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File:Wilayah Dersim 1937.png

Dersim in 1937

Dersim Massacre[1] or Dersim Genocide[2] is a name given to the violent suppression during the Dersim Rebellion in the summer of 1937 and the spring of 1938 of the local population of Dersim, now called Tunceli Province (in Turkey). Tens of thousands of Alevi Kurds[3] and Zazas were killed and thousands more forced into exile, depopulating the province. A key component of the Turkification process was the policy of massive population resettlement, a result of the 1934 Law on Resettlement ('İskân Kanunu' Law No.2510, 13 June 1934) [4] , a policy targeting the region of Dersim as one of its first test cases with disastrous consequences for the local population[5]. Three types of resettlement zones were defined in the resettlement law as follows:

  • districts to be evacuated for health, economic, cultural, political and security reasons and where settlement was forbidden;
  • districts where the population was to be transferred and resettled for the purposes of assimilation to Turkish culture; and,
  • districts where an increase of the population having 'Turkish culture' was recommended.

Dersim genocide conference

Some researchers and parties consider the events as genocide. In 2008, the "Dersim ‘38 Conference" reached the conclusion that Turkey was guilty of genocide not only of Alevis, but also Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, non-Alevi Kurds and Jews, estimating that 50,000-80,000 were killed in the aftermath of the Dersim rebellion.[6]


  1. Susan Meiselas, Martin van Bruinessen, Kurdistan: in the shadow of history, Random House, 1997, p. 147.
  2. İsmail Besikçi, Tunceli Kanunu (1935) ve Dersim Jenosidi, Belge Yayınları, 1990.
  3. The Suppression of the Dersim Rebellion in Turkey (1937-38) Page 4
  4. Çağaptay, Soner (2002). "Reconfiguring the Turkish nation in the 1930s". Harvard. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
  5. George J Andreopoulos, Genocide, page 11
  6. Dersim ‘38 Conference

External links

in Turkish


de:Dersim-Aufstand fr:Massacre de Dersim ku:Serhildana Dêrsimê nl:Opstand van Dersim tr:Dersim İsyanı diq:Terteley Dêrsımi

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