Siege of Aintab

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Siege of Aintab
Part of the Franco-Turkish War
A French army officer with five Turkish prisoners. On the officer's right is a soldier of the French Colonial Forces, and on his left (wearing epaulettes) is an auxiliary from the French Armenian Legion.
Date 1 April 1920 - 8 February 1921[1]
Location Aintab, Aleppo Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
Result French victory[2]
Kuvva-i Milliye

France France

Armenia French Armenian Legion
Commanders and leaders
Ali Kılıç
Şahin Bey
Şefik "Özdemir" Bey
Colonel Kenan Bey
France Henri Gouraud
France General Quérette
France Général Goubeau
Armenia Colonel Flye Sainte-Marie
France Colonel Abadie
France Colonel Andréa
Total force:[3][4] [Note 1]
2.920 militia fighters,
6 machine guns,[5]
3 mountain guns[5]
Total force:[3][4][Note 2]
12,000 French soldiers,[6]
1,500 Armenian soldiers,[Note 3]
4 tanks, 11 artillery batteries, 1,400 military animals,[5] 6 aircraft, 1 mobile hospital[5]
Casualties and losses
6,317 killed (mostly civilians)[7]
over 2000 prisoners
1400 guns
10 machine guns
on September 10th: 1200 French soldiers, including 4 high rank officers, killed according to French Army sources[5]

The Siege of Aintab[8][9] (French: Les Quatres Sièges d'Aïntab[10]) or Siege of Antep (Turkish: Antep Kuşatması) was a military engagement between the Turkish National Forces and the French Army of the Levant occupying the city of Aintab (present-day Gaziantep) during the Turkish War of Independence (specifically its southern front, known as the Franco-Turkish War).

Fighting began in April 1920, when French forces opened fire on city. Fighting continued until February 1921.[11]



  • 1 - 16 April: 1st Turkish siege
  • 30 April - 23 May: 2nd Turkish siege
  • 30 May - 18 June: 1920 armistice
  • 29 July - 10 August: 3rd Turkish siege
  • 11 August: beginning of French siege
  • 21 November - 18 December: Goubeau column participation


  • 7 February: last exit attempt
  • 8 February: sending of a city parliamentary mission - cease fire
  • 9 February: capitulation


  1. ^ 2.070 armed and 850 unarmed fighters (=2.920)
  2. ^ In April 1920 the French forces consisted of 4,500 soldiers. With the arrival of Goubeau 4th division on november 20th 1920 the French siege force increased to: 13 infantry battalions and 1.5 cavalry regiment (=12,000 soldiers). After Goubeau's departure on december 18th the french force decreased to: 9 infantry batalions (four of which with less than 300 fighters) and 2 cavalry squadrons (=6500 soldiers). There are still 6000 men at the end of the siege
  3. ^ On octobre 29th 1919 the third battalion and the staff of the french armenian legion (lieutenant-colonel Flye Sainte-Marie) were the bulk of the hastily assembled french force assigned to relieve Aintab british garrison. On november 13th, the third battalion (except 2 machine gun platoons) leaved the city. On april 30th 1920, Flye Sainte-Marie and french armenian legion last soldiers went away. The french armenian legion was dissolved on september 1st 1920.


  1. ^ Sabahattin Selek, Millî Mücadele II: İstiklâl Harbi (Yeni Türk Devletinin kuruluşu), p. 19.
  2. ^ Proceedings of the annual meeting of the Western Society for French History, Volume 24, Western Society for French History, 1997, p. 206.
  3. ^ a b Article about the Siege of Aintab haber7, Serkan Bilge, 25.12.2008
  4. ^ a b "Gaziantep şehitlerinin anısı Savaş Müzesi'nde yaşatılıyor," Yeni Şafak, 14.08.2008 (Turkish)
  5. ^ a b c d e Kilis'in Antep Müdafaasındaki Yeri, Atatürk Araştırma Merkezi (Atatürk Research Center): Atatürk Araştırma Merkezi Dergisi, Number 31, Edition: 11, March 1995 (Turkish)
  6. ^ Kerr, Stanley E. The Lions of Marash: Personal Experiences with American Near East Relief, 1919-1922. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1973, p. 222. ISBN 978-0-87395-200-2.
  7. ^ Bir 'mecbur adam'ın romanı, Radikal, 08.01.2010 (Turkish)
  8. ^ Şimşir, Bilâl, İngiliz Belgelerinde Atatürk, 1919-1938, Volume 3, Istanbul: Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi, p. 168.
  9. ^ Documents on British foreign policy, 1919-1939, London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1970, vol. 15, p. 155.
  10. ^ Abadie.Opérations au Levant - Les 4 sièges d'Aïntab (1920-1921) Paris:Charles-Lavauzelle et Cie, 1922 (french).
  11. ^ Gesar, A. "Agony of a City: The 314 Days of Aintab," Pts. 1-2, Armenian Review 30/2-3 (Summer-Autumn 1977): pp. 115-47, 265-81.

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