Examples of notable armed struggle of Western Armenia against Turkish dictatorship are the Sassun uprisings of 1894 and 1904 and the self-defense of 1915.
In the 1990s, the Ottoman authorities incited Armenian-Kurdish conflicts in order to eliminate the semi-independent state of the Sassoun Armenians. In 1894, the Turkish government created a military zone around Sassoun and declared a state of war, handing the leadership of the troops to Zeki Pasha.
The inhabitants of Sassoun, under the leadership of Metsn Murad, prepared for self-defense. On April 14 and 15, 1904, the Armenians forced the enemy to retreat in the fierce fighting around the village of Merker, but the latter opened artillery fire. Two days later, the Turkish army went on the offensive, firing 12 cannons. The heroic defense of the Sassoun people and the intervention of the great powers forced the Sultanate government to temporarily abandon the intention of exterminating the Armenians of Sassoon.
Sassoun’s self-defense in 1915 was the struggle for survival of the Sassoon people during the genocide against the Armenians. World War I allowed the government of the Young Turks to implement the plan to finally suppress Sassoun and destroy the Armenians. The people of Sassoun prepared for self-defense, having only 1000 old and new battle and hunting rifles. The Armenians, under the pressure of the superior Turkish-Kurdish forces and artillery fire, retreated to Andok Mountain. In order to defeat the defenders of Sassoun, the soldiers massacred more than 45,000 of the 60,000 Armenian civilians, the rest hid in the mountains and valleys. In the spring of 1916, when the Russian troops occupied Mush, several thousand Armenians from Sassoun came down from the mountains and escaped the massacre.