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Secret Armies and Revolutionary Federations

Title: Secret Armies and Revolutionary Federations: The Rise and Fall of Armenian Political Violence, 1973-1993.
Name(s): Gunn, Christopher, author
Grant, Jonathan, professor directing dissertation
Souva, Mark, university representative
Creswell, Michael, committee member
Hanley, Will, committee member
Wynot, Edward, committee member
Department of History, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2014
Publisher: Florida State University
Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Between 1973 and 1988, ASALA and the ARF waged a campaign of violence against Turkey and its citizens. These terrorist organizations killed approximately 90 individuals and wounded hundreds more through a combination of attacks that spanned North America, Europe, the Middle East and the south Pacific and targeted ethnic Turks, assets of the Turkish government, and Turkish business interests. By the early1980s, these two organizations earned reputations as the most dangerous, savage and mysterious terrorist group in existence. Armenian terrorism, however had virtually no chance of reaching its publicly stated goals. ASALA and the ARF demanded acknowledgement of the Armenian genocide; reparations for the families of the victims; and possession of eastern Anatolia. Contrary to their aims, the Turkish government was not going to revise their history, and the prospect of violating the territorial sovereignty of the Turkish Republic inconceivable. Yet, Armenian terrorism thrived for over a decade before abruptly fading away in the second half of the 1980s. Making use of the primary documents now available, this work will analyze the reasons why ASALA and the ARF took up arms in 1975, how they sustained themselves, and why they suddenly disappeared. It will argue that Armenian terrorist was the end result of a policy of aggressive nationalism based on anti-Turkishness that was introduced in 1959 used for short-term and local political gains. Recognizing the success of this new policy, the ARF continued to promote anti-Turkishness throughout 1960s and early 1970s. After witnessing the positive response to the increasing violence and the emergence of favorable international conditions, the ARF embraced violence as means to obtain their ultimate political goal: eastern Anatolia. At the very same time, three Armenian intellectuals and a young Armenian terrorist with experience in various Palestinian organizations were creating a new terrorist organization of their own, ASALA. ASALA and the ARF/JCAG operated for over a decade, and were able to sustain themselves because of the steadfast support of the Armenian diaspora for a terrorist campaign that killed Turks. The campaigns finally ended after the violence not only became an end in itself, but had turned the two groups against each other in an inter-group struggle that decimated their ranks.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-8996 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of History in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2014.
Date of Defense: July 8, 2014.
Keywords: Armenian, Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia, ASALA, Terrorism, Turkey
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Jonathan Grant, Professor Directing Dissertation; Mark Souva, University Representative; Michael Creswell, Committee Member; Will Hanley, Committee Member; Edward Wynot, Committee Member.
Subject(s): History
Persistent Link to This Record:
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Host Institution: FSU

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Gunn, C. (2014). Secret Armies and Revolutionary Federations: The Rise and Fall of Armenian Political Violence, 1973-1993. Retrieved from