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The Relocations (Tehcir) of Armenians and the Trials of 1915–16
Yusuf Sarinay
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State Archives, Ankara, Turkey

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Office of Prime Ministry. Bayram Kodaman (2001) Ermeni Meselesi (Tarihi ve Siyasi Bir ¨ ˘ ¨ Degerlendirme). to a certain extent. as well as the social and cultural traits of the Armenian community. (2004) ¨ ¨ ¨¸ ¨ Ermeniler: Surgun ve Goc (Ankara: Turk Tarih Kurumu yay). Unlike the Serbs or the Greeks. 29–53. came to play the Armenian card in all ventures against the Ottoman Empire. 5 –52. emboldened further by European support. State Archives. Ivedik Caddesi no.3 Thus. which put an end to the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 –78. ISSN 1943-6149 Print/1943-6157 Online/11/030299-17 q 2011 Editors of Middle East Critique http://dx. Email: y.1080/19436149. first wanted to achieve autonomy and then independence in Eastern Anatolia. the currents of nationalism gained strength among the Armenians who found support for their cause in American and European missionary circles and among European diplomats. a predominant population in a region with defined boundaries) did not exist in the case of Armenians in eastern Anatolia.Middle East Critique Vol. Greek and Serbian independence movements as their role models. Ankara. see Kamuran Gurun (1983) Ermeni Dosyası (Ankara: NP). This tactic served two objectives: to intimidate the Muslim population of the region where the Armenian nationalists wanted to carve out an autonomous state and force the Muslims to leave the region so that the Armenians could achieve the demographic majority. pp. General Director. However. Having taken the 1 I wrote this article in Turkish and am grateful to Ramazan Hakki Oztan for translating it into English. Ankara 06170. each with vested interests in the region.619768 . in order to realize the goals of a nationalist movement that lacked such material bases. Yeni Turkiye (Ermeni Sorunu Ozel Sayısı I) 37 (Oct. the Armenian question gained an international character and the European states and Russia. however. came to be preserved and. some Armenian nationalists chose ‘terror’ as their method for struggling against the Ottoman state. the Armenians lacked demographic concentration across Anatolia.. see Hikmet Ozdemir. Accordingly. Turkey.doi.2 After the Berlin Treaty of 1878. 299–315. 2 ¨ ¨ For an analysis of the reasons why Armenian nationalism emerged. 3. Turkey Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 23:22 24 November 2011 The ethnic and religious layers of Armenian identity. and second. These nationalist notions were transformed into movements of autonomy under the leadership of the Armenian Church.–Sept.sarinay@gmail. 200–212.). what one could see as ‘the material bases’ for establishing an Armenia (e. pp. flourished under the centuries-long Ottoman rule. 3 ¨ For information on the Armenian population under the Ottomans. 20. 59. Fall 2011 The Relocations (Tehcir) of Armenians and the Trials of 1915– 161 YUSUF SARINAY State Archives. et al. pp.2011. the Armenian nationalists. to propagate in the West the Muslim retaliatory incidents in eastern Correspondence Address: Yusuf Sarinay.g. by the second half of the nineteenth century.

1914.6 As a result. After a defeat of the Ottomans by the Russians in Sarikamis. in their struggle against the Ottoman Empire. 37. rev’d 2nd edn (Istanbul: Baskı. dated April 24. where 321 Armenian committee 4 5 6 7 On the Armenian committees. 126 –176. Accordingly. 235–244. that extended reforms largely benefitting the Armenians of the eastern Anatolia.4 Between 1890 and 1914. see Azmi Suslu et al. Ercument Kuran (2001) Ermeni Meselesinin ¸ ¨ Milletlerarası Boyutu. Armenian komitadjis started their armed rebellion against the Ottoman Empire with the particular goal of disrupting the supply routes of the Ottoman army. Ottoman officials believed it necessary to take decisive steps to address the problem. sided with the Allied Powers. Yeni Turkiye. Ermeni Dosyası. and in parallel with the British and French campaign at Gallipoli. pp. A Ministry of Interior memorandum. pp. The Armenian guerrilla groups. 41–75. and Esat Uras (1987) Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni ¸ Meselesi. Ottoman authorities implicated Armenian nationalists as responsible for more than 40 instances of rebellion and terrorist activity in the regions from eastern to southern Anatolia. The Western pressures for reform continued up until the outbreak of the First World War. A nine-month period had passed since the mobilization of the Ottoman army and. 9. 148– ¨ ¨ 153. and numerous arms and ammunition were seized. The Armenian committees were closed down. the Armenian nationalists established a number of political parties and associations in and outside the Ottoman Empire. Sarinay Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 23:22 24 November 2011 Anatolia as Armenian massacres.–Sept.300 Y. pp. 421–457. Accordingly. The wave of arrests continued in the Anatolian vilayets. 235 Armenians who were members of these committees were arrested in Istanbul on April 24 and 25. pp. as well as the other Armenians who were known to be complicit in revolutionary activities. the Ottoman Empire at last signed a treaty on February 8. 1915. 458–531. a development that Armenian nationalists perceived as providing an opportunity to realize their goal of independence. faced with an armed uprising by Armenians in eastern Anatolia. (Oct. ˘ ¨ ¨ ¨ I ¸ ˘ Ermeni Arastırmaları. see Basbakanlık Devlet Arsivleri (2001) Ermeni Komiteleri (1891–1895) ¸ ¸ ¨ ¨ ¨˘¨ (Ankara: Devlet Arsivleri Genel Mudurlugu yayınları). see Munir Sureyya Bey (2001) Ermeni Meselesinin Siyasi Tarihcesi (1877–1914) ¸ ¨ ¨ ¨˘¨ ¨ (Ankara: Devlet Arsivleri Genel Mudurlugu yayınları). see Zekeriya Turkmen (2003) ˙ttihat ve Terakki Hukumetinin Dogu Anadolu Islahat Mufettisligi Projesi ve Uygulamaları (1913–1914). ordered the shutting down of all Armenian committees and the arrest of their leaders. Uras. Especially after 1890. ¸ ¸ ¨ On this reform project that ended due to the outbreak of the First World War. from central Anatolia to Istanbul.7 After the start of the First World War. (1995) Turk Tarihinde Ermeniler (Ankara: NP).5 The Western powers not only used these rebellions as pretexts to pressure the Ottoman Empire for further reforms favorable to the Armenians. Tarihte Ermeniler. the Ottoman Empire sided with the Central Powers. pp. ¨ ¨ ¨ On the Armenian rebellions. there were increasing incidents of armed struggle between some Armenian nationalists and Ottoman security forces. in hopes of securing Western military and political intervention in the region. ¨ ¨ For detailed information. Belge Yayınları). for example. and Ali Karaca (1993) Anadolu Islahatı ˙ ve Ahmet Sakir Pasa (1838–1899) (Istanbul: NP). and Gurun. who had been provided with arms until the outbreak of the war. even providing for their eventual autonomy. pp. Spring. but also supported the Armenian nationalists in diverse ways. ¸ .). having yielded to the Western pressures. particularly with Russia. with most of these groups ignoring violence initiated by Armenian extremists while stressing acts of violence against Armenian civilians.

