Sason (Armenian: Սասուն; Kurdish: Kabilcevz; formerly known as Sasun) is a district in the Batman Province of Turkey. It was formerly part of the sanjak of Siirt, which was in Diyarbakır vilayet until 1880 and in Bitlis vilayet in 1892. Later it became part of Muş sanjak in Bitlis vilayet, and remained part of Muş until 1927. It was one of the districts of Siirt province until 1993.
In 1893, some three to four thousand nomadic Kurds from the Diyarbekir plains entered Sasun region, intent on pillage. The Kurds were responsible for bringing economic ruin to the agrarian community of the Armenian villagers: they would steal livestock and demand the Armenians to pay a second tax (that is, a separate tax in addition to the one Armenians paid to the Ottoman government). When Armenians decided to challenge Kurdish extortion, a fight ensued and a Kurd was killed. Using the Kurd's death as a pretext by describing that a revolt had taken place, Turkish officials endorsed a Kurdish attack against the Armenians of Sasun.
The Kurds, however, were successfully driven off by the armed Armenian villagers, but that success was now seen as a possible threat by the Ottoman authorities. In 1894 the villagers refused to pay taxes unless the Ottoman authorities adequately protected them against renewed Kurdish attacks and extortions. Instead, the government sent a force of about 3,000 soldiers and Kurdish irregulars to disarm the villagers, an event which ended in a general massacre of between 900 to 3,000 men, women and children. The "Sasun affair" was widely publicised and was investigated by representatives from the European Powers, resulting in demands that Ottoman Turkey initiate reforms in the six "Armenian vilayets". Abdul Hamid's response to those demands culminated in the anti-Armenian pogroms of 1895 and 1896.
In the context of Armenian Genocide denialist literature, some Turkish sources still hold that the Sasun events of 1893-94 were supposibly Armenian revolts against the Ottoman state, incited by Armenian revolutionaries and foreign agents, and that they foreshadowed more serious Armenian rebellions.