By Edmond Y. Azadian
There is a euphoria generated by the prospect of celebrating the centennial of the First Republic in 2018. However, this November 29 reminds us of another centennial arriving in 2020, that of the creation of the Soviet Armenian Republic, under the most controversial turn of historic events.
While Turkish Kemalist forces under Kazim Karabekir were at Armenia’s border, threatening to overrun the country, the government in power, controlled by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), decided to sign the Treaty of Alexandropol, placing the country under Turkish tutelage. In the meantime, the same government was negotiating with the Communists over a power-sharing deal, where Gen. Dro (Drastamad Kanayan) and Hampartsoum Derderian would represent the ARF on the Revolutionary Committee.
At a distance of 98 years, it is a challenge to understand what was in the minds of those leaders when they engaged in a double deal. Since the incoming government was not a party to the Alexandropol Treaty, the latter was rendered invalid. Thus, Armenia was safe from the prospect of Turkish domination. As soon as the Soviets took over, they declared the treaty defunct and saved the last remnant of historic Armenian territory, which they also expanded to its current dimensions.
In this way, Soviet Armenia became part of our history and in terms of longevity, it far exceeds the First Republic.
Soviet Armenia was a hybrid state; it was a republic by itself but was part of a larger federated unit, the Soviet Union.