In the Enemy Lines
Now, I would like to bring some critical information on the military activities of some Ottoman citizens, with whom were some of the members of parliament, in the Eastern Anatolian provinces against the Ottoman Empire, at the very beginning of the Great War, before the battles between the Ottoman and Russian forces in the Caucasus, to your attention.
Their military activities against Türkiye along with the insurgences incited by the Fedayeens affiliated to the Armenian Committees in some Anatolian provinces are the only reason for the relocations of the civilian Armenian people residing very close to the Russian front to a place far away from that region (Syria and Mesopotamia).
As an honorable Turkish academician, I swear to God, and on the common holy values of the entire humanity that there is no other reason for the relocation of the Ottoman Armenians to other regions under the war conditions of 1915, despite all the impossibilities.
All the critical information I would like to present you is directly drawn from the Russian and Armenian sources.
Especially, the part concerning the military activities of the Armenian Committees at the Caucasus Front are taken directly from the Russian and Armenian sources.
The most reliable narrator of the military activities of the Armenian Dashnak and Hntchaq Committees in the Eastern Anatolia against the Ottoman Army and the civilian Muslim people living in the region during the World War I was a Russian Commander.
In 1927, Russian General Gavril Korganoff of Armenian origin explains, in his book La participation des Armeniens a la guerre Mondiale sur le front du Caucase, 1914–1918 [Participation of the Armenians in the World War on the Caucasus Front 1914-1918 (Paris, 1927)], how the Armenian Committees and the Russian General Staff organized the Armenian Volunteer Units, and how these units fought against the Ottoman Forces, along with 30 hand-drawn front plans.
The report, numbered 13378, dated December 24, 1915, that was prepared by the Russian Caucasus Army includes statistical data about the Armenian Volunteer Units. According to these report, 6 volunteer units were formed. Each unit was composed of 1.000 or less members, and there were 5.000 Armenian volunteers in total. In addition, the 7th Reserve Volunteer Unit was formed in Yerevan. (These are the first statistics. The number increased to 10.000 later).
Armenian Volunteers from Bulgaria, Romania, Egypt, and the USA (among them, the Ottoman Armenians were in majority) also joined these units.
As emphasized in the Andranik biography published in Beirut, in 1986; the majority of the people who took part in the formation of the Armenian Volunteer Units at the Caucasus Front consisted of the Ottoman Armenians who took refuge in the Caucasus front, and of those who settled in other countries.
I would like to present some brief information on these volunteer units:
The First Armenian Volunteer Unit
The commander of this unit, Andranik, in his interview with Russian General Nazarbekov, indicated that most of the combatant soldiers in his unit were from Turkey, and from the province of Muş.
They were holding the Iran-Başkale-Van line.
The Second Armenian Volunteer Unit
The commander of this unit was Dro.
Setting off from Iğdır, the unit followed the Iğdır-Beyazıt-Berkri-Van line.
The Third Armenian Volunteer Unit
It was formed in Kağızman.
This unit, under the command of Amazaspom, held the Kağızman-Eleşkirt-Malazgirt-Bitlis line.
The Fourth Armenian Volunteer Unit
The unit which was commanded by Keri, was positioned on Sarıkamış-Gare-Orzan-Köprüköy-Erzurum line.
Only one type of military uniform was prepared for the Armenian Volunteer Units.
There were green epaulets bearing the initials “A.D.I” (Pervaya Armyanskaya Drujina: The First Armenian Volunteer Unit) on these uniforms.