Armenian Revolutionary Federation

Davit (also known as Davo or David) was a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaks) in Van, Turkey. Davit was mistreated by the ARF Dashnaks and their leaders and decided to help the Ottoman authorities by informing them of smuggling routes, weapons caches, bomb factories, the inner structure of the Dashnaks, and revealed their future plans for revolution and massacre of the Turks during the 1900s.

Davit was a member of the Dashnaks and was in love with a girl named Vatan and wished to marry her. Aram Pafla (Aram Manukyan) as well had feelings for her and used his powerful Dashnak position to forbid Davit from marrying her. [1]

Davit decided to go to Tiflis to ask the leaders of the Dashnak committee to obtain permission to marry Vatan from Aram's superiors. The leaders agreed with Aram's decision and forbade Davit to marry Vatan.

Davit Decided to Fight Back

Davit angry with the way Aram treated him, he went to the Ottoman governor of Van, Ali Riza Pasa. He told him everything he knew about the Dashnaks and became an informant for Ottoman national guard.

Dashnaks were Raided

Using Davit's information, the governor made multiple operations in February 1908 along with Davit raiding weapons and arm caches in Van city of the Dashnaks.

February 5th Raid

On February 5th, 200 rounds of ammunition were discovered in Surb Kirkor Monastery, eight miles from now. The very same day 200,000 more rounds and 500 rifles were captured in the Garden District. [2]

More searches the next day revealed 300 packages of dynamite. By this time, Dashnak revolutionaries began to resist the raids by Ottoman soldiers by firing upon Ottoman soldiers in the Garden District. The Ottoman government reported 17 Ottoman casualties.

The government estimated that over 2 thousand weapons, five thousand bombs, hundreds of thousands of cartridges, and many other military materials. [3]

The government was surprised to find so many weapons that could arm a brigade of troops and severely damage the Ottoman army. They were even more surprised that many of the weapons found were of higher quality than the Ottoman weapons. The smuggling for years by the Dashnaks through Russia and Iran had been incredibly successful, but because of Davit's belief that the Dashnaks were not doing any good for the Armenian people, the Ottomans were able to severely damage the Dashnak Cause.

Davit the Informer Assassinated by the Dashnaks

After hiding out for many months, Davit decided to go to the market one day, he was assassinated in the Hacbogan Market by a Dashnak assassin called Dacat Terlimazian. The Assassin fired into the crowd killing Davit and a number of bystanders. Eight bystanders were killed.

The story of Davit, is corroborated by the Ottoman archives, and by K. S. Papazian's book "Patriotism Reverted" in which the version of the story is that Aram raped Vatan and Davit sought revenge.

Dashnaks Iron-Grip on Armenian Society

There are thousands of stories similar to what Davit experienced, some may never be heard of. Armenian Church leaders, notables, intellectuals, and professionals were murdered in cold blood because they believed that the Dashnaks were not helping the Armenian people but hurting them. Their revolution was unnecessary and based on the spread of irrational Armenian Nationalism that caused many youths of Armenia to unite for a cause that was not ever defined except by violence and bloodshed.

Hundreds of thousands of Turks died, as well as Kurds, Circassians, and other Muslims in the region during the Armenian Revolution (1895-1918), including the governor Ali Riza Pasa who was involved in the story of Davit. The Dashnaks committed atrocities in order to provoke counter-massacres, which did happen, where Armenians would be killed, and Dashnaks would have to ability to spread propaganda in European and Western Medias in order to convince foreign powers to intervene and grant them independence like they had to Bulgaria and many other nations that use to be a part of the Ottoman Empire.

Once an Armenian sniper was captured attacking the French Embassy in Turkey, when interrogated he revealed that he was going to blame the Turks for attacking the French embassy in order to compel France to invade the Ottoman Empire. He said the plan was introduced to him by the Dashnaks.


  1. ^ The Armenian Rebellion at Van by Justin McCarthy (2007), p. 111
  2. ^ The Armenian Rebellion at Van by Justin McCarthy (2007), p. 112
  3. ^ The Armenian Rebellion at Van by Justin McCarthy (2007), p. 112