Society for Armenian Studies Issues Statement on ‘Historical Sub-Commission’

Following a vote at the Nov. 21, 2009, meeting of the Society for Armenian Studies (SAS), which called on the SAS Executive Council to prepare a statement concerning the “historical sub-commission” in the Armenian-Turkish protocols, and following a vote of the SAS membership in support of the statement, the SAS Executive Council, on behalf of the entire SAS membership, hereby issues the following statement regarding the proposed historical sub-commission:

The recently signed protocols between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey call for a sub-commission with the vaguely defined task of looking into existing historical problems for an impartial examination of historical records and archives. The stated purpose is to restore mutual confidence between the two nations. Although no express reference is made in the protocols, there is an almost universal agreement that the Turkish side would use the sub-commission as a vehicle for perpetuating its denial of the Armenian Genocide and casting doubt on the validity of the massive body of evidence establishing it as genocide.

While the Turkish government, in keeping with a long-standing state policy, continues to make every effort to question and deny the veracity of the Armenian Genocide, President Serge Sarkisian has on a number of occasions asserted that the genocide and loss of Armenian patrimony cannot be questioned; that the genocide is a known truth and must be recognized and condemned; and that the reality of the genocide can in no way become a subject of discussion as part of the agenda of the sub-commission.

The Society for Armenian Studies hereby firmly states that the Armenian Genocide is an undeniable fact, established through dispassionate, meticulous, and multilingual archival research by a great number of experts, most of whom belong to respectable scholarly bodies of renowned authorities such as the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) and our own Society for Armenian Studies. The veracity of the Armenian Genocide cannot and must not be subject to discussion or to political give and take.

The Society for Armenian Studies was founded in 1974 by a group of scholars from the universities of California, Columbia, and Harvard on the initiative of Richard G. Hovannisian, Dickran Kouymjian, Nina Garsoian, Avedis Sanjian, and Robert Thomson. It is dedicated to the development of Armenian studies as an academic discipline.
The SAS Secretariat is located at the Armenian Studies Program of California State University, Fresno.

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