Ara Sarafian to present “The Story Behind Soghomon Tehlerian and the Assassination of Talaat Pasha”

“The Story Behind Soghomon Tehlerian and the Assassination of Talaat Pasha” will be the topic of a presentation by Ara Sarafian at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 23, 2023, in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, at Fresno State. The event is organized by the Armenian Studies Program at Fresno State.

This presentation will be the United States premiere of the English translation of Tehlirian’s memoir, Remembrances: The Assassination of Talaat Pasha (London: Gomidas Institute, 2022).

This is the first English translation of Tehlirian’s memoir, which was originally published by Housaper (Cairo) in 1953. It is a fascinating account of Tehlirian’s experiences during World War I, including his witness to the Armenian Genocide and his visceral need to avenge the mass murder of over a million Armenians, including 84 members of his own family.

Remembrances: The Assassination of Talaat Pasha also relates Tehlirian’s induction into the Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s (ARF) assassination campaign, “Operation Nemesis,” to liquidate Turkish leaders who had been responsible for the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

This is a complex yet well-written account that lends itself to serious examination and analysis. Tehlirian was buried with full honors at Masis Ararat Cemetery in Fresno in 1960.

Sarafian is an archival historian and the executive director of the Gomidas Institute (London). He specializes in late Ottoman and modern Armenian history, including the Armenian Genocide.

Over the past 18 years, he has been at the vanguard of Turkish-Armenian truth and reconciliation projects, including engaging Turkish state intellectuals, civil society organizations, the press, and other outlets. He was the first Diaspora Armenian to commemorate the Armenian Genocide in Istanbul (2008), Diyarbakir (2013), and Bitlis (2015).

On his latest survey trip to Turkey in September 2022, he visited Yerznga (Erzincan) and Gamakh (Kemah), including Tehlirian’s village, Vari Pakarij. Sarafian is currently heading “Project Kharpert 2022,” the Gomidas Institute’s civil campaign to oppose the Turkish authorities’ erasing of what remains of Armenian material culture in Kharpert today.

Copies of Remembrances: The Assassination of Talaat Pasha will be on sale at the event.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Parking is available in Fresno State Lots P6 and P5, near the University Business Center, Fresno State. A free parking code can be obtained by contacting the Armenian Studies Program.

The presentation will also be live-streamed on the Armenian Studies YouTube channel.


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