History of Khoshmat - Dr. Mardiros H. Chakoian

Editorial note


Vartan Vartanian


Chapter 1: Palu and the fort

Chapter 2: Monasteries and Sanctuaries


Chapter 1: Education in Palou

Chapter 2: United Association of Armenians in Palou

• Havav

• Nerkhi

Chapter 3

• Villages of Palou

• Statistics of Palou Armenian-inhabited villages

• The Great Earthquake of Palou


Chapter 1

• Khoshmat

• The Holy Mother of God Church

• The Church of Khoshmat

• Priests

Chapter 2 : Sanctuaries

• Abdul-Mseh (Donag)

• Holy Cross

• Holy Cathedral

• St. Giragos

• St. Mangig

Chapter 3

• Springs

• Field Springs

• Humanlike Stones

Chapter 4

• Tbrotsasirats Association and the School of Khoshmat

• Teachers (1880-96)

• The First Graduates of the School of Khoshmat

• The Last Graduates of Khoshmat’s High School (1913-1914)

• Khoshmat Through My Eyes

Chapter 5: The Intellectuals of Khoshmat

• Arakel Babajanian

• Bedros effendi Fermanian

• Hampartsoum Oulousian

• Vahan Oulousian

• Vartan Dirad

• Garabed Klanian

• Sarkis B. Klanian

• Toros Klanian

• Bedros Papazian

• Boghos H. Chakoian

• Haroutiun Vartanian

• Manoug Dzaghigian

• Kapriel Frangian

• Dikran Ghazaros Bedigian

• Hagop Ghazaros Bedigian

• Mikayel Khodjoian

• Boghos Deradourian

• Hampartsoum Harutounian (Bournousouzian)

• Bethlehem Markarian (Shaghougian)

• Mgrdich Malian

• Boghos Papazian

• Karekin Garabedian

• Father Manoug Khodjoian

• Hovhannes Klanian

Chapter 6 : The Important Initiatives of the Tbrotsasirats Association of Khoshmat

Chapter 7 : Ladies Auxiliary Society of Khoshmat

Chapter 8 : Architects

• Aznavour Efendi Khodjoian

• Toros Khalifa Malian (Ghazarian) Kara Toros

• Mardiros Ghazarian

• Simon Khalifa Bedigian or Melkonian

• Arakel Milidosian

• Garabed Milidosian

• Sahag Oulousian

• Haji Krikor Milidosian

• Donabed Khabloian (Arghntsonts)

• Markar Shaghougian

• Kokona Vartan

Chapter 9 : Various types of crafts

• Joinery

• Masonry

• Carpeting

• Pottery

Chapter 10 : Manufacturing

• Oil presses of Khoshmat

• Hand Millstone

• Fruits

• Vegetables


Chapter 1 : Traditions and Customs

• New Year

• Christmas

• Paregentan

• Easter

• Wedding

• Life of the Bride

• Songs

• Popular Medicine

• Wishes and blessings

• Curses

• Things portending misfortune

• Dream interpretation

• Riddles

• Sayings (Fables)

• Provincial Proverbs (Talks)

• Commonly used phrases

• Games (for boys)

• Words of wisdom from the elderly people

Chapter 2 : Historic Characters and Famous Events

• Father Khachadour Shiroian

• Father Reteos Simonian

• Mardiros Shahen Chakoian

• Sarkis effendi Dzaghigian’s royal medal

• Boghos Harutounian

• Nazar Nazarian

• The Power of the Pitchfork and Khachig Chakoian

• How Sarkis Vartanian Drowned

• Fragment of Soukias Depoian’s Life

• How We Left Khoshmat and The Intercession of St. Mangig in 1896

• Farewell of Seven Young Men

• Fragments of Simon Simonian’s Life

• Abduction of Paro (A Group of Pilgrims)

• Tax Collectors

• Incident with Bedros Simonian

• Interesting Memoirs of Krikor Der Khachadourian (Koko)

• Mardiros Shaghougian (Kaloian) - One of His Episodes

• Fragment of Sarkis Shahin Chakoian’s Life

• Hagop Tatigian (Ali Baba)

