LOS ANGELES (CN) – An Armenian-American attorney says the National Archives ignored his Freedom of Information Act request for records on the World War I era Armenian Genocide in Turkey. Vartkes Yeghiayan wants the Archives to spearhead a report on Armenian records that would be similar to the project the Archives undertook for survivors of the Jewish Holocaust. That report, which links Holocaust-related documents with a “finding guide,” is published on the Archives’ Web site.
In his federal complaint, Yeghiayan says he wrote to Archives Specialist David Mengel in 2006, asking for a comprehensive report detailing Archives holdings that may reveal which countries were complicit in or profited from the genocide. Yeghiayan says the archive “is in possession of thousands of documents, to include diplomatic correspondence and cables, executive orders, records of Congressional speeches and debates, all addressing the killing and exploitation of Armenians by the Ottoman Government during the First World War.”
Yeghiayan also wants Archives records of reports filed by the U.S. Embassy in Constantinople which address the Armenian situation during that time, and records of visas the United States issued to fleeing Armenians. Finally, Yeghiayan says the Archives holds records of Armenian property that the Ottoman government transferred to the U.S. government as reparations after the war ended.
According to the complaint, a National Archives employee acknowledged Yeghiayan’s request and promised that the Archives would contact him. Yeghiayan says he wrote again in 2007, asking for an update, but Archives employees have not responded.
Yeghiayan wants the Archives information for his nonprofit corporation, which is dedicated to sharing history and information about the Armenian genocide.
Yeghiayan is represented by Mark MacCarley with MacCarley & Rosen.