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Republics of Ararat and Ihsan Nuri Pasha

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The Republics of Ararat was declared itself Kurdish state.  It had been established in the present North (Turkish occupy) Kurdistan, and her powers basis was found of in the Agri province.  The name of the Kurdish Republic had to thank one at the mountain of Ararat, this symbol for the Republic.  Agri means in the Kurdish (ardently), what connection holds with the volcano that sit in the mountain of Ararat.  The Republic of Ararat declared itself in 1927 independent, during the peoples uprising of the Kurds against the Turks.

Although the Republic not recognized became by other states, had many Kurds independence expected after the setbacks during the Ottomans era and felt self betray through the new Turkish Republic that them formerly much promised had.  The Ararat Republic gave expression at the displeasure of the Kurds.  The uprising of Ararat was knocked down in 1932 and took the Turkish army again the power over in Kurdistan

This article is about the Kurdish independence movement. The same name was sometimes also used to refer to the Democratic Republic of Armenia, established in 1918.

The Republic of Ararat was a self-proclaimed Kurdish state. It was located in the east of modern Turkey, being centred on Ağrı Province. (Ağrı, the name of the Turkish province, is the Turkish name for Ararat).
The Republic of Ararat was declared independent in 1927, during a wave of rebellion among Kurds in south-eastern Turkey. The Rebellion was led by General İhsan Nuri Pasha. However it was not recognized by other states.

Ağrı (Armenian: Արարատի; Kurdish: Agirî ) is a province on the eastern borders of Turkey, bordering Iran to the east, Kars to the North, Erzurum to the Northwest, Muş and Bitlis to the Southwest, Van to the south, and Iğdır to the northeast. Area 11,376 km². Population 571,243 (2006 est).

Kars is a province of North Kurdistan, located in the northeastern part of the North Kurdistan. It shares part of its border with the Republic of Armenia. From 1878 until 1917 most of the present-day province of Kars was part of the Russian oblast of Kars. In 1919 and 1920 the province came under the administration of the Democratic Republic of Armenia as the Vanand province (with the city of Kars as its capital). Its territory was ceded to Turkey by the Soviet Union in the Treaty of Kars. The provinces of Ardahan and Iğdır were until the 1990s part of Kars Province.

Ardahan Province is a province in the far north-east of North Kurdistan, at the very end of the country, where Turkey borders with Georgia and Armenia.

Iğdır  located along the border with Armenia, Azerbaijan (the area of Nakhchivan), and Iran. Its adjacent provinces are Kars to the northwest and Ağrı to the west and south. It occupies an area of 3,587 km² and population of 179,839 (2006 est.), it was 168,634 in 2000 (up from 142,601 in 1990).

Muş is a province of North Kurdistan. It is 8,196 km² in area, and has a population of 488,997 (2006 est). The population was 453,654 in 2000. Kurds form the majority. The provincial capital is the city of Muş. Another town in Muş province, Malazgirt (Manzikert), is famous for the Battle of Manzikert of 1071.
The plain of Muş was historically part of the Armenian province of Daron-Duruperan, and the mountains on its southern border formed the boundary between Greater Armenia and Syria,
Muş and Sason were the scene of clashes between Armenians and Kurds in the late 19th century (see Kurdish-Armenian relations).
Bitlis is a province of eastern North Kurdistan, located to the west of Lake Van. Kurds form the majority. The capital of the province is the city Bitlis.
A folk etymology explanation of the name Bitlis, is that it is derived from “Bedlis”, the name of the commander who built a castle in the province, by the order of Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia. The history of Bitlis extends back to 2000 BC, and the city contains traces from the Urartian, Armenian, Persian, Roman, and Byzantine periods.

It was known as the Kurdish principality Badlis from the 12th to the 19th century. The region was also the home of the 16th century Kurdish historian, Sherefxan Bedlisi (also: Sharaf al-Din Bitlisi), who was also an appointed prince of the Persian and later Ottoman Empires.
Sharaf al-Din Bitlisi or Sharafkhan Bitlisi (Kurdish: Şerefxan Bedlîsî) (1543 – 1599) was a Kurdish historian and poet. He wrote in Persian.
His famous Persian book Sherefname is regarded as a main source on Kurdish history. He wrote it in 1597.
Van is a province of North Kurdistan, between Lake Van and the Iranian border. It is 19,069 km2 in area and has a population of 1,012,707. Kurds form the majority.
Its adjacent provinces are Bitlis to the west, Siirt to the southwest, Şırnak and Hakkari to the south, and Agri to the north. The capital is Van. The province and the surrounding area is the home of famous Van kedisi (Van cat).
Iğdır (Turkish): Iğdır, Kurdish: Îdir, Armenian: Իգդիր, Azerbaijani: İğdır, Russian: Игдир, Persian: ایگدیر) is a province in eastern Turkey, located along the border with Armenia, Azerbaijan (the area of Nakhchivan), and Iran. Its adjacent provinces are Kars to the northwest and Ağrı to the west and south. It occupies an area of 3,587 km² and population of 179,839 (2006 est.), it was 168,634 in 2000 (up from 142,601 in 1990).

