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Denial of the Armenian Genocide

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Denial of the Armenian Genocide is the assertion that the events within the Ottoman Empire following April 24, 1915 and the Tehcir Law of May 1915 were not part of a state-organized genocide directed against the empire's Armenian inhabitants, and that the Armenian Genocide did not occur.[1] For example, the Republic of Turkey does not accept that the Ottoman authorities attempted to eliminate the Armenian people.[1]

Institutional Study

In 1990, psychologist Robert Jay Lifton received a letter from the Turkish Ambassador to the United States, questioning his inclusion of references to the Armenian Genocide in one of his books. The ambassador inadvertently included a draft of the letter, presented by scholar Heath Lowry, advising the ambassador on how to prevent mention of the Armenian Genocide in scholarly works. Lowry was later named to a chair at Princeton University, which had been endowed with a $750,000 grant from the Republic of Turkey. The incident was the subject of numerous reports as to ethics in scholarship.[1][2]

Open University of Israel scholar Yair Auron has addressed the various means employed by the Turkish government to obscure the reality of the Armenian Genocide:

  • "Since the 1980s, the Turkish government has supported the establishment of "institutes" affiliated with respected universities, whose apparent purpose is to further research on Turkish history and culture, but which also tend to act in ways that further denial."[2]

University of California, Los Angeles scholar Leo Kuper in a review on Ervin Staub's "The Roots of Evil: The Origins of Genocide and Other Group Violence" research, writes:

  • "The Armenian genocide is a contemporary current issue, given the persistent aggressive denial of the crime by the Turkish government-not withstanding its own judgment in courts martial after the first World War, that its leading ministers had deliberately planned and carried out the annihilation of Armenians, with the participation of many regional administrators."[3]

Issues regarding deniers


Some countries, including Argentina[source?], Switzerland and Uruguay[source?] have adopted laws that punish genocide denial. In October 2006, France passed a bill which if approved by the Senate and president, will make Armenian Genocide denial a crime.

The first person convicted by a court of law for denying the Armenian genocide is Turkish politician Doğu Perinçek, found guilty by a Swiss district court in Lausanne in March 2007. Perinçek appealed the verdict. Ferai Tinç, a foreign affairs columnist with Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper, added, "we find these type of [penal] articles against freedom of opinion dangerous because we are struggling in our country to achieve freedom of thought."[4] After the court's decision, Perinçek said, "I defend my right to freedom of expression."

The Ankara Chamber of Commerce included DVDs, accusing the Armenian people of slaughtering Turks, with their paid tourism advertisements in the June 6, 2005 edition of the magazine TIME Europe. Time Europe later apologized for allowing the inclusion of the DVDs and published a critical letter signed by five French organizations.[5][6] The February 12, 2007 edition of Time Europe included an acknowledgment of the truth of the Armenian Genocide and a DVD of a documentary by French director Laurence Jourdan about the genocide.[7]

Other pages


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Q&A Armenian 'genocide'". British Broadcasting Corporation. 2006-10-12. Retrieved 2006-12-29.
  2. Auron, Yair. The Banality of Denial, p. 47
  3. "Review (The Roots of Evil: The Origins of Genocide and Other Group Violence. by Ervin Staub)", Leo Kuper // Contemporary Sociology, Vol. 19, No. 5. (Sep., 1990), p. 683
  4. "Turkish politician fined over genocide denial". Swissinfo with agencies. March 9, 2007.
  5. "In Turkey, a Clash of Nationalism and History". The Washington Post. September 30, 2005.
  6. TIME carries documentary, adopts policy on Armenian Genocide
  7. TIME MAGAZINE: Carries documentary, adopts policy on Armenian Genocide

Other websites

  • Grand National Assembly of Turkey Report