Acknowledgement Must Be First Step, IAGS President Tells Sarkisian, Erdogan

On Oct. 8, William Schabas, the president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS), addressed an open letter to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian, in which he said: “Acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide must be the starting point of any ‘impartial historical commission,’ not one of its possible conclusions.”

Below is the full text of the letter, acquired by our sister publication, the Armenian Weekly.

Dear Prime Minister Erdogan and President Sarkisian,

The proposed protocols between Armenia and Turkey call for an “impartial historical commission” to investigate what the world knows as the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

As the leading scholarly organization engaged in the study of genocide, we welcome continued investigation that will enhance our understanding of the 1915 massacres. However, we are extremely wary of any call for allegedly impartial research into what are clearly established historical facts.

Acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide must be the starting point of any “impartial historical commission,” not one of its possible conclusions. The world would not accept an inquiry into the truth of the Nazi Holocaust, or the extermination of the Tutsi in Rwanda, and nor can it do so with the genocide of the Armenians.

William Schabas,

President, International Association of Genocide Scholars

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