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The Self-Delusion of ‘Great Calamity’: What ‘Medz Yeghern’ Actually Means Today

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Towards the metropolis of the Medz Yeghern (Avetis Aharonian, 1918)1

In our previous article, we established that “Medz Yeghern” literally meant “Great Crime” for the survivors of the genocide. It becomes clear that the phrase cannot be arbitrarily translated to a completely different semantic field like “calamity,” even if the meaning of the word had fundamentally changed later at some point in the past hundred years. Here, we will see that, 1) It is not only the survivors who understood yeghern as “crime,” contemporary Eastern Armenian writers who were not victims of the genocide also understood it that way; 2) the following generations also understood it as “crime” until this day.

Avetis Aharonian

Avetis Aharonian

Avetis Aharonian: ‘the capital of the Medz Yeghern

Before World War I was over and before the survivors had even been allowed to return, famous Eastern Armenian writer and political activist Avetis Aharonian (1866-1948) led a delegation of the Republic of Armenia to Constantinople. The delegation went to protest the Treaty of Batum, which Turkey had imposed on the fledgling republic a few days after the declaration of its independence (June 4, 1918), reducing its territory to Yerevan and the surrounding area. Aharonian also met the Armenian community there, still reeling after four years of life under fear and terror from the Young Turk regime on the brink of collapse. He wrote a series of essays based on his impressions, which were included in his 1920 memoir For the Homeland. He wrote the essay “Towards the metropolis of the Medz Yeghern” on June 15, 1918, when traveling from Batum to Constantinople. A few pages later, he wrote:

“I am going to Constantinople. This is a miracle. I am going to the capital of the Medz Yeghern, tothat accursed furnace where all the infernal conspiracies, all the crimes against the Armenian world and the Armenian people were forged. After 30 years of struggle, with my invincible soul, my iron will, and my granitic faith—like that of my people—I go with my head held high to knock at the enemy’s door. And one powerful, supreme wish lashes my soul like a storm: to see the greatest criminals [vojrakordz]in the world, to look them in the eye, to shout out my unspeakable pain and wrath and then…” 2

After a four-month sojourn in the “capital of the Medz Yeghern,” where a monstrous evil was perpetrated by the “greatest criminals of the world,” he could not get away from the harshness of reality in his next essay, dated Nov. 14, 1918: “I am again on the sea; the ship cracks the blue waves of the Bosphorus. I am returning from Constantinople the same way I came, four months ago, to my Golgotha: the city of the Medz Yeghern. … And now, when I am escaping from the city of the Medz Yeghern,my soul, emptied of hope and belief, cries quietly in the darkness.”3

Avetik Isahakian: horrors and yegherns

Poet Avetik Isahakian (1875-1957), who had already used yeghern with the meaning of “crime” in his poem “Abu-Lala Mahari”in 1909, used the word again in a quite unusual pluralized form in a famous poem dedicated to Armenia, first published in 1924:

Sold off by your friends, wronged homeland of mine,

Ruined beneath your enemies’ feet, orphaned homeland of mine,

Eternalized by horrors and yegherns, ancient homeland of mine,

Sacred right in your blood, your soul the sun, my Armenia.4

Yeghishe Charents: yeghern and strife

In 1933, Yeghishe Charents (1897-1937), the foremost Soviet-Armenian poet who would later fall victim to the Stalinist purges, published his quartet “M.M.” (written in 1929) about a famous Western Armenian poet, Misak Medzarents, who had died from tuberculosis at the age of 22, in 1908:

There has been blood in the world; there has been yeghern and strife;

Colossal forces have risen like mountains to go at each other untamed;

In a village far from the world, with freshly cut reed flute,

This sickly young genius sings of sun and spring.5

At a time when the subject of the 1915 annihilation was almost taboo in Soviet Armenia, Charents used yeghern to subliminally weave its memory into his text, together with the “colossal forces” that recalled the World War. The word was used between “blood” and “strife,” and there is no doubt that “crime” fits that same context perfectly.

The yeghern of 1933 and the ‘Turkish genocidal yeghern’ of 1965

We believe that the point has been proved beyond and above any objections, and that there is no need to extend our survey of Armenian publications to the period of 1930-65. We will content ourselves with two intriguing cases from that period: One of them, in particular, may interest Armenian-Americans; it is a book published in 1935 by an ad-hoc committee formed in the aftermath of the assassination of Archbishop Ghevont Tourian in New York in 1933. Its title, “Azkatav yegherne yev tadabardutiune,” may have exploited the echoes of 1915 for political purposes and used the word yeghern to describe Tourian’s killing, which was defined and tried in American courts as a crime. Therefore, the literal translation of the book is “The Nation-Betraying Crime and the Condemnation.”

