GLENDALE, Calif. – Tekeyan Cultural Association of the United States and Canada (TCA)’s Californian chapters organized an evening fundraising gathering for solidarity with Artsakh on Friday, October 23 at the Armenian Society Center in Glendale. The evening was highlighted by a talk by Yerevan political analyst Levon Shirinyan on the current conflict in Artsakh.
In her welcoming message, Executive Secretary of TCA West Coast Mayda Kuredjian greeted members and friends and thanked them for their generous donations, which resulted in a total of over $40,000. This sum is to be sent to Armenia Fund with other donations from US and Canadian TCA chapters and supporters. Along with the contribution from the TCA Central Board, a total of $100,000 has been assembled which is being transferred to the Armenia Fund.
She noted that TCA has this year also tried to support the Beirut Vahan Tekeyan School, with financial aid to prevent it from closing due, and then after the August bombing, to help it rebuild and continue its mission.
Kuredjian invited Kevork Haleblian to give a general historical and present-day evaluation of the situation in Artsakh. Haleblian said that 102 years ago the Ottoman army entered the Caucasus with the clear plan of occupying the whole region and realizing the dream of Pan-Turanism. In 1918, the Ottomans succeeded in establishing an Azerbaijani Republic for the first time in history. In 1920, Bolshevik Russia took over Azerbaijan, which became part of the Soviet Union. Later the Russians gave Azerbaijan the historically Armenian regions of Nakhichevan and Karabakh.
We can see the same Pan-Turanism at work today in this political situation, Halebian said, with Turkish historians and politicians stating that Armenia is clearly in the way, geographically blocking the realization of this plan. It would envisage joining Nakhichevan and Zangezur to reach the Turkic peoples of Central Asia.
Politically there are three main players in the region, Halebian said: Turkey, Russia and Iran. The latter is not very active and Russia has not strongly intervened. Russia tried to broker several ceasefire attempts which were not respected by the Azerbaijanis. On the other hand, Turkey is a very active participant in the conflict, providing Azerbaijan with military support.