CLEVELAND, Ohio — Clergy, delegates, and community members gathered at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Cleveland, OH, on Friday evening, April 29, to honor two individuals for their support of the Armenian Church and contributions to the greater Armenian community. The Grand Banquet of the 114th Diocesan Assembly was hosted by the St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church of Richmond Heights.
The award for the “Friend of the Armenians” was bestowed on Dr. Taner Akçam, professor of history and the Kaloosdian/Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University, in Worcester.
A native of Turkey, Akçam was arrested in 1976 while serving as editor-in-chief of a student political journal. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and adopted by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience. A year later, he escaped to Germany, where he received political asylum and began his graduate work.
He received a Ph.D. from the University of Hannover with a dissertation titled, “Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide: On the Background of the Military Tribunals in Istanbul between 1919 and 1922.”
Akçam has written a number of books on the Armenian Genocide, including his landmark work of historical investigation, A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility.
His book, The Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity, received the Hourani Book Prize of the Middle East Studies Association, and was listed by Foreign Affairs magazine among the “Best International Relations Books of 2012.”