Musa Bey Incident
Before the Kumkapi protest in Istanbul by the Hinchak Committee, one of the incidents that were used by the committee members as various means of propaganda towards Europe was Musa Bey Incident. Because of this incident the safety and the security of the properties of Armenians in Turkey were put forward as something identical to the security of the Christianity and the wails occurred by this way.
The complaints on Musa Bey, who was from Mutki, can be summarised as follows:
Musa Bey pillaged and tyrannised a lot. However these complaints were not dwelled upon. Especially, he kidnapped an Armenian girl called Gulizar, the daughter of a priest from Mus province, and he took her to his house and raped her than he gave her to his brother; but he stipulated that she would be Muslim. The girl did not accept to change her religion. She became mutilated in her eyes because of the beating of Musa and she escaped from Musa' s house to complain and came to Istanbul with the people from Mus, who were going to Istanbul. Including this girl and the priest, in total, 58 Armenian people from Mus made a petition to the Prime Minister's office and to the Administration of justice. Nevertheless they could not receive a reply. The committee and the patriarchate accommodated them in the inns. With the encouragement of the committee, they were made to cry, "Mercy", in the Sultan's public procession place. Upon this incident they were taken to the Reception Rooms and were interrogated.
Thereupon Musa Bey was taken to Istanbul to be tried. He was tried in the presence of people, including political representatives and the members of press. About 60 complainants and witnesses were listened in the hearing. At the end, no evidence was found, Musa Bey was found not guilty. So this protest, to which the members of the revolt were attached great importance, did not obtain the desired result.
However, to this, the Musa Bey Incident became a considerable propaganda material. The photographs of Gulizar with her mother and her priest uncle and were sent everywhere especially abroad. Thus, they tried to incite Christian bigotry.
Uras, Esat, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi, Istanbul, 1987, pp. 460-461
The Erzurum Incident
The Erzurum revolt occurred on 20 June 1890. Samih Pasha, the Governor of the time, and the other relevant persons were informed that the Armenians brought weapons and ammunition and they hid those in Sansaryan school and churches. In that year, during July the gendarme and the police wanted to search the church thoroughly; but since the Armenians were informed of this attempt in advance they made the necessary arrangements and prepared to resist. Upon the first command the Armenian committee members shot on the soldiers and killed one officer and two soldiers, who came to the incident area. The Church could be searched at the end of the operation, in which a policeman was killed.
An Armenian, who witnessed the incident in person explains to a newspaper published in America, called Hayrenik in Armenian in 1927 on of the anniversary of the Erzurum incident:
"The founder of the Sanasaryan School died in 1890. In order that this person might rest in peace the ceremony was made and we mourned. The government was informed that there was an arm atelier in the school. The Armenian Catholic priests were thought to be the informers. Before the search a man called "Köpek Bogos" (Dog Bogos), who was the member of "defender citizens" informed that the school would be searched in two hours. The national history books and registers and the things that could attract attention at first sight were removed immediately. At the end of the search nothing could be found. The Armenians were crying out that "the entrance of the Turks into the church is filthy and dirty." Later on, the men of Gergesyan, who was one of the founding members of "Defender Citizens Association" and who was killed by the decision of the Tashnak Committee Erzurum headquarter, started provoking the people. The shops were closed. The ceremonies were forbidden and the bells were not allowed to ring. The Armenians were dominating the situation. In this occasion, the rebels were yelling "the Armenians are free for three days, we will protect this freedom with arms." They wanted the government to decrease the taxes, abolish the military cost, burn the churches, the holiness of which was violated and to reconstruct them and materialise the article 61.
They stayed in the cemetery, the church and the court of the school for three-four days. The Armenian notables, who were the dispersion of the Armenians were beaten. The order of the Government, which said that people should be interested in their own matters only, was not obeyed. The committee members were going to some regions and were encouraging the people. Meanwhile, the brother of Gergesyan shot and killed two soldiers. A short fight between the two sides took place for two hours. In the following day, the consuls visited the city. More than 100 people died and about 200-300 people were injured. Aslanyan, the physician, who gave reports to the consuls on behalf of the Armenians, escaped from the city because he was wanted by the government.
While these incidents were taking place, a foreign wind, the wind of north was blowing. As a consequence of the protest by the Armenians, the Russian consul, Tevet, visited the Governor and he said, "If such rebellious people were in Russia, they would be smoothed" and to the Armenians, he said "To live under such a barabarian rule like Turkey is not worthy."
Uras, Esat, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi, Istanbul, 1987, pp. 458-459
The Kumkapi Demonstration (July 1890)
One of the most important incidents, which the Armenian committees used as a propaganda was the Kumkapi Demonstration. H. Cangülyan, who administered this protest, about which the Armenians claimed that they had protested without a weapon, is explaining it as follows:
"Because of the Musa Bey Question in Istanbul and Erzurum Incident, if a contrary move was not made, the Armenians would have thought that they were forgotten. That's why a reprisal was required. The murders, which would be committed in Anatolia, would not concern even Europe. Because of that reason in order to arouse the interest of Europe a complaint should be made in front of the ambassadors.
