BELMONT — Dr. Taner Akçam, the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Professor of Modern Armenian History and Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University, will give a lecture titled, “Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide Trials,” on Thursday, February 16, at 8 p.m., at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) Center, 395 Concord Ave. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Zoryan Institute for Contemporary Armenian Research and Documentation, the Mashtots Chair in Armenian Studies at Harvard University and NAASR.
The newly-published volume Judgment at Istanbul (Berghahn Books), by Vahakn Dadrian and Akçam, is a new, authoritative translation of the Key Indictments and Verdicts and detailed analysis of the Turkish Military Tribunals concerning the crimes committed against the Armenians during World War I.
The authors have compiled the documentation of the trial proceedings for the first time in English and situated them within their historical and legal context. These documents show that Wartime Cabinet ministers, Young Turk party leaders and a number of others inculpated in these crimes were court-martialed by the Turkish Military Tribunals in the years immediately following World War I. Most were found guilty and received sentences ranging from prison with hard labor to death.
Judgment at Istanbul will be available for purchase and signing the night of the lecture.
In this lecture, Akçam will discuss the authors’ new findings and the importance of these trials in light of recent scholarship, as well as address the critiques of and attacks against the validity of the trials and documents discovered through the proceedings.
Until recently, knowledge of the trials was limited to those trials whose indictments and verdicts were published by the Takvim-i Vekâyi. Over the course of years of meticulous research, Dadrian and Akçam discovered that there were as many as 62 trials. In Judgment at Istanbul they not only list these until-now-unknown cases but also analyze the political conditions of the time and the history of these trials.
Akçam is the author of From Empire To Republic: Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide and A Shameful Act: the Armenian Genocide and Turkish Responsibility, as well as numerous articles in Turkish, German and English. His forthcoming book, The Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire, will be issued by Princeton University Press in April.
Admission to the event is free (donations appreciated).