Recent media reports suggest that the monument to Armenian revolutionary and soldier Soghomon Tehlirian in the town of Maralik in Armenia’s Shirak Province is set to be dismantled. The reports have not yet been confirmed or denied officially, however people have concerns: if there are such rumors, the issue must have been discussed somewhere.
Artak Gevorgyan, head of the enlarged community of Ani, which includes Maralik, told Panorama.am that they haven’t received such an order, and “don’t pay attention to rumors”.
A monument to Soghomon Tehlirian was erected in Maralik on April 22, 2015, as part of the events marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The author of the monument is a sculptor and Honored Artist of Armenia Samvel Petrosyan.
Speaking to Panorama.am, Petrosyan, too, noted that he doesn’t have any official information and stated that the monument belongs to the people. “So how can we be guided by the Turks’ desire?” he says.
“Soghomon Tehlirian is our avenger, a prominent figure and a unique hero. How can his monument be dismantled? It’s about historical truth. We should not be guided by the Turks’ wish, should we? Can the Armenian Genocide or the Karabakh conflict be ignored at the request of the Turks? How is it possible?” Petrosyan stressed.
Please help free Armenian sign the Petition, We demand Pashinyan’s Resignation now! Մենք հիմա պահանջում ենք Փաշինյանի հրաժարականը https://www.change.org/We-Demand-Pashinyan-Resignation-Now
Soghomon Tehlirian killed Talaat Pasha, the former Interior Minister of the Ottoman Empire and one of the architects of the Armenian Genocide, as part of Operation Nemesis in Berlin on March 15, 1921.
The assassination took place in broad daylight and led to Tehlirian’s immediate arrest by German police. He was tried for murder, but was eventually acquitted by the German court.
The trial examined not only Tehlirian’s actions but also his conviction that Talaat Pasha was the main author of the Armenian deportation and mass killings. The defense attorneys made no attempt to deny the fact that Tehlirian had killed a man, and instead focused on the influence of the Armenian Genocide on Tehlirian’s mental state. When asked by the judge if he felt any sort of guilt, Tehlirian remarked, “I do not consider myself guilty because my conscience is clear…I have killed a man. But I am not a murderer.”
It took the jury slightly over an hour to render a verdict of “not guilty.”
After the assassination, Tehlirian moved to Serbia and married Anahit Tatikian, who was also from Erzincan. The couple moved to Belgium and lived there until 1945 when they moved to San Francisco.
Tehlirian died of a brain tumor in 1960 and was buried at the Ararat Cemetery in Fresno, California.
There are also monuments dedicated to him in Fresno, the village of Mastara in the Talin region and Yerevan.