According to Napoleon’s plan, Armenia as an independent state was to appear after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire

Armenians and French

After the French army’s devastating victory over the Ottoman army at Mount Tabor in Palestine (on 16 April 1799), an Armenian deputation met Napoleon. The French leader offered to help the Armenians establish a state “that was about to appear on the world’s map after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire”.

When Gustave Flaubert and his friend Maxime Du Camp were in Egypt in late 1849, they visited Artin Bey, minister of foreign affairs. In “Flaubert”, the novelist’s biography, Henri Troyat wrote:

“Artin Bey welcomed them with Oriental graciousness, promised them assistance, and offered them carriage and horses to continue their journey”.

Like Artin Bey, Troyat was Armenian. His parents (Tarasyan) had fled Russia because of the 1917 Revolution and had settled in France.

By Jirair Tutunjian, Toronto

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