Iğdır As An Integral Part Of Eastern Armenia

The Iğdır or Surmalinsky district together with Mount Ararat has always geographically and historically been an integral part of Eastern Armenia. It was also part of the Republic of Armenia in 1918-1920 and was annexed by Kemalist Turkey and Bolshevik Russia under the illegal Russian-Turkish treaty.

Even after 1555, as a result of the partition of Armenia between Persia and Turkey, the Yerevan Khanate was formed as part of the common Persian state, which included the Surmalinsky district.

Already during the time of the Russian Empire, the Surmalinsky (Iğdır) district was permanently part of the Armenian region. Then, it became part of the Yerevan province, with the Armenian population being the majority in the district.

We present the official map of the Yerevan province of 1880 that shows that the territory of the Surmalinsky district, which is part of the province, was 3688 sq. km.

Let us also present the official data of the census conducted in 1897 by the imperial authorities. “The total population is 4680, of which 3934 are Armenians, 559 Russians, 82 Tatars, 72 Kurds, etc.” (First general population census of the Russian Empire, 1897).

In 1918-1920, the Surmalinsky district was already an integral part of the Republic of Armenia, but it passed to Turkey in accordance with the treacherous Russian-Turkish treaty concluded on March 16, 1921. In fact, the Surmalinsky district was exchanged for the port of Batumi, which became part of Soviet Georgia.

In the meantime, this territory had nothing to do with Turkey and before the Russian Empire had been part of Persia.

It should also be noted that until December 1920, the Armenian armed forces under the command of Dro were able to defend the Surmalinsky district from the attacks of the Turks, and the flight of Armenians from there began after the signature of the Moscow Treaty. Iğdır, completely cleared of Armenians, was inhabited by nomadic Turkic tribes whose descendants now constitute the majority of the population in Iğdır.

Ruben Shukhyan

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