DH. The relocation process lasted almost a year. and Yusuf Sarınay (2006) 24 Nisan 1915 Ermeni Tutuklamaları. see Yusuf Sarınay (2008) What Happened on April 24. 2. pp. as will be discussed below. no. . 1– 2. However. 2189. 1915. properties and lands in the new locations were to be provided for the Armenians in accordance with their former economic and financial standings. and the expenses for provisions were to be met from the Allocation for the Muhacirs (settlers). 1916. 62/21.The Relocations (Tehcir) of Armenians and the Trials of 1915 –16 301 Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 23:22 24 November 2011 members also were arrested. and seeds and agricultural equipment were to be provided for Armenian farmers. Therefore. BOA. Hacettepe ¨ Universitesi Cumhuriyet Tarihi Arastırmaları Dergisi. 1915. 23–35. 54/10. DH. BOA. 517/10 ¸ ¸ ¨ BOA. 198/24. Meclis-i Vukela Mazbatası.DH. No. ¸ This legislation was published on June 1. these arrests failed to halt increasing insurrectionary activity by the Armenians. their growing cooperation with the Allied Powers and a major rebellion in Van. only one convoy was sent out from Maras in April 1916. but rather a decision reflective of security concerns and of military necessity.12 The government believed both the 8 9 10 11 12 For detailed information. Meclis-i Vukela Mazbatası. BOA. 1915.SFR. ¨ BOA. there is no evidence that officials in Istanbul foresaw any of the dire consequences that ensued. entitled Temporary Legislation on the Measures to be Taken by the Army for the Defiers of ¨ ¨ Government Authority During War Time (Vakt-i seferde icraat-ı hukumete karsı gelenler ¸ icin cihet-i askeriyece ittihaz olunacak tedabir hakkında kanun-ı muvakkat).8 However. DH. The Cabinet (Meclis-i Vukela) Resolution dated May 30. and the Arrest of the Armenian Committee Members in Istanbul.SFR. the relocation of the Armenians was not preplanned and political in nature. The growing sense of alarm among Ottoman officials about the war and the security situation in eastern Anatolia prompted discussion of strategies that on May 27. On the contrary. and BOA.11 As other articles in this special issue show. following a directive sent to the vilayets (provinces) and mutasarrifiyyas (autonomous districts). 1915. ¸ ¸ ¸ 54/162. 54/9. DH. (BOA is the standard acronym for the Prime Ministry’s Ottoman Archives). No.SFR. nor did the Ottoman government approve the violence. pp. 14.No. International Journal of Turkish Studies.SFR.No. 198/24. ¸ ¸ DH. in Takvim-i Vekayi.Nr.SFR. After this directive.SFR. but rather a reaction to the very real Armenian armed struggle and collaboration with the enemy Allied Powers. resulted in the law to relocate the Armenian population from the war zones. the Ottoman government actually set up tribunals to prosecute some of those who perpetrated violence against Armenians during the relocation process. 75–101. 4 (Fall). 516/93. the actual implementation of Armenian relocation resulted in considerable human suffering. Provisions for Armenians during the Relocations The Ottoman government put great effort into providing for the needs of the Armenians ¨ during the relocations and their aftermath. The central government communicated the legislation. ending on March 15.10 The 1915 relocation legislation was not a preemptive measure that anticipated an Armenian rebellion in eastern Anatolia. detailed the position of the Ottoman government in this respect: adequate food and water were to be provided for the Armenians during the relocations.9 to the local ¸ administrators with a detailed explanation as to how the relocation was to be carried out. Documents demonstrate that the Ottoman government put great effort into making sure that the Armenians were relocated to their destinations safely. 1915?: The Circular of April ˙ 24.

¸ ¸ pp. 15/71. places for accommodations were to be established in one out of three relocation stations where health officers would treat the sick. Sarinay orders issued during the relocation and the monetary allocations met the needs of the relocated Armenians.000 people. were to be provided. An okka was an Ottoman unit of weight equaling 1. and it was necessary that each final destination for the relocated had arable land and an adequate supply of water. and each convoy would be supplied with food and water at four-day intervals. 1915. 430– 431. 100 iron baking sheets.13 Further regulations issued by the Ministry of Interior on October 7. (2) Sufficient subsistence was to be provided and civil servants were to be placed on the relocation routes and in the relocation stations. as well as donkeys. dated June 10. were secured from the Allocation for the Muhacirs. as well as to provide for the needs of the Armenians during their resettlement. available in each vilayet. If the establishment of bakeries was not possible in a given locality. comprised of a general director and a number of public servants who would serve in their respective localities. bakeries were to be established immediately in each relocation station and center. .302 Y. (6) For the provision of bread. and particularly in Aleppo.EUM. reiterated the provisions of the Cabinet Resolution. a civil servant responsible for relocations and 10 guards were to be present to meet the needs of. first were used to cover the expenses of what proved to be a costly 13 Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 23:22 24 November 2011 14 15 ˘ Arsiv Belgeleriyle Ermeni Faaliyetleri (1914–1918) (Ankara: Genelkurmay Baskanlıgı Yayınları. and provide security for. (4) At each relocation station or center. each person was to be provided a half okka15 of bread. the relocated. DH.283 grams. (9) In each relocation station and center. 1915. (5) Necessary funds were to be allocated for the supply of these storehouses with flour and bulgur. mules or camels. a sufficient number of guards were to be provided. as well as a sufficient amount of salt. in line with the number of women and children in each convoy. the relocated were to be provided accommodations. The necessary funds to implement these regulations during the relocations. a storehouse for flour was to be established so that the relocated Armenians would not suffer from hunger. rapid and long marches were to be avoided. detailed how the needs of the relocated Armenians were to be met:14 (1) To facilitate the steady execution of the relocation order and the corresponding supply of provisions for the relocated.I. (7) Upon arrival at the relocation centers/stations or the location of a storehouse. For the full text of this Regulation with its 56 articles.VRK. see BOA. The Allocation for the Muhacirs. and each convoy of Armenians was not allowed to exceed 1. C. (8) In addition to food and water. (3) Only robust and young individuals were to be transferred on land. 2005). Subsequent regulations. an organization was to be created.

55 A/77.17 Also. ¸ BOA. SFR. 80/88. SFR. DH.16 and as a result of increasing expenses. 53/152. 1915.28 3. SFR. DH. DH.000 piasters (kurus) to the vilayet of Adana. DH. 5. SFR.21 Further funds were also made available in later days and months of the relocation of the Armenians.19 In its efforts to meet the needs of the Armenians. Istanbul started providing direct funds to cover the expenses. DH. but also in some instances paid a per diem rate to the relocated.000 lira to Syria. the per diem rate of one piaster.24 Other allotments after the relocation officially had ended included 1.000 lira were provided to each of Sivas22 and Zor on September 20. ¸ . cholera and plague. SFR. ¸ BOA. SFR. 80/78. Accordingly. No.The Relocations (Tehcir) of Armenians and the Trials of 1915 –16 303 Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 23:22 24 November 2011 operation. the Armenian settlers in Konya were given 20 paras for each person. a new request for funds was to be filed.000 lira was sent to the vilayet of Aleppo. IUM. ¸ BOA. sent to the mutasarrifiyyas of Corum and Yozgat. SFR. regardless of age. ¸ BOA. No. For instance. No. SFR.000 to Eskisehir. 80/80. the Ottoman government offered to either cancel or defer the debts of Armenians. No. in September 1915. for adults. DH.000 to Aleppo. SFR. 80/95. and 200. with an order that the funds be spent for the steady and immediate relocation and subsistence of the Armenians.750 lira to Mosul29 and 2. 80/82. DH. 80/86. 53/200. 70/18.000 lira to Aleppo. should be increased to three piasters. ¸ BOA. Istanbul wired 300. 55 A/135. 55/A/17. 10.000 lira regularly each month.000 to Konya. No. 1915. ¸ ¨ ¨ ¨ For a detailed study on the epidemics. BOA. No. it was ordered that if the funds fell short of the expenses. SFR. DH. No. No. In light of the worldwide epidemics of typhus. No. DH.500 lira to the mutasarrifiyya of Maras. 150. SFR.26 2.000 to the sanjak of Izmit. ¸ 300. DH. BOA. No. ¸ BOA. ¸ ˙ BOA. 80/73. it was decided that the mutasarrifiyya of Zor was to receive 4. 1915. Accordingly. DH. should be increased to 60 paras. typhoid. For instance.000 lira to ¨ ¨ Ma’muretul-aziz (Elazig).000 to Syria. No. ¸ BOA. for juveniles. ¸ BOA. No. and dispatched to all vilayets required the deferral of all debts incurred by taxation. ordered that the per diem rate of two piasters. No. DH. DH. DH.20 Regulations dated August 4.31 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 BOA. SFR. 1916. No. on May 16. SFR. the mutasarrifiyya of Maras ordered the cancellation of the debts of the Armenians on June 1.000 lira to Adana. 300. ¸ BOA. In another instance.18 On September 5. an encrypted telegram. 68/73. 400.25 2. the Ottoman government took measures to protect Armenians. No.500 lira to the mutasarrifiyya of Urfa on October 1917.27 5. 4–1/9.000 to Ankara.30 ¸ The Ottoman government not only allocated necessary funds for the subsistence needs of the relocated Armenians and assigned lands and housing for them in the final destination for relocation. see Hikmet Ozdemir (2005) Salgın Hastalıklardan Olumler ¨ (1914–1918) (Ankara: Turk Tarih Kurumu Yayınları). SFR. 1916. 100. stressing in the accompanying order that the Armenians were not to suffer on any account. DH. ¸ BOA. and that clothing should be provided for the needy.23 and 2. ¸ BOA.

