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RUSSIAN COSSACKS IN... NEW JUGHA*– I’ll talk about friendship, about the centuries-long friendship of the Armenian and Russian peoples. This I heard in 1960 from my compatriot, Harutyun Glandyan from New Jugha (Julfa). I think for so long this history was forgotten, and few people remember it…

The Armenian Genocide planned in 1915 was supposed to cover not only the territory of Western Armenia. The goal of Turks and their “spiritual” teachers – Germans was to destroy all the Armenians outside of Turkey as well. At the center of their “attention” it was also the Armenian population of decent and prosperous city of New Julfa in Iran. In these wretched days Harutyun was 8-9 years old. For the home this kid was doing shopping. One day the owner-Muslim of the store warned the boy: “For you, Armenians, an end has come, all of you will be destroyed.”

For a long time such news reached the ears of inhabitants of New Jugha, but that the threat is so definite, no one imagined. It turns out that the Turks, with their allies, the Germans decided to settle accounts with the local Armenian population mostly through savage tribe of Bakhtiyar, consisting mainly of thieves and thugs.

Let’s here recall that the Armenian merchants of Iran for centuries had free entry and exit to the northern powerful Christian state – Russia. Due to their fair activities, flexible mentality our compatriots have won the confidence of the Russian emperors and enjoyed their respect. Jugha merchants, passing from country to country, speaking the language of different nations, being familiar with their customs and traditions, were happy to take over the duty of Ambassador of the Russian emperor, and this role was performed perfectly. Through their activities the Russian economy blossomed, production and sale of iron, silk, caviar expanded.

So, the New Julfa Armenians sent a telegram to the capital of Russia with a request to receive emergency assistance. The answer was not longer in coming: one company of Cossack troops stationed in Tehran, armed with guns, moved to Isfahan, to New Jugha. Before reaching the city gates, they alerted with cannon volleys. This wise move constrained bandits. A few hours later the Cossacks entered New Jugha.

Cossack army destroys the gang, confiscates their weapons, ammunition and up to 1917 remains in New Jugha. The Armenians of the city honored their soldiers-liberators with all those they could. A wealthy Armenian named Nicol made the second floor of his house as a hotel and fully provided to the Russian officers. It was the first hotel of our city. Armenians provide Russian Cossack troops a number of other buildings, too. They stand to this day, and serve as barracks.

In this remote and historic day Cossack troops of the Russian emperor had saved about 2,000 Armenian residents of New Jugha from the massacres organized by the Turks, sacrificing the lives of their soldiers. Fallen hero soldiers found their last refuge in the Armenian cemetery of New Jugha of distant Iran, near the graves of famous Armenians.

Category: #05 (1125) 17.02.2016 - 23.02.2016, Spiritual-Cultural, News, Spotlight