The other case is the mammoth volume edited by Kersam Aharonian and published by the daily Zartonk in Beirut on the 50th anniversary of the genocide (1965), called Hushamadian Medz Yegherni (“Memorial Book of the Medz Yeghern”). By its sheer size and scope, the 1,140-page book was perhaps the richest collection of material on the issue to date. The dedication of the volume reads:

“We dedicate this book

to the eternally immortal and sacred memory

of the million and half Armenian martyrs

who fell during the First World War

as victims of the Turkish genocidal [tseghasban] yeghern…”6

The word “Turkish” refers to an active agent, the executor of the yeghern, which makes implausible any argument that “genocidal yeghern” could have meant “genocidal calamity” (“genocidal calamity,” in any case, would be another way of saying “genocide”).

As a matter of fact, a survey of the titles in the volume reveals five uses of Medz Yeghern, two of Yeghern (both related to the massacres in Kharpert), one of Abrilian Yeghern (“April Yeghern”), one of Medz Aghed (“Great Catastrophe”), and two of Aghed (“Catastrophe,” one on Marash 1920 and one on Smyrna 1922). The word tseghasbanutiun (“genocide”) was used twice, and hayasbanutiun (“armenocide”) once. Incidentally, one of the sections was called “The Kemalist Yeghern…and the Evacuation of Cilicia.” Therefore, not only the events of 1915, but also the massacres of Armenians by the Kemalist forces in Cilicia (1920-1921) are considered a Crime, in capital letters.

Modern Armenian dictionaries

To conclude with this terminological discussion, we will analyze a sample of Armenian monolingual dictionaries published after the genocide. These dictionaries may be used by anyone who wishes to understand and/or translate Medz Yeghern into another language as a reference source. As it has happened with dictionaries introduced in our previous articles, we have only studied sources available to us; we cannot claim to have exhausted the bibliography.

Several dictionaries have agreed on the modern sense of the word yeghern by essentially establishing it around “crime” and “killing” in both the individual (sbanutiun “murder”) and the collective sense (sbant “slaughter”; chart “massacre”; godoradz “massacre”). Incidentally, the dictionaries authored by Stepanos Malkhasiants, the language team of the Academy of Sciences of Armenia, and Eduard Aghayan are the most authoritative sources for the modern language.:7

 

Dictionary Yeghern
Kayayan (1938) ոճիր [vojir, “crime”], սպանութիւն [sbanutiun, “murder”], չարագործութիւն [charakordzutiun, “wrongdoing”], քրէական յանցանք [kreagan hantsank, “criminal offense”]
Malkhasiants (1944) (antiquated) չարիք [charik, “calamity”], աղէտ [aghed, “catastrophe”], փորձանք [portzank, “calamity”]; (current) See ոճիր [vojir]
Der Khachadurian, Kankruni and Doniguian (1968) ոճիր [vojir], սպանդ [sbant, “slaughter”], չարագործութիւն [charakordzutiun,], քրէական յանցանք [kreagan hantsank}, ջարդ [chart, “massacre”]
Academy of Sciences of Armenia (1969) ոճիր [vojir], ոճրագործութիւն [vojrakordzutiun, “commission of a crime”], չարագործութիւն [charakordzutiun]
Aghayan (1976) ոճիր [vojir], չարագործութիւն [charakordzutiun], չարիք [charik]; կոտորած [godoradz, “massacre”]
Granian (1982) ոճիր [vojir], քրէական յանցանք [kreagan hantsank}; ջարդ [chart, “massacre”], սպանդ [sbant, “slaughter”]

 

The Haigazian Dictionary and the New Haigazian Dictionary already contained several adjectives and compound words found in Classical Armenian derived from the word yeghern, which they defined on the basis of “crime” (vojir) and “evil” (charik).All of the monolingual dictionaries of Modern Armenian that we have seen include up to a dozen synonyms each for yeghern that are closely associated with the ideas of “crime” and “evil.” This indicates that both the classical and modern language shared the primary meaning of yeghern as “evil/crime” and “crime/evil,” respectively.

