Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire before total uprooting as a consequence of premeditated and state–orchestrated genocide plan of the elimination of the Armenian nation on the territory of the Ottoman Turkey circa 1915 was among well modernized elements of the empire which although the segregationist and discriminative nature of the ottomans played significant role in the social, economical and cultural life of the empire.
The European influence and the acknowledgment with the traditions and principles of the European education triggered unprecedented activity in the sport life and sportive activity.
Enough to say that dozens of Armenian sport clubs and boy scout organizations appeared among the Armenian communities from Istanbul to Van, from Trabzon to Adana.
The first time in the history of Turkish Olympic games two Armenian sportsmen represented the Ottoman Turkey in the fifth international Olympic games in Stockholm in 1912 (those were Vahram Phapazyan and Mkrtich Mkryan). Many Armenian teams and individuals permanently scored victories and records in the multinational and intercommoned competitions and championships.
It’s interesting enough that from 1911 to 1914 four “Armenian Olympic games” were organized with the participation of all Armenian sport clubs. Winners of the competitions were awarded with silver medals.
The idea of creation of separate Armenian football league was not realized because of the WWI and subsequent start of genocide policy against the Ottoman Armenians, during which many Armenian sportsman became victims of the first genocide of the 20th century.
Appeal for the participation of the Armenian Olympic Games, “Marmnamarz”
Fifth Olympic games in Stockholm, second from the right is the representative of the Ottoman
Empire Track and Field Team, runner Vahram Papazyan, “Marmnamarz”
, July 5, 1912
Mkrtich Mkryan, participant of the Fifth Olympic games in Stockholm, Robert College campus, “Marmnamarz”
, July 5, 1912
Vagharshak Varjapetyan, winner of the Armenian Olympic games and international competitions in Constantinople, bicyclist, “Marmnamarz”
Vahram Papazyan, Fifth Olympic games in Stockholm, “Marmnamarz”
“Artsiv” (“Eagle”) athletic club of Trabizond, “Marmnamarz”
Football team of the Armenian hunting club of Izmir, “Marmnamarz”
“Shavarshan” football team of American school of Marzvan, “Marmnamarz”
The football team and athletic club “Atlas” of Nikomedia, “Marmnamarz”
Sport team of Perperyan school, “Marmnamarz”
Members of the light athletic club “Partev”, Sebastia, 1900s (The majority of
these people fell victim of the Armenian Genocide)
Football team of the “United club” of Hachn school, “Marmnamarz”
The Armenian Youth “Tsitsernak” football team, Istanbul, 1910s
Athlete team “Vahagn” of Samatia, “Marmnamarz”
The football team of St. Poghos’ School of Tarson, 1914