lebanon, Brazil, and Syria. With the exceptions of Iran and the former Soviet states, the present-day Armenian diaspora was formed mainly as a result of the Armenian genocide.


  • Like the Jews in Central and Eastern Europe, the Armenians were doubly vulnerable: not only a religious minority, but also a relatively wealthy group, disproportionately engaged in commerce. Like the Jews, they were heavily, though by no means exclusively, concentrated in one border region: the six vilayets (provinces) of Bitlis, Van, Erzurum, Mamuretulaziz, Diyarbakir and Sivas, on the Ottoman Empire's eastern frontier. Like the Jews, although more credibly, the Armenians could be identified as sympathizing with an external threat, namely Russia, historically the Ottoman Empire's most dangerous foe. Like the Serbs, they had their extremists, who aimed at independence through violence. There had in fact been state-sponsored attacks against them before. In the mid-i890s irregular Kurdish troops had been unleashed against Armenian villages as the Ottoman authorities tried to reassert the Armenians' subordinate status as infidel dhimmis, or non-Muslim citizens. The American ambassador estimated the number of people killed at more than 37,000. There was a fresh outbreak of violence at Adana in 1909, though this was not instigated by the Young Turks. The murderous campaign launched against the Armenians from 1915 to 1918 was qualitatively different, however; so much so that it is now widely acknowledged to have been the first true genocide. With good reason, the American consul in Smyrna declared that it 'surpasse[d] in deliberate and long-protracted horror and in extent anything that has hitherto happened in the history of the world'.
    • Niall Ferguson, The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West (2006), pp. 176-177
  • There is a small area of land in Asia Minor that is called Armenia, but it is not so. It is not Armenia. It is a place. There are only Armenians, and they inhabit the earth, not Armenia, since there is no Armenia. There is no America and there is no England, and no France, and no Italy. There is only the earth.
  • Armenians have lost the instinct for self-preservation, especially those who pursue a pro-Turkish policy in Armenia. I'm just in shock. The Armenians seem to want to check again whether the Turks will massacre them or not. Armenia wants to start negotiations with Ankara, with the presence of preconditions. Turkey has not given up and will not give up on them.
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