YEREVAN (Tert.am) — The Turkish scholars conducting research into Armenian Genocide archives essentially outnumber their Armenian counterparts, according to Hilmar Kaiser, a German historian specializing in genocide studies.
At a news conference in Yerevan, the researcher noted that discussions addressing the topic have now increasingly moved from the scientific to political circles.
“What we learn from the Ottoman-era records available to us is that an estimated 1,400,000 people were annihilated in Turkey,” he said, describing the atrocities as a total extermination of Armenians.
“In 2014, I published a Turkish Interior Ministry order – concerning the Armenian massacres. Those documents, available in Turkish, as well as German, English and why not also the Armenian, provide factual evidence on the killing of Armenians.
“What the different archives present is not absolutely different stories about the same thing, but rather – something which has really happened,” he added.
The historian said he regrets that less Armenian historians are actively researching the topic.
“More Turkish scholars and [post-graduate] researchers working for doctor’s degree study the Armenian Genocide issue compared to Armenians. Also, Istanbul hosts more public events affirming the fact of Genocide,” he added.
Mr Kaiser agreed that the scholarly circles in Yerevan do considerable work to probe into the Genocide archives but said he does not consider their efforts enough to raise a full awareness of the issue. The historian said he is hopeful that the recent Velvet Revolution in Armenia will change attitudes also to that issue.
Meantime stressed the importance of translating the available records into foreign languages, especially Turkish and English. “We will be able in that case to push the Turkish society to studying their own history,” he said, expressing further a firm belief that such efforts will help simultaneously combat Turkey’s policy of denial.
Kaiser said he would recommend Armenian historians to turn spotlight also on the Turkish archives (which he said are open to study).
“I don’t think it is good at all that there isn’t any Turkish literature center in Armenia to collect and study all the scientific endeavors,” he said, calling a strong attention particularly to anti-denial efforts.