Basen, Region of Historical Armenia

Basen is located north of the city of Karin (Erzurum) at an altitude of 1750-1800 meters above sea level, in the mountains of the Armenian Highlands.

The second name of the region is Basianq.

In the 2nd millennium BC, the area was part of the kingdom of Hayasa. Then Basen, in the composition of the Ararat kingdom.
From the 6th century BC – as part of the Armenian satrapy.
From the 4th century BC – as part of the Armenian Ararat kingdom.
From the 2nd century BC to the 5th century, in the province of Ararat, Greater Armenia.
Since the 5th century, it has been part of the Armenian marzpans.
Since the 7th century – a part of the Armenian Emirate.
From the 9th century until the 11th century it was part of the Armenian Kingdom of Ani.
In the 11th century, the region was conquered by Byzantium, which soon handed it over to the Seljuk Turks, migrants from Central Asia.

After that, Basen fell under the slavery of the Turks for many centuries. Although, from time to time the region managed to be freed from the Turkish yoke, as, for example, in the 13-14th centuries.

In the 12th century, the region was ravaged by Persian troops. At the beginning of the 19th century, the region was recaptured from the Turks by the Russians, but soon returned to them, as a result of which, in 1829, Turkish troops staged a massacre of the indigenous population in Basen.

The second Armenian pogrom in this area was in 1855. The third pogrom – in 1894-1896, and finally the Armenian Genocide in 1915.

In 1916, Basen again came under Russian control, which became a pretext for the return of the surviving Armenians.

However, in 1918, the Turks recaptured Basen and the last remnants of the indigenous population left the area.

In 1919, at the Paris Peace Conference, Basen was defined as part of the independent Armenian Republic.

In 1920, the international community also adopted a document according to which Basen was included in the independent Armenia.

Later, the Woodrow Wilson Award made the same decision. However, Turkey ignored the decision of the international community, taking advantage of the support of the RSFSR.

In 1945, the USSR decided to return to Armenia its western regions, including the region of Basen, however, the international situation did not allow this decision to be implemented.

PS. Before the genocide of 1915, 16,740 Armenians lived in the Basen region. There were 57 Armenian villages in the region, 16 active Armenian Apostolic churches, 1 inhabited Armenian monastery, and 20 Armenian schools.

The inhabitants of Basen spoke the Erzurum (Karin) dialect of the Armenian language, close to that spoken today by the inhabitants of Javakhk (now southern Georgia, on the border with Armenia).

The administrative center of the Basen region is the city of the same name – a fortress, which is located 42 kilometers northeast of Karin (Erzurum).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *