Army reveals documents from 1938 massacre

Army reveals documents from 1938 massacre

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
The Turkish General staff has handed over some 10,650 documents to the Dersim sub-committee of Parliament, which is investigating the violent massacre against Alevi rebels in the eastern province of Tunceli (formerly known as Dersim) that occurred between 1936 and 1939 and resulted in the death of 13,800.

The sub-commission currently possesses 20,000 documents in total, including a document which affirms that rebels succeeded in crashing one out of 15 war planes sent to the region.

The documents also revealed that the Turkish army launched a black propaganda campaign against Seyit Rıza, the leader of the uprising and chief of a Zaza tribe in the region. Among other things, the campaign claimed that he was uncircumcised, and also tried to dissuade support from the rebel leader by convincing the public that he was originally Armenian.

“Prisoners who were sent to western provinces will be executed and the uncircumcised boys will be given Armenian names and banished to Christian countries. Unmarried girls of Tunceli will be married to Turkish men and Turkish girls will be married to the men of Tunceli. People of Tunceli will be replaced in the following spring month. The fact that hanged Seyit Rıza was uncircumcised would look unpleasant in the eyes of the public and that has become an inspiration and propaganda material for opportunists...” read one of the documents issued on Dec. 30, 1937.

Another document issued on Sep 11, 1937, said Rıza had surrendered with his two abettors to the military officials. The document said Rıza was exhausted the day he surrendered and demanded to testify the following day.