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Massacres and Deportation of Assyrians in Northern Mesopotamia: Ethnic Cleansing by Turkey 1924-1925

by Dr. Racho Donef | Edited by: Jan Bet-Şawoce

Posted: Friday, May 21, 2010 at 8:22 PM CT


Editors' Note: There is a newer edition of this book which has been republished in a 2nd edition titled, "The Hakkâri Massacres: Ethnic Cleansing by Turkey 1924-25."
Massacres and Deportation of Assyrians in Northern Mesopotamia: Ethnic Cleansing by Turkey

Massacres and Deportation of Assyrians in Northern Mesopotamia: Ethnic Cleansing by Turkey 1924-1925
by Dr. Racho Donef | Edited by: Jan Bet-Şawoce

authorPurchase Information:
Jan Beṯ-Şawoce
betsawoce [ a t ] hotmail.com
Latest writings: Jan Beṯ-Şawoce

Book Contents

Preface
Kmo xabre
Introduction
PART A
DOCUMENT 1
The Nestorian Uprising and its Suppression
REASONS FOR THE UPRISING
The Mosul question
Turco-Iranian political relations
Turco-Iraqi political relations
Turco-Russian relations
Activities undertaken by the
English on the account of Mosul
THE UPRISING
The situation before the uprising
The Hangedigi Incident (uprising)
SUPPRESSION OPERATION
Ministerial Council's decision concerning
the suppression of the uprising
Operation preparations
Benefiting from the tribes
Other objectives concerning internal security
Desertion incidents among the forces
The course of events in the operation
The situation on 9 September 1924
The situation on 10 September 1924
The situation on 11 September 1924
The situation on 12 September 1924
The situation on 13 September 1924
The situation on 14 September 1924
The situation on 15 September 1924
The situation on 16 September 1924
The situation on 17 September 1924
The situation on 19 September 1924
The situation on 20 September 1924
The situation on 21 September 1924
The situation on 22 September 1924
Conclusion
APPENDIX 1
APPENDIX 2
PART B
DOCUMENT 2
DOCUMENT FROM THE SWEDISH ARCHIVES
CONCERNING THE GENERAL STAFF OPERATION AGAINST ASSYRIANS IN HAKKARI IN 1924
DOCUMENT 3
DOCUMENT FROM THE SWEDISH
ARCHIVES REGARDING DEPORTATION
AND MASSACRES OF ASSYRIANS IN 1925
COLLECTION OF DOCUMENTS 4
DOCUMENTS FROM THE SWEDISH ARCHIVES
REGARDING DEPORTATION AND
MASSACRES OF ASSYRIANS IN 1925
Document 4a
Document 4b
Document 4c
DOCUMENT 5
TELEGRAM BY JOHAN LAIDONER
CONCERNING TURCO-IRAQI BORDER
DISPUTATIONS AND DEPORTATION OF
CHRISTIANS
COLLECTION OF DOCUMENTS 6
ARTICLES FROM TIME MAGAZINE
Document 6a
Document 6b
COLLECTION OF DOCUMENTS 7
The Gertrude Bell Archive: The Letters
Document 7a
Document 7b
Document 7c
Document 7d
COLLECTION OF DOCUMENTS 8
Document 8a
Docutnent 8b
LEAGUE OF NATIONS
Document 8c
MESOPOTAMIA (DEPORTATION
OF CHRISTIANS)
COLLECTION OF DOCUMENTS 9
ARTICLES FROM THE TIMES
Document 9a
Document 9b
Document 9c
Document 9d
Document 9e
Document 9f
Document 9g
Document 9h
Document 9i
Document 9j
Document 9k
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Contents

Book Details

  • Pages: 242, paperback
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Nisibin Bet-Froso & Bet-Prasa, Stockholm, 2009
  • ISBN: 91883280-55-4
  • Dimensions: 8" x 6" x ½"
  • Purchase Information:
    Jan Beṯ-Şawoce
    betsawoce [ a t ] hotmail.com

Preface

The history of the Assyrian peoples in the Republic of Turkey is very little known. Dr. Racho Donef does us a real service by assembling and translating documents dealing with the Turkish military campaign against the Kurdish Shaikh Sait revolt, which is somewhat much more researched. General histories of modern Turkey do no mention this early repression of an already very decimated Christian minority.

The first part of this book is a translation of a history of the campaign written and published by the Turkish Army General Staff division for military history. It was for internal use and thus is rarely found in any library. This work is based on thorough research in the Turkish military history archives, and thus has the bias that any such sources have. There is no sympathy for the enemy and the purpose of the campaign is ethnic cleansing of a region — Hakkari — that was traditionally dominated by the Nestorian Assyrian tribes.

