Thursday, February 20, 2020, at 7:30 pm
NAASR Vartan Gregorian Building, Batmasian Hall, on the 3rd floor
Reception after the program in the Shahinian Solarium
In this presentation of recent research, Taner Akçam argues that documents from the Ottoman archives in Istanbul indicate that first decision to exterminate Armenians was taken on December 1, 1914, well before most scholars have thought. Another document, a letter by Bahaettin Şakir, one of the main architects of the Armenian Genocide, written on March 3, 1915, says that the Central Committee of Union and Progress had decided to exterminate the Armenians, giving the government wide authority to implement this plan. Doubt has been cast on the authenticity of this letter and most researchers have ignored it.
Drawing on these newly available Ottoman documents, Akçam presents the case that we must reconsider the question of the decision(s) for the extermination of Armenians and will attempt to shed new light on the decision-making process, its chronology, and the role of governors in its implementation.
Taner Akçam is the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Chairholder in Armenian Genocide Studies, at Clark University.
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