Book Reviews

Book Review: The Armenian Rebellion at Van


The opening chapters lay out the physical geography of the region in eastern Anatolia and the political situation of the time.

The4se chapters explain that Armenians, Ottomans, Kurds, and other minorities were living around Van for centuries in relative peace.

Kurdish hordes, from time to time, descended upon Armenian villages and plundered whatever they could, and poached animals.

The Ottoman Empire was weak and could not even afford to police the region.

The first rebellion in 1896 lasted only a few days, and according to British officials stationed in Van, 500 people died, most of whom were Muslims.

The Ottoman government formed a gendarmerie (1890) battalions consisting of Kurds only, after the fashion of Russian Cossacks, but made an administrative blunder by putting them under the supervision and management of Kurdish chieftains, who always favoured to extract as much tax as possible, and then some, to line their pockets.

The three Turkish historians seem to have conducted most of their research in Ottoman achieves, and correspondence of British consuls, then McCarthy wrote the story

Careful reefers will the surprised to find that there is no reference to German correspondence with Ottoman authorities, despite the fact that both governments traded extensively and militarily German military officers were deployed in Anatolia. One would think that they saw what was happening and Ottoman officials were planning.

This gives the impression that the objective of the research from the beginning was to disprove facts by twisting and manipulating informations.

Dashnak party in 1912 killed Bedros kapamajian, an Armenian, who was the mayor of Van and who was against a rebellion; but this was not a rebellion but a revolt against oppression by ottoman tax collectors. The appointment of Bedros kapamajian was a token appreciation of his stand against any rebellion.

The revolt started in October 1914 and was quickly and extremely savagely by Kurdish battalions.

This book ought to very carefully read by all Middle Eastern and general history buffs to understand how facts of history can be twisted by conquerors.

The overwhelming majority of historians specializing in Middle Eastern history disagrees with the contents of this book.

Read it and conduct a little research to draw your own conclusions.

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