Organized by the Armenian Studies Center at UCLA's Promise Armenian Institute, this Zoom-held international conference on the region's troubled history seeks to raise critical awareness of the complex and variegated history behind the current violence. The gathering will be the first of its kind to frame the conflict around its “deep” history, revealing its Soviet, Ottoman, and more recent geopolitical layers.
In this presentation, Professor Akçam will explore the contrasting popular and scholarly views of the role of Cemal Pasha in Ottoman and Armenian history. While a commonly-held view of non-historians considers Cemal Pasha to be one of the “Three Pashas” (along with Talat Pasha and Enver Pasha) who were largely responsible for the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during the Armenian Genocide (1914-1923), many historians in fact have argued that he actually opposed the annihilationist policies directed toward Armenians.
In this presentation, Professor Taner Akçam will introduce 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.