Was all of Tiflis Armenian?

24.12.21 15:50

After the collapse of the Artsakh project and the attempt to expand the great Armenia at the expense of Azerbaijani lands, Armenian nationalists are increasingly talking about how it turns out that "Armenian" lands and cities belong to Georgia. And this cannot but inspire concern. Especially when claims are made against Georgia by the "thought leaders" of Armenian society who have transformed themselves from culture to politics.


The Armenian filmmaker, screenwriter and ultranationalist politician, chairman of the European Party of Armenia Tigran Khzmalyan is certainly one of them. 

Khzmalyan is a "separatist and extremist with a long track record".


As far back as 1988-1990 Tigran Khzmalyan was a member of the Karabakh separatist movement, demanding "miatsum" - the annexation of Azerbaijani Karabakh to Armenia. During the first Karabakh war Tigran Khzmalyan 'informally fought' for the 'Artsakh' separatists. In 1991-1993 he worked on the side of separatists in Karabakh as a war correspondent of Armenian media. He also worked as a press assistant to the chairman of "Supreme council" of the so-called "NKR" separatist Georgi Petrosyan.


Since 2009, Tigran Khzmalyan has been actively involved in politics in Armenia, being distinguished even by Armenian standards by his radical terrorist views. He particularly founded the "Sardarapat Movement", which was later renamed "Pre-Parliament", together with the terrorist Jirayr Sefilian. On 6 November 2018, Tigran Khzmalyan and his supporters founded the "European Party of Armenia", elected as its co-chairman. Tigran Khzmalyan's decision to "go after" Georgia and assert Armenian claims to its capital is no accident.


Tigran Khzmalyan explicitly claims that Tbilisi is "an Armenian city":



Tigran Khzmalyan's main theses are emphatically Georgianophobic. Stating that his father was 'from Tiflis Armenians', he states categorically that '100 years ago all of Tbilisi was an Armenian city'. However, then, he says, the Georgians began to "Georgianise" Tbilisi.


That is, the Georgians, according to Khzmalyan, are to blame for settling in their capital and "daring" to develop their, Georgian language and culture!


Recall that the huge percentage of the Armenian population in Tbilisi in the 19th and early 20th centuries, to which Armenian nationalists like Tigran Khzmalyan refer, did not appear there because they were "indigenous". Simply by eliminating Georgian statehood and betting on the Armenians, the Russian Empire encouraged Armenians to move to its Caucasian possessions, including Georgia, from Turkey and Iran. And understandably, the Armenians, especially their wealthy part, settled primarily in the economic centre of the entire Caucasus - Tbilisi.


However, it was not possible for Georgians to settle and find a "place in the sun" in their historic capital, as the influx of Armenian settlers and the Russian administration's patronage of them for a long time simply prevented Georgians from settling normally and finding a "place in the sun" in their historic capital.

After all, wealthy Armenians primarily hired their compatriots, living in Tbilisi was expensive, and finding a job with decent pay for a non-Armenian was difficult, sometimes almost impossible.


And only after the inflow of Armenian migrants from abroad stopped, and Georgians from the provinces were able to settle freely in their capital, they became a majority in it again, as has always been the case in Georgian history, except for the times of the Russian Empire.


However, the Georgians, unlike the Armenian nationalists who literally "cleansed" the historic Azerbaijani city of Iravan of its original inhabitants, did not expel or displace the Armenians. And the fact that many of them later took Georgian surnames and were registered as "Georgians" for money - these are questions Tigran Khzamalyan should not ask Georgians, but his compatriots.

Georgians did not force anyone to do it and, for some reason, the same Azerbaijanis, for example, did not change their surnames and the column "nationality.


Another propaganda lie that Georgians in Tbilisi allegedly "oppressed" Armenians. But it is spread by all those Armenians, whose parents, like Khzmalyan's, were affiliated with Tbilisi, and among them, for some reason, there are a lot of Georgianophobes. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov-Kalantarov is the brightest example of this. It is impossible to understand what caused their hatred towards Georgia and Georgians. Because they have not "given" their capital to "ancient long-suffering people"? By the way, Azerbaijanis presented their city of Irevan to Armenians as the capital of their first historical state. And where is their gratitude?


Tigran Khzmalyan's statement that the Georgians "Georgianised" Tbilisi like two drops of water resembles the accusation of the Abkhazian separatists and their instigating Armenian nationalists that the Georgians have allegedly "Georgianised" the historically Georgian city of Sukhumi. Everyone knows how such provocative accusations ended.


Now Sukhumi is being "Armenianized", and the further it goes, the more so, and there have long been more Armenians here than Abkhazians. But if in Tbilisi not a single Georgian has taken a flat or house from an Armenian, in Sukhumi Armenians are living in "trophy" Georgian houses and flats, whose owners they expelled or killed.


Over 300 thousand Georgians were forced to leave their native Abkhazia because of people like Tigran Khzmalyan (he also "took part in the genocide and expulsion of the indigenous population", albeit informally, on another front). And after that he has the nerve to say that supposedly Georgians "oppressed" Armenians and, therefore, Armenians had to leave their "native" city of Tbilisi.


Statements by the likes of Tigran Khzmalyan about "Armenian" Tbilisi, along with claims by the Armenian "Javakheti" separatists on Samtskhe-Javakheti, are a very worrying symptom.




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