Ottoman archive

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The Ottoman Archives ( Turkish: Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Cumhurbaşkanlığı Devlet Arşivleri Başkanlığı , BOA) is the largest state archive in Turkey. It is located in the district Kağıthane in Istanbul and is subject to the "General Directorate of State Archives" of the President's Turkey . On a shelf length of around 100 km, the archive holds 100 to 150 million documents or document entries in registers from the time of the Ottoman Empire . The archive provides information for the history of Turkey and the 20 or so states that emerged from the Ottoman Empire. The inventory of files has been indexed since the 1930s and is available to researchers. The archive began in 1846, when the Grand Vizier Mustafa Reşid Pascha's decree ( irade ) established the first modern archive of the Ottoman Empire under the name "Hazine-i Evrak"  /خزينه اوراقwas decided. The building was completed in 1849. After the republic was proclaimed in Turkey , the Ottoman Archives were renamed several times. The archive received its organizational integration into the General Directorate of the Prime Minister's Office in 1984. The General Directorate and thus the archive have been assigned to the President of Turkey since 2018.

The archives and the Armenian genocide

Turkey advertises the Ottoman archives as "freely accessible". However, according to a WikiLeaks source, scientists and historians who want to work in the archives on the Armenian genocide are hampered by restrictions. In a resolution adopted on April 15, 2015 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the European Parliament urged Turkey to continue its efforts to provide access to the archives. In addition, not all documents on this topic have been classified and published.

In the WikiLeaks document 04ISTANBUL1074 from 2004, which was classified by the then US Consul General in Istanbul David Arnett with the level of secrecy “Confidential”, it emerges that, according to Halil Berktay, there were two attempts to access the Turkish archives of to clean incriminating documents related to the Armenian genocide. According to Berktay, the first cleaning took place in 1918 before the Allied forces took Istanbul. Berktay and others suggest that important documents were stolen from the Turkish archives. A second attempt, according to Berktay, took place in the 1990s in connection with efforts by former Prime Minister of Turkey Turgut Özal , who sought to open up the Turkish archives, and was carried out by retired Turkish diplomats and officers, led by the then Turkish Ambassador Muharrem Nuri Birgi.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Klaus Kreiser: Small Turkey Lexicon. Munich 1992, sv Başbakanlık Arşivi .
  3. a b c Viewing cable 04ISTANBUL1074, ARMENIAN "GENOCIDE" AND THE OTTOMAN ARCHIVES . WikiLeaks . Retrieved April 10, 2015
  4. Armenia and Turkey should start normalizing their relations . European Parliament. April 15, 2015. Retrieved April 15, 2015
  5. ^ Vahakn N. Dadrian, Taner Akçam: Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide Trials . P. 4, 2011
  6. a b WikiLeaks on Armenian Genocide: Turkey 'purged' archives to destroy evidence . ArmeniaNow. September 13, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2015

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