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18 May 2010

3085) Armenian Genocide, Sheikh Said Revolt, and Armenians in Syrian Jazira By Seda Altug

© This content Mirrored From The Armenian Weekly, April 2010 / FOR THE RECORD . .

We have been witnessing a socio-political process in Turkey where the official state ideology underlying and sustaining the denial of the Armenian Genocide has increasingly started to be questioned at certain levels of Turkish society. Nevertheless, thanks to the official Turkish line and the several ways it informs the Armenian establishment nar-rative about the genocide, public and private discussions about the annihilation and uprooting of the Armenians revolve around 1915. Not undermining the symbolic significance of that year, 1915 is singled out as the very point where history starts and ends. Similarly, mainstream histories from above tend to homogenize the Armenians as a group and ignore internal socioeco-nomic, cultural, and linguistic differentiations and conflict. Variations in the form,method, and time that the genocide was executed and experienced, and the underlying local and regional factors, stay as under-explored issues.

The survivors and those who remained—in a world turned totally upside down—are other neglected issues that await schol-arly inquiry. Related to this, both the Armenian and Turkish main-stream narratives leave out two other noteworthy forced displacements that occurred immediately after the 1915 genocide and led to the removal of around 90,000 Armenians from their home in Cilicia and south-eastern Anatolia in the early and late 1920’s for different places in French-Syria, respectively.

At the time of the Mudros Armistice on Oct. 30, 1918, most Armenian survivors in the Ottoman-Syrian territory still hoped to return to their homeland as soon as the war was over; 120,000-150,000 deportees flew back to Cilicia, which by then had come under French occupation. 2 Yet these Armenian expectations of return were ruined after the French evacuation of Cilicia in late 1921 and the signing of the Ankara Treaty that finalized the border between French-Syria and the newly founded Turkish Republic (Oct. 20, 1921). What followed instead was a renewed mass Armenian exodus from Cilicia to Syria and Lebanon. 3 The French were followed by tens of thousands of Armenians who had survived the deportations and massacres of World War I. Around 80,000 new refugees arrived in Syria and Lebanon by land or sea and added onto the Armenian deportees from 1915–16, who could not man-age to return to Cilicia, and the local Armenians (al-arman al-qadim) already living in Syria for centuries, who had entirely escaped mass deportation. 4 The vast majority of the newcomers settled in Alexandretta, Aleppo, and Beirut.

Historian Richard Hovannisian estimates that by the end of 1925, there were approximately 100,000 refugees in Syria and 50,000 in Lebanon. The mandate authorities estimated that by 1923, approx-imately 200,000 Armenians had passed through Aleppo.

The second mass exodus, which forms the topic of this article, concerns those Armenians from the rural parts of Diyarbakir, Mardin, Siirt, and Sirnak.

Witnessing one of the bloodiest faces of the genocide, there were few deportation caravans from the area and the death rate was higher there than in any other province. 5 The CUP authorities were successful enough in exploiting the intra- and inter-tribal conflicts between the main Kurdish tribes of the region for their own ends. This fact is also revealed in the survivor memo-ries of the Jaziran Armenians, who were originally from the towns and villages of the Reskotan and Hazakh districts and the Xerzan (Gharzan) valley, such as Biseri/Qubin (today Gercus), Zercil (today Danali), Farqin (today Silvan), Bolunt (today Bilek), and Khaznamir (today Inpinar). 6 Bissare Ceto, the chief of the Pencinar tribe, and his brother Cemilo Ceto are remembered as the evil personalities behind the annihilation of Armenian, Kurdish, and Syriac villagers in the region. 7

The Armenians who were able to survive in their home towns or in neighboring villages until the mid-1920’s—thanks to the (selective) protection provided by certain Kurdish lords—were hardly hit by another wave of state violence in 1925, the Sheikh Said Revolt. The ruthless mili-tary and social measures of the newly founded Turkish state aiming to sup-press the revolt were a harsh blow to the local and tribal networks of protec-tion through which these Armenians survived and sustained their livelihood after the genocide. 8 Because of the compartmentalization in Turkish, Armenian, and Kurdish historiogra-phies, Sheikh Said Revolt has been sin-gled out as a turning point in Kurdish national history, but its effect on the Armenians needs further research. Based on the oral interviews of Jaziran Armenians, it can be stated that it was indeed a decisive historical incident for the Armenians of the mentioned region.

