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Akcam Launches Latest Book at Colgate University

HAMILTON, N.Y.—Prof. Taner Akcam lectured to a packed Persson Hall Auditorium at Colgate University on Thurs., April 5, launching his new book The Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire, which has just been published by Princeton University Press. Akcam spoke about the importance of the new archival documents he unearthed in the ministry of the interior archives in Istanbul. He explored the Young Turks’ policies of forced conversions and planned absorption of orphaned Armenian children as a dimension of the genocidal process through which Armenian identity was obliterated by the central planning of the Ottoman government in 1915. Akcam also discussed the significance of Talat Pasha’s orders to massacre about 200,000 Armenians in Der Zor, Syria, in the summer of 1916. The lecture was followed by a lively question and answer session and a reception.

Akcam (R) and Balakian at Colgate

In his introduction, Akcam’s host, Prof. Peter Balakian, noted: “Akçam’s work remains groundbreaking, vitalizing, essential. Not only has he opened up space inside Turkey for an honest evaluation of the genocide of the Armenians, but also he has given courage to a generation of younger Turkish scholars to tackle this history from the premise of truthful acknowledgment of Lemkin’s definition of genocide.”

The lecture was sponsored by Colgate’s Office of the Dean and Provost, its Peace and Conflict Studies Program, and the Core Program, in which Balakian teaches his course on modern genocide.

Akcam holds the Kaloosdian and Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University.

4 Comments on Akcam Launches Latest Book at Colgate University

  1. avatar Demetrios Rhompotis // April 12, 2012 at 8:53 am // Reply

    He is a brave scholar and his work is groundbreaking in more than one ways, because by focussing on the brutal methods by which Modern Turkey was founded, he also points our attention at similar, albeit, of lesser extent phenomena that took place in the rest of the countries that came out of the Ottoman Empire.
    Let us hope that his latest book will be available in the languages of those countries, including Turkish, and that it would spark the kind of honest discussion that has happened so far.

  2. avatar Vanessa Kachadurian // April 12, 2012 at 12:33 pm // Reply

    Great collaboration on a historical tradjic event documented in the Vatican, in European scholars and the American LIbrary of Congress.

    Tonight, writer Peter Balakian will be honored at UC Merced for the Spendlove Prize and tomorrow he is in Fresno.

    Thank you so much Dr. Balakian for what you have done to put a face on the 1.5 million souls. Our ancestors. I look forward to meeting you tonight at the reception.

  3. Absolutely Demetrios.. I agree with you…He is a great scholar and hope to see his books translated into different language to spread even more awareness and information..

    This is just a random thought but what I hope is for Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians to come together and fight against the denialism together because with such force Turkey can’t hold its grounds.. being a quilt that consists of all of us I belive can accomplish more and in a shorter time than if we all work in packets…

  4. Congratulations to Mr. Akcam on his book and his very brave stand. What a great man he is indeed.

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