Two brave Armenian women pose for a photo shortly before going to war against the Ottomans during the Hamidian Massacres in 1895. The Hamidian Massacres were initiated by Sultan Abdul Hamid II, and his Kurdish collaborators at the time against the Armenian and Assyrian communities of eastern Anatolia. After military defeats in Georgia and Crimea against the Russian Empire, hundreds of thousands of refugees came pouring into Anatolia and the ‘Armenian Question’ was raised by the sultan. This statement labeled Armenians as traitors who collaborated with Russia (as they both shared orthodoxy) and told the new refugees to settle in Armenian and Assyrian homes and kill them if they had to.
Over 300,000 Armenians and Assyrians were killed in the massacres. Some Armenians (including the ones in this photo) took up arms against the Ottoman military and it’s Kurdish irregulars to defend their homelands in Urfa, Bitlis, Van, and Diyarbakir. After the international community found out, cease of trading occurred against the Ottomans, and journalists used this photo to show the plight of Christian minorities in the empire. The Young Turks would later use this as a propaganda tool to show “terrorist, rebellious Armenians” and justify the deportations aka genocide. The woman on the right is the great grandmother of famous musician Derek Sherinian. համարձակ դիմադրություն