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Author Topic: I WITNESSED and LIVED THROUGH  (Read 2167 times)
« on: April 26, 2010, 12:31:19 pm »


(Erzurum 1917-1918)


Notes pertaining to the Armenians’ attitude towards the Turks living
in Erzurum and in the settlements nearby, between the outbreak of
the Russian Revolution and the delivering of Erzurum by the Turkish
Forces on March 12, 1918.
These notes are appended to the “Notes on the State of the Second
Russian Artillery Regiment”. These notes are prepared separately to
serve as an individual document.
The Turkish-Armenian enmity that is known by the European and the
Russian public opinion has reached its peak with the events
experienced during the First World War.
Armenians’ aversion to the Turks is a renowned fact throughout the
ages. Armenians have always been successful in presenting
themselves as a nation subjected to heavy torture, and oppression by
the uncivilized bigoted Turks.
The Russians who had close relations with the Armenians to a certain
extent have developed different views on their level of civilization.
Armenians having considerably vile, surprising, and rapacious
character can only live off on others. However, the Russian peasants
have different judgments on them. I heard the Russian soldiers
saying, “Turks have only treated them roughly, but did not kill them.
They should have killed them to the last man!”
The Armenian troops among the Russian soldiers have always been
regarded as the most inferior. They have always preferred working in
the rear echelons rather than fighting at the fronts. The increases in
the desertion of the Armenians and in their wounding themselves are
all definite proofs of the idea developed.
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2010, 12:32:03 pm »

The things I personally witnessed and heard during the two months
that passed until the Turkish forces’ delivering Erzurum are beyond all
the evil one would think of the Armenians.
None of the Armenians were allowed to enter neither in the city nor
in its environs during the occupation of Erzurum by the Russians in
1916. During the office of the Commander of the 1st Corps General
Kaltin, who was the commander of the forces in Erzurum and its
environs, no military units having Armenian troops were sent to this
After the lifting of all the measures, following the Revolution,
Armenians attacked Erzurum and its environs in waves.
Synchronous to those attacks, the houses in Erzurum and in the
villages were pillaged and people were killed. The presence of the
Russian units and Russians were keeping the Armenians from
committing massacres. They were conducting massacres and
pillaging in secret and cautiously.
In 1917, the Erzurum Revolutionary Executive Committee, mainly
composed of the Armenian military personnel, launched a search for
confiscating the firearms the people had. As the searches could not
have been carried out properly, troops of uncontrollable mob
gradually started full scale pillaging. The Armenian troops did their
best to tyrannize and torture people during battles.
One day, as I was riding through one of the streets in Erzurum I saw
a group of soldiers, lead by an Armenian, dragging two elderly
Turkish people, both about 70 years old, along the street. An
Armenian soldier was carrying a whip made of wire fencing. Streets
were all covered with ditches and mud.
This mob, composed mainly of the Armenian soldiers, was dragging
these two poor elderly men in mud all over the street. The elderly
men were drenched in mud, and whenever they found an opportunity
to stand up they would drag them again and commit all sorts of
I tried hard to persuade them to behave in a civilized manner
towards those two poor elderly men. The Armenian soldier leading
the mob, walked over me with his whip made of wire fencing, and
shouted, “You are backing them are not you? They are killing us, and
you are backing them!” The mob started walking over me. At that
time, the Russian soldiers were so out of control that they were
beating, and even murdering the Russian officers.
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2010, 12:32:47 pm »

Situation was getting worse. Upon arriving of a patrol column under the command
of an officer the situation changed. Armenians disappeared all of a
sudden. The patrol column saved those men and took them to their
homes without uttering any words of insult.
There was a danger of Armenians’ rushing into the region, right after
the withdrawing of the Russian units at their own initiative, and
committing massacres on the Turks until the arrival of the units of
other nations.
The prominent Armenians were guaranteeing that no such thing
would happen again. They were trying to make everybody believe
that all the measures for the establishment of neighborly relations
between the Armenians and the Turks were taken.
It was believed that peace and order would be established. After the
Revolution, the mosques used as dormitories and depots by the
Russian forces were all cleaned and evacuated. A joint police force
was set up with the inclusion of the Turks and Armenians. Armenians
were loudly advocating the setting up of Martial Courts and practicing
of capital punishment for those who committed massacres and
It was soon discovered that all were nothing but wiles and traps.
Turks who were taken into this police force started abandoning their
places immediately. Because, the Turkish night patrols started to
disappear all of a sudden and nothing was heard of them ever. Even
the Turks who were taken out of the city to work were not coming
back. The members of the Martial Courts established did not try or
punish any of the criminals as they feared to be sentenced to capital
The number of the massacres and pillaging started to increase
steeply. One night, at the end of January according to old calendar in
other words at t the beginning of February; Armenian gangs
murdered Hacı Bekir Effendi, one of the most prominent people in
Erzurum, at his home. The Commander-in-Chief Odichelitzé1 ordered
the unit commanders the finding of the murderer within 3 days.
The Commander-in-Chief talked at the commanders of the Armenian
units condemning them, in its most general terms, about the
disgraceful deeds of their troops. He also said that he was extremely
offended by the pillaging and the brutal force exerted on the people.

