When we talk about Turkish-Armenian relations in 1915, we mostly talk about the massacre of Armenians, but few people mention that, although many Armenians were exterminated during this period, in any case, the Armenian did not just put his head under the wall and wait to be shot, he did not kneel down before the soldier and was not obediently shot.
It should be noted that the Armenian was also a fidayeen who fought with a weapon in his hand, he was a resistance fighter and a rebel, defending not only the honor of his family, but also the nation. Hay did not just die in this battle, he was a martyr. It is true that our people were not completely united, one of the main reasons for this was the geographical situation, and the other reason was the decision taken by the Armenian parties in 1914, according to which the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire were to serve in the Ottoman army, and the Armenians of the Russian subjects in the Russian army.
In other words, the parties preferred Armenians fighting in the forces of different states to fight against each other. In any case, Armenians managed to organize a brilliant self-defense in some cities without most of the national leaders (they were mostly killed).
Presented by Western Armenian television, Mkrtich Yotneghbayrian was on September 25, 1915, member and head of the five-member military corps created for the organization of self-defense that started in Urfa (Mkrtich Yotneghbayrian, Harutyun Rastkelenian, Harutyun Simeian, Khoren Külpelian and Levon Eghberlerian).
In 1908, after the constitution, the Armenians of Urfa started to arm themselves, but military weapons cost the entire annual income of Armenian families. Many people were forced to sell their land or what was in the house, and Mkrtich Yotneghbayrian with exceptional skill broke into the mosque (former Armenian church St. Karasun Mankants), which was famous for the expensive carpets that were part of a luxurious interior and decoration.
They were sold in distant cities and weapons were brought to Urfa instead. With the same skill, he was able to pose as a government official and collect taxes from Turkish villages. During the war, he entered the Turkish villages in officer’s uniform and “conscripted” men, and as soon as he left the village, he released everyone in exchange for big bribes and spent all the money again to buy weapons.
In Aleppo, through daring night attacks, he seized a large number of weapons held by Turkish soldiers. Posing as an Arab or a Circassian, he bought weapons and ammunition from soldiers and even officers. The highlight of his operation was the theft of 150 battle rifles from the Aleppo fortress, which he carried out in February 1913. When the theft was discovered and all the personnel of the fortress were imprisoned, the weapons had already reached Urfa, Tigranakert and even Sassoun.