MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2020 at 11am PDT / 2pm EDT
Hosted On Zoom by The Promise Armenian Institute
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Taner Akçam, PhD, Professor of History and Kaloosdian and Mugar Chairholder in Modern Armenian History and Genocide Studies, Clark University
Dirk Moses, PhD, Frank Porter Graham Distinguished Professor of Global Human Rights History, University of North Carolina
In this presentation, first in The Promise Armenian Institute Distinguished Lecture Series, Professor Taner Akçam introduces some newly unearthed documents from the Ottoman archives in Istanbul that indicate that the first decision to exterminate Armenians was taken on December 1, 1914, well before most scholars in the field ever suggested. In these documents, the Turkish term for extermination [imha] is openly used by local governors who were directly involved in the decision-making process to exterminate the Armenians. Akçam will also introduce a letter dated March 3, 1915, written by Bahaettin Şakir, the head of Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa (aka the Special Organization) and one of the main architects of the Armenian Genocide. This letter conveys that the Central Committee of Union and Progress had already decided to exterminate the Armenians, giving the government wide authority to implement this plan. The scholarly world has long ignored or declined to cite this letter due to allegations that it was fake. Drawing on newly available documents, Akçam will show the authenticity of this letter and argue that the question of the decision(s) for the extermination of Armenians and the role of governors should be revisited.
The Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA Distinguished Lecture Series
Ararat-Eskijian Museum (AEM)
National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR)
Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History at UCLA
UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies