BAYAZET (now called Doğubeyazıt) is a town on the north-west of Turkey. On 17(29) April 1877, during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, it was taken by the Russian troops. Starting from 6(18) June, the Russian defensive garrison (around 1650 people) headed by the colonel I. Khan Nakhichevansky fearlessly sustained a 23-day siege of the Turkish troops (up to 12 thousand people). The siege was broken on June, 28 (10/07) by the Erivan body of the Russian troops.
“At the end of the 14th century, about ten years after the occupation of the Cilician Armenian Kingdom by the Mamelukes, the new destroyer Tamerlane flashed as a tornado through Greater Armenia, the Caucasus, Persia, Central Asia, and Russia”,- Giovanni Guaita writes in his book “1700 years of loyalty” (History of Armenia and its Church).
In one of the ancient Russian texts of the beginning of the 15th century we can find a vivid picture of this warrior - Tamerlane, who considered himself as a successor of Genghis Khan, despite his Turkish origin.
Aksak Temür, also known as “the Iron Lame” as he had an iron prosthetic device after sustaining an injury to his thigh in a battle, was more frightening than the Mamelukes and more ferocious than the Mongols. He was notorious for his unspeakable brutality. After the invasion in 1395 in Russian principalities, he came back and led his horde from his capital Samarkand. In 1387 he occupied Armenia, spreading there fear and destruction, and in 1386-1402, during 15 years, he devastated and destroyed the country thrice.
Then Tamerlane began moving farther to the west, where he faced with the emerging Ottoman Empire. He defeated them in Ankara, and captured in a battle the cruel sultan Bayazet, whose name has been immortalized forever in the very heart of the Great Hayk (Armenia), between two ancient Armenian worlds Vaspurakan and Ayrarat, under the name "Daruynk" (nowadays this is the town of Doğubeyazıt). According to chronicles, Tamerlane held the sultan in an iron cage for a year to show his lieges what fate awaited anyone who refused to obey his orders.
Historians are well aware of the fact that the Turkish military strategy, first of all, involved returning all old settlements they visited their original names.
In April 1828, two months after the conclusion of peace with the Persians, Russia declared war on the Turks to support the Greeks who had revolted against the sultan. The Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829 took place in the Balkans and the Caucasus. The Russian Empire occupied almost all the Armenian lands in Turkey, except Wang and the south-west of the ancient Armenia. But soon, under the terms of the Adrianopol Peace Treaty (1829), according to which Turkey recognized the independence of Greece, the king's troops leaved the conquered Armenian lands in the territory of Turkey. Thus, another sad chapter was added to the history of the Armenian people. All their hopes, dreams and effort, headed by the king's generals, the great Armenian sons such as Lazarev, Ter-Gukasov, Madatov and others, were destroyed.
The truth is that the Western states supported the Ottoman Empire that time, and they did not like the constantly increasing power of the Russian Empire. Still, Russia managed to make the Turks a condition that the Armenians could move from the territory of the Ottoman Empire into Eastern Armenia or into other parts of the Russian Empire during the period of eighteen months.
And immediately, together with the Russians, thousands of Armenian families had to leave their homes and flee to Eastern Armenia.
“During all 19th century around 150 000 Armenians from the Persian and Ottoman Empires were moving to the Armenian territory subject to the Russian King: to Akhalkalak, Shirak, Yerevan and Sevan. However, about half of the refugees did not reach their destination - they died from hunger and exhaustion on the roads leading to Russia”, Giovanni Guaita writes.
After the annexation of Eastern Armenia to Russia in 1830, a significant number of the refugees from the old Bayazet moved in Sevan basin and settled in Ghawar which was considered as a town until the 20th century. In the town and its environs archeologists found the remains of the material culture of the Bronze Age and the time of the Ararat Kingdom, the ruins of a cyclopean fortress built in the beginning of the first millennium BC, and tombs. There was also a church of the 17th century (Surb Astvatsatsin).
As mentioned in Armenian history, when the Armenian people moved in other places, they brought the national spirit, traditions and the name of their town with them - everywhere and always. Thus, Ghawar became the new Bayazet, whose life, of course, had changed due to the national character of the new tenants in the new life conditions. In 1960 the city was renamed to Kamo, and after recovering the state independence it received its original name - Ghawar.
Nearly all people ask this question. The explanation is rather simple: the ancestors of Mr. Karen Arutyunovich Papyan, the founder and president of the concern "BAYAZET" LLC, escaped from Bayazet (the old administrative name of the settlement) after the above events and found their refuge in Eastern Armenia.
However, his family also suffered the sad fate of 150 000 people who didn’t reach the final destination of the Armenians. Two brothers out of four did not cross the sacred Arax River whose water still remembers all the troubles of the Armenian people.
The Armenians always remember their national and historical roots, and the Armenian Karen Arutyunovich Papyan is no exception. In his veins there is blood of the famous dynasty of skilled leather masters that occupied the leading position among all the industrial guilds in the old Bayazet. They owned not only industrial leather processing companies and workshops, but also retail stores and warehouses.
Products made by the Papoyanovs (hence - Papyan, due to a spelling error of a passport service employee of the Soviet period) were famous on the markets of that time. During the escape, the brothers managed to save their most precious belongings – their tools, and further, in Yerevan, even during the Soviet period, they secretly continued the business.
But even in Yerevan their life was not quiet. The new Bolsheviks policy considered their family as "small bourgeoisie". In his youth, Karen Arutyunovich was incredibly impressed by their family brand-mark, which was carefully preserved by his grandfather as a sacred relic.
And certainly, having inherited the business qualities and ingenuity of his ancestors, he is now on the way to the perfection and understanding of human existence. Besides the fact that Mr. Papyan is a successful businessman, first and foremost he is a great patriot of his people to the marrow of his bones.
He has Armenia in his heart – his homeland, throughout the course of its history, with everything that has been created on this planet by his compatriots for many thousands of years.
It is nice to see that for the work in a foreign land Mr. Papyan takes a pattern by the great Armenian patrons of art, particularly by the great Lazarevs who are famous in the Kama region. “BAYAZET” is the call of his soul, the way to make his dream come true.
"The earth, like every other living thing has its own particular spirit, and without your native land, without a close relationship with your home it is impossible to find yourself and your soul" - Martiros Saryan.
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