Prof. Taner Akçam

Akçam to Speak on Denial of Armenian Genocide and Talat Pasha


FRESNO — Dr. Taner Akçam, the Kaloosdian and Mugar Professor of Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University, will speak on “The Denial of Armenian Genocide and the Killing Order of Talat Pasha” on Friday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m., in the Satellite Student Union (2485 E. San Ramon, enter at Barstow and Maple Aves.), at Fresno State.

The presentation is part of the Armenian Studies Program Spring 2019 Lecture Series and is co-sponsored by the Knights of Vartan, Yeprad Lodge.

A unique feature of the Armenian Genocide has been the long-standing efforts of successive Turkish governments to deny its historicity and to hide the documentary evidence surrounding it. Denialists claimed that there was no central decision taken by Ottoman authorities to exterminate the Armenians and all available documents that indicate otherwise are either fake or were doctored by Armenians.

Akçam, with his latest book, brings to light documents either hidden or destroyed by the Turkish government that contain the killing orders, as well as demonstrates the authenticity of these orders, which had been sign by Ottoman Interior Minister Talat Pasha.

As such, this work removes a cornerstone from the denialist edifice and represent an earthquake in the field of Armenian Genocide and will contribute enormously to the fight for recognition.

Historian and sociologist 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 University, 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.

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Akçam received his PhD in 1995 from the University of Hanover with a dissertation titled, “Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide: On the Background of the Military Tribunals in Istanbul between 1919 and 1922.”

He is the author of The Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire (2012); Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide Trials, with Vahakn Dadrian (2011); and A Shameful Act: Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility, (2006).

The lecture is free and open to the public.


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