Restart Gyumri

Civil Initiative Centre NGO

The Turkish-Armenian war of 1920, the problem of teaching it at school. Nelli Harutyunyan

1920 The Turkish-Armenian war is one of the most difficult and tragic pages in the modern history of the Armenian people. The Kemalists who came to power in Turkey, steadfastly inheriting the ideologies of their predecessors, Abdul Hamid, the Young Turks, pan-Islamism and Pan-Turkism, in the new conditions, cleverly disguised themselves under the guise of Bolshevism, were able to use. On the other hand, it was among the Western powers that the removal of the Armenian barrier to the establishment of the Great Turan was declared a sacred task for Turkey, which was carried out by many generations of Turks. 1920 In January, the Turkish parliament drafted a document entitled “National Covenant” on the territorial claims of the Turks, according to which not only all Western Armenian states, but also Eastern Armenian regions of Kars and Ardahan would enter Turkey. Turkey finally won.

We are almost 100 years away from these tragic events, but the Turkish-Armenian war of the autumn of 1920, in the usual sense, can not be considered a historical past, its analysis is still relevant today. The painful war proved once again that the danger coming from Turkey has not been eliminated yet. The question remains relevant not only because today we live within the borders drawn by the aftermath of that war, but also because today, modern Turkey continues to implement the military-political doctrine of Kemalism, and for Armenia the issue of external orientation has become relevant again.

The defeat of Armenia in the Turkish-Armenian war is explained by many external and internal circumstances and reasons. But in the end, why did Armenia lose that war? Who or who is to blame for this nationwide tragedy? Of course, the reason for Armenia’s defeat in the war was not one or two, there were many reasons.

First, the international situation was very unfavorable for Armenia. In the conditions of the Bolshevik-Kemal cooperation abandoned by the allies, the inequality of forces was so obvious that the victory of Armenia was practically ruled out. One of the reasons for Armenia’s defeat was the numerical superiority of the Turkish army.

However, neither the dominance of the enemy army nor the fighting of the Armenian army on several fronts can be an excuse, regardless of everything, the Armenian army did not show combat effectiveness and proper organization. Then, at least he will come out of the war with minimal losses.

From the very first day of the Turkish invasion, the Armenian army retreated, suffering heavy defeats. Especially in the last period of the war, confusion and despair became prevalent, which were accompanied by mass desertion, especially on the main front of Kars.

Minister of Defense R. Ter-Minasyan considered desertion to be the main reason for the fall of Kars, which he could not resist.

And A., who was taken prisoner in Kars. Babalyan rejected the view that the Armenian army and people did not want to fight the enemy, citing the recruitment of volunteers as evidence. Babalyan blamed the disgraceful defeat of Kars on the “incompetent and careless” high-ranking military command.

History has a tendency to repeat itself.

Teaching the Turkish-Armenian war in 1920 at school should not be an end in itself, because a hundred years later we have witnessed how history repeats itself almost identically.

The teaching of this topic should raise the issues that brought the Armenian nation confusion, despair, desertion, decline of combat effectiveness, loss of the homeland, 1920, 2020, the domination of the enemy, the improper preparation of the Armenian army led to the fact that It was possible to get out of the war with minimal losses, but it was not done.

The purpose of teaching this topic should be to learn from the lessons of the past, not to repeat the mistakes of the past. To instill in children the need to have a strong and efficient army, organization both in everyday life and in the army. Above all, the most important thing is the formation of patriotism from an early age.

The article was written by Nelli Harutyunyan, a participant in the second round of the “Article Contest” organized by the “Restart Gyumri” Initiative Center NGO

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