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France’s Macron Announces April 24 National Day Marking Armenian Genocide

PARIS (AFP) — French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday said France would make April 24 a “national day of commemoration of the Armenian genocide”.

Speaking to the Armenian community at a dinner in Paris, Macron said: “France is, first and foremost, the country that knows how to look history in the face, which was among the first to denounce the killing of the Armenian people, which in 1915 named genocide for what it was, which in 2001 after a long struggle recognized it in law.”

France “will in the next weeks make April 24 a national day of commemoration of the Armenian genocide,” he added.

Macron’s remarks at the dinner, organised by the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organisations of France, honored a campaign promise from his election in 2017.

At the event, Macron also paid tribute to Charles Aznavour, the French crooner of Armenian origin who died in October last year.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2019/02/frances-macron-announces-april-24-national-day-marking-armenian-genocide/

The Missing Pages: A Talk by Dr. Heghnar Zeitlian Watenpaugh

WATERTOWN, MA — The Armenian Museum of America and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) to Present a Lecture by Dr. Heghnar Zeitlian Watenpaugh about her new book “The Missing Pages” on Wednesday, February 27, 2019, 7:30pm at the AGBU Center, 247 Mt. Auburn St., Watertown, MA

The Missing Pages is the biography of the Zeytun Gospels, a manuscript illuminated by the greatest medieval Armenian artist, Toros Roslin, and which is at once art, sacred object, and cultural heritage. Its tale mirrors the story of its scattered community as Armenians have struggled to redefine themselves after genocide and in the absence of a homeland. Heghnar Zeitlian Watenpaugh follows in the manuscript’s footsteps through seven centuries, from medieval Armenia to the killing fields of 1915, the refugee camps of Aleppo, Ellis Island, Soviet Armenia, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and ultimately to a Los Angeles courtroom.

Reconstructing the path of the pages, Watenpaugh uncovers the rich tapestry of an extraordinary artwork and the people touched by it. At once a story of genocide and survival, of unimaginable loss and resilience, The Missing Pages captures the human costs of war and persuasively makes the case for a human right to art.

Heghnar Zeitlian Watenpaugh is Professor of Art History at the University of California, Davis. She is the award-winning author of The Image of an Ottoman City: Architecture in Aleppo (2004). Her writing has also appeared in the Huffington Post and the Los Angeles Times.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2019/02/the-missing-pages-a-talk-by-dr-heghnar-zeitlian-watenpaugh/

Armenian Genocide Commemoration Essay Contest for High School and College Students

NEW YORK — How has creative expression—literature, music, cinema, visual arts, witness testimony – enhanced your personal understanding of the Armenian Genocide and how has it contributed to your preservation of the memories and lessons of the first holocaust of the 20th century?

Please identify a specific example (a novel, a poem, a film, a painting, a memorial, etc.) and convey your understanding of the Armenian Genocide and how it relates to the creative expression you chose. Elaborate on why this piece touched you, why if it has personal meaning, and how it has helped or will help you will share the history and memory of the Armenian Genocide with others.

Keep in mind this is not a research paper but your own original words and thoughts. Your essay will be judged on its originality, clarity, historical accuracy and understanding of the essay contest theme.

Contest:
High School and college students are invited to participate in an essay contest as part of the 104th Anniversary Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide that will be held in New York City’s Times Square (43rd St Broadway) on Sunday, April 28, 2019 from 2-4 pm. The essay contest is sponsored by Knights Daughters of Vartan (www.kofv.org ), an international Armenian fraternal organization headquartered in the U.S.

Deadline: Sunday, April 7, 2019

Guidelines:
-Contest is open to all high school and college students around the globe.
-Your essay must be 1,000 words or less. Only one essay per student may be submitted.
-All essays should:
-be double spaced
-have 1 inch margins
-include page numbers
-include essay title
-be typed in 12 point font
-be in Microsoft Word format only. No zip files or Google documents are permitted.
-submitted by 11:59 P.M. (EST) on Sunday, April 7, 2019.

