Taner Akcam not long ago was an undistinguished academic in Germany,
trying to recreate himself after a career of spreading
terror in Turkey, working as a janitor to make ends meet, and dodging bullets from his
one-time Kurdish terrorist buddies (most of which Akcam related in an interview). He evidently never taught in a
German institution, where he earned his doctorate degree. The kinds of papers he wrote
appeared in rinky-dink publications bearing the name "Kurdistan," and the like.
Who would want to hire this man to come to an American university
and teach? Especially when there are so many qualified American scholars with Ph.Ds who go
wanting for university positions? What could Taner Akcam have possibly offered anyone?
(His degree was in Sociology. The demand for sociology professors in the United States is
not strikingly high.)
Akcam met Vahakn Dadrian, whom many regard as the "foremost
authority on the Armenian Genocide," but those who have looked into his scholarly
methodology know him better as a foremost master of deception. Getting mentored by Dadrian
appears to have been step number one for Taner Akcam, in his path to a profitable new
career; both mentor and student appeared in the 1997 documentary, "A Wall of
Silence, The Unspoken Fate of the Armenians." It looks like Akcam may have spent
time in Canada, where Dadrian appears to have settled after abruptly leaving his State University of New York at Geneseo
position, after 1991; Akcam's first major English language paper, "The Genocide of
the Armenians and the Silence of the Turks" evidently first appeared in Canada.
It was at this time Taner Akcam was suddenly recruited as a
"Visiting Scholar at the Armenian Research Center, University of
Michigan-Dearborn." Who could possibly have brought Taner Akcam to this American
university? The Armenian Research Center is the domain of Prof. Dennis Papazian, and the
answer appears obvious.
But the official explanation was that Fatma Muge Gocek, another
sociologist from Michigan-Dearborn, recognized what a great
talent Taner Akcam was, and "hosted" Akcam, on her lonesome, to get the
cushy American university position. Even though Akcam does not seem to have belonged to
any faculty from his days in Germany.
It looked better to have a Turk sponsor another Turk. It
would have seemed awfully fishy if the Armenians had brought Akcam in. After all, Akcam
was the first "Turkish scholar" to have recognized their genocide. He was most
valuable to have broken the mold, having made it possible to open the floodgates to a
whole crowd of opportunistic Turks. The Armenians certainly did not want to risk the
enterprise with the appearance of pulling their golden boy's strings.
Fatma Gocek was all too willing to cooperate, as she had become an
all-too-willing proponent of the Armenians'
genocide by this time. There was a wonderfully detailed account on the Internet regarding
this master plan on how bringing Akcam in was all Gocek's idea, but a search unfortunately
failed to unearth it.
Harut Sassounian's "Turkish Minister Cancels Michigan Trip
Because of Armenian Genocide" (April 15, 2004) Courier article provides an
abbreviated telling; the Turkish Minister of Education, Huseyin Celik "was advised to cancel his visit to the Univ. of Michigan (Ann
Arbor), because his host there would have been Associate Prof. of Sociology, Fatma Muge
Gocek. Prof. Gocek learned that the Foreign Ministry had told the Education Minister to
cancel his trip to the Univ. of Michigan, because she 'recognized the Armenian claims [of
genocide], had previously hosted Taner Akcam [a Turkish scholar who recognizes the
Armenian Genocide] at the University of Michigan, and is currently writing a book
on the issue'."
But was it really Fatma Muge Gocek who brought Akcam in?