Armenian Massacres and the Beginning of the Armenian Revolutionary Movement

After the appearance of the Armenian question in the international diplomatic and political arenas, there has been a sharp rise in national-patriotic movements among the Western Armenian population.

That has been the time when the first parties (Armenakan Party, Social Democrat Hunchakian Party, Armenian Revolutionary Federation) have been founded.

New schools, newspaper and magazine publishers were established, but soon the Ottoman authorities began carrying out repressions in order to blunt the national feelings of Armenians. Many schools and newspapers went down. However, discontent among Armenians was rapidly growing.

Realizing the hopelessness of the situation, the Ottoman Sultan Abdul-Hamid decided to physically deal with the Armenian population in order to infuse fear among them.

Special units of Kurds were created to carry out ethnic cleansings. In 1894-1896, about 300 thousand Armenians were killed. Hundreds of villages and towns were ravaged and devastated.

However, people’s anger resulted in the formation of Armenian militia (fedayees), purpose of which has been to show all Armenians that the spirit of the Armenian people cannot be defeated by anything.

One of the leaders of the Armenian revolutionary movement was Andranik Ozanian, who accomplished the impossible. He and his 30 comrades sheltered in the monastery of St. Apostles not far from the town of Mush, and defended against several thousand Turkish soldiers for a month.

Andranik’s unit did not lose a single man unlike the Turks who lost several hundred people.

Andranik showed the Armenians and the whole world that the Armenian spirit will not give up and will fight for independence as long as even one Armenian heart beats.

Later, Andranik became a general of the Russian army (the only foreign citizen awarded the rank of general in the Russian army). He is a national hero of Armenia as well as Bulgaria.

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