Chronology of the Armenian Genocide -- 1915 (April-June)


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April 1
The mass arrest of Armenian political leaders is carried out in Sivas and other provinces.
April 2
General robbery and arrests of Armenians are reported throughout Bitlis and Erzerum Provinces.
April 2
In Sivas Province, battalions of gendarmery and 4000 chetes begin regular attacks on Armenian villages with increasing brutality.
April 3
(Easter week) Mass arrests and a search for weapons are carried out in Marash and Hadjin (Hajen), with the seizure of all arms, including household knives. Numerous rapes during the house searches are reported.
April 5
In Marash Turks demand 5,000 jackasses from the Armenians in an excuse to loot.
April 8
Turkish emigrants from Bosnia are settled by the government in the villages of Zeitun District. 8,000 Turkish regulars are reported in Zeitun.
April 8
The famous monastery of Zeitun is burned by the Turks.
April 9
Turks declare a meeting in Marash to deport the Armenians. The Turkish government forbids civilian action on the ground that the March 16 Army command covered the situation.
April 11
Talaat tells the Armenian parliamentary deputy Bedros Halajian that there will be no massacres.
April 12
Widespread attacks on, and looting of, Armenian villages in Bitlis and Erzerum Provinces are fed by the accusation that the Armenians caused the war.
March
(toward the end of the month) The Turkish government forbids American Ambassador Henry Morgenthau to send coded messages to the American consuls and deprives him of his diplomatic prerogative of receiving communications uncensored.
April 14
The governor-general of Van, Tahir Jevdet invites the Armenian parliamentary deputies from Van and the Dashnak leader Ishkhan to attend a conference.
April 15
Armenian refugees from villages surrounding the city of Van arrive and notify the inhabitants that 80 villages in Van Province were already obliterated and that 24,000 Armenians had been killed in three days.
April 16
The Armenian leaders Vramian and Ishkhan are slain during the night in the Kurdish village of Hirj by chetes on orders from Governor-general Tahir Jevdet.
April 17
Friendly Kurds inform the inhabitants of Van of the assassination of Vramian and Ishkhan.
April 17
The Armenians organize defense against the sudden attack by Turkish forces on the city of Van. (They hold out until advance units of the Russian Army consisting of Armenian volunteers arrive to their rescue on May 23, 1915).
April 18
Until the end of April 32,000 more Armenians are slain in the villages of Van Province, including the inhabitants of remote villages.
April 18
In Erzerum, Turkish civilians declare intentions to hold a meeting. The Army forbid it. Similar gatherings in other centers are also forbidden on the grounds that the Army is the agency responsible for handling the Armenians.
April 18
The Governor-general of Van Province demands that the Armenians of the city of Van surrender their weapons. The Armenians refuse as chete units were harassing the surrounding villages.
April 19
House searches are made in Diyarbekir and widespread persecution takes place.
April 20
The deportation of the 25,000 Armenians of Zeitun is completed.
April 20
The first large-scale arrests of Armenians are made in Diyarbekir upon the orders of Governor-general Reshid.
April 20
Twenty Armenian Social Democratic Hnchak Party members are brought to the Central Prison in Constantinople to face court martial. They are hanged publicly on June 2, 1915.
April 24
250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders are arrested in Constantinople and sent to Chankri and Ayash, where they are later slain.
April 24
The editors and staff of Azadamart, the leading Armenian newspaper of Constantinople, are arrested, and on June 15 are slain in Diyarbekir, where they had been transported and imprisoned.
April 24
The Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople and Zohrab, Armenian deputy in the Ottoman Parliament, petition the Grand Vizier, Said Halim, the Minister of the Interior Talaat, and the President of the Senate, Rifat, on behalf of the arrested Armenians of Constantinople. Though approached separately, all three give identical answers; that the government is isolating the Armenian leadership and dissolving the Armenian political organizations.
April 26
Three Armenians are hanged publicly in Mush without trial.
April 27
A second meeting in Erzerum to organize a communal massacre is disbanded by the government as interference in the affairs of the Army.
April 27
26 Armenian leaders are arrested in Marsovan (Merzifon). A two-week-long search for weapons is started accompanied by acts of violence and the abuse of women.
April 29
Russian citizens of Armenian origin are arrested in Constantinople.
April 29
The disarming of the Armenians of Constantinople is carried out with many outrages.