Between the years 1925 and 1930, around 10,000 Armenians from the rural parts of Diyarbakir and Mardin had fled towards the south, crossed the still-open Turkish-Syrian border usually together with their Kurdish fellowmen, and found refuge in the north-eastern part of French-Syria, Syrian-Jazira. 9


Syrian-Jazira used to be a “no man’s land” primarily reserved for the grazing land of nomadic and semi-nomadic Kurdish and Arab tribes until the beginning of the 20th century. Despite the fact that the Turkish-Syrian border was formally delimited in 1921, the delimitation rarely brought about an immediate formal change on the ground. The region remained a contested zone between French-Syria and Turkey for nearly a decade. As the French were busy suppressing anti-colonial revolts in southern Syria, formal state control and even occupation of the region was suspended. French intelligence and military officers, relief agents, and Dominican missionaries, however, still patrolled the region in the 1926–27 winter and autumn, though semi-independently. 10

The colonial encounter in French-Jazira took place against a backdrop of Christian/Muslim (Kurdish) difference, which the impoverished Armenian refugees brought with them to Syria.

French rule had reshaped and redefined this difference through various social, economic, and administrative policies.

The settlement project was one of the most unique aspects of the mak-ing of French-Jazira. Robert de Caix, one of the most fervent supporters of French mandatory rule in Syria, out-lined the intentions of the colonial power—that the High Jazira had to be effectively “colonized” by a Christian population “traditionally loyal” to the French. The region where there is no one but only a dust of nomads had to be “remettre en valeur.”11 Labeled as “Kurdo-Chretiennes” by the French Intelligence Service officers, or as “Kurdo-Armeniennes” in the accounts of the Dominican missionaries, the Jaziran Armenians (together with other Christian refugees) were approached as the “Christian element on whom [the French] can rely in order to counterbalance the Muslim population and make Syria a mixed country.”12 According to the colonial mindset, peopling the “virgin” Jaziran land with Christians was the most appropriate solution aimed at forming agricultural labor and opening up the vast uncultivated Jaziran land—with its “moeurs farouches” and “tempérament guerrier”— to agriculture.

The authorities followed a contradictory agricultural policy towards the multi-ethnic and multi-religious (semi) tribal alle-giances of the Armenian refugees. Religion emerged as a key feature in the distribution of land or organization of villages in the countryside. On the one hand, they supported small peasantry and detribalization, but on the other hand, they were anxious of destroying the tribal power structure for both political and economic reasons. More often the “outsiders”—the Kurdish or Armenians refugee peasants—would cultivate the nomadic tribes’ lands and pay a ground rent in return. It was the Armenian share-croppers who worked on the lands of the Arab Tayy by paying one-fifth of the harvest in return. 13

The French mandate founded small towns and villages on religious basis. These villages formed the economic background in the emergence of an elite-dominated sectarianism in French-Jazira. The founding of new villages along the border for the settlement of Christian and Kurdish groups, and the appointment of a co-religionist village headman (mukhtar), were surely novel phenomena that implied a radical shift in the social and political subjectivities of the local population and in local power relations. 14 Gradually the multi-ethnic and multi-religious rural population dispersed and became new sharecroppers in the lands of the big landowners—the ex-Arab or Kurdish tribal leaders.

The colonial encounter in French-Jazira took place against a backdrop of Christian/Muslim (Kurdish) difference, which the impoverished Armenian refugees brought with them to Syria. French rule had reshaped and redefined this difference through various social, economic, and administrative policies.

The French aspired to build urban centers along the border in order to compensate for the economic loss after the delimitation of the border. Catholics, both Armenian and Syriac, due to their less “ardent” and more “civilized” attitudes, were envisioned as comprising the majority of the urban population. Qamishli is an excellent example of such a colonial construction; founded in 1926 only 1.5 kilometers away from Nusaybin on the Turkish territory, its population rose to approximately 20,000 in 1937.

Trade, which used to be made between former hometowns and north-eastern Syria and Iraq in the pre-genocide world, had started to be replaced by the Jaziran trade, and later by Aleppo-Qamishli trade starting from the early 1930’s. Communal net-works played an important role in the development of the Aleppo-Qamishli trade. Armenians were pioneers in the flourish-ing of trade between Aleppo and the Jaziran centers by mobilizing their communal resources. Kurds were also involved in this trade, usually as peasants producing the foodstuffs or raw materials, or as those who gathered and sent them off from Qamishli to Aleppo.

