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Jerusalem archive yields Armenian genocide ‘smoking gun’ – Newly discovered telegram from 1919 military tribunals proves official Turkish coverup of mass killings

After years of searching for irrefutable proof of the genocide, Taner Akcam, a Turkish-born scholar at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, says he has uncovered a long-lost telegram used as evidence in military tribunals that convicted the planners of the mass killings, The New York Times reported Saturday.“Until recently, the smoking gun was missing,” Akcam, who is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on the Armenian cause, told the paper. “This is the smoking gun.”

The telegram, originally written in secret code, is a request from a high-level Turkish official, Behaeddin Shakir, for details from the field about the deportations and killings of Armenians in the eastern Turkish region of Anatolia, the report said. The document, found by Akcam in a copy of an archive held by the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, is a deciphered version of the original telegram that was used to help convict Shakir of planning the murders. According to Akcam, the discovery proves both the existence of the tribunals and, for the first time, the deliberate and willful official planning involved in carrying out the massacres. Akcam said the find was “an earthquake in our field,” and expressed hope it would remove “the last brick in the denialist wall.”

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