The Plain of Mush – Msho Dashter

The Plain of Mush - Msho DashterThe Mush plain is a small fertile plain situated in the middle reaches of the Aratsani River (Murad) where it connects with its tributary Meghraget (Karasu). “Msho Dasht” (Մշո դաշտ) means “Mush plain” in Armenian.

According to an ancient Armenian legend, goddess Anahit loved to swim in the waters of the Meghraget river at night. Learning of this, local brave souls lit bonfires on the nearby hills to admire the naked goddess.

To protect herself from alien eyes, Anahit spread fog all over the plain. After that, the plain became known as the “Misty plain”, which in Armenian sounds like “Mshsho Dasht” (Մշշո դաշտ).

In antiquity and during the Middle Ages, the Mush plain was one of the centers of Armenian civilization. Up until the 1960s, it housed many Armenian monasteries that served as training centers since religion and education in Armenia had become one. Until 1915, the city of Mush was the center of both the Armenian Apostolic and Armenian Catholic Churches.

During the Armenian Genocide in 1915-1923, the Turks exterminated almost the entire Armenian population of the Mush plain (more than 65 thousand people). Armenian churches, schools, and cemeteries – everything that contained Armenian inscriptions – were destroyed by the Turks either during the genocide or during the long decades after it.

Since 1915, the Turkish authorities have pursued a policy of complete eradication of the Armenian cultural heritage left by Armenians in Turkey after the genocide. The Turks have been doing this in order to “prove” that Armenians had never lived there, which would render the accusations of the genocide groundless.

The paradox is that despite the documented evidence, the Armenian Genocide is recognized reluctantly throughout the world (unlike the Holocaust or the Rwandan genocide). As a result, the prevention of its consequences and compensation are just out of question.

Prejudice caused by geopolitical ambitions every time prevails over the conscience of mankind. For a century, 10 million Armenians have been wondering how it is possible to deny the obvious and consider the extermination of nearly 2 million people anything other than a genocide.

Meanwhile, Turkey denies its responsibility by manipulating numbers and interchanging cause and effect, accusing the Ottoman Armenians of “a genocide of the Turks” in an attempt to break off a piece of “Turkish” land…

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