The Dark Year of Kurds of Darsim

British reports confirmed more casualties, stressing that at least 40,000 Kurds of Darsim were killed during the months that the Turkish army used to launch its military campaign in the region.
AM:11:26:28/12/2019
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, apologized for his country’s massacre of the Kurds and its killing of nearly 13,000 Kurds in Darsim

Translation Unit
Academic Board of the Center

Between 1937 and 1938, the Turkish Dersim region was the scene of one of the worst genocides against the Kurds. In order to impose a number of its laws against this people, Turkish President Mustafa Kemal Ataturk went to launch a military campaign in the region that ended with the killing and displacement of tens of thousands of Alevi Kurds Zazas. Thus, the Darsim massacre and all of the tragedy of the Sheikh Saied Piran revolution and the Zilan Valley massacre are on the list of Turkish crimes against the Kurds.

 

 

Darsim... Poverty and marginalization

 

Darsim differed from other Kurdish regions in terms of religious and dialogues. In spite of the presence of some Sunni tribes speaking the Kurdish language, the majority of the inhabitants of this region adopted the Zazak dialect and was Alevis. During the reign of the Ottoman Empire, Darsim relied on a feudal system that continued for the first period of the history of the modern Republic of Turkey.

Because of the extreme poverty and marginalization suffered by Dersim, and many areas of eastern Turkey, the people refused to pay taxes, and most of its children went to refrain from applying for military service, which angered local Turkish officials.

 

Since the mid-twenties of the last century, Ataturk stressed the need to resort to force to impose the will of his government on Darsim, which he described as the biggest internal dilemma in Turkey.

 

In the culture of Turkification, which the country reached its climax in the mid-thirties, Turkish officials resorted to imposing demographic homogeneity in the country by force, so they resorted to the policy of forced displacement of the population and deliberately forced many residents of the east to leave their lands and migrate to other remote areas in the west of the country.

The Ataturk followers resorted to dividing Darsim and renaming it, so they called it "Tunceli” and increased the powers of its local ruler, who was able to expel whomever he wanted. To enforce security, Ataturk doubled the number of security and the army in the area and established more security centers.

According to local Kurdish sources, the people submitted a complaint to the authorities of Ataturk, so they uploaded their envoy a letter in which they complained about their situation and demanded a change of state policy towards them. However, Turkish officials rejected this message and arrested and executed its bearer, and in response to this, some of the people of Darsim attacked a security center then fights begin from that moment.

 

Kurdish tribal alliance

 

Later, during the month of March 1937, the Turkish authorities spoke of a Kurdish tribal alliance in Darsim and attacks on military areas, and they used this as an excuse to start a fierce military campaign against the Kurds of Darsim.

 

The Turks gathered about 30,000 soldiers near Darsim and prepared to invade the area. In the meantime, the people sent a diplomatic delegation consisting mainly of the local leader "Syed Ridha” and a number of his aides to negotiate with the government and end the crisis. However, the authorities of Ataturk rejected all efforts to restore peace to the region. They deliberately arrested and executed "Sayyid Reza and his aides” by mid-November 1937. Among the victims were 16-year-old son Sayyid Reza.

40 thousand victims

 

Meanwhile, British reports confirmed more casualties, stressing that at least 40,000 Kurds of Darsim were killed during the months that the Turkish army used to launch its military campaign in the region.

 

In late 2011, the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, apologized for his country’s massacre of the Kurds and its killing of nearly 13,000 Kurds in Darsim, but the latter continued what his country started from the war against the Kurds, continuing its campaigns against them, the last of which was his military operation that he launched against the Kurds in northern Syria , Which brought to mind previous scenarios and made many fear similar genocides, such as those that took place in Darsim.



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