Kum Kapu demonstration

The Kum Kapu demonstration occurred in the Kumkapı district of Constantinople on July 27, 1890. It ensued in skirmishing in which several demonstrators and four police officers were killed. The intent of the demonstration was "..to awaken the maltreated Armenians and to make the Sublime Porte fully aware of the miseries of the Armenians."[1]

Kum Kapu demonstration
DateJuly 27, 1890
Parties to the civil conflict
Ottoman Empire Ottoman policemen
Lead figures
Medzn Mourad
Mihran Damadian
Sultan Abdul Hamid II
Casualties and losses
3 protesters
4 policemen


Towards the close of the nineteenth century, Armenian revolutionary societies began to agitate for reform and renewed European attention to the Armenian Question. The Hnchak party in particular utilized the tactic of mass demonstration to hasten the process. They had been suspected to be behind an earlier June 1890 protest in Erzerum that resulted in a massacre.

July 27, 1890Edit

On 27 July 1890, Harutiun Jangülian, Mihran Damadian and Hambartsum Boyajian interrupted the Divine Liturgy at the Armenian Cathedral in Constantinople to read a manifesto and denounce the indifference of the Armenian patriarch and Armenian National Assembly.[2]

They soon forced the patriarch to join a procession heading to Yildiz Palace to demand implementation of Article 61 of the 1878 Treaty of Berlin. Even as the procession was gathering, police surrounded the crowd, and shots were fired that resulted in a number of deaths, including four policemen and three protestors.[2]


The Hunchaks concluded that the demonstrations at Kum Kapu were unsuccessful.[3] At the same time, while there was no clear result from the event, the Hunchak press praised the courage shown by those present. Similar demonstrations on a lesser scale followed throughout most of the 1890s.[4]


  1. ^ Khan-Azat, op. cit., VI (February 1928), pp. 124–125
  2. ^ a b "Fighting In Constantinople.; The Armenian Patriarch Mobbed – Soldiers And Rioters Killed" (PDF). New York Times. 29 July 1890.
  3. ^ The Armenian revolutionary movement: the development of Armenian political parties through the nineteenth century By Louise Nalbandian, page 119
  4. ^ Hovhanissian, Richard G. (1997) The Armenian People from Ancient to Modern Times. New York. St. Martin's Press, 218-9