Advocates of the “calamity” translation of Medz Yeghern may use as evidence one dictionary of Modern Armenian that gives it as a primary meaning. The dictionary of Archbishop Knel Jerejian and Paramaz Doniguian, published in 1992, offers three meanings for yeghern: “1. charik, aghed, portzank; 2. vojir, sbant, chart; 3. kreagan hantsank.” Several caveats about this puzzling set are in order:

a)      The first meaning repeats the Malkhasiants dictionary (which is the standard source for anyone writing a dictionary of Modern Armenian) without the crucial warning that those meanings are antiquated.

b)      The second repeats three of the definitions from the dictionary by Der Khachadourian, Kankruni, and Doniguian; and the third includes a fourth definition from the latter.

c)      The definitions corresponding to charik, aghed,and portzank completely omit yeghern.

While we cannot be sure whether the three meanings given by the dictionary follow any order of importance, the sentence given as example of word usage points to the meaning the authors considered primary and renders moot any argument about the practical use of the word in a non-legal, non-judicial sense: “The April Yeghern is a genocide [tseghasbanutiun] executed in 1915 against the peaceful Armenian nation by the Young Turks.”8 The Young Turks could not execute a calamity or a catastrophe—only a crime.

The same advocates may also cite two dictionaries that mention “calamity” as a secondary meaning—those by Kegham Kerovpyan (portzank, 1962) and Rev. Aristakes Bokhjalian (charik, aghed, portzank, 1974).9 Incidentally, both were published in Istanbul. Between them, Ashot Sukiasyan’s thesaurus (1967) included three semantic groups: The first had 6 words that ranged in meaning from vojir to charakordzutiun;; the second, 13 words that denoted “killing”; while the third consisted of 3 words: charik, portzank, and aghed.Bohjalian, who translated yeghern into Turkish as cinayet (“crime”), may have just followed Sukiasyan, who omitted yeghern in the definitions of charik, portzank, and aghed.10

The evidence from dictionaries and literary sources brings us to the following:

1)   The primary meaning of yeghern in Modern Armenian is “crime.”

2)      The word vojir (“crime”), its closest synonym of yeghern, despite having been used to denote the genocide, does not necessarily include the nuance of “evil.” Yeghern involves a greater level of abstraction than vojir; thus, Medz Yeghern symbolically stresses the singular character of the event.

3)   Medz Yeghern has literally meant “Great Crime” for almost a hundred years. “Great Evil Crime” would be its most accurate, even if translation to encompass both crime and evil, but too cumbersome for practical use; the shortened version, “Great Crime,”conveys the best option, even if there is something lost in translation on the way from yeghern to “crime.”

4)      Yeghern has not been used in the 20th century to mean “calamity, catastrophe, disaster,” even though some Armenian monolingual dictionaries may have included it.

5)      The notion that Medz Yeghern also means “Great Calamity” completely flies in the face of the evidence of dictionaries and literary sources written in the wake of the genocide.

 

Notes

[1] Avetis Aharonian, Hayrenikis Hamar (For My Homeland), Boston: Hairenik Press, 1920, p. 67.

2 idem, p. 70.

3 idem, p. 76, 102.

4 Avetik Isahakian, “Hayastanin” (To Armenia), Hairenik Amsakir, May 1924, p. 1.

5 Yeghishe Charents, Girk chanaparhi (Book of the Road), Yerevan: State Publishing House, 1933, p. 281.

6 Kersam Aharonian (ed.), Hushamatian Metz Yegherni (Memorial Book of the Medz Yeghern), Beirut: Zartonk, 1965, p. IV.

7 H. T. Kayayan, Bararan-gandzaran hayeren lezvi (Dictionary-Thesaurus of the Armenian Language), Cairo: Kalfa, 1938, p. 112; Stepanos Malkhasiants, Hayeren batsatrakan bararan (Armenian Explanatory Dictionary), vol. I, Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1944, p. 559; Ardashes Der Khachadurian, Hrant Kankruni and Paramaz G. Doniguian, Hayots lezvi nor bararan (New Dictionary of the Armenian Language), vol. I, Beirut: G. Doniguian and Sons, 1968, p. 129; Zhamanakakits hayeren lezvi batsadrakan bararan (Explanatory Dictionary of Contemporary Armenian Language), vol. 1, Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1969, p. 549; Eduard Aghayan, Ardi hayereni batsadrakan bararan (Explanatory Dictionary of Modern Armenian), vol. 1, Yerevan: Hayastan, 1976, p. 323; Rev. Antranig Granian, Bargirk hayeren lezvi (Dictionary of the Armenian Language), Beirut: Shirag, 1982, p. 143.