Email submissions to apri24nyc@gmail.com.

Prize:
The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners chosen by the judges will be awarded $300, $200 and $100 respectively. The best essays will be published in print and online.

Announcement:
The winners will be contacted directly and announced to the mainstream and Armenian media the week of Monday, April 8, 2019.

About the Armenian Genocide Commemoration in Times Square:
Founded in 1985 by the late Sam Azadian, a former Brooklyn, New York resident, who lost four siblings during the Armenian Genocide, the Armenian Genocide Commemoration at Times Square has honored the 1.5+ million Armenian lives lost during the horrific events of the 1915 Genocide of the Armenians by the Young Turk Government of the Ottoman Empire. This internationally-recognized annual event draws thousands of Armenians and non-Armenian participants to commemorate the solemn occasion. The event features speeches and tributes delivered by prominent political figures and civic leaders, officials of the Knights and Daughters of Vartan, representatives of major Armenian-American organizations, and distinguished scholars and educators as well as high-ranking Armenian and non-Armenian clergy.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2019/02/armenian-genocide-commemoration-essay-contest-for-high-school-and-college-students-2/

Uncovering a Century-Old Armenian Refugee Crisis

By Florence Avakian

The displacement of refugees has been an international concern in recent years. A talk at the Eastern Diocese’s Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center looked at a similar humanitarian emergency from a century ago, which developed at the Caucasus front following the Armenian Genocide.

Asya Darbinyan spoke on the subject on Thursday, January 17, at the Diocesan Center in New York. She was introduced by Zohrab Center director Dr. Christopher Sheklian, who detailed her background as a Ph.D. candidate at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

To begin her talk, Ms. Darbinyan noted how a century ago, the Armenian writer Hovhannes Toumanyan recorded his observations after arriving in the town of Etchmiadzin to help to the thousands of Armenians fleeing across the Ottoman border of Transcaucasia.

“In that hell called Turkish Armenia,” he wrote, “three armies exist. The first is the one in combat. The second is the army of the abandoned women and children, the sick, the famished, the naked, the refugees which is the largest army. And third is the army of activists and helpers which is the smallest and weakest.”

Between 1914 and 1917, thousands of Armenian refugees escaping from Turkey across the border to Transcaucasia came from Kars, Igdir and Julfa. Two-thirds of them were women, since most of the men had been slaughtered. More than 200,000 refugees from Turkey had reached the Caucausus between July and August 1915. Upon arrival, they were accommodated in Yerevan, Elizavetpol, Tiflis, and Kars.

The local Armenian populations “mobilized all their resources towards the organization of relief work for the displaced Armenians, many of whom were very poor, disabled, and in need of urgent assistance,” Darbinyan related.

Dr. Samuel G. Wilson, a Presbyterian missionary from the American Committee of Armenian and Syrian Relief, reported, “Many of the Armenian villagers have taken in and cared for the destitute refugees. Others have given them the use of their spare rooms, bake-houses, stables and barns.”

Etchmiadzin became one of the major refugee towns in the Caucasus. And Mayor Alexander Khatisyan of Tiflis stated, “the number of refugees in Etchmiadzin is 30,000, with the daily death toll above 300. Five hundred corpses remain, that are not buried. Healthy refugees have scattered in panic,”

Humanitarian Crisis
Reports of Turkish atrocities against the Armenians and the Caucasian humanitarian crisis quickly reached the imperial Russian authorities. The Russian government as well as a number of non-governmental organizations in the Russian Empire provided humanitarian assistance to thousands of Armenian refugees, the speaker revealed.

“Russia’s joint declaration with Great Britain and France in May 1915 defined the atrocities against the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as a crime against humanity, and promised to hold the Ottoman government and those implicated in the massacres personally responsible for those crimes.”

