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Ermenilerin Osmanlı'dan Kopmaları

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Ermenilerin Osmanlı'dan Kopmaları

Mesajgönderen TurkmenCopur » 30 Nis 2011, 15:24


Not coincidentally, the Armenian revolt in eastern Anatolia began as soon as the Russians realized that the Ottoman Empire would go to war. Before Russia declared war on 2 November 1914, Armenian guerrillas had already begun to organize into guerrilla bands. In preparation for revolt, Armenian revolutionaries had stored vast stockpiles of weapons, largely provided or paid for by the Russian government. These were kept primarily in Armenian villages and were obviously well-hidden from Ottoman authorities, an indication of the lack of Ottoman control in the region before the war. For example, Ottoman investigators found "in searches conducted by the Government of Tuzlasar Village of Hafik yesterday, crates of weapons, bombs, and a crate of blue uniforms were uncovered and confiscated," and Armenian rifles were better than those issued to the Ottoman army. Government investigators found large caches of arms in ten villages of the Pervari district. More arms caches were found scattered throughout the east. Great amounts of rifles and dynamite were found in the areas of Muș, Diyarbakir, and Sivas. However, subsequent events made it clear that the Ottomans had found only a very small part of the weapons collected by the Armenian revolutionaries. With weapons stored for the expected revolution, Ottoman citizen Armenians began to arm themselves and organize on both sides of the border. Bands were formed in the Kars-Ardahan-Artvin border regions (which had been taken from the Ottomans in 1878) and in Van, Erzurum, and Bitlis vilâyets.

When war was declared, the Armenian revolutionaries mobilized. Anatolian Armenians who had previously gone to Russia reentered the Ottoman Empire and led guerrilla groups. One band of more than a thousand was organized by a former Armenian deputy to the Ottoman Parliament, Garo Pasdirmajian (Armen Garo). Famous guerrilla leaders such as Andranik, who had led the 1895 Armenian revolt, organized the Anatolian revolutionaries and enrolled thousands of new recruits, including Armenians from Iran. In the Russian Caucasus, the Dashnak Party recruited members for guerrilla bands that would enter the Ottoman Empire. The bands included both "Russian" and "Turkish" Armenians, although to the guerrillas themselves such a distinction would have been all but meaningless.

Armenian guerrilla units went through Armenian villages, recruiting men and assisting or forcing (depending on which version one ascribes to) Armenians to migrate to areas of Russian control. The guerrilla units were joined by a great number of Armenian deserters from the Ottoman Army, who both formed guerrilla/bandit gangs in Anatolia and went off to join the Russian and Armenian forces who were preparing themselves in the Caucasus. Great internal migrations took place; Armenians and Muslims who lived in mixed villages migrated to purely Armenian or purely Muslim villages. Large numbers went over, respectively, to either the Russian or the Ottoman lines. Around 6,000 to 8,000 Armenian guerrillas, primarily from Muș, Van, and Bitlis, gathered in the area of Kaǧizman and were organized and trained by Russians. Another group of approximately 6,000 Anatolian Armenians was trained and organized in Iǧdir and formed into guerrilla bands. The Ottoman army estimated that 30,000 armed men from Sivas Vilâyeti alone joined the Armenian forces, 30 probably an exaggerated number, but indicative of a great and long-planned rebellion.

Perhaps the most famous Armenian resistance was in the mountainous area around Musa Daǧi, near Antakya, where perhaps 5,000 resisted Ottoman troops for 53 days until they were taken aboard a French warship.

At first, Ottoman military units, mail deliveries, gendarmerie posts, and recruiting units were attacked in Muș, Șitak, Sușehri, Zeytun, Aleppo, Dörtyol, and many other areas. Telegraph lines were cut in the regions of Reșadiye, Karqekan, and Gevaș beginning in December of 1914 and later all over eastern Anatolia. Between five hundred and six hundred Armenian rebels occupied the Tekye Monastery and fought a bloody, day-long pitched battle with Ottoman troops and gendarmes, escaping from Ottoman troops in the night. Battles were also fought between rebels and the Ottoman police in the streets of Zeytun.

In Diyarbakir Vilâyeti, a combination of Armenian villagers and Armenian deserters formed bands and attacked Muslim villages and Ottoman troops. Unprotected Muslim villages were assaulted and Muslims massacred, although the murders could not compare to what was later to befall the Muslims of the east.

Armenian plans to take eastern cities were brought into force once the war began. For the sake of understanding the chronology of massacre and countermassacre in the region, it should be understood that these and other revolutionary activities took place well before any orders for deportation of Armenians were given. The revolts or attacks on Ottoman forces in Van, Zeytun, Muș, Reșadiye, Gevaș, and other cities and towns all began before the Ottoman order of deportation (26 May 1915). By May of 1915, eastern Anatolia was already in the midst of a civil war.

Kitap: Death and Exile: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims, 1821-1922
Yazar: Justin McCarthy
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