By Bonnie Russell
WORCESTER (Telegram & Gazette) — Clark University history professor Taner Akçam will be honored for the decades he has spent gathering historical evidence to document the 1915 Armenian genocide, the mass killings of 1.5 million Armenians that took place at the hands of the government during the Ottoman Empire.
Akçam will be honored with the 2018 Outstanding Upstander Award from the World Without Genocide organization.
According to its website, World Without Genocide, housed at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, 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 an endowed chair at Clark’s Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. An outspoken advocate of democracy and free expression since his student days at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, 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 ultranationalists,” Ellen J. Kennedy, executive director of World Without Genocide, wrote to Mr. Akçam.