Two prominent Armenian organizations in the Russian Empire that addressed the Armenian refugee crisis were the Caucasus Armenian Benevolent Society with its 72 branches, and the Armenian Central Committee in Tiflis for its assistance to victims of war. Both established hospitals and feeding stations in more than a dozen cities and towns.

The Moscow Armenian Committee mainly operated in Yerevan opening a hospital, a food depot, three orphanages, and a school for 110 orphan-students in Ashtarak, and Etchmiadzin. And the Committee of Brotherly Aid was a major institution with branches in Etchmiadzin, Alexandropol, and other major areas which was under aegis of the Catholicos of All Armenians.

With the emergency growing speedily, the Russian imperial authorities established the Special Council for Refugees to ensure the efficiency of the refugee humanitarian activities, issuing cards to all identified refugees for food and medical assistance.

They also insisted that able-bodied refugees find work in farming and workshops and help with the education of refugee children who were housed in orphanages throughout the Caucasus. Other Russian aid groups included the All-Russian Union of Towns and the Caucasus Committee.

Savior or Master?
The Russian motivation was complicated. Ottoman Armenians wondered whether Russia was a savior or another imperial master. Russian policy towards Armenians had generally fluctuated depending on the economic, military, political and geographical developments in the region. According to historian Avetis Harutyunyan, “Russian imperial authorities never actually aimed at protecting Armenians.” Their relief work was just the “by-product” of Russian imperialist and colonization policies.

Historian Peter Holquist wrote that when the war was waged, “urgent military interest, rather than an anti-Armenian policy shaped those decisions.” Another historian Halit Akarca called Russian policy in Eastern Turkey during the war as “humanitarian occupation,” motivated by strategic and political concerns.

Darbinyan concluded that “the desire to help others and save lives of strangers was there and mobilized people, agencies, governments and even empires. As the providers of assistance often made, and still do make for the ‘people in distress’, help was and is based not on the actual needs and concerns of the refugees, but rather on their sometimes inaccurate perceptions of those groups.”

 

Article source: https://massispost.com/2019/02/uncovering-a-century-old-armenian-refugee-crisis/

London Features Riveting Play, “Beast on the Moon”, on the Armenian Genocide

By Nora Vosbigian
(London)

Next week will see the premiere of a new London production of “Beast on the Moon.” This highly acclaimed play on the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide has been commissioned by Finborough Theatre and will be performed between 29 Jan and 23 Feb., 2019.

The setting is Milwaukee in the 1920s. A survivor of the Armenian Genocide, Aram, believes he will begin a new life when his teenage ‘mail-order’ bride, Seta, arrives to join him. They are a couple united by history – both survivors of the Armenian Genocide. But their painful, shared experience does nothing to promote domestic harmony as Aram is obsessed with creating a family to replace the one he lost in such savage circumstances, and Seta, just fifteen and trapped by the traditions of the old ways, struggles to embrace her new life in a new country.

Beast on the Moon was last performed in the United Kingdom at Battersea Arts Centre in 1996 to much acclaim. “Richard Kalinoski’s small, quiet play has a big, unashamedly sentimental heart as it charts Aram and Seta’s difficult marriage and explores how it is possible to live when all the rest of your family have died ” said The Guardian (London). “The past finds a sort of closure, but the author’s skill has kept us on tenterhooks throughout, uncertain whether any happy outcome can be possible” said The London Times Online and “Humane, funny and touching, ‘Beast on the Moon’ presents the claims of both past and future with fairness and empathy” commented The Independent (London)

The organisers of the play, sensitive to their subject matter, have included a number of post-performance discussions on the Armenian Genocide and its enduring legacy. They will be hosted by Ara Sarafian (Gomidas Institute), Misak Ohanian (Centre for Armenian Information and Advice) and Sally Gimson (Index on Censorship). For more information see finboroughtheatre.co.uk

Article source: https://massispost.com/2019/01/london-features-riveting-play-beast-on-the-moon-on-the-armenian-genocide/

Armenian American Museum Announces Telethon on February 17

GLENDALE  – The Armenian American Museum will be hosting its inaugural Telethon on Sunday, February 17, 2019 to raise awareness and raise funds for the historic project. The highly anticipated television event will be live broadcasted and streamed to a wide audience across the United States and around the world.

