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WE MUST BECOME ZEYTUN

WE MUST BECOME ZEYTUN

No one expected that in the age of information technology and a developed civil society, the Armenian people would again face a direct threat to their physical existence. We are used to think about the Armenian genocide as a part of history that must be studied and passed on to generations. But who would have thought that "part of history" could become part of our current realities? 

On September 27th, 2020, the full-scale aggression of two fraternal dictatorial states Turkey and Azerbaijan against Armenia and Artsakh began. More than two weeks have passed since the beginning, and our neighbors are already openly declaring their intentions to solve the "Armenian issue" forever. 

As it has always been (and most likely will be), no state in the world, no international organization has done anything to stop the execution of civilians and entire Armenian populated areas. All the countries "stated the fact", "strongly condemned", made reports as well as a hundred years ago. It became clear to us that no one will make any physical effort to stop a new genocide in the 21st century, and this was a good cold shower for the Armenian people, clouded by hopes of external assistance. 

Woman and children are burned alive “Oakland Tribune”, Number 61, California, April 22, 1909 

EU Serious Concern, 11 October 2020

But a hundred years ago Armenians, whose minds were not clouded by hopes, lived in the mountains of Zeytun. The best allies of those brave Armenians were a rifle, a bludgeon, and a comrade-in-arms. Zeytun is a city and province of the same name, which was located in the mountainous part of Northern Cilicia. Since ancient times Zeytun has been inhabited by Armenians, who were like their mountains, difficult to reach and strong, no ruler was able to establish full control over these lands. Zeytun remained an enclave in the state until the last years of the Ottoman Empire. 

Zeytun, Armenia, Artsakh on map

While in Istanbul, Smyrna or other major cities in the European part of Turkey, intelligent Armenians lived on the basis of concessions and submission to the authorities in matters of business, social problems, diplomacy, etc. Less educated and shaggy zeytuns, surrounded on all sides by enemy troops, were so confident in themselves and their abilities to repeatedly challenged their enemies. While the Armenian villager became a rightless subject of the local Ottoman Bek, the Zeytun lived without letting go of weapons and not allowing the Ottoman laws and high state duties to be established on their territory. 

Sarkis, one of the heroes of  Zeytun's defense in 1895

The Armenians of Constantinople experienced a real Renaissance, inspired by the heroic defense of Zeytun in the second half of the 19th century. The psychotype of the militant zeytuns became the embodiment of the idea of fighting for freedom in the collective consciousness of Armenians. 

Today, in Transcaucasia, the Armenian people have their own small mountain region called Armenia and Artsakh. Whether we become Zeytun or filed as a history in the next couple of centuries depends on us. Concern for the fate of Armenia and Artsakh is in the air today more than ever. 

This means that the time has come.

It's time to take fate into your own hands.

We must become Zeytun!

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