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Killing Orders: Talat Pasha’s Telegrams and the Armenian Genocide
June 14, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
About the Event:
A unique feature of the Armenian Genocide has been the long-standing efforts of successive Turkish governments to deny its historicity and to hide the documentary evidence surrounding it. Denialists claimed that there was no central decision taken by Ottoman authorities to exterminate the Armenians and all available documents that indicate otherwise are either fake or were doctored by Armenians.
Dr. Taner Akçam, with his latest book provides a major clarification of the often-blurred lines between facts and truth with regard to these events. Akçam both brings to light documents either hidden or destroyed by the Turkish government that contain the killing orders, as well as demonstrates the authenticity of these orders, which had been signed by Ottoman Interior Minister Talat Pasha.
These killing orders of Talat Pasha had been given to an Armenian intellectual named Aram Andonian by an Ottoman bureaucrat by the name of Naim Efendi.
The denialist school has long argued that a bureaucrat with the name Naim Efendi never existed and that there exists no memoir written by him. According to this claim, the telegrams and memoirs were all forgeries, produced by Armenians to further their claims.
Taner Akçam provides the evidence to refute the basis of these claims and proves that the existence of Naim Efendi, his memoir and the killing orders are authentic, revealing the genocidal intent of the Ottoman-Turkish government towards its Armenian population.
As such, this work removes a cornerstone from the denialist edifice and further establishes the historicity of the Armenian Genocide. These findings represent an earthquake in the field of Armenian Genocide and will contribute enormously to the fight for recognition.
About the Speaker:
Historian Taner Akcam holds the Robert Aram & Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen & Marian Mugar Endowed Chair of Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University. Dr. Akcam grew up in Turkey, where he was imprisoned for editing a political publication and was subsequently adopted as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International in 1976. He later received political asylum in Germany. In 1988 Dr. Akçam started working as a Research Scientist in Sociology at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research. In 1996 he received his doctorate from the University of Hanover with a dissertation on The Turkish National Movement and the Armenian Genocide Against the Background of the Military Tribunals in Istanbul Between 1919 and 1922.
Dr. Akçam came to the US in 2000 as a visiting scholar and worked first at the University of Michigan, Dearborn and at the University of Minnesota thereafter. He has been working at Clark University since 2008.
Dr. Akçam is widely recognized as one of the first Turkish scholars to write extensively on the Ottoman-Turkish Genocide of the Armenians in the early 20th century. He is the author of more than ten scholarly works as well as numerous articles in Turkish, German, and English on Armenian Genocide and Turkish Nationalism. His most known books are A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility (Metropolitan Books, 2006, received the 2007 Minnesota Book Award for General Nonfiction) and Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire, Princeton University Press, 2012 (awarded in 2013 Hourani Book Prize of The Middle East Studies Association; and selected as one of Foreign Affairs’ Best Books on the Middle East for 2012). Dr. Akçam’s latest book is Killing Orders: Talat Pasha’s Telegrams and the Armenian Genocide (Palgrave 2018).