THE ZEYTUN REVOLT
The most important revolt of the Hinchaks took place in Zeytun in 1895. It was informed that some of the foreign Armenians were active in the Arekin village and the government persecuted these people. It was understood that the activists, who were sent by the Hinchak Committee, were called Agasi, Hraçya, Abah, Nisan, Melek, Garbet; and they were the Hinçak propagandists. At that time centre of the committee was in London and the leader was Nazarbeg. The activists told the Zeytun inhabitants to arm and attack the Turkish people, the military forces around and the important towns; and that the necessary arms and money were being sent by the committee, adding that, the British fleet would arrive in Mersin and Iskenderun, as soon as the operation begins.
On 16 September, 1895 an Armenian committee, which comprised of 100 persons, including the rebels of Zeytun, Partogomios, Vartabet and the representatives of the village, met in Karanlik Dere (Dark Stream) and arrived at a decision concerning how to start the rebellion.
Upon these decisions revolts started everywhere, telegraph wires were cut, two thousand armed and four thousand unarmed inhabitants of Zeytun started the attacks. The rebels, who surrounded the barracks and the government office, took prisoner the district Governor, 50 officers, 600 soldiers and commanders. Later, the women from Zeytun killed the prisoners. The commander Remzi Pasha demanded to get reinforcement. Ethem Pasha came instead; but he had to demand for new reinforcement.
The rebels were equipped with modern weapons. The soldiers situated in Goksun attacked the rebels and they forced them to take shelter in Zeytun. The soldiers surrounded Zeytun; and just as they were wining the fight, the consuls in Istanbul proposed the government to be the act as mediator for the Armenians in Zeytun. The palace accepted this proposal and stopped the operations. The ambassadors appointed their consuls to Aleppo for the negotiations. On 1 January 1896, six official consuls entered Zeytun and they concluded peace with rebels of Zeytun on 28 January (1).
The rebels surrendered with the peace conditions, which were the submission of the weapons, that they fought with; amnesty general; the expropriation of the five members of the committee; and the exemption from the past taxes, reduction of the public tax; and the revolt ended.
The Hinchak gangs, who initiated the revolt, left Zeytun under the protection of the British Embassy and they departed from Mersin to Marseilles on 12 March.
With the Zeytun revolt the activity of the Hinchak Party in Turkey came to an end. The party was of the opinion that due to the activities it would attract the attention of Europe and would provide the independence for the Armenians. Because of that reason it murdered a great number of Armenians. But it could not obtain any result.(2)
1. Uras, Esat, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi, Istanbul, 1987,pp.491-496
2. Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara,1983,pp.160-161)