1 Georgian origin Commander of the Russian Caucasian Army.
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2010, 12:33:41 pm »

He voiced his anger about the Turkish people, who were taken out
from their homes under the pretext of having them work on the
roads, most of whom were somehow kept from returning. He
reiterated his ideas saying if the Armenians are really the owners of
the occupied Armenian territory, they ought to display their honesty
and the level of their moral values as a nation, thinking of the honor
of the Armenian nation; and that they ought to act within frame work
of the law; and do everything possible to curb all the barbarousness
and brutality committed by the mob. He pointed out that the
intellectuals were obliged to do it. Moreover, he said, at a time when
the handing of the occupied region over to the Armenians was not
yet decided at a peace conference, and at a time when the First
World War had not come to an end, the Armenians ought to obey the
rules of the law much more carefully.
The Armenian commanders of the Armenian units, and the
representatives of the troops declared that it was not appropriate to
libel the name of the Armenian nation by just equating them with a
couple of murderous gang members; that some of the deserters
might have wanted to take revenge on the past deeds of the Turks;
that the Armenian intellectuals were doing their best to curb those
events; and finally that they were thinking of taking decisive
measures and implement those measures.
Soon I heard that the Armenians were massacring the Turkish people
in Erzincan. I heard all the details of the massacres directly from my
Commander-in-Chief Odichelitzé in person.
The event happened as follows. The massacres were organized by a
doctor and a contractor. In other words it was not conducted by one
of the gang members. I cannot write the names of those two
Armenians as I do not remember their last names. More than 800
unarmed innocent Turks were massacred. Only an Armenian was
killed while the massacred were trying to defend themselves. They
slaughtered the people as if they were sheep. They had the people
whom they sentenced to death dig large ditches. They took the
people to edges of those ditches in groups and after having
butchered them like beasts they dumped them into those ditches.
One of the Armenians was counting the corpses thrown into ditches
and upon his saying, “Is there only 80 people? It can take 10 more!
Slaughter another 10!” disdainfully ten more people were slaughtered,
thrown into the ditch and the corpses were covered with earth.
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2010, 12:34:19 pm »

This Armenian contractor is said to have ordered the taking out
innocent Turks from a building one by one. And he, just for fun,
chopped the heads of some 80 people one by one as they were
coming out of the door.
The deserter Armenians who were equipped with the most modern
weapons started to retreat towards Erzurum after the Erzincan
massacres. The Russian artillery officers, who were to protect the
logistics lines from the kurdish attacks, were forced to retreat with
their guns.
In one of those lines a necessity of placing a unit for a probable clash
occurred. The Armenians, who were discomforted with the orders,
set the Russian officers’ houses a fire while they were sleeping,
Russian officers barely managed to get out. Most of their war gears
were burned into ashes.
The Armenian mobs retreating from Erzincan to Erzurum
exterminated all the Muslim villagers they met on their way. The
artillery guns that were being withdrawn from the logistics support
lines were being transferred on the covered wagons. The wagons
were under the care of the hired, civilian and unarmed kurds. As the
convoy came closer to Erzurum, the Armenian deserters and the
troops started to kill those kurds at the places where they stopped for
a rest. They realized their evil deeds whenever the Russian officers
entered their rooms. Whenever the Russian officers came out of their
rooms on hearing the clamors, and tried to save the kurds, the armed
mob walked over, and threatened them with the same end.
Those massacres were carried out in the most repulsive manner. For
example, at a meeting held by the artillery officers at the Erzurum
Garrison, Lieutenant Mzivani narrated an incident he witnessed: an
Armenian soldier approached a kurd who was dying in agony,
running, and tried to push the stick in his hand into his mouth. As he
could not manage to push the stick into his mouth that was tightly
closed, he took the dying man’s clothes off, and started to kick his
naked body with his iron heeled boots.
All of those who could not manage to flee from Ilıca2
were massacred. The Army Commander [General Odichelitzé] said he saw
lots of corpses belonging to children whose throats were butchered
with blunt knives, and bodies cut into thin and long strips.

