Ara Sarafian

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ara Sarafian
Ara Sarafian at a UK parliamentary event on Turkish politics.jpg
Sarafian at a meeting on Turkish politics in the UK parliament
Born Cyprus
Nationality British
Ethnicity Armenian
Alma mater University of Michigan

Ara Sarafian (Armenian: Արա Սարաֆեան) is a British historian of Armenian origin. He has an M.A. in history from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor,[1] received under the tutelage of Ronald Grigor Suny.[2]

Sarafian is the founding director of the Gomidas Institute in London, which sponsors and carries out research and publishes books and the journal Armenian Forum. Among the institute's publications are English translations of Armenian texts related to the Armenian Genocide.[3] He edited a "Critical Edition" of the The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-1916, commonly known as the Blue Book (originally published in 1916 by British historians Lord James Bryce and Arnold Toynbee),[4] as well as a Turkish edition of the book.


Sarafian conducted research in the Ottoman Archives of the Turkish Government in the 1990s, together with Hilmar Kaiser.[5]

In February 2007, Sarafian accepted the suggestion of the then-chairman of the Turkish Historical Society, Yusuf Halaçoğlu, to cooperate on a joint project.[6] Sarafian later proposed a joint case study of "what happened on the Harput Plain" and "how many people died" during the deportations.[7][8]

A month later, Halaçoğlu announced that Sarafian has declined to carry out the study,[9] and added that Sarafian "was disturbed by the institute's initiative to study the archives of Tashnak, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation".[10] In an interview, Sarafian said Halaçoğlu's "explanation was not true because I had not said any such thing. The case study came to an end when Halacoglu stated that the relevant records, which he had initially agreed to use as the basis of the joint case study, were not available."[11] Halaçoğlu's choice to withhold archival records and pull out of the project was criticized at the time in the Turkish press.[12]

In 2015, Sarafian was the subject of an independent documentary film, 100 Years Later, about his work with Kurdish civil society organisations in Turkey around the 100th anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide.


  1. ^ Maroot, Matthew (December 1997). "Sarafian Speaks on Kharpert Massacres". Hye Sharzhoom (California State University, Fresno) 19 (2). Retrieved 2008-08-30. Ara Sarafian received his M.A. in History from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor 
  2. ^ Lima, Vincent (2008-01-07). "The Next 1.5 Million: A Panel Discussion on Armenian Studies in the United States". Armenian Forum (Gomidas Institute) 1 (1): 95–101. Retrieved 2008-09-01. The history chair, occupied until recently by Ronald Grigor Suny, has produced two scholars, Ara Sarafian and Vincent Lima. 
  3. ^ Tataryan, Hakop (October 2003). "Ara Sarafian Discusses Genocide Memoir To the Desert". Hye Sharzhoom (California State University, Fresno) 25 (1). Retrieved 2008-08-30. Ara Sarafian, an archival historian specializing in the late Ottoman Period, is one of the founders of the Gomidas Institute located in London, England. The Institute republishes English translations of works originally written in Armenian by those who experienced the Armenian Genocide first hand, materials that ordinarily would be cumbersome to obtain for present-day historians. 
  4. ^ James Bryce; Arnold Joseph Toynbee; Arnold Toynbee (2000). Ara Sarafian, ed. The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-1916 : Documents Presented to Viscount Grey of Falloden by Viscount Bryce. Taderon Pr. ISBN 0-9535191-5-5. 
  5. ^ Sarafian, Ara (Spring 1999). "The Ottoman Archives Debate and the Armenian Genocide" (PDF). Armenian Forum 2 (1): 35–44. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Gomidas Institute Offer to Historians in Turkey: "Let's Undertake a Case Study of the Events of 1915"". Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  7. ^ Guvenc, Duygu (2007-02-22). "Turkish and Armenian historians are meeting at last". Turkish Daily News. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  8. ^ "Armenian historian accepted suggestion of Turkish counterpart on joint work". PanARMENIAN.Net. 2007-02-22. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  9. ^ "Sarafian bows to diaspora pressure, says Halaçoğlu". Today's Zaman. 2007-03-10. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  10. ^ "TTK President Halaçoğlu responds to Sarafian's claims". Today's Zaman. 2007-03-17. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  11. ^ "Sarafian: Genocide deniers weaker today than ever" (PDF). Armenian Reporter. 31 May 2008. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  12. ^ Birand, Mehmet Ali (14 March 2007). "Why do we invite them in the first place?". Turkish Daily News. Retrieved 21 June 2012.