If the Armenian enthusiasm were solely and completely dependent upon the Armenians, this would attract the attention of Russia. Russia would be suspicious this and conquer Armenia one day. If the action were in the other provinces and in the center, this would attract the attention of the other states as well. In this case, since we found Britain closer to us than Russia, it would be more beneficial to shape the Armenian question within the framework of our national interests.
The situation, which was that the people were living with the other races in a dispersed and mixed way in the motherland, would cause the future actions fail only in the motherland. Because of this, the Armenian operations should be fulfilled outside the Armenian borders. For this reason, it would be impossible not to consider Istanbul as a convenient action centre. Including the bachelors and the other people who come from other cities, there were 200.000 Armenians in Istanbul.
The source of evil was in Istanbul. Consequently, it would be appropriate to fulfil the action very near the Palace.
When a revolution and rebellion spirit was aroused among a people, who lived under slavery for five-six centuries, it was necessary that the rebels should benefit from this, and should make this emotion much stronger, concrete and widespread. To disseminate the revolution among the people and to transform it to a much more fruitful way were among the objectives of their revolutionary activities.
The Turkish government and Turkish people believed that the sprit of unity among the Armenians, and a blow to Armenia atempted by these people by them would have negative effects in the other parts especially in Istanbul, where the international interests gathered. And if they see this, they will pursue a cautious policy. They will not dare to organise a new massacre."
Before the Kumkapi incident, the notables of the committee met at the home of a Russian citizen, Megavoryan, who was living at the house of a foreigner, in the back streets of Beyoglu. Two persons were elected to administer the protest, which would be materialized in Kumkapi on 15 July. Cangülyan assumed the responsibility to bring the Party to the palace and Murad to read the declaration.
On the day when the incident occurred, the telegram lines were cut and the Hinçaks gathered in the church. The declaration was copied in handwriting and distributed to people. During the ceremony Cangülyan attacked the dais air and read the declaration. The patriarch Asikyan, who was presiding the ceremony, escaped and took shelter in the patriarchate. He did not consent to go to the Palace together with the committee members. The Hinçak committee members occupied the patriarchate and guns were shot. All the windows and the ceiling of the building were broken to pieces.
At last the patriarch Ashikyan was persuaded by force and was put in a carriage to go to the Palace. The people and the member of the committee, who gathered were crying, "God save the Hinçak Committee, God save the Armenian nation, God save Armenia, God save Liberty". However since Dacad and Mampra Vartabets informed the government, the carriage, which the patriarch Asikyan was in, was stopped by the military forces. Upon this, the members of committee opened fire on the soldiers. Cangulyan was told this scene as follows:
"Our men were shooting at the soldiers continously and violently. The soldiers were trying to arrest those who were shooting. 6-7 soldiers were seriously wounded. 10 of them were slightly wounded. Two of us died."
The Kumkapi incident, which was alleged to be the "protest with no arms" by the Hinchaks, ended by this way.
Uras, Esat, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi, Istanbul, 1987,pp.461-463
The First Sasun Revolt
Sasun was a famous town its revolts. Sasun is a district of City of Siirt administratively and it is about 14 hours far from Mus. It is nearby Mutki and Garzan districts. Since its land is mountainous and steep, it is far from the government influence. The habitants including the Armenians spoke Zaza and Kurdish. A census was not fulfilled at that time; nevertheless, it was estimated that one fifth of the inhabitants were Armenian and the rest of it were Kurdish people.
In these regions in 1890's, an Armenian called Mahran Damadyan travelled around for three years and tried to make the Armenians revolt, by propagating and provoking. Upon the information given by the Sasun Armenians Damadyan was caught and brought to Istanbul to be tried and then he was set free.
The Sasun revolt was arranged by the Hinçak Committee solely to invite the intervention of the foreign countries and was fulfilled through the mediation of Murad (Kamparsun Boyaciyan).
Murad was supported and aided by the Tashnak Committee to go to Sasun by passing through Caucasus. As soon as he arrived in Sasun, he gathered some of the Armenians and started to prepare the revolt plans.
In fact, this revolt, which was fulfilled for the attraction of the foreign intervention by the Armenian committees and the patriarchate as being bloody and violent was announced in various capitals of Europe, the meetings, the declarations in the parliaments. The responsibility, which was assumed by Britain through the Cyprus agreement, was mentioned everywhere.
English Consul to Van City, Holward wanted to go to Sasun for investigation; but since the government considered him as the provocative of the revolt, he was not allowed to. After very long correspondences. The Ottoman Goverment accepted the request that the consuls situated in Erzurum, namely France, Britain and Russia participated to the Ottoman research commission. The commission made investigation for six months, from 4 January to 21 July 1895, and held 108 meetings, and listened to more than 190 witnesses. Omer Bey from the committee was appointed for the post of Vice Governor of Bitlis. So he had to leave the commission on 29 January. On 23 August Murad, the leader of the revolt, was arrested.