Turkey’s highest mountain, the Biblical Mount Ararat (Ağrı Dağı) is in Iğdır, but much of the land is a wide plain far below the mountain. The climate is the warmest in this part of Turkey, cotton can be grown in Iğdır. Iğdır is where Noah is said to have thrived following the flood. The Armenian border is marked by the Aras River. The provincial capital is the city of Iğdır

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Ihsan Nuri Pasha and his wife

Ihsan Nuri Pasha was the general during the so called Ararat revolts, also known as the Agri-revolts.

Many nationalists met in October 1927 and not only proclaimed the independence of Kurdistan, but also formed Khoybun (Independence), a “supreme national organ … with full and exclusive national and international powers”.

In displaying the need for a proper military structure, Khoybun nominated Ihsan Nuri Pasha Commander-In-Chief of the Kurdish National Army. Nuri Pasha, besides being a former Kurdish member of the “Young Turk Movement”, showed his allegiance to the Kurdish cause when he led the mutiny within the Turkish military prior to the Shaykh Said Revolt.

By 1928, Nuri Pasha had assembled a small group of soldiers armed with modern weapons and trained in infantry tactics. This force initiated the Khoybun revolt, marching towards Mount Ararat. Nuri and his men not only achieved success in reaching Mount Ararat, but they were able to secure the towns of Bitlis, Van, and most of the countryside around Lake Van, establishing a notable area of Kurdish resistance.

By the end of summer 1930, the Turkish Air Force was bombing Kurdish positions around Mt. Ararat from all directions. According to General İhsan Nuri Pasha, the military superiority of Turkish Air Force demoralized Kurds and led to their capitulation.
Mount Ararat (see section Names for other names) is the tallest peak in Turkey. This snow-capped, dormant volcanic cone is located in the Iğdır Province, near the northeast corner of Turkey, 16 km (10 miles) west of the Iranian and 32 km (20 miles) south of the Armenian border

Historical Overview

Despite the failure of Shaykh Said and Azadi, Kurdish intellectuals and nationalist leaders continued to plan for an independent Kurdistan. Many of these nationalists met in October 1927 and not only proclaimed the independence of Kurdistan, but also formed Khoybun (Independence), a “supreme national organ … with full and exclusive national and international powers”. This new organization’s leadership believed the key to success in the struggle for an independent Kurdistan lay not in tribal allegiances, but in a “properly conceived, planned and organized” military enterprise.

In displaying the need for a proper military structure, Khoybun nominated Ihsan Nuri Pasha Commander-In-Chief of the Kurdish National Army. Nuri Pasha, besides being a former Kurdish member of the “Young Turk Movement”, showed his allegiance to the Kurdish cause when he led the mutiny within the Turkish military prior to the Shaykh Said Revolt.

After establishing leadership, Khoybun sought the aid of many influential European forces to help supply the Kurdish nationalist military endeavor. Despite their displeasure with the Kemalist regime, however, neither the British nor the French gave much support to Khoybun. According to Safrastian, the European powers, once supportive of Kurdish independence, were swayed by Turkish media and press reports. With little aid from Europe, Khoybun eventually settled for the support of the Armenian Dashnak Party, the Shah of Persia, and fellow Kurds such as Shaykh Ahmad Barzani, leader of the Iraqi Kurdistan Barzani tribe. Syrian Kurds also came to the aid of Khoybun, cutting railroads, pillaging Turkish villages, and conducting guerrilla assaults.

By 1928, Ihsan Nuri Pasha had assembled a small group of soldiers armed with modern weapons and trained in infantry tactics. This force initiated the Khoybun revolt, marching towards Mount Ararat. Nuri and his men not only achieved success in reaching Mount Ararat, but they were able to secure the towns of Bitlis, Van, and most of the countryside around Lake Van, establishing a notable area of Kurdish resistance.

Along with their weapons, organization, and ability, Kurdish strength was enhanced by the positioning of the rebellion. Although Turkish forces attempted to suppress the revolt as early as 1927, their success was tempered by a lack of Persian cooperation, as Mount Ararat lay in the Turkish-Persian border. By 1930, however, Turkish forces began to take the upper hand. Beginning in May, the Turkish army went on the offensive, surrounding Mount Ararat with over 10,000 troops by late June. Troop numbers on both sides continued to grow as Kurdish tribes were recruited to join the cause and approximately 60,000 more soldiers were called up by the Turkish government.