The Christians, especially Armenians in the Aleppo case, usually distributed the raw material in Aleppo and the Aleppan manufac-turers in Jazira. Correspondingly, the khan al-Jazira in Aleppo had become one of the most active commercial depots in Aleppo.15 The French intelligence officers in French-Jazira heavily relied on the Christian refugees from Turkey in both the security and administration of the newly founded urban centers. However, the Turkish state regularly sent notes to the French mandate authorities asking them to prevent Armenians from being recruited in the security forces. Several Armenian refugees changed their names to Semitic names in order to escape this ban. French political, economic, and ideological interests in French-Syria allowed Syrian-Jazira to turn into a microcosm reflecting in reverse the dynamics of Turkey’s nation building.

Added onto the Armenians and Kurds were Christians belonging to different sects, where the Orthodox Syriacs formed the majority; Jews from Nusaybin; sedentary and semi-nomadic Kurdish tribesmen; and some nomadic Arab tribes. The forced displacements continued for more than two decades until the early 1950’s.

The effects of the “unequal and segregated colonial moderniza-
tion” lay the ground for the emergence of an elite-dominated sec-
tarianism in French-Jazira, whose features were to a certain extent
inherited by the post-independence Arab nationalist regime, too.


The conflict and enmity between the refugees and the Syrians on the arrival of the former, regardless of its origins and manifestations—be it economic, social, or otherwise—are silenced in the mainstream Armenian historiography in Syria. As the early dissidence is excluded, the contested process of integration by the newcomers into their host society has also remained unaddressed. This ahistor-ical perspective goes hand in hand with the depoliticization of the community throughout the post-independence period in Syria (1946-) and leaves no room for tracing the negotiation and trans-formations in the political and social subjectivities. 16 Despite the fact that there were no direct confrontations between the Armenian newcomers and the local Syrians in Jazira, as there was hardly a local settled population in the region, the arrival of the post-1925 Armenian refugees (along with other Syriac, Kurdish, and Assyrian refugee groups in Jazira) caused extreme alarm and anxiety among the Arab nationalists of the inner Syrian cities. While the Arab nationalists’ uneasiness over the arrival of Armenian refugees in 1915 and 1921 was expressed within the “harmful strangers vs. outraged Syrians” frame-work, the new flux of refugees caused extreme alarm. Their settlement in Jazira was considered as “the violation of the sanctity of the Syrian body and national-self,” as stated in the words of the newspaper Al-cha’ab, while the refugees were viewed as French “colons.”17 Their arrival in big numbers created the fear (which was well bolstered by the Syrian nationalist press) that more people were on their way to Syria. The newspapers gave fictitious numbers about new “incursions.” The settlement of refugees on Syrian land in Jazira and land distribution to these refugees were viewed as fundamentally unjust and illegitimate acts comparable in essence to the “settlement of Zionist settlers in Palestine.” The nationalist newspapers of the day compared the newcomers to the” Zionist settlers in Palestine” and the French- and League of Nations-sponsored projects of settlement in Jazira as part of a greater proj-ect to create an Armenian homeland (watan kawmi armani) in the middle of the “Arab homeland.” Unlike in earlier periods, the French mandate rule and “humanitarian aid” of the League of Nations were condemned for being pretexts to the “occupation of the country with the Armenians.” Al-cha’ab writes that “the more money is donated to the Armenians by the League of Nations, the more Armenians will flow to Jazira, which will very soon result in turning Jazira into their national homeland.”18 Anxiety over the

The conflict and enmity between the refugees and the Syrians on the arrival of the former, regardless of its origins and manifestations—be it economic, social, or otherwise—are silenced in the mainstream Armenian historiography in Syria.

