ASSYRIANS AND SYRIACS DURING
WORLD WAR I
IN SOUTHERN ANATOLIA AND
1. Those who were in eastern Turkey and western Iran
during World War I are fairly known today. That provides a good opportunity for
those who intend to deviate the history for political propaganda aims under the
cover of “explaining the truth”. As the time passed by after the war, the
number of those died in these so-called “massacres” increased gradually.
“100 thousand casualties in Lebanon” is a good
example of the gradual deviation of history. In spring 1916, a Lebanese
parliamentarian stated that about 100 thousand people had died in Lebanon during
Winter 1915/16 due to starvation and diseases. Cereals had been eradicated by
flocks of grasshoppers, and contagious paratyphoid fever had started among
After 80 years now, how is this fact made known today,
after being filtered out of the pages of the history of religion? Ingmar
Karlsson, who is not a historian of religion but who bases his works on the
books of the history of religion, wrote the following in 1991:
“During 1914-1917, 100 thousand people almost all
of whom were Christians and most of whom were Maronites died due to diseases,
starvation, lack of nutrition and executions (I underlined them, Karlsson,
p.101). Executions have been immediately slipped in here as a major reason for
death. No wonder most of those who died are Christians: two thirds of the
population in Lebanon, which was far smaller than it is today, consisted of
Christians. The statement “almost all” implies that more than 66,6% of the
casualties were Christians.
In 1995, Giorgio Fedalto, an expert of the Eastern
Churches and a well-known professor, wrote the following: “Durante gli anni
della grande guerra guerra da parte ottomana si repetono I masscri di fedeli che
raggiunsero cifre molto elevate, finiti solo nel 1918: si parla di 100 000 morti
su 450 000 abitanti (I underlined it)”. Repeated massacres had been
perpetrated by the Ottomans against Christians during World War I, and these
massacres had only been stopped in 1918 (“repeatedly” here refers to the
Druze-Maronite civil war in 1860). Furthermore, numbers increased considerably.
Reportedly, 100 thousand people out of 450 thousand died (Fedalto, p.202).
Starvation, diseases and dead Muslims are ignored here, and the massacres
perpetrated by the Ottomans against Christians are mentioned instead of
individual murders. Moreover, the Druzes who have been referred to, eight lines
before, as the criminals of 1860 are suddenly turned into Ottomans!
As a historian, I have carried out the following
research in order to give a balanced display of the tragic events experienced
during that period. I have made use of today’s resources as much as
POLITICAL BACKGROUND IN BRIEF
When the war started in 1914, the Ottoman government
signed a defense treaty with Germany. This treaty was a natural result of the
Ottoman Empire’s long and close relationship with Germany. As a part of this
cooperation, thousands of German officers started to come since 1913 in order to
make reform in the Ottoman army. It was quite natural for the Ottomans to turn
towards Germany; the British and especially the Russians were the main enemies.
Since the war in 1877-78, Russia had been following a policy of instability
against the Ottoman Empire. This campaign included the support given to the
struggle of the Armenians for independence. After such a disastrous war with
Russia in 1877-78, the Ottoman government was forced in the Berlin Conference to
accept big European forces as the bodyguards of Christian Ottomans. When the war
broke out, this truth got Christians into greater trouble.
Since mid 19th century, efforts were
sustained to make the country contemporary despite all the violent resistance. A
reform act put into force in 1856 provided all the minorities with equal civil
rights; they were only exempted from military service, which was to be fulfilled
by the Muslims. Although a liberal constitution was prepared in 1876, it was
soon abrogated by the Sultan. As for the internal politics; there was a struggle
between the liberals supported by Greeks, Armenians and Jews who were
controlling the Ottoman economics and the conservatives whodid not want any
change. The struggle in internal politics came to an end in 1908-1909 when Young
Turks came to power by a military coup and put into force the constitution of
1876 again, thus providing everyone, regardless of their religion, equal
responsibilities and obligations.
Within the framework of the process of making the
country contemporary, administration of the territories was centralized in
1870’s. New and smaller provinces and states were established; and they were
also divided into two or more sanjaks. Each sanjak had more than one district.
For example, Diyarbekir (Diyarbakir) province included the sanjaks of Ergani,
Diyarbekir and Mardin. The Mardin sanjak, on the other hand, included the
districts of Savur, Midyat, Djezire (Cezire) and Nusaybin.
Provinces were under the control of governors with
broad authorities. Sanjaks, on the other hand, were administered by sanjak
governors while districts were directed by district governors.
External politics had more importance before the World
War. In 1912, the Libyans took over the control of Italy. During the same year,
first of the two Balkan wars broke out and the Ottoman Empire was forced to
abandon all of its provinces in the Balkans excluding the province of Edirne.
There was Iran in the east, which had been the eternal
enemy of the empire (actually it was called the Persian Empire until 1935, but I
prefer to use the name of Iran in order not to cause confusion in my work). For
a long time, this country had been overshadowed by the then strongest country.
Penetrations were made by the British from southeast and Russians from northwest.
Many of the Iranian states were almost autonomous and were directed by governors
who took over control from their fathers.
In addition, the country had a problem with the
Ottomans in Azerbaijan. In 1906, when Russia became weakened after the war with
Japan, the Ottomans invaded the neighboring state in Iran but had to withdraw
during the first war in the Balkans in 1912. This time Russia invaded Azerbaijan.
This invasion was conducted in accordance with a treaty, which divided Iran
between Russia and Britain into regions of interest of Russia in the north and
of Britain in the south.
In the fall of 1914, a considerably weakened Ottoman
Empire entered war upon the German provocations.
SYRIAC CHURCHES IN 1914
Religious minorities in the Ottoman Empire were divided
into “nations”, populations and peoples. They enjoyed broad freedom
ofmovement in their own internal affairs. The two biggest Christian peoples were
the Greek Orthodox society and the Armenians. In addition to them, there were
other Christian groups of people, four of them being communities of Syriac
The biggest of these four Syriac churches belonged to
the Nestorians who formed a community of 80 thousand people. Nestorian and
Assyrian were the names given by the Europeans. They called themselves either
only Christians, or Syriacs being inspired by the land on which the church had
been established. (Janin p.555, Cuinet II p.648) The church was directed by a
patriarch living in “Kotchannes” of the Hakkari sanjak. Since the 15th
century, positions of patriarch and governor had been taken over by sons from
their fathers. The Nestorian patriarch was the only head of nation not appointed
by the Sultan. Since patriarchs did not get married, they were succeeded by the
selection of a son of the uncle or a brother.
