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The story of two Armenian women posing with their rifles before going to battle against the Ottomans, 1895


The story behind the famous photograph of two Armenian women with their rifles is complex and still mysterious. This photo was taken in 1895 during the genocide of the Hamidis, where thousands of Armenians from the Ottoman Empire were massacred.

The woman on the left has been identified as Eghispet Sultania, the other woman is yet to be identified. It is not confirmed whether they were real fighters or just posing for photos.

In fact, on the back of the original image is a note that reads "Souvenir". Both women survived and eventually went to America. Unfortunately, there is no other information about them.

The rifles the women are carrying are not matched by any mass-produced rifle, there is no swelling for the chamber area, no definition of the bolt and cocking piece, the bases of the rear sight are lower than the handguards. There are no other places of interest.

The revolver also looks counterfeit, the proportions, especially the trigger guard, is off. It's more likely that these were made to show off in a photo booth.

While counterfeit rifles for a photo booth will not mean they are not guerrilla fighters, anything is possible in domestic weapons. Just more likely they'll pair fakes for photos and use real guns elsewhere.



Armenian women have a long history as defenders of their communities, particularly during the Hamidian Genocide and Armenian Genocide when Ottoman authorities employed Armenian men to almost certain death, leaving women and children to fend for themselves. was given.

These guerrilla fighters were called fadayi, a word derived from the Arabic word fadayen which literally means "sacrifice". It fully describes civilian men and women who voluntarily left their families and were left behind to form self-defense units in response to the plundering and killing of Armenians at the hands of Ottoman forces.

Fedai was the real backbone of the Armenian nation as they numbered in the thousands and led the national movement. They were instrumental in the Hamidian Massacre (1894–1896), the Sasun Resistance (1894), the Zitun Rebellion (1895–1896) and the Defense of the Van and Khansor Campaign (1897), as well as the battalions they fought and won as a result. . An independent Armenia in 1918.

The Hamidian massacres were carried out by Ottoman forces against Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in the mid-1890s. They are generally called the Hamidian genocide – after the Ottoman sultan Abdulhamid II, during whose reign they were executed – to distinguish them from the later Armenian genocide, which began in 1915.

Genocide began in the Ottoman interior in 1894, before becoming more widespread in subsequent years. Between 1894 and 1896 is when most of the murders took place.

The massacre began in 1897, following the international condemnation of Abdul Hamid. It was estimated that the casualties ranged from 80,000 to 300,000 resulting in 50,000 orphans.

News of the Armenian genocide in the Empire was widely reported in Europe and the United States and received strong reactions from foreign governments, humanitarian organizations and the press alike.

A September 1895 article in The New York Times had a headline "Armenian Holocaust", while the Catholic World declared, "All the perfumes of Arabia cannot wash the hands of Turkey so cleanly that it is no longer tolerated to take the reins of power." Christian area more than an inch."

Despite great public sympathy for Armenians in Europe, no European power took concrete action to alleviate the plight of the Armenians.

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