The Telethon will air on Sunday, February 17, 2019 from 2:00PM to 8:00PM Pacific Standard Time (PST) and will be broadcasted from ARTN studios in Glendale, California.

The six-hour television event will feature exciting interviews with community leaders and special guests, informative video segments on the world class cultural and educational center, and unique performances by musicians and artists. TV channels, program lineup, and special guests will be announced soon.

“The Telethon is going to be the must-see television event of the year for our community and it will be an excellent opportunity to learn about the Armenian American Museum,” stated Museum Executive Chairman Berdj Karapetian. “We invite the community to donate to the project now and watch the Telethon on February 17.”

Proceeds from the Telethon will benefit the Armenian American Museum Groundbreaking Campaign. The Museum will need to raise an estimated $12 million by early 2020 to begin construction for the historic community project. Museum officials have organized a year-long series of events, fundraisers, and activities in 2019 to raise the necessary funds including its inaugural Telethon on February 17.

The Armenian American Museum will be the first world class cultural and educational center of its kind in America. The Museum program will feature a Permanent Armenian Exhibition, Traveling Multicultural Exhibitions, Performing Arts Theater, Learning Center, and more.

The community is invited to donate now and watch the Telethon on February 17.

To donate by phone, call the Museum office toll-free at 1-800-655-9554.

To donate by mail, submit a check donation payable to “Armenian American Museum” to 111 East Broadway, Suite 207, Glendale, CA 91205.

To donate online, visit www.GiveAAM.org to submit a secure online credit card donation.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2019/01/armenian-american-museum-announces-telethon-on-february-17/

“The Sins of the Fathers” By Siobhan Nash-Marshall to Be Presented in Glendale & Pasadena

GLENDALE — The general public, public educators and researchers, and community leaders are cordially invited to a lecture  and book presentation, “The Sins of the Fathers: Turkish Denialism and the Armenian Genocide” by Siobhan Nash-Marshall, to be held on Thursday, January 31st at 7:30 pm at Abril Bookstore @ 415 E. Broadway in Glendale, CA 91205 and on Friday, February 1st at 7:30 pm at Armenian Cilicia Evangelical Church @ 339 S. Santa Anita Ave., Pasadena, CA 91107.

Sioban Nash-Marshall holds the Mary T. Clark Chair of Christian Philosophy at Manhattanvile College. Author of many academic books and articles on metaphysics and the problem of evil, she has also written books and articles for the general public-Joan of Arc: A Spiritual Biography and What it Takes to be Free: Religion and the Roots of Democracy.

In recent years, Nash-Marshall has devoted a lot of attention to genocide and genocide negationism. The Sins of the Fathers is her first book-length treatment of the topic. After the breakout of the war in Syria, Nash-Marshall and some friends founded CINF, the Christians In Need Foundation, through which they attempt to help ancient Christian cultures of the world which are presently in peril.

Antonia Aslan, international best-selling author of Skylark Farm and Professor at the University of Padova, has the following comment on The Sins of the Fathers: “Through the exemplary case of the Armenian Genocide, this extraordinary book delivers a powerful and piercing portrait of the treachery, trabisons des clercs, and destruction that modern philosophy’s refusal of its daimon has wrought upon the world.”

Taner Akcam, Professor of History, Robert Aram, Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar, Chairs of Armenian Genocide Studies, have the following comments: ” Philosopher Siobhan Nash-Marshall’s Sins of the Fathers is …a much needed book. It goes beyond the classical explanation of Turkish denialism, which is the distinct peculiarity of the Armenian Genocide, and is a major contribution to the field of Armenian Genocide studies.”

