A Shameful Act The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility


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080508665X

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496 Pages

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In 1915, under the cover of a world war, some one million Armenians were killed through starvation, forced marches, forced exile, and mass acts of slaughter. Although Armenians and world opinion have held the Ottoman powers responsible, Turkey has consistently rejected any claim of intentional genocide. Now, in a work of excavation, Turkish historian Taner Akçam has made extensive use of Ottoman and other sources to produce a scrupulous charge sheet against the Turkish authorities. The first scholar of any nationality to have mined the significant evidence—in Turkish military and court records, parliamentary minutes, letters, and eyewitness accounts—Akçam follows the chain of events leading up to the killing and then reconstructs its systematic orchestration by coordinated departments of the Ottoman state, the ruling political parties, and the military. He also probes the crucial question of how Turkey succeeded in evading responsibility, pointing to competing international interests in the region, the priorities of Turkish nationalists, and the international community's inadequate attempts to bring the perpetrators to justice.

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Born in Ardahan province, Turkey, in 1953, Taner Akçam is the author of ten scholarly works of history and sociology, as well as numerous articles in Turkish, German, and English. He currently teaches at the University of Minnesota.

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  • Taner Akçam, a sociologist and historian, was born in Ardahan province, Turkey, in 1953. He was granted political asylum in Germany after receiving a ten-year prison sentence in Turkey for his involvement in producing a student journal, which resulted in his adoption in 1976 by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience. He is the author of ten scholarly works of history and sociology, as well as numerous articles in Turkish, German, and English. He currently teacher at the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota.
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