Nestorians living in Hakkari were divided into tribes
like their Kurdish neighbors. These tribes made thousands of Kurdish villagers,
who had been living in the region without any land, work as laborers in return
for what is just enough to make a living. (Rondot p.7).
The Syriac patriarch received 100 sterling per year
from both the Ottomans and the British. The Anglican Church had been in an
effort to gain supporters among the Nestorians since 1830. The Nestorians did
notpay any taxes to the Ottoman State and were exempt from military service.
They did not have schools of their own. And present schools were directed by
British missionaries. They shared these two privileges with their Kurdish
neighbors (Fortescue, p.131) In other words, Kurds from Hakkari were not
included in the Hamidiye army (Yale-Heckmann, p.266). Because, the Ottoman
official authorities could not ensure any supervision in a secluded place like
It would not be right to consider Nestorians as a small
peninsula surrounded by Muslims in the region. The Syriac Tiari tribe was one of
the main tribes and was strong enough to counter the attacks of Kurds. The
relationship with Kurds was quite good. In general, (the Syriac) patriarch was
consulted to have the disputes among various Kurdish tribes solved. During the
revolt of Yazdan Sir (1853-55) and Sheikh Obeydallah’s great Kurdish revolt
(1880-82), Nestorian units started a war in support of Kurds (Yalcin-Heckmann,
p.62 and Palva p.13). Nestorians were also able to appeal to the Kurdish sheikhs
to receive aid.
Catholics had been working as missionaries in the
region since the 16th century. Some of the Syriacs had become
Catholics and were called Chaldeans. France considered itself as the protector
of the Catholics in the Ottoman Empire. The number of these Catholics before the
war is believed to be 40 thousand.
Diyarbekir was the center of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
At the beginning of the century, the community consisted of approximately 55
thousand people, 30 thousand of whom lived in the Mardin sanjak. The Syriac
Orthodox people also lived in the state of Syria, but I should point out that
there is no relation between the state of Syria of that period and the country
of Syria of today. In the beginning of the 1890’s, approximately 6 thousand
Syriac Orthodox people migrated to the USA. According to a census held in 1914,
in addition to the above-mentioned population belonging to the Syriac Orthodox
church, 7 thousand Syriac Catholics, 7 thousand Armenians and 3500 Protestants
were living in Mardin. 163 thousand people, forming the majority of the
population, were Muslims (Karpat, p.176 f). 90% of them were Kurds. There were
also Jewish, Arabian and Gypsy minorities in the region.
Since the midst of the 19th century, Kurds’
Heverkan Federation had been in Tur Abidin, which is in the eastern part of the
Mardin sanjak. This federation consisted of some members of the 24 Kurdish
tribes left from the Botan Emirate. Syriac Christians and Yezidis received equal
treatment in this federation. On the other hand, Christians living in Hakkari
under the Kurdish rule received a quite opposite treatment. Kurds considered the
interests of the tribe much more important than the difference in religion.
Tribes also included Kurds who did not belong to any tribe. They did not receive
equal treatment as the other members of thetribe. Kurdish tribes were in
conflict, on one hand, with each other, and on the other hand, with the Ottoman
While the Celeb tribe supported Syriacs, Haco (it must
be Elik, Hinno is wrong here) “contributed actively in the murder of Syriacs
as well as in shedding blood against them” (Hinno, p.32). That is to say,
these two Kurdish tribes protected “their own Syriacs”, but put to the sword
everyone who opposed their interests without making any distinction between
Kurds or Syriacs.
Kurdish tribes regarded Syriac villagers more valuable
than abandoned Kurdish workers, since they had a more advanced technology of
In the 18th century, the Syriac-Orthodox
church was also divided into two as a result of the efforts of Catholic
missionaries, and at the end of the same century the Syriac-Catholic church was
established. The first patriarch was Efraim II Rahmani and his community in the
region consisted of approximately 25 thousand people. Furthermore, there were
3500 Syriac Protestants in Eastern Anatolia. In 1912, Suleyman Bustani, a Syriac
Protestant, held the office of foreign minister of the Ottoman Empire for a
short while (Feroz, p.424). He became Minister of Trade in 1914 but resigned to
protest the decision taken by the Young Turks on May 12, 1914 to enter war.
Along with him, Cavit Bey, the Minister ofFinance who was very successful, as
well as the Armenian originated minister of post and telegraph left their
offices (Pomiankowski, p.88).
Before the war, there were about 210 thousand Syriac
Christians 30 thousand of whom were in Iran and 10-15 thousand were in
OTTOMANS DECLARE MOBILIZATION
When war started in Europe in 1914, Enver Pasha
declared mobilization. This massive and necessary mobilization caused disasters
in agriculture. 1914 was a very suitable year for crops but there were no men in
villages. Then, the Ottoman economy was completely dependent on agriculture.
Only 69 thousand out of 25 million people were industrial workers. Insufficient
food supply gave rise to starvation and thus contagious diseases. For these
reasons, hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives (Fromkin, p.126).
Compulsory military service for Syriac Christians in
the regions where Kurds lived brought about very negative results, because their
Kurdish neighbors were exempt from the military service. Some Kurdish tribes had
been enlisted in the Hamidiye Army as of 1890. However, such a trial, aimed at
bringing Kurds closer to the state, failed. Kurds, in possession of modern
weapons, used these weapons against each other and official authorities (Bois,
AZERBAIJAN IN FALL 1914
Although Iran declared himself impartial during the
war, first conflicts started in western parts of the country, before the war was
declared officially. Azerbaijan, an Iranian province, had been invaded in1912 by
the Russians. A minority of about 45 thousand Christians lived in the region
between the Lake of Urmia and the Ottoman border. 30 thousand of these people
were Assyrians and Chaldeans. Majority of the population consisted of
Azerbaijanis who were Muslims (Shiite) and spoke Turkish and of Kurds in the
border regions. There lived 30 thousand people in Urmia (Rezaiyeh), one fourth
of whom were Christians. American, French and British missionaries were active
In early October, Kurdish tribes attacked Urmia.
