IS EASTERN ANATOLIA THE HOMELAND OF ARMENIANS?
Even Armenian historians disagree on this question. Let us examine some of their contradictory theories while looking into Anatolian history.
1.The Biblical Noah Theory. According to this idea, the Armenians descended from Hayk, great-great grandson of the Biblical patriarch Noah. Since Noah's Arc is supposed to have come to rest on Mount Ararat, the advocates of this idea conclude that eastern Anatolia must have been the original Armenian homeland, adding that Hayk lived some four hundred years and expanded his dominion as far as Babylon. This claim is based entirely on fables, not on any scientific evidence, and is not worthy of further consideration. The historian Auguste Carriere summarily dismisses it stating that "it depends entirely on information provided by some Armenian historians, most of which was made up.�
2.The Urartu Theory. Some Armenians claim that they were the people of Urartu, which existed in eastern Anatolia starting about 3000 B.C. until it was defeated and destroyed by the Medes, with its territory being contested for some time by Lydia and the Medes until it finally fell under the influence of the latter. This claim has no basis in fact. No form of the name Armenian is found in any inscription in Anatolia dating from that period, nor was there any similarity at all between the Armenian language and that of Urartu, the former being a member of the Satem group oflndo European languages, while the latter was similar to the Ural-Altaic languages. Nor were there any similarities between their cultures. The most recent archaeological finds in the area of Erzurum support these conclusions very clearly. There is, therefore, absolutely no evidence at all to support the claim that the people of Urartu were Armenian.
3.The Thracian-Phrygian Theory. The theory most favoured by Armenian historians claims that they descended from a Thracian-Phrygian group, that originated in the Balkan Peninsula and by the pressure oflllyrians migrated to eastern Anatolia in the sixth century B.C. This theory is based on the fact that the name Armenian was mentioned for the first time in the Behistan inscription of the Mede (Persian) Emperor Darius from the year 521 B.C., "I defeated the Armenians." If accepted, of course, this view effectively contradicts and disproves the Noah and Urartu theories.
(1) CARRIERE, Auguste, Moise de Khoren et la Genealogie Patriarcale, Paris, 1896