1915. Meclis-i Vukela Kararı. (18) Responsibility for the realization of these goals of protection. were to be auctioned by the commissions and the revenues held in trust so that payments later could be made to the relocated owners. 1915. (15) The produce from the immovable properties were to be auctioned by the commissions and the revenues held in trust so that payments could be made to the relocated owners. 1915. For the full text of this regulation. 1915. 32 33 Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 23:22 24 November 2011 34 35 36 ¨ BOA. (14) Immovable property was to be registered in trust in the name of the owner. as the May 30. ordered the auction of Armenian properties in the owners’ names because the government would pay the relocated Armenian owners the proceeds of sale. 198/24. communicated to the vilayet of Erzurum. For example. DH.304 Y. registration and administration of the properties of the relocated was assigned to the Commission for the Properties of the Deserter/Deceased (Emval-i Metruke). the state emphasized that these properties were to be registered in trusts so that payments later would be made to the owners. No.36 Another encrypted telegram. All these rules were to be set out in later regulations. and type of the property were completed. 53/303.35 The order of July 5. vol. ¸ BOA. 54/310. to the vilayet of Trabzon underlined the necessity to conform to the June 10 regulation. ¸ . the protection of their property. ¸ BOA.32 The first such regulation was dated June 10. BOA. As for real estate. No. and included 34 Articles. (13) Perishable chattels. relocation order guaranteed the safety of the relocated. ¸ 2005).34 Similarly. (17) The revenue from renting and auctioning of property belonging to the relocated was to be held in trust so that it could later be paid to the owner. and promised the return of belongings to their owners. DH. 1915. SFR. 435 –438. (12) If the exact ownership of a property in question is unknown. amount. I (Ankara. No. 54/226. an encrypted telegram of June 27. Sarinay Measures Taken for Protection of Real Estate and Belongings of Relocated Armenians The Ottoman protection of the relocated Armenians also included a set of measures for protecting property belonging to them. This was the case from the beginning. as well as livestock. an encrypted telegram of June 9. 1915. SFR. (11) These belongings were to be stored in proper places after the registration of the owners and a determination of the value. ordered all vilayets. see Arsiv Belgeleriyle Ermeni Faaliyetleri (1914–1918). the property to be protected was to be registered to the ownership of the village. DH. SFR. no. which are summarized below:33 (10) The real estates belonging to relocated Armenians were to be sealed. to the Mutasarrifiyya of Kayseri embodied the same line of thought. The Ottoman government was quite sensitive about the orderly implementation of these regulations and wanted to avoid any misuse. dated August 11. pp. (16) Refugees were to be settled with temporary documentation in villages that were empty after the relocation.

auxiliary commissions and civil offices that would help the Clearance Commissions were to be established. SFR. see BOA. Armenian property was protected by regulations. While the Ottoman government implemented these measures.s. 1915. although later they were allowed to buy residential property from the Armenians on condition that the cost of the property should exceed its real value and payment should be made before taking possession of the property. the temporary legislation. 14 ¨ Eylul 1331. a 25article regulation dated November 10. provided the legal basis for these measures. and Takvim-i Vekayi. The duties of these commissions ranged from detailed registration of the properties belonging to the relocated to safeguarding the revenues from the auctions of perishable goods and livestock.39 Based on this temporary legislation. the Ottoman government also took measures for the protection of each convoy of the 37 38 39 40 ¨ ¨ ¨˘¨ Osmanlı Belgelerinde Ermeniler (1915–1920) (Ankara: Basbakanlık Devlet Arsivleri Genel Mudurlugu ¸ ¸ Yayınları. stipulated that both chattels and immovable properties belonging to the relocated were to be preserved and registered. pp. 76. but legislation dated September 26. 2303 For the full text of the Regulation. composed of 11 articles. No.37 Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 23:22 24 November 2011 In an attempt to prevent abuse. in addition. 2345 ¸ . ¨ For the encrypted telegram sent to the vilayet of Hudavendigar on August 19. (21) Relocated Armenians be allowed to take any of their portable possessions that they wished. the sale contract must be terminated and the property re-auctioned for its real value.38 During the first months of the relocation. (23) Any practice that violates an existing lease or mortgage deal on any property should be terminated. detailed the implementation of the measures. see BOA. No. No. (20) No stranger or suspicious person be allowed to enter the evacuated zones. No. 1915. and Aforementioned Claims of ¨ the Persons Relocated to other Locations (Ahar mahallere nakledilen eshasın emval ve duyun ¸ ve matlubat-ı mezkuresi hakkında kanun-ı muvakkat).40 Accordingly. see Takvim-i Vekayi. 1915. DH. (22) Perishable immovable property be sold and non-perishable immovable property be registered in the name of the owner. 1994). Entitled Interim Legislation Regarding the Properties. Debts. Kavanin Defteri.The Relocations (Tehcir) of Armenians and the Trials of 1915 –16 305 mutasarrifiyya and every directorship of the Commission for the Properties of the Deserter/Deceased that: (19) Where properties belonging to relocated Armenians had been sold off cheaply. 371. 28 Tesrin-i Evvel 1331. ¸ 55/107. For the full text of the legislation. Clearance Commissions for the Properties of the Deserter/Deceased (Emval-i Metruke Tasfiye Komisyonları) were to be established in each location where there were properties belonging to the relocated. 28.245–246. The Abuses During the Relocations and the Corresponding Prosecutions While the relocation of Armenians was in progress under difficult wartime circumstances. the Ottoman government forbade its civil servants to buy the properties in question. and the revenues derived from the auctions were to be kept in trust in the name of the owner. it also prosecuted and at times dismissed civil servants who either disobeyed or abused the regulations.