April 30
The vice-governor of Erzinjan begins the persecution of the Armenians with the arrest of many intellectuals.
May 1
The arrest of the Armenian professors and teachers of the American Euphrates College in Kharput is started.
May 2
Halil Pasha's forces are defeated by the Russian Army in the Caucasus and in northern Iran, and retreat to Van, Bitlis, and Mush, where they participate in the massacre of the Armenians.
May 2
3,000 English and French civilians are arrested in Constantinople.
May 3
House searches are made in Aleppo.
May 3
Macedonian Turkish immigrants are installed in Zeitun by the government.
May 3
The deportations from the villages of Erzerum Province are started.
May 4
The mass arrests of Armenian leaders in Aintab are begun.
May 4
200 Armenian leaders in Erzerum are arrested.
May 5
Arrests and persecutions begin in Kharput.
May 6
Allied nationals in Beirut (Beyrut) are deported to Damascus and dispersed from there.
May 6
The New York Times reports that the Young Turks had adopted a policy to annihilate the Armenians.
May 9
Lord Grey, British Minister of Foreign Affairs, sends a message to Enver holding him personally responsible should anything happen to the 3,000 captive English and French civilians.
May 10
950 prominent Armenians are arrested in Diyarbekir on orders from Dr. Reshid, the governor-general of Diyarbekir Province.
May 10
The Armenian refugees from Zeitun found in Marash, who had previously been spared deportation, are removed to the Syrian Desert.
May 12
Vartkes, an Armenian deputy in the Ottoman Parliament, visits Talaat to protest the arrests of April 24.
May 14
English and French civilian prisoners are deported to the interior of Anatolia.
May 14
38 Armenian community leaders are arrested in the town of Chomaklu in Kayseri Province and shortly thereafter executed.
May 15
The Armenian community leaders in the town of Bayburt are arrested and subsequently killed in Urbajioghli-Dere.
May 15
Armenians are deported from the northern villages of Erzerum Province.
May 18
Courts martial are set up in Marash to try the Armenian leaders arrested there shortly earlier.
May 19
Advance troops of the Russian Army in the Caucasus led by Armenian volunteers reach Van and lift the siege of city.
May 19
Armenians in the Khnus region of Erzerum Province are massacred.
May 21
Regular Russian Army forces arrive in Van. They begin the cremation of the dead in the city and in the villages of the province. 55,000 dead are identified as Armenians.
May 21
Armenian parliamentary deputy Vartkes visits Police Commissioner Osman Bedri to protest the arrests of the Constantinople Armenian community leaders.
May 22
Turkish refugees are settled in the emptied Armenian villages of the Tortum District of Erzerum Province.
May 24
A note is sent by the Allied Powers to the Turkish Cabinet holding it responsible for the massacres of the Armenians.
May 25
Armenian parliamentary deputies Zohrab and Vartkes are arrested in Constantinople and later murdered while in custody in Kara-Kopru.
May 27
German Marshal Otto Liman von Sanders reports that the deportations were planned by the Committee of Union and Progress, and received the approval of all the ministries, and that the execution of the plans was placed in the hands of the governors-general, their subordinates, and the police.
May 27
The promulgation of the Temporary Law of Deportation, months after the depopulation of the Armenian settlements had been initiated.
May 27
2,000 Armenians are deported from Marash.
May 27
300 Armenians arrested on May 10 in Diyarbekir are murdered while in custody.
May 29
Talaat is reported to have said that he was going to give to the Armenians a new and final residence.
May 29
630 Armenians arrested on May 10 in Diyarbekir are murdered in the village of Bisheri while in custody and their bodies are thrown in the Tigris River.
May 31
Two weeks of outrages perpetrated against the Armenians of the town of Chomaklu under the guise of forcing the Armenians to give up their arms are ended.
May 31
German Ambassador Hans von Wangenheim advises against German interference in the deportations.
June 3
Ayub Bey, an arch-assassin, leaves Adana for Aleppo in connection with the organizing of massacres.
June 4
Enver issues a circular dispatch classified secret and urgent concerning the deportations.
June 7
The first convoy of Armenian deportees leave Erzinjan toward Kemakh on their way to the Syrian Desert.
June 7
The Armenian Prelate of Shabin-Karahisar, Vaghinag Vartabed, is assassinated.
June 7
The Armenians of Constantinople appeal to the German and the Austrian Embassies to prevent the deportations and associated outrages, but receive no satisfactory reply.