2 Ilıca district affiliated to Erzurum.
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2010, 12:34:59 pm »

Lieutenant Colonel Gryaznof, who went to Ilıca three weeks after the
massacres, on his return on February 26 told me about a scene he saw
there: “the corpses are lying along the village roads in the open air. All
the Armenians going in the front were spitting on the corpses and
cursing at them. A mosque yard about 12-15 square sagenes [an area
roughly equal to 55-70 square meters] was covered with the corpses
of the senior Turkish citizens as well as of men, women, and children
that formed a pile reaching 1.5 meters in height. The traces of vile
assaults were observed on the women’s corpses. Rifle cartridges were
pushed into the genital organs of most of the women.”
Lieutenant Colonel Gryaznov said he had called two Armenian girls,
who were following a series of courses, to the mosque. They were
working as telephone operators at the detachment. He told them to
witness what the Armenians had accomplished there. Lt.Col.
Gryaznov found their joyous laughter bizarre.
Lieutenant Colonel reproved them severely expressing his anger and
indignation in fury. He asked, “How could the well-bred and well-
educated Armenian girls laugh and exhibit joyous behavior at the
sight of such an event?” He said, “This is an enough proof for
Armenians’, even their women’s, being more contemptible than the
wildest animals. This is even much more than an officer, who is
shaken by this sight, and who has seen many battles and terrible
events, can bear!” The Armenian girls replied him saying that they
laughed as a result of nervous breakdown.
A contractor working at the Alaca3 Logistics Support Command, told
us about a despicable event that took place in Alaca on February 27.
The Armenians nailed a Turkish woman upon a wall alive; took her
heart out and placed it on her head.
The first full scale massacre in Erzurum started on February 7. As it is
now claimed, the soldiers of the artillery regiment gathered some 270
Turks from the streets by force. They captured them and locked them
up in the baths in the barracks displaying their true intentions. I
managed to save only 100 of them. I have just learned that the others
were released by the soldiers after their learning about my arrival.
Under the light of the testimonies of the rescued, this vile attempt was
realized by the Armenian Reserve Officer Karagadayev, who was
temporarily appointed to the artillery regiment from the infantry units.
I still could not have determined his role in this event clearly.

3 A village affiliated to Ilıca district of Erzurum.
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2010, 12:35:41 pm »

Several other Turkish people were killed in the streets that day.
Several Armenians, forming an execution squad, shot more than 10
unarmed civilian Muslims at the railroad station on February 12. This
gang threatened to kill the officers who tried to save those Muslims.
Meanwhile, I ordered the arresting of an Armenian who had murdered
a Turkish person for no reason at all. The General Commander of the
Caucasus Army had already given his permission for the founding of a
Court Martial in Erzurum in line with the previous stipulations prevailing
before the Revolution, with an authority give death penalty.
When one of the Armenian officers told this arrested Armenian that he
was going to be hanged he started to shout, “Where on earth have
you seen an Armenian hanged for killing a Turk?” offended.
Armenians started to set the all the Turkish markets in Erzurum afire. I
learned that all the Muslim villagers of Tepeköy4 – where Combatant
Artillery Regiment was situated – were massacred, regardless of their
age and gender by unidentified members of a gang on February 17.
I informed Antranik5 who came to Erzurum the same day. He ordered
the finding of the murderers. I do not know what came out of it.