57/309.000 Armenians who were relocated from Diyarbakır to Zor and from Suruc to Aleppo. No. 1915. as well as the regulations communicated to the local administrations by the Ministry of the Interior. 54/162. No. No. and BOA. SFR. ˘ ordered the vilayets of Erzurum. After the news of massacres and robbery had reached the Ottoman capital. Cabinet Resolution. or to extort from. No. 57/116. the encrypted telegram of September 18. 57/277. SFR. the Qaimaqam of Aziziye (Pınarbası). 57/105.000 Armenians traveling between Aleppo and Meskene and the robbing of 2. and Cemil Bey. SFR. DH. No. ordered that the vilayet of Konya start an investigation of the gendarme in question. Hamid Bey. 59–60. ¸ BOA. Following the massacre of 2. Elazıg and Bitlis to protect the Armenian convoys on the relocation routes. 55/292.42 A similar set of instructions was communicated in a June 26 ˘ directive to the vilayet of Elazıg. DH. had been massacred by the Kurds. pp.46 a directive ordered that the convoys should ¸ not proceed without guards.47 The gendarmes who guarded the Armenians convoys but abused their authority in the region of Urfa were also brought before courts martial. No. 54/156. ¸ . a Ministry of Interior directive. DH.50 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 23:22 24 November 2011 ¨ BOA. to prevent local involvement in relocations. the ¸ Qaimaqam of Tenos (S ¸arkısla). and to punish those who attempted to kill. where the directive was breached. DH. 54/10. No. the ones through Resulayn and Nusaybin. SFR. DH. Armenians. ¸ ˘ ¸ BOA. DH. No. ¸ BOA. ¸ Yusuf Halacoglu (2001) Ermeni Tehciri ve Gercekler (1914–1918) (Ankara: TTK Yayınları). dated June 14. regardless of whether they were affected by the relocation orders. ¸ BOA.48 The routes of relocation from Urfa.49 With reference to reports that a gendarme whipped the relocated Armenians in Karaman station. as well as the civil servants who overlooked the violence. No. 1915. speak to the extent of the measures: the lives and property of the relocated Armenians were to be protected during the relocation and if there were any instance of abuse. were removed from their posts and brought before courts ¸ martial. In this respect. 54/9. ¸ BOA. SFR. ¸ BOA. traveling between Erzurum and Erzincan. DH. The directive also ordered the suspension of the relocation until the safety of the Armenians was guaranteed.306 Y. the government increased its protective measures.43 An August 28 directive to the vilayet of Trabzon ordered the punishment of the looters and bandits. Sarinay relocated. 198/24. the civil servants and gendarmes who were responsible for the mishandling of the relocated were to be dismissed immediately from public service and referred to courts martial. DH. ¸ BOA. were changed to prevent attacks on the Armenian convoys. ordering the continuation of measures that were breached by the attacks of Dersim bandits on Armenian convoys.45 The issue of safety of the Armenian convoys was greater in certain regions of the empire. 1915. 55/266.41 After an Armenian convoy of 500 persons. 56/64. No. 54/162. DH. 54/9. 55/290. SFR. to take necessary measures to avoid any possibility of bilateral clashes. SFR.44 The August 29 directive to the vilayet of Ankara ordered the protection of all Armenians. The May 30. that the number of guards be increased and that the attackers be brought to justice. ¸ BOA. Meclis-i Vukela Mazbatası. that is. SFR. SFR. and. the referral to the courts martial of civil servants who were responsible for the safety of the Armenians. the Commander of the Gendarmes of Tokat was put under investigation.

Civil Inspector (Mulkiye Mufettisi) of Ankara vilayet. the ˘ Inspector of the Committee of Union and Progress in Elazıg. SHR. BEO. the head of the Court of Appeals (Temyiz Mahkemesi) presided over the first commission. DH. was appointed as replacement for Seyyid Hasim Bey.SFR. the other two members of which were were ¨ Qaimaqam Huseyin Muhyiddin.SFR. On this subject. and Mahzar Bey. 1915. the establishment of four commissions is mentioned in Alpay Kabacalı (ed. Diyarbakır and Bitlis and the sanjak (liva) of Canik. was first dismissed from his post. and BOA. the sanjaks (liva) of ˙zmit. the Civil Inspector of the vilayet of Ankara.The Relocations (Tehcir) of Armenians and the Trials of 1915 –16 307 In another instance. Hulusi Bey. 59/146. then court martialed for collecting goods from the Armenians without providing ¸ them any compensation. DH. p. ¸ ¸ 58/38. 58/277-1. BOA. no. 61/165. Mehmet Bey. an indication of the extent of its sensibility about reports of failure of some local officials to prevent a breakdown of law and order during the relocations. no. the former ´ governor of Bitlis. after investigations into the alleged ill-gotten gains of Nazim Bey. were all sent to courts martial because of misconduct during the relocation of the Armenians. on the grounds of medical conditions. Asım Bey. DH. DH.51 ¨ ¨ Similar examples can also be found in other cases: the Qaimaqams of Elbistan and Gurun also were also court martialed on the grounds of misconduct during the attacks on the ¨ ¨ Armenians of Gurun. DH.SFR.SFR. ¸ ¸ BOA. Regional Inspector of the Izmir Gendarme. BOA. DH. and the sanjaks (liva) of Maras. presided over the third ¸ commission (the other two members were Nihad Bey. DH. member of the Council of State.52 The Qaimaqam of Besni. and BOA. This important decision reflected the position of the Ottoman government: the clear evidence of misconduct and defiance of the law on the part of some civil servants and local citizens during the relocation required creation of these commissions. The second commission’s ¸ mandate was to examine the vilayets of Adana.SFR. 60/61. he was court martialed. Muhtar Bey.54 The examples of misconduct and violation of government policies by some civil servants during the relocation of the Armenians led the Ottoman government to analyze the situation nationwide and take action to punish those responsible. BOA. Mahzar Bey. the former governor of Bitlis. each of which was tasked to investigate local conditions. Sivas. ¸ ¸ ¸ BOA. the Cabinet decided to establish three investigatory commissions. the Qaimaqam of Hısn-ı Mansur (Adıyaman). Edhem Kadri Bey.SFR. which was charged with examining the situation in the vilayets of Erzurum.SFR. and the Qaimaqam of Kahta. 56/179. SFR. see BOA. ¸ . and the ¸ ¸ gendarme major (binbası) Galip Bey. after Minister of Interior Talat Pasha’s memorandum dated September 28. 492/70-1. 59/235 ¸ ¸ ¸ ¸ ˙ ¨ BOA. were informed in an earlier communique. Accordingly. head of the Court of Appeals ¸ presided over the second commission. ¨ Mamuretulaziz. 56/186. Trabzon. Kayseri and Nigde. 58/278. 330271-1.) (1994) Talat Pasa’nın ¸ Anıları (Istanbul: NP). identify the responsible people and refer them to courts martial. a member of the Council of State (Suray-ı Devlet). Karesi. DH. the other members of which were Seyyid Hasim.SFR. and Muhtar ¨ ¨ Bey. Its mandate was to examine the circumstances of ¸ ¨ relocation in the vilayets of Hudavendigar and Ankara.. 83. 199/35. ¸ BOA. Karahisar-ı Sahib. DH. I ˘ Eskisehir.SFR. and BOA.SFR.56 51 52 53 54 55 Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 23:22 24 November 2011 56 BOA. BOA. DH. Aleppo and Syria. DH.55 Even before the decision by the Cabinet. 54/A 348-1. the government had ordered the members of each commission to prepare for the responsibility. Ismail Hakkı Bey.53 The former Mutasarrif of Malatya. Urfa and Zor. 507/105-1. DH. Hakkı Bey. Resit Bey. BOA. Meclis-i Vukela Mazbatası. no. the Attorney General of Istanbul ˙ ¨ (Istanbul Bidayet Mudde-i Umumisi) and the gendarme major Ali Naki Bey). 57/416-1.

