Attacks On Armenian Convoys And Measures Taken By The Government

Some Armenians have died as the result of the attacks made to some companies during the movement of Armenians towards their new settlement regions, especially by the Arabic tribes between Aleppo - Zor and Armenian committee member Urban. As understood from a coded telegraph dated January 8th 1916, the attacks on the roads between Aleppo and Meskene resulted in the death of many Armenians,  and that approximately 2.000 of the Armenians moving from Diyarbekir to Zor and from Saruc to Halep through Menbic road were robbed by the Urban tribes .

Again in Diyarbakir region, it has been notified that the gangs and the bandits killed almost 2.000 people including Armenians and Non - Muslims. Upon this event, it has been notified severely that such events should be immediately stopped and peace should be absolutely provided on the route of the companies, otherwise that province would be held responsible for the actions of the bandits.

A coded telegraph sent to Diyarbekir, Mamuretülaziz and Bitlis provinces on June 14th 1915 informing that another company of 500 people were killed as the result of the Kurd attacks between Erzurum - Erzincan road. Upon this event, the use of any kind of instruments against the attacks of the villagers and the tribes and severe punishment of the ones attempting murder and usurpation had been ordered.

The Ottoman government has shown extra ordinary efforts for providing food and the security of the companies while fighting against the enemy. It has shown great sensitivity about the murders and robberies, to which Armenians have been subjected to and tried to provide the safe performance of this transportation. With the instructions written to the administrations in the provinces, to which the transportation was made, the ones attacking the Armenian companies have been punished. The government, following up the precautions taken about this issue, has asked how many were punished harmed to the Armenian convoys, in the coded telegram it sent to Erzurum, Adana, Ankara, Halep, Hüdavendigar, Diyarbekir, Sivas, Trabzon, Konya, Mamoretülaziz provinces and Urfa, Izmit, Zor, Karesi, Kayseri, Kütahya, Maras, Karahisar administrators on September 5 1915.

On the other hand, Investigation Commissions have been established for determining the officers, who showed reluctance or unlawful actions during the transportation of the Armenian companies. A commission consisting of Muhtar Bey, Ankara Province civil service investigator, and Kaymakam Muhiddin Bey, Izmir Gendarme Regional Investigator under the chairmanship of Asim Bey, first chief of Interrogation Court has been sent to Adana, Halep, Suriye, Urfa, Zor and Maras regions (6) and a commission to which Ismail Hakki Bey, member of State Council has also participated, under the chairmanship of Hulusi Bey, chairman of Court of Appeal has been sent to Hüdavendigar, Ankara, Izmit, Karasi, Kütahya, Eskisehir, Kayseri, Karahisar-i sahib and Nigde regions.

A third commission consisting of Nihad, Public Prosecutor of Istanbul Court of First Instance and Ali Naki Bey, a Gendarme Major under the chairmanship of Mazhar Bey, former governor of Bitlis has been appointed in Sivas, Trabzon, Erzurum, Mamuretülaziz, Diyarbekir, Bitlis and Canik regions. In a coded confidential telegraph sent to Mazhar Bey, who was the chairman of this commission and was in Sivas at that time, the commission has been requested to carry out the necessary investigations at the locations they visited and then to report the results of such investigations continuously to the center.

In accordance with the instructions given to the commissions, gendarme, police officers or directors would be sent to the Court Martial in accordance with the result of the investigation to be carried out about them. A list of the ones sent to the Court Martial would be given to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The results of the investigations to be carried out about the governors and district governors would be first submitted to the Ministry of Internal affairs and the transactions would be carried out in accordance with the order given. If there occurred any misuse among the Court Martial chairmen or members and military officers, those people would be notified to the related army commanderships.

In the light of the reports given by the investigation commissions, many officers misusing their duties (stealing money and goods from the companies, causing the companies be subject to violation because of not performing their protection duties as required, acting in violation of the transportation order) have been discharged. Some of them have been judged at the Court Martial and have been sentenced to heavy punishments.


Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Facts Relating to the Armenian Displacement (1915), TTK Publication, Ankara, 2001


1) Coding Office, no. 59/244 2) Coding Office, no. 56/140; 55 - A/144 3) Coding Office, no. 54/406; no 54 - A/73; no 54 - A/248 4) Coding Office, no 54/9; no 54/162 5) Coding Office, no 55-A/84 6) Coding Office; no 56/186 7) Coding Office; no 56/355; no 58/38 8) Coding Office, no 56/267 9) Coding Office, no 58/278; no 58/141; no. 55-A/156; no. 55-A/157; no 61/165; no 57/116; no 57/416; no 57/105; no 59/235; no 54-A/326; no 59/196