Russians sent Christians reinforcement forces and weapons. After 3 days of war,
Kurds were repulsed. A month later, war broke out. Russian official authorities
deported both Kurds and Sunni Muslims. Russian forces and Armenian voluntary
forces (druzhina) trained by the Russians entered the district of Albak. On
November 9, the city of Dir was seized and on November 13, Armenians invaded
Bashkale, the center of Albak. After a couple of days, Russians went there. The
city was plundered and assets of the Muslim population were seized. Also, Muslim
civilians had been observed be raped and murdered. On November 29, the Ottoman
gendarmerie units repulsed Russians and Armenians (Allen&Muatoff, p.247).
WITHDRAWAL OF RUSSIANS AND ANARCHY IN AZERBAIJAN
Russians conducted their enormous attack in northern
part of the province of Erzurum. The Ottoman army under the command of Enver
Pasha attacked Russian positions in Sarikamis on December 27. Mysjlajevski,
commander of the Russian army, got panic and ordered his army to withdraw from
Azerbaijan. General Tjernozubov, commander of the Russian army in Azerbaijan,
started to withdraw his army though he was not threatened by the Ottoman forces
(Allen&Muratoff, p.345). Half of the Christian population, mostly Armenians
and 5 thousand Syriacs started to run away together with the army (Attention: 5
thousand Syriacs, not 50-70 thousand as Vartanov wrote! See: Bryce doc. no. 27).
Missionaries reported that almost a thousand Syriacs and Chaldeans had died due
General Myslajevsky had given the order of withdrawal
too hastily, because 70 thousand soldiers of the Ottoman Army consisting of 80
thousand soldiers had frozen and died in Sarikamis on January 3, 1915 due to
insufficient equipment. This defeat and its details had been kept secret for a
long time, but it had been Enver Pasha’s first and last command (Pomiankowski,
Two days after the departure of Russians from Urmia and
Salmas Valley, Kurdish Begzade-Herki and Zaza tribes came from neighboring
regions and started to invade these areas. The chief of the Shakkak tribe and
frequently cited Ismail Aga, with a nickname Simko arenot mentioned in relation
to the attack in today’s sources. Villages of Shiites and Christians were
plundered. The Iranian people did not have enough strength to protect.
Christians took shelter in the foreign missions in Urmia. In a few weeks’
time, 17 thousand people had taken shelter in the American mission and 3
thousand people in the French mission. At the same time, a unit consisting of
Ottoman volunteers departed from Mosul under Kurdish support and went to
Azerbaijan’s capital Tabriz via Mahabad, and took over its control on January
14. General Tjernozubov took Tabriz back on January 30 (Allen&Muratoff,
In February, official authorities in Urmia took under
custody 61 leading Syriacs in the French mission for obscure reasons and
demanded great amounts of money to release these people. Missionaries could only
save 20 people in return for money. On February 22, the remaining 41 people were
executed, having their heads cut off at the stairs of the Tscharach Gate. Those
executed included the Nestorian Patriarch Mar Dinka.
The following night, the Christian village of
Gulpaschan was attacked by Kurds (and Azeris; there is information in regards to
both.) 51 men were killed, the village was plundered and young women were
kidnapped (Bryce doc. no.27, 35 and 36).
On March 1, Russians took back Dilman (Sapur), the
center of Salmas region, and expelled Kurds and Iranians. In retaliation to
this, those expelled killed 720 people living in Christian villages in the
Salmas Valley. At the same time, Armenian brigands killed 66 Muslims in the
villages of Merkehu and Ishtuju in the district of Mahmudi in northern Hakkari
sanjak (Gurun, p.197).
In early April, Turkish units under the command of
Major Halil Bey, 10 thousand infantries (36 Battalion, 6 artillery) and some
thousands of irregular Kurdish cavalrymen took depart from the southern coast of
the Lake Van. On April 16, Urmia was taken back. On May 1, assaults were carried
out against the Russians who took position in northern Dilman. Kurds started to
run away from the area of battle even in the beginning. When Major Halil had a
thousand casualties in 5 unsuccessful assaults, he withdrew, moving towards the
northern part of the border (Allen&Muratoff p.298). In front of the
Stronghold of Ismail Aga in the district of Gawar in Hakkari, Kurds running here
and there killed 71 Christians whom Halil Bey had forced to carry telegraph
wires (Bryce doc. 35).
On April 24, 235 Armenian leaders were arrested in the
capital. Next day, the British and the French went to Gelibolu peninsula. Then,
on May 26, the Ottoman Government decided to send the Armenians in Erzurum, Van
and Bitlis to Aleppo, Zor and Mosul.
It is figured that approximately four thousand
Assyrians died because of different diseases in missionaries between January 2
and May 24. The one thousand persons who died during their flight to Russia
could also be added to the other one thousand murdered in the mentioned four
massacres. According to the Macmillan Dictionary, 120 thousand non-Armenian
civilians had been killed by the Armenian gangs in November-December 1914.
ASSYRIANS WAGE WAR – MAY 1915
It is not certain when the negotiations, resulted in an
agreement, between Patriarch Benjamin Shimun and the Russians took place. The
Patriarch had already got in touch with the Russians before the war broke out,
as he had done with the Kurdish leaders in Hakkari (Longrigg p.67). Cevdet Bey,
then governor of Van, promised money and weapons to the Assyrians in Hakkari in
the winter of 1914-15 in order to attract them. However the Patriarch never
consented to this proposal. Many members of the Patriarch’s family, including
his uncle Nestorios, were killed by their own close relatives since they were
the supporters of the Ottomans (See Nikitine, Joseph p. 134).
The final confrontation between Benjamin Shimun and
Tjernozubov took place in Muhandik, near Dilman. The Russians hadaccompanied the
Patriarch until there. The Assyrians joined the Russians, upon the promise of a
broader autonomy in the future. Nikitine cites that the Assyrians waged war on
May 10, however the governor of Mosul reported that the Tiari tribe had attacked
the Muslim villages in Baþkale on May 8. General Nazarbekov stopped by Baþkale
on May 7, on the way to Van. The Armenians in Van revolted on May 8. The time
the Assyrians waged war and the Armenians revolted was evidently predetermined
(Allen & Muratoff p. 302 n.1).
The Ottoman Army left Van on May 17. Halil Bey
dissolved the garrison in Urmiya on May 20; the Russians entered Urmiya four
days after. After a week the Russians invaded Van with their Armenian allies.
