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Dersim Rebellion
Date March 1937 - November 1937,

April 1938 - December 1938

Location Tunceli Province
Result Decisive Turkish Victory - Rebel leaders were captured. Dersim is renamed Tunceli.
Turkey Republic of Turkey Dersim tribes
Turkey Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Turkey Abdullah Alpdoğan
Turkey Sabiha Gökçen
Seyid Riza  #  
Casualties and losses
unknown 40.000+ [1]
Zorunlu iskan:
12.000[citation needed]
Dersim 1937

The Dersim rebellion took place in 1937 in Dersim (today Tunceli Province) in eastern Turkey. It was led by Seyid Riza of Kizilbash Zaza elites, chief of the Abbasuşağı tribe, against the Turkish government led by İsmet İnönü.



During the Ottoman period, the authorities had been unable to make the residents of Dersim pay taxes or recognise any authority other than their own.[citation needed] This situation continued in the early years of the Turkish Republic founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. In an Interior Ministry report in 1926, it was considered necessary to use force against the residents of Dersim.[2] On 1 November 1936, during a speech in the parliament Atatürk acknowledged Dersim as Turkey's most important internal problem.[3]

Military Significance

During the Dersim Rebellion the Turkish Armed Forces used aircraft for reconnaissance, bombardment and strikes against rebel forces. Among the pilots was Atatürk's adopted daughter Sabiha Gökçen,[4], making her the world's first female combat pilot.


  1. ^ David McDowall, A modern history of the Kurds, I.B.Tauris, Mayıs 2004, s.209
  2. ^ Beşikçi, I. (1991) Tunceli Kanunu (1935) ve Dersim Jenosidi, Bonn, Weşanên Rewşen, p.29
  3. ^ Hasretyan, M. A. (1995) Türkiye'de Kürt Sorunu (1918-1940), Berlin, Wêşanên, ënstîtuya Kurdî: I.,p.262
  4. ^ Sabiha Gökçen's biography USAF Air Command and Staff College

Further reading



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