Chronology of the Armenian Genocide -- 1915 (January-March)


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January 1
The Ittihad representative of Bursa reports to the Ittihad Central Committee that local criminals and bandits have been registered in the Special Organization.
January 1
Nuri, the vice-governor of Gavar District in Van Province, receives orders from the military governor to kill the Armenian soldiers in the Turkish Army who were stationed in his district.
January 5
The Turkish government publicly charges that Armenian bakers in the army bakeries of Sivas were poisoning the bread of the Turkish forces. The bakers are cruelly beaten, despite the fact that a group of doctors prove the charge to be false by examining the bread and even eating it. As this marks an attempt on the part of the government to incite massacre, the government does not rescind the charge.
January 8
Turkish and Kurdish chetes (Halil Pasha's "First Corps") attack Armenian and Assyrian villages in northwest Persia. They remain around the city of Tavriz (Tabriz) and the city of Urmia from January 8 until January 29, 1915. From Urmia alone, more than 18,000 Armenians, together with many Assyrians and even Persian Muslims, flee to the Caucasus.
January 12
Ahmed Muammer, the governor-general of Sivas Province, orders the destruction of Tavra-Koy and other strategically located villages around the city of Sivas in order to make future defense impossible for the Armenians. Inside the city of Sivas strategically-located buildings were requisitioned.
January 16
The last actions of the Battle of Sarikamish are reported. The Turkish army is totally defeated and almost destroyed with a loss of 70,000 men out of 85,000.
January 19
Enver arrives in Sivas by automobile from Erzerum after his calamitous defeat at Sarikamish. He instructs the Army to accept only his orders and none hereafter from the German commanders and to draft at once all those deferred in the 20 to 40 age group, along with all males between the ages of 18 and 20 and 45 to 52.
January 22
Enver arrives in Constantinople by automobile from Sivas. After his arrival, he makes a speech congratulating the Armenians for admirably doing their duty on the Caucasian Front and elsewhere. Enver seeks to lull the Armenians of Constantinople who had not yet experienced the general persecutions in the provinces because of the presence of a large European community in the city.
January 23
Enver, now actively Minister of War again, issues a general order to shoot all persons resisting his orders.
February 2
Talaat advises German Ambassador Count Hans von Wangenheim that the war is the only propitious moment to conclude the Armenian Question.
February 10
S. Pasdermadjian, the Second Director of the Ottoman Bank, is murdered in the presence of German Major-General Posseldt, who reported that no investigation was carried or was any attempt made by the Turkish authorities to apprehend the guilty parties.
February 10
Enver's brother-in-law, Hafiz Hakki, dies of typhus and is replaced by Mahmud Kamil as Commander of the Third Army (Erzerum).
February 14
Tahir Jevdet, the governor-general of Van Province, is reported saying that the government must begin finishing the Armenians in Van at once.
February
The vice-governor of Mush orders 70 gendarmes to attack the village of Koms and to kill the Armenian Dashnak leader Rupen and all persons with him. Rupen and his companions resist and eventually escape to the Caucasus.
February 19
Talaat, Osman Bedri, and other Ittihadist leaders decide in a meeting that should Allied naval ships force the Dardanelles, the Turks would burn Constantinople, blow up the Hagia Sophia, and slaughter the Christian inhabitants. Kerosene is distributed to all police stations in Constantinople for ready use in such an eventuality.
February 21
An attack by chetes on the village of Purk near Shabin-Karahisar results in looting, murder, rape.
February 26
Vramian, an Armenian parliamentary deputy from Van, writes Talaat advising him to remove the large number of chetes in Van Province.
February 27
In Sivas Province a general attack is reported on many Armenian villages accompanied by raping, looting, and an increasingly larger number of killings.
February 27
In the village of Chomaklu in Kayseri Province and in other places, the government demands all weapons from the Armenians.
March 1
In Marash, the Armenians in the Turkish Army are deprived of their uniforms and arms.
