Haik Rebellion

The formation of independent states in the Balkans in the course of the 19th c. had been a particularly traumatic and bloody affair. Although atrocities were committed on both sides, only the Christian deaths have caused a reaction in Europe. Muslim deaths were largely ignored. In his excellent book "Death and Exile", Professor Justin McCarty investigates the toll of 100 years of wars in terms of Muslim deaths,

Taking their example from the liberation of the Balkan nations, the Haik dreamed of a liberation of their own. In return for the benevolence of their Ottoman masters and of the Turkish people towards them for centuries, they responded with ingratitude and rebellion. They were never deterred by the fact that, unlike their Balkan counterparts, who constituted a majority of the population in the liberated territories, the Haik had never been a majority in Eastern Anatolia, in the lands under Ottoman control. Instead, they:

  • Believed in the dream of an independent Armenian state, promised by rival empires

  • Created revolutionary separatist committees on Ottoman soil and elsewhere

  • Armed themselves with intent to attack unsuspecting Muslim villages in order to ethnically cleanse the Muslims and create a Haik majority there

  • Initiated a campaign of massacre and ethnic cleansing to create an Armenian majority.

  • Collaborated with the Russian armies, stabbing the Ottomans in the back, acting as scouts in the rugged terrains, and disrupting the Ottoman logistic and military war effort.

  • Openly declared their alliance with and loyalty to the Russian Empire.

Haik Revolutionary Societies

A report, which appeared in NYT on September 24, 1896, suggested: "Armenian revolutionary societies now existing [in Constantinople] are five in number. The members of these societies ... are bound by the most solemn oaths to bring about the ruin of the Ottoman Empire and to force the European powers to intervene in Turkey". As we know today, the Haik are still using this most despicable and characterless of tactics to get their wishes fulfilled: Begging foreign powers (today, foreign parliaments) to intervene on their behalf and convincing politicians by producing shameless lies. The terrorists then, like in the 1980s with ASALA, do not refrain from even the lowest of acts in moving towards their goal. Another report in New York Times in October 4, 1895, reveals how they can kill even their own in cold blood: "Commenting on the murder of Garabed Agha [Chief man of the Protestant community, and Chairman of the Council of Thirty, which was responsible for the peace of the city], the Rev. George E. White, an American missionary of the Congregationalist School ar Morsovan, wrote as follows: There are two parties of Armenians. Some say: "We must be loyal to the Turkish Government. We cannot effect a revolution. We are too few." Others say: " We will assasinate and stir up until we overturn this Turkish Government". And the revolutionalists are ready to kill any of their brother Armenians or missionaries who do not help on the rebellion. They killed Garabed Agha because he would not help on the rebellion".

Dashnakzootioun: Tiblisi


The first revolutionary Haik party, which would adopt terrorism as political means, was founded in 1885 in Van and modeled as a European organization. One of its leaders was Migirdic Portakalian, in charge of printing the official publication of Armenakan, Armenia. He was the son of a rich Constantinople banker, and lived in Marseilles, France. The other two leaders were locals: Hirinian, who was Patriarch of Van; and Migirdic Terlemezian, who was in charge of developing the Youth Arm of the movement.


The first political entity inspired by revolutionary Marxist principles, the Hinchak Party was founded in 1887 by Haik youth studying in Geneva, Switzerland, who were Russian citizens. Hinchak means "Bell" in Haik. Russians had a revolutionary party called Bell in Russian, from which the Hinchakists had taken their inspiration.


October 1, 1921. Active in Van.

