Tuesday, January 8, 2008



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

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