56/267. dated February 19. . 21 ˙zmit. . the responsible individuals were to be referred to courts martial. and any instances of defiance of laws. 170 A total of 1. SFR. no.397. we can prepare a list of the courts martial prosecutions in 12 vilayets:59 . 8 Sivas. 89 Diyarbakır. Of these 1. Significantly. ¸ ¨ ˙¸ ¨ ¨ For detailed information. ¨ ¨ BOA. commanders of gendarme squads and police superintendents. police and intelligence (Teskilat-ı Mahsusa). . regulations and decrees coming from Istanbul. SYS. 16 ¨ Mamuretulaziz. DH. . . During the war. . 2882/29. see Osman Koksal (1996) Tarihsel Sureci Icinde Bir Ozel Yargı Organı Olarak ¨ Divan-ı Harb-i Orfiler (1877–1922). Additionally.308 Y. 148 Bitlis. first and second lieutenants. If evidence indicated anyone might be guilty of a crime or there were signs of abuse of authority. Ankara University. and May 22. were military courts that had jurisdiction in the regions where martial law had been declared. . . decisions were made to dismiss many Ottoman officials and refer them to courts martial. insurrection and banditry. These personnel ¸ included people with high ranks such as captains. 170 civil 57 58 59 BOA. 56 ¨ Hudavendigar. 528 were from the military. Sarinay Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 23:22 24 November 2011 These commissions were given jurisdiction to investigate the gendarme. 28 I Kayseri. HR. These martial law courts differed from the courts established after the 1918 armistice since the latter were established because of the pressures of the Allied powers. 27 Urfa. . police.673 individuals were prosecuted for illegal behavior during the Armenian relocations. any rebellious activities including but not limited to rebellions. Based on encrypted telegrams. 249 ˘ Nigde. . March 12. 146 Konya. 29 ¸ Halep. Ermeni Dosyasi. the pre-armistice courts martial prosecuted Ottoman officials on the basis of evidence provided by the reports of the commissions for investigation. PhD thesis. 70 Eskisehir. . administrative chiefs and civil servants. 1916. 221 –222. lieutenants. 29 Canik.673 who were taken into custody to face charges in courts martial. . Amasya. . pp.58 Based on the reports prepared by these investigation commissions in the regions where the Armenians were subject to relocation. 579 Suriye. these courts prosecuted any activity that endangered the internal and external security of the Empire.57 These courts martial. according to Gurun. . . no. also known as the Customary Courts ¨ Martial (Divan-ı Harbi Orfi Mahkemeleri). . 2 Ankara. the number of courts martials prosecution is 1. from the Ministry of Interior to the Ministry of Exterior.

493/106-1. no. no. According to the documents that I have been able to study. telegraph managers. 2882/29-25. The gang also was held responsible for the murder of two members of the Ottoman Parliament. bribery. A number of charges. A total of 227 defendants (22 percent) were acquitted. ¸ BOA. the legal term kurek is used to describe the major punishments for serious offenders. ¸ ¸ BOA. qaimaqams. and BOA. mukhtars. as discussed below. The above-cited documents provide considerable details about the defendants and the crimes of which they were accused. district managers ¨ ¨ ¨ (nahiye muduru). imprisonment in a castle (kalabendlik). By mid-1916. and they represented diverse public service officials.63 In a second trial in the Syrian court martial. BOA. . Cemal Pasha.SYS.SFR. a conviction rate of 75 to 80 percent among defendants and an acquittal rate of 20 to 25 percent. 55 A/177. the commander of the Fourth Army. property managers (mal ¨ ¨ ¨ muduru). SFR.SFR. no.SFR. however. DH. DH. Dersaadetli Halil also was sentenced to death64 and accordingly executed in 60 Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 23:22 24 November 2011 61 62 63 64 ¨ According to articles 19– 21 of the 1857 penal code. up through mid1916.e. The crimes of 68 defendants were deemed to merit harsher sentences such as forced labor (oar). Sirozlu Cerkez Ahmet and his friend ¸ Dersaadetli Halil were accused of being active in the gang that attacked and killed Armenians and pillaged their belongings.62 Dersaadetli Halil. while those for the remaining 674 defendants had not begun. pillaging. the extant records do not indicate how many actually were executed). no. 999 individuals had been or were in the process of being court martialed. particularly forced labor (hidemat-ı sakka) and shackling.The Relocations (Tehcir) of Armenians and the Trials of 1915 –16 309 servants were prosecuted. no. clerks. damaging the properties of Armenians. ¸ BOA. unsanctioned marriage with Armenian girls and misuse of public office. pickpocketing. was sentenced to imprisonment in a castle. population ¨ office clerks (nufus memuru). where Sirozlu Cerkez Ahmet was convicted.60 monetary punishment. Another 524 defendants—52 percent of the total—were convicted of other serious crimes and sentenced to prison terms of varying lengths. the courts martial of 109 defendants were still in process. ¸ BOA. DH. HR. HR. such as ¨ ¨ ¨ medical managers (sıhhiye muduru). Sirozlu Cerkez Ahmet and Dersaadetli Halil ¸ were held in custody in Konya and the Ministry of the Interior ordered their imprisonment to prevent their escape until Cemal Pasha demanded them for court martial proceedings. were brought against the above individuals. sentenced to death and accordingly executed in ¸ Damascus. usurpation. land register officials (tapu memuru). tax collectors. did not endorse this decision. chief clerks and the manager of the Commission for the Properties of the Deserter/Deceased (Emval-i Metruke Komisyonu reisi). stealing. who were bundled off to Diyarbakır. 493/158-1. they faced the charges in the Syrian court martial. while four were minors who were remanded to their guardians. Krikor Zohrab and Seringulian Vartkes. Even though the cases underway and the trials that had not begun were not reflected in the documents under scrutiny. of the total charged. but instead returned his dossier to the court martial.SYS. relocation officials (sevk memuru). 2882/29-25. The remaining 975 defendants were either gang members or ordinary men who took part in pillaging and attacking the Armenian convoys during the relocations. i. such as murder. it is reasonable to expect similar results in the later courts martials..61 After having been sent to Syria. wounding. shackling or exile. 67 defendants were convicted of capital offenses and sentenced to death (although. no. For example. mayors. DH. Of this number. 492/107-1.