The Armenians had a lot of hopes concerning the Sasun revolt. They thought that, in case of a revolt in Sasun, Europe would intervene immediately, the demands of the Armenians would be supplied and considerable benefits would be obtained.
In order to continue the revolt, Hinchaks collected a great amount of money in Istanbul and in the provinces through the tickets, which bore the seal of the committee.
It would be sufficient to read the article published in the American newspaper, New York Herald, which can not be accused of not being neutral concerning how the incident took place.
"The European investigation showed that the Armenians revolted with the assistance of the provocateurs who came from foreign countries. The rebels did everything with the modern weapons. In addition to arson, murder and the pillage, they revolted against the regular soldiers and resisted them and than they retreated to the mountains. The interrogation committee established that by sending soldiers against the rebels, the Ottoman government used its most legal right. These soldiers were able to defeat these rebels only after bloody fights. About 3 thousand fully armed rebels, who sheltered in the mountains, could not be defeated by convincing words, and articles in the newspapers.
3000 Armenians gathered in Mount Anduk. 500-600 of them wanted to besiege Mus district. With this objective, they attacked the Delican tribe in the south of Mus. They killed some of them and pillaged their properties. The belief of the Muslims, whom they caught, was despised and the Muslims were killed violently. These rebels attacked at the regular soldiers near Mus, too. However, because of the great number of the soldiers there, they could not occupy Mus district.
The rebels organized the gangs with the ones in Mount Anduk. These gangs committed awful murders and plundered. They burned the nephew of Ömer Agha alive. They raped the Muslim women in the region, which was three-four hours far from to Gulli Guzat village and strangled.
They picked out the eyes and cut the ears of most of the Muslims. The Muslims were insulted severely and shamefully and were forced to be converted to Christianity and to kiss the Cross.
Towards the end of August, the Armenians attacked the Kurdish people near Mus and burnt the Gülli Güzat village. As to the 3000 Armenian rebels in Talori, after terrorising and making the Muslims and the Christians mourn, they refused to abandon their weapons and continued to pillage and murder. Then army soldiers were sent to these places to prevent these atrocities.
Hamparsun, who was one of the rebels, escaped to the high mountains with eleven accomplices. He was caught alive. Nevertheless two men of his men were killed and six of them were wounded. At the end of August all of the rebellion gangs were dispersed.
The Turks treated the women, children, old people, the disabled in accordance with the Islamic and humanistic norms. The rebels, who died, were the ones who refused to surrender and preferred to fight against the legal sovereignty.
Uras, Esat, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi, Istanbul, 1987,pp.471-477
The Zeytun Revolt
The most important revolt of the Hinchaks took place in Zeytun in 1895. It was informed that some of the foreign Armenians were active in the Arekin village and the government persecuted these people. It was understood that the activists, who were sent by the Hinchak Committee, were called Agasi, Hraçya, Abah, Nisan, Melek, Garbet; and they were the Hinçak propagandists. At that time centre of the committee was in London and the leader was Nazarbeg. The activists told the Zeytun inhabitants to arm and attack the Turkish people, the military forces around and the important towns; and that the necessary arms and money were being sent by the committee, adding that, the British fleet would arrive in Mersin and Iskenderun, as soon as the operation begins.
On 16 September, 1895 an Armenian committee, which comprised of 100 persons, including the rebels of Zeytun, Partogomios, Vartabet and the representatives of the village, met in Karanlik Dere (Dark Stream) and arrived at a decision concerning how to start the rebellion.
Upon these decisions revolts started everywhere, telegraph wires were cut, two thousand armed and four thousand unarmed inhabitants of Zeytun started the attacks. The rebels, who surrounded the barracks and the government office, took prisoner the district Governor, 50 officers, 600 soldiers and commanders. Later, the women from Zeytun killed the prisoners. The commander Remzi Pasha demanded to get reinforcement. Ethem Pasha came instead; but he had to demand for new reinforcement.
The rebels were equipped with modern weapons. The soldiers situated in Goksun attacked the rebels and they forced them to take shelter in Zeytun. The soldiers surrounded Zeytun; and just as they were wining the fight, the consuls in Istanbul proposed the government to be the act as mediator for the Armenians in Zeytun. The palace accepted this proposal and stopped the operations. The ambassadors appointed their consuls to Aleppo for the negotiations. On 1 January 1896, six official consuls entered Zeytun and they concluded peace with rebels of Zeytun on 28 January .
The rebels surrendered with the peace conditions, which were the submission of the weapons, that they fought with; amnesty general; the expropriation of the five members of the committee; and the exemption from the past taxes, reduction of the public tax; and the revolt ended.
The Hinchak gangs, who initiated the revolt, left Zeytun under the protection of the British Embassy and they departed from Mersin to Marseilles on 12 March.
