Taner Akcam: I Can Show Very Easily Genocidal Intent Of Ottoman Turkey
Posted 13 November 2007 - 02:58 AM
Also on the agenda was the Armenian Genocide resolution which passed in the House Foreign Affairs Committee last month. The Medill News Service spoke with two experts who have challenged Turkey’s position on the Armenian question and asked them to respond to Erdogan’s comments.
Turkish scholar Taner Akcam, author of “A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility,” is one of the first Turkish academics to acknowledge and discuss openly the killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish government in 1915.
Edward Alexander is a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer and author, born in New York to Armenian parents who fled Turkey.
"The evidence is overwhelming and to many Armenians, it is utterly preposterous for anyone, especially the Turkish government, to deny what is historical truth. For my research, one of my sources was the German press. My other source was the cables that were sent to Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, the U.S. ambassador in Turkey at the time of the genocide. These are documents that cannot be refuted. In addition, I did research eye-witness reports in Merseburg, Germany," Alexander said.
For his part, Mr Akcam said, "Our Prime Minister is wrong because we can prove the genocidal intent without any problems. One set of documentation are the trials in Istanbul between 1919 and 1921. These are the indictments, verdicts, hand-written testimonies and eye-witness accounts which were recorded during that time. There is a lot of evidence here showing the killing of the Armenians. The originals of these documents are not known. We assume that they have been destroyed after Turkish nationalists took over Istanbul. [Turkish officials] only trust the documents in prime ministerial archive today in Istanbul. I can show very easily, based on prime ministerial archives, the genocidal intent of Ottoman Turkey. I will publish a book in the Turkish language in 2008 where I am presenting more than 500 documents from prime ministerial archives in Istanbul."
Posted 29 May 2015 - 09:41 AM
PROF. TANER AKCAM RECEIVES 'HEROES OF JUSTICE AND TRUTH' AWARD DURING ARMENIAN GENOCIDE CENTENNIAL COMMEMORATION
May 28 2015
May 28, 2015
Clark University scholars long have been involved and outspoken about
the Armenian Genocide. This spring in particular, as events of 1915
were commemorated and discussed at centenary events and among news
media around the world, Clark voices and scholarship shed light on
dark historical truths.
Especially busy as a speaker, media source, and honoree was Taner
Akcam, history professor and Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and
Stephen and Marian Mugar Chair of Armenian Genocide Studies at the
Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
>From May 7 to 9 in Washington, D.C., thousands gathered for the
National Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Centennial, organized
by the Diocese and Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Churches of
America, "to remember those lost in the Genocide 100 years ago and
individuals and organizations who put their lives in harm's way to save
others from the Ottoman Empire's attacks. The Commemoration events
served as an opportunity to thank the institutions and individuals
who have helped Armenians to survive and thrive, and to promote unity
and awareness as a means of preventing future genocides."
Akcam was honored with a "Heroes of Justice and Truth" award, at a
banquet ceremony marking the close of the events.
The award was just one moment in the Turkish-born scholar's courageous
work uncovering historical fact, advocating for openness and opposing
denial of the Armenian Genocide. On April 26, Akcam was among
dignitaries speaking at a rally attended by several thousand in New
York's Times Square, organized by the Armenian Genocide Centennial
Committee of America (AGCCA).
The mass killing of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians during World War
I is widely acknowledged as genocide, and just recently was recognized
as such by France, Germany and Russia. The Turkish government persists
in its long-standingrefusal to call the killings genocide, denying
the claims as "Armenian lies." The United States also does not use
the term "genocide" in any official communications.
"It is still very troubling that the United States has still not
recognized this genocide," Akcam said.
Akcam delivered a passionate speech at the Times Square event, which
he wrote was "a very moving moment for me!" The central message,
he later wrote, is that "the nation of Turkey consists of more than
simply its denialist regime; there is another Turkey, and the citizens
of that Turkey are ready to face their history."
At the rally he said: "Today does not merely mark the centennial
of the annihilation of some 1.5 million Armenians; it also marks a
century of denial of this crime. The Turkish government continues
to deny not merely any responsibility for the horrors inflicted upon
Armenian people, but even the fact that it happened at all. As a Turk,
it is from this fact that my sorrow and great shame derive."
On April 23, AkÒ~Aam testified before the Commission on Security and
Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission. The
hearing was dedicated to the centennial of the Armenian Genocide,
"A Century of Denial: The Armenian Genocide and the Ongoing Quest
for Justice." He remarked, "Without truth, there can't be a peace. ...
Juxtaposing national interest and morality as being mutually exclusive
is just plain wrong."
Video and full text of Akcam's speech, "The Other Turkey," are
Akcam also delivered a talk, "Genocide, Not As An Occurrence But As
A Process," on May 13 at the Brookings Institute Center on the United
States and Europe at a conference titled, "Armenians and the Legacies
of World War I. "In my talk I tried to develop a macro perspective on
the Armenian Genocide," Akcam wrote, "What I suggested was actually a
'new' continuity thesis. I considered the genocide not only as an
event that occurred between 1915 and 1918 but also a process that
covered the period of 1878 to 1923."
Strassler Center scholars deeply engaged
Akcam and Strassler Center Executive Director Mary Jane Rein authored
an op-ed titled, "Recognizing Armenian genocide an important step
for US policy," which ran in The Boston Globe on April 24.
