In May 1937, the turkish government took the decision to finally suppress the so-called “rebellion” of the inhabitants of dersim. in fact, the aim was to subjugate the semi-independent zaza and alevi-arevi tribes of dersim. this event is important for us armenians as well, because many armenians found refuge in dersim after the main stage of the genocide against armenians (1915-1923). western armenia tv presents several touching events.
in early 1930, the turkish authorities decided to use the resettlement law to finally subjugate the inhabitants of dersim. the inhabitants of dersim were to be moved and resettled in various western regions of asia minor, and the turkish element immigrated from the balkans was to be settled in the “kurdish” regions.
in addition, all the real estate of the tribes was to be confiscated and distributed to the immigrant turks from the balkans. with this step, the government was trying to populate the eastern regions of the country with a “reliable turkish element” on the one hand, and to prevent possible new kurdish uprisings on the other. this plan caused great excitement in dersim or, as the kemals renamed it, tunjeli. soon the whole of dersim was in the flames of rebellion. it was led by seyid reza, who was one of the most respected alevi leaders in the region. in 1936 on the proposal of kemal atatürk, the issue of dersim was placed on the agenda of the closed session of the national assembly. in 1936 in his report on dersim, atatürk said at the opening of the national museum on november 1. “the dersim problem is the most important in our internal affairs. this terrible abscess must be removed at all costs. the government has broad powers to take immediate action on this matter.”