With the Zeytun revolt the activity of the Hinchak Party in Turkey came to an end. The party was of the opinion that due to the activities it would attract the attention of Europe and would provide the independence for the Armenians. Because of that reason it murdered a great number of Armenians. But it could not obtain any result.
Uras, Esat, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi, Istanbul, 1987,pp.491-496 2. Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara,1983,pp.160-161)
The Van Revolt
Although rebellion of Van started in the night between 14 and 15 June 1895, the preparations of this rebellion extends to very early days. General Mayewski, who was the Russian Ambassador for City of Van, for 6 years, and later appointed for Erzurum, explains as follows:
"In 1895, the rebels of Van exerted great efforts in order to attract the great attention of Europe to the Armenian question. Through the death threats, they sent letters to the rich Armenians for the pecuniary support. During this time, by the decision of Van revolution committee, some political murders were committed. One of the most important murders, took place on 6 January 1895, the most important Armenian Feast day; the murder of the Priest Bogos, who was going to the church for the sacred rite. (...) As from the spring the revolutionary preparations started. The people were talking about the corpses, which were cut in to pieces nearby the province. As the revolutionists saw that no prosecution took place, they became more and more encouraged. Besides this, as the Armenians were encouraged, the Muslims were expiring their patience."
The British Ambassador Williams were foresighted as well and he writes the following:
"There are 400 members of Tashnaks in Van. They are terrorising their own co-religionists and they are provoking Muslim people by committing violent and bloody crimes acts together with the Hinchaks, whom I suppose not more than 50. They do not allow the reforms to be realised. I am sure that if those can be suppressed, the obstacle, hindering the security of the region will be eliminated."
Military Commander of Van, Saadettin Pasha, also perceived the same situation. As from October 1895 there was already individual incidents in Van and therefore it became necessary to be on the alert to any incident. The official provincial reports show that until the beginning of the rebellion, 23 incidents were recorded. Saadettin Pasha, in his big report he sent after the revolt, mentioned these issues and summarised how the events developed.
The rebellion in Van continued between 15-24 June 1895. During the revolt 418 Muslims and 1715 Armenians deceased, and 363 Muslims and 71 Armenians were wounded.
After that date, in Van, individual incidents continued, concerning the gangs that kept coming by passing through Iran. However, those did not turn into revolts.
Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara, 1983,pp.161-163)
The Storming Of The Ottoman Bank
The last incident of the year 1896 was the storming of the Ottoman Bank that occurred on 26 August. This incident was the initiative of the Tashnak Committee completely. Those, directing the operation were three Armenians, Varto, Mar and Boris. Akrein Pastirmaciyan, who was using the nickname Armen Garo, was elected as deputy from Erzurum. He came from Athens to fight on the Caucasian front with his gang against Turkey during the World War I., and joined them.
Esat Uras is telling how the raid developed on 26 August from Varantyan's "Tasnaksütyun History" in Armenian:
"On 26 August, 6.30 in the morning. 6 persons were enough for the raid. The bomb sack on our shoulders, the arms in our hand, we started out. When we approached the bank we heard the noise of the bombs used by our leaders. We attacked the bank. They thought we were robbers. I told them not to be scared. The bombs had shocking results. The people, who were wounded by the bombs, did not die immediately. The bombs were tearing their hands into pieces and they were suffering with awful pain. Together with Garo we went to the office of the Director and had our conditions written. We wanted our demands to be fulfilled and wanted the rebels, who were involved in the fight, to be set free. Otherwise, we would explode the bank and kill ourselves too. 17 of us were left alive after the fight. 3 of us died and 6 of our friends were wounded. The casualty of our enemies was so great."
The conditions of the members of the gang were as follows:
- A European High Commissioner shall be elected by 6 states.
- Governors, Governors of the provinces and Governors of districts shall be appointed by the High Commissioner and approved by the Sultan.
- Legal reform in conformity with the European system
- An absolute freedom of religion, education and press
- To spend Â¾ of the country revenue for the local requirements
- To abolish the accumulated tax due
- Tax exemption for 5 years, allocation of the tax that shall be paid in the following 5 years to the losses caused by the recent chaos.
- The return of the property, which were seized
- The return of the immigrants freely
- The amnesty to the Armenians who were sentenced for political offences
- Founding of a provisional commission comprising of the representatives from the European countries and the provision of their control over the above mentioned issues As a result, the General Director of the Bank Sir Edgar Vincent went to the Palace with Maximoff, the Chief Interpreter of the Russian Embassy and they were authorized to solve the problem. Their right to leave Turkey freely was guaranteed. 17 gangsters with Maximoff left the bank and went to the office of Sir Edgar and than they departed to go to Marseilles with the French Ship Gironde.
Thus, the raid of the bank ended, but the bombs and bullet casting of the Armenians to the soldiers, police and the people made the Muslim inhabitants of Istanbul very angry. The chaos in Istanbul continued for a few days. This is not an assault by the Muslims against the Armenians. The Armenians also continued to attack.