Haik Acts of Rebellion and Terrorism

The organized nature and provocative character of the earlier phases of Haik terrorism were reported quite fairly in the American press, particularly in the Ney York Times. One striking example of reporting of the deliberate provocations instigated by the Haik rebels is a statement in New York Times, which appeared on October 20, 1895, in relation to the events at Kumkapi (see below). The statement says: "The theory of the Armenian Hunchagist revolutionary party seems to be that its special work is to enlighten the world about the true character of Turkey. Leaving aside chimerical schemes for revolt against overwhelming numbers, they limit their operations to exciting the Turk until he shows himself as he is. They hold that Turkey is a wolf in sheep's clothing. If they twist the tail of the beast, he will forget and stain the snowy fleece with blood every time, although the fact that he needs a white fleece for the preservation of his disguise is perfectly well known to the reputed wolf". Only 2 months prior to that, the same newspaper had published a striking analysis, by the Associated Press correspondent upon his visit to Turkey after the Sasson incident, of the Haik character in general and of the British involvment in the Ottoman-Haik affairs, in particular: "The reason why English public opinion is generally in favor of the Armenians is both political and religious. No real esteem for the Armenians themselves exists in England. Besides, everybody admits in Europe that Armenians, as a race, are much inferior to the Turks. Armenians, even in olden times, showed no greatness. Their influence in the world has been absolutely nil. In science, in art, in literature, in warlike achievements, they have left no trace. But, they are Christians, and this is one reason why English public opinion is in their favor. The political reason lies in the fact that England wishe to harass Turkey for the just opposition of the latter to English scandalous encroachments on Egyptian territory, which, after all, belong legitimately to the Sultan. It is just as if England has taken possession of one of your States and, at the same time, were fomenting discontent for, and disapprobation of, your treatment of the Indian race which Colombus found supreme on this continent."Unfortunately, the impartial nature of the New York Times would change by 1915, when NYT would change hands. In 1915 alone, there were 194 articles published, all feverishly in favor of Haik lies and propaganda.

The First Rebellion:

Erzurum (1890)




Siege and Occupation of the Haik Patriarchate in Kumkapi (1895)

This is the first Haik event in the capital of the Empire. Before the Haik, the Greeks, the Bulgars or the Macedons had never dared undertake military action in Constantinople. The Haik were the first minority of the Empire insolent enough to do that. On the morning of September 30, 1895, a number of protestors set off from the Haik Patriarchate in Kumkapi, towards the residence of the Grand Vizier, after having publicly declared that they intended to cause trouble. On the way, they killed the cavalry officer who was in charge of a platoon attempting to control the pervasive Hintchakist elements inside the procession. Large scale unrest ensued in the city, and many Haik ended up dead on the streets at the hands of the mob, or at the security headquarters, at the hands of the police.


The Raid on Bab-i Ali

Bab-i Ali (The High Gate) was the seat of the Ottoman Government. Therefore, the raid was a direct challenge on Ottoman authority. Major street clashes ensued, in which 900 Muslims and 700 Haik would die.

Raid on the Ottoman Bank

On August 26, 1896, a handful of Haik terrorists raided the Ottoman Bank in Istanbul, in what the Haik scholar Libaridian would later call "The first act of urban terrorism". These terrorists would set an example for similar acts that would follow in the 20th c., such as the taking as hostages, and later killing, of the Israeli Olympic team members during the 1970 Munich Olympiads. Such terroristic acts would always be characterized by taking of hostages and presenting a list of demands, mostly for the release of their comrades, recognition of their cause, a large sum of money to be paid to them, and safe passage for themselves. Unfortunately, their wish was granted and the terrorists left the bank, escorted by the Russian Embassy's dragoman, taken to the private yacht, Gulnare, of bank governor Sir Edward Vincent, and sailed to France.

World War I

Haik Relocation

A very legitimate move, much like the US relocation of Japanese Americans during WWII, from the Pacific Coast to more centrally located internment camps. The difference between the Japanese and Haik relocations was that there were no proof that the former collaborated with US war time enemies, while there was plenty of proof that the latter were in full collaboration with both Russians on the northwestern and the French on the southwestern war zones. The possessions of the refugees at their home towns were meticulously noted in order to be re-issued to their proper owners upon their return at war's end. Furthermore, the State mechanism was operated at its fullest extent in order to take care of the refugees not only on route but also at destination (Click here for the original document, its transliteration, and translation)