Nikitine’s claim asserting that the Assyrians had
supported the Russians fearing that their end might have been the same with the
Armenians is against reality. Yonan has also asserted the same idea. Nikitine
claims that the oppression and the expulsions have started in December 1915;
however it all started on April 24, 1915 when 235 Armenian leaders were arrested
in Istanbul. (Nikitine: Nestorianer) The idea to drive out the Armenians first
appeared in a telegram sent by Enver Pasha to Talat Pasha, the Minister of
Interior, on May 2, 1915. The expulsions first began on May 26, 3 weeks after
the Assyrians had joined the Russians (Gurun p. 199, 206). Yonan’s claim
asserting that the Chaldeans and the Orthodox Christians had been murdered
before theAssyrians waged war does not have a basis in today’s documents. On
the contrary, what matters is whether the expulsions accelerated after the
Assyrians waged war. The first source mentioning that besides the Armenians also
the Christian groups suffered from oppression was the telegram sent by Consul
Holstein on May 18 (see below). One should also mention that Nikitine’s claim
asserting that Enver’s stepbrother Nuri Bey massacred the Assyrians in Gawar
in the summer of 1915 is not true. After all, Gawar was under Russian occupation
at that time. Nuri Bey served as a commander in Tripoli from February 1915 till
May 1918 (Pomiankowski p. 173).
It is certain that the only evident reason why the
Assyrians waged war was that they wanted to bet for the winner horse, believing
that the Russians could beat the Ottomans.
After the Assyrians had attacked the villages in Albak,
the Kurdish tribes (Oramari, Berwar, Artushi and Barzani) in the southern
Hakkari started a counter offensive. The clashes lasted all summer long. The
Assyrians had to flee to the mountains. The Kurds leveled the villages evacuated
by the Assyrians.
SYRIACS, APRIL-NOVEMBER 1915
Following the uprising of the Armenians and the
Syriacs, the two Christian minorities, and the failure at the Caucasian front,
the condition of the other minorities grew more difficult. Most of the Muslims
were considering the Christians as traitors, without any differentiation. On May
18, the German Consul Holstein, based on the information given by the Chaldean
and the Assyrian patriarchs, reported that the enmity against the Christians
increased and some massacres were perpetrated in Amadia district (a district of
Van on the border with Mosul).
The official authorities discovered a huge weapons
depot of the Armenians in Diyarbakir in early May. All the Armenian leaders were
arrested (Lepsius no 48 p. 63).
The Kurds attacked the Syriacs on June 1, in the
villages of Djezire (Cizre)—it is written Cizre in brackets, not Cezire. The
biggest Kurdish tribe in the region was the Hesenan. The Syriacs fled to Beth
Zabday (Idil) and defended themselves successfully for 40 days. The official
authorities were using the mounted gendarmerie forces to maintain the order in
the rural areas before the war. During the war when these forces were sent to
the front, the Kurdish tribes considered as loyal to the regime (Deksuri, Reman
and Mahallamin) were located in that region. Thus they were set free to hit the
Heverkan Federation, their eternal enemy, and its Syriac allies.
The official authorities searched for weapons in Midyat
on June 22. The then population of the town was around 5 thousand (Streck). 95
percent of this was Christian. The number of the Armenians was one thousand at
most; the others were Syriacs of different beliefs. Around one hundred
Christians, eight of them Syriacs, were arrested. They were released after their
identities had been checked. The Armenians were taken out of the town and killed
on June 28 (Hinno p. 60 f).
The Ottoman Ministry of Interior, on July 4, decided to
drive away the Armenians in Trabzon, Sivas, Diyarbakir and Elaziz. The Armenians
who converted to Islam were also to be expelled (Gurun p. 212).
Resit Bey, the governor of Diyarbakir, began to
implement the decision ruthlessly. The German Embassy, on July 12, felt the
necessity to forward the complaints they had received. In the letter of
complaint, written based on the information provided by Holstein in Mosul, it
was recorded that 2 thousand Armenians and a few Syriacs had been “slaughtered
by beheading as if they were sheep” and the government was asked to stop Resit
Bey. The same day the Ministry of Interior ordered the bloodshed to be ended
immediately by sending a telegram to Diyarbakir (Gurun). Resit Bey was to
maintain his post. Afterwards he was appointed to Ankara.
The Armenians were attacking the Ottoman gendarmerie in
the rural areas (Schemsi, p. 72). According to Holstein, Resit Bey had the chief
of Midyat district killed on July 15, on the pretext that he had refused to kill
the Christians in the region (Lepsius 115, p. 104).
On July 15, Holstein reported that the Kurds killed the
male inhabitants of the Chaldean village in Fayshkhabur on July 11. This village
was along Mosul and Diyarbakir border. On July 21, Holstein reported that around
600 women and children from this village and a few Armenians from Mardin and
Siirt had taken shelter in Mosul. Holstein, on his own, gave 600 pounds sterling
to the provincial administration of Mosul to provide food and clothing to the
refugees (Lepsius 124, p.114).
The Syriacs in Midyat, having caught between the
official Ottoman authorities and the Kurds who obtained the opportunity to
settle their old accounts, had no other chance but revolting. Holstein, in his
reports to Istanbul, put all the blame on the Governor of Diyarbakir (Lepsius
124 p. 114). Holstein strived to make the Governor of Mosul to protect the
Syriacs, however the governor did not have the authority to intervene beyond the
limits of his own region.
On July 16, the Ottoman forces opened fire on the
Christians in Midyat (Hinno). Several of them died during the 3-day long
clashes, and thousands escaped outside Midyat. The villages against which the
Kurdshad attacked previously and the ones expecting attacks were evacuated. In
general, the Kurdish feudal lords in the region were protecting “their own
Syriacs”, arming them and helping them to escape.
On September 2, the Kurds attacked the town of Cezire,
southeast of Diyarbakir, supported by the Ottomans. Christian inhabitants were
killed. The Syriacs had left the town before. The ones killed were Chaldeans and
Armenians (Lepsius 167, p.152).
On September 18, Reþit Bey reported that the
expulsion of the Armenians had been completed.
On February 14, 1916, the German Ambassador reported to
Berlin that the clashes in Diyarbakir had come to an end. However, the internal
skirmishes in the Heverkan Federation were going on. The town was suffering from
famine and thousands starved to death or died from diseases.
THE ASSYRIANS ESCAPE FROM HAKKARI (August-November 1915)
The Russians, after being defeated in Malazgirt
(10/7-2/8 1915), evacuated Van along with the Armenians. The news of the defeat
caused a panic among the Christians in Azerbaijan and gave rise to
migrationtowards the Russian border. However, this flight was not necessary,
because the Russians had defeated the Ottomans on August 7-9 and recaptured Van
on August 15.
