ISSN 1829-4618


By: Avetis Harutyunyan, PhD of History, Professor at the ASPU Chair of Armenian History,

Petros bey Gapamajyan was one of the wealthy and distinguished merchants thanks to whom trade largely developed in Van and affiliates of trading companies were opened in villages and regions. Along with trading activities, P. Gapamajyan was also a successful in administrative field and became one of the best mayors of the city of Van. But on the evening of December 23, 1912, 72-year-old mayor Petros Gapamajyan was killed. The incident was very shocking for the population of Van, because P. Gapamajyan was a very influential man and had an active participation in the administrative and social affairs of the city.
There are two approaches in the press of that time in regard to P. Gapamajyan’s murder: a) that he was killed by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (henceforth – ARF - Dashnaktsutyun) by the order of Aram and Ishkhan; and b) the authorities had killed him in order to seize the mayor's position.
The secret of P. Gapamajyan’s murder was left undisclosed. In the face of P. Gapamajyan Van-Vaspurakan lost a distinguished mayor who had played an outstanding role in improving the system of education and economy of Van-Vaspurakan. After the attack on P. Gapamajyan several other new murders were committed in the province of Van. Such activity disunited the people and they were not able to organize their self-defense.

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