Ararat rebellion

Ararat rebellion
Part of Kurdish rebellions in Turkey
Halis-Ihsan Nuri-Ferzende.jpg
From left to right: Halis Bey, Ihsan Nuri Pasha, Ferzende Bey[2]
Date October 1927 – September 17, 1930
Karaköse Province (present day Ağrı Province), Turkey

Turkish victory


Republic of Ararat
Supported by:

Commanders and leaders
Turkey Gazi Mustafa Kemal
Turkey İsmet Bey
Turkey Fevzi Pasha
Turkey İbrahim Tali Öngören
Turkey İzzettin Pasha
Turkey Salih Pasha
Ihsan Nuri
Ibrahim Heski
Halis Öztürk
Units involved

Third Army

  • Xoybûn party
  • Strength

    10,000-15,000 troops[3][4][5]
    Casualties and losses

    The Ararat rebellion, also known as the Ağrı rebellion (Turkish: Ağrı ayaklanmaları or Ağrı isyanı), was a 1930 uprising of the Kurds of Ağrı Province, in eastern Turkey, against the Turkish government. The leader of the guerrilla forces during the rebellion was Ihsan Nuri of the Jibran tribe.[13]


    In 1926, before the Ararat revolt, Ibrahim Heski led the Hesenan, Jalali and Haydaran tribes in a rebellion (May 16-June 17, 1926).[14] On 16 May, the Kurdish forces fought against the 28th Infantry Regiment of the 9th Infantry Division of the Turkish army and a Gendarmie regiment in the Demirkapı region. The Turkish forces were defeated and the scattered 28th Regiment had to retreat towards Doğubeyazıt.[15] On June 16/17, Heski and his forces were surrounded by the 28th and 34th regiments of the Turkish army and had to retreat over Yukarı Demirkapı to Iran.[16]


    On 11 June 1930, armed responses under the leadership of Salih Pasha to the rebellion were initiated by the Turkish military against the Ağrı insurgents.[17] According to Wadie Jwaideh, Xoybûn, the Kurmanci Kurdish nationalist organization co-ordinating the rebellion, urgently appealed for help from Kurds. It was a Kurdish rebellion by mostly Kurmancî Kurds, which greatly outnumbered the Qizilbash of Dersim. That is why, much to the Turks' dismay, Xoybûn's appeal was answered on a wide front by a counteroffensive at Mount Tendürek, Iğdır, Erciş, Mount Süphan, Van and Bitlis, forcing the Turks to temporarily abandon their offensive against Ağrı.[18] In July, the Xoybun decided to send reinforcements from Syria to the revolt in the night from the 4–5 August. Five separate groups should be have been led by Hadjo Agha, Kadri Cemilpasha, Khamil, the son of Ibrahim Pasha, Rassoul Agha Mohammed from the Bohtan area and Mustafa and Bozan Sahin. But the plan was not executed as planned, and three reinforcements returned after they noticed their mens exhaustion.[19]

    Last offensive against Mount Ararat

    By the end of summer 1930 the Turkish Air Force was bombing Kurdish positions around Mount Ararat from all directions. According to Gen. Ihsan Nuri, the military superiority of the Turkish Air Force demoralized Kurds and led to their capitulation.[20]

    During the insurrection, the Turkish Air Force also bombed several Kurdish tribes and villagers. For instance, Halikanli and Herki tribes were bombed on July 18 and August 2, respectively. Rebel villages were continually bombed from August 2–29.[21] From June 10–12 Kurdish positions were extensively bombed, and this forced the Kurds to retreat to higher positions around Mount Ararat. On July 9 the newspaper Cumhuriyet reported that the Turkish air force was "raining down" Mount Ararat with bombs.[22] Kurds, who escaped the bombings, were captured alive. On July 13, the rebellion in Zilan was suppressed.[23] Squadrons of 10-15 aircraft were used in crushing the revolt. On July 16, two Turkish planes were downed.[23] Aerial bombardment continued for several days and forced Kurds to withdraw to the height of 5,000 m (16,000 ft). By July 21, bombardment had destroyed many Kurdish forts. During these operations, Turkish military mobilized 66,000 soldiers (contrary to this Robert W. Olson gives the number of 10,000-15,000 troops in another work,[3] other works state these numbers as well[4][5]) and 100 aircraft.[24] The last reported major offensive by the Kurds was directed at Diyarbakır on the 2 September.[25] The rebels were gradually crushed by the superior numbers of the Turkish military.[26][27] The campaign against the Kurds was over by September 17, 1930.

