Last month The Southern Poverty Law Center, a few days ago Inside Higher Ed, and now The Washington Post have stories about the ultimate firing of an American scholar by the Turkish government for changing his views from denying to admitting the Armenian Genocide.

What is quite interesting in this growing media coverage is a lesser-known mention of the firing by cartoonist Murad “Holdwater” Gumen at his hatesite. Back in October 2007, while mocking another piece by Inside Higher Ed on genocide denial, Gumen mentioned the following to demonstrate, according to Gumen, Turkey’s tolerance of academic diversity:

“As another example to demonstrate that the ITS [Institute of Turkish Studies] is out of the clutches of the Turkish government, not long ago its chairman was Donald Quataert, one of the 69 scholars who had signed the 1985 advertisement signifying there was no genocide. Quataert has since revised his views; one must suspect the historian has found striking new genocide evidence in order to have performed his 180 degree turnaround. From the bits and pieces I have gathered, an academician, whom I’m sure has no ties to the Turkish government, pointed out this oddity to some higher-ups, wondering why a ‘genocide advocate’ should be in charge of the ITS, and as a result, Donald Quataert was replaced.”

While the Turkish Ambassador, as quoted in the Washington Post, denies any personal or official involvement in the de facto firing, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Quataert lost his position due to his stance on the Armenian Genocide. But who are the “higher-ups” that Gumen mentions is interesting to find out. If Quataert was the chairman, who was “higher” than him in ITS?