Ibrahim bin Ali. DH. and Hami bin Hamus all from the village of Karapınar in the Nahiye of Kabahaydar of Urfa. these three individuals were executed in accordance with their sentences. 2882/29_26_3b. ¸ ¸ BOA. Ni‘me el-Hac. S ¨ ˆ ¨ of Huseyin). 2882/29_13_4b. Ali el-Hasan el-Ibrahim. SYS.69 Sahin bin Muslim.72 Hacı ¸ ˙ ˘ ˘ Ali oglu Abdurrahman and Halil oglu Berber Ibrahim73 from the town of Mucur in ¨ Kırsehir. BOA. SYS. Gazzal bin Ali Sultan el-Mani. Halef bin Dervis. and Efsuslu Hacı from the Village of Cicek in Elbistan. Ahmed bin Abdi. BOA. SYS. Hallo bin Akdar.310 Y. HR. Mehmed Ali bin Ali. Ali el-Halef and ˆ Hamd bin Halef es-S ˆ from the village of Kesra. Mustafa bin Ramo. Puzan (the son of Bektus). and BOA. Among the latter were those charged with ‘extortion of properties and ¨ murder of’ Armenians (gasb-ı emval ve katli nufus).68 Imam el-Berho. SYS. 2882/29_14_1b. 2882/29_13_4a. Said bin Ramo. Omer bin Iskender. Hasan (a relative of ¸ ¨ ¸ Seyido-yı Ma‘mo). Abdullah bin Hamıd ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ el-Haluye. Hamd es-Selmo. the commander of the gendarme squad of SivasSarkısla. ˙ ˙ ˆ ˆ¸ ¨ Ibrahim er-Ra‘pul. 497/64-1. HR. Ma‘mo (the son of Seyito Yekso). BOA. Elves Haso. Seyito bin Ibo. and Huseyin bin Abdulisa from the village of Fatise.SFR. no. BOA. Huseyin bin Abdi.74 Sirozlu Ilyas bin Suleyman and Sirozlu Idris bin Yusuf (members of brigand ¸ ¨ ¨ groups). Ali bin Ali Dudu. in the Sanjak of Rakka.65 Likewise. was ¸ ¸ sentenced to death and executed. Bekir ˙ ˆ ˆ ¨ ¨ ¸ ¸ bin Ismail. BOA. 605/65-3. Odabasıoglu Hamza and Kor Ali from the Yukarı quarter in the Nahiye of ¸ ¸ ˘ ˙ ˙ ¨ Cubuk. and therefore were convicted of ¨¸¨ plunder and accordingly were sentenced to execution. Bojo bin Mehmed. Lieutenant Nuri. ¸ ˙ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ Hamıd el-Hamd el-Halub. HR. SYS. Osman (the son ˙mam (the son of Alo). SYS.70 Boran bin Ahmed Abdi. HR. Seyh Mustafa ˙ ˆ¸ bin Ali. Dervis bin Muslim. Habıb el-Esved from the village of Telsemın. Seyito bin Ismail. and Ibrahim es-Semade in the village of ¸ ¸ ˆ ¨ Seyhyakup in Urfa. 2882/29_26_4a. Boji Ayo. Salih bin Mustafa Muslim from the village of Seyrekli in the Kaza of Odemis of ¸ 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 23:22 24 November 2011 BOA. no. Mehmed Gulo. Hamus (the uncle of ¸ ˆ¸ Mehmed Bojo). DH. 2882/29_26_4a.66 Clearly. were Colak Osman oglu Hacı Bekir from the Haraza quarter of Malatya. ¸ ˙ Ahmed bin Ahmed Abdi.SFR. Sarinay Damascus. they included Ali el-Hamd from the village of Abdu’l-gayre in the Sanjak of Deir ¨ ˆ ez-Zor. and therefore sentenced to forced labor ˘ (oar). no.71 ¸ ¸ Individuals who were tried for extortion and theft of property belonging to Armenians and of abduction and abuse of Armenian girls. but there is no tangible evidence as to the fate of other convicted persons. 2882/29_5_3b. Ahmed Surik. Hamud el-Hamdi from the village of ¸ ¸ehrı ˆ ¨ ¨ Hulv. Seyho bin Ramazan. HR. who was accused of being responsible for the deaths of some Armenians. Mahmud bin Bekir. HR. Seyho ¸ ¸ ˙ bin Abdi. . SYS. included Kucuk Ali bin Osman ¨ from the village of ˙hsaniye in the Kaza of Odemis. Mehmed (the son of Hamus). no. Da‘ıl el-Isa. ¸ ˙ ˆ Mehmed (the son of Molla Ibrahim). BOA. ¸ BOA. Abdullah el-Isa. Osman bin Haso. and sentenced to ¨ death. and who were tried. HR. BOA. SYS. Bezkade bin Omer ed-Dervis from the village of Hicce. Mehmed bin Hamus. Hızır el-Yusuf. Ali (the son of Ayo-yı Bero).67 Individuals who extorted goods from the Armenians.SFR. I ¸eyhganlı Hami Uso. 497/95-1. Ahmed bin Abdi. DH. Hami Seyito. Halef bin Abdullah. HR. I ¸ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˆ ˆ Ced‘an el-Hamd. 2882/29_26_3a. ˆ¸ ¨ ¨ Muslim Kahya bin Molla Eyyub.

80 ˙brahim oglu Kerim I ˘ ¨ from the Labor Battalion. BOA. BOA. BOA. 2882/29_24_1. Hacı Ishak oglu ¨ ˘ ˘ ˘ ˘ Sevket. BOA. ˙ ˘ ¸u ¨ Abdullah oglu S ¨ kru of Giresun (from the gendarme in the Kaza of Carsamba). BOA. BOA.88 Hasan oglu Ahmed. from the Yozgat ˙ ˘ ˘ ¸¨ ¨ ˘ ¸¨ ¨ ˘ gendarme. BOA. from the Zile ¸ ˘ ˘ ˘ ¨ gendarme. Eginli Mehmet Ali oglu Ahmed (gendarme private in ˘ ˘ ˘ ˘ Elazıg). HR. 2882/29_22_4b.77 Seydi bin Mehmed from the Molla Mehmed from the village of I ˙ ¨ village of Demircik in Urfa. and S ¨ kru ¸u ¨ ˘ ¨ ¨ ˆ (from the village of Goleris in Zara).SYS. Debbag oglu Durak. HR. SYS. ˙ ˙ ˘ ˘ ˘ ˆ Izmirli Ismail Cavus. HR. 2882/29_22_2a. HR. BOA. BOA. 2882/29_22_4a.83 Mehmed oglu Mehmed and Huseyin oglu Ali from the Hamurkesen 84 Ranch. HR. HR.The Relocations (Tehcir) of Armenians and the Trials of 1915 –16 311 Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 23:22 24 November 2011 the Sanjak of Manisa. SYS. Omer bin Hacı Mehmed Fennun (from the Bab gendarme). 2882/29_19_2_8. 2882/29_14_1b. 2882/29_15_1b. Mustafa oglu Hacı Suleyman. .SYS. Ali Cavus (from the Urfa gendarme) and Antepli Ahmet Onbası. SYS. Imam ¸ ¸ ˙drisli in Kavak. BOA. 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 BOA. ˙dris bin ˙brahim from the village of Selendi in the Sanjak of I I 75 ¨ ˆ ˘ ˆ Manisa. Omer oglu Ismail. Individuals who were tried on charges of abuse of authority during the relocations of the Armenians and accordingly sentenced to prison included Mahmut Efendi (the telegraph officer in Birecik). Bekir Hafız oglu Sukru. Kurd Hasan (from the village of Topallar in Zara).SYS. Mehmed oglu ˙brahim (three gendarme privates in Erbaa). 2882/29_26_4a.81 Huseyin oglu Alihan from the village of Beypınarı.87 Tevfik and ˘ ˘ ¨ Huseyin (mobile gendarme sergeants in Fatsa). Kamil bin Sadullah (from the Havza gendarme). 2882/29_29_2. HR. Manzur ˙ ˘ ˘ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ oglu Haydar from Buyukkoy. SYS. Huseyin Ismail from Eskiharman.85 ¸ ¸ ¸ ˙ ˘ Cemal Efendi (wakf clerk) and Ibrahim Efendi (gendarme second lieutenant). Mustafa oglu ˘ I ¨ Huseyin. SYS. Arapkirli Mehmet oglu Rıza (gendarme private in Keban). Hacı Omer oglu Ali. HR. Ali oglu Veli from ˘ ˘ ¨ ¨ ¨ Buyukkoy. Ali oglu Sukru. 2882/29_22_1b. Salyan bin Eyyub (the custodian ¨ of the Molla Eyyub Han in Urfa).SYS. Kalelioglu Hacı Emin. BOA. SYS. 2882/29_25b. SYS. 2882/29_22_7b. Imam bin Molla Eyyub from the Yusufpasa quarter of Urfa.86 Davutoglu ˘ ˘ Recep (gendarme private in Palu). Yusuf oglu Salih. Mustafa oglu Mahmud (the porter of Mulazım Yusuf Efendi from the Second Depot Battalion of the 88th Regiment).82 Saban oglu Ali and Ahmed Kahya oglu Hasan Niyazi from the Nahiye of ¸ ˘ ˘ ¨ Gemerek. 2882/29_22_2b. HR. BOA. and Elazıg merkez muhafaza ˘ ˘ ¨ ¨˘¨ bolugu askeri Osman oglu Ali (a private in the Central Elazıg Guard Squad). ¸ ¨ Hamza bin Ahmed from the Dergezenli quarter of Urfa. 2882/29_31. SYS. ¸ ¸ ˘ ¨ Zaralı Hızır oglu Hızır. HR. Mustafa oglu Nuri. BOA.78 as janitors in the Zara Hospital and also as privates. Zaralı Yusuf oglu Hafız Mehmed. SYS.79 Hacı Mehmed ˘ ˘ ¨ ¨ ¨ oglu Huseyin Husnu from the Third Squad of the Erbaa gendarme. Ali oglu Hasan. Huseyin oglu Ismail. Divrigili Kemal oglu Mehmed. Elazıglı Yusufoglu ¨ ˘ ˙ ˘ ˙ ˘ ¨ ¨ ¨ Mevlud. HR. HR.76 Sekbanoglu ˆ Hasan (from the Kavak gendarme). HR. HR. SYS. Cemalzade Huseyin oglu Ali (the ˘ relocation officer responsible for the Palu procession).

