Erzrum (or the city of Gareen and village) of western Armenia is found west of the Euphrates River. Erzrum belongs to the Gareen village of Mets-Hayk (Partsr-Hayk) region, and is the center of the region.
In the past, the Armenian tribes inhabited the Erzrum region. These tribes were part of the Armenian Hayasa-nation’s government that was able in the 15th and 14th centuries B.C. to gain independence from the Hatagan government. However, between the 9th and 6th centuries B.C., the Erzrum-Gareen region was governed by the Van Kingdom. From the 5th to the 2nd centuries B.C., the Erzrum-Gareen region was part of the Pokr-Hayk or Mets-Hayk Armenian Yervantian kingdoms. Between the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C., the region belonged to the Armenian Ardashesian kingdom. However, during the year 387, when Armenians became separated for the first time, the Erzrum region was taken over by the Roman Empire and turned into a county, where Armenian ministers were able to keep their rule.
During the 8th century, the Erzrum region became part of the Arab rule and for another period of time was ruled by the Byzantine power. During the 9th century, the Erzrum region became part of the Armenian Bakradounyats kingdom and had important administrative and financial roles. Between the 11th and 12th centuries, the region became the center of the Seljouk invasion. In the 12th century, the region went under the rule of the Shaharmens, while in the 13th century it was taken over by the Mongols. After the fall of the Mongols, the region was taken over by Turkmen races. By the end of the 14th century, Erzrum was taken over by Leng Timur. During the 15th century, it was taken over by the Ottoman Empire, and by the 16th century it had fallen under the reign of the Persians. At last, by the 17th century, Erzrum had once again fallen under the control of the Ottoman Empire.
During the Russian-Turkish war in 1829, Erzrum was under the command of the Russian army. However, at the end of the war, with the consent of Istanbul, Erzrum was returned back to the Ottoman Empire.
In 1882, because of a protest in Erzrum, seventy-six Armenians, who were part of an Armenian extremist organization, were arrested. The trial of those who were arrested was the first ever in the Ottoman Empire.
In 1914, the Russians and Turks agreed to appoint two inspectors to visit Armenian states to make sure that the allocated improvements are in order. Of the two inspectors, one was supposed to look over Van, and the other was supposed to look over Erzrum. However, because of World War I, the task was left incomplete.
During the Armenian Genocide, the Armenians from Erzrum were under the command of Tahseen Pasha who had said, “In the region I control, there is not one Armenian.”
On April 16, 1916 the Allies had signed the Treaty of “Sieks Piku” which gave the cities of Erzrum, Trabizond, Van, and Bitlis to the Tsarist Russian Empire.
On April 26, 1917 the Armenian regions that were under the control of the temporarily established Russian government were set free. However, after The Russian Revolution of 1918, everything had changed. By January, a new war had started when the Turks ignored the ceasefire. Although a new war had began, this time the war was between the Ottoman Empire and the Armenian militia groups. After a gruesome war, the Turks managed to take over Erzrum in February 27, 1918. Once again, the Armenians of Erzrum were exiled.
On July 23, 1919 Mustafa Kemal held a meeting with the Turkish leaders in the deserted city of Erzrum, in which he discussed and established the modern Turkish government.
On August 10, 1920, the victorious Allies, along with Armenia and Turkey, agreed to sign the Sevres Treaty. According to the 89th Article of this peace treaty, a new geographical map was set for Armenia and all the land that was lost during the war. This map included the cities of Erzrum, Van, Bitlis, and Trabizond, and on November 22, 1920 Woodrow Wilson stated that these territories should be handed to the Republic of Armenia. However, until today the conditions of the Sevres Treaty have not been implemented.