The Assyrians, considering the winter would be tough in
Hakkari, migrated to the south to Salmas Plateau over Baþkale. The
missionaries determined the numbers of the Assyrians from Hakkari as 35
thousand. The Assyrians had no money at all. They needed the assistance of the
Azeri population. However the Azeris were also suffering from the famine. Thus
the Assyrians started to terrorize and plundered the market in Urmiya. Upon the
resistance of the Azeris, the Assyrians started to kill the Muslims in the town
systematically. The local Assyrians, having lived in peace together with the
Azeris since then, also joined the massacres. While Sontag, the priest of the
Pope in Urmiya, was trying to stop the Assyrians, Dr. Shedd, the leader of the
American Mission Center incited them (Arfa, The Kurds p 51).
That winter, at least one third of the Assyrians from
Hakkari died from freeze, hunger and epidemics (Bryce dok 27, Josephs p 135).
ASSYRIANS IN 1916
That autumn the Russians began to call the Assyrians to
arms and to provide military training in order to use them in the attacks they
hadplanned for 1916. The Russians, Assyrians and Armenians initiated a cleansing
operation against the Muslims in order to make room in eastern Hakkari for the
Armenia of the future. Agha Petrus, the leader of the Assyrians, was “a
murderer, a blackmailer and an international bandit of the swindler type”
(Longrigg’s description, p. 138). The Kurds, led by Sayyid Taha, defended
themselves around Þemdinli, but they failed. Shemdinan district, where the
“matran” of the Nestorians (the second leader of the Church after the
Metropolitan) lived, and Ruwanduz were captured by the Russians on April 16,
with the assistance of the Assyrians and the Armenians. 5 thousand Kurds, most
of whom women, children and old people, were murdered outside the city (Mason,
p.329). While visiting the region in January 1919, British Major Mason was
informed that only 157 Kurdish families had been left from the one thousand
before the war and that 52 of the 81 Kurdish villages had been burnt by the
Major E.W.C.Noel, another British officer, sent a
report titled “The Christian Army of Revenge” to the British Foreign
Ministry in 1919, after visiting the region in January. In that report he had
cited the following: “According to almost the universal testimony of the
local inhabitants and eye-witnesses, Russians, acting on the instigation and
advice of Nestorians and Armenians who accompanied them…..murdered and
butchered indiscriminately any Moslem member of the civil population who fell in
their hands. A traveler through the Rowanduz and Neri districts would find
widespread wholesale evidence of outragescommitted by Christians on Moslems.
Anything more thorough and complete would be difficult to imagine.” (Sonyel
Within the same period of time, 3 hundred Jewish
inhabitants in Gawar district, a neighbor of Shemdinan, were murdered by the
Christian powers (Schemsi p 63).
A number of Moslems escaped west, however the majority
had no chance but escaping to the north where the Russians had occupied before.
Philips Price, the Manchester Guardian correspondent, dispatched a report to the
British Red Cross from Tbilisi. He informed them on the dreadful situation of
200 thousand Christian refugees in the Caucasus. The Lord Mayor’s Fund had
previously given great sums of money to the Armenians and Assyrians in the
region. Price stressed that if the British government, which had previously
helped the Christians, was not going to help the Moslems then, it would have
difficulties against millions of Moslems living in the British Empire. However,
no assistance was provided by Britain (Sonyel p 415).
When Hüseyin, the chief administrator of Mecca,
appealed to the British, he was given the answer that the Russian government had
not backed the attacks, and that it was just the vengeance of the Armenians who
had previously been tyrannized by the Turks and the Kurds (Sonyel p 415).
During the war, 60 percent of the Moslem populace of
Van, namely 110 thousand people, died (McCarthy).
All through the years 1916 and 1917, the Assyrians
fought shoulder to shoulder with the Russians. The Ottoman Army had no chance
but to defend themselves. Although they were able to repulse the French and the
British assaults in Gallipoli, they suffered a great number of casualties. In
addition, the Arabs in Hejaz revolted with the support of the British.
The Russians, in the eastern front, captured Erzurum,
Bitlis, Trabzon and Erzincan respectively. In June, the Russians were expelled
from Khanikin and Hamadan near Baghdad. The Russian troops in Ruwanduz and Neri
had to withdraw. Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk) get
back Bitlis on August 5.
The years 1916 and 1917 were very quiet for the
Assyrian civilians living in the plains of Azerbaijan.
1918: ASSYRIANS DEFEATED
The Russian Revolution took place in 1917. The Russian
Army was ordered to withdraw from Iran in June 1917. The Russian troops, while
withdrawing, set the market in Urmiya on fire and plundered the town. The
Assyrian troops deserted the Ottoman territories and arrived at Urmiya. Several
officers who did not want to commit themselves to the revolutionary Russian
leadership stayed in Urmiya and trained the Assyrian troops. With their help, an
Armenian battalion (of one thousand soldiers), one Assyrian force of 3 thousand
from Hakkari and a unit comprising of local Chaldeans and Assyrians were trained
(Larcher, p 454). The Christians equipped themselves with the weapons the
Russian troops had left behind. A Christian committee named Mutwa took over the
leadership in Urmiya. Dr. Shedd, the chief of the American mission, was
supporting them (Nikitine: Urmiya). The Assyrians slaughtered the Azeris in the
region and intimidated the rest (Larcher, p 454).
The British, who had lost the Russian support in Iran,
were trying to fill the authority vacuum by supporting the Assyrians. Several
British and French officers were sent from Tbilisi to the region in order to
train the Assyrian troops. Simko, the leader of the Shakak tribe, had changed
sides twice during the war, was taken prisoner by the Russians for a short while
and then remained impartial. Benjamin Shimun formed an alliance with Simko with
the initiative of the British. When the Russians left Iran, Simko was able to
obtain their light and heavy weapons.
Simko, thanks to the Armenian mediators, united with
the Assyrians. The local Azeris felt righteously anxious about this
alliancesince they had been living under the terror of the Assyrians from
Hakkari for two years. The ineffective official authorities in Iran made a
useless initiative to take the Assyrians’ weapons. On the contrary the
Assyrians attacked the Moslems in Urmiya on February 22, 1918, and carried out a
mass slaughter (Nikitine describes the events rather different than Joseph,
however they reach the same conclusion).
