So-called Armenian Genocide

Excerpts from the book:A Myth of Terror
Armenian Extremism:Its Causes and Its Historical Context
An Illustrated Expose by Eric Feigl

The Bab-i Ali Demonstrations,
the Hunchaks, and the Kusaktsakan

On September 30, 1895, the Hunchak Party organized a spectacular demonstration in the immediate vicinity of the Sublime Porte (Bab-i Ali). The Revolutionary Hunchak Party had planned something special, and it worked just as they had planned. The Hunchaks sent letters in advance to all the embassies in Istanbul, announcing their peaceful demonstration" and at the same time denouncing any acts of violence as the work of the police and military. Everyone involved knew, however, that an especially radical wing of the party was planning well-calculated riots.

Many demonstrators appeared heavily armed in order to make September 30 a "memorable" day. Around noon, two thousand people had already gathered in the Kum Kapu district, near the Armenian Patriarchate. Extravagant demands could be heard, and finally one of the ringleaders of the Sasun uprising shouted "Liberty or Death" into the crowd. With that, the demonstrators started moving in the direction of Bab-i Ali. A police officer was killed along the way. That brought about what the organizers had wanted all along: It provoked the soldiers and police to use violence. For three days, the rioting held the capital in suspense. On October 3, even "Murad" (Hampartsum Boyadjian - another professional agitator from the Sasun revolt) suffered a slight injury.

The Sultan personally asked the patriarch to intercede and restore order, but to no avail. The Hunchak party bigwigs, wanted chaos. The expected retaliation from the Moslem population finally came, and as is always the case in such situations, it mainly struck innocent people who had nothing to do with the trouble-makers. This was, however, part of the plan, just as it was in Sasun and Zeitun.

On October 10, the last of the Armenians left their churches, where they had sought sanctuary. Any who wished to do so could place themselves under the personal protection of the Russian ambassador. Ambassador Nelidov knew who needed his help, considering that arms had been found on hundreds of demonstrators.

In the wake of the Bab-i Ali demonstration, a new word was coined: kusaktsakan. A kusaktsakan was an especially faithful follower of the Hunchaks, one who never asked why the party issued an order, but simply obeyed. In Russia, this type of person was later given the name "apparatchik".

The events of Sasun are truly illustrations for a picture book. It is not, however, the bloodthirstiness of the Kurds and the "enraged soldiers" that is illustrated by those events, but rather the technique of stirring up trouble with just one purpose in mind: to force one's political opponents to take actions that will bring one's minority group the headlines of the international press as a victim of Persecution". The fact that many innocent people truly did lose their lives in the unrest did not bother the ringleaders one bit. They belonged, by the way, to the party of the Hunchaks.


cartton:Puch Julj 22,1876

Armenian riots in Istanbul, 1896: The tumult always followed the same basic pattern. First, an attack was carried out somewhere in the city. It might be at the Ottoman Bank, in front of the Sultan's palace, or near the seat of patriarch. Where feasible, European correspondents would be invited to these attacks. The troublemakers were almost always let off, partly due to foreign pressure and partly because the Sublime Porte hoped that its show of forgiveness would have a calming effect. That is why the ringleaders kept turning up at one attack after another. This occasionally angered the people so much that the revolutionaries got their wish: Armenian riots with dead or wounded making news around the world once again.

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