8 Archbishop Knel Jerejian and Paramaz Doniguian, Hayots lezvi nor bararan (New Dictionary of the Armenian Language), vol 1, Beirut: G. Doniguan and Sons, 1992, p. 27, 533; Ardashes Der Khachadurian, idem, vol. II , p. 615, 1057-1058.

9 Kegham Kerovpyan (Işkol), Hayeren bargirk ashkharhabar lezvi (Dictionary of the Modern Armenian Language) Istanbul: Ghalatio Bouket, 1962, p. 167; Rev. Aristakes Bohjalian, Hayerene hayeren batsatrakan ardzern bararan (Armenian-Armenian Pocket Explanatory Dictionary), Istanbul: Armenian Turkish Teachers’ Organization, 1991, p. 142 (first edition, 1974).

[1]0 Ashot Sukiasyan, Hayots lezvi homanishneri bararan (Dictionary of Synonyms of the Armenian Language), Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1967, p. 25, 179, 526, 625.

9 Comments on The Self-Delusion of ‘Great Calamity’: What ‘Medz Yeghern’ Actually Means Today

  1. avatar gaytzag palandjian // January 13, 2013 at 11:20 am // Reply

    Above article,¨Metz Yeghern¨-translated as ¨Great Calamity¨ has been there over a week now.Curiously no poster as appeared below it.
    Am I going to be the only one,or someone else will also write and declare like I do. it is quite simple,in order to escaqpe the word ¨Genocide¨coined much after the great CRIME in 1949 By Rafael Lemkin,corresponds to actuality.Meaning when ,after the Jewsish Holocaust took place in the 1941-45 by Hitler´s Nazi Germany. This honest jew then denominated the Armenian -previous one-as Genocide.
    A.In otder to make distinction between his people´s and ours
    B. In order to escape the word Genocide ,much later the Pope John pronounced the word ¨Metz Yeghern¨ when he visited Tstzernakapert,Yerevan.
    C. U.S. president Obama ,then followed suit,declaring it as ¨´Metz Yeghern¨ for political conveniency. Case is closed.Or is it?
    It certainly is not.We Armenians undeerstand quite well that word Genocide is what we are after and shall stick to it ,until it is accpeted Worldwide.
    FOR THE W O R L D O W E S J U S T I C E T O A R M E N I A N S

  2. The good doctor of letters, Dr. Vartan Matiossian, has rendered a harsh diagnosis of those of us who have opted to use the English word calamity to best convey what they understand the word Yeghern meant for them. He calls their suggestion delusional. Furthermore to narrow their pathological state of mind- the delusion-he labels it “self delusion” to delineate from delusions that apparently are not “self”.

    The good doctor then sits on the sideline. He does not offer a prognosis nor intervenes for a remedy. Obviously he cannot prescribe using the G word, genocide. We have the undisputed Armenian word for it, Ցեղասպանութիւն (tseghaspanoutiun).

    Naturally I agreed to a comment Boyajian made that calamity does not embody the premeditated nature of things, let alone of the Armenian Genocide. However, I noted to him, I know no other word in English that better conveys what I have understood the word Yeghern means. C.K. Garabed has toyed with the word Cataclysm. My preference is Calamity.

    The Armenian word that best conveys to me what Yeghern means, is the Armenian word aghet. According to Wikipedia “Aghet being Armenian for “catastrophe” is a German 2010 documentary film on the Armenian Genocide”. Some of the readers may have seen the documentary. The word aget seems more commonly used in Eastern than in Western Armenian.

    .It is important for those of us who are bilingual and continue to have a healthy interest in the western Armenian literature to have a common understanding as to why is that –say- one of the most prodigious post Genocide writer, Antranig Dzarougian, called his book “Սէրը Եղեռնի մէջ» (Sere Yegherni mech) “Love (Սէրը ) during Yeghern (???) “, and not “Love (Սէրը) during the Ցեղասպանութիւն (Genocide)”. The central theme of the book is about love during the Armenian Genocide.

