In 1915, at a time when the Armenian forces were severely weakened and the Turks were constantly receiving reinforcements, to prove once again to Fakhri Pasha, commander of the Turkish-German forces, that an Armenian who went to the fateful battle would never be captured again, Yotnegbayrian took a crazy step that succeeded: Leslie, an American missionary, and 14 foreigners did not leave the city and were sent to an American carpenter’s factory. Upon meeting him, Mkrtich asked him to raise the white flag and leave. Before the Turks attempted to establish their forces in the area, the Armenians had already taken up positions there, a fighting group of twenty men occupied the buildings, and ten soldiers dressed in Turkish uniforms took up positions in the stadium of the Protestant school. As the Turks descended unhindered from their positions toward the American school buildings, a joint attack began. The Turks froze in the face of this surprise attack and did not know what to do when the “brothers” tried to run to the stadium, where they were met by bullets.
It should be added that the wounded Yotnegbayrian committed suicide to avoid falling into enemy hands. Perhaps there are many such cases and such sons of Armenians like Murad of Sevastia, Kaitsak Arakel, Tonik Tonikyan, Gevorg Chavush, Andranik Ozanian and many other brave men.
After all, we must always hold our heads high, because we too are Armenians, and we owe our nation’s existence in part to the aforementioned and many other brave men like them. I would like to conclude by quoting Talat’s words about the Urfa self-defense: “If we study in depth the uprising in Urfa, we will see that the revolutionary movement there was one of the most well-organized rebellions. The basements and rooms of the bunkers were filled with countless weapons and ammunition, and food supplies were stored for 9 to 10 weeks. All the young men in that city, ages 16-17, were artillerymen and snipers.”