Social Democrat Hunchakian Party

Social Democrat Hunchakian Party

Infobox Political party
name_english = Social Democrat Hunchakian Party
name_native = " Սոցիալ Դեմոկրատ Հնչակեան Կուսակցութիւն"

colorcode = #c00
colors = Red
leader = Setrag Ajemian
leader1_title = Founders
leader1_name = Avetis Nazarbekian, Mariam Vardanian, Gevorg Gharadjian, Ruben Khan-Azat, Christopher Ohanian, Gabriel Kafian and Manuel Manuelian
chairman =
spokesperson =
foundation = 1887
ideology = Socialism, United Armenia
headquarters =
international = None, formerly Second International
website = []
footnotes =

The Social Democrat Hunchakian Party (SDHP) ( _hy. Սոցիալ դեմոկրատ Հնչակյան կուսակցություն), also known as Hentchak, Henchak, Social-Democratic Hentchakists, Huntchakians, Hnchakian, Henchags is the oldest Armenian political party and was the first Socialist party in the Ottoman Empire and in Persia. [ [ Social Democrat Hunchakian Party ] ] It was founded in 1887 by Avetis Nazarbekian, Mariam Vardanian, Gevorg Gharadjian, Ruben Khan-Azat, Christopher Ohanian, Gabriel Kafian and Manuel Manuelian, a group of college students in Geneva, Switzerland, with the goal to gain Armenia's independence from the Ottoman Empire, which is part of Armenian national liberation movement [Lebanon a Country Study By Federal Research Division - Page 185] . Its name, taken from its newspaper "Hunchak," means "Bell" in English, and is taken by party members to represent "awakening, enlightenment, and freedom."


All seven founders of the party were Russian Armenian Marxist students who had left Russia to further their education in various universities of Western Europe. They were young, in their twenties, and supported by their affluent bourgeois families. They were influenced by Russian revolutionary ideology. Mariam Vardanian had worked with Russian revolutionaries in Saint Petersburg. For the purpose of furthering revolutionary activity in Turkish Armenia, they formed the Hunchakian Revolutionary Party in August, 1887.

Hunchak party fought many battles against the Ottoman Empire, to free the Armenian people from Turkish rule. One of Armenia's famous national heroes Andranik Ozanian, at first, joined the Hunchak party ["Andranikological Review", Yerevan, #1 (3), 2003, p. 7.] , but disagreement with party policies led Andranik to leave the Hunchak ranks and join the Dashnak party. []

Activities in the Ottoman Empire

* Kum Kapu Affray: (July 27, 1890)
* Sasun Resistance: (1894)
* Defense of Van: (June, 1896)
* Khanasor Expedition: (July 25, 1897)
* Zeitun Resistance: (August 30, 1914 - December 1, 1914 and March 25, 1915)
* Van Resistance: (April 19, 1915 - May 6, 1915)
* Shabin-Karahisar Resistance: (June 2, 1915 - June 30, 1915)
* The Twenty Martyrs (June 15, 1915)

Democratic Republic of Armenia

The party also played role in establishment of Democratic Republic of Armenia, as party members took part in the Battle of Sardarapat, during the World War I at Caucasus Campaign, which defended the Armenian capital of Yerevan from Army of Islam of Ottoman Empire.

Activities in Lebanon

In the 1950s, it clashed, sometimes violently, with the Dashnak Party, due to tensions that escalated when the ARF elected Bishop Zareh as Catholicos of Cilicia, a move that was rejected by the Hunchaks. In the midst of increasing sectarian strife in the late 1960s and early 1970s, however, Lebanon's Armenian community began to close ranks, and in 1972, the Hunchakian Party ran a joint ticket with the Dashnaks. In 2000, the Hunchakian Party joined forces with Rafik Hariri's Dignity party, which swept the city of Beirut.


In the early 1990s, the party took part in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. The party today forms part of the opposition "Justice" bloc.

This party is also active in Lebanon, where it competes for the six National Assembly seats reserved for ethnic Armenians. The party subscribes to a socialist ideology and advocates a planned economy for Lebanon. Social Democrat Hunchakian Party has an official newspaper in Lebanon which is the Ararad Daily Newspaper.

Affiliate organizations

The Hunchakian party has established affiliate organizations such as the AEBU which is an organization that helps with educational, health and social care, the Armenian Dkhrouhi Youth Association and HMM (Homenmen) which is a sporting organization (not to be confused with Homenetmen).

Party Publications / Organs

Hunchak (also - "Hnchak", "Hentchak", Bell in Armenian) was the official organ of the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party. It was founded by Avetis Nazarbekian and published in 1887-1915, 1935-1940, in France, Greece, Britain and USA. The main purpose of the paper was the propagand of the Armenian national movement for the liberation, the resistance in Western Armenian regions. Hunchak also supported the ideology of social-democracy and worker's consolidation.

Presemt-day party publications include:
*Ararad Daily Newspaper published in Beirut, Lebanon
*Chahakir Weekly published in Cairo, Egypt
*Massis Weekly published in Los Angeles
*Nor Serounti Tsayn (Voice of Nor Serount) published in London, UK
*Zank Armenian Journal, Australia

Prominent members

* Medzn Mourad
* Paramaz

ee also

* Armenakan Party
* Dashnak Party

External links

* [ Party's Official Web Site]
* [ Cyprus website]

Associate organizations:
* [ Armenian Athletic Association Homenmen]
* [ Dekhrouni Student and Youth Association]
* [ Gaidz Youth Organization]
* [ Nor Serount Cultural Assocation]

* [ Ararad daily newspaper, party organ in Lebanon]
* [ Massis Weekly, official party organ, Western USA]


*(in Armenian) "The 89-th commemoration of the 20 Hunchakian martyrs" / Tchahagir Weekly, Cairo, 17 June, 2004, p. 1

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