FRESNO — “The Story Behind Soghomon Tehlirian and the Assassination of Talaat Pasha” will be the topic of a presentation by Ara Sarafian on Monday, January 23, at 7 p.m., in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, on the Fresno State campus. The event is organized by the Armenian Studies Program at Fresno State.
This presentation-talk will be the United States launch of the English translation of Tehlirian’s memoir, Remembrances: The Assassination of Talaat Pasha (London: Gomidas Institute, 2022). This is the first English translation of Tehlirian’s memoir, which was originally published by Housaper (Cairo) in 1953. It is a fascinating account of his experiences during World War I, including his witnessing the Armenian Genocide and his visceral need to avenge the mass-murder of over a million Armenians, including 84 members of his own family.
Remembrances: The Assassination of Talaat Pasha also relates Tehlirian’s induction into the ARF’s assassination campaign, “Operation Nemesis,” to liquidate Turkish leaders who had been responsible for the Armenian Genocide of 1915. This is a complex yet well-written account which lends itself to serious examination and analysis. Tehlirian was buried with full honors at Masis Ararat Cemetery, Fresno in 1960.
Sarafian is an archival historian and the executive director of the Gomidas Institute (London). He specializes in late Ottoman and modern Armenia history, including the Armenian Genocide. Over the past 18 years, he has been at the vanguard of Turkish-Armenian truth and reconciliation projects, including engaging Turkish state intellectuals, civil society organizations, press and other outlets. He was the first diaspora Armenian to commemorate the Armenian Genocide in Istanbul (2008), Diyarbakir (2013) and Bitlis (2015). On his latest survey trip to Turkey, in September 2022, he visited Yerznga (Erzincan) and Gamakh (Kemah), including Tehlirian’s village, Vari Pakarij.
Sarafian is currently heading “Project Kharpert 2022,” the Gomidas Institute’s civil-campaign to oppose the Turkish authorities’ erasure of what remains of Armenian material culture in Kharpert today.
Copies of Remembrances: The Assassination of Talaat Pasha will be on sale at the event.