All Title Simple Truths Newsroom Ethnic Code Artsakh exodus Armenian literature: Audiobook Alpha Economics 7 portraits from the history of the Armenian people

7 Portraits from the History of the Armenian People: “Waterloo of the Armenian question” or Gabriel Noradunkyan

November 06 2023, 22:00

When the Armenian-born Gabriel Noradunkyan served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Ottoman Empire in 1912, he probably had no idea that ten years later, in 1923, at the Lausanne Conference he would fight against Turkiye, the successor to that empire.

The son of one of the famous Armenian families in the Ottoman Empire, Gabriel Noradunkyan, the most skillful diplomat of that time, carried out the foreign policy of the Ottoman Empire during the difficult period of 1912-1913.

Noradunkyan also believed that the Young Turks were trying to create a state in which all nations would be equal. It was a political naivety that soon disappeared.

He left the Ottoman Empire, and later, at the Lausanne Conference, where world powers drew a map of the new world and legitimized the existence of Turkiye, he became a defender of the rights of the Armenian people.

The Lausanne Conference was both self-sacrifice and a failure of a famous diplomat, which became the “Waterloo of the Armenian question” and was designed to prove that the world is guided by cold political calculation rather than morals and humanism. The countries that signed the Treaty of Sèvres, just three years later, avoided even recognizing the existence of Armenian cultural autonomy in Turkiye.

In the new season of Alpha News, Professor Ruben Melkonyan reveals the image of diplomat Gabriel Noradunkyan and the lessons of his period in the series 7 Portraits from the History of the Armenian People.