Historian unearths evidence that Istanbul directed Armenian genocideHistorians in the News
tags: historians, Turkey, archives, genocide, Armenia
"Turkish government officials continue to use the same argument, the argument that the Ottoman government never had the intent," Taner Akçam, an Armenian genocide expert and history professor at Clark University in Massachusetts, told UPI. "They accept that there were casualties and some massacres, but they claim the Ottoman government was not able to control the remote areas and that some Kurdish tribes or bandits or some other group, they committed these kinds of crimes."
What was missing, Akçam said, was a "smoking gun" linking the atrocities to the Ottoman government. That's exactly what Akçam found.
"This new evidence is a major blow against Turkish denialist arguments," Akçam said.
His discovery suggests the genocide was indeed carried out on periphery, not by rogue agents and bandits, but by provincial governors. These governors were in communication with and assisted by leaders in Istanbul.
"This shows the radicalization process started in the provinces," Akçam told UPI.
The evidence, a series of telegrams transcribed, decoded and signed by Turkish officials, was discovered among a slate of new documents released into the Ottoman archive, a collection of historical documents in Istanbul, organized by the government and made available to researchers.
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