Besides facing an increasing numerical disadvantage, the Khoybun resistance slowly saw its regional support disappear. Pressured by the Turkish government, French administrators in Syria and British administrators in Iraq restrained much of the southern support for Khoybun. Prior to Turkish insistence, Barzani military aid from Southern Kurdistan included 500 horsemen from the Mosul district brought by the “Sheik of Barzan”. Other Kurdish tribal chiefs such as Hatcho and Simqu, both from Syria, came to the aid of Khoybun in 1930.

The biggest blow to Khoybun’s Ararat revolt, however, came from Persia. Although initially supportive of Kurdish resistance, the Persian government did not resist Turkish military advances into Persia to surround Mount Ararat. Persian frontier guardsmen also began to close the Persian-Turkish border to non-essential travelers, including Kurdish tribes attempting to reinforce the revolt. Persia would eventually completely submit to Turkish operational demands, trading the land surrounding Mount Ararat for Turkish land near Qutur and Barzirgan.

The organized revolt on Mount Ararat was defeated by the fall of 1930, although the Turks waited until the following spring to attack any remaining tribal dissenters. Similar to the outcome of previous Kurdish uprisings, the Turkish government was merciless to the rebels.

Despite the defeat, Khoybun and the Ararat revolt are important to the history of the peshmerga for three reasons. First, never before had a military force been constructed specifically for the Kurdish nationalist ideal. The influence of the tribal shaykh as military commander was increasingly reduced as nationalism became a more important reason for Kurdish military actions. Second, the Khoybun revolt showed a growing relationship between the Barzani tribe and Kurdish nationalism. Although Mulla Mustafa Barzani had been involved in Shaykh Mahmud’s revolt and had met with Shaykh Said, the military support granted to the Khoybun cause from the Barzani tribe (as led by Shaykh Ahmad and commanded by Mulla Mustafa) was unprecedented. This level of support would continue to grow as future peshmerga, specifically from the Barzani area, would again be called on to defend attempted Kurdish nation-states. Finally, the Khoybun revolt began a pattern of international cooperation against Kurdish nationalism. Exchanges of land between neighboring countries would be seen again as regional powers temporarily put aside their differences in an attempt to suppress Kurdish military ability.

The Agiri (Ağrı) Rebellion

General Ihsan Nuri Pasha, the leader of Kurdish guerrilla forces in this rebellion, was from the famous Kurdish warrior tribe Celali.
On June 11, 1930, armed responses to the rebellion were initiated by the Turkish military against the Ağrı insurgents. Xoybûn, the Kurmanci Kurdish nationalist organisation co-ordinating this rebellion, urgently appealed for help from Kurds. This was a Kurdish rebellion by mostly Kurmancî Kurds. The Kurmancî Kurds far outnumbered the Kizilbash of Dersim. This is why, much to the Turks’ dismay, Xoybûn’s appeal was answered on a wide front, by a counter-offensive at Tendruk, Iğdır, Erdjish, Sipan Dagh, Van, and Bitlis, forcing the Turks to temporarily abandon their offensive against Ağrı. The rebels were gradually crushed by the superior numbers of the Turkish military.
General Ihsan Nuri Pasha, the commander of rebellion, has documented the role of Turkish Air force in defeating the Ağrı revolt in his book titled La Révolte de L’Agridagh (Ağrı Dağı revolt).

By the end of summer 1930, the Turkish Air Force was bombing Kurdish positions around Mt. Ararat from all directions. According to General Ihsan Nuri Pasha, the military superiority of Turkish Air Force demoralized Kurds and led to their capitulation.

During the rebellion, Turkish Air Force bombed several Kurdish tribes and villagers. For instance Halikanli and Herki tribes were bombed on July 18 and August 2 1930, respectively. Rebel villages were continually bombed from August 2nd to 29th. From June 10th to June 12th, 1930, Kurdish positions were extensively bombed, and this forced the Kurds to retreat to higher positions around Mt. Ararat. On July 9th, Cumhuriyet reported that the Turkish Air Force was raining down Ararat with bombs. Kurds who escaped the bombings, were captured alive. On July 13th, the rebellion in Zilan was suppressed. Squadrons of 10-15 aircraft were used in crushing the revolt. On July 16th, two Turkish planes were downed and their pilots were killed by the Kurds. Aerial bombardment continued for several days and forced Kurds to withdraw to the height of 5,000 meters. By July 21st, bombardment had destroyed many Kurdish forts. During these operations, Turkish military mobilized 66,000 soldiers and 100 aircraft. The campaign against the Kurds was over by September 17th, 1930.

The Ararat rebellion was defeated in 1931, and Turkey resumed control over the territory.

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