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The First Decision of the Armenian Genocide and the Role of the Kurds in Ottoman Documents

March 3, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

Based on newly available Ottoman documents, Dr. Akçam will revisit the question of the final decision to exterminate the Armenian population. He will show that the first decision to exterminate Armenians, contrary to the common belief in the field, was not taken in February-March 1915 but way early, at the beginning weeks of the First World War in December 1914. He will also show that the letters belonging to Bahaattin Şakir revealing the decision of total extermination of the Armenians published by Aram Andonian are authentic. The role of the Kurds during the genocide is another important topic that Dr. Akçam will discuss. He will introduce some new Ottoman documents and argue that some Kurdish tribes acted not on the order of the central government and attacked the Armenian villages single-handedly outside the central government’s control.
Historian Taner Akçam is the inaugural director of the Armenian Genocide Research Program at the Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA. Before coming to UCLA, Akçam held the Kaloosdian and Mugar Endowed Chair of Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University.
Akçam is widely recognized as one of the first Turkish scholars to write extensively on the Ottoman-Turkish Genocide of the Armenians in the early 20th century. He published extensively on Armenian Genocide and Turkish Nationalism. His most known books are A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility (Metropolitan Books, 2006) and Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire, Princeton University Press, 2012, received several awards. Akçam’s latest book is Killing Orders: Talat Pasha’s Telegrams and the Armenian Genocide (Palgrave 2018). He is the founder of Krikor Guerguerian Online Archive: https://wordpress.clarku.edu/guerguerianarchive/.


March 3, 2023
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST
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Armenian Studies Program, Fresno State
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Universtiy Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium
5245 North Backer Avenue
Fresno, 93740 United States
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