4 A village affiliated to Erzurum.
5 Antranik Ozanyan, was born in 1865, Şebinkarahisar. He took part in the
insurgence of 1885 incited in Şebinkarahisar. He later went to Istanbul and
established contact with the Daschnaks, he fled to Batumi after killing a Turkish chief
of police. On May 16, 1895 he went to Sasun together with his 40 men, armed, and
joined Armenian Serop’s gang, and replaced him on his death. He massacred
numerous Muslims in Sasun and its environs in two years. He even attacked the
Armenian villages and tortured the Armenians by various means. He received arms
and ammunition support from the Russians. He went to Bulgaria in 1906, and he
massacred Muslims in Edirne, Keşan, Malkara, and in Tekirdağ together with his gang
during the Balkan War. When the Armenian voluntary regiments in the Caucasus
joined the First World War as the forward forces of the Russian army, the Armenians
in Selmas and its environs joined the Russian forces under his leadership. Antranik,
took over the office of Provost Marshall from Colonel Morel when he came to
Erzurum on March 2, 1918, dressed in Russian general’s uniform. After having
realized great damage and massacres he fled to Caucasus. He organized the
Armenians in Karabagh, Zengezur and its environs against the Turks. After the signing
of the Moúdhros Armistice, he dissolved his gang and went to Paris on May 15, 1919.
He sought support in London, Paris, and New York for the establishment of a greater
Armenia on the Turkish soil. By putting the blame of the massacres he committed on
the Turks, he propagandized that the Turks killed the Armenians. Antranik died in the
United States in 1927. He was indulged in farming until his death. As his corpse was
not welcomed to Erivan in the USSR, he was buried to Paris.
Haluk SELVI; “Anadolu’dan Kafkasya’ya Bir Ermeni Çete Reisi: Antranik Ozanyan”
[From Anatolia to the Caucasus, An Armenian Gang Leader: Antranik Ozanyan] in

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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2010, 12:36:27 pm »

Antranik had promised Russian artillery officers that he would set the
public order, and order of law. But neither his promises nor the
promises of Dr. Zavriyev, who was sent by the Southern Caucasian
Government just to set the public order, did not prove anything but
vain words.
The chaos in the city decreased. Silence prevailed in the villages
where the inhabitants disappeared. When the Turkish forces started
to march over to Ilıca, the Armenians started to arrest the Muslims in
the town again. The arrests intensified a great deal during February
The Armenians carried out massacres by dodging the Russian officers
in the evening of February 26, in Erzurum. They retreated with the
fear of approaching Turkish army.
The number of the massacred Muslims reached 3.000 that night. To
be more explicit, the massacres were not fortuitous events but
premeditated. They were all committed in accordance with a plan
devised that was first put into practice by arrests. There was no time,
they had such a small force; they could not even keep their position
from an enemy force of 1.500 men and 2 artillery guns. They lost too
many lives.
The prominent Armenians could have stopped the massacres. The
responsibility of those massacres lived through cannot be put on the
gangs solely. As far as I observed recently the Armenians from the
lower end of the social strata were strongly adhered to the
intellectuals of the community, and especially to the orders issued by
some of them.
I believe it will be sufficient enough to confess that we did not have
any power to fight decisively against the banditry and misbehavior
right from the early days. Although the command echelons of my
regiment were mostly composed of the Russian officers, the troops
were mostly composed of the Armenian soldiers.

Sekizinci Askerî Tarih Semineri Bildirileri [Proceedings of the 8th Military History
Seminar]. XIX. ve XX. Yüzyıllarda Türkiye ve Kafkaslar. Vol: I. Ankara: Gnkur. ATASE
Bşk.lığı Yayınları, 2003. pp. 459-473.

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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2010, 12:37:12 pm »

Moreover, during the night of the massacres none of the kurdish
stablemen was killed in the yard where the wagon wheels were kept;
although there was only one officer on guard. At least the officers
under my command have reported to me as such. Kurds were totally
unarmed there. A couple of meters away there were some 40
Armenian soldiers fully armed.
I do not want to go further and say, nor can I claim that all the
prominent Armenians were guilty. No. I saw conscientious people
asserting that pursuing of such policies was wrong; that such politics
was nothing but vileness. Those Armenians, rebelled against the
swinish instincts of their own people, and they even fought against
them. There were hardly any of those people among the Armenians.
They were being obliterated by the majority on the charges of
treason against the Armenian cause. Other Armenians were showing
themselves as the warriors of truth and goodness in the presence of
the others, and thus were trying hard to conceal the reality of their
being crossbred with the kurds by putting mask of hypocrisy;
considering themselves related to the issue used to retort Russian
reproaches saying, “You are Russians! You can never understand the
Armenian nation’s ideals!” Those people did not want to understand,
and could not understand that the nobility of the soul was an
untouched diamond and it would stay a diamond no matter what the
circumstances were.
Against the Russian reproaches and indignation for them on their
massacring the Turks there was another group claiming “How do you
know that the Turks did not do all this to libel the Armenians? Can
not it be a provocation?”
The events proved the forces affecting the intellectual Armenians. No
one can deny the events happened. Armenians sow wind, but they
have forgotten that one who sow wind would reap the whirlwind!
Deputy Commander of the Fortified Artillery Post at Deveboynu,
Commander of the 2nd Armenian-Russian Fortress Artillery Regiment
Prisoner of War
Lt.Col. Tverdohlebov
April 16/29, 1918
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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2010, 12:37:53 pm »

