On 19th-century Ottoman maps of Armenia, the territory between Lake Van and Erzurum is denoted as Ermenistan, said cartographer Ruben Ghalechyan, the founder of the scientific-cultural organization Armenian Institute stationed in London.
The indigenousness of Armenians to the Armenian Highlands and their cultural heritage has been frequently denied by Azerbaijani and Turkish historians.
“I have acquired these maps at the annual auction of maps in the UK several years ago. Two of them have been created in the early 19th century by the order of the Ottoman statesman Mehmed Emin Rauf Pasha. That’s why they bear the name “Atlas of Rauf”,” said Ghalechyan.
According to Ghalechyan, those maps are a powerful tool against the Azerbaijani and Turkish myths stating that the Armenians are actually nomads and their country was only established in the early 20th century. The maps have been drawn by Turkish cartographers, meaning that they aren’t falsified. However, Turkey doesn’t mention the maps today.
“Armenia is depicted on an 1877 map created by the order of the Ministry of War of the Ottoman Empire as well,” noted Ghalechyan. Turkologist Tiran Lokmagezyan thinks that the maps can play a crucial role in the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the scope of the modern informational conflict.
“The Ottoman Empire consisted of seized Greek, Armenian territories, and this has been openly mentioned at one time. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the government decided to establish a state-nation. In order to achieve their goals, they carried out exterminations of Greeks and Armenians, apart from other peoples,” said Lokmagezyan.
The Armenian Genocide has been the first genocide of the 20th century. Over the last years, Turkey has been traditionally refusing the intentional extermination of about 1.5 million Armenians carried out by the Ottoman Empire in the years of WWI. Moreover, Turkey reacts to the criticism of western historians and politicians rather oversensitively.
The Armenian Genocide is recognized by a number of countries, including Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, Germany, the majority of US states, the parliaments of Luxembourg, Chile, Austria, Greece, Cyprus, Argentina, Belgium, Wales, Switzerland, Canada, and Poland.