THE URFA INCIDENTS
Following the declaration of the Constitutional Regime, the Armenian committees also established an organisation in Urfa, composed of volunteers. The Armenians who were replaced in this region, were also deceived. Meanwhile, a man, who was found guilty in the Urfa revolt in 1895, was exiled to Tripoli. This man, who was discharged after the declaration of the Constitutional Regime, came back to Turkey and introduced himself as a priest. The Armenian Patriachate to Istanbul sent him to Urfa. He prepared the Armenian revolt and instilled Turkish hostility within the region. He explained to them the importance of weapons and armament.
The Russians attached great importance to the Armenian preparations in Urfa; because Urfa is in a location on the main road that stretches out from Eastern Anatolia to Iskenderun. Food, which would be sufficient for the rebellions for thirty years was stored. The occupation of Van province by the Russians speeded up the provocation and the propaganda of the Armenian rebels. By putting forward that the Russians would come to Urfa by passing through Diyarbakir, and Siverek, they called Armenians for revolt.
One of the most significant features of the revolt preparations was carrying water to the rebels who kept them coming from Maras and Diyarbakir, grinding the wheat to make flour, cooking bread, taking care of the patients, cleaning up the guns, receiving orders, making bullets, making speeches and forming the teams. These would be realized with an armed force, which was comprised of local volunteers and the deserters, and which would be used under the order of the commanders for Zeytun, Sason, Bitlis, Antep regions. They succeeded in materialising these preparations.
While waiting for the appropriate time to start the revolt, during the collection of the weapons and the recruitment of the ones, born in 1894, the Armenian soldiers, who escaped from Zeytun, Sason, Haçin, Diyarbakir provinces joined the rebels. The first revolts started in Germis village, 7.5 kilometers away from Urfa and on Thursday, 19 August 1915 in the center of Urfa.
On the following day of the Urfa incident the Armenian soldiers of the service battalion, who were working at the Tellüllebyaz-Urfa-Siverek road attempted to kill the officers and the Turkish workers, as they had planned before. However they could not achieve this. Later on, the Armenian soldiers, who were working at the Tellülebyaz-Urfa section, martyred Reserve Officer Ibrahim Hilmi through the pickaxes, shovels and the guns they obtained from the guard gendarmes; and they wounded four gendarmes and the alderman.
After this incident on 28 August 1915, the order prevailed until 29 September 1915. Nevertheless, on 29 September 1915, 40 gunshots were made. On the following day, the police and the gendarme, who went to the Armenian quarter to investigate the incident, met the fire and one gendarme had died and two were wounded. The rebels attacked the houses of the Turks and they captured the ones, who were suitable for defence and attack; and martyred 10 women, young and old, from the Muslim families.
The revolt in Urfa was planned and directed by the Armenian committees perfectly. It was established that foreign countries were involved in this incident and that they received help from them.
Following the rebellion, the leaders of the Armenian gangs managed to escape to other regions. The 4th Army Commander informed the Supreme Military Command about the fight through the code number 7664 on the day it ended, 16 October 1915.
Sakarya, Em. Tümg. Ihsan, Belgelerle Ermeni Sorunu, Gnkur. Basimevi, Ankara 1984 pp.240-243