Notes pertaining to the period extending from the organization of the
Fortress Artillery Regiment in Erzurum to the delivering of
Erzurum by the Turkish Forces on March 12, 1918

In mid-December 1917, the Russian Caucasus Army withdrew from
the front at its own discretion; without the permission of the Army
Command or of the Supreme Command.
The Erzurum Fortress Artillery Regiment retreated together with the
army. Only 40 officers form the Fortress Artillery Regiment, and the
administrative staff at the Deveboynu6
Fortified Area Command
These officers remained there to take care of the guns that were
deserted by the soldiers. Other officers had also left. There were
more than 400 guns at the fortified positions. There were no forces
to pull the guns from the region. Guns had to be left in their
positions. The officers dominated by the ideal of mission and honor
remained with the guns. They were waiting for the arrival of new
troops or for the orders to be issued by the Supreme Command.
The 2nd Erzurum Fortress Artillery Regiment was set up with the
remaining officers of the 1st Regiment.

6 A passage between the Erzurum and Pasinler plateaus.

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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2010, 12:38:38 pm »

Following the withdrawal of the army, an Armenian revolutionary
organization was established in Erzurum. They named themselves as
the “Armenian Military Unit”. Some 400 Armenians, all of whom were
novices, were given to the command of the 2nd Erzurum Fortress
Artillery Regiment. Some of them deserted in no time. The remaining
was barely sufficient for keeping guard of the guns in the positions or
to be used as sentinels.
An internal fighting had already begun in the Northern Caucasus just
before the withdrawal of the army from the front. A government was
founded in the Southern Caucasus. This provisional government
assumed the name of “Southern Caucasus Commissariat”7.
The Commissariat declared that they were not an independent entity,
that they took up the control from the Russian government
temporarily until the establishment of a new central government, and
that the Southern Caucasus shall continue to live as an indispensable
part of Russia.
The Southern Caucasus Commissariat declared the formation of a
new army to replace the army that withdrew with a circular on
December 18, 1917. This new army was to embrace Russian,
Georgian, Armenian, Muslim corps; and the small units were to be
composed of small tribes like Romaics, Assyrians, Osetins8.
Until the clarification of the command of the artillery units, the
Erzurum and Deveboynu Fortified Region Artilleries maintained their
multinational command. The command echelon was thoroughly
composed of the Russian officers whereas the troops were composed of the Armenians.

7 Following the Russian Revolution, all the parties, associations, military committees,
army commanders in Tbilisi and Southern Caucasus convened and declared a
provisional government on October 11, 1917. With the inclusion of the Georgians,
Azerbaijanis, and Armenians they found the Southern Caucasus Commissariat, which
had a federal government structure.
İzzet ÖZTOPRAK. “Maverayı Kafkas Hükümeti” [Regional Government of the
Caucasus]. Sekizinci Askeri Tarih Semineri Bildirileri I [Proceedings of the Eighth
Military History Symposium I]. Ankara: Genelkurmay Basımevi, 2003, p. 127.
8 Osetians are believed to be the last generation of the historical Alan peoples living
in the Northern Caucasus. The Osetians call themselves Eron (some call themselves
Gron). Their language is said to be very close to the Polowi, an ancient Iranian
Dialect. Today, the Osetins are living in two autonomous administrations in Northern
Osetia and Southern Osetia located on the either side of the Caucasus Mountain
Range. Ottoman State received a wave of Osetian migration as of 1864. Today they
are living around Muş and Sarıkamış.
Hayri ERSOY, Aysu KAMACI. Çerkes Tarihi [History of the Circassians], 3. Ed.
İstanbul: Tümzamanlar Yayıncılık, 1994, p. 128-129.

