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|Historical leader||Mekertich Portukalian|
|Merged into||Armenian Democratic Liberal Party|
|Headquarters||Van, Ottoman Empire|
|Ideology||Armenian nationalism |
The Armenakan Party (in Armenian Արմենական Կուսակցութիւն) was established in Van, Turkey in 1885 by Mekertich Portukalian as an underground organization against the ruling system. It was classified as a party based on the fact that it developed a platform, a central body, and an official publication.
These were nine disciples of Portakalian who took the initiative in autumn 1885 to create the Armenakan party. These nine young people were Meguerditch Avetisian, M. Baroudjian, Panos Terlemezian, Grigor Adjemian, Grigor Adian, Grigor Beozikian, Rouben Chatavarian, Kevork Handjian and Garegin Manoukian.
The founder of the Armenakan party, Mekertich Portukalian (from Marseilles) kept in touch with the leaders, and published a journal of political and social enlightenment, "Armenia" (1885-1923). Portukalian is also cited as the father of the Armenian Patriotic Society of Europe.
After Mekertich Portukalian, the Armenians of Van continued developing the political principles of Armenian nationalism in secret. The party's aim soon became winning the right of Armenians to rule over themselves through revolutionary armed struggle and thus liberate Armenia from the Ottoman Empire. Its concept of revolution was distinctly low-keyed in comparison with that of succeeding organisations; it viewed terrorism, agitation and militant demonstrations with disfavor, preferring instead to deploy Armenians trained in the use of arms as guerrillas against the Ottoman Empire.
The party's main misconception was that enemies of the Ottoman Empire would intervene and rescue the Armenian people throughout the period 1885–1918.
With the turn of the century, Armenakans had cells outside Van, in other towns in the province, as well as in Trabzon and Istanbul. The military structure was developed in Russian Transcaucasia, in Persia and in the United States.
Activities in the Ottoman Empire:
- Bashkaleh Resistance: (May, 1889)
- Van Rebellion : (June, 1896)
- Siege of Van: (April 19, 1915 - May 6, 1915)
Merger into the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party
After the Armenian Genocide, the remnants of the Armenakans joined forces with the splinter faction of the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party known as Reorganized Hunchakian Party, the Armenian Constitutional Democratic Party, and the Popular Party, and founded the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party (Ռամկավար Ազատական Կուսակցութիւն (ՌԱԿ)) or Ramgavar Party) in Constantinople on October 1, 1921. The membership of the Armenakan Party was absorbed into the new party. The party went on to become one of the three traditional Armenian diaspora political groupings alongside the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party.