    The insurrection was defeated in 1931, and Turkey resumed control over the territory.


    Because the border between Turkey and Persia ran up the side of Lesser Ararat to its peak, Turkey was unable to stop Kurdish fighters from crossing the border at that location.[28] To solve this problem Turkey demanded that it be ceded the entire mountain. On January 23, 1932, Persia and Turkey signed the Agreement related to the fixing of the frontier between Persia and Turkey (official name in French "Accord relatif à la fixation de la ligne frontière entre la Perse et la Turquie") in Tehran.[29][30] Turkey received total control over the Lesser Ararat and Ağrı Mountains and territory between the Armenian village of Guirberan and Kuch Dagh. As compensation, Persia gained ninety square miles in the neighbourhood of Qotur (قطور).[31]

    The commander of the rebellion documented the role of the Turkish air force in defeating the Ağrı revolt in his book entitled La Révolte de L'Agridagh (The Mount Ararat revolt).[32]

    Cultural influences

    • Kemal Tahir, Yol Ayrımı ("The fork in the road", novel)
    • Esat Mahmut Karakurt, Dağları Bekliyen Kız ("The Girl who is waiting for the Mountains", novel)
    • Dağları Bekleyen Kız ("The Girl who is waiting for the Mountains", 1955, film)
    • Dağları Bekleyen Kız ("The Girl who is waiting for the Mountains", 1968, film)[33][unreliable source?]
    • Rohat Alakom, Bir Türk Subayının Ağrı Dağı İsyanı Anıları, Avesta, 2011

