Yeprem Khan – Armenian Fidayis

Yeprem Khan – Armenian FidayisYeprem Khan (born Yeprem Davtyan) was born in the village of Barsum of Elisabethpol Governorate in 1868. The idea of the liberation of the Armenian people has captivated him since his youth. In the 1870s, he together with two friends moved to Tiflis to support the commenced movement.

In the 1880s, Davtyan moved to Western Armenia, where he would set up hayduk groups in order to save Armenia. In September 1890, Davtyan participated in a campaign headed by S. Kupanyan, was arrested, and then exiled to Sakhalin.

Shortly, Davtyan managed to flee to Tabriz. In 1897, he took part in a campaign for the seizure of Khanasir as a commander of a cavalry unit. Davtyan would then secretly move to the Caucasus, but in 1899, he returned to Iran and began teaching.

Davtyan felt highly hopeful towards the started progressive movement in Iran. In fact, Davtyan played a significant role in the liberation movement of the Iranians in 1905-1911.  As for his plans for Armenia, he greatly contributed to the establishment of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (also known as Dashnaktsutyun) and the Paylak committee.

In 1909, Davtyan was appointed the commander of the armed forces of the provisional government of Iran. As a commander, Davtyan partook in about victorious 60 battles. Most of his troops were consisting of Armenians.

Davtyan was killed near Amaden in the battle of Shurcheh, Iran, in May 1912. He was buried in Tehran in the yard of an Armenian school named after him. In Persia, Davtyan has been known as “Danton of East.”

A prominent Armenian poet Avetik Isahakyan wrote: “Under the hooves of the horses of shapurs and yazdegerds, shah abbases, and agha mamedhans, Armenia turned into ashes. But Yeprem rose from those ashes together with his brave warriors whose horses victoriously walked over the ashes of shapurs and shah abbases in order to restore peace, brotherhood, and equality.”

Read also: Hamazasp Srvandztyan – Armenian Fedayis

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