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The Knights and Daughters of Vartan continued their “Back to the Homeland” Mission Trip for the 6th year. More than 20 Knights, Daughters, and friends joined the pilgrimage on September 18-24th to visit the homeland, their mission partners and projects in Armenia.

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Knights and Daughters of Vartan Honoring Dr. Taner Akcam

On October 25, at the St. Leon Armenian Apostolic Church Abadjian Hall in Fair Lawn took place a special event honoring Dr. Taner Akcam. The event was hosted by the Knights and Daughters of Vartan and Times Square Armenian Genocide Commemoration Committee led by NS Hirant Gulian. During this event Dr. Taner received a Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Knights of Vartan Avak Sbarabed Steven Adams.

Dr. Akcam, a professor of Armenian genocide studies at the Clark University in Massachusetts, is one of the first Turkish intellectuals to acknowledge and openly discuss the Armenian Genocide.

 Dr. Akçam authored the groundbreaking book Killing Orders – Talat Pasha’s Telegrams and the Armenian Genocide, verifying archival evidence that the Turkish government continues to deny in relation to the Armenian Genocide. In an interview with the New York Times, where Akçam was referred to as the “Sherlock Holmes of the Armenian Genocide,” he states his hope that the evidence uncovered in Killing Orders would “remove the last brick of the denialist wall.”

“My firm belief as a Turk is that democracy and human rights in Turkey can only be established by facing history and acknowledging historic wrongdoings,” said Akçam, who received in PhD in 1996 from the University of Hannover with a dissertation titled Turkish National and the Armenian Genocide: On the Background of the Military Tribunals in Istanbul between 1919 and 1922.

“We are indebted to Dr. Akçam for dedicating his career to researching the Armenian Genocide,” said NS Hirant Gulian. “This milestone event is our way of showing our gratitude to his years of service.”

During the event special recognitions posthumously wese provided for Aram Andonian and Rev. Fr. Krikor Guerguerian, who initiated and preserved the Istanbul Military Tribunal Documents of 1919-1921. Dr. Edmund Guerguerian, the nephew of Rev. Fr. Guerguerian, also was recognized for providing the Guerguerian archives.

Dr. Mary Papazian, president of San Jose State University and Daughters of Vartan served as the keynote speaker.

During the event the audience was able to hear again the remarkable speech by Dr. Taner Akcam at the Times Square Commemoration Event in 2015.

Remarks from prominent scholars and elected officials were heard during the program.

The organizing committee prepared a book (76 pages) about the event, which is posted on web site as well.

Dr. Taner Akcam, KV Avak Ter-Sbarabed Kevork Oflazian and Avak Sbarabed Steven Adams

Dr. Akcam’s work in the area of Armenian Genocide research has placed him in the top of his field. His methodical and deliberate approach to uncover history is akin to a surgeon.

AS Steven Adams

Taner, with his brave books and well written articles in the 1990’s, went fearlessly after subjects considered as untouchable taboos in Turkey. He also is one of those individuals that lifted the heavy and burdensome stones off the Turkish official history; and of course he is one of those that exemplifies the meaning of the words: peace, democracy and freedom.

Hasan Cemal, grandson of Cemal Pasha

I believe the day will come when the Republic of Turkey will recognize the Armenian Genocide.

NS Hirant Gulian

I believe the day will come when the Republic of Turkey will honor restitution. I may not see it, but as long as we have righteous Turkish scholars and intellectuals, like Taner Akcam, Hasan Cemal, Fethiye Cetin and hundreds more…

Truth and Justice Will Prevail.

Hirant Gulian