As a result of the 1877-80 Russo-Turkish War, the city of Artvin (now located in northeastern Turkey 30 km from the Black Sea) was annexed to the Russian Empire and included in the newly-established Batum Oblast.
Before the Armenian Genocide, the city has been mostly inhabited by Armenians. Apart from that, it housed 11 Armenian churches.
With the beginning of WWI in 1914, Turkey seized the most of the Batum and Kars Oblasts, after which carried out the massacres of Armenians under the pretext of the war in Artvin, Ardahan, Ardanuch, and other conquered territories.
Commenting on the cruelty of the Turks, a German journalist who had become a witness to those events remarked: “You have to see this… Their actions have been so brutal. Damn them… They do not have anything to do with either Muslims or Christians, no one at all!
The estimated number of Armenians killed in the region of Artvin and Ardanuch is 7,000 people. Many of the commanders of the special units who had participated in the massacres of Armenians later played a key role in the Turkish war for independence.”
After the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk had been signed between the Bolsheviks and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire) on March 3, 1918, Artvin was occupied by Turkish troops. The city has remained under the control of Turkey for a very short time before the Democratic Republic of Georgia assumed control of it in late March 1918.
After the Sovetization of Georgia and the ensuing occupation of some of its territories by the Turkish troops under the command of Musa Kâzım Karabekir, Artvin was again transferred to Turkey. The Treaties of Moscow and Kars signed between Bolshevik Russia and Turkey in 1921 further secured the transfer of this territory to Turkey.