It is obvious that the Assyrians in Urmiya were making
up a new future for themselves. Simko, who invited the Patriarch for a meeting,
was also of the same opinion to his own account. On February 25 (or March 4,
both dates had been referred to), Simko and Patriarch Benjamin Shimun met in
Kohneh Shahr, 20 km close to Dilman. After the apparently peaceful meeting, when
the Patriarch was about to get into his car, Simko suddenly drew his rifle and
shot his guest dead from his back. The Kurds immediately killed 140 people who
had accompanied the Patriarch. Only a few of the Assyrians, including
Benjamin’s brother David, could manage to escape to Urmiya and saved their
lives. Simko, being aware that his forces were not able to compete with the
Assyrians, withdrew his forces to his headquarters resembling a bunker in
Several sources (e.g. van Bruinesseni 1983) cite that
Simko killed Patriarch Benjamin Shimun with the instigation of Mukht-i Sham, the
governor of Tabriz. Iran and Simko might have wanted to purify the Urmiya region
from the Assyrians (though they had different reasons). While Simko was
striving to found an independent Kurdish state in western Azerbaijan,
the official Iranian administration desired to establish its authority in
The Assyrians, having heard the murder, killed hundreds
of Azeri civilians in the town and plundered their houses. They sent 3 thousand
people to Kohneh Shahr and slaughtered the Azeris there. Then they entered to
Chehrik where Simko had deserted before. Simko’s headquarters were pillaged.
The group, which also attacked to Dilman, returned to Urmiya when they failed to
capture the town (Arfa, The Kurds p 53 f).
Simko, on the other hand, was killing each and every
Christian around Khoi. Arfa, when he was a young Iranian officer, reported that
he saw the corpses of around 2 thousand Assyrians who had been killed by the
Kurds in the valley of Shakar Yazi in 1922 (Arfa, Under…p 136).
Paulus, the brother of Benjamin, became the new
Patriarch of the Assyrians.
A peace treaty was signed between the Ottoman Empire
and the Soviet Russia in Brest-Litovsk on March 3. The Russians were to
evacuatethe Eastern Anatolia in 6-8 weeks. The Russians were supposed to take
the weapons from the Armenian guerrillas and to control the regions where they
deserted until the Ottoman Army arrived. However, the Russians withdrew from the
regions where they had occupied before the Ottoman Army arrived and therefore
violated the treaty, and these regions were left to the disposal of the
The Ottomans took back Van on April 7. Approximately 20
thousand Armenians took shelter in Urmiya, which was already in a grave
situation. Joseph describes the chaos in the region as follows:
“During this period Christian brigands terrorized
Christians as well as Muslims, but especially the latter. A missionary described
this period as e reign of terror for Muslims hard to imagine” (Joseph p 141).
On the 14th of April, the Ottoman Army
crossed the former Russian border and arrived at Kars on the 25th.
They were chasing the Armenian units. The fundamental aim of the Ottomans was to
get hold of the Baku oil reserves. In early June, the 4th Ottoman
Army consisting of three battalions manned by 15 thousand infantry privates,
entered Azerbaijan through the Kotur Passage (Pomiankowski p. 365, Larcher p.
The British units, which conquered Baghdad, were 100 km
away from Mosul. They were encouraging the Armenians to go to Azerbaijan and
join the Assyrians. The Armenian units reached at Khoi but could not conquer the
city. Upon the arrival of the 4th Army of the Ottomans, the Armenians
withdrew to Yerevan. Meanwhile, Petrus Agha’s units had already arrived at
Dilman, in the northern part of Urmia. This time they succeeded in conquering
the city. They massacred most of the people and the rest fled the city. Petrus
Agha withdrew to Urmia when he heard that the Ottoman Army was coming and that
the Armenians had withdrawn to the north.
By July 24th, the 4th Army
conquered Khoi, Dilman and Tabriz. At the north of Urmia, however, they faced
hard resistance of the Armenian and Assyrian forces. At the north, they were
also facing the threat of the Armenian forces, which had previously withdrawn
from the region.
It was obvious that the Christian forces would not be
able to survive at the front without receiving any external assistance. The
ammunition shortage was increasing. In the spring of 1918, Baghdad sent to the
region a small military unit under the command of General Dunsterville with the
aim of organizing a resistance against the Ottomans and protecting the Baku oil
reserves. Dunsterville was willing to get in touch with the Armenians and the
Assyrians in Urmia. On the 8th of July, aBritish commander came to
the city and proposed British assistance to the Armenians and the Assyrians. It
was decided that two weeks later the Armenian, Assyrian and British units were
to meet at the Castle Shahin (Shahin Dezh). There the British forces were to
provide the Armenians and the Assyrians with arms and ammunition. Petrus Agha
was late since he had to fight to be able to come. Finally, they could meet at
Bijar, where the British forces could reach while withdrawing.
The delay in achieving assistance caused concern in
Urmia; and the dispatch of rumors claiming that Petrus Agha was defeated and his
soldiers were killed, caused panic. The Armenians and the Assyrians immediately
began to evacuate the city. Almost all of the Armenian and the Assyrian
civilians (approximately 60 thousand) set out on 31st of July
together with the cattle and belongings they can carry. The Ottoman and the
Kurdish units were after them. Simko, who was neutral since May, now took part
on the side of the Ottomans and his Kurds also joined the tag. Only two thousand
of the Assyrians and Chaldeans remained at the Urmia plateau. On the 1st
of August, an American missioner and Patriarch Sontag, sent by the
aforementioned Pope, have been killed. On the 2nd of August, the
units of the 4th Army entered Urmia together with the Kurdish people
led by Simko.
The Christians flying out of Urmia, congregated at the
Kurdish region of Saudjbulak. They plundered all the places they have
passedthrough and killed all the Muslims on their flight to the south (Karlsson,
p 29). Neither the Kurds nor the Assyrians had the custom of taking POWs. All
the enemies had been killed without discriminating sex or age. On the 12th
of the same month, an Iranian force sent by the pro-Ottoman Governor of Tabriz,
attacked this fleeing and plundering Christian group at the vicinity of
Miandoab. (Arfa, The Kurds p. 55 f).
After a 19 days of rout, the Christian group suffering
big casualties, was able to reach at the British units deployed near the castle
of Sayin. They walked 200 kilometers. The British forces took them to Hamadan.
