Gourgen Yanikian Group – The Struggle to Restore Independent Armenia

Kourken Yanigian GroupJanuary 20 is one of the most important dates in the history of the Armenian people. It was the day on which Gourgen Yanikian’s group, which would become the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA), joined the process aimed at the restoration of an independent Armenian state in their historic homeland and the reunification of Armenians from the whole world.

We present to your attention the quotes and thoughts of ASALA’s founder Hagop Hagopian (Harutiun Tagushian, 1951-1988):

“I am devoted only to one ideology – a free homeland and a free people. We are not afraid to die for our Motherland because we are doomed to death without it. I will return to my homeland, alive or dead.”

“For our people, the only way of acquiring self-determination is armed struggle. To live and develop in the free and independent homeland of their ancestors is the right of the Armenian people. Our decision to resort to violence is the result of the refusal of the Turkish government and the forces patronizing it to consider the just and peaceful demands of the Armenian people.”

“I know that my struggle cannot satisfy those who live for the sake of a full stomach. I will not strive to please empty people. I do not expect approval from the public. The opinion of people can either inspire or destroy. It is transitory and does not matter. The meaning of my life is struggle. My whole life is a struggle.”

“I don’t understand why the Armenian aristocracy constantly relied on the imperialists from Europe instead of their own people. How did the French and the British deserve such an honor to represent the interests of the Armenian people? Every nation solely decides its fate: staking on others is a notorious miscalculation.”

“Armenians have undertaken all peaceful means, organizing marches, demonstrations, rallies, repeatedly appealing to the United Nations and to influential countries. However, it all ended in vain. No tangible results were achieved in the struggle for the recognition of the political and territorial rights of the Armenian people.

The wall of silence erected around our Court was tightly closed. We know our business. We know how to act in the future. The freedom-loving and revolutionary Armenian youth are determined not to give the enemy a break.”

“We fought for the liberation of Armenia and helped those peoples who pursued the same ideas. The Basques, Irish, Palestinians, Ethiopians – these peoples were under the unjust oppression of the European imperialists. But when they offered us their help, I refused to accept it. The reason for my decision was simple – the Armenian people should lead the struggle for the sacred Ararat themselves in order to realize their mission and become one.”

“Every shot in the heart of Turkey led to the birth of new Armenian heroes. We are called differently, but we are more concerned with another question: how to call those who, for the sake of their own capital and interests, turned a blind eye to the Genocide, as a result of which millions of Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians were massacred?”

“My greatest desire was to fight for the holy Motherland and for my people. Many considered me a romantic, but romanticism and courage are different things.”

“We are not against traditional Armenian political parties, but their traditionalism often led the Armenian people to the abyss. I consider it a big mistake to divide already divided people. Of course, every Armenian has the right to have his own opinion and his own political sympathies, but I firmly believe that there can be no second opinion on the issue of our struggle.”

“A freedom fighter never grows old or dies. It is important that our children enjoy the fruits of this struggle. Our desire to give them a homeland is stronger than the fear of death, and it will always be this way.”

“I followed the precepts of Andranik, I decided to devote my life to the struggle against the usurpers. Andranik is the true national leader of our people. He always repeated that he recognized only one nation – the nation of the oppressed. My friend Carlos (note. Carlos “The Jackal” Ramirez) loved this quote very much and used it at every opportunity.”

“Does the Turkish government really believe that the Armenian people will forget everything that happened? This will never happen: today, our generation is ready to fully sober up the enemy.”

“Who came up with the rule that one people have the right to a Homeland and other people do not? Who determined that the imperialists, like the British, have to decide the fate of hundreds of nations? I say no to such a system: let the imperialists shudder, for the peoples are rebelling.”

Hagop Hagopian (ASALA)

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