According to western sources, the number of the Armenians who lost their lives in this incident is 4.000-6.000. In the scanned Ottoman documents no information about this incident has been found yet. Nevertheless, it is obvious that the figure, 6.000 is exaggerated. At the end of the Sublime Porte protest, the chaos continued for a few days; but the number of dead people remained 172. In order to reach the figure of 4.000-6.000, the incident should have continued for weeks. Furthermore, since all the sources recorded that the Muslims struggled with sticks and knives, it is impossible such a number of people could be killed by these means. No record could be found concerning the number of the Muslim inhabitants who died. On the other hand, it was understood from the British sources that 120 soldiers of the Grand Vizier died and 25 of them were wounded. Again this year, in the same sources, it was registered that about 300 Muslims were arrested because of this incident and that the measures taken by the government were good.
Concerning this incident a special law court was established and this court tried the arrested Muslims and the Armenians.
Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara, 1983,pp.163-166)
The Second Sasun Revolt
As the first attack on 8 August 1895, in Sasun, could not obtain any result, the Tasnaks wanted to make the second attack on July1897. Generally, the Tashnak bands were came Turkey by passing through Iran and Van route. But the Mazrik tribe was irritating them on their road. In order to eradicate this tribe the committee members assaulted the tribe's tents in Honasor with a gang of 250 people on July 1897, at dawn. But they could not get the result that they expected and they retreated when they had the risk of being besieged.
After that date, the Tasnaks moved their activities to Sasun and Mus region. At that time Antranik took up the gang acts. Antranik, born in 1866 in Âªarki Karahisar, entered the Committee at a very young age, and he was imprisoned for killing a Turk. He was smuggled from the jail by the Committee and was sent to Batum. In the World War he became famous for gang fights and he was promoted to Regiment Commandership. Towards the end of 1890s his name became known in the region.
In 1901 the Ottoman government decided to establish barracks at the Taluri and Shenik hills in order to bring order to the Sasun administration; the Armenians opposed this project. The fight with the gangs under the leadership of Antranik actually started on this date. But towards the end of 1903 the real revolt started to disseminate in this region to everywhere. On 13 April 1904 the troopss were sent against the rebels and, the rebels could not resist. Nevertheless, the fights of the bands continued until August and Antranik had to escape to the Caucuses.
According to the book, "Antranik Wars" written by K. Küdülyan in Armenian and published in Beirut in 1929, during the fights on 14, 16, 22 April; 2 May; 17 July, in total 932-1132 Turks but only 19 Armenians were killed. Those are the figures announced and written by the Armenians. Sasun Revolt II resulted in the re-emergence of the so-called massacre issue on the international agenda once again. But it did not attract as much attention as in the past. As a matter of fact, a new period, when the attention of the countries was drawn on other issues was about to start.
Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara,1983,pp.166-167
The Yildiz Assassination
The last initiative of the Tashnaks is the assassination of Abdülhamid. Papazian confirms this accordingly:"The assault against Sultan Abdülhamid's life was the last try of the Tashnaks for the revolution on behalf of the Turkish Armenians. That was one of the splendid but useless initiative of Tashnaksutyun. Its success would not have contributed to the Armenian problem. Its failure saved our people from a great catastrophe."
Together with Krisdapor Mikaelyan, Vram Âªabuh Kendiryan from Arnavutköy, Belgian Joris and his semi-Greek wife Silvio Risçi, Lipa-Rips born in Germany, Torkom (Ardas Haçik Kaptanyan), Safo (Konstantin Kabulyan), Mari Zayn, Garo (Hamparsun Agacanyan), Kris Fenerciyan, Asod (Karlo Yovanoiç) and some adventurous people coming from different parts of the Caucuses and Europe gathered in Istanbul and started to make plans for the assassination. First of all, they went to the Polonezköy (Polish village) with 12 bombs and made some bombing experiments in Ibrahim Pasha forest.
Because of his Russian Jewish merchant passport, Krisdapor went to the Sultan's public procession ceremony with the advise received from the Russian Embassy and he made the investigation freely. He thought that it was easy to throw the bomb on the Sultan when he was passing. Yet, since the roads were covered with sand, it was possible that the bomb would not explode.
Later on the plan was discussed. On fifteenth day of Ramadan during the ceremony, two men with guns would attack the Sultan, Joris proposed to rent a house on the road, from Yildiz to Dolmabahce. The men appointed to fulfil this mission were present with the guns. Yet, that day, the Sultan went to Ciragan Palace through the Yildiz Garden and the assassination attempt of the committee failed.
Finally, it was planned to bomb the premises, where foreign guests were frequenting, and at the same time to explode a great bomb in a carriage. Careful studies and calculations were made and it was decided that the bombs would be prepared in foreign countries; the tests would be materialized there and the assassination would be realised with a time bomb put in a special carriage.
