Armenian Genocide Archive Project takes Great Leap Forward with Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation

March 14, 2012

USC Gala to Salute Shoah Foundation Institute for Archive Project
The Armenian Weekly | March 14, 2012

The Power of Celebrity and Armenian Genocide Awareness

March 13, 2012

‘Khloe and Lamar’ Raise Public Awareness of Armenian Genocide
March 13, 2012 | The Armenian Weekly

Thanks to the ‘Khloe and Lamar’ program aired on the E! Network last Sunday (March 11, 2012), ‘Armenian Genocide’ was the tenth most-searched term on Google. The Armenian Weekly reports 2.1 million people watched the episode. Coincidentally, unaware of the episode, I checked my site statistics for that day and could not figure out why there was such a spike in the number of visits to my blog.

Thank you Khloe Kardashian, Lamar Odom, and E! Network producers for bringing awareness oo the Armenian Genocide history and the issue of  Turkey’s ongoing Armenian Genocide denial to your viewers. Thanks also to the Genocide Education Project (GenEd) and the Armenian Youth Federation for your roles fighting against Armenian Genocide denial.

France’s Constitutional Court rules Armenian Genocide denial law violates freedom of speech

February 28, 2012

The Washington Post reports, “France’s Constitutional Council has ruled that a law concerning the mass killings of Armenians a century ago violates the country’s constitution.” An Armenian Weekly article states that President Sarkozy will reintroduce the bill with changes. There is a fear that the ruling could endanger France’s law which criminalizes Holocaust denial.

Free Speech and Armenian Genocide Denial

January 31, 2012

A new development has occurred in France concerning the signing into law of a bill passed by both houses of France’s parliament. The spotlight has shifted to the question of free speech rather than the crime of genocide. 

At the moment, the most vocal defender of free speech in France appears to be the Turkish Government. This is because Turkey does not want France’s president to sign the “Armenian Genocide Denial bill” into law. One fact which seems to have been lost in the muddied waters of this spectacle is that France already has a Holocaust Denial law on its books.

France legally recognizes the Armenian Genocide (tens of thousands of Armenian survivors sought refuge in France in the aftermath of the mass deportation of all Armenians from Turkey) and the Holocaust. As the New York Times correctly points out, “the bill criminalizes the denial of officially recognized genocides…The bill does not make specific reference to the estimated 1.5 million Armenians slaughtered under the Ottoman Turks, but France recognizes only those deaths and the Holocaust as genocides and already specifically bans Holocaust denial.

The same Turkish Government who is now France’s newest proponent of free speech in France, does not champion free speech in Turkey. Within Turkey’s borders, the Turkish Government censors the press and the Internet, and criminally prosecutes those who “insult Turkishness” with their words, this includes openly commenting about the Armenian Genocide. While the facts about Turkey’s human and civil rights abuses are well known, Turkey’s aggressive multi-decade, multi-national, multi-million dollar lobbying efforts aimed at blocking Armenian Genocide recognition are less frequently in the headlines.

Do we have free speech when an outside government dictates what we can and cannot say under the guise of foreign diplomacy? Questions raised about free speech are fair and essential. However, we must not limit this discussion to the passing of a law in France. Michael Bobelian’s book, Children of Armenia, which is painstakingly documented, illuminates the dark side of genocide denial and illustrates how it is possible to forget (or never learn) about seismic events in modern history.

If criminalizing genocide denial is not the answer, how do we combat hate speech and state-sponsored genocide denial?

Here are a few articles about today’s news from France:

France’s Armenian Genocide Law Put On Hold
Armenian Weekly | January 31, 2012

Top French court asked to weigh in on bill making it a crime to deny Armenian genocide
Washington Post | January 31, 2012

France Turkey row: Genocide bill faces court hurdle
BBC News | January 31, 2012


Screenings of Aghet: A Genocide in the US – December 2010

December 8, 2010

Eric Friedler’s ‘Aghet: A Genocide‘ is brilliant. Last night, I was one of the fortunate few able to see the film at Columbia University.  The documentary is being screened at select universities in the northeastern and mid-western United States (e.g. Harvard, University of Michigan).

