Ararat, the mountain of pain

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The mountain where Noah stopped but also one of the most representative symbols of the Armenian people. The Ararat, with its high peaks, looks at its people from afar, exiled to Turkey, where it is called Ağrı Dağı, or “Mountain of Pain”.

Ararat, the mountain of the Armenians

With its 5137 meters, Ararat is the highest mountain in Turkey and in general one of the highest in the world, so much so that it is deeply linked to the indigenous people of those places, namely the Armenians. Most of the myths involving this culture are linked to this peak, starting from its origins; in fact they have always considered themselves as descendants of Noah, who would have stopped his ark right on Ararat.

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The mountain was worshiped since ancient times, being considered as the “house of the gods”, the arrival of Christianity did nothing but enhance even more the magic that revolved around it, giving this people an even greater reason for pride. The Ararat thus became an absolute reference point for the Armenian people and culture, affirming itself in every area and then becoming the symbol par excellence in these lands, which made the future even heavier.

World War I

With the outbreak of the First World War, in fact, the area became a land of clashes between the Russian and Ottoman Empire, becoming more crucial than ever due to its importance for the Armenians. The latter, in fact, had begun to show themselves more and more independence because of the growing discontent towards the government of the Sublime Porte; precisely for this reason, the measures taken by the sultan, first, and by the Young Turks, then, will be increasingly heavy. Istanbul, in fact, constantly feared that its former allies might betray them, handing the eastern flank of Anatolia into Russian hands, which would lead to a very rapid collapse of the entire state.

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To avoid this, they resorted to forced deportations of the inhabitants to places considered “at lower risk” by the Ottoman forces, without paying any attention to the health of the de facto prisoners who mostly died on the way. With the defeat in the First World War, the sultan government was forced to endorse the humiliating treaty of Sevres, thus leading to the birth of Great Armenia. Atatürk, however, will start a ferocious war against Greeks and Armenians, thus managing to reconquer the whole of Anatolia, including most of Armenia, which in turn was forced to sign the very heavy treaty of Alexandropol.

The mountain of pain

In the latter, Armenia was seen stolen both the fortress of Ani, the legendary capital, and Mount Ararat, the national symbol par excellence. The borders will then be definitively confirmed with the Moscow and Kars treaties, in which Armenia and the Bolsheviks will try to gain control of those areas, but find a clear refusal by Turkey.

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Ararat seen from Yerevan, the capital of Armenia

Since then, the inhabitants of Yerevan have been forced to observe their sacred mountain without being able to approach it, admiring their greatest treasure, now in the hands of the enemy.

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