WATERTOWN–Mass.-The Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region has renewed its call for Princeton University to remove Professor Heath Lowry as Ataturk Chair of Turkish Studies–and for the schools administration to conduct a thorough review of the hiring practices which led to Lowrys selection to this post.
Lowrys controversial tenure at Princeton was highlighted in a front page article in the Dec. 9 issue of the New York Times.
The article–entitled "Donations to Universities Sometimes Carry a Price," stated that "At Princeton University–the controversy this year was over the endowment of a chair in Turkish studies that some scholars feared could be used by the government of Turkey to whitewash its role in the massacre of a million Armenians in World War I."
The Turkish government has provided more than $750,000 to endow the Princeton chair.
Earlier this year–a group of prominent scholars and leading academics issued a petition condemning efforts by the Turkish government to discredit scholarship on the Armenian Genocide and specifically cited Professor Lowry for his unethical campaign to deny this crime against humanity.
The statement read–in part–"Scholars who deny genocide lend their considerable authority to the acceptance of this ultimate human crime."
The statement–which was initiated by Colgate University professor Peter Balakian–was signed by distinguished scholars Deborah Lipstadt and Robert Jay Lifton and authors Norman Mailer and Arthur Miller–among many others.
The controversy surrounding Prof. Lowry was reported at length by the New York Times in a May 22–1996 article– entitled–"Princeton is Accused of Fronting for the Turkish Government."
In that article–the New York Times reported that Lowry– who had previously worked at the Turkish government funded Institute for Turkish Studies–had been accused of creating a "center for propaganda about Turkeys role in the massacre of a million Armenians during World War I."
Additional stories appeared in the Boston Globe–the Bergen Record and the Chronicle for Higher Education. A comprehensive account of Lowrys revisionist activities was published by the Journal for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
"We seek to highlight the circumstances which led to the hiring of a confirmed Genocide revisionist by Princeton University," said ANC-ER chairman Harry Derderian. "Professor Lowrys record of unethical conduct is clearly apparent–as are the links between his hiring and the $750,000 in donations provided to Princeton by his past employer–the government of Turkey."
"Princeton University needs to answer a number of extremely troubling questions about its hiring practices– not just to the Armenian-American community but to the academic community at-large," continued Derderian.
Last year the ANCA-ER issued a statement which documented Professor Lowrys unethical conduct–including his past work for the Turkish government. That statement read in part– "His service to the Turkish government was revealed–by accident–in private correspondence between Lowry and Turkish Ambassador Nuzhet Kandemir. These letters–which were published in the Journal of Genocide and Holocaust Studies–revealed that Lowry actively conspired with the Turkish Embassy to discredit scholarship which mentions the Armenian Genocide. His activity in this area alone should serve as sufficient cause for Princeton University to disassociate itself with Dr. Lowry and his brand of false scholarship."