• Short Summary


    Armenians as an ethnic group have lived for thousands of years in the area around Mount Ararat, on the frontiers of the Soviet Union and Turkey.

  • Description

    1. Turkey, 1982: GVs Armenians in Istanbul street, SV women at funeral, GV PAN down from church tower TO people entering. (4 SHOTS) 0.23
    2. USSR, 1977: TGV Square in Yerevan, fountains, statue of Lenin. (3 SHOTS) 0.32
    3. SVs Fruit sold at market stall. (2 SHOTS) 0.39
    4. Iran, 1982:GV Cemetery, SV tombstones with portrait of dead, people put flowers on graves. (4 SHOTS) 1.08
    5. France, 1982: GV Crowds round Arc de Triomphe, Paris, SV marchers with banners down Champs Elysses. (2 SHOTS) 1.22
    6. Greece, 1982: SV & GV People marching with banners in Athens. (3 SHOTS) 1.34
    7. Istanbul, Turkey, 1979: SV & CU PAN Bomb damage to toilets at airport. (2 SHOTS) 1.46
    8. Australia, 1980: GVs & CU Turkish Consul-General tended by ambulance men. (3 SHOTS) 1.55
    9. SV & GV Consul-General lifted into ambulance, ambulance drives off. (2 SHOTS) 2.07
    10. France, 1981: SV PAN DOWN From hostage at widow TO police. 2.13
    11. SV Hostages leave building. 2.29
    12. Lebanon, 1981: GV Hooded spokesman for Armenian Secret Army speaking. (SOT) 2.46
    13. USA, 1982: CU & GV Car with bullet holes in windscreen. (2 SHOTS) 2.51
    14. Lebanon, 1982: Armenian spokesman speaking. (SOT) 3.12
    15. Turkey, 1982: GVs Airport lounge, GV hostages run from door. (2 SHOTS) 3.35
    16. SVs Body on floor, SV ambulance drive off. (3 SHOTS) 3.47
    ARMENIAN SPOKESMAN: (SEQ 14) "We, the Armenian Secret Army for Liberation of Armenia, totally support the execution carried out in Boston yesterday against the Turkish honorary Consul, Orhan Gunduz, which was carried out by the Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide."

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved


    Armenians as an ethnic group have lived for thousands of years in the area around Mount Ararat, on the frontiers of the Soviet Union and Turkey. They can look back to the days, in the century before the birth of Christ, when they were an important independent kingdom. Through centuries of occupation and dispersal, they have cherished the dream of regaining a homeland. For two years - 1918 - 1920 - they achieved an independent Armenian Republic - until the Soviet and Turkish leaders, Lenin and Kemal Ataturk, entered it and partitioned it between them.

    SYNOPSIS: Today, about 50,000 Armenians live in Turkey - most of them in Istanbul. Officially they have all rights of Turkish citizens, but many are still haunted by memories of persecution in the past. Few of those who live in the eastern provinces, the traditional Armenian homeland, admit to having the Armenian language as their mother tongue.

    Yerevan is the capital of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. Two million Armenians live in the Republic; the nearest thing they have to a national home. It is the only place that officially uses the name Armenian and carries on official business in the Armenian language.

    Another 200,000 now live in Iran. Their young men have fought and died for Iran in its war against Iraq; and the authorities in this fiercely Moslem country allow the Armenians to honour their dead in accordance with the Christian rites of their Apostolic church. Down the centuries, the Church has been a unifying force among a people scattered throughout the Middle East, Europe and as far as the United States and Australia.

    Armenian exiles parade in Paris to commemorate the anniversary of the massacre in Turkey in 1915. Several hundred thousand Armenians are believed to have died - victims of militant Turkish nationalism. On the same day, a similar ceremony took place in Athens. Greece, Cyprus and Lebanon all have sizeable Armenian communities, descendants of those who fled from 19th and 20th century Turkish massacres.

    In recent years, militant groups of Armenians have taken to violence - in Turkey itself and against Turkish officials and property abroad. Par of Istanbul airport was wrecked by explosives in May 1979.

    In December 1980, the Turkish Consul-General in Sydney, Australia, was shot by two men as he was leaving home. His bodyguard was also shot. An Armenian guerilla group claimed responsibility, saying it had acted in revenge for Turkish injustice to Armenia. The Consul General, Mr. Sarik Ariyak, died on the way to the hospital.

    Nine months later, a different group seized control of the Turkish cultural centre in Paris and held fifty people hostage there for more than twelve hours. French police negotiated the release of most of the hostages unharmed, though the Turkish vice-consul was seriously wounded, and a security guard killed.

    The group called itself the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia. The following week, its leader, heavily disguised spoke to newsmen in Beirut about his immediate demands; the release of Armenians in Turkish goals.

    Another Turkish diplomat shot dead - in Boston, Massachusetts. This time, the Armenian spokesman wore no disguise.

    That was in May of this year. Three-months later, the Secret Army itself struck again - this time inside Turkey, at Ankara airport. Nine people died in an attack with bombs and machine guns. The groups want international condemnation of the 1915 massacre in Turkey - an end to the harassment of Armenians in Turkey, which they say has continued ever since; and the return of their original homeland in eastern Turkey to the Armenian people.


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