Battle of Erzincan, 1916
|Nickname||Murad of Sebastia (Սարերու Ասլան)|
Kovtun, Sivas Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
|Died||4 August 1918 (aged 43–44)
Baku, Baku Governorate, Azerbaijan
|Years of service||1890's—1918|
|Battles/wars||Armenian National Liberation Movement
1904 Sasun Uprising
World War I
Battle of Baku
Murad of Sebastia (Armenian: Սեբաստացի Մուրատ, Sebastatsi Murad; Murad of Sebastia; Murad Khrimian; Murad Akopian; 1874 — 4 August 1918) was a well-known Armenian fedayee during the Armenian national liberation movement in the Ottoman empire. He was born in the village of Kovtun (Govdun), near Sivas (where he got his nickname, Sebastatsi from) to a poor rural family. During his childhood, he grazed cattle. During his teenage years, he moved to Istanbul where he worked as a loader and where he also attended Sunday school. He also joined the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party and subsequently, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
In 1890, he participated in Armenian demonstrations against the second-class treatment of Armenians within the Ottoman Empire. He also joined fedayee bands and participated in guerrilla activities in response to the Hamidian massacres. In 1904, he played a visible role during Sasun Uprising. He then started to operate in Van. During the Armenian-Tatar massacres 1905-1907, he was nominated as the head of defense of the Zangezur region and, having collected a group of 50 horsemen, he defended the Armenian population of Kapan from massacres. After the Young Turk revolution of 1908 in the Ottoman empire, Murad worked in Van and in Sivas. In particular, he participated in the organization of a network of schools, charitable and female societies, and taught at Armenian schools co-education, physical culture and theatrical art.
World War I
With the beginning of the Armenian Genocide in 1915, Mourat and his comrades were at Sivas. When deportations were ordered, gendarmes were sent to capture Murad. Ottoman authorities had promised the residential Armenians that they would be excluded from deportations if they handed Murad over to the authorities. Many Armenians, particularly the elders not wanting to leave their property and home, began to inform Ottoman authorities about information of his whereabouts. Murad defended himself with his compatriots for a year and a half. In 1916, he moved to Samsun and with a sail-boat travelled to the Russian port of Batum. He led his volunteers at the Battle of Erzinjan. He died while fighting at the Battle of Baku on 4 August 1918.
- Мурад Себастаци
- Lewy, Guenter (Nov 21, 2005). The Armenian massacres in Ottoman Turkey: a disputed genocide. University of Utah Press. p. 31.
- Garegin Pasdermadjian, Aram Torossian, "Why Armenia Should be Free: Armenia's Rôle in the Present War" page 22
- Mikayel Varandian, Murad of Sebastia Translated and edited with an Introduction by Ara Ghazarians Armenian Cultural Foundation Arlington, MA, 2006
- Мурад Себастаци