Monday, April 16, 2012

Taner Talks Turkey

Prof. Akcam speaks with some of his audience at ALMA preceding his talk yesterday.

Prof. Akcam reviews notes for his talk yesterday at ALMA.

Taner Akcam speaks to an audience of over 150 yesterday at ALMA.

Professor Akcam points to the dark circles on the map of the Ottoman Empire where mass killings of Armenians occurred.
Prof. Taner Akcam of Clark University, the courageous scholar once jailed in Turkey with a nine year sentence (he escaped after a year) for insulting Turkishness, and adopted in 1976 by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience, spoke yesterday afternoon at the Armenian Library and Museum of America (Watertown, Massachusetts) on the occasion of the publication of his new book:  THE YOUNG TURKS CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY: the Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire (Princeton University Press, 2012).  His talk focussed on the numbers game (as illustrated by documents taken from the Ottoman Archives) that preceded an out and out genocide of the Armenian People by the Ottomans and the Young Turks. After Taner spoke for over an hour about the percentages of Armenians that should or would be allowed in any one area (not more than 5% in Anatolia, not more than 10% in the Syrian section of the Ottoman Empire), it became clear that the Turks had found a solution for the requirement by Great Britain in 1895 that any minority population of over 5% needed to have representation in the Ottoman government.  Prof. Akcam used original documents to illustrate the orders which reflected the percentage game, the resistance among the ranks (the armed forces did not want to give up its Armenian soldiers), and the decision to send the Armenians into the desert to let the sands of the desert do the dastardly deed -- in fact,  the Ottoman officials never thought that so many Armenians would survive the 'death march', the tortured walk through the desert without food, water, transportation.  Because they survived, they had to be destroyed.
Without the Armenians, there would be no need to follow the British mandate, there would be no need to have Armenian representation in the Ottoman government.  The Ottomans followed the letter of the British 'law' to a T . . . T for an Armenian-free Turkey, that is.

Ottoman document from 1915 ordering the elimination of the Armenians.


The Armenian population from the same counties and districts [of a province
 is to be broken up and settled in different regions, and no space or permission is to be given for the opening of ARmenian schools in their areas of settlement; thereby, their children are to be forced to continue their studies at the government schools and care and attention is to be given that the villages in which they are to be settled be at least five hours distant from one another and that they be in no place or condition that would allow for self rule or defense. (This telegram si) to be destroyed after its contents have been communicated to the necessary parties. 10 [23' June 1915
Nazir Namana 

Contents of coded telegram from the Interior Ministry's Office of Tribal & Immigrant Settlement to the province of Mosul and the provincial district of Der Zor dated 23 June 1915.

1 comment:

  1. Wish I could have been at ALMA to hear the Turkish professor speak. I am so glad he is no longer in prison. I recall news reports of his imprisonment. I plan to read his book; hope it is not too painful.