Ko%C3%A7giri Rebellion
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Ko%C3%A7giri Rebellion
Koçgiri Rebellion
Part of Kurdish rebellions in Turkey and the Turkish War of Independence
Date6 March 1921 - 17 June 1921[3]
Location
Result

Turkish victory

  • Revolt suppressed
Belligerents

Grand National Assembly

Atman tribe[1]
Direjan tribe[1]
Koçgiri tribe[1]
Parçikan tribe[1]
Pevizan tribe[2]
Zerikan tribe[2]
Society for the Rise of Kurdistan
Commanders and leaders
Mustafa Kemal Pasha
Nureddin Pasha
Binba Halis Bey (commander of the 6th Cavalry Regiment) [4][5][6][7]
Topal Osman
Ali?an Bey Surrendered[8]
Ali?er
Nuri Dersimi
Paso
Misto
Strength

Government claim:
3,161 men[9][10]
1,350 military animal[10]
2,750 rifles, 3 light and 18 heavy machine guns[10]


Rebel claim:
6,000 cavalrymen
25,000 infantrymen

Unknown nr of militia and Gendarmerie

Government claim:
3,000 rebels (mostly cavalry)[10]
2,500 rifles[10]


Rebel claim:

6,000 rebels
Casualties and losses
Unknown 500 rebels killed[10]
32 rebel leaders and 500 rebels captured[8]

The Koçgiri rebellion (Kurdish: Serhildana Qoçgiriyê‎, Turkish: Koçgiri ?syan?) was a Kurdish uprising, that began in the overwhelmingly militant Koçgiri region in present-day eastern Sivas Province in February 1921. The rebellion was initially Alevi, but succeeded in gathering support from nearby Sunni tribes.[1][13] The tribe leaders had close relations to the Society for the Rise of Kurdistan (SAK).[14] The rebellion was defeated in June 1921.

Background

After the Treaty of Sèvres was signed the Kurds began to feel more trustful that they were able to reach at least some sort of an autonomous government for themselves. Abdulkadir Ubeydullah, the son of Sheikh Ubeydullah and the president of the SAK,[15] supported the idea of a Kurdish autonomy within Turkey. But Nuri Dersimi and Mustafa Pasha wanted more than autonomy, they wanted to establish an independent Kurdistan according to article 64 of the treaty.[16] Mustafa Kemal followed up on the events in the Dersim area and as it came to his knowledge that some of the Kurds were pursuing autonomy in line with the fourteen points announced by US president Woodrow Wilson, he answered that the plan of Wilson was worthless for the peoples in the eastern provinces and they should rather follow his Turkish nationalist movement.[16]

Negotiations

The Kurds around Dersim began to prepare for an eventual showdown with the Turkish nationalists and raided several Turkish weapon depots. By October 1920 they captured enough to feel themselves in a position of strength and Alisan Bey, the leader of Refahiye prepared the tribes for independence. Finally, on the 15 November 1920, they delivered a declaration to the Kemalists which stated the following.[17]

  • The Government in Ankara should abide by the agreement the Kurds had with the Sultan in Istanbul and accept the Kurdish autonomy
  • The Government in Ankara should also inform the people who wrote the declaration concerning their approach towards an autonomous Kurdistan.
  • All the Kurdish prisoners in the prisons of Erzincan, Malatya, Elaziz (today Elaz) and Sivas shall be released.
  • The Turkish administration in the areas with a Kurdish majority must leave
  • And the Turkish military which was dispatched to the Kurdish areas, should withdraw

They requested an answer by the 24 November 1920.[18] On the 25 December, the Kurds again demanded more political rights to be given to them in the Provinces of Diyarbakir, Bitlis, Van and Elaziz as agreed on in the Treaty of Sèvres. The Kemalists at first listened to their demands for more political freedom, but at the same time moved significant troops to the region in order to quell the rebellion.[18] Nevertheless, the Turkish Government tried to deceive the kurds as they sent the Governor of Elaziz to Pertek in order to assure them that Mustafa Kemal agreed to the requests. Mustafa Kemal even nominated additional members of parliament from the region.[19] The Turkish Government also offered to assign a Kurdish Mütessarif to the region, but the revolutionaries represented by Seyit Riza and Ali?an Bey (official from the Refahiye) refused the offer, and repeated their demand that they want an independent Kurdish government and not one imposed by Ankara.[19]

The Revolt

Following this response, Mustafa Kemal ordered the arrest of Nuri Dersimi and on the 20 December he was detained and brought to prison.[19]

The commander of the Central Army Nureddin Pasha sent a force of some 3,000 cavalrymen and irregulars including Topal Osman's battalions.[9] By February fighting between parties began and the Turks demanded the unconditional surrender of the Kurdish revolutionaries. A first major encounter between the factions ended victorious for the Kurds, but fighting went on[20] and the rebels were crushed by June 17, 1921.[21]

Before repressing the rebels, Nureddin Pasha said (according to some sources, this statement belongs to Topal Osman[22]):

In homeland (Turkey), we cleaned up people who say "zo" (Armenians), I'm going to clean up people who say "lo" (Kurdish) by their roots.[23][24]

