The History of an 1890s Armenian Revolt

Justin McCarthy
Ömer Turan
Cemalettin Taskiran

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9781607813842 (hardback)
9781607813859 (ebook)

Sasun, a region of Anatolia formerly under Ottoman rule and today part of eastern Turkey, is frequently recounted in history books as the site where, in 1894, the Turks murdered anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 Armenian Christians. News reports at the time detailed that gruesome acts, including torture, had occurred at Sasun at the hands of the Ottoman army. The Ottoman Empire denied these allegations. A commission of European delegates sent to investigate the matter concluded that the news reports were highly exaggerated, yet the original stories of atrocities have persisted. This volume provides a close examination of the historical evidence to shed light on what really happened at Sasun. The authors’ research indicates that the stories circulated by the media of torture and murder in Sasun don’t hold up against the findings of the European investigators though they were motivated by sympathy with Armenian Christians. Evidence instead showed that an Armenian revolt had led to fights with local Kurds and much smaller numbers of deaths, on both sides. The conflict had largely subsided before the arrival of the Ottoman army on the scene.