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“Smoking gun” proving Ottoman complicity in Armenian genocide claimed

A Turkish historian claims to have the “smoking gun” that will prove complicity of the Ottoman government in the genocide of one and a half million Armenians in the early 20th century.

Taner Akcam, a historian at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, who is known as the “Sherlock Holmes of the Armenian genocide,” said he has found a key document, hidden for more than a century, in the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Akcam has sought to prove state complicity in the Armenian genocide, which is still denied by Turkey’s modern government. According to an article in Saturday’s New York Times, Akcam says he has unearthed an original telegram that had been entered as evidence in early trials of officials but suppressed soon after.

The news comes as Armenians around the world commemorate the mass killings on Monday’s Armenian Genocide Day.

The telegram is from 1915, written in secret code by a high-level official of the Ottoman Empire in the city of Erzurum, asking a colleague for details about the deportations and killings of Armenians in eastern Anatolia.

A copy of the telegram had been used to convict the official as a player in the genocide, but it later disappeared, along with other documents and testimony.

When Turkish nationalists were about to seize the country in 1922, the Armenian leadership in Constantinople shipped 24 boxes of court records to England for safekeeping.

Read more at Aleteia.

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