THE EXCAVATION OF VAN - ZEVE MASS-GRAVE
Armenian Massacres in Van - Interview with Witnesses
In the excavations that were started on April 4th 1990 in the cemetery for martyrs near Zeve which is in the vicinity of Citören Village that is located at 18 km. north-west of Van province, in accordance with oral statements of the eyewitness "Ibrahim Sargin" who witnessed the event, after removal of 30-40 cm thick earth, massacred human skeletons were found. It was observed that some of the skulls were broken, some were crushed and some were cracked and burnt. The most important findings of the excavations were poniard (khanjars) and daggers, a lot of cartridges, pieces of silk clothes, necklaces with bead of Sultan Reshad's monogram, amulets covered with wax, copper coins and glass buttons.
When these findings are combined with the statements of the eyewitness, the following information are obtained: The Armenian guerrillas who entered the district under Russian support in 1915 started attacking the villages, killing innocent Turkish and Moslem people. The Armenian guerillas brought into Zeve village about 2000-2500 people who were gathered by force from eight villages in the district and were put in houses and barns. They first tortured these people with piercing and cutting tools and then opened fire at them. Then, they set all houses on fire. Materials found in the excavation have been exhibited at
" Massacre Section" in Van Museum.
Prof. Dr. Cevat BASARAN