Synopses & Reviews
The murder of more than one million Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish government in 1915 has been acknowledged as genocide. Yet almost 100 years later, these crimes remain unrecognized by the Turkish state. This book is the first attempt by a Turk to understand the genocide from a perpetrator's, rather than victim's, perspective, and to contextualize the events of 1915 within Turkey's political history and western regional policies. Turkey today is in the midst of a tumultuous transition. It is emerging from its Ottoman legacy and on its way to recognition by the west as a normal nation state. But until it confronts its past and present violations of human rights, it will never be a truly democratic nation. This book explores the sources of the Armenian genocide, how Turks today view it, the meanings of Turkish and Armenian identity, and how the long legacy of western intervention in the region has suppressed reform, rather than promoted democracy.
An original and timely study of the modern Turkish state and its role on the international stage.
Taner Akçam is one of the first Turkish academics to acknowledge and discuss openly the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman-Turkish government in 1915. This book discusses western political policies towards the region generally, and represents the first serious scholarly attempt to understand the Genocide from a perpetrator rather than victim perspective, and to contextualize those events within Turkey's political history. By refusing to acknowledge the fact of genocide, successive Turkish governments not only perpetuate massive historical injustice, but also pose a fundamental obstacle to Turkey's democratization today.
About the Author
Taner Akçam is Visiting Professor at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
Table of Contents
1. What Are Turkey's Fundamental Problems? A Model for Understanding Turkey Today
2. A Theoretical Approach to Understanding Turkish National Identity
3. Some Aspects of Turkish National Identity and the Armenian Genocide
4. The Homogenizing and Ethnic Cleansing of Anatolia
5. The Decision for Genocide in Light of Ottoman-Turkish Documents
6. The Treaties of Sèvres and Lausanne: An Alternative Perspective
7. The Causes and Effects of Making Turkish History Taboo
8. The Genocide and Turkey
9. Some Theoretical Thoughts on the Obstacles to Armenian-Turkish Reconciliation