• Haroutiun Deradourian and the Incident with the Box of Eggs

• The herdsman of Khoshmat, by Sarkis Shahrigian

• An Interesting Incident in the Life of the Herdsman


Chapter 1 : Notorious Beys of Palou

• Keor Abdullah bey

• Khoshmatlian Dynasty and Beys

Chapter 2

• Khoshmat Resistance – 1897

• The Bloody Fight

• Trial of the Beys

• The End of the Beys

• The Meliks of Khoshmat

Chapter 3 : The Order to Begin the Massacre

• The Role of Garabed Klanian and Misak Shaghougian (Kaloian)

• Khachadour Shiroian’s memoirs (From Canada)

• Mgrdich Taraian (from Marseille): Taken from his Bloody Memoirs

• Apkar Simonian

• Baghdasar Deradourian (from Marseille): Memoirs

Chapter 4

• Soldiers of Khoshmat

• Khoshmat Volunteers

• A Fragment of Volunteer’s Life

• A Fragment of Benjamin Shaghougian’s Life (A Volunteer)

• Other Soldiers Native of Khoshmat

Chapter 5 : Photos of Khoshmat Armenians

Chapter 6 : People of Khoshmat in Constantinople (Taken from the notes of the late Toros Klanian)

Chapter 7 : People of Khoshmat in Diaspora

• People of Khoshmat in France

• People of Khoshmat in Soviet Armenia

• People of Khoshmat in Syria

• People of Khoshmat in Canada

• People of Khoshmat in America

The Bloody Fight

From 1897 to 1908 ten percent of the village was under the control of Rushdi Bey, who never missed an opportunity to exaggerate his exploits. In addition to receiving his tithe, the Bey made the poor villagers pay money to his scribe, clerks, their families, relatives, guests and especially to the very governmental bodies that oppressed them. But even that was not enough for Rushdi Bey. He made the villagers pay money to the caretakers of his ten horses kept in the basement of the school. The number of clerks and caretakers of the horses increased day by day.

Zlosh from Gharaman, a true patriot, secretly informed the villagers that Rushdi Bey was going to bring ten more horses to be kept in the yard of the church as a punishment for the villagers’ disrespectful manners towards him. For the people of Khoshmat that was the last straw. The sacred land where the monks of Khoshmat were buried was about to be desecrated. Who could ever tolerate this? The people of Khoshmat came together in the large hall of the school. The headman Harutiun Simonian and the chairperson Mr. Hampartsum Ulusian explained the odious intentions of Rushdi Bey to the villagers.

Is it acceptable to tolerate this kind of abusive behavior? One must fight for his rights, file complaints to the Government, in order to throw the Bey out of the village! Hazarian, Klanian, Chakoian, Khabloian, and Milidosian discussed the issue and decided to take drastic measures. The young men suggested attacking the enemy that very day and driving their horses out of the village, but the elderly people advised them to wait for a little while. The members of the meeting ultimately decided to throw the horses out of the school’s basement and to remove the Bey and his guard. Second, they decided to return the occupied fields and orchards to their real owners.

All these provisions were included in a letter of complaint addressed to the Bey.  The letter was given to Manug Amirvartian and Mardiros Dzaghigian who took it to the palace of Rushdi Bey (who lived in Sakrat) and waited there for his response.
The Bey, who was confounded by this action, began cursing at his guests. He ordered them to leave his palace immediately. Rushdi Bey sent two horsemen to Khoshmat to order his people there not to agree to any demand of the complaint letter and, instead, fight against the villagers to the bitter end if necessary.

On the same day the Bey secretly sent 25 armed horsemen to the basement of the school so that they could prepare for the fight. The response the people of Khoshmat made in the village was noteworthy. That day none of the villagers went to the field. The young men went to the threshing floors of the Simonian and Khabloian families armed with cudgels, pitchforks and knives. These threshing floors were located next to the school.

The gradually increasing number of people and their earsplitting shouts baffled and worried the Bey’s servants. When an equestrian Suleyman Effendi went to see what was going on outside, he was immediately forced down off his horse. The people of Khoshmat made him return to his fellow soldiers on foot, conveying orders to the Bey and his soldiers to leave the village without weapons and horses. In return, they promised to give them back their weapons half an hour later. In the meantime, two young men were waiting on either side of the school.

