Monday, April 14, 2014

Alma Sakaian: 1915 Armenian Caravan PART II Malatia to Samsat

Armenian girls crucified outside Malatia (Ravished Armenia book/movie)
Alma Sakaian, a young woman of 15 years of age, was among the 150 survivors of a 1915 deportation caravan that numbered 18,000 men, women and children. She was the sole survivor of her immediate and extended family. Her 65 day forced march commenced in her village of Aghin situated in the regions of the Upper Euphrates valley. It traversed ancient roads along the Euphrates River, along the foot paths of the Taurus Mountains and the uncharted sand dunes of the Syrian Desert. Using available primary sources I have attempted to recreate her ordeal. 

PART II chronicles the landscape traversed days fourteen to fifty (112 miles) over the Taurus Mountains to the ferry crossing of the Southern Euphrates at Samsat.The map outlines the 3 caravans that deported the villages of the Harpout area. The identified numbered towns on the right are the towns the Alma's caravan passed through and the correspond to numbered pictures provided. The pictures should convey to the reader the difficult terrain that the deportees walked upon. 



Alma Sakaian: 1915 Deportation Caravan Rte. PART I : The First 13 of 65 Days Forced March; Aghin to Malatia


1915; July 16, transit camp at Fırıncılar (sancak of Malatya): Girls under the age of fifteen and boys under the age of ten are removed from the convoys of deportees passing through Fırıncılar to be officially housed in orphanages specially established for them at Malatya. Several thousand of them are drowned in the Euphrates some days later.

1915; July 18, Harput (province of Mamuret ul-Aziz): The second convoy from Harput, made up of some 3,000 people, is set en route to Urfa. Eight days later, at a point some three hours from Malatya at a place called Çiftlik, the males over the age of twelve are extracted from the convoy and executed in the barracks. *** (Kévorkian, 2006: 484).

1915; July 28, Harput (province of Mamuret ul-Aziz): The third and last convoy from Harput carries the elderly, young women, some children, and the blind who had been taken care of until then. **(Jacobsen, 2001: 82-83; and Davis, 1994: 53).

1915; August 15 to 17, sancak of Malatya: The first convoy of deportees from the various quarters of Malatya is put together and sent to Sürgü. Part of this convoy is decimated two hours away at Akçadağ, in the Beğler Deresi valley, by local Kurdish tribes. ***(Kévorkian, 2006: 508).

1915; August 23 to 25, sancak of Malatya: The second convoy of deportees from Malatya is put together and sent to Fırıncılar. Part of the group arrives at Samsat. ** (Kévorkian, 2006: 508).


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