March 3
A dispatch from the Ittihad Central Committee is released announcing the decision to exterminate the Armenians.
March 3
Armenian soldiers in the Erzerum army area are deprived of their uniforms and arms.
March 3
The British decide to attack the Dardanelles.
March 5
In Van Province, regular gendarmes and chetes are reported attacking many villages inhabited by Armenians and Assyrians.
March 7
A search for weapons is conducted in Iskenderun (Alexandretta) and a mass arrest of Armenians carried out.
March 9
Chetes and regular Army units attack Zeitun. Six Turkish gendarmes are killed by individuals resisting the attack.
March 12
Massacres and robberies are carried in Alashkert District as part of a general campaign led by the chetes forces against the Armenian villages of the district.
March 12
Mass arrests of Armenians are carried out in Dortyol and a public announcement is made that those arrested would be sent to work on road construction near Aleppo. They are never heard of again.
March 12
Enver leaves for Berlin to see Kaiser Wilhelm II.
March
A traveling commission of parliamentary deputies tours all the cities of Anatolia. The commission includes Dr. Fazil Berki, parliamentary deputy from Chankri, Ubedulla, parliamentary deputy from Smyrna, and Behaeddin Shakir, member of the Central Committee of the Ittihad Party. They address the Turkish population in the mosques describing the Armenians as internal enemies which must destroyed.
March
In Sivas Province the population in all the Armenian villages is disarmed.
March 14
Sahag, the Catholicos of Cilicia, advises the Armenians of Zeitun not to resist under any conditions.
March 16
Russian forces advance between Urmia and Tavriz.
March 18
An Allied attack on the Dardanelles begins.
March 18
In Zeitun, the Turkish forces arrest many of the remaining Armenian notables and intellectuals whom they torture and finally kill.
March 19
Six Armenian soldiers from the town of Gurun are publicly hanged in Sivas to frighten the Armenian population.
March 19
Greek recruits are massacred near Smyrna.
March
Omer Naji, a circulating Ittihad propagandist, travels to Aleppo, Adana and nearby towns to arouse the Muslims.
March 24
Chetes and gendarmes attack Armenians in the towns of Bayburt (Papert) and Terchan in Erzerum Province, and in Bitlis.
March 26
Sahag, Catholicos of Cilicia, renews his instruction to the Armenians of Zeitun not to resist.
March 26
Thirty more Armenian community leaders are arrested in Zeitun.
March 28
The Armenian Dashnak leader, Murad, resists arrest in Sivas and flees to the mountains, and after many daring escapes reaches the Caucasus.
March 28
Hamid, the governor-general of Diyarbekir Province, is removed for opposing the order of massacre, and is replaced by Dr. Reshid.
March 29
In Aleppo, the capital of the province, Jemal Pasha falsely announces that the Armenians of Zeitun are in revolt and therefore he is instructing the military authorities, to the exclusion of the civilian government, to take measures to punish the Armenians.
March 29
Artillery and three regiments of the regular army are sent to Zeitun as reinforcements for the three battalions which had arrived in the town in January and February.
March 30
Mass beatings and tortures are inflicted on the Armenians of Chomaklu.
March 31
In Marash, Turks announce a mass meeting to prepare a massacre. Acting under the terms of the March 29 order, the government forbids civilians to take matters into their own hands.
March 31
Deportation of Armenians from Zeitun begins. Some of the inhabitants are sent to the Konia Desert in central Anatolia. The rest are sent to Der-el-Zor (Deir el-Zor) in the Syrian Desert.
March
Azadamart, the leading Armenian newspaper in Constantinople is closed by an order of the government issued through the office of the Police Commissioner of Constantinople, Osman Bedri. 300 Turkish pounds in the petty cash box are stolen. The printing presses are removed to the Ittihad Press, where the organ Tanin was published by the CUP, with Huseyin Jahid (Yalchin) as editor-in-chief, and Ahmed Emin as associate editor.

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