The Sins of the Fathers will be presented in the English language by the author, Siobhan Nash-Marshall. The book has been translated and published in Armenian and Italian. Rita Mahdessian Helen Haig will present the lecturer.There will be a short cultural program presented by Marian Pachanian.

The event is organized by cooperation of Abril Bookstore, Ararat Foundation ( A non profit Educational, Social, Cultural Humanitarian Organization ) , CINF ( Christians In Need Foundation ) and Armenian Cilicia Evangelical Church in Pasadena.

Admission to the event is free of charge and the public is encouraged to attend this very interesting lecture and book presentation. For information you may contact 1-818-303-5566.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2019/01/the-sins-of-the-fathers-by-siobhan-nash-marshall-to-be-presented-in-glendale-pasadena/

AGBU Chapters Observe United Nations Genocide Commemoration and Prevention Day

NEW YORK — To mark the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime, AGBU continued its commitment to the UN’s mandate of genocide prevention through education. Three AGBU centers in various locations worldwide organized observances including a panel on contemporary conflicts in the Middle East, a book talk on ancestral histories and an AGBU sponsored concert.

“The way we chose to narrate the history of the Middle East is very problematic because it doesn’t help us understand our past,” began Vicken Cheterian, a political analyst from Geneva’s Webster University. “It is central to look at Ottoman history from the beginning of the 19th century to understand what is happening the Middle East now.” Speaking in Brussels, Professor Cheterian was joined in discussion by Professor Uður Ümit Üngör of Utrecht University on the panel “Mass Violence in the Middle East Today.” Aude Merlin, a Lecturer of Political Science at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, moderated the panel, which gathered a diverse audience, including academics, students and representatives from governmental and nongovernmental organizations alike on December 13, 2018.

The presentations sought to address the continuity between past and present geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East and how the suppression of history in the post-Ottoman world potentially perpetuates patterns of violence. While Professor Cheterian tackled the implications of the inadequate way scholars have studied recent history of the Middle East since the end of WWI, Professor Üngör examined the creation of “cultures of victory, defeat and resistance” and the episodic violence they influence now. In order to recognize how these violent conflicts manifest in contemporary times, Professor Üngör explained that when we look to the past, “we have to think about the lack of transitional justice, after all that violence, the lack of political institutions, civil societies and empowerment of minorities.”

The panel, which highlighted the challenges of rehabilitating history and how a global community begins to do that, was organized and hosted by the Belgian Collective for the Prevention of Crimes of Genocide and Against Negationisms in partnership with the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU Europe), the research unit on political life of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Cevipol), the International Roma Youth Network (Ternype) and the European Union Jewish Students (EUJS). The Belgian Collective is composed of associations linked with communities that have suffered genocides.

Armenia’s Acting Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and AGBU Armenia President Vasken Yacoubian

As part of the Global Forum Against the Crime of Genocide, organized in Yerevan by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, AGBU sponsored the opening night concert featuring the State National Academic Choir of Armenia and the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra on December 9th, 2018. The forum’s programming was focused on genocide prevention through accessible public education. “Given the history of the Armenian nation, it is our obligation to shine the light on the horrors of all genocides as well as the ongoing injustice of genocide denial in the face of well-documented history,” said AGBU Armenia President Vasken Yacoubian, with Armenia’s Acting Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan at his side. “AGBU is proud to help carry the mantle of human rights advocacy by organizing and participating in international symposia and panel discussions in major capitals like New York, Paris and Beirut. Today, we can do so not just as survivors of genocide but as champions of humanity.”

