Edited by Léo-Paul Dana, Mary Han, Vanessa Ratten and Isabell M. Welpe
Chapter 3: Armenia
Vahé Heboyan 1. Introduction The Republic of Armenia is a small, land-locked country situated on the south-eastern edge of Europe – in the Caucasus. Armenia is one of the oldest nations and the first Christian nation in the world (ad 301). It has an area of 29 800 square kilometers and borders with Georgia (north), Azerbaijan (east), Iran (south), and Turkey (west). Armenia is a homogenous country with a population of 3.1 million of which 98 percent are ethnic Armenians. Armenia’s head of state is the President who is elected by the popular vote for a maximum of two five-year terms. The National Assembly is the highest legislative body and has 131 legislators. The Constitution Court is the highest judicial body. The capital of Armenia is Yerevan which is founded in 782 bc. Armenia has 11 administrative divisions, Marzes, including Yerevan (Gevorgyan et al., 2005; CIA, 2008). Over centuries Armenia has been under occupation of various empires including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, and Ottoman empires (CIA, 2008). During the World War I (WWI), Armenians living under Ottoman Turkey’s occupation were subject to mass deportation and mass killings planned and carried out by the Ottoman Turkish government. More than one and half million Armenians were killed and many more were deported from their homes. The events are viewed by international genocide scholars as the first genocide of the twentieth century (IAGS, 2008; Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 2008). The first Armenian Republic was established at the end of the WWI...
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