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Turkish scholar launches digital archive on Armenian Genocide

Turkish scholar launches digital archive on Armenian Genocide

PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkish historian Taner Akçam, a professor of Armenian Genocide studies at Clark University in Massachusetts, has launched a digital archive of evidence collected by an Armenian Genocide survivor which documents the atrocities of 1915, Ahval reports.

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, worked with Turkish experts and graduate students on a digital repository comprised of 1915 Armenian Genocide survivor and Krikor Guerguerian’s collection, for which he travelled the world to collect evidence.

The Krikor Guerguerian Archive contains thousands of original Ottoman documents and Guerguerian’s unpublished writings, including the handwritten memoirs of Naim Bey, an Ottoman bureaucrat stationed in Aleppo who actively participated in the deportation and massacres of Armenians and documents from the Jerusalem Armenian Patriarchate containing first-hand information about the Armenian Genocide.

Ciphered telegrams sent by the Ottoman Interior Minister Talat Pasha, seen by many as the principal architect of the Armenian Genocide, as well as army commanders, and the chief of the government’s paramilitary to governors throughout the Empire are among the most noteworthy materials of the archive.

“Access to these materials has the potential to change scholarly and political discourse as well as to destroy Turkish denial,” wrote Professor Akçam stressing that he sees it as his duty to make the ‘’evidence accessible for the world to see.’’

Sixty-five year old Akçam is widely regarded and criticised as one of the first Turkish academics to openly acknowledge and discuss the events of 1915 as genocide committed by the Turkish Ottoman government.

On April 24, Armenians worldwide commemorated the 103rd anniversary of the Genocide which began in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 and continued until 1923. Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as Genocide. Turkey denies to this day.

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