The Collapse of Turkey’s Genocide Denial Policy Due to the Griker Archive

The Collapse of Turkey’s Genocide Denial PolicyIn his interview with the Armenian edition of the “Akos” newspaper, well-known Turkish historian and a professor at Clark University in the US Taner Akçam gave noteworthy details in connection with the digitization of vardapet (archimandrite) Grigor Kerkerian’s (Griker) archive.

Note that thanks to the efforts of Taner Akçam, the archive has become available on the Internet.

Griker studied and translated numerous Turkish official documents connected with the Armenian Genocide of 1915. He also collected a large number of media materials covering the Genocide, including eyewitness accounts and commentaries on the events.

According to Akçam, Griker’s archive contains key decrees of the Ottoman authorities directly related to the Armenian Genocide, as well as telegrams, reports, and memoirs of people who survived the Genocide. The archive also contains a number of important documents from American, German, and British archives.

An important part of the archive consists of the collected evidence from court proceedings in Istanbul in 1919-1921 over the members of the Union and Progress Party (İttihad ve Terakki Cemiyeti) regarding the massacres and deportations of Armenians. The reports of the Constantinople Patriarchate of the Armenian Apostolic Church and telegrams containing the orders of Talaat Pasha himself are also included.

“The biggest property of the archive is the material in Armenian and Turkish. The Turkish material contains original decrees relating directly to the massacres of Armenians. That is, the Genocide deniers and the Turkish authorities will no longer be able to assert that ‘there were no direct orders for the killings.’

I think that this archive completely destroys the main strategy of the Turkish authorities to deny the Genocide, forcing them to invent new tales. It is very important that people do not hesitate to present this evidence to the deniers of the Genocide,” said the Turkish historian.

The documents belonging to the Armenian leader Aram Antonyan containing evidence of the Genocide are also remarkable.

“Antonyan, who was arrested on April 24, 1915, and miraculously rescued in 1917-1918, met numerous families of Armenian refugees in Aleppo and its surroundings and recorded their memories.

In addition, Antonyan bought about 50 copies of written documents from the telegraph office from an official named Naim Efendi containing direct decrees on the killings of Armenians. Later, he sent his archive to the Boghos Nubar library which he headed.

In the 1950s, clergyman Kerkerian copied all these documents that would become one of the most important parts of his archive,” said Taner Akçam.

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