    Incidentally very recently I translated an article by Dr. Antranig Chalabian that appeared in Spurk weekly in Beirut, on April 19, 1970. In that article he noted – “There was an exhibit about Yeghern in the West Hall of the American University of Beirut”. When I read the statement I understood it to mean that the exhibit was not only about the 1.5 million victims of the Genocide, but of the usurped lands, of the dispersion of the survivors, and of loss of culture that had evolved since Haig took his tribe and settled on that rocky terrain at the foot hill of Mount Ararat. It never occurred to me that the exhibit he referred to was about a crime, however horrendous a crime.

    Call it a “self delusion, if you will, that is what the whole thing summed up to me, the Big Calamity (Մեծ Եղեռն) that befell on us and altered for ever the course of our history.

    Hopefully, Dr. Matiossian’s well-researched but distastefully titled article may be capped by his choice of the right English word for Yeghern, if there is one.

    • avatar Vartan Matiossian // January 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm //

      Dear Mr. Apelian:
      Please bear in mind that many of my comments are about issues probably known to you, but that are introduced here for the benefit of the readers.
      1) I used the word “self-delusional” to emphasize the fact that those writers and editors who have written “Great Calamity” so far have deluded themselves with such a translation. I have written four articles to show that yeghern meant “crime,” “evil,” “calamity,” in the 5th century A.D. (Classical Armenian), but that its meaning “calamity” disappeared from Modern Armenian by the end of the 18th century. I have also brought abundant iterary evidence to show that the meaning “calamity” was not meant by the survivors of the genocide and their contemporaries.
      2) The word “aghed” is commonly used both in Western and Eastern Armenian. It definitely means “catastrophe” in Classical and Modern Armenian. In the 5th century A.D., as I have indicated, both “yeghern” and “aghed” meant “crime” and “calamity,” as per the New Haigazian Dictionary, but not in the 20th century.
      However, Eastern Armenian uses it only to denote a natural catastrophe (for instance, աղէտի գօտի/ “aghedi kodi” (disaster area), to label the area affected by the 1988 earthquake).
      3) You’re free (and also right) to understand the genocide as the Big Calamity that befell us and altered forever the course of our history. But you have the words Medz Aghed to do that, not Medz Yeghern. You can’t force your individual perception of a meaning over the meaning of a word. Even though the effects of a collective murder/massacre become a man-made calamity for a community (e.g. Columbine, Aurora, Newtown, and so on), you can’t perceive the English words “murder” or “massacre” as synonymous with “calamity,” can you?
      4) The reason for Antranik Dzarugian calling his novel «Սէրը Եղեռնի մէջ» is that he knew, as any literate Armenian did and do know, that Yeghern is the Armenian name for the event (while tseghasbanutiun is not) and tseghasbanutiun is the Armenian translation of the word that designates “the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group”, e.g. “genocide.”
      He probably had also another meaning in mind: love flourishes even when crime (yeghern, without capital letters) is rampant.
      The title of the novel should be translated, accordingly, as “Love in the Time of Crime”? Compare Gabriel Garcia Marquez Novel, “Love in the Time of Cholera.” Incidentally, Garcia Marquez’s original word “colera” means in Spanish both the epidemic infirmity and “human rage” (see English “choleric”); thus, the Colombian novelist may have also had two meanings in mind.
      5) In the example of Dr. Chalabian’s sentence (or any other sentence along the same lines), it is clear that he encompasses everything in that word Yeghern. Not only the actual killings, but also the dispersion of the survivors to save their lives, the usurpation of the lands and the destruction of material and spiritual culture. All that constitutes a c r i m e in legal terms: life endangerment, usurpation of lands, and destruction of private property.
      6) I would suggest you to reread the end of the article. I didn’t sit on the sidelines, as you say. I offered the translation “Great Evil Crime” for Medz Yeghern, reduced, for practical considerations, to “Great Crime.” Therefore, the reasons for using “self-delusional,” however “distastefully titled” my article may seem, are… self-explanatory.

  3. avatar Vartan Matiossian // January 14, 2013 at 5:30 pm // Reply

    Correction: under point 4 of my comment, it should read: “The title of the novel should be translated, accordingly, as “Love in the Time of Crime.”

    • Vartan, I read your commentary. I understand and I leave at that.

      The following popped out in my mind as I read your articles about Yeghern. Sometime in our history there were եղերամայրեր – yegheramayrer. They were women who chanted sad melodies to further stir the emotions of a grieving crowd.

      We were taught about yegheramayrer in our formative years. I do not recall now within what context. As I said, the word popped in my mind as I read your articles. I checked Hratchia Ajarian’s dictionary just to confirm that the word exists and is not a figment of my imagination. It exists and he lists it under yeghern.