Please share this post with everyone you know who may live in NJ, Boston, Philadelphia, Dearborn, and Skokie (IL). Each screening is just one night through December 12, 2010. (Click this link to the Armenian Weekly for the Aghet screening schedule).

WikiLeaks revelations about the Armenian Genocide

November 30, 2010

For hourly updates on released WikiLeaks documents, “Like” the Armenian Weekly’s Facebook group.

Do you know Armenians saved by Japan during or after the Armenian Genocide?

September 30, 2010

Be sure to read Vicken Babkenian’s article in the Armenian Weekly and the comments accompanying the article:

Japan and the Armenian Genocide: A Forgotten International Humanitarian Relief Episode
Armenian Weekly | September 29,2010

See also:

  • My comment on the Armenian Weekly article here
  • March 15 2010 blog post about Mrs. Apcar

[If you have any information about Armenian Genocide survivors aided by Japan or Mrs. Diana Agabeg Apcar, the Republic of Armenia Consul to Japan in 1920, please let us know.]

We owe Turkish scholar Taner Akcam our deepest gratitude for his Armenian Genocide fact-finding

June 3, 2010

Taner Akcam’s book, A Shameful Act, is a brilliant and scholarly presentation of the facts related to the Armenian Genocide. A Shameful Act is based on Akcam’s extensive research of Ottoman and German archival sources. (The Resources Links box in the right margin of this Home Page provides a link for finding a copy of A Shameful Act.)

Watch a video of Taner Akcam discussing A Shameful Act, as originally broadcast on C-SPAN2 Book TV.

Related News

Akcam: What Davutoglu Fails to Understand
The Armenian Weekly | May 19, 2010

The Turkish version of this OpEd appeared in Taraf on May 11, 2010.

Shame on London’s Tate Gallery for enabling Turkey’s Armenian Genocide Denial Campaign

April 23, 2010

On the eve of the 95th Anniversary of the events of April 24, 1915, Armenians around the world are preparing to attend church services, commemorations and rallies around the world. Today we awaken to cries of “We are all Armenian” sympathies that lift our hearts. Unfortunately, while we sleep, Turkey continues its insidious campaign of Armenian Genocide denial. This hateful last phase of genocide has lasted (successfully) for 95 years. As the granddaughter and great granddaughter of Armenian Genocide victims, I beseech you to recognize and stand up to all forms of genocide and genocide denial.

Professor Gregory Stanton, the Immediate Past President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars recently wrote a letter to London’s Tate Gallery concerning the museum’s shocking complicity in Turkey’s Armenian Genocide denial campaign. Stanton is Professor of Genocide Studies and Prevention, George Mason University, and Founding President, Genocide Watch.

Read the Article:

Former International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) President Writes Letter to Tate Gallery on Genocide Denial
The Armenian Weekly | April 22,2010

Tate Gallery Arshile Gorky Exhibition link

Take Action:

  1. Thank Professor Stanton for his vigilance and speaking out about Armenian Genocide denial. Email Stanton at:
  2. Write to the Tate Gallery to share your opinion about the handling of the current Arshile Gorky exhibit and the musuem’s submission to the Turkish Government’s Armenian Genocide denial demands:

Sir Nicholas Serota, Director, The Tate Gallery
Mr. Matthew Gale, Curator, The Tate Gallery

My Sunday school teacher, Dr. Zaven Daderian, was right. We must remain vigilant in our fight for the truth about our history. Please continue to educate yourself and the world about the Armenian Genocide.

Armenian Genocide committed by Ottoman Turks, but genocide denial policy stains Turkey’s current government

March 8, 2010

When my sisters called me from Texas to tell me they’re seeing news reports about the Armenian Genocide of 1915 on television and the Internet, I recognized that the policy of genocide denial will ultimately fail. It’s now only a question of when will Turkey’s leaders wake-up and realize they are keeping the memories of the 1.5 million Armenians their government massacred 95 years ago alive. They are actually succeeding in shining the light on their country’s darkest hours more effectively than Armenians the world over:

Turkey should pause before a mirror
March 8, 2010 |

Leylekian: Armenian Genocide Denial: The Turkish Vietnam
March 5, 2010 | Armenian Weekly

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