Misak Torlakian - was the assassin of Behbud Khan Javanshir, Internal Affairs Minister of Azerbaijan in 1921. Torlakian was admitted "guilty but not responsible" due to his mental condition by the British military tribunal in November 1921.
Murder[edit | edit source]
Behbud Khan Javanshir was assassinated outside the Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul in July 18, 1921. Murder was part of the "Operation Nemesis" program, which is attributed to the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
Trial[edit | edit source]
Trial of Misak Torlakian, an Armenian Ottoman subject, by the British Military Court, which took place at 10:00 A.M. on August 11, 1921, on the charge of murdering Binbud Khan Jivanshir, Ex-Minister of Interior of Azerbajian. The trial of Misak Torlakian is the twin of the trial of Soghomon Tehlirian. Both trials involved the murder of a tyrant, and both of the perpetrators were found not guilty. During both trials, history, theology, philosophy, physiology, psychology, and politics were invoked by both sides to sway the Military Judge in the case ot Torlakian, and the Jury of Peers in the case of Tehlirian. Thus in addition to being landmark legal cases, these two trials reveal the prevailing mindsets and political strategies of Germans, Turks, Armenians and Azerbaijanis in the aftermath of World War I.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Torlakian died at the age of 76 in Montebello, after a tumultuous life that began in 1892 in Trabizond. Joining the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) at the age of 18, Torlakian succeeded in providing substantial amount of arms from a Turkish army depot in Trabizond for Armenian self-defense units. Tasked to obtain military intelligence during World War, Torlakian, by then a member of a Russian Army scout unit, provides valuable information about Turkish army dispositions. After the Russian withdrawal from the Turkish front in 1918, which allows the Turks to advance unimpeded towards Yerevan, Torlakian joins Armenian army forces and participates with distinction in the battle of Bash Abaran, under the leadership of General Dro. The battle stops the Turkish army from advancing any further. The hard-fought victory, along with others in Sardarabad and Karakilise, leads to the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Armenia, (1918-1920). In 1921, Torlakian is sent by the ARF to execute Beyboud Khan Djivanshir. He succeeds, and eventually settles in California, where he died in 1968. The Remembrance of the hero is organized by the San Gabriel Valley ARF Dro Gomideh. The entire community is invited to attend this memorial at Holy Cross and the Evergreen Cemetery.