Dr. Taner Akcam to present new research on genocidal decision-making in Belmont

The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) will present a lecture by Prof. Taner Akcam entitled “When Was the Decision to Annihilate the Armenians Taken?” on Thursday, February 20, 2020, in Belmont, MA, the Armenian Weekly reports.

In this presentation of recent research, Dr. Akcam argues that documents from the Ottoman archives in Istanbul indicate that the first decision to exterminate Armenians was made 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 the case on the authenticity of this letter, and most researchers have ignored it.

Drawing on these newly available Ottoman documents, Akcam 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 Akcam is the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Chairholder in Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University.

His book publications include A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish ResponsibilityThe Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire, and Killing Orders: Talat Pasha’s Telegrams and the Armenian Genocide.

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