Strassler Center Director and Rose Professor of Holocaust History
DebÃ³rah Dwork, a leading authority on university education in
the field, was a featured speaker at "Responsibility 2015," the
international conference marking the centennial of the Armenian
Genocide, March 13-15 in New York, organized by the Armenian
Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Eastern U.S. Centennial Committee,
under the auspices of the AGCCA. Khatchig Mouradian, Clark Ph.D.
candidate and coordinator of the Armenian Genocide Program at
the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers
University, where he is also adjunct professor of history and
sociology, was a key coordinator of the "Responsibility 2015"
On the Clark University campus, the Strassler Center hosted the
Third International Graduate Students' Conference on Genocide Studies:
TEmerging Scholarship in Holocaust and Genocide Studies 100 Years After
the Armenian Genocide, in April. The interdisciplinary conference,
held in cooperation with the Danish Institute for International
Studies, Department of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Copenhagen,
provided a forum for doctoral students to present research to peers
and established scholars. Professor Eric Weitz, Dean of Humanities
and Arts and Professor of History at the City College of New York,
was the keynote speaker. Joining Dwork, Akcam and other guest scholars
was Clark Professor Thomas Kuhne, Director of Graduate Studies and
Strassler Family Chair in the Study of Holocaust History.
In an interview with the Armenian Mirror-Spectator, Dwork said she
believes "preparing teachers and writers is the best way to keep the
Armenian Genocide important in people's lives."
About the Strassler Center
The Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies trains
scholars, educators, and activists to develop a sophisticated
understanding of genocides grounded in scholarship. As the only
program to offer a Ph.D. in Holocaust History and Genocide Studies,
the Center educates doctoral students to assess the multiple factors
that fuel genocides and to formulate policies for political prevention
and humanitarian intervention. Grounded in history, the program also
draws upon psychology, political science, and geography, all academic
strengths at Clark University. The Center's robust undergraduate
program sends a clear signal to colleges across the country about
the significance of this subject for all students.
Posted 03 September 2017 - 11:57 AM
By Contributor on September 2, 2017
WORCESTER, Mass. (Clark News)—Clark University history Professor Taner Akçam will be honored with the 2018 Outstanding Upstander Award from the World Without Genocide organization for his tireless work promoting justice and the rule of law.
World Without Genocide, housed at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minn., works “to protect innocent people around the world; prevent genocide by combating racism and prejudice; advocate for the prosecution of perpetrators; and remember those whose lives and cultures have been destroyed by violence.”
Akçam, one of the first Turkish intellectuals to acknowledge and openly discuss the Armenian Genocide, holds the only endowed chair dedicated to research and teaching on this subject. As Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Professor of Armenian Genocide Studies at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark, he is committed to research, teaching and training future scholars. An outspoken advocate of democracy and free _expression_ since his student days at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, he is an internationally recognized human rights activist.
“We have long admired your bold and dedicated work to document the atrocities perpetrated by the Ottoman government against the Armenian people. You have persisted in speaking out about the genocide, despite being marked for death by Turkish ultra-nationalists,” Ellen J. Kennedy, executive director of World Without Genocide, wrote to Akçam.
Previous recipients of the World Without Genocide award include Eli Rosenbaum, director of human rights enforcement strategy and policy at the U.S. Department of Justice; Claudia Paz y Paz, former attorney general of Guatemala; and Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo, former prosecutor at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia.
Akçam will formally receive the award at the organization’s annual gala in May 2018 in Minneapolis.
Posted 23 December 2017 - 09:07 AM
Armenpress News Agency , Armenia
December 21, 2017 Thursday
Armenian Genocide is historical fact destroying identity structure of
Turkish society – Taner Akcam
YEREVAN, DECEMBER 21, ARMENPRESS. The Turkish authorities are obliged
to face their own history if they want to establish a democratic and
human rights respecting system. Without facing the history public
peace and democratic system are impossible to establish, Turkish
historian Taner Akcam, who recognized the Armenian Genocide, says in
his new article in T24.com, reports Armenpress.
In the article titled ‘Obligation to face history and barriers for
it’, the historian says at present it is an authoritarian and
dictatorial regime in Turkey, fundamental human rights and freedoms,
and especially the freedom of thought are being violated. “Hundreds of
intellectuals, writers, journalists are jailed, the main democratic
structures and laws do not operate, the judiciary is completely under
the control of one person, the principle of the rule of law has been
eliminated. The ethnic-religious issues, in particular, the Kurdish
issue, the issues of Alevi, Christian and Jewish minorities are in
poor situation”, the historian writes.
He highlighted four means reasons to face the history. “The first one
is that if you want to have a democratic regime respecting the human
rights, you have to face the human rights violations committed during
the history. If you are unable to face the violations of the past,
today you will not be able to establish a society that will respect
the human rights. You will build the future the way you look at the
past. If you discuss the issues existing in the history, stating that
“Armenians betrayed”, “Greeks deserved it”, “Kurds play an
imperialists game”, “Those are traitors who want to divide the country
and are a serious threat to our country”, now as well such issues will
be perceived from this perspective. As you previously violated the
fundamental rights, you will do the same today”, Akcam said.
As a second reason the historian stated that the societies, who had
bad and painful relations within the course of the history, will be
able to live jointly only in case of talking to each other. According
to the third reason, it’s necessary to return the human dignity of
people killed in the past. And finally, as a fourth reason the Turkish
historian mentions that refusal from facing the history can lead to
bad consequences. Denial of facing the history means to have a
potential to repeat the same crime.
Talking about the Armenian Genocide, Taner Akcam writes: “We have
established a nation-state in 1923 and created an identity in
accordance with it. And today this identity turned into a reality
determining our thinking, feelings, in other words, the whole
social-cultural relations of the society. But if we, for example,
start talking about the Armenian Genocide, we will see how this
reality begins to collapse. The Armenian Genocide is a historical fact
totally destroying the identity structure of the Turkish society. This
is the reason that we avoid facing the history”.
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