NPR (National Public Radio) correspondent Ari Shapiro chatted with Turkish historian of the Clark University Taner Akçam, who had previously published a telegram as evidence of the Armenian Genocide.
So, Taner Akçam revealed the history of the purposeful killing of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of WWI. Akçam had recently found a document he calls a “smoking gun” and an “earthquake in our region”.
Archives of the Armenian Genocide
As Akçam explains, the strategy of the Turkish government’s refusal is based on the lack of original documents. All documents relevant to the Armenian Genocide were removed from the Ottoman archives, and materials, telegrams, and eyewitness accounts simply disappeared.
Some of these telegrams made it into the archives of the Armenian patriarch in Jerusalem.
In the late 1960s, an Armenian Catholic priest, Krikor Gergeryan, visited the Jerusalem archive and managed to photograph the materials kept there. He also was the owner of a private archive, which was saved and presented to the world by his nephew, who later passed the mentioned telegram to Akçam.
The smoking gun
According to Akçam, the telegram at his disposal is original. It is written on an Ottoman blank and has the imprint of a high-ranking official.
The telegram was sent on July 4, 1915, by Behaeddin Shakir. During several indictments and sentences on military tribunals in Istanbul after the genocide, that telegram was used as evidence of the purposeful annihilation of Armenians by the Turkish government.
Interview of NPR correspondent Ari Shapiro with Taner Akçam.
- ‘Sherlock Holmes of Armenian Genocide’ Uncovers Lost Evidence. APRIL 22, 2017. New York Times.
- Recently Discovered Telegram Reveals Evidence For Armenian Genocide. APRIL 24. NPR.
Other published documents. Read the full information on the website of the AGOS newspaper.