(dis)union of Syrian land, to which French colonial religious and administrative politics contributed greatly, made the Arab national-ists view the refugees’ arrival and gradual betterment as “penetration into the Syrian land by building houses thanks to the donations from the western governments, especially Britain.” If not in the streets, but in their newspapers, the nationalists protested the current situation of having “to pay the price of the refugees’ tragedy (musiba) and at the same time suffer under the invading armies.”19 The articles often ended with the demand of stopping both the recent Zionist and Armenian migrations to the bilad sharq al-‘arabi (eastern Arabian lands). Assertive rhetoric that claimed to represent a united and active Arab nation called for a solution involving the
earlier immigrants, as well. “Their stay among us will not last long,” writes Al-cha’ab in a threatening tone.“Jazira is an Arab Syrian land; the Syrians will not give it away either to the Armenians or the non-Armenians…[The Arabs] would resist with all means possible against the settlement.” The Armenians were “warned” that a future life in Syria would be insecure next to the “angry Arab.”

“The settlement of the refugees on the Syrian-Arab land” was a frequently seen phrase in the newspapers at the time, usually followed by a description of the role of the “foreign powers” in the “derogation” of Syria, its land and its people. It revealed a nationalist anxiety over the lack of self- or national-agency in making its own historical destiny. Al-cha’ab wrote how “from the time that the Armenians have left their homeland, the doors of all the countries have been shut on their face, except this country, yet it was the security and peace provided by the French that led them enter here.”20 The same article argued that the League of Nations had approached all Western countries, that the French consented and chose “High Jazira” (most probably the French translation of Haute-Djézireh) as a suitable spot. It was in this controversial atmosphere of agony and exhaustion towards French rule and the contested process of opening up Jaziran land to non-Arab and non-Muslim refugees that Jazira and Jazirans were introduced to the Syrian national body for the first time. It is against this background and its political repercussions in the Syrian public under the French rule that present-day Jazirans remember the past. And it was against this Arab nationalist fervor and an increase in communal clashes that the main Armenian political parties, the Hnchaks and Dashnaks, began to publicly state their good will towards the Arab.An Armenian journal, Le Liban, wrote in an Arabic-language article on May 15, 1930 that while “Armenians were bound to come to Syria, they never had the intention to create a national home there. The Armenians indeed have a national homeland but it is under the Soviet yoke.

Whenever it is re-opened, they are going to return there.”21 Similarly, a joint declaration by the Hnchak and Ramgavar Parties stated that “we only have one homeland; that is Armenia. In this hospitable country, our unique effort is to provide the needs of our families and assure the education of our children. We would like to see that the cordial relations between the Arabs and the Armenians are maintained and the misunderstandings that give rise to suspicions are stemmed.” Several other Armenian journals reassured Arabs that Syria was not comparable to Palestine or the Armenians in USSR.”22 An article in the Aleppan-Armenian journal Yaprad on May 24, 1930 signaled the emergence of a “hardworking and apolitical Armenian guest” image in the Syrian collective memory. It said, that the “Armenian is hospitalized in this country and this fact is recognized by the mandate power and the noble Arab people. It is very evident that the hospitalized people do not have a claim to pursue anything but politics. The so-called project of ‘installation of an Armenian homeland in Syria is therefore without any foundation and is imaginary.’”23


In the pre-genocide world, several parts of the Diyarbakir and Mardin provinces were home to a mixed population, with several Christian groups from different sects, Kurds, Jews, and Yezidis usually under a loose Kurdish tribe with a certain dose of autonomy. Both in the countryside and in the city centers of Mardin and Diyarbakir were a considerable number of Jews, Arabs, and Christians from different denomina-tions, alongside Kurdish and Arab tribal chiefs who resided in the city center. Surrounded by the fertile plains of Jazira, the urban population of Mardin and Diyarbakir was involved in regional trade and often in partnership with Kurdish aghas, and Armenian and Syriac merchants. The rural population shared a common culture, common dialect, and common respect for agricultural cycles. Being bound by similar hierarchies and obedience to the same Kurdish tribal leader, or having both a Christian and a Muslim mukhtar in a mixed village, were not very unusual. Kurdish tribal groups dominated the region and they incorpo-rated both non-tribal Kurds and Christians in semi-feudal structures of control. 24 Several Kurdish tribes, most notably Haverkan, had integrated Christian and Yezidi notables who were in good terms with the rest of the Kurdish-Muslim elites in the tribe. The traditional division of labor was basically inter-religious between the Kurdish peas-ants and the Christian peasants; the Armenians worked as small artisans (as blacksmiths, saddlers, weavers, potters, or sharecroppers), while the Kurdish peas-ants mostly specialized in animal breed-ing. 25 Intimidation, plundering, and massacres, often by the hands of their Kurdish peers and state militias in 1915, inevitably resulted in the erosion of mutual trust and communal coexistence. French efforts at land distribution, their refugee and urban policies, were all aimed at turning the refugees into either lower-class urban Christians or small land-owning peasants, and gaining their loyalty in return. Armenian political organizations also put some effort in turning these “Kurdo-Armeniennes” into “proper Armenians,” first by teaching them their language and later “true” Christianity. 26 The well-to-do or more settled community leaders, especially from Aleppo and Beirut, embraced another task in the general division of labor: Being the “white men” of their community in transformation, they had the “burden” of appealing to the French authorities for protection and support on behalf of the newcomers. This civilizing mission by the middle-class Armenians; the French-sponsored, elite-dominated sectarian system; and the resulting Christian visibility in the region, all helped to “heal” the wounds of the genocide, though it has not necessarily been overcome.