Krisdapor continued his investigations. He went to Yildiz every week. He recorded the time when the Sultan arrived at and departed from the mosque; he measured the distance between the carriage and the mosque, the steps and the time. Finally, they decided to explode a timed-bomb in a carriage which would wait among the carriages of foreign guests. The carriage would be placed as close as possible to the Sultan and the Sultan would be killed together with the people around him .
A metal chest, to be placed in the coachman's seat was made and it would include 120 kilos of explosives. In order to inflame the explosives a clock face, a circuit of 42 seconds was prepared. It was decided that Zare Haçikyan, 45 years old, veteran murderer, Armenian committee member, would ride the carriage.
On 18 July, in the morning the explosive material and 500 capsules were loaded in an iron chest under the driver's seat. Having made all the preparations, on Friday, 21 July 1905, following the public procession ceremony while Sultan Hamid was going back to the Palace the bomb exploded in front of the mosque. Although everything was calculated with precision, the Sultan met Sheikh-ul-Islam after he left the mosque and talked to him. Because he was late for a few minutes the assassination failed.
At the end of the investigations concerning the incident, Edouard Joris, Austrian citizen, was sentenced to death. After some time, Joris was brought to the Palace. He was appointed as an agent to work against the Armenians with the Sultan's gift of 500 liras and was sent to Europe.
Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara,1983,pp.167 (2) Uras, Esat, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi, Istanbul, 1987,pp.524-531
The Adana Incident
Following the Armenian provocation, which lasted for days, the Armenians killed two young Muslims and when they insisted not to surrender the murderer, the demonstrations took a serious turn and extended to streets. The Muslims and the Armenians fought in the streets for 3 days.
The government sent troops from Dedeagach to Adana immediately. Upon their arrival the incidents tented worsen; but they were suppressed easily. In his memoirs, Cemal Pasha said that during the Adana incident 17.000 Armenians and 1.850 Muslims died. If the Armenians had had the majority of population, in the province, these figures would have been differred. During the bloodshed, the behaviour of the parties was not different from each other.
According to the research made by the Patriarchate 21.300 people died. Babikyan Efendi, the deputy of Edirne province prepared a report to be presented to the parliament, but he died shortly after the report, which stated that the number of dead was 21.001, could not be discussed in the Assembly. By taking into consideration that there was the possibility was that there might be some people, who escaped from the scene and came back later; and since the figure established by Cemal Pasha belonged to a period after the trial, it was accepted that the muöber of the Armenians, who died was nearly 17.000, not 21.000.
After the incident, Adana was put under martial law. The Muslim and Armenians who committed crimes were sent to Court Martial.
Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara,1983,pp.175-76
The Bursa Incident
Upon the increase of the Armenian rebellions and incidents, the Armenians gangs, who heard that at the end of the searches in Adapazari and Izmit many weapons were obtained; and who had been preparing in Chengiler, Soloz, Orhangazi, Bilecik regions for a long time, started to attack the Turkish people. Their aim was to make the government forces the gendermerie and the military units to pursue Armenians themselves. Thus forces who were fighting against the enemy on the front would be weakened and demoralised.
The Armenian bands that had modern weapons and even medical equipment, started assaults everywhere in groups 60-70, by uniting with the bandits who had escaped from Izmit and Adapazari. It was established that the leaders of the Armenian gangs were the Chief Priest Vekil Barkef and his secretary Sokpas, the Principal of Bursa Armenian School, porter of the church and the religious people.
Sakarya, Em. Tümg. Ihsan, Belgelerle Ermeni Sorunu, Gnkur. Basimevi, Ankara 1984 pp.239
The Findikcik Incident
While the Armenians in Zeytun region, who revolted against the Ottoman government from time to time, were being replaced in the other regions, the Armenians, who spread out to the land, in the north of the Nur Mountains, attacked the Turkish villages, the military units and the gendarme detachments and set fire, destroyed and killed.
After a period of time, in Spring 1915, 600 bandits, who were Armenians from Zeytun, Saimbeyli and Maras, gathered and revolted between Maras and the Bahçe Town; and Findikçik village, which was 30 kilometres distant from Ayvalik Subdistrict. They burned four Turkish villages nearby this village. The Armenians in Maras region also started to get together in Findikçik, the center of the rebellion. The village was prepared for the defense.
Meanwhile, although a gendarme detachment was sent to the rebellion region, no positive results were achieved. Upon this, 312th Infantry Regiment from Islahiye and infantry battalion from Belen and a mountain cannon team were sent to the Findikçik region and the revolt was suppressed. More than 10 Turkish villages were set on fire and about 2.000 Turkish people were killed violently in this incident.