HR. Yuvanaki Efendi (Qaimaqam of Mihalıccık). ¸ ˘ Mehmet Bey (Qaimaqam of Adıyaman). Mehmet oglu Zeynel. Yuzbası Edhem Husameddin Efendi ¸ (the Commander of the Gendarme Squad of Araplar) and 68 gendarme privates. extortion and robbery. Sarinay ˘ ˘ ¨ Hasanoglu Ahmed. Yuzbası Hasan Efendi (the ¸ ¸ 89 90 91 92 93 94 Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 23:22 24 November 2011 BOA. 2882/29_19_2_8.92 ˙ ˘ ˙ ˘ ˘ In the region of Bursa. HR. Ahmed oglu Ibrahim. Havzalı Huseyin ˙ ˘ Cavus. Mulazim-ı Sani Tahsin Efendi (the Commander of the Central Gendarme Squad of Malatya). SYS. Ahmed Refik. Hafız Kemal (the clerk in the Office of Population Affairs).90 The following officials were charged with misuse of power. Mulazım ¸ (second lieutenant) Mehmet Efendi. and 38 privates. SYS. Turhan Efendi (the head of the Nahiye of Samsad). Ali oglu Koca Ibrahim. assault and murder of the Armenians during the relocation. BOA. SYS. These include in the ¨ ¨ ˆ Kaza of Mucur. HR. Suat Efendi (the property manager of Mihalıccık).91 Resid Bey (the former Mutasarrif of Malatya). sergeants Halil and Ahmet. Yahya Efendi (the Assistant to the Chief of Police in Gurun). Mehmet Nuri ¸ ¸¸ (the qadi of Mihalıccık). Ali Efendi (the ¨ ¨ Property Manager of Gurun). Bascavus (sergeant ¸ ¸¸ ¸ ¨ major) Huseyin in the Tonus gendarme. Tevfik Bey (Qaimaqam of Egin).93 In Eskisehir. from the Amasya gendarme. BOA.94 Rıfat Bey (the former Qaimaqam of Ulukısla). Yuzbası S ¸ ¸evket Efendi (the ¨ ¨ Commander of the Gendarme Squad of Malatya). all of whom were referred to the courts martial on charges of provoking massacre. Abdullah Efendi (the Police ˘ Captain of Malatya) and 18 police officers. ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ Rustem Zihni. SYS. Yuzbası (captain) Kadri. were ˘ referred to the courts martial of Elazıg on the charges of abuse of authority. Mihalıccık ¸¸ ¸¸ ¸¸ Belediye Reisi Sukru Efendi (the mayor of Mihalıccık). as well as some civil servants and ¸¨ ¨ ¸¸ gendarme privates faced charges of misuse of authority during the relocation of ¨ Armenians. Huseyin Husnu Bey (police officers) and Abdullah and Akif Efendi (tax collectors) were charged and tried for abuse of authority against the Armenians. extortion of property. Sakir Efendi (the mayor of ¸ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ Gurun). HR.89 ¸ ¸ The documents provide a list of military personnel/civilians who were referred to courts martials and faced charges. and Ismail oglu Hasan. Mehmet Faik Efendi (the Commander of the ¨ ¨ Gendarme Squad of Poturge). robbery. and numerous gendarme privates were referred to the customary courts martials of Sivas. Neset Efendi (the head of the Nahiye of Hasancelebi). SYS. Yuzbası Rıfat Efendi and his entourage. ¨ Emin Efendi (second lieutenant of the Adıyaman gendarme). but do not indicate any the final verdicts. Nazmi Efendi (second lieutenant of the Malatya gendarme).SYS. HR. BOA. 2882/29_6. robbery. 2882/29. Kamil Efendi (the Commander of the Gendarme Squad of ¨ ¨ Gurun). assault and misdemeanor: Hamid Bey (Qaimaqam of Aziziye). BOA. Berber Ali oglu Mehmed (gendarme privates). . ¸ ¸ Muhyiddin Efendi (the head of the Nahiye of Hekimhan).312 Y. Suayb Efendi ¸ ˘ ¨ ¨ (Qaimaqam of Gurun). 2882/29_26_8. Hacı Tevfik Bey (the Assistant to the Chief of Police). 2882/29_32_1_2. the Chief of the Military Branch. Kolagası Hamdi Efendi (the Commander of the ¨ Gendarme Battalion of Malatya). Mehmet Faik Efendi (the Head of the Commission for the Properties of the Deserter/Deceased in Aziziye) and Ahmet Cavus (the Commander of the Central ¸ ¸ ¨ Gendarme Station in Tonus). Alaaddin Efendi (second lieutenant in the Divrigi gendarme). BOA. 2882/29_34_35_36. HR.

Osman Bey (the Commander of the Gendarme Regiment of ˙ Bitlis).The Relocations (Tehcir) of Armenians and the Trials of 1915 –16 313 former Commander of the Gendarme Squad of Ulukısla) and five gendarme privates also ¸ 95 ˙ were referred to the courts martial. The judges also functioned as public prosecutors and their decisions were confidential. In the end. 1920. and Baha Bey I ¨ ¨ (the medical manager of Bitlis). Mulazım Hasan Efendi (the Commander of the Gendarme Squad of Lice). Accordingly. Nemrut Mustafa Pasa.97 These 1915 –16 courts martial were organized by the Ottoman government on its own initiative and reflect a willingness to punish criminals. While these latter courts obviously deserve a separate study.96 ¸ I ¨ As for the Diyarbakır and Bitlis regions. Accordingly. Mustafa. HR. 2882/29_8. Husnu. the Mutasarrif of Urfa. these courts were means of obtaining favors from the Allied powers. it seems that the verdicts given by the customary courts martial during the 95 96 97 Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 23:22 24 November 2011 BOA. SYS. Tahrirat Katibi). . the police officers Abdulgaffar. 2882/29_30. HR. their creation reflected the pressures by the Allied powers on the Ottoman government after the Armistice of Mudros. the Military Court of Appeals found two different verdicts for Nusret Bey. For the Ottoman government in charge. the Military Court of Appeals canceled nearly all the sentences given by the customary courts martial from April 23. 1920. The defendants who faced charges in the post-war courts martial were determined on the basis of names provided by the representatives of the Occupation in Istanbul. Salih (the gendarme sergeant) and ¸ Onbası ˙smail (the corporal) were referred to the courts martial for trial. which left a power vacuum in the Ottoman capital. For example. HR. 2882/29_12. Abdulhadi. the Military Court of Appeals examined the courts martial verdicts and found a number of abuses of processes during the legal process. SYS. Such a legal process is underway as a result of an order from the top. ˙zzet. On December 1. the Ottoman government arrested those named on the lists and put them on trial. taking revenge on the former officials and capitalizing on political benefits during the Allied occupation. those who faced charges in ¸ ¸ these postwar courts martial were given the right of appeal. these courts metaphorically put the previous decades on trial. and ¨¸ ¨ Rustu Efendi (the mayor of Lice) also were referred to the customary courts martial to face charges.’ Also relevant in the postwar trials was the lack of most procedural rights for the defendants. 1920: one verdict for imprisonment and a second for execution. after a careful examination of the files. In this respect they contrast with the special courts martial that were established after the end of the First World War. BOA. The course of justice in these courts was more reflective of the post-war political alignments between the Allied Occupation and the Ottoman representatives. and the gendarme privates of Lice. An interesting turn of events took place with the transfer of government from the cabinet of Damat Ferit Pasa to the cabinet of Tevfik Pasa. Thus. saying: ‘a court martial that works under foreign rule functions on the basis of emotions rather than conscience. Thus. highlighted this fact. SYS. Emin Efendi (the clerk in Lice. who was found guilty and executed on August 5. Rasim Efendi (the telegraph manager). BOA. For instance. the chair of the customary ¸ courts martial. Yasin Bey. Ermenilere ait emvali gasbla ¨ suclanan Mehmed Cemal (the Captain of Karamursel). than any manifestation of legality. In the region of Izmit. who were not given lawyers for their defense and whose trials were conducted behind closed doors. Ismail.