The scribe of the Bey, Suleiman Effendi, who was infuriated by the requirements of the villagers, ordered the soldiers to mercilessly kill all the people of Khoshmat. He attacked the villagers himself in order to serve as an example to the soldiers and to spread fear among the people of Khoshmat.

A young Melik, Sdepan Milidosian, responded by attacking Suleiman’s horse, laying the animal down and making Suleiman fell off. The two men started shooting at each other. The villagers hid in the threshing filled with wheat shelves in order to avoid the bullets. Their opponents, who were outside, were the first to get injured. One by one they fell dead on the ground.

The villagers shot the horses and the soldiers of the Bey from all sides. Out of despair, the Bey’s men rushed to the orchards of the village Nerkhi. The people of Khoshmat took the dead bodies of the Bey, his servants and their families and threw them out of the village. Seven brave people from Khoshmat who were seriously injured in the fight immediately received treatment. Thirty-two soldiers of the Bey were wounded and twelve of his horses were hurt. This is what people can do if they come together as one. And this is how the people of Khoshmat made Rushdi Bey and his cowardly parasites leave the village for good.

Despite being angered by his defeat, the Bey didn’t give up and decided to use deceit to get his way. He sent a delegation to the chieftain Yako, settled in the Kurdish inhabited village of Durmishan (located in Bulanik.) The Bey asked Yako to attack the people of Khoshmat at night, promising to reward him in return. The chieftain Yako had been arrested by the police several times for committing murders and invasions but every time he somehow managed to obtain freedom, usually due to the intervention of Rushdi Bey. In gratitude for the bey’s support the chieftain decided to comply with his request. He promised the Bey that he would attack Khoshmat in a few days. He immediately started preparing for the invasion.

The pride of the people of Khoshmat, Khachig Giritsian, a carpenter who was busy with the construction of houses in the same Kurdish-inhabited village, was fluent in the Kurdish language and heard the secret conversation about the coming attack. That night he came to Khoshmat and told Melik Sdepan Milidosian everything he had heard. Then he returned to the village; he was already in bed before sunrise.

The people of Khoshmat immediately sent a delegation to Yako, a delegation which was comprised of three people—Nazar, Sahag Chakoian, and Serop Khabloian. They conveyed the request of the Melik and the elderly people of Khoshmat that he abandon the idea of attacking the villagers for the sake of their time-honored friendship.

Admiring the bravery of the Armenians, Yako confessed that he was indeed planning to attack Khoshmat in two days with his fifty horsemen and two hundred Kurds. But he had now changed his mind and had decided to give up that idea in order to maintain their everlasting friendship.

Finding out that his plan had failed, Rushdi Bey turned to the Kurdish tribal leader of Lower Bulanik, Ali Zurna. Ali Zurna was a dangerous invader who kept four hundred Kurdish soldiers under his control, because he often had to fight with the government or with the other Kurdish tribal leaders. Rushdi Bey promised to reward Ali Zurna with mounds of gold if he managed to bring the people of Khoshmat to their knees. In his turn Ali Zurna promised the Bey to reduce Khoshmat to ashes within fifteen days.

Elmas (or Ule, as she was called,) the daughter of a priest and a girl from one of the villages of Erzurum/Garin who had been forced to marry a Kurdish man, overheard this conversation. This Armenian girl raced to Khoshmat and reported everything she had heard to the villagers so they could prepare for the coming danger.

The people of Khoshmat started getting ready for the fight: they dug trenches and established a look-out. They also sent a delegation to the chief of Dersim, Tamira Bey, asking for his support in the fight against Ali Zurna. And Khoshmat succeeded once again. Tamira Bey ordered Ali Zurna to hold and not to lay a finger on the people of Khoshmat, reminding him of the cruel slaughter of 40 Dersim Kurds under the direction of Rushdi Bey’s barbarian father, Keor Abdullah. Organizing a reception for the delegation from Khoshmat, Ali Zurna told them that he would be always at their service. Rushdi Bey had lost again.