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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2010, 12:39:23 pm »

Nobody regarded those artillery units as Armenian
units for the command echelons and the artillery regiment
commander were Russian. None of the orders issued stated that
those artillery units were Armenian. Those units continued keep their
former Russian names. We all served in those units affiliated to the
Russian artillery forces. We received our salaries from the Russian
treasury; and worked under the command of the Russian Army
Commander, and the Russian Commander-in-Chief. There was a
Russian Church and a Russian priest in the regiment. There was no
Armenian church.
Two months had passed after the withdrawal of the Russian army.
There were no new reinforcement troops coming. There were no
troops coming from the other nations. Discipline could not have been
maintained in the regiment. The soldiers were continuously deserting
the army, and looting civilians, threatening the officers, performing
disobedience openly.
Colonel Torkom, whom I heard was a Bulgarian Armenian, was
appointed to the Central Command of Erzurum.
In mid-January, several Armenian soldiers from the infantry units,
massacred one of the notable people in Erzurum at his home, and
pillaged his house. I do not remember the name of the massacred
The Supreme Commander Odichelitzé summoned all the unit
commanders, and ordered the finding of the murderer within three
days’ time forcefully. He especially told the Armenian officers that
such behavior of the Armenian troops caused the libeling of all the
Armenians and said that the Armenian people’s honor demanded the
finding of the murderers. In his speech he also added the necessity
of putting a decisive end to the atrocities and the violation committed
by the Armenians on the townspeople. He, moreover, said, he would
have to give firearms to the Muslim people in the town to protect
Colonel Torkom, in an offended and reproachful manner said that the
Armenian people would never do such a thing; that the atrocities and
the pillaging committed by a couple of bandits could not be ascribed
to the whole Armenian nation; that all those should not serve the
libeling of a nation.
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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2010, 12:40:01 pm »

The unit commanders asked for the establishing of the Martial Courts
for the practicing of the Penal Code, and for giving death penalty from
the Supreme Commander. The Supreme Commander said he was not
authorized to put the death penalty into practice at his discretion, but
that he had already applied for the enforcement of the discipline law. I
do not know whether the murderers were found or not.
At the end of January, if I am not mistaking on the 25th, Colonel
Torkom held a prayer ceremony, and a military parade containing 21
salute shots fired from the guns, in Erzurum. He explained, he did it
out of a necessity to improve the morale of the garrison, and to show
the townspeople the power of the garrison. During the parade, where
General Odichelitzé was present, Colonel Torkom read a speech, which
none of us understood, in Armenian from the notes he was holding.
We later learned that he declared the establishment of the
autonomous state of Armenia openly; and declared himself as the
administrative tsar of this autonomous state. General Odichelitzé upon
learning all about it expelled Colonel Torkom from Erzurum.
We understood that the government would never allow the
establishment of a free Armenian state. I used to hear frequently, that
the authorities at the Army Command Headquarters reproached the
Armenian administrators saying none of the equipment, which in fact
belonged to the Russian army, taken from the depots, and from the
fronts by the Armenians were handed over to the Armenians, that the
equipment were given to their control temporarily; that they were
entrusted to them for protection until the coming of the new troops.
Meanwhile, the Armenians had slaughtered the unarmed and innocent
civilian Turks in Erzincan. We heard that the Armenians were fleeing
towards Erzurum as the Ottoman units were approaching the region.
According to the information the General Headquarters received and
the according to the testimonies of the Russian officers coming from
Erzincan the Armenians had slaughtered some 800 Turks. Only an
Armenian was killed as a result of self-defense. We later learned that
the desperate unarmed Turks in Ilıca village, near Erzurum, were also
On February 7, 1918, in the afternoon, the militias’ and soldiers’
gathering men in the streets of Erzurum in masses and sending them
to an unknown destination in groups attracted my attention. When I
inquired, they said they were sending them to the railway station to
sweep the snow on the rail tracks.
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2010, 12:40:42 pm »

