Vahé Achikian

Zeytuntsi Aram Bey Tcholaqian

Aram Bey Tcholaqian was one of the last hero freedom fighters of Zeytun, who was the younger brother of Mesrop Agha Tcholaqian, and together with his brother Aram Bey had participated in the 1915 March – June Zeytun resistance against the Ottoman Turkish aggression and arrests in Zeytun on the prelude to the 1915 Genocide. He was amongst the Zeytun Armenian fighters who defended Findidjaq in June-July 1915, and roamed in the Taurus mountains and Amanaos mountains from 1915 August till mid-1917, then onto Aleppo in 1918-1919. Aram Bey returned to Zeytun along with 1500 other Zeytun Armenians and after heroically defending their shelter, the old Ottoman Army Garrison Barracks perched high above Zeytun, Aram Bey as commander of the 372 fighters and civilians escaped out of the Ottoman Barracks into the mountains west of Zeytun and engaged the Turkish enemy in numerous fierce battles until his martyrdom near the Balentz cemetery on the Garmir mountain west of Zeytun. Thanks to Aram Bey Tcholaqian’s heroic leadership, about 180 Zeytun Armenians survived that horrendous annihilation campaign by the Turkish Kemalist forces who took over Zeytun on June 25, 1921. This was the Zeytun Armenian’s last stand of resistance against the turks before their spread into the diaspora of Aleppo, Syria and elsewhere….

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