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