We only have one homeland; that is Armenia. In this hospitable country, our unique effort is to provide the needs of our families and assure the education of our children. We would like to see that the cordial relations between the Arabs and the Armenians are maintained and the misunderstand-ings that give rise to suspicions are stemmed.


1. Among the Armenians and Kurds of Syrian-Jazira, the Armenian Genocide is referred to as the first ferman, while the Sheikh Said Revolt is referred to as the second ferman. In local Jaziran usage, Syrian-Jazira is referred to as binxet, under the line denoting the land “under the “Baghdad railway,” whereas Turkey is referred to as serxet, above the Baghdad railway line.

2. S.E. Kerr, Lions of Marash, Personal experiences with American Near East Relief (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1973), p. 36.Ara Sanjian, “The Armenian Minority Experience in the Modern Arab World,” Bulletin of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies 3, no.1 (spring/summer 2001), p. 152.

3. Studies on Syrian-Armenians are disproportionate with the significance Ottoman Syria holds for most of the Armenian survivors of the genocide. See Raymond Kévorkian (ed.), “L’extermination des déportés arméniens ottomans dans les camps de concentration de Syrie- Mésopotamie (1915–16): La deuxi`eme phase du génocide,” Revue d’histoire d’arménienne contemporaine, 2 (numéro spécial) 1998, pp. 10–14, 45–46, 60–61. For the deportations in Syria, see also Album, taqrir musawwar likawafil tahcir al-sha’b al-armani fi ‘am 1915 ila al-‘aradhi al-Suriyya (Halab: Barq Publishing House, 1994). The publication was sponsored by Robert Jebejiyan, the owner of the Violette Jébéjiyan Library; Thomas H. Greenshields, “The Settlement of Armenian refugees in Syria and Lebanon, 1915–1939,” unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Durham, 1978; Vahram L. Shemmassian, “The reclamation of captive Armenian Genocide Survivors in Syria and Lebanon at the End of World War I”, Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies, 15 (2006), pp.110–140; and Nicola Migliorino, (Re)constructing Armenia in Lebanon and Syria: Ethno-cultural Diversity and the State in the Aftermath of a Refugee Crisis (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2007).

4. For the Armenians of Aleppo during the genocide, see Hilmar Kaiser, in collaboration with Luther and Nancy Eskijian, At the Crossroads of Der Zor: Death, Survival, and Humanitarian Resistance in Aleppo, 1915–1917, (Gomidas Institute: 2002).

5. Ugur U. Ungor, “A Reign of Terror CUP Rule in Diyarbakir Province, 1913–1923,” unpublished MA thesis submitted to the University of Amsterdam department of history, June 2005.

6. For the Armenians of this region, see Raymond H. Kévorkian and Paul B Paboudjian, Les Armeniens dans l’empire Ottoman a la veille du Génocide (Paris: ARHIS, 1992), pp. 400–401.

7. For the clashes between Kurdish tribes in the region, see Ungor, “A Reign of Terror,” pp. 27–31. Also see

8. For an elaborate account of this refugee flux, see Vahé Tachjian, La France en Cilicie et en Haute-Mésopotamie: Aux confins de la Turquie, de la Syrie et de l’Irak 1919–1933 (Paris: Karthala, 2004), pp. 274–285. According to the report by Basmadjian and Térdjanian, by the end of 1929, 500 Armenian families had entered High Jazira (CADN, m. S.L, 1er versement, b.d. no. 2544, “Rapport du Basmadjian et de Michel Tergenian sur les émigres Arméniennes, arrives récem-ment et réfugies dans les régions de Kamechlié, Hassatché, Amouda et Karamé,” Dec. 28, 1929, p. 2).

