YEREVAN (Yerkir)—Around 200 Hamshen-Armenian families living in Kyrgyzstan are opting to resettle in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Artsakh.
The leader of the Hamshen-Armenian community, Ruslan Karabadjakov has travelled to Yerevan, from where he will go to Artsakh to look into logistics for the relocation of 200 families there.
“Our place is here, in Armenia,” said Karabadjakov. “For 250 years fate has forced us to move from place to palce—Adzharia, Central Asia. Finally we’ve decided to seek refuge on our own soil.”
It is anticipated that the Hamshen Armenians will establish residency in the Mardakert region of Artsakh. The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic authorities will provide land and opportunities for economic developments and will subsidize this effort until the families are self-sufficient.
Armenians of Hamshen in Western Armenia were conquered by the Ottomans in the 15th century. The majority of them were forced to convert to Islam. A resurgence of Hamshen Armenians has begun in recent years, with a group in Armenia forming community organizations and publishing a newspaper.
The Hamshen Armenians settled in Adjaria, from where they were driven out and a large majority settled in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.