The weekly newspaper Agos has published an important document from the time of the Dersim massacre: A letter from then Interior Minister Şükrü Kaya to Commander Abdullah Alpdoghan. According to the letter, the order for the poison gas came from then-President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Prime Minister İsmet Inyonyu. In his letter, Kaya also says: “Bury all these rascals in caves, bury them so that they will never come to life again”. The article also contains other documents about the supply of poison gas. 

The use of poison gas during the massacres in Dersim has been known before. 

In recent years, some archival documents have been published about the use of poison gas in the Dersim massacre and the purchase of these gas from the Germans. 

We have a letter from Shukru Kaya dated April 26, 1937.

The letter is very short and reads as follows “Dear Mr. Abdullah Alpdoghan Pasha,

Dear General, I have read the report you sent to the Ministry. You have requested burning and suffocating gas from the Tayyare Regiment Command, Fire and National Defense. Some ignorant people in the government are trying to prevent your demands from being met. In fact, they have not succeeded. Our President of the Republic and our Prime Minister have ordered that your demands should be met immediately. In fact, I have no doubt that the demands will be met in the end, that they will be used as they should be used, and that all the pranksters will be buried in these caves so that they will not come to life again. 

I greet you with respect and wish you continued success.


Deputy Interior Minister 

Sukru Kaya

The government of Western Armenia has more than once referred to the extermination policy of the Turkish authorities towards Armenians and ethnic people living in Western Armenia. Dersim, as well as its natives, as we have already mentioned, know their Armenian origin, which the occupying authorities have been carrying out a murderous policy for hundreds of years, up to the point of genocide perpetrated in Dersim in 1936. The Turkish authorities wanted to finally get rid of the Armenian presence, but as always, they were wrong.