Tuesday, January 8, 2008



Although rebellion of Van started in the night between 14 and 15 June 1895, the preparations of this rebellion extends to very early days. General Mayewski, who was the Russian Ambassador for City of Van, for 6 years, and later appointed for Erzurum, explains as follows:

�In 1895, the rebels of Van exerted great efforts in order to attract the great attention of Europe to the Armenian question. Through the death threats, they sent letters to the rich Armenians for the pecuniary support. During this time, by the decision of Van revolution committee, some political murders were committed. One of the most important murders, took place on 6 January 1895, the most important Armenian Feast day; the murder of the Priest Bogos, who was going to the church for the sacred rite. (...) As from the spring the revolutionary preparations started. The people were talking about the corpses, which were cut in to pieces nearby the province. As the revolutionists saw that no prosecution took place, they became more and more encouraged. Besides this, as the Armenians were encouraged, the Muslims were expiring their patience.�

The British Ambassador Williams were foresighted as well and he writes the following:

�There are 400 members of Tashnaks in Van. They are terrorising their own co-religionists and they are provoking Muslim people by committing violent and bloody crimes acts together with the Hinchaks, whom I suppose not more than 50. They do not allow the reforms to be realised. I am sure that if those can be suppressed, the obstacle, hindering the security of the region will be eliminated.�

Military Commander of Van, Saadettin Pasha, also perceived the same situation. As from October 1895 there was already individual incidents in Van and therefore it became necessary to be on the alert to any incident. The official provincial reports show that until the beginning of the rebellion, 23 incidents were recorded. Saadettin Pasha, in his big report he sent after the revolt, mentioned these issues and summarised how the events developed.

The rebellion in Van continued between 15-24 June 1895. During the revolt 418 Muslims and 1715 Armenians deceased, and 363 Muslims and 71 Armenians were wounded.

After that date, in Van, individual incidents continued, concerning the gangs that kept coming by passing through Iran. However, those did not turn into revolts.

Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara, 1983,pp.161-163)

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