Towards 15:00 in the afternoon, one of the Russian officers –
Lieutenant Lipskiy – reported to me on the phone that several
Armenians caught six Turkish men in the streets, and having
interrogated them in a corner in the courtyard they started to beat
them, and the beating would likely to end in murder. Lieutenant said
that he could not help those Turks. Because the Armenian soldier
threatened him with fire arms for he attempted to save those Turks.
An Armenian officer, there, refused to stop those soldiers.
Taking three Russian officers, nearby, I ran to the barracks to save
those desperate Turks.
On my way, Lieutenant Lipskiy and the Mayor of Erzurum Stavrovskiy
intercepted me saying that they were looking for a Turkish friend of
theirs among the Turks caught by the Armenians.
They said the soldiers resisted to their entrance in the barracks
courtyard. We moved a little further. When we approached the
barracks, we saw some 12 Turks running away through the courtyard
door in fear, struck with terror. We managed to stop only one of
them, but we could not talk to him as we did not have a translator
there. Without meeting any obstacles I entered the courtyard. I told
them to take me to the place where they took the innocent people
whom they had gathered in the streets. They said there was nobody
from the public in the barracks. I began to search the barracks. I
found 70 Turks locked up in the barrack baths in fear and struck with
terror. I immediately launched an investigation. Arresting the six
soldiers who were declared to be the instigators, I set all the arrested
Turks free.
During the investigation I learned that an Armenian, whose name I
could not learn, shot an innocent, sick old man standing on the roof
of one of the houses around with a rifle on the same day.
Unfortunately, I lost the list, on which the names of the Turks I saved
were written, and the official documents of the Artillery Command I
had during the Turkish units’ delivering Erzurum from occupation on
March 12. This event may be brought to daylight by questioning of
the Turks who were kept there under pressure. I still meet people in
the streets who pronounce their sincere words of gratitude for saving
their lives. The translator Ali Bey Pepenov, scrivener at the office of
the Mayor of Erzurum, Stavrofskiy, knows them well. He himself had
written the minutes of the investigations and drawn the list.
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2010, 12:41:23 pm »

At the end of the investigations it was found out that the Armenian
Infantry Reserve Officer Karagadayev, who was appointed to the
orders of the Artillery Regiment, was the instigator of the events.
According to the testimonies of the released Turks, Karagadayev, was
the ringleader of the pillaging, and some of the properties found were
seized by the soldiers. Karagadayev was arrested along with the
others, and kept in prison until his trial.
Late in the afternoon everything about the events was told to the
Supreme Commander at the presence of the regional inspector Glotov
and his aid Stavrovskiy. Armenians have killed several people here and
there, and set the Turkish bazaar aflame on the same day.
In those days we used to hear about the massacring of the unarmed
civilian Turks by the Armenians in and around Erzurum one by one. I
had an Armenian arrested who had massacred a Turkish person near
Tafta9 fortifications, and turned him over to the Provost Marshall
Turkish people were talking about the Turks who were taken away to
work elsewhere, most of whom did not come back. The public
administration informed the General Headquarters about these
A day after my rescuing the Turkish people who were taken under
arrest forcibly, we, the high ranking artillery officers – Artillery
Commander, I, Director of the Artillery Command Mobilization
Department – submitted a report to General Odichelitzé requesting
permission for all the artillery personnel at the Erzurum Fortified
Region to leave Erzurum. We were of no use as a combatant unit. We
were not needed. We were unable to do anything to stop the
Armenian massacres. We never did want the atrocities committed by
the Armenians veiled by our names.
Commander-in-Chief explained us that he had received a telegram
message from the Commander of the Ottoman Army, Vehip Pasha10, where he declared that he had ordered his troops to deliver Erzincan
from occupation, and to continue their forward movement, in line
with the stipulations of the Law of War, until the establishing of an
immediate contact with the Russian forces; and that he informed him
about the atrocities committed by the Armenians on Turks living in
the region.

9 A village, today Gökçeyamaç, affiliated to the Dumlu subdistrict of Erzurum.
10 Vehip (Kaçi) was born in 1877, Khaniá, Crete. He was graduated from the Military
Academy in 1987 and from the Staff Officers’ College in 1900. He was first appointed
to Yemen, from where he was sent to the orders of Diyarbakır Division. In 1907 he
was appointed to the 4th Army Headquarters in Erzincan. In 1909, he was first
appointed to the Ministry of Defense, then to the War Academy and to the Kuleli
Military High School as the Commander of the Military Schools. He took part in the
Balkan War as Khaniá Fortified Region Commander; at the Hijaz Front as the
Commander of the 22nd Hijaz Division. He was appointed as the Governor and
Governor of Hijaz. He served at the Çanakkale Front as Southern Group Commander.

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