Author Wendy Elliott brings stories of Talas to the AGBU Toronto community with her book, Grit and Grace In A World Gone Mad: Humanitarianism In Talas, Turkey 1908-1923

Across the Atlantic in Canada, AGBU Toronto invited the local community to explore the heroic history of Talas in Western Armenia. “Sharing the Journey,” an event on the night of November 28, 2018, was dedicated to discussing the book Grit and Grace In A World Gone Mad: Humanitarianism In Talas, Turkey 1908-1923 with author Wendy Elliott. The book retraces the steps of a remarkable, yet little known group of Canadian and American missionaries and relief workers in Talas in the dying days of a post-WWI Ottoman Empire. Elliott discussed how the group saved thousands of Armenian, Greek and Turkish orphans from starvation and disease, and how these ordinary people shifted the course of history through their service. The event was especially touching because many who attended were themselves descendants of Armenians from Talas, exploring the city of their ancestors through Elliott’s curated archival media. The following week, AGBU Montreal hosted Elliott with similar success.

To complement the dynamic global onsite programming, AGBU published three WebTalks featuring Dr. Bernard Coulie, a professor of Byzantine Studies, Armenian and Georgian Studies, and European Culture and Identity at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) in Belgium. In the videos, Dr. Coulie details the phases of genocide, explains the history of the Assyrian and Pontic Greek Genocides coinciding with the Armenian Genocide, and discusses the process of genocide recognition in Belgium. With the intent of genocide prevention through education, AGBU WebTalks are made to be accessible to the global public. As these anniversaries pass, AGBU maintains its commitment to its ever-evolving community in all corners of the world.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2018/12/agbu-chapters-observe-united-nations-genocide-commemoration-and-prevention-day/

SAS Award for Distinguished Dissertation Conferred on Dr. Mehmet Polatel

FRESNO — The Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) announced that Dr. Mehmet Polatel has been chosen to receive the SAS Distinguished Dissertation Award for 2015-2017 for his dissertation “Armenians and the Land Question in the Ottoman Empire, 1870-1914.” The SAS Award is accompanied by a $1,000 prize.

Mehmet Polatel received a Ph.D. in Modern Turkish History from Bogazici University (Istanbul) in 2017. He is a historian focusing on late Ottoman history and the early Turkish Republic. His research interests are in the fields of power, state formation, social change, nationalism, and genocide. He has conducted research on the fate of Armenian property in the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey. He is the co-author, with Ugur Ümit Üngör, of Confiscation and Destruction: The Young Turk Seizure of Armenian Property (London and New York, 2011). Currently, he is a Manoogian post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Polatel’s dissertation examines the emergence and transformation of the land question in the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century, focusing on the extent and characteristics of land disputes concerning Armenians. The views on the land question, which emerged as a distinct social problem in the 1870s, varied among the central government, local authorities, the Armenian political elite, Armenian institutions, Kurdish powerholders, and the Kurdish political elite. Based on Armenian, British, and Ottoman sources, this study demonstrates that there were significant changes in the extent and characteristics of land disputes during and after the massacres of 1894-1897. These novelties include the escalation of the problem, the participation of ordinary people in the seizure of Armenian properties, the dispossession of Armenian large landowners, and the development of a state policy directed at changing the demographic profile of the population in the region.

On the news of receiving the award, Dr. Polatel stated: “I am humbled and deeply honored to receive this award from the Society for Armenian Studies which has been promoting Armenian studies for decades. It means a lot to me. I sincerely thank the selection committee for considering my dissertation to be worthy of this distinguished award.”

The SAS also chose Dr. Christopher Sheklian’s dissertation, “Theology and Community: The Armenian Minority, Tradition, and Secularism in Turkey” (University of Chicago, 2017), for honorable mention. Dr. Sheklian is director of the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center at the Armenian Diocese in New York.

The Society for Armenian Studies, founded in 1974, is an international professional association representing scholars and teachers in the field of Armenian Studies. The aim of the SAS is to promote the study of Armenian culture and society, including history, language, literature, and social, political, and economic questions.