On the way 10 thousand of them died. The British established the total number of
the coming refugees as 50 thousand. It was impossible to take care of those
people in Iran that suffers severe famine. The British decided to send the
refugees to the south, to Bakuba at the vicinity of Baghdad. There the food
supply was better. During the vacation and in the following years, approximately
five thousand Assyrians, including the Patriarch Shimun who died of tuberculosis
(1920), have lost their lives. Most of the 15 thousand Armenian refugees were
willing to be sent to Europe by a ship and the same year, they departed from
In the autumn of 1920, Petrus Agha attempted to return
to Urmia with the silent assistance of the British. Due to bad organization and
theresistance by the Kurdish gangs in the region, the only thing they could
succeed in was to plunder the Muslim villages near Akra and kill the peasants
(Longrigg, p 138). In the wake of this new failure, the British had exiled
Petrus Agha to France where he died in 1932.
In the term 1921-24, approximately eight thousand
Assyrians returned to Hakkari. According to the statement made by the Turkish
sources, on the 3rd-4th of September, a group of Assyrians
in Van had killed the police chief and kidnapped the Governor and took him to
Iraq (Edmonds, p 387, Olson p 205 no: 39). The Turkish units chased after the
rebellious group to Mosul. In June 1925, Koshaban, the “Malik” (owner) of
the Tairi Tribe, applied the Turkish officials for permission for a few thousand
of Assyrian to return Lizan, near Hakkari (Olson p 121).
When the Iranian Army exterminated the short-lived Kurdish State of Simko
(1922), almost 10 thousand Assyrians and Chaldeans have been able to return
Azerbaijan (Palva, p. 18).
Number of Casualties
How many Assyrians and Syriacs, i.e. Chaldeans,
Orthodox Syriacs and Catholic Syriacs died in the wars?
If we are to start with the Assyrians, before 1914 the
sum of their population was about 80 thousand. In 1915, fights, hunger and
contagiousillnesses caused the death of 20 thousand people. It is not known how
many people died during the peaceful years of 1916-17. However, it is estimated
that during the last year of war, 10 thousand people died whereas, in 1919-20 in
the Bakuba Camp, an additional five thousand people died. The total number is 35
The Catholic sources (see Vaihé, CE, Janin) say that
before the war, there were around 40 thousand Chaldeans. Most of them,
approximately 28 thousand of them were in Mosul and five thousand Chaldeans were
in Azerbaijan. Further information is as the following:
According to the 1914 census, there were 4.356
Chaldeans in Bitlis and 5.994 Chaldeans in Siirt and Diyarbakir. The British
carried out census in 1920 in Mosul and Amadia. It has been revealed that, apart
from the Armenians and the Syriacs, 55.470 Christians were living in the region.
In Mosul there were 10 thousand Armenians (1907 census), 5-6 thousand Orthodox
Syriacs (1907 census), seven thousand Catholic Syriacs (Vailhé DC), 28 thousand
Chaldeans (Vailhé DC) and in the north a few thousand Syriacs (Cuinet II p.
646, Longrigg p. 11). The number of the ones who died in Mosul and Amadia cannot
be more than a few thousand.
It is impossible to determine the exact number of the
dead people in Bitlis and Diyarbakir because, in the 1920 census, carried out by
theTurkish official authorities, the religious beliefs had not been taken into
The 1914 census, carried out by the Ottomans, revealed
that there were 45.142 Syriacs (Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant) in Diyarbakir
and 36.550 of them were living in Mardin Sanjak whereas 3.992 of them were
living in Bitlis (Karpat p. 188 f). The nonexistence of an Orthodox Syriac and
/or a Catholic Syriac Patriarch was the proof of the accurateness of these
numbers. However, the Chaldeans had a Patriarch in Siirt.
There are various numbers regarding the dead people in
Suleyman Hinno’s book. However, the information was conflicting within itself.
For instance, the people who were killed in one region are mentioned as refugees
in another region. The statements saying, “all who could not escape have been
killed” do not reflect the truth. As an example, while talking about the
massacre of the Syriacs in the village Bote, Hinno says that these two thousand
people had flied into the Church. The largest church in Tur Abdin in Hah was Mar
Sabak Church and outer dimensions of this church were 27.30m x 11.10m (Sélis,
p. 151). Assuming that the inner dimensions are one meter less at each side,
there must be 8 people on one-meter square! Hinno’s figures are absolutely not
reliable. Hinno mentions the events that had not took place in 1915, as if they
did. To give an example, in the events that took place at Nusaybin, Mohammed
Abbas (Mehimed Ebbas) has been deemed appropriate to be the “bad guy” (p.
39) however; he was already dead 20 years ago. Similarly, his “kind hearted”
brother Suleyman Abbas (p. 42) has been mentioned to make a well-known speech to
the Syriacs but at that date he also was dead for many years.
In Hinno’s book the “tyrant” Hasan Haco appears in 1915 but at that
date he was even not born yet! That incident possibly took place in 1940’s.
Hinno mentions the events that took place throughout a
half century as if they took place in one year. It says that together with his
Kurdish and Syriac men the Kurdish leader Elik (mentioned in Hinno’s book as
Ali Batte) attacked Beth-Debe, the village of Celebi tribe (p. 53). It is no
doubt that Hinno did not mention that there were Syriacs in both sides. In his
opinion all of the wars took place only between the Christians and Muslims. The
information regarding the year 1915 and provided by Hinno could at least be
Claude Sélis, the Belgian expert on Dominique and
Orient, gives the number of the dead people without any reference. It says that
during the war, one third of the Christian Syriacs were killed (p. 40 f), which
means approximately 18 thousand people. Following the war, the Orthodox Syriac
Patriarch submitted the American King-Crane Commission a list of dead people,
involving the names of 90.313 persons. The allies did not take this list serious
because this number was 50 % morethan the number of the Orthodox Syriacs who
lived in the region in 1914. (This list takes place in Hinno’s foreword.)
On August 1915 in Urfa, an Armenian deserter shot three
policemen dead, who were trying to arrest him. Two hundred people have lost
their lives during the incidents that took place after these events. Yonnan
boosts this number immediately to two thousand!
