A research on the WWI Armenian Genocide based solely on official Ottoman sources that Turkish historian Taner Akcam alluded to in a recent interview will first appear in Turkish and then in English.

The winter 2007 newsletter of the Zoryan Institute, received in an e-mail, informs:

Vahakn Dadrian, Zoryan’s Director of Genocide Research, and Taner Akçam, renowned Turkish Sociologist and Historian, are collaborating to present the results of their archival research on the Takvim-i Vekâyi.

The Takvim-i Vekâyi, the official gazette of the Ottoman government, provides the only official record of the military tribunals prosecuting the Armenian Genocide. It documents the indictments, court sittings and verdictsn for thirteen trials, which took place 1919-1922 in Istanbul, of individuals accused of crimes against the Armenians in 1915. These military tribunals were extensive and represent one of the period’s most important political undertakings. The Takvim-i Vekâyi is a prime source of legal and eyewitness testimony for the Genocide.

The gazette was printed in Arabic script and is currently dispersed in different libraries throughout the world. It is very difficult to get a complete collection owing to the attempts of the Turkish state to systematically remove as many of the existing issues from circulation as possible. However, working with the Institute for the last five years, the authors have been able to compile a complete collection of these gazettes, have transliterated them into modern Turkish, and translated them into English.

The Key Indictment focused on the Cabinet Ministers and top leaders of the Committee for Union and Progress (CUP). The main feature of the Key Indictment is the set of forty-one documents contained within it. Most of these documents consist of decoded telegrams sent to and from the Interior Minister (Talât), the IIIrd and IVth Army Cdr., the Deputy Cdr. of the Vth Army Corps and the XVth Division from Ankara province, the Directors of the Special Organization, two Military Governors of Istanbul, and a host of governors and district commissioners.

The authors provide readers with an authoritative English translation, accompanied by an extensive historical and legal introduction. Against the ongoing industry of denial undertaken by the Turkish state and the contemporary political background of independent Armenia in its relation to Turkey, this record assumes critical relevance.

The Turkish edition will appear soon and the English edition will follow shortly thereafter.