Sakarya, Em. Tümg. Ihsan, Belgelerle Ermeni Sorunu, Gnkur. Basimevi, Ankara 1984 pp.243-244
Mount Musa Incident
Mount Musa is at the foot of the Nur Mountains. It is 1.000 meters high. It is covered with huge rocks and bushes and looks like a single block of rock. The book "40 Days at Mount Musa", by a Jew, called Werfel, was made a film, in order to propagate the said oppression by the Armenians in America. The Governor of Aleppo of the time, General Fahrettin Türkkan describes the incident that broke out in the World War I as follows:
"During the World War I, it was rumoured that the Entente Powers would land on the shores of the Iskenderun Region. So the habitants of seven Armenian villages connected to Samandag subdistrict, did not pay their tax due. They refused to support Turkish Armed Forces. They revolted and escaped to Mount Musa.
Upon this development, although the government sent some officials to talk to them and to persuade them to obey the government orders, the Armenians did not pay attention to this and defended themselves with weapons. Colonel Galip, the commander of the region could not find any other solution therefore he took the roads under the control, that were extending from Mount Musa. Although he wanted to talk to the rebellions individually for the last time, he saw that nobody was left on the mountain. At the end of the search, it was found out that the Armenians came down to the Mediterranean by the slope of a hill that was stretched out to the sea. Following the tracks, Colonel Galip climbed down to the shore and came across 20-30 animal corpses.
The search unveiled that a French war ship, which was observing the shores of Iskenderun, sent a boat to the shore upon the signal given from Mount Musa. This boat carried the Armenian gang leaders and the other rebels to the ships. This information can be obtained from the official channels of the French Government. The searches made the Mount Musa revealed that there were no human corpses on the shore or , even wounded or diseased people. Within this respect, it was concluded to a conclusion that the aim of the book written by Werfel, a Jewish origin, was likely to propagate in order to create a public opinion against the Turkish people. It was translated into all languages; and was made a film."
This is the Mount Musa Incident. Its objective was to discredit and condemn the Turks. During World War I the French considered Aleppo and Hatay provinces as a significant entrance and exit to the Mediterranean and attached great importance to the Samandag region. Moreover they searched the possibility to land on this region. Because of this reason, they bombarded Iskenderun Province six times. Although they wanted make trouble for the Ottoman government by provoking the Christians, they could not find the opportunity and courage to materialise this initiative.
Sakarya, Em. Tümg. Ihsan, Belgelerle Ermeni Sorunu, Gnkur. Basimevi, Ankara 1984 pp.245-246
The Sebinkarahisar Incident
Besides the Armenian incidents, many rebellions occurred in Anatolia. One of them is Âªebinkarahisar incident on 5 June 1915.
Murat (Hamparsun Boyaciyan), born in Sivas, was an Armenian band leader who attacked Shebinkarahisar with about 500 men. Since the road to transport reinforcements to the Turkish Eastern Front passed through the region, it had strategic importance. In case of an Armenian seizure of the region, the reinforcement and the back-up services of the TSK (Turkish Armed Forces) would be delayed and the front operations of the Russian army would become easier. The bandits set fire to the Muslim quarters. They started to kill the Turkish people, they tortured them, first. They attacked the army and gendarmerie detachments.
Reconsidering these conditions, the forces were brought from other fronts and they were sent to Shebinkarahisar. They besieged the Armenian rebels.
The message that was sent to the High Command of the 10th Army Corps Headquarters in Sivas on 15 June 1915 included the statements below:
"It is informed that about 500 Armenian bandits, who were collected from different places, sheltered in the old castle in Âªebinkarahisar and revolted. The Sivas Governor informed that the fights took place between the security forces and the bandits."
The message sent by the Sivas Governor to the 3rd Army Corps Headquarters on 18-19 June 1915 included the following:
"It is reported that the Shebinkarahisar rebellion was suppressed; about 800 Armenian women, men and children took shelter in the castle; about 200 of the rebels were armed."
Sakarya, Em. Tümg. Ihsan, Belgelerle Ermeni Sorunu, Gnkur. Basimevi, Ankara 1984 pp.227-228
The Urfa Incidents
Following the declaration of the Constitutional Regime, the Armenian committees also established an organisation in Urfa, composed of volunteers. The Armenians who were replaced in this region, were also deceived. Meanwhile, a man, who was found guilty in the Urfa revolt in 1895, was exiled to Tripoli. This man, who was discharged after the declaration of the Constitutional Regime, came back to Turkey and introduced himself as a priest. The Armenian Patriachate to Istanbul sent him to Urfa. He prepared the Armenian revolt and instilled Turkish hostility within the region. He explained to them the importance of weapons and armament.
The Russians attached great importance to the Armenian preparations in Urfa; because Urfa is in a location on the main road that stretches out from Eastern Anatolia to Iskenderun. Food, which would be sufficient for the rebellions for thirty years was stored. The occupation of Van province by the Russians speeded up the provocation and the propaganda of the Armenian rebels. By putting forward that the Russians would come to Urfa by passing through Diyarbakir, and Siverek, they called Armenians for revolt.