Finally, we can say that during the years of war, 55
thousand Assyrians/Syriacs have been killed. This constitutes one fourth of the
population in 1914. Most of them died of diseases and hunger. The rest have been
killed primarily by their Kurdish neighbors and by the local Ottoman
authorities, taking the advantage of authority vacuum in the region. The
Assyrians have also killed Muslims, whose number is unknown. Arfa says that in
Azerbaijan alone, the Assyrians have killed at least 100 thousand Azerbaijani
(Arfa, The Kurds, p. 63). During the war, at least 100 thousand Azerbaijani died
but most of them lost their lives because of diseases and hunger, similar to the
Assyrians/Syriacs. The number of the ones who have been killed by the Assyrians
was at most 30 thousand.
The present claims, alleging that the Turks have mass
murdered half million Assyrians and Syriacs, are baseless.
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Bruinessen, M M van; Agha, Schaikh und Staat.
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Bruinessen, M.M van; Shamdinan i Encyclopedia of Ýslam, Leiden l954-86
Bryce, James Lord; se Toynbee.
Börge, Göran, Fran Ararat till Eufrat, Lund l992.
Cuinet, Vital; La Turquie d’Asie, vol. II, Paris l892.
Edmonds, CJ; Kurds, Turks and Arabs, London l957.
Fedalto, Giorgio; Le chiese d’oriente, v. III, Milano l995.
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Fortescue, Adrian; Eastern Churches, i the Catholic Encylopedia l913.
Fortescue, Adrian; The Lesser Estarn Churches, London l913.
Fromkin, David; Una pace senza pace, (A Peace to End All Peace), Milano l992.
Gurun, Kamuran; The Armenian File, The Myth Of Innocence Exposed, Nicosia l985.
Hinno, Süleyman; Massakern pa Syrianerna i Tur Abdin 1914-1915, Örebro l998. Janin, Raymond; Les Eglises orientales et les rites orientaux, Paris l922.
Joseph, John; The Nestorians and their Muslim Neighbours Princeton l961.
Karlsson, Ingmar; Korset och halvmanen, Boras l991.
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Larcher, M; La guerre turque dans la guerre mondiale, Paris l926.
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ASSYRIAN/SYRIAC POPULATION IN
THE EASTERN ANATOLIA AND ALEPPO IN 1880-1914
1) Bitlis became a province in 1882 with the
unification of the sanjaks of Siirt and Bitlis separated from Diyarbekir and Van
respectively. In 1880 census, Siirt was assumed to be subordinate to Diyarbakir
and Bitlis to Van. (the three numbers designated as i. u. stand for
2) The official name of Harput was Mamuretulaziz,
however, it was using the name of Harput due to its being close to the Capital.
3) The Aleppo province consisted of the sanjaks of
Aleppo, Urfa and Maras.
4) Every year, the population was issued in a State
calendar called ‘Salname’ but, since these numbers included only men, the
official numbers have been achieved by multiplying them by two.
5. Hrimyan was the Armenian Patriarch in Istanbul. With
the aim of convincing the British that the Armenians, together with the other
Christians, consist the majority of the population in the six provinces in the
eastern part of the country, Hrimyan gave these numbers to the British
Ambassador in 1880.
6. The Patriarch claimed that in the Aleppo province,
there were 40 thousand Nestorians and 66 thousand Catholic Syriacs. Trotter
interpreted this claim as follows: “In point of fact, there are no Nestorians
and the number of the Syriacs generally appears to be vastly overestimated.”
7) Major Henry Trotter was the British Consul in
Kurdistan. He frequently wandered through the region and determined the
Christian and Muslim population.
8) As for Van’s population, Trotter accepts the
numbers determined in 1879 by General Baker, the British staff officer, then
working at the disposal of the Ottomans. However, he opposes the number 53.940
given by Captain Clayton, his consul colleague in Van.
9) Vital Cuinet was a French official who worked in the
region for 12 years on behalf of the “Debt Accounting Committee” established
10) Cuinet determined 92 thousand Nestorians and six
thousand Chaldeans in Van.
11) Cuinet mentioned that there were 15.300 unorganized
Chaldeans in Van. This information belongs only to Cuinet.
12) Marcel Léart, is an alias for an Armenian in exile
who lived in France under the name of Krikor Zohrap. In 1913, a book titled as
“La question arménienne a la lumiere des documents” has been published in
Paris and this book used the numbers Léart received from the Armenian Patriarch
13) Léart did not include the “southern”
Diyarbakir (Nusaybin and Cizre?) since the Armenian population living there was
14) For the same reason he did not include Hakkari.
15) Only Léart mentions that there were so many
Assyrians/Syriacs in Sivas. The fact that no Syriac church has been found in
Sivas, proves this claim to be baseless.
16) The 1914 census was the fourth one in the Ottoman
period. When compared with the Christian population in the sanjak of Aleppo
(apart from the districts of Kilis and Antep, that have been included within the
boundaries of Turkey by the Ankara Treaty) and governorate of Zor in 1914, it is
possible to see that the results of the 1914 census were extremely reliable. (in
1914, 53.152 Christians and in 1921/22 52.447 Christians).
17) The population of Diyarbakir also included 3.500
Protestant Syriacs. The Protestants were counted in the census without taking
their ethnic origin into account. Thus, this number is the result of my
18) Seventy thousand of them were Nestorians and 1.128
19) Toynbee used the numbers provided by Léart in
“Treatment of Armenians” (1916).
20) See note 21.
21) Toynbee mentions in part IV of the note 60 that in
1914, 90 thousand Nestorians lived in “The Bothan District”, in Cizre and in
Zakho in the Mosul province. Toynbee defines the Nestorians as follows:
“Nestorians (from their religion), Syriacs (from their language) or Chaldeans
(from their race)”. It is obvious that Toynbee considers the Nestorians and
the Chaldeans as the groups of the same nation. I added 30 thousand to the
number Léart mentioned to be in the Van sanjak, and 20 thousand to the number
in Diyarbakir. I included the remaining 10 thousand to the population of Mosul.
Cuinet, Vital: “La Turquie d’Asie”, Paris 1892
Karpat, Kemal : “Ottoman Population 1830-1914,
Demographic and Social Characteristics”
Madison, Wisconsin 1985 (I Karpats bok finns 1880 ars
officiella siffror, census 1914, Hrimyans och Trotters siffror fran 1880)
Nordisk Familjebok, 2:s upplagans supplement, artikeln
“Syrien”, Stockholm 1926 (har finns den franska folkrakningen 1921/2
Toynbee, Arnold: “Treatment of Armenians in the
Ottoman Empire”. London 1916 (I Toynbee bok fins Léarts siffror fran 1912)