9. Robert Montagne, “Quelques aspects du peuplement de la Haute Djeziré,” Bulletin des Etudes Orientales, II, 1932, pp. 53–66. For a detailed geographical assesment of the region, see André Gibert and Maurice Fevret, “La Djezireh Syrienne et son Réveil Economique,” Revue de Géographie de Lyon, 28, 1953, pp. 1–15, 83–99; Etienne de Vaumas, “La Djézireh” Annales de Geographie, 65 (348), 1956, pp. 64–80; P. Poidebard, “Mission Archéologique en Haute Djezireh (Automne 1927),” Syrie, 9, 1928, pp. 216–223. For the ancient history of the region, see Louis Dillemann, Haute Mésopotamie Orientale et Pays Adjacents: Contribution ‡ la Géographie Historique de la Région (Paris: Geuthner, 1962). For the barriyya, see Victor Muller, En Syrie avec les Bédouins (Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1931).

10. David Mizrahi, “Armée, état et nation au Moyen-Orient. La naissance des troupes spéciales du Levant `a l’époque du mandat français, Syrie, 1919–1930,” Guerres Mondiales et Conflits Contemporains, 2002/3, 207, pp. 107–123; and Martin Thomas, “French Intelligence-Gathering in the Syrian Mandate, 1920–40,”Middle Eastern Studies, 2002 (38), 1, pp. 1–32.

11. MAE Levant, 1918–40, Irak, vol. 51, lettre de Robert de Caix, haut commissaire p.i. en Syrie-Liban, a Alexandre Millerand, président du conseil et ministre des AE, April 8, 1920, Beirut, pp. 185–187.

12. CADN, Syrie-Liban, 1er versement, no. 586, lettre (no.612/KD) de Weygand au ministre des affaires etrang`eres, Aug. 25, 1924.

13. République Syrienne, rapport générale de la reconnaissance Fonci` ere, 1940, p. 34. 14. CADN, Cabinet Politique, dossier 1976, Refugies, Poidebard, Haute Djezireh.

15. Philip Khoury, Syria and the French mandate, (NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987), p. 527.

16. For relations between the Armenians in Syria and the Syrians under the French mandate, see Keith Watenpaugh, “Towards a new category of colonial theory: Colonial cooperation and Survivor’s Bargain, The case of the post-genocide Armenian community of Syria under French mandate,” in Nadine Méouchy and Peter Sluglett, The British and French Mandates in Comparative Perspectives/Les mandats Français Anglais dans une perspective comparative (Leiden: Brill, 2004), p. 599

17. Al-cha’ab, “Suriyya allati la hurmata laha,” Nov. 13, 1935.

18. Al-cha’ab, al-watan al-qawmi al-armani fi shimal, yuallim al-suriyyin,” Nov. 3, 1928.

19. Al-cha’ab, al watan al-kawmi al-armani fi Suriya, d’awaal-“orient” ila iskan al-arman fi al-cazira, Jan. 28, 1930.

20. Al-cha’ab, al-want al-qawmi al-armani fi shimal, yuallim al-suriyyin,” Nov. 3, 1928.

21. Taken from CADN, dossier 576, Service politiques, bureau d’etudes, “l’Armenie et les Armeniens,” redacteur: cdt. Terrier.

22. ibid.

23. ibid.

24. Martin van Bruinessen, “Constructions of ethnic identity in the late Ottoman Empire and Republican Turkey: the Kurds and their Others,”

25. Taken from Tachjian, p. 175, footnote 303 (CADN, Syrie-Liban, 1er versement, no.1065, lettre (no. 4204/DZ)) du colonel Callasi, dél`egue adjoint du haut Commissaire pour le sandjak de Deir ez Zor au dél`egue du haut-commissaire a damas, Oct. 24, 1928, Deir ez Zor, p.1).

26. Nureddin Zaza in his memoirs mentions the communal acculturation efforts of the Armenian Dashnak members from Aleppo in Qamishli among the Armenians from Bisheri. Viewed as lacking the “necessary traits of being a proper Armenian,” the latter was taught the language and religion. Nurettin Zaza, Bir Kurt olarak Yasamim (Mezopotamya Publishing House: 1993).


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