The SAS ( societyforarmenianstudies.com) is headquartered at the Armenian Studies Program at California State University, Fresno. It publishes the peer-reviewed Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies and a semi-annual online Newsletter, and organizes panels and conferences on Armenian Studies.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2018/12/sas-award-for-distinguished-dissertation-conferred-on-dr-mehmet-polatel/

Historian Taner Akçam Launches Digital Archive Documenting the Armenian Genocide

CLARKE UNIVERSITY — After the 1915 Armenian Genocide, Krikor Guerguerian, a priest and genocide survivor, traveled the world collecting evidence to document the atrocities. Taner Akçam, the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Professor in Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University’s Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, recently collaborated with Turkish experts and graduate students on a digital repository that makes Guerguerian’s vast collection of incriminating documents available to scholars worldwide.

The newly launched Krikor Guerguerian Archive comprises thousands of original Ottoman documents and Guerguerian’s extensive, unpublished writings. It includes the long-missing handwritten memoirs of Naim Bey, an Ottoman bureaucrat stationed in Aleppo who actively participated in the deportation and massacres of Armenians; documents from the Jerusalem Armenian Patriarchate containing first-hand information about the Armenian genocide; and critical papers from the Istanbul perpetrator trials held from 1919 to 1922 that were long assumed vanished.

Among the most noteworthy materials are ciphered telegrams that the Ottoman Interior Minister Talat Pasha, army commanders, and the chief of the government’s paramilitary sent to governors throughout the Empire. Some of these telegrams, written on government letterhead stamped with the official Ottoman seal, clearly outline the Ottoman government’s planning and execution of the genocide. These “killing orders,” considered the “smoking gun” of the Armenian Genocide, formed the basis of Akcam’s groundbreaking book “Killing Orders: Talat Pasha’s Telegrams and the Armenian Genocide,” released earlier this year.

Professor Akçam was granted access to the unpublished collection in 2015 by Dr. Edmund Guerguerian, nephew of Fr. Guerguerian, and he has worked diligently to ensure that other scholars of the Armenian Genocide have access to these important documents. He engaged his doctoral candidates Ani Ohanian, Anna Aleksanyan, and Burçin Gerçek, and former students Ümit Kurt, Ph.D. ’16 and Emre Can Daglioglu in an effort to create and launch the digital archive. The group collaborated with others in Paris and Istanbul to translate materials into English.

“Access to these materials has the potential to change scholarly and political discourse as well as to destroy Turkish denial,” wrote Professor Akçam. “It is my duty to make this evidence accessible for the world to see.”

Professor Akçam, whom the New York Times referred to as “The Sherlock Holmes of the Armenian Genocide,” was one of the first Turkish intellectuals to acknowledge and openly discuss the Armenian Genocide. His book “The Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire,” was co-winner of the Middle East Studies Association’s Albert Hourani Book Award and one of ForeignAffairs.com’s “Best Books on the Middle East.”

Among his many honors, Akçam received the 2018 Outstanding Upstander Award from the World Without Genocide organization; the Hrant Dink Spirit of Freedom and Justice Medal from the Organization of Istanbul Armenians and the Hrant Dink Freedom Award from the Armenian Bar Association (both in 2015); and the Heroes of Justice and Truth award at the Armenian Genocide Centennial commemoration in May 2015.

Funding for the creation of the Krikor Guerguerian Archive was provided by the Caloust Gulbenkian Foundation, the Jirair Nishanian Foundation, the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the Knights Daughters of Vartan, and the Dadourian Foundation. Original materials included in the Guerguerian Archive were donated to the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) in Belmont, Mass., where they will become part of NAASR’s Mardigian Library. Researchers will be able to access original materials included in the digital archive following the opening of the NAASR headquarters’ building in the fall of 2019.

For more information about the online archive, call 508-793-8897.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2018/12/historian-taner-akcam-launches-digital-archive-documenting-the-armenian-genocide/

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'Genocide Monument'

Using the unrecognized Genocides of the past as a reason to keep vigilance on all current ones around the world. The iPhone app is now available free on the Apple App Store. The Android and Blackberry versions of 'Genocide Monument' are currently being funded for production.