In 2005, the Turkish Grand National Assembly petitioned British parliamentarians to dismiss the 1916 British Parliamentary blue book – the first systematic thesis on the Armenian Genocide – as a forgery. The Turkish petition was shown to be contrived and failed. The British Foreign Office played a decisive role in this dismissal and the Turkish parliament was allowed to go into quiet retreat. Most Armenian organisations were not aware of what happened at the time or ever since. Consequently, the Turkish petitioners were not brought to task as they might have been. The only organisation that responded to the Turkish onslaught in a decisive manner – and has remained on the case – was the Gomidas Institute.
Ara Sarafian, the executive director of the Gomidas Institute, will give an update on the blue book issue and explain why it still matters today. He will point out that the Turkish politicians who signed the 2005 petition are still in politics today, including President Erdogan, Prime Minister Yidirim, and Foreign Minister Cavusoglu. If you would like to get involved with the Gomidas Institute’s blue book campaign and make a positive contribution please come to this talk.
Ara Sarafian is an archival historian and the executive-director of the Gomidas Institute (London). His publications include a critical edition of the 1916 British Parliamentary blue book, The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-16: Documents Presented to Viscount Grey of Fallodon by Viscount Bryce [Uncensored Edition] (London: Gomidas Institute, 2000 and 2005) and Osmanl─▒ ─░mparatorlu─čuÔÇÖnda Ermenilere Yap─▒lan Muamele, 1915-1916 [Sans├╝rs├╝z Bas─▒m](London: Gomidas Institute, 2009). This talk is part of the Gomidas Institute’s Staying Focused Series.