2569/2. see Feridun Ata. Yet. The government also attempted to register. The decision to relocate the Armenians was a reaction to the increased revolutionary activity by armed Armenians groups in areas of Anatolia that had been invaded by Russian forces who encouraged Armenians to rebel against the Ottoman government. (2005) ˙sgal Istanbulunda Tehcir Yargılamaları (Ankara: Turk Tarih Kurumu Yayınları).99 Conclusion The Ottoman government took necessary measures to secure the lives of. Sarinay Armistice were reflective of political pressures and calculations. These trials were reflective of the Ottoman government’s sensitivity to the safety of the Armenians.100 This initiative was left unanswered as a result of British pressures. References ˙ ¨ Ata. no evidence existed to punish these statesmen held under British custody. namely. during the period of the Armistice. asking them to investigate the allegations of mass murder and massacres of the Armenians. were prosecuted and convicted of various crimes by the courts martial. which was to be returned to their owners after the relocation. be they military personnel. that is.98 Additionally. Osmanlı Belgelerinde Ermeniler. shelter and guards for. gang members or public servants. F. HR. Basbakanlık Devlet Arsivleri. they were preemptive measures and thus not simple reactions to developments during the relocations. ¨ ¨ For detailed information. Isgal Istanbulunda Tehcir Yargılamaları. Spain and Sweden. pp. see Bilal Simsir (1985) Malta Surgunleri. it is notable that the Ottoman government sent two aide memoires in February 1919 to the nations that had remained neutral during the First World War. I¸ Basbakanlık Devlet Arsivleri (1994) Osmanlı Belgelerinde Ermeniler (1915–1920) (Ankara: Basbakanlık Devlet ¸ ¸ ¸ ¨ ¨ ¨˘¨ Arsivleri Genel Mudurlugu Yayınları). (Ankara: Bilgi Yayınevi). The prosecution of officials suspected of harming Armenians during the events of 1915– 16 raise the question of whether it is possible that Ottoman government was guilty of mass murder and attempted genocide of the Armenians.101 In 1919 the victorious Allied Powers prevented an impartial investigation of such allegations by an international commission. ¸ ¸ BOA. Denmark. ¸ Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 23:22 24 November 2011 98 99 100 101 ˙¸ ˙ For detailed information on these prosecutions between 1919 and 1920. During the relocation of the Armenians. protect and maintain the property of the relocated.SYS. the British put 144 Ottoman statesmen on trial in Malta for charges from war crimes to various offenses during the relocations. It is important to note here that these measures were taken before the start of the relocations. establishing an investigatory commission and appointing two legal experts. Holland. the Armenians who were relocated during the First World War. 2nd edn. those suspected of abusing their duties or defying the law and regulations or simply committing crimes against the Armenians. as some critics have argued over nearly 100 years. The initiative to set up an international investigatory commission demonstrated the self-confidence of the Ottoman government during the relocations of the Armenians. civilian men. and provide subsistence. ¸ ¸ . 592–597. No.314 Y. With respect to this point.

et al. (1994) Harp ve Mutareke Yıllarında Osmanlı Imparatorlugunun Ekonomisi (Ankara: Turk Tarih Kurumu Yayınları). et al. A. C. . ˙ ˘ ¨ ¨ Eldem. A. (2001) Ermeni Meselesinin Milletlerarası Boyutu. Y. Yeni Turkiye. pp. 200–212. No. (2004) Ermeniler: Surgun ve Goc (Ankara: Turk Tarih Kurumu Yayınları). and the Arrest of the ˙ Armenian Committee Members in Istanbul. 14(1– 2). K. 1915?: The Circular of April 24. ¨ ¨ ˙¸ ¨ ¨ Koksal. 23–35. (2001) Ermeni Tehciri ve Gercekler (1914–1918) (Ankara: TTK Yayınları).-Feb. 1915. (2005) Salgın Hastalıklardan Olumler (1914–1918) (Ankara: Turk Tarih Kurumu Yayınları). (1985) Malta Surgunleri. 37 (Jan. (1996) Tarihsel Sureci Icinde Bir Ozel Yargı Organı Olarak Divan-ı Harb-i Orfiler (1877–1922). pp. ¸ ˙ ˘ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ Turkmen. International Journal of Turkish Studies. 23 –35. E. 37 (Jan. ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨¸ ¨ Ozdemir. B. A. ¨ ¨ Munir Sureyya Bey (2001) Ermeni Meselesinin Siyasi Tarihcesi (1877–1914) (Ankara: Devlet Arsivleri Genel ¸ ¸ ¨ ¨ ¨˘¨ Mudurlugu Yayınları).) (1994) Talat Pasa’nın Anıları (Istanbul: NP). E. Y. ¨ Kuran. H. pp. ¸ ˙ Karaca.(2008) What Happened on April 24. 2303. B. pp. (1993) Anadolu Islahatı ve Ahmet Sakir Pasa (1838–1899) (Istanbul: NP).). ¨ ¨ Simsir. (Istanbul: Belge Yayınları). 2nd edn. (2003) Ittihat ve Terakki Hukumetinin Dogu Anadolu Islahat Mufettisligi Projesi ve Uygulamaları ¸ ˘ (1913– 1914). 2345. ¸ ¨ ¨ Gurun. PhD ¨ thesis.) pp. (1987) Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi. ¸ ˙ Uras. (1983) Ermeni Dosyası (Ankara: NP). 235–344. Takvim-i Vekayi (1916) 28 Tesrin-i Evvel 1331. ¸ ˘ ¸ ˙ Kabacalı.The Relocations (Tehcir) of Armenians and the Trials of 1915 –16 315 Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 23:22 24 November 2011 Basbakanlık Devlet Arsivleri (2001) Ermeni Komiteleri (1891–1895) (Ankara: Basbakanlık Devlet Arsivleri ¸ ¸ ¸ ¸ ¨ ¨ ¨˘¨ Genel Mudurlugu Yayınları). 4(Fall). ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ Ozdemir. Halacoglu. Yeni Turkiye. ¸ ———. 41– 75.I. ¨ ¨ ¨ Suslu. ¸ ¸ ¨ Takvim-i Vekayi (1916) 14 Eylul 1331. (1995) Turk Tarihinde Ermeniler (Ankara: NP).). Z. No. Ankara University. (Ankara: Bilgi Yayınevi). 9(spring). V.-Feb. (2001) Ermeni Meselesi (Tarihi ve Siyasi Bir Degerlendirme). Hacettepe Universitesi Cumhuriyet Tarihi Arastırmaları Dergisi. ¸ ¸ ˘ ¨ Kodaman. Ermeni Arastırmaları. ˘ Genelkurmay Baskanlıgı (2005) Arsiv Belgeleriyle Ermeni Faaliyetleri (1914–1918) (Ankara: Genelkurmay ¸ ¸ ˘ Baskanlıgı Yayınları. 2nd edn. rev. ¨ Sarınay. O. (Ed. H. (2006) 24 Nisan 1915 Ermeni Tutuklamaları.

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