The region was under dispute as the border between Turkey and British mandate Iraq was still unsettled and the British had vaguely promised the Assyrians an autonomous homeland which the Assyrians hoped would include Hakkari. Thus the Turkish military campaign was mounted in order to check a small Assyrian force that had entered Hakkari in order to give greater legitimacy to the claim to include it in the future Assyrian state.

The Republic of Turkey, under president Kemal Atatürk, responded by a massive build-up of army units and they crushed the Assyrian forces and ethnically cleansed the region of whatever Assyrians had managed to remain in place after the 1915 genocide.

The second part of the book prints documents from the archives of the British and Swedish foreign services. These reports give additional information about how European states judged the ability of the Assyrians to build a state, and their opinion of the policy of the Turkish Republic towards one of its smallest minorities.

authorDr. David Gaunt
Professor of History
Södertörn University - Stockholm, Sweden


Introduction

This book consists of a collection of documents concerning the deportation and massacres of the “Nestorian” Assyrians (but also “Jacobites” and Chaldeans) in 1924-25 and the boundary dispute between Iraq and Turkey which affected the Assyrians in the extreme.  Having being subjected to genocide during the war they had to endure further massacres which depleted the number of Assyrian in Hakkâri region.

There are two major incidents which involved Assyrians in this period:

  1. The September 1924 attacks on the Nestorians, registered as “Nestorian Uprising” in the Turkish historiography; and,
  2. The deportations and massacres of Assyrian in September 1925.

It is the aim of this book to challenge then Turkish propaganda presenting the events of 1924-25 as an Assyrian uprising and document the deportation and massacres which took place in 1925.

The first document in the appendix (Document 1) is a translation from Turkish of a report concerning the Nestorian Assyrian “uprising” in Hakkâri in 1924.1  This report was published in 1972 by the Turkish Military History Chairmanship of General Staff and as such the report is entirely from the point of view of the General Staff Command.  Nonetheless, as research material about this period is scant, the report still constitutes a valuable source for researchers interested in Assyrian matters.

authorDr. Racho Donef
Author and historian
Sydney, Australia


  1. Türkiye Cumhuriyetinde Ayaklanmalar, T.C. Genelkurmay Harp Tarihi Başkanliği Resmi Yayinlari, Seri No: 8, Genelkurmay Basimevi, Ankara, 1972, pp 19-77 and 483-86; document provided by Jan Bet-Şawoce.


  1. Genocide of the Assyrians in the Ottoman Empire
  2. 1915: Righteous Muslims during the Genocide of 1915
  3. The Shemsi and the Assyrians
  4. The Assyrian Genocide and Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code: the case of an Assyrian Priest in Turkey (1)
  5. Massacres and Deportation of Assyrians in Northern Mesopotamia Ethnic Cleansing by Turkey 1924-1925
  6. Assyrians in Turkey: Ethnic and Religious Recognition Revisited
  7. Assyrians in Turkey: Ethnic and Religious Recognition Revisited
  8. The Assyrian Genocide and Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code: the case of an Assyrian Priest in Turkey (1)
  9. Interviews with Survivors of the Armenian Genocide
  10. Interviews with Survivors of the Armenian Genocide
  11. 1923: Agha Petros and the Lausanne Telegraphs
  12. 1915: The Deportation of the Assyrians in Ottoman Documents
  13. 1923: Agha Petros and the Lausanne Telegraphs
  14. 1915: The Deportation of the Assyrians in Ottoman Documents
  15. Symposium Syriacum VIII & The Assyrian Genocide Seminar
  16. Symposium Syriacum VIII & The Assyrian Genocide Seminar
  17. The Political Role of the Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate (so-called)
  18. 'And now the Syrianis [Assyrians]'
  19. Assyrians May Be Recognized as a Minority in Turkey
  20. Assyrians May Be Recognized as a Minority in Turkey
  21. Europe watched
  22. 'Lies in Turkish': Turkish Denial of Genocide
  23. Turkish National Security Council's report on the Assyrians
  24. Turkish State Security Council (SSC) Commissioned a Report on the Assyrians
  25. Syriani [Assyrian] Report to the SSC [State Security Council]
  26. Turkish National Security Council's report on the Assyrians
  27. 1916: The Abolition of the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia
  28. 1909: Ottoman Document Archives Related to the Adana Massacres
  29. 'And now the Syrianis', [Simdi de Süryaniler]
  30. 1914: The Hellenic Genocide in the Danish Archives
  31. 1909: Ottoman Document Archives Related to the Adana Massacres
  32. ‘Lies in Turkish’
  33. The Hellenic Genocide in the Danish Archives
  34. Assyrians in Turkey: Disappearance of a Culture?
  35. Requiem for the Assyrians
  36. The Assyrians in the Christian Asia Minor Holocaust
  37. Symposium Syriacum VIII & The Assyrian Genocide Seminar

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