June 7
The Armenians arrested in Sivas on April 1 and transported to Angora Province are murdered in the woods of Meshedler-Yeri. The mass slaughter is witnessed by Greek woodcutters who report the news to the Armenians of Sivas.
June 8
The second convoy of deportees from Erzinjan leaves for the Syrian Desert.
June 9
The third convoy of Armenians departs from Erzinjan.
June 9
Three Armenian medical officers, Dr. Hairanian, Dr. Baghdasar Vartanian, and Dr. Maksud, serving in the Turkish Army are murdered in the city of Sivas.
June 10 to June 13
Over a period of four days the Armenians deported from the towns and villages of Erzerum Province are slaughtered in a major massacre at Kemakh.
June 13
The War Ministry orders the seizure of all the domestic animals of the Armenians.
June 13
The War Ministry notifies that the permits given to Armenians exempting them from the deportations and safety certificates are only provisional and temporary.
June 13
25,000 Armenians are murdered by the fourth day of the Kemakh massacre. The 86th Cavalry Brigade with its officers and the 2nd Reserve Cavalry Division of the Turkish Army participate in the slaughter.
June 13
Instructions concerning procedures for the deportations and urging extreme strictness are sent to provincial governors.
June 14
Subhi Bey, the assistant to the Undersecretary of the Interior Ministry asks for a list of Armenians working in the shipyards, docks, and arsenals of the Ministry of the Marine.
June 14
The third convoy of Armenian deportees from the town of Bayburt departs.
June 14
300 Armenian community leaders are arrested in Shabin-Karahisar.
June 15
Twenty members of Armenian Social Democratic Hnchak Party are publicly hanged in Constantinople as a signal to the provinces to intensify measures.
June 15
Twelve Armenian community leaders are publicly hanged in Sivas.
June 15
The Armenians of Shabin-Karahisar organize defense against chete forces and the regular Turkish Army.
June 16
3,500 Armenian men are seized in a mass arrest in Sivas Province.
June 17
Talaat is reported to have declared that he will uproot the internal enemy.
June 17
1,213 Armenian men are arrested in Marsovan (Merzifon).
June 17
8,500 Armenians withdraw into the ruined castle of Shabin-Karahisar to defend themselves against the Turks.
June 18
160 families are deported from city of Erzinjan.
June 19
A second convoy composed of 300 families leaves the city of Erzerum.
June 21
The governor-general of Aleppo, Jelal Bey, resigns in protest against the deportation order and the massacres.
June 21
Talaat sends instructions to prevent the populace from robbing the abandoned goods of the Armenians.
June 23
The Interior Ministry advises provincial governors that the Commission on Abandoned Goods will have charge of the resettlement of Turkish Muslim immigrants.
June 23
The Interior Ministry advises taking the precaution of separating the convoys of Armenian deportees by a distance of five hours.
June 23
The wholesale arrest of 1,500 men is carried out in Sivas Province.
June 23
First large-scale massacre of Armenian men is carried out in the town of Kharput.
June 23
Wholesale arrests are made in Bitlis of the scattered remnant Armenians who had escaped the previous series of massacres.
June 23
Massacres of Armenian Christians, Maronites, Nestorians, Europeans, Catholics, and other non-Muslim people in the city of Mardin are carried out under the direct order of Dr. Reshid, the governor-general of Diyarbekir Province.
June 24
The Armenian notables of Trebizond are sent by boat toward Samsun, and on the way are thrown, tightly bound together, into the Black Sea.
June 25
The massacre of Armenians of Bitlis is carried out under the direct orders of Mustafa Abdulhalik Renda.
June 26
The remaining Armenian men in Sivas are arrested.
June 25
A government decree instructs the 30,000 Armenians in Trebizond to leave the city within 5 days.
June 26
An decree issued in Erzerum orders all Armenians to leave for Syria.
June 26
An decree issued in Samsun orders all Armenians to leave within 15 days.
June 28
The previously arrested Armenian educators and community leaders in Kharput are transported from prison to be murdered.
June 29
Vartkes and Zohrab, two Armenian deputies in the Ottoman Parliament, deported from Constantinople, arrive in custody in Aleppo.
June 30
3,000 Armenians from the city of Erzerum are murdered while being deported.
June 30
6,000 Armenians from Zeitun arrive in the Konia Desert and nearby malarial marshes.

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