      Yegheramayrer then is comprised of yeghern and mayrer (mothers). It further implies to me that word yeghern has been in our lexicon very early on and has some connotation with grieving and sadness.

      Yeghern appears to be a word that is not used objectively but subjectively. It seems to reflects sadness and a grieving along with whatever it conveys – crime if you will, cataclysm as C.K. Garabed wills or calamity as I will or the attempted extermination of the our race, as we generally accept it to mean.

      I will appreciate if you elaborate on yegheramayrer, should you know about them and the connoatation of the word yeghern to inherently convey sadness and grieving as well.

      Yeghern, to me, is a truly an Armenian word conceived by the Armenians for the Armenians.

  4. i am totally uninterested in semantics. call it genocide call it yeghern or call it rightful punishment (like the turks do), fact remains: turks are still killing armenians today and we are doing nothing about it, just like back then. sad but true

  5. avatar Vartan Matiossian // January 15, 2013 at 11:31 am // Reply

    Vahe:
    1) I believe to have explained in my fourth article (December 12) that there are TWO similar roots in Armenian, եղեր (yegher) and եղեռն (yeghern). The first has not survived, but we have the words եղերական (yegheragan, “tragic”) and եղերամայր (yegheramayr, “mourner”) from it. Classical Armenian understood եղեր as meaning “cry, lament.” The New Haigazian Dictionary CONFUSED եղեր and եղեռն and put both under the same meaning.
    2) In the fifth century, yeghern had the meanings “crime,” “evil,” “calamity.” IT LOST THE MEANING OF “CALAMITY” IN MODERN ARMENIAN (late 18th century on). Therefore, there is no relation whatsoever between yegher and yeghern in Modern Armenian.
    3) Hrachia Ajarian listed yegher and yegheramayr under yeghern in the second section of the history of etymologies of the word. IT IS NOT IN THE FIRST SECTION ON HIS ETYMOLOGY OF THE WORD. It means that he silently corrected the New Haigazian Dictionary (which he cited in the second section).
    4) If you think that yeghern conveys a meaning of sadness and grief, you’re right. As I have tried to show, it is because the word, which I have suggested to translate “evil crime” (= “crime,” which already suggests that it is somehow untranslatable, for instance, into English), conveys a meaning of evil that makes it different from the simple (and colloquially used) word “vojir” (crime). A fraud is a crime (vojir), but it isn’t a yeghern. As a literate speaker of the Armenian language, you may understand the nuance.
    5) All words are used subjectively. They evolve over time because of that subjective use. Their use makes their meaning change. This is how “yeghern” has lost its meaning “calamity” since the 18th century. If you want to use “calamity /catastrophe /disaster /cataclysm,” feel free to use the one word that Armenian dictionaries suggest: AGHED. I strongly recommend that you leave “yeghern” alone.

  6. Dr. Vartan Matiossian

    Thank you very much for your exhaustive study of the word Yeghern, It is the first of its kind as far as I know.

    Your articles rekindled cherished memories in me of my earliest Armenian language teachers in persons of the two Yetvarts, Daronian and Boyadjian., who for reasons dear to them, opted to use the word Yeghern in the classrooms more so than Ցեղասպանութիւն (tseghaspanoutiun). As I type this note, no other Armenian word comes in my mind for which I harbor the reverence I do for the word Yeghern.

    In few months the President of the United States may offer another public statement about the Armenian Genocide. It is unlikely that he will use the word Genocide. I hope he uses the Armenian word Yeghern.
    Should President Obama use Yeghern, I hope that our pundits will not rush to their computer boards and key in over again articles for our press headlining them, as some did before _ ‘Mr. President it is not Yeghern, it is Genocide’. They should instead try to reach out and educate the non Armenian pubic that the President of the United States has acknowledged to the Armenians the reality of the happening, but that he does not have the political backing and the will of his Administration to proclaim it in its legal term, that it is Genocide.

  7. If President Obama uses the term ‘Medz Yeghern’ instead of ‘genocide’ I will feel disappointed that he continues to bow to Turkish pressure and misguided State Department advice. However, I have come to the conclusion that his use of the term should not be seen entirely as a negative. It is our word for the ‘great crime of genocide’ committed against our nation and our media should make sure that everyone knows that President Obama has acknowledged it. Time to get the press releases ready in anticipation of his April 24th statement and spin this in our favor.

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