“If My Troops Fight Like Armenians, I Will Conquer the World”: The Turkish Army Colonel Admired the Armenian Women for Their Courage

The Turkish army colonel admired the Armenian women for their courage who did not cede the men during the Armenian Genocide, particularly at the self-defense of Musa Dagh.  One of the participants of the self-defense, Artashes Balabanyan, told about it once, who, after coming to Armenia, became a teacher at the Etchmiadzin Seminary.

The record of the dead Balabanyan’s history was handed to Sputnik Armenia.

According to him, the residents of Musa Dagh received a letter from Antioch, according to which they had to leave their homes within seven days.  But before leaving they had to give information about their property, as the Turkish authorities ”promised” to give back the property in case the residents returned.

As Balabanyan mentioned, the letter urged to “fully trust the authorities”.  An Armenian, who was a close friend of one of the Turks, was sent to Antioch. He warned that the “Damocles sword” was hanged over the Armenian people.

“They have consulted for a few days to decide how to behave; bow their heads and be killed like sheep or to armor themselves and to struggle?” said Balabanyan.

They climbed up a mountain. They shared the duties among them. The youngest boys were left under the care of women, 10-13-year-olds took the control, 14-16-year-olds were involved in supplying warriors with food and ammunition.

More than 15 women have fought with men, one of them falling into Turks hands, confessed to have killed five Turkish soldiers.

Their colonel said to his soldiers. “If my troops fight like Armenians, I will conquer the world,” said Balabanyan.

The Armenians of Musa Dagh have pushed back five attacks of the Turkish Regular Army.

Later Balabanyan was often asked how they managed to defeat a 10-thousand regular army, with a group of 600 villagers, and with an insufficient number of weapons and ammunition.

“We climbed up the mountains with a crazy thought. Or we will die or live peacefully”, said Balabanyan.