    See also


    1. ^ Gunter, Michael M. (2009). The A to Z of the Kurds. Scarecrow Press. p. 9. ISBN 9780810863347.
    2. ^ Rohat Alakom, Hoybûn örgütü ve Ağrı ayaklanması, Avesta, 1998, ISBN 975-7112-45-3, p. 180. (in Turkish)
    3. ^ a b Robert W. Olson: Imperial meanderings and republican by-ways: essays on eighteenth century Ottoman and twentieth century history of Turkey, Isis Press, 1996, ISBN 9754280975, page 142.
    4. ^ a b c Robin Leonard Bidwell, Kenneth Bourne, Donald Cameron Watt, Great Britain. Foreign Office: British documents on foreign affairs--reports and papers from the Foreign Office confidential print: From the First to the Second World War. Series B, Turkey, Iran, and the Middle East, 1918-1939, Volume 32, University Publications of America, 1997, page 82.
    5. ^ a b Soner Çağaptay: Islam, secularism, and nationalism in modern Turkey: who is a Turk?, Routledge, ISBN 1134174489, page 38
    6. ^ Yusuf Mazhar, Cumhuriyet, 16 Temmuz 1930, ... Zilan harekatında imha edilenlerin sayısı 15,000 kadardır. Zilan Deresi ağzına kadar ceset dolmuştur...
    7. ^ Ahmet Kahraman, ibid, p. 211, Karaköse, 14 (Özel muhabirimiz bildiriyor) ...
    8. ^ Ayşe Hür, "Osmanlı'dan bugüne Kürtler ve Devlet-4" Archived 2011-02-25 at the Wayback Machine, Taraf, October 23, 2008, Retrieved August 16, 2010.
    9. ^ M. Kalman, Belge, tanık ve yaşayanlarıyla Ağrı Direnişi 1926–1930, Pêrî Yayınları, İstanbul, 1997, ISBN 975-8245-01-5, p. 105.
    10. ^ "Der Krieg am Ararat" (Telegramm unseres Korrespondenten) Berliner Tageblatt, October 3, 1930, "... die Türken in der Gegend von Zilan 220 Dörfer zerstört und 4500 Frauen und Greise massakriert."
    11. ^ Martin van Bruinessen, "Zaza, Alevi and Dersimi as Deliberately Embraced Ethnic Identities" in '"Aslını İnkar 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 '"Aslını İnkar Eden Haramzadedir!" The Debate on the Ethnic Identity of The Kurdish Alevis', p. 14.
    13. ^ Rohat Alkom, Hoybûn örgütü ve Ağrı ayaklanması, Avesta, 1998, ISBN 975-7112-45-3, p. 80. (in Turkish)
    14. ^ Faik Bulut, Devletin Gözüyle Türkiye'de Kürt İsyanları, Yön Yayıncılık, 1991, p. 79. (in Turkish)
    15. ^ Bulut, ibid, p. 80. (in Turkish)
    16. ^ Bulut, ibid, p. 83. (in Turkish)
    17. ^ Chaliand, Gérard (1993). A People Without a Country: The Kurds and Kurdistan. Zed Books. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-85649-194-5.
    18. ^ Paul J. White, Primitive rebels or revolutionary modernizers?: the Kurdish national movement in Turkey, Zed Books, 2000, ISBN 978-1-85649-822-7, p. 78. (in English)
    19. ^ Gorgas, Jordi Tejel (2007). Le mouvement kurde de Turquie en exil: continuités et discontinuités du nationalisme kurde sous le mandat français en Syrie et au Liban (1925-1946) (in French). Peter Lang. pp. 257–258. ISBN 978-3-03911-209-8.
    20. ^ (Olson 2000, p. 81)
    21. ^ (Olson 2000, p. 82)
    22. ^ (Olson 2000, p. 83)
    23. ^ a b (Olson 2000, p. 84)
    24. ^ (Olson 2000, p. 86)
    25. ^ Jwaideh, Wadie (2006). The Kurdish National Movement: Its Origins and Development. Syracuse University Press. ISBN 081563093X.
    26. ^ White, Paul J. (1995). "Ethnic Differentiation among the Kurds: Kurmancî, Kizilbash and Zaza". Journal of Arabic, Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies. 2 (2): 67–90.
    27. ^ Jwaideh, Wadie (1960). The Kurdish Nationalist Movement: Its Origins and Development. Unpublished PhD thesis. Syracuse University, New York, p.623. ISBN 0-8156-3093-X
    28. ^ Parrot, Friedrich (2016) [1846]. Journey to Ararat. Translated by William Desborough Cooley. Introduction by Pietro A. Shakarian. London: Gomidas Institute. p. xxiii. ISBN 978-1909382244.
    29. ^ Burdett, Anita L.P., ed. (1998). "Accord relatif à la fixation de la ligne frontière entre la Perse et la Turquie". Armenia: Political and Ethnic Boundaries, 1878-1948. Cambridge: Cambridge Archive Editions. pp. 959–962. ISBN 978-1852079550.
    30. ^ Tsutsiev, Arthur (2014). Atlas of the Ethno-Political History of the Caucasus. Translated by Nora Seligman Favorov. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 92. ISBN 978-0300153088.
    31. ^ Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh, Boundary Politics and International Boundaries of Iran: A Study of the Origin, Evolution, and Implications of the Boundaries of Modern Iran with Its 15 Neighbors in the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, the Caucasus, the Caspian Sea, Central Asia, and West Asia by a Number of Renowned Experts in the Field, Universal-Publishers, 2007, ISBN 978-1-58112-933-5, p. 142.
    32. ^ Ihsan Nuri Pasha, La Révolte de L'Agridagh, with a preface by Ismet Cheriff Vanly, Éditions Kurdes, Geneva, 1985. (translated into Turkish: Ağrı Dağı İsyanı, Med Publications, Istanbul, 1992.(pp.98, 105, 131, 141, 156 and 164)
    33. ^


    • Olson, Robert (2000). "The Kurdish Rebellions of Sheikh Said (1925), Mt. Ararat (1930), and Dersim (1937-8): Their Impact on the Development of the Turkish Air Force and on Kurdish and Turkish Nationalism". Die Welt des Islams. 40 (1): 67–94. doi:10.1163/1570060001569893. JSTOR 1571104.