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The Story Behind ‘The Smoking Gun’ Of The Armenian Genocide

On April 23, the New York Times published an article about Professor Taner Akçam’s recent work. The article focused on an Ottoman document Akçam states is “the smoking gun,” which demonstrates the Ottoman government’s awareness of, and involvement in, the elimination of the Armenian population.

The document, acknowledged as authentic by the post-World War I Ottoman government, helped convict its author, Behaeddin Shakir as one of the masterminds of the Armenian Genocide.

However, this key piece of evidence, along with other damning documents used during the post-war Constantinople trials of the perpetrators, vanished. Or so it seemed.

In the course of examining the archives of the late Fr. Krikor Guerguerian, Akçam discovered that the Armenian Catholic priest had made photographic copies of Shakir’s telegram and other crucial documents.

Dr. Akçam’s talk will be the first time this and other documents have ever been discussed in a public setting.

Presented in conjunction with the 2017 One Book One San Diego featuring "The Sandcastle Girls" by NYT bestselling author Chris Bohjalian.

Professor Taner 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 is the author of more than ten scholarly works as well as numerous articles in Turkish, German, and English on Armenian Genocide and Turkish Nationalism. His most known books are "A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility" (2006) and “Young Turks’ Crime against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire" (2012). Dr. Akçam’s latest book is “Killing Orders: Talat Pasha’s Telegrams and the Armenian Genocide" (2018).

Dates and times of events are subject to change without notice. Always check the event organizer's website for the most updated schedule before attending.

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