-- Turkish original, Türkiye'de (Memlekette) Zo (Ermeniler) diyenleri temizledik, Lo (Kürtler) diyenlerin köklerini de ben temizleyece?im.[22]

The brutality of the repression made the Grand National Assembly decide to put Nureddin Pasha on trial. Although Nureddin Pasha was dismissed on November 3, 1921 and recalled to Ankara, Mustafa Kemal Pasha intervened and prevented a trial.[9]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Güne?, Ergin (2014). Boztu?, Onursal (ed.). "Koçgiri ?syan? Ekseninde Dersim Direni?i" (in Turkish). Tunceli University: 244. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ a b Turkish state (2014). A?iretler Raporu (in Turkish) (3 ed.). Kaynak Yay?nlar?. p. 279. ISBN 978-975-343-220-7.
  3. ^ Hülya Küçük, The Role of the Bektashis in Turkey's National Struggle, BRILL, 2002, ISBN 9004124438, page 217.
  4. ^ Ercan Yavuz, "Turkey starts to question early period of republic", Today's Zaman, November 22, 2009.
  5. ^ Mustfa Balc?o?lu, Belgelerle Millî Mücadele s?ras?nda Anadoluda ayaklanmalar ve Merkez ordusu, 1991, p. 128. (in Turkish)
  6. ^ Nurettin Gülmez, T.B.M.M. zab?talar?ndan Do?u ve Güney Do?u meselesi, Hamle Yay?n-Dat?m, 1992, p. 197. (in Turkish)
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ a b Türk ?stiklal Harbi, Edition VI, ?stiklal Harbinde Ayaklanmalar, T. C. Genelkurmay Harp Tarihi Ba?kanl Resmî Yay?nlar?, 1974, page 281
  9. ^ a b c Andrew Mango, Atatürk, John Murray, 1999, ISBN 978-0-7195-6592-2, p. 330.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Hüseyin Rahmi Apak, Türk ?stiklâl Harbi - ?ç ayaklanmalar: 1919-1921, 1964, C.VI, Genelkurmay Bas?mevi, pages 163-165
  11. ^ Martin van Bruinessen, "Zaza, Alevi and Dersimi as Deliberately Embraced Ethnic Identities" in '"Asl?n? ?nkar Eden Haramzadedir!" The Debate on the Ethnic Identity of The Kurdish Alevis' in Krisztina Kehl-Bodrogi, Barbara Kellner-Heinkele, Anke Otter-Beaujean, Syncretistic Religious Communities in the Near East: Collected Papers of the International Symposium "Alevism in Turkey and Comparable Sycretistic Religious Communities in the Near East in the Past and Present" Berlin, 14-17 April 1995, BRILL, 1997, ISBN 9789004108615, p. 13.
  12. ^ Martin van Bruinessen, "Zaza, Alevi and Dersimi as Deliberately Embraced Ethnic Identities" in '"Asl?n? ?nkar Eden Haramzadedir!" The Debate on the Ethnic Identity of The Kurdish Alevis', p. 14.
  13. ^ Olson, Robert W. (1989). The emergence of Kurdish nationalism and the Sheikh Said Rebellion, 1880-1925. University of Texas Press. p. 35. ISBN 978-0-292-77619-7.
  14. ^ Olson, Robert W. (1989). The emergence of Kurdish nationalism and the Sheikh Said Rebellion, 1880-1925. University of Texas Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-292-77619-7.
  15. ^ Özo?lu, Hakan (2004-02-12). Kurdish Notables and the Ottoman State: Evolving Identities, Competing Loyalties, and Shifting Boundaries. SUNY Press. pp. 88-91. ISBN 978-0-7914-5993-5.
  16. ^ a b Olson, Robert W. (1989). The emergence of Kurdish nationalism and the Sheikh Said Rebellion, 1880-1925. University of Texas Press. pp. 28-29. ISBN 978-0-292-77619-7.
  17. ^ Meiselas, Susan (1997). Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History. New York: Random House. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-226-51928-9.
  18. ^ a b Robert Olson, (1989) p. 30
  19. ^ a b c Robert Olson, (1989) p. 31
  20. ^ Robert Olson, (1989) p. 32
  21. ^ Ergün Aybars, ?stiklâl Mahkemeleri, Bilgi Yay?nevi, 1975, p. 34. (in Turkish)
  22. ^ a b Halim Demir, Milli Mücadele: Kuvay? Milliye ttihatç?lar ve Muhalifler, Ozan Yay?nc?l?k, 2008, p. 176.
  23. ^ Hans-Lukas Kieser, Iskalanm bar: Do?u Vilayetleri'nde misyonerlik, etnik kimlik ve devlet 1839-1938, ?leti?im Yay?nlar?, 2005, ISBN 978-975-05-0300-9, p. 570. (in Turkish) (original: Der verpasste Friede: Mission, Ethnie und Staat in den Ostprovinzen der Türkei 1839-1938, Chronos, 2000, ISBN 3-905313-49-9) (in German)
  24. ^ Martin van Bruinessen, Mullas, Sufis and Heretics: The Role of Religion in Kurdish Society: Collected Articles, ISIS Press, 2000, ISBN 978-975-428-162-0, p. 183.

External links


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