Introduction to Social Democrat Hunchakian Party
The first Armenian revolutionary
party, the Hunchakian party, was founded by a group of university
students who wanted to awaken the national, social and democratic
ideas in the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire. The main aim was to
create an independent Armenian state by breaking the enslaving
chains of "the sick man of Europe".
The "Hunchak" party ("Bell" in English), became synonymous to
"awakening, enlightenment and freedom." This was also the name
given to the Party's inaugural newspaper ("Hunchak",1887-1914).
Founding Members of Social
Democrat Hunchakian Party
Avetis Nazarbekian, Mariam
Vardanian/Nazarbekian (Maro), Gevorg Gharadjian,
Ruben Khan-Azat, Christopher Ohanian, Gabriel Kafian and Manuel Manuelian
It had been six centuries, since the Armenians lived under the
domination of the Ottoman Turks within the Ottoman Empire. The
conditions of life were unbearable to the safeguard of the
Armenian national culture and their dignity as humans.
During the first half of the 19th century, with the emancipatory
struggle of the Balkan peoples and the consequent European
intervention, the conditions prevailing in Armenia worsened.
The Balkan revolt resulted in the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878
and the subsequent treaties of San Stefano and Berlin were signed.
A paragraph in each treaty provided that the sublime Porte should
carry out reform in Western Armenia.
The Turkish government did not implement these obligations and,
taking advantage of the rivalry, embarked upon the massacres of
more than 300,000 Armenians.
Social Democrat Hunchakian Party is the first Armenian
revolutionary party, founded in Geneva, Switzerland in August
The Party's main objective was to break the enslaving chains of
the Ottoman Turks and to create an independent Armenian state.
Led by its pioneers -
Avetis Nazarbekian, Mariam
Vardanian/Nazarbekian (Maro), Gevorg Gharadjian, Ruben Khan-Azat, Christopher Ohanian,
Gabriel Kafian and Manuel Manuelian, the Party's inaugural newspaper, the "Hunchak"
(meaning "Bell"' - to awaken the people) was published in November
The "Hunchak" publications were mainly heralded to the Armenian
villagers and middle-class population as a means of educating them
on their rights for independence, free speech and to alert them
that the Turkish government will strive to exterminate the
existence of Armenians within the Ottoman Empire and Western
In seeking these ideologies, the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party
produced innumerable martyrs, like Mourad, Jirair, Paramaz and
Sarkis Dkhrouni. Heroes today, because they had the foresight to
raise these issues and alert the Armenian people at large.
Sacrificing their own lives they held revolutionary uprisings in
Kum Kapu (1890) followed by Sassoun, Zeitoun and Bab Ali (1895).
In 1915, seizing the opportunity offered by the First World War,
the Turkish government began the planned extermination of the
Armenians within the Ottoman Empire and Western Armenia. This was
the first Genocide of the 20th century. More than 1.5 million
Armenians had been massacred during this time.
In 1918, during the battle of Sartarabad, the Social Democrat
Hunchakian Party was represented by its own fighters and
volunteers that repelled the Turkish forces from reaching Yerevan
(the capital of Armenia). Similarly, in the early 1990s forces
such as 'Medzn Mourad' were prominent in Shushi to liberate
Gharapagh from the throes of Azerbaijan.
Democrat Hunchakian Party - Australian Leadership:
Hunchakian Party - Australian Leadership began its operation in
Sydney in 1983.
It oversees the following committees and aspirations:
1. Armenian Community Association of Australia Incorporated
(a) Armenian Nor Serount (New Generation) Cultural
(b) Armenian Homenmen (HMM) Sporting Association
(c) Armenian Dkhrouni Youth Association
2. Armenian Rights Defence Committee of Australia
3. Media Committee
(a) 'Voice of Nor Serount' Armenian Radio
(b) 'Zank' Armenian Journal
Today, the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party is operational
throughout Diaspora and is committed to the independent Republic
of Armenia. Its objective is to strengthen the Armenian Cause.
That is for the World to recognise the Armenian Genocide and of
its necessary indemnification. It is essentially a question of
territorial rights, i.e. the right of the Armenian people to
return to their historic homeland as well as their right to
Social Democrat Hunchakian Party
Address: P.O. Box 51
RYDE, N.S.W. 2112