Paris Peace Conference

One of the most important witnesses, albeit unintentional, to the fact that the Haik have been anything but unarmed and innocent before, during and after the relocations, has been none other the very leaders of the Haik intellectual, political and military organization and eventual uprising. Along with Aharonian, Boghos Nubar Pasha was the co-chair of the Haik delegation that attended the Paris Peace conference in 1918, at the conclusion of WWI. The Allies had began to make plans for the partition of and determining the spheres of influence in the Ottoman territories among themselves long before the end of the War. With the signing of the Mundros Armistice, with which the Ottoman Empire officially and internationally admitted a most humiliating defeat on all battle fronts, time had finally come to ratify these plans on the negotiation table as well. Paris Peace Conference was nothing else than a meeting among gentlemen, who would agree which part of the Empire would go to whom. Naturaly, Boghos Nubar was anxious to let the Allies know, in no uncertain terms and before the partition was over, that the Haik had been "de facto belligerents" since the beginning of the War and they they, too, had a right to a slice of the Ottoman pie, and a big slice , at that. Little did he know that, what he innocently admitted in his letters to the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the New York Times immediately before the Conference would be the most damning evidence against the Haik claims to innocence, one century later. Turks are forever grateful to the Pasha today, for his honesty and his fortitude.letterletter (original)letterNubar's numbers for surviving deportees are corraborated by another surprising (and unwilling) witness: Henry Morgenthau, the arch-Armenophile US Ambasador to Constantinople, who influenced NY Times to publish almost 200 anti-Ottoman articles in the year 1915 alone, among the other anti-Turkish propaganda that he tirelessly spread throughout his carrier and his life. In a letter, Morgenthau complained about the situation of the refugees but, in so doing, revealed the number of the survivors at almost 500,000, as a testimony for the future generations of Armenians to read and learn from... and then hide in a dark corner lest their lie be exposed.

Confessions from Haik Sources for Acts of Rebellion, Conspiracy and Treason

There are innumerable examples in the preserved literature, where various Haik committees pleaded for national independence while boasting about their own acts of rebellion and terrorism against their own legitimate government. Little did they know, in their greed for land, that once their rebellion was suppressed, history would judge them not as heros and martyrs (as they themselves claim to be), but as terrorists and enemies of the State, which has every right to deal them the harsh treatment that every traitor deserves.

  • One such example is a 1913 confidential memorandum entitled "The Armenian Question and the Solutions It Entails: A Project for the Armenian Autonomy in Cilicia. Confidential Memorandum Presented to the Consuls of the Great Powers in Cilicia by the Armenian Committee for National Defense". The third clause of the report clearly enumerates the deeds of the Haik insurgents as follows: 3. If one upholds the principle upon which a nation aspiring to her liberty should pay for it the price of her own blood, then one submits that the Armenian Nation has acquired that right by the repeated insurrections of Sassoun and Zeitoun; by the bloody demonstrations of Constantinople in 1890, 1895, and 1896; by the various revolutionary movements that she attempted across all parts of Armenia and Cilicia; and by the devoted efforts deployed by her innumerable heros and martyrs".

  • A most damning document by the mouth of a highest level official came from Hovhannes Kachaznouni, the leader of the Dashnakzootioun movement and, later, the first President of the Republic of Armenia in 1921. In the annual party congress held in Bucharest, Hungary in 1923, Kachaznouni addressed the General Assembly with a speech that he later had printed and bound as a book entitled "The Dashnaksootioun Has Nothing to Do Anymore". The first, 1923, edition of this book was in Armenian but, unfortunately, no copies of it can be found today as the Government of the Republic of Armenia" made it a crime to possess, distribute, and read this book and had all copies of it removed from circulation. We are sure some Haik libraries in Diaspora have it but they are quite unwilling to share it for obvious reasons. In a totally serendipitous event, a Turkish researcher, Mehmet Perincek, while doing his Ph.D. in International Politics, came across a 1928 translation of the book into Russian in the Lenin Public Library in Moscow. Current translations of this copy into English and Turkish are generally not accepted as correct. We are having it translated into English by third party translation bureaus.


Next: The Era of Haik Forgeries

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