Index / Peoples /
Armenian: Iranahay or Parskahay
People group spread across the MENA following the atrocities committed by Turks and Kurds mainly in the 1910's, the final stage of the Armenian Genocide. Surviving Armenians settled in new lands out of Turkish control.
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Armenians count about 1.1 million in the MENA, around 8 million in the world.
Armenians are Christians, representing one of the longest church traditions with their Armenian Orthodox Church, while the Armenian Catholic Church is a church that go back to the 12th century when it emerged from Armenian initiatives.
Armenians speak Armenian language. Even as minorities across the Middle East, they keep their language alive, while still having good conduct of the local majority languages. About 90% of Middle Eastern Armenians still keep their language as active daily language.
Contents deals with that group of Armenians which are uniquely designated as Iranahay or Parskahay. There are about 200,000 Armenians in Iran, most of them living in Teheran and Esfahan.
Armenian Iranians represent a group seeking refuge from oppression, both tsarist Russia, and refugees and survivors of Armenian Genocide initiated by Turkish religious nationalists.
Through the 20th century, Armenians were instrumental in the development of a modern Iran. This came to a hard stop with the Iranian Revolution in 1979, since when as many as 100,000 Armenians have left Iran for many continents. Since the 1990's politics towards Armenians have eased up, and Iran is today a major trade partner with the state of Armenia.
Armenians have two seats in the Iranian parliament, the Majlis.
Since the devastating earthquake in Armenia in 1988, roughly 100,000 Armenian citizens have illegally immigrated to Turkey, taking up low-skilled jobs. Contrary to Turks moving to Europe, Armenians coming to Turkey have no chance of obtaining citizenship.