One of the most significant features of the revolt preparations was carrying water to the rebels who kept them coming from Maras and Diyarbakir, grinding the wheat to make flour, cooking bread, taking care of the patients, cleaning up the guns, receiving orders, making bullets, making speeches and forming the teams. These would be realized with an armed force, which was comprised of local volunteers and the deserters, and which would be used under the order of the commanders for Zeytun, Sason, Bitlis, Antep regions. They succeeded in materialising these preparations.
While waiting for the appropriate time to start the revolt, during the collection of the weapons and the recruitment of the ones, born in 1894, the Armenian soldiers, who escaped from Zeytun, Sason, Haçin, Diyarbakir provinces joined the rebels. The first revolts started in Germis village, 7.5 kilometers away from Urfa and on Thursday, 19 August 1915 in the center of Urfa.
On the following day of the Urfa incident the Armenian soldiers of the service battalion, who were working at the Tellüllebyaz-Urfa-Siverek road attempted to kill the officers and the Turkish workers, as they had planned before. However they could not achieve this. Later on, the Armenian soldiers, who were working at the Tellülebyaz-Urfa section, martyred Reserve Officer Ibrahim Hilmi through the pickaxes, shovels and the guns they obtained from the guard gendarmes; and they wounded four gendarmes and the alderman.
After this incident on 28 August 1915, the order prevailed until 29 September 1915. Nevertheless, on 29 September 1915, 40 gunshots were made. On the following day, the police and the gendarme, who went to the Armenian quarter to investigate the incident, met the fire and one gendarme had died and two were wounded. The rebels attacked the houses of the Turks and they captured the ones, who were suitable for defence and attack; and martyred 10 women, young and old, from the Muslim families.
The revolt in Urfa was planned and directed by the Armenian committees perfectly. It was established that foreign countries were involved in this incident and that they received help from them.
Following the rebellion, the leaders of the Armenian gangs managed to escape to other regions. The 4th Army Commander informed the Supreme Military Command about the fight through the code number 7664 on the day it ended, 16 October 1915.
Sakarya, Em. Tümg. Ihsan, Belgelerle Ermeni Sorunu, Gnkur. Basimevi, Ankara 1984 pp.240-243
Izmit And Adapazari Incidents
When the Russian navy was bombarding Eregli in the Black Sea Region, it was found out that the Armenians in the region spied for the Russians. Especially, the Armenians in Adapazari started telling and propagating clearly that "The Russians will land on the Black Sea coast in a few days; they will come here. When they come there will be no Turks left in our region." Upon this, the government had a search made in the region. At the end of the search a great number of explosive materials guns, pistols, soldier and gendarme uniforms, a great amount of ammunition and dynamite fuses were found. Only few of them were enough to destroy Adapazari. Another search was made in Izmit and similar things the same things were found.
According to the evidence given by the revolutionists who were arrested both in Adapazari and Izmit, if the Russian occupation had taken place, in the estuary of the Sakarya River these explosives would have been used against the Turkish army and Turkish people. Therefore, a plan for massacre and total destruction was going to be put in practise. Some of the Armenians would wear uniforms of the Turkish Army and destroy the Turkish Army from within. When this plan of the Armenians was unveiled, the gang leaders escaped to Yalova and Bursa regions and they robbed and killed the Turkish people they came across.
In spite of all these, the Armenians started to disseminate news and rumours, about Armenians being killed and tortured everywhere. In the end, the government had to take the fundamental measures. Some of the Armenian gangs were arrested and some of them escaped to different regions.
Sakarya, Em. Tümg. Ihsan, Belgelerle Ermeni Sorunu, Gnkur. Basimevi, Ankara 1984 pp.238
The General List Of Revolts
The Armenian revolts started with the Erzurum incident in 1890 and ended with Van rebellion in 1896. This period of Armenian massacres to Turks was referred as a so-called "genocide" by the Western world.
Nalbadian says, "in this period, 50.000-300.000 Armenian were killed."
David Marshall Lang writes that 200.000 Armenians were killed between 1894-96.
According to Pastirmaciyan there were 100.000-110.000 dead people.
Misasskian writes "At least 300.000 Armenians died."
Hepsius's number for Armenian casualties is 88.243.
However, there are some doubts about all these figures. For instance, in 1896 it is said that 20.000 people were killed in Van. But most of the bands activated in Van province came from Iran. Saadettin Pasha says that 6.000 people died in Zeytun. According to Agasi 125 people lost their lives. The British documents state that after the end of the rebellion the people, who died because of the diseases, were 3.000. Yet these deaths are not related to the rebellion.
Bliss's figure belonging to 1895 is 35.032.
It is evident that the Armenian bandits and rebels killed thousands of Turks in 1890's and the Armenian casualties during their own revolts would not be more than 20.000.
Agasi's words "We killed 20.000 Turks in Zeytun" clarify the facts. With no doubt, Muslim casualties are much more than the Armenian casualties.
Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara,1983,pp.167-68