Sasun, a region of Anatolia formerly under Ottoman rule and today part of eastern Turkey, is frequently recounted in history books as the site where, in 1894, the Turks murdered anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 Armenian Christians. News reports at the time detailed that gruesome acts, including torture, had occurred at Sasun at the hands of the Ottoman army. The Ottoman Empire denied these allegations. A commission of European delegates sent to investigate the matter concluded that the news reports were highly exaggerated, yet the original stories of atrocities have persisted. This volume provides a close examination of the historical evidence to shed light on what really happened at Sasun. The authors’ research indicates that the stories circulated by the media of torture and murder in Sasun don’t hold up against the findings of the European investigators though they were motivated by sympathy with Armenian Christians. Evidence instead showed that an Armenian revolt had led to fights with local Kurds and much smaller numbers of deaths, on both sides. The conflict had largely subsided before the arrival of the Ottoman army on the scene.
Justin McCarthy is professor of history at the University of Louisville, Kentucky. He has published eleven books, including The Armenian Rebellion at Van (University of Utah Press, 2006) and The Turk in America (University of Utah Press, 2010.)
Ömer Turan is professor of history at the Middle East Technical University and author of The Turks in Bulgaria, 1878-1908 and Avrasya'da Misyonerler.
Cemalettin Taskiran is professor of history at Kirikkale University. He has published numerous articles on Turkish history and international relations.
Praise and Reviews:
“The book is a serious, scholarly endeavor that…will be very useful for the scholars and public interested in Ottoman history, the Armenian problem and relations between different ethnic and religious groups. It stands above existing books dealing with the Sasun incident and similar events.